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The Boy Ranchers on Roaring River by Baker

The reward if they caught Delton

"Got a lot of nerve, walking around like that in front of lamps," Bud commented. "Easy to take a pot-shot at them."

"Guess they don't figure us as the kind for that sort of thing," Dick responded. "And we're not, either--though it would serve them right if someone did let ride at the window."

The two boys now took up their positions agreed upon--Dick around to the left, and Bud to the right. They were thus separated from each other by about three hundred yards.

"Mustn't start thinking foolish things!" Dick exclaimed to himself. "Got enough on my mind now." He shook his head as though to rid it of fancies which hung around it. The boy was certainly not of a morbid type, and it was the most natural thing in the world for him to be a bit uneasy, considering his situation. Yet he would not even admit to himself that he was anything but wholly composed.

"Wonder how Bud is making out?" he thought. "Perhaps I'd better sneak over and see. But no, there's no sense in that." Thus did he dismiss the craving for company. "Besides, I've got my job cut out for me here."

He looked more intently at the house, seeking to concentrate his attention on the everyday affairs of life. Smuggling. The reward if they caught Delton. What they could do with it. A new herd of cows. The Kid's bronc--whether he would see it again. How Delton timed the arrival at the Shooting Star ranch just when the smuggling car got there. The getaway. How it did rain!

Still, in spite of himself, that uneasy feeling was stealing over the boy. Surely there was no one around but Bud, away over on the other side. Of course it was night, but there was plenty of moonlight, and there was not much chance of Delton's men prowling about. Perhaps it was because there were trees back of him that Dick felt restless. Might be better to move more out in the open.

The boy arose, then suddenly froze into stillness. That peculiar feeling that there was someone behind him became stronger.

It seemed as though a pair of eyes were boring into his back. He listened intently. Suddenly he heard a voice.

"Hey, Dick!"

The boy turned swiftly, hand on his every nerve a quiver!

"It's me, Dick! Billee Dobb!"

What a relief! The boy now recognized the old rancher's voice, and the next moment Billee appeared, walking as noiselessly as possible.

"What on earth are you doing here, Billee?"

"I decided to come back. Didn't want to miss all the fun."

"Yes, but you weren't supposed to, were you?"

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