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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

Gid a horse gallopin' along the trail comin' this way


"A

cat?"

"Yes," Isa Blagg nodded, "allus fell on his feet, didn't he? He allus came out on top. I never knew such a one fer turnin' up right on the spot whenever there was danger hangin' around."

"Wonder where he is now?" sighed Gideon Birkenshaw.

"Why, away in England, of course," drawled Isa. "In England without a doubt, occupyin' that thar comfortable seat of his in the House of Lords, wearin' a gold coronet an' a gold watch an' chain, an' a robe trimmed round with ermine skins; livin' in the grand style with all them high an' mighty aristocratic friends of his; never givin' a thought ter this yer camp here in the wilds of Wyoming, or to Laramie Peak, or to you, or to me."

"Mebbe so--mebbe so," mused Gideon. "I allow it's a long, long while since I'd a letter from him--not since that time when he sent me the Arab mare. Seems as if he'd clean forgotten me, though I never reckoned as Kiddie would ever forget. He ain't that sort."

"Hullo!" Isa Blagg was suddenly alert. "What's that? Listen! D'ye hear it, Gid--a horse gallopin' along the trail--comin' this way? Listen!"

The two men lay perfectly still and silent. From afar they could hear the unmistakable sound of a horse's hoofs, becoming momentarily more distinct.

"Injuns?" questioned

Birkenshaw. He glanced about to assure himself that his men were all at their appointed posts.

"No," Isa answered. "'Tain't no prairie cayuse. I c'n make out the ring of its shoes on the hard trail. 'Tain't the Pony Express, neither. Guess it's just one of the boys from Red Buttes comin' along in advance to lend us a neighbourly hand. We c'n do well with another gun, Gid--allowin' that young Rube Carter's information was correct; allowin' that Broken Feather and his braves are sure out on a horse raidin' stunt."

"Young Rube ain't anyways liable to be in error in a serious case like this," Gideon assured his companion. "And if Broken Feather's shapin' ter steal horses, why, nat'rally he'll calculate on findin' what he covets right here--the best herd within fifty miles, ter say nothin' of that Arab mare, which he's had his eye on for a while back. No, Young Rube's warnin' ain't no false alarm. I'm figurin' that the Redskins are in ambush down there among the willows. It's likely they've been there all through the night. They'll attack before sunrise; and they'll approach by way of the hollow yonder, where they c'n tread quiet on the marshy ground."

"Say, that rider's wastin' no time, Gid," Isa interrupted, "Guess he's in some hurry by the way he's poundin' along."

"We ought ter catch a view of him as he gallops over the ridge," reflected Gideon. "Might even be Broken Feather himself. He's cute enough ter come along in disguise, ridin' a saddled pony that's decently shod."


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