The Shaggy Legion - Hal G. Evarts - ebook

The Shaggy Legion ebook

Hal G. Evarts

0,0

Opis

Arapaho Gilroy, who was briefly loved to call Rapaho Hill. He was known by many. He was known wherever there were Indians of any tribe or white people with many years of experience to the West. Arpakho, to some extent, was a real robber. He ran across adventures everywhere. For such a hero is interesting to watch.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 361

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII

CHAPTER VIII

CHAPTER IX

CHAPTER X

CHAPTER XI

CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XIII

CHAPTER XIV

CHAPTER XV

CHAPTER XVI

CHAPTER XVII

CHAPTER XVIII

CHAPTER I

Lazily, Arapaho Gilroy watched the approaching bull train. Having penetrated the virgin West with the mountain men in his early youth, Gilroy had resided for many years among the Arapahoes. His contemporaries of an earlier day, therefore, had dubbed him Arapaho Gilroy, which, being something of a mouthful, had been shortened to Rapaho Gil, by which title and no other, he was known wherever Indians of whatever tribe or white men of long experience in the West forgathered. Rapaho Gil, then, trained an indolent but speculative eye upon the bull train.

Jim Bridger, old in the annals of the West, came forth to join him. Of late Bridger had turned his vast knowledge of the country and his intimate familiarity with Indian customs to account by serving as scout in various Indian campaigns. William Comstock and California Joe also were temporarily domiciled at Rapaho Gil’s post.

The advance of the bull train was so slow as to be almost imperceptible, a thin film of dust providing the only evidence to indicate that it moved at all. A single horseman rode on ahead of the train and dismounted before Gil’s post. Six feet in height,rangy and powerful, the newcomer nevertheless was barely out of his teens. Garbed in moccasins and buckskin leggings, a woolen hunting frock that dropped to his thighs, his head protected by a battered broad-brimmed hat, his garb marked him as a plainsman.

“Breck Coleman,” Gil called over his shoulder to his Arapaho squaw. “Any business in my line?” he made inquiry of Coleman, jerking his head toward the crawling train. “Many tenderfoots amongst the bulls?”

Coleman nodded. “A sprinkling,” he confirmed. “Several pilgrim outfits that joined us have their bulls’ feet wore down to the quick.”

His eyes strayed toward Rapaho Gil’s sod corral and sized up the two-score oxen that were confined therein. Twice that many head grazed on the prairie a half mile away in charge of a half-grown Arapaho lad. Gil was engaged in a unique business of his own–the business of “two-for-one”–a calling made possible only by the conditions of that particular period on the plains. Bull-train travel on the trail was tremendous. Many travelers set forth from the settlements with sound oxen, only to watch the animals grow daily more tender-footed from the steady grinding of hard-packed earth, sand and gravel as the weeks wore on. Rapaho Gil had stripped the sod from a sizable area behind his post, using the sod thus removed to fashion a corral wall. Water had been turned into the corral fromthe little creek, soaking the clay of its floor. Gilroy traded one sound bull for two with tender feet. The animals thus acquired were turned into the “puddle pen.” Standing about in the wet clay between short periods of grazing on the adjacent prairie soon put the hooves of these tender-footed ones in shape. Newcomers on the plains then were known as pilgrims, oxen with worn-down hooves as tenderfeet; so no doubt the latter term, as applied at a somewhat later date to those humans who were new to the plains, originated with the business of two-for-one.

“It was tenderfoots I come on ahead to see about,” Coleman said. “There’s a pilgrim family with two wagons and eight bulls, the whole lot of them with wore-down feet. There ain’t fifty cents amongst them. A little corn meal, salt pork and molasses is their grub layout except for such meat as I rustle for them. They couldn’t go on with four bulls. I’ll pick out eight sound critters from your herd and you make some excuse to trade even. I’ll settle up the difference with you sometime soon after snow flies.”

Rapaho Gil nodded, half filled a pint cup with whiskey from a barrel and tendered it to Coleman. “It’s a deal, son. Cut the trail dust out o’ your neck with this here. Family of Pikes, is it, that you’re befriending thisaway?”

“Yeah. Pikes,” Coleman asserted. “Real Pikes, I mean,” he amplified.

The woodsmen of Ohio and Kentucky, pushing onto the west of the big river as the settlements overtook them, had conquered the wilderness of Missouri at a very early date. Many had forged on to scour the whole West with the fur brigades, some pressing south somewhat later to espouse the cause of the Texans against Mexico. Others of their breed had remained behind to settle up the wilderness. Many of these had reared their families in splendid isolation in what later had become Pike County, Missouri. Illiterate but wholly efficient in all matters pertaining to survival in a new land, the residents of Pike County had grown up from infancy recognizing no law but the iron-clad code of their clans, bred to enforce that code by personal violence, resulting in the consequent feuds that such a system inevitably invokes among a clannish people. Of late the overflow from Pike County had pressed westward with the increasing tide of emigration. Mostly, the men who hailed from those parts were a lean and wiry lot, powerful and tireless. Invariably, they were high-tempered, quick to sense affront and quicker to resent it, determined always to avenge it. They fought with equal abandon with knife or gun, with fist or foot, and there were no niceties in their manner of engaging in personal combat. To gouge with a thumb for an opponent’s eye, to bite such an offending thumb, to put the boot, even if hobnailed, to the head and body of an overthrown antagonist, all were recognized as well within the etiquette of staging a man-to-man affray.

Gradually, then, from these predominant characteristics displayed by the men hailing from Pike County, Missouri, it was becoming customary throughout the West to refer to any turbulent, fighting person as a “Pike.” Coleman’s qualification to the effect that those whom he wished to befriend were real Pikes was merely by way of explaining to Gilroy that they hailed actually from Pike County, as against being so designated from any mere tendency to violence.

Rapaho Gil so understood it. “Who’s the boss bullwhacker?” he inquired.

Coleman’s gray eyes hardened slightly. “Red Flack,” he informed. “The big devil half killed a couple o’ whackers all over nothing a few days back; put the boot to one till his face won’t ever again look human. Also, he’s dead set to tell me about my business.”

Old Gil grunted his disapproval of Flack. Already the Arapaho youth was herding the oxen slowly toward the post. Coleman rode out to meet him, observing the animals as he returned with them. He singled out eight excellent oxen and indicated his choice to Gilroy. The latter nodded. “I’m not to open my trap about your part in it? Let the head of the Pike lodge think he’s made a foxy trade, eh?”

“Yeah,” Coleman assented. “Carrolton is the name.”

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.