made Hal bar the doors, for she had not
‘yet gotten over the fright. She was afraid
that friends of the cattle thieves would
fcome there to wreak vengeance on him.
,‘ Benson was gone about two hours, but
he could not get into the house until Hal's
M! mother was satisded that it was his voice
they heard. ’ '
IIe had put up the broncho; and when he
came in, be grasped Hal's hand again, say-
ing: , r -
“Old fellow, you have got two of them
to your credit, for the wounded man died
before the men with the spade and shovel
arrived there. They are both buried in the
same hole." >
It was another shock to the widow, but
Benson did not seem to mind it at all. '
“Mind what I tell you." said Benson.
"They will give this ranch a wide berth.
They have heard all over the country about
I-Ial’s bear ngbt, the shooting at the sta-
tion and the little racket to-day.”
"Well, you have been here all the time.
How did they happen to come to-day?"
“Because they probably heard that I had
gone to Branchvilie: Mr. Matthews and I
helped to lynch some over 1'. year ago." '
'The next morning the Matthews girls
came over again, each riding her own
’ broncho. , ' - l
, “Ain’t you two girls afraid to‘ride such
:1 distance without any cscort or protec-
, tion?" she asked. ' .
‘ "Why no, I have got a revolver in the
pocket of my dress,” said Bettie, “but we
have never been bothered by anybody. Be-
sides ii‘, is a clear road all the way from
here,” and she reached out and grasped
Hal's hand, saying: .
“I like a man of your grit.”
, - “Oh, my!’.' exclaimed Mary, the Youngest
one, .“why don't you kiss him?"
. “Yes, I was just thinking of that myself,”
- laughed Hal.
' “Is that the New York style?” she in-
quired.‘ ' - ’
‘ es.’ .
“Well, it isn't the style out here unless
-the kisser? are sweethearts." .
They looked at the bullet holes inrhis
clothes and were quite free in their ex-
pressions of. approval in what he had just
“Just keep it up," said the cider sister,
“and you will nnd that the bad people will
all keep away from the ranch and the good
people will all be your friend
CHAPTER XVII. ,
nu. nu) ma TEACHER oeiranksirhxsrrrr.
when the girls arrived, Hal and Benson
were preparing to go up into the timber
with rides to practice shooting.
"Look here, lyiiss Bettie," said Benson,
“I was just going up into the timber to
give him a few lessons in marksmanship.
Suppose you give him the lessons and I
will go on with my work?
“All right, I will be glad to. Come on,
lliary, and go with us," ' '
Hal took up his ride and they went up
into thertimber. .
They stopped at the spring to get a
drink of water, and while there Hal ex-
plained how he intended to runtbe water
down to the cabin and then down into the
barn lot. '
' “Just the thing. You have no idea how
convenient it will be," said Bettie. "The
water will be fresh and you won't have to
gunfp here after it half 3. dozen times a
a . . ’ '
'.‘That is what I think. In New York,
nearly every house in the city has water
brought into it through iron pipes, right
into the lritchenshwhere the women can
use their washtubs in the coldest of win-
ter weather." .
' “Edy, how convenient that must be?"
."&cs, they couldnot have wells in a big
gitiylfor the water would not he tit to
"WHY. it goes through pipes into sewers,
v and the sewers empty into rivers. You
,, see, New York is built on an island right
between two rivers."
It was interesting to the two girls and
they asked as many questions as any Ya“.
From the spring, they walked nearly a
quarter of a mile up the long, sloping, um.
her range, where Bettie began giving him
lessons in marksmanship.
She explained to him ho 11 .
careful about the double si:hts‘,?‘aS:gur1i‘gv::
to pull the trigger until both sights were
in line with the object to be shot at.
She put zl target a hundred yards away
against a big tree.
Then she explained that he must hold
it steady, not take a rest against a stump
3- "B9, C1‘ 103. and to take quick aim. '
; She hred the drst shot and hit the tar-
get. to his very great Surprise,
Then she showed him th k ’
first Eight. The marks toladnlrarzrwshoighmg
should be raised for certain distances. It
s was marked three hundred, four hundred
and five hundred yards and it must bel
raised to that height. '
I-Ie drcd and missed it by an inch.
"That is splendid! Now fire again, and
be sure both sights are in line with the
target. and you will be sure to hit it."
It-lls second shat bit the edge of the tar-
She kept on encouraging him, dwelling.
pzrrur-ul:u'ly upon his h ‘in
to hold the gun
t to pull the trigger unvi
til he v. 3 sure of his aim. ‘ ,'
The third shot hit the target and be was‘
very proud or‘ it. . i
“Now, more the large‘. about twice as far
She selected the tree and told him to!
run out there and put it at two hundred‘
lie so, and she gave him lessons at,
long-range shooting. 1
She said she once killed a deer at two
“Now, you must remember this in shoot- I
ing at dcer, hit him in the neck, or the‘;
head, or ll you have a side view of him,’
aim behind his shoulder about half way
from the top of the breast. That rsi hit
him in the vital spot.- He may run a sllor
distance, but he will come down. ,
shoot at a deer running from you unless
you shoot him at the head, which you can
see over his back, but it takes a good shot -
to kill him that way‘ The best way is to’
take 9. side View of him. Some of the best
hunters become e cited when shooting at
deer, and wound it, and it has to suicr for
a. long time, and possibly die after sov-- 0
eral days of suffering. if you get :1 side
view d:n‘t aim at his jaw, but right at
the base of his horns. I you aim at his
neck, you certainly know enough about‘
horses and cows to know where the spinal ,
Hal was fascinated with her as he lis-
tened to her talk. She was practical, pret- 4
ty and sensible.
They rn-ed until he had really become?
quite expert. ‘
“Now, that is enough for to-day,” she‘,
said. “Some day, we will come over again
and you can take a few more lessons. Y I
want to hit targets five hundred y:L.ds]
away, and must study the raised sivht. I
have heard father say that every gun L7
tested before it leaves the factory where
it is made; so if it misses, it is the shoot-
er's fault, not that of the gun." ‘ 4.
When they returned to the cabin, they
found the elder sister, whose name was
ilinrgaret, ‘ quietly conversing. with - LIES.‘ 1
The two younger sisters burst
talking and ion ., ‘kc mar" .. .3
them what nne ots Ilal had 1u.t made.
ills mother looked at him and then at
She was half inclined to doubt the story,
but Mary conhrracd it, and so did Hal him-
in on them "
“Now, llal," said Bettie, “get the shot
gun, and in-t’s go out after some quail.
lrnow that your mother is very fond of
“Why, dear,“ explained I-iro. Hawkins,
"we have plenty of cverything in the house
0 eat‘-beef, venison or bear meat.” ‘
“Well, a sail or two will not hurt," and
they went oif together along the edge of
the timber on the prairie. '
They returned in less than an hour with
nearly a dozen fat quails, and inside of a.
few minutes, outside near the barn lot, the
feathers were iiying, for the girls’ knew
better how to divest the fowl of their
feathers than any one Ilal or his mother
had ever seen, and they were talking all
Just‘bet’ore dinner was ready, Mr. lii:l't-
thews hirnseli rode up.
“Oh, my, hero is father!” exclaimed
lilary, who was the first to see him.
. Mrs. Hawkins had ncver met him, and
she was :1 little bit worried about the con-
dition oi her house to receive such a vis-
itor. Bettie cauglirher and said:
“Don't move a thing.‘ Your house is like
everybody else's out here. Don't ut on
any airs. I am glad father has come.".
“So am I," said Mrs. Hawkins, and she
went to the door to meet him.
He did not wait for an introduction, but
removed his hat and walked straight up to
her and said:
“Look here, I have come to pay a neigh-
borly visit and shake hands wirh that be?
of yours. I wish that one of my girls was
a boy and just like him. ' '
She thanked him kindly
inside. - ‘ -
"Look here. Mrs. I-Iawlzins, if you turn
those girls loose on your larder, the)‘ will
ruin ." "
' "No danger of that," ,she.laughed. "i
only wished they would come over every
day, for they bring more sunshine than
comes from the sky on a clear day." >
They are the sunshine of
my home. But let me ask YOU. 110W are
you getting on? Does the air and-water
and invited him
out here agree with You?
“Splcndidly," said Mrs. Hawkins. ‘'1 am
3 as they please when they come ovrr
stronger and have gained flesh since we
came here; but I have suffered several se-
vere shocks on account of what has hap-
"Don’t worry about that, ma".-r:l. You
will have less of it in the future, for when
peop‘e out here find out what kind of .2
man he is, they will treat him accordingly.
If he has got plenty of s..n.d, they will take
off their hats to him, and try to be friendly,
but if he is 1-. t‘“‘ ll, bashful, cowardly sort
’ "e a .lf'(1“.‘!l ta hi .'
. . "a
lie was 5. ii.1.bte
block wlzcre he vus b.rn u reared in
New York. Yet he ucvrr was quarrclsorne
and lit) has bccn a ed
“Then you are r biesscd, for 9. good
son always makes r. good men and a goml
tusbar . I 5: on rare been !uv:lo<:iu'-1
we ranchmcn rarely boihcr . ih pgs o
1.-lzirkens, ‘ ' we can always go out and
lo chickens and quail,"
“Yes, but you do not got any cggs.“
' were talking, Mary went to
[he cupl)o.rd, filled a glass full of fresh
buiter:ilk, and brought it to him, snyingz.
“Look here. fathrr,‘just,drink that. It
was churned this ntorrzi g. am going to
have some milch cows penned up at home,
so we can have some milk, too."
“All right. I am sure there are plenty
'- ked, and he drank
h As hrfhanded
e in 'r' ith greet rel .
the glass back to Mary, he remarked:
. they a:e taking pos-
glad of it. They can do just
OS, I am
Will you have another glass of it?"
“No. thank you. "
A few minutes later he sat down to the
table with them. i
It was like his own home, for his three
daughters were there.
He drank two more gin
ing the meal and ate heart v ‘ cs.
Alter dinncr, he visited the ba lot with
Hal and s:-i‘.v'i way the meat was being
curezl in the enr.c-std and of the wagon
shed, and be approved of everything he
saw. ’ - .
s of milk dur;
> >Ci-lAl"l'El't XVlll.
IIAL r!.A..Vs T0 cr.l::.x Diff‘ A o:..x' or xvuuizs.
e passed on and winter was last up-
pro .uin,. . ,
By hard work, Benton and Ila! had made
wooden trot. '". whi: V‘ ‘mined to-
gcthcr, a:id,b :bt the water from the
spring a hundred yards above the-house;
down to the b or. - -
There it cnspli 3 into a trough, through
which it passed by another one to another
wooden trough that carried it into the barn
lot, and the ovcrllow from the big trough
there :an down the hill belowaud emptied
into the little branch that (lowed from the
main spring stream. 1
, Tixey had plenty of wood cut and piled
up to last them through the winter.
liieanwhlle, IIal‘s reputation as a youth
that could hold his own spread all over
that end of the county. '
Up at Branchvllie, whenever he and his
mother drove there, he was treated with
No other cowboy ever tried to make,blrn
In all sorts of weather he rode over the
ranch, sometimes with Benson and some-
'nics alone. ,
He had little occasion to spend any mon-
ey, for they had everything at home that
Of course he had to buy a heavy over-
coat whcn cold weather came on, and be
kept a decent suit for social occasions.
He grew strong und hardy, much to the
delight of his mother.
’During the Christmas holidays, be and
his mother were invited to ranches in a
range of ten or twelve miles of them.
There was a. dance over at the Matthews
ranch and the sons and daughters of ranch-
mcn for miles around were present, and
Hal became anquaiutcd with all of them.
He proved to be a most excellent dancer,
and be danced with a score of girls during
Ills mother was invited to dance, but she
always begged to oc excused, as s e was
not in a irame of mind to enter into such
Quite a number of girls took a great fan-
cy to Hal, but Bettie Matthews seemed to
be his favorite.
Then there was a big dance over at the
hotel at Brancllviile, where, being a public
ailair, everybody went who felt so dis-
posed. ' - r '
I-lal wanted to attend, but his mother are
the merchant through whom she did her
trading sent a ncte'to her, telling her to
She decided to go. .
They left in time to reach there by sun-
set, having ruilkod the cows just before
they startul, and placed enough bay to last
until noon the.ncrt day in reach of the
cows and branches.
The house, which was as strong as :1 jail,
‘was locked and they started a
' =tcppc.i, or course, at the home of
ant and Ilunsou was given a room
.2 rc the ball opened there was :1 score
of men about lhe village well under the in-
liueuu: or‘ d k, but ill >. llnwlzirzz knew
nothing abs . it uuill s. c went to the ho-
tel‘ “ht-:e the dunno vans going to be held.
it was to mice place in the big dinlnE-
The Itlatihews girls were there, but they
wore going: to rcturn at midnight.
llsl clan:-ml with the merchant's daugh-
tor and paid her n good deal of attention,
but frrarlly Ilrttlv: hiallbews got hold of
him and kept lzirn by her side for nearly
Nmrly cvr.-ry girl in the house had heard
of ll-'2-y::un'; tcuclerioot from New Yorlr,
who liazl ioolml a‘! the cowboys in that end
of the county.
II; was railed the tenderfoot who could
not be rrlade to dance, but the way be
danced that nlglit astonished a number of
them. , '
slle received invitations from nearly a
S('Cl'(! of girls to rlsit thorn at their homes.
.-lml his nrcii-(r invited a number of them
to xislt hrr. ,
During the c'.'c:xln;:, several half-drunken
cowlmys firm on‘ their revolvers in front of
the hotel, and Mrs, Hawkins became vet!
nervous. hc cculd not understand why
the ladies prcscnt paid no attention to
She thought they were murdering some
one, but the girls laughed heartily am] said
they were just bring off their guns for
A big, half-drunken cowboy tried to
iorcc his vay into the ballroom, but he was
y fired out. v .
.ppened during the evening
txollbitsome than that, and about
‘I s. Hawkins returned to the
residence and retired. ’
L r She was satished to leave
him (born with ilcnscn
Bcnron had no trouble in taking care of
him, for there was no one there who cared.
o g :2: him any trouble, for the young
rancher who had fought the cattle thieves
to a standstill, killing two of them, was
not the chap to fool with; so they were all
respectful to him.
After an early breakfast the next morn-
ing, they storied hack to the ranch, for
the widow was extremely anxious about the
The .nicrchnnt's daughter accompanied
her, as she was going to spend :1 week out
on the run ‘
She was a big, strapping, so‘ld girl who-
had a hm.-l uf information about all the
and there was some little bit of interesting
history (cnneclx-,d with each one of them.
Her name was Sallie Ilarmon.
lirs. limvkins had fallen in Jove with
hr.-'. . .
As man as they reached home Sailio took
the milk polls and milked bath of the cows,
somotlring the widow herself had not yet
dare-.i to attempt, and she knew all about
when the Matthews girls heard that she
was ovcr (here for :1 week, they came over
nearly every tiny.
Bcttie was jealous of her, butshc was
shrmvd enough not to show it; but while
she was tlwro, Ilcuic managed to monopo-
lize what spare time Hal had.
She was very pressing in her invitation
to Miss llarmon to spend a week with her,
before returning home, but Sally declined.
' At the end of the week she was taken
home in the wagon and was highly pleased
with her visit. y
Hal drove the wagon, for his mother no
longer ha.-l my fears of him being inter-
fered with by others. ‘
lie had a pleasant time with her, and
before they reached home, she extended
an invitation to him to always come to the
house and dine, and bring his mother
Of course Mrs. Hawkins bogged her to
stay longer and come out whenever she
On the way back home, as the road
skirted along a piece of pretty thick tim-
ber about four miles from his home, he
caught sight of three big gray wolves in.
the thicket traveling at a pretty rapid gate
and trying to keep out of view.
He regretted that he did not have his
ride along. He did not even have, his re-
As soon as be had reached home, he tol
Benson what be had seen. ' ’ ‘
“They have got a den somewhere in that
strip of timber," said Benson, “as several
be sun: to come in and spend the night I