Rowdy Rides to Glory (1987)

Rowdy Rides to Glory (1987)
L'amour, Louis
Published:
2010
Read Rowdy Rides to Glory (1987) Page 1987 Read Book Online,Top Vampire Books Read Online Free

Rowdy Rides To Glory

Louis L'amour

Read Rowdy Rides to Glory (1987) Page 1987 Read Book Online,Top Vampire Books Read Online Free

*

For Want Of A Horse.

Rowdy Horn Stared Gloomily At Cub's Right Hind Leg And Shook
his head with regret.

"No use even thinkin' about it, jenny," he admitted ruefully to the girl he wante
d
to marry. "Cub won't work at the Stock man's Show this year. Not with that leg!"

Jenny Welman nodded, faintly irritated. Something was al ways going wrong. "No,"
s
he agreed, "you can't ride him, and without a good roping horse you wouldn't hav
e
a chance at first money, and without five thousand dollars-"

"I know! Without it we can't get married!" Rowdy ran his fingers through his dark
,
curly hair. "Jenny, does that money make so much difference? Lots of folks I kno
w
started with a darned sight less, and if I get a good calf crop this year we woul
d
be all set."

"We've talked of this before," Jenny replied quietly. "If you want to marry me, you'v
e
got to provide a home for me. I won't start like my mother did."

"She was pretty happy," Horn insisted stubbornly, "and your mother was a mighty fin
e
woman."

"True, but just the same, I want to be comfortable! I don't want to slave my yout
h
away trying to get ahead like she did." Suddenly, and excitedly, jenny caught hi
s
arm. "Rowdy! I just happened to think. Why don't you see Bart Luby?"

"Luby?" Horn's mouth tightened. "What would I see him for?"

"Maybe he would let you borrow Tanglefoot to ride! He's going to ride Royboy, I know
,
so why don't you ride over and ask him?"

"Ask a favor of Bart Luby?" Rowdy's eyes smoldered. "I will not! I'll let the rode
o
go to kingdom come, and the ranch too, before I'll go to him for help! Anyway, he'
d
turn me down flat. He knows well enough that with Cub an' me out of the running h
e
is a cinch to win."

"Will it do any harm to ask?" Jenny insisted impatiently. "Why you imagine he hold
s
anything against you, I can't guess.

He's the wealthiest man in the whole South Rim country, and has the biggest ranch
,
so why he should worry about you, I wouldn't know."

There was an undercurrent in jenny's voice that stirred Rowdy's resentment. He glance
d
up, studying her carefully. He had been in love with jenny Welman for a long time
,
and had been going around with her for almost a year, yet some how of late he ha
d
been experiencing vague doubts. Nothing he could put his finger on, but little thing
s
led him to believe that she placed more emphasis upon whether a man had money tha
n
how he got it.

"If you'd like," she suggested, her eyes brightening, "I could see him for you."

"No." Horn shook his head stubbornly. "I won't ask him, and I don't want you askin
g
him. He knows exactly how I feel about him, and he knows I think there was somethin
g
wrong about that Bar 0 deal."

"But Rowdy!" she protested, almost angry. "How can you be so foolish? After thre
e
years I was hoping you'd forgotten that silly resentment you had because you didn'
t
get that ranch."

"Well, I haven't!" Rowdy told her firmly. "If there was one man I knew, it was ol
d
Tom Slater, and I know what he thought of Bart. There was a time when he though
t
of leaving that ranch to both of us together, but after Bart Luby left and went t
o
cattle buying, Slater never felt the same about him. Something happened then tha
t
old Tom didn't like. Why, three times he told me he didn't even want Luby on th
e
place, and that he was leaving it to me. It doesn't make sense that he would chang
e
his mind at the last minute!"

"It was not at the last minute!" Jenny protested. "He had given Bart a deed to th
e
ranch-over a year before his death. Why, with that deed he didn't even need the will
,
but all the same, the will left everything to him. You heard it read yourself."

Jenny's chin lifted, and in her eyes Rowdy Horn could see the storm signals flying.

This old argument always irritated Jenny. She was just like nearly everybody in th
e
South Rim: admired Luby's cash and show as well as his business ability. And of course
,
the ma
n
had made money.

It was easy to admire Bart Luby if you accepted him from the surface appearance.

He had a dashing way, and he was a powerful man physically, handsome and smooth talking.

He was the one who had the Stockman's Show organized, and for thre
e
years now had been featured in it for his fine riding, roping, and bulldogging. H
e
was the local champion, because for those three years he had won all the major events.

But that will-that was something else.

Rowdy Horn was usually reasonable, but on the subject of that will he ceased bein
g
reasonable. It was flatly contradictory to everything he knew of Tom Slater, wh
o
had been almost a father to him.

Besides that, nobody could work with a man as Rowdy had worked with Bart Luby withou
t
knowing something of him, and Bart had always been unscrupulous in little things.

He had left the Bar 0 to become a rodeo contest rider and a cattle buyer, and ther
e
had been vague rumors, never substantiated and never investigated, that his succes
s
as a buyer was due to his association-suspected only-with Jack Rollick.

Rollick was a known rustler who haunted the broken canyon country beyond the Rim
,
and did his rustling carefully and with skill among the brakes south of the Rim.

It was hard to get proof of his depredations-nobody had, as yet-for he never drov
e
off large numbers of cattle, and never rustled any stock with unusual markings. H
e
weeded cattle from the herds, or the lone steers that haunted the thick brush, an
d
it was generally believed he gathered them in some interior valley to hold unti
l
he had enough to drive to market. Such shortages as his rustling caused would no
t
show up until the roundup.

"Well, I'm riding back into Aragon, then, if you won't listen to a thing I say,"

Jenny said, swinging into her saddle. "But I do wish you'd change your mind and le
t
me see Bart for you."

Rowdy shook his head, grinning up at her. Looking at him, Jenny thought for the thousandt
h
time that he was easily the handsomest cowboy, the best-looking man afoot or in th
e
saddle in the whole South Rim country. It was too bad he was so stubborn and suc
h
a poor manager.

"Don't worry," he said, smiling. "One way or another I'll be in that rodeo, and I'l
l
win first money. Then we can be married." She gave him her hand. "I know you will
,
dear. Luck." With a wave of her hand, she wheeled the paint and rode of
f
at a snappy trot. He watched her go, uncertain again. Cub nickered plaintively a
s
if unaware of the disaster his misfortune had brought upon them.

Rowdy ran his hand under Cub's mane and scratched the horse's neck.

"Too bad, old boy. We worked mighty hard, trainin' you fo
r
that rodeo, and all for nothing. That hole you stepped into was sure in the wron
g
place."

Gravely, he studied the situation, but could see no way out, no escape. His Slas
h
Bar was a small ranch, the place upon which Tom Slater had made his start. Rowd
y
had bought the ranch from the bank, making the down payment with his savings an
d
the reward for the capture of Beenk Danek, a bank robber.

There had been a few good months after the ranch was his, then the roundup-and h
e
had been missing more than two hundred head of cattle, more than any other one rancher
,
even those with much larger herds. His was small.

Then there had been fence trouble with Luby's men, although never with Luby himself
,
and more than once it had almost led to shooting. Despite Luby's smooth excuses
,
he was sure the cattleman was deliberately instigating trouble. To top it all, wate
r
shortages had developed, and he had fallen behind in his payments to the bank. S
o
it had been the Stockman's Rodeo that had offered him the best chance to make a substantia
l
payment on the ranch as well as to provide the things on which jenny insisted. Unti
l
Cub's injury, he had been certain he had at least an even chance with Bart Luby
,
and Bart had been aware of it, too.

Now still another worry had developed. One of his two hands, Mike McNulty, had ridde
n
in a couple of days before to tell him the water hole at Point of Rocks was shrinking-th
e
only water supply for miles of range. It had been considered inexhaustible. Tha
t
was a matter which Rowdy must look into himself-and now.

Mounting a steeldust he used for rough riding, he started off for the dim and lonel
y
land under the gigantic wall of the Rim. There, at the end of a trailing point o
f
rocks, lay the water hole.

It was an hour's ride from the home ranch, and when he drew rein near the water hol
e
the sun was still almost an hour high. His fears were realized the instant his eye
s
fell upon what always had been a wide, clear pool, for around it lay a rim, at leas
t
six feet wide, of gray mud, indicating the shrinkage. This was the last straw.

A hoof struck stone, and surprised, he glanced up. Lonely as this place was, othe
r
riders than the two men who worked fo
r
him hardly ever came to this water hole. But here was one and a girl.

She was tall, slender, yet beautifully built. He wondered instantly who she was.

He had never seen her before. Her dark hair was drawn to a loose knot at the nap
e
of her neck, and her eyes were big and dark. She was riding a splendid palomino mare
,
with an old-fashioned Spanish-type saddle.

He swept off his hat and she flashed a quick smile at him. "You are Rowdy Horn?"
s
he inquired.

"That's right, ma'am, but you've sure got the best of me. I thought I knew ever
y
girl in this country, and especially all of the pretty ones, but I see I don't."

She laughed. "You wouldn't know me," she said sharply. "I'm Vaho Rainey."

His interest quickened. The whole South Rim country knew about this girl, but sh
e
had never been seen around Aragon. The daughter of French and Irish parents, sh
e
had been left an orphan when little more than a baby, and brought up by old Cleetus
,
a wealthy Navaho chieftain. When she was fourteen she had been sent to a conven
t
in New Orleans, and after that had spent some time in New York and Boston befor
e
returning to the great old stone house where Cleetus lived.

"Welcome to the Slash Bar," Rowdy said, smiling. "I met old Cleetus once. He's quit
e
a character." He grinned ruefully. "He sure made a fool out of me, one time."

He told her how the old Indian had come to his cabin one miserable wintry night
,
half frozen and with a broken wrist. His horse had fallen on the ice. Rowdy had no
t
known who he was just any old buck, he had thought-but he had put Cleetus to bed
,
set the broken bone, and nursed the old man through the blizzard. Returning to th
e
cabin one day after the storm, he had found the old man gone, and with him a buc
k
skin horse. While the old man was still sick, Rowdy had offered him a blanket an
d
food when he left. These Cleetus had taken.

Other books

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Playing the Game by Simon Gould
Doctor Criminale by Malcolm Bradbury
I Love You by Brandy Wilson
The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
Spoken from the Front by Andy McNab


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2020