Ladd led the way down the slope until he reached a position that commanded the rising of the trail from a level. It was the only place a man or horse could leave the valley for the pass.
"Dick, here's your stand. If any raider rides in range take a crack at him....Now I want the lend of your hoss."
"Blanco Sol!" exclaimed Gale, more in amazement that Ladd should ask for the horse than in reluctance to lend him.
"Will you let me have him?" Ladd repeated, almost curtly.
A smile momentarily chased the dark cold gloom that had set upon the ranger's lean face.
"Shore I appreciate it, Dick. I know how you care for that hoss. I guess mebbe Charlie Ladd has loved a hoss! An' one not so good as Sol. I was only tryin' your nerve, Dick, askin' you without tellin' my plan. Sol won't get a scratch, you can gamble on that! I'll ride him down into the valley an' pull the greasers out in the open. They've got short-ranged carbines. They can't keep out of range of the .405, an' I'll be takin' the dust of their lead. Sabe, senor?"
"Laddy! You'll run Sol away from the raiders when they chase you? Run him after them when they try to get away?"
"Shore. I'll run all the time. They can't gain on Sol, an' he'll run them down when I want. Can you beat it?"