The rangers traveled swiftly over the remaining miles of level desert leading to the ascent of the escarpment. When they achieved the gateway of the pass the sun was low in the west. Dwarfed mesquite and greasewood appeared among the rocks. Ladd gave the word to tie up horses and go forward on foot.
The narrow neck of the pass opened and descended into a valley half a mile wide, perhaps twice that in length. It had apparently unscalable slopes of weathered rock leading up to beetling walls. With floor bare and hard and white, except for a patch of green mesquite near the far end it was a lurid and desolate spot, the barren bottom of a desert bowl.
"Keep down, boys" said Ladd. "There's the waterhole an' hosses have sharp eyes. Shore the Yaqui figgered this place. I never seen its like for a trap."
Both white and black horses showed against the green, and a thin curling column of blue smoke rose lazily from amid the mesquites.
"I reckon we'd better wait till dark, or mebbe daylight," said Jim Lash.
"Let me figger some. Dick, what do you make of the outlet to this hole? Looks rough to me."
With his glass Gale studied the narrow construction of walls and roughened rising floor.
"Laddy, it's harder to get out at that end than here," he replied.