"Afraid to risk gettin' there. An' the town's full of rebels who need hosses."
"Shore man, you're crazy. Ther's no water, no grass for a hundred miles. I'll tell you, Tom, the safest plan would be to take the white bunch south into Sonora, into some wild mountain valley. Keep them there till the raiders have traveled on back east. Pretty soon there won't be any rich pickin' left for these Greasers. An' then they'll ride on to new ranges."
"Laddy, I don't know the trails into Sonora. An' I can't trust a Mexican or a Papago. Between you and me, I'm afraid of this Indian who herds for me."
"I reckon we'd better stick here, Tom....Dick, it's some good to see you again. But you seem kinda quiet. Shore you get quieter all the time. Did you see any sign of Jim out Sonoyta way?"
Then Belding led the lame horse toward the watering-trough, while the two rangers went toward the house, Dick was telling Ladd about the affair at Papago Well when they turned the corner under the porch. Nell was sitting in the door. She rose with a little scream and came flying toward them.
"Now I'll get it," whispered Ladd. "The women'll make a baby of me. An' shore I can't help myself."
"Oh, Laddy, you've been hurt!" cried Nell, as with white cheeks and dilating eyes she ran to him and caught his arm.
"Nell, I only run a thorn in my ear."