THE RANCHMAN (active TOC)

THE RANCHMAN (active TOC)

by CHARLES SELTZER, PERCY IVORY
     
 

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• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• New and improved version
• Illustrated book with resized images for the NOOK
The air in the Pullman was hot and, despite the mechanical contrivances built into the coach to prevent such a

Overview

• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• New and improved version
• Illustrated book with resized images for the NOOK
The air in the Pullman was hot and, despite the mechanical contrivances built into the coach to prevent such a contingency, the dust from the right-of-way persisted in filtering through crevices.

Even the electric fans futilely combated the heat; their droning hum bespoke terrific revolutions which did not materially lessen the discomfort of the occupants of the coach; and the dry, dead dust of the desert, the glare of a white-hot sun, the continuing panorama of waste land, rolling past the car windows, afforded not one cool vista to assuage the torture of travel.

For hours after leaving Kansas City, several of the passengers had diligently gazed out of the windows. But when they had passed the vast grass plains and had entered the desert, where their eyes met nothing but endless stretches of feathery alkali dust, beds of dead lava, and clumps of cacti with thorny spire and spatula blade defiantly upthrust as though in mockery of all life—the passengers drew the shades and settled down in their seats to endure the discomfort of it all.

A blasé tourist forward reclined in one seat and rested his legs on another. From under the peak of a cap pulled well down over his eyes he smiled cynically at his fellow-passengers, noting the various manifestations of their discomfort. The tourist was a transcontinental traveler of note and he had few expectations. It amused him to watch those who had.

A girl of about twenty, seated midway in the coach to the left of the tourist, had been an intent watcher of the desert. With the covert eye of the tourist upon her she stiffened, stared sharply out of the window, then drew back, shuddering, a queer pallor on her face.

“She’s seen something unpleasant,” mused the tourist. “A heap of bleached bones—which would be the skeleton of a steer; or a rattlesnake—or most anything. She’s got nerves.”

One passenger in the car had no nerves—of that the tourist was convinced. The tourist had observed him closely, and the tourist was a judge of men. The nerveless one was a young man who sat in a rear seat staring intently out into the inferno of heat and sand, apparently absorbed in his thoughts and unaware of any physical discomfort.

“Young—about twenty-seven or twenty-eight—maybe thirty,” mused the tourist; “but an old-timer in this country. I wised up to him when he got aboard at Kansas City. Been a miner in his time—or a cow-puncher. I’d hate to cross him.”

Among the other passengers were two who attracted the attention of the tourist. They occupied the seat in front of the young man.

One of the two, who sat nearest the window, was not much older than the young man occupying the seat behind him. The tourist guessed his age to be around thirty-five or thirty-six. He was big, almost massive, and had lived well—as the slightly corpulent stomach revealed. Despite that, however, he was in good physical condition, for his cheeks glowed with good healthy color under the blue-black sheen of his fresh-shaved beard; there was a snapping twinkle in his black eyes, which were penetrating and steady; and there was a quiet confidence in his manner which told that he knew and appreciated himself. He was handsome in a heavy, sensuous fashion, and his coal-black hair, close-cropped and wavy, gave him an appearance of virility and importance that demanded a second look. The man seated beside him was undersized and ordinary-looking, with straight, iron-gray hair and a look of having taken orders all his life. The tourist set his age at fifty-five.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013425576
Publisher:
Unforgotten Classics
Publication date:
09/22/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
392 KB

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