I conquered

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookof"IConquered",byHaroldTitus ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.net Title:"IConquered" Author:HaroldTitus Illustrator:CharlesM Russell ReleaseDate:April13,2011[EBook#35866] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK"ICONQUERED"*** ProducedbyAndrewSly,AlHainesandtheOnlineDistributed ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net Frontispiece TheCaptaintoreattheshouldersandneckofthegrayhorsewithhisgleamingteeth Page96 "IConquered" ByHAROLDTITUS WithFrontispieceinColors ByCHARLESM RUSSELL A L BURTCOMPANY Publishers NewYork PublishedbyArrangementswithRand,McNally&Company Copyright,1916, ByRANDMCNALLY&COMPANY THECONTENTS CHAPTER I DENUNCIATION II AYOUNGMANGOESWEST III "I'VEDONEMYPICKIN'" IV THETROUBLEHUNTER V JEDPHILOSOPHIZES VI AMBITIONISBORN VII WITHHOOFANDTOOTH VIII AHEADOFYELLOWHAIR IX PURSUIT X CAPTURE XI ALETTERANDANARRATIVE XII WOMANWANTS XIII VBFIGHTS XIV THESCHOOLHOUSEDANCE XV MURDER XVI THECANDLEBURNS XVII GREATMOMENTS XVIII THELIE XIX THROUGHTHENIGHT XX THELASTSTAND XXI GUNSCRASH XXII TABLESTURN;ANDTURNAGAIN XXIII LIFE,THETROPHY XXIV VICTORY XXV "THELIGHT!" XXVI TOTHEVICTOR " ICONQUERED" CHAPTERI DENUNCIATION DannyLenoxwantedadrink Thedesirecametohimsuddenlyashestood lookingdownattheriver,burnishedbybrightyoungday Itbrokeinonhislazy contemplation,wipedouttheindulgentsmile,andmadetheyoungfaceserious, purposeful,asthoughmightyconsequencedependedonsatisfyingtheurgethat hadjustcomeupwithinhim He was the sort of chap to whom nothing much had ever mattered, whose face generally bore that kindly, contented smile His grave consideration had beenarousedbyonlyascantvarietyofhappeningsfromthetimeofapampered childhood up through the gamut of bubbling boyhood, prep school, university, polo, clubs, and a growing popularity with a numerous clan until he had approachedastateofestablishedandwidelyrecognizedworthlessness Economicsdid notbother him Itmatterednothowlavishlyhespent;there had always been more forthcoming, because Lenox senior had a world of the stuff The driver of his taxicab—just now whirling away—seemed surprised when Danny waved back change, but the boy did not bother himself with thoughtofthebillhehadhandedover Nor did habits which overrode established procedure for men cause him to class himself apart from the mass He remarked that the cars zipping past between him and the high river embankment were stragglers in the morning flightbusinessward;butherecognizednodifferencebetweenhimselfandthose whoscootedtowardtown,intentonthefurtheranceofseriousends What might be said or thought about his obvious deviation from beaten, respected paths was only an added impulse to keep smiling with careless amiability Itmightbecommentedonbehindfansindrawingroomsorthrough mouthsfulloffoodinservants'halls,heknew Butitdidnotmatter However—somethingmattered Hewantedadrink Anditwasthisthoughtthatdroveawaythesmileandsetthelinesofhisface intoseriousness,thatsenthimupthebroadwalkwithswinging,decisivestride, his eyes glittering, his lips taking moisture from a quick-moving tongue He neededadrink! DannyenteredtheLenoxhomeupthereonthesightlyknoll,fashionedfrom chill-white stone, staring composedly down on the drive from its many blackrimmedwindows Theheavyfrontdoorshutbehindhimwithamuffledsound likeasigh,asthoughithadbeenwaitinghiscomingallthroughthenight,justas it had through so many nights, and let suppressed breath slip out in relief at anotherreturn Aquickstepcarriedhimacrossthevestibulewithinsightofthedining-room doorway He flung his soft hat in the general direction of a cathedral bench, loosedthecarelesslyarrangedbowtie,andwithanimpatientjerkunbuttonedthe soft shirt at his full throat Of all things, from conventions to collars, Danny detested those which bound And just now his throat seemed to be swelling quickly, to be pulsing; and already the glands of his mouth responded to the thoughtofthatwhichwasonthebuffetinaglassdecanter—amber—andclear— and— Attheendofthehallwayadoorstoodopen,andDanny'sglance,passinginto the room it disclosed, lighted on the figure of a man stooping over a great expanseoftable,fumblingwithpapers—fumblingabitslowly,aswithage,the boy remarked even in the flash of a second his mind required to register a recognitionofhisfather Dannystopped Theyearningofhisthroat,thecallofhistighteningnerves, lost potency for the moment; the glitter of desire in his dark eyes softened quickly Hethrewbackhishandsomeheadwithagestureofaffectionthatwas almostgirlish,inspiteofitsmuscularstrength,andthesmilecameback,softer, moreindulgent Hisbrowcloudedascantinstantwhenheturnedtolookintothediningroom ashewalkeddownthelong,dark,high-ceilingedhall,andhisstephesitated But heputtheimpulseoff,goingon,withshouldersthrownback,rubbinghispalms togetherasthoughwholesomelyhappy Sohepassedintothelibrary "Well,father,it'sagoodmorningtoyou!" Atthespontaneoussalutationtheoldermanmerelyceasedmovinganinstant Heremainedbentoverthetable,onehandarrestedintheactofreachingfora document Itwasasthoughheheldhisbreathtolisten—ortocalculatequickly Thesonwalkedacrosstohim,approachingfrombehind,anddroppedahand onthestooping,black-clothedshoulder "Howgo—" Dannybrokehisqueryabruptly,fortheotherstraightenedwithahalf-spoken word that was, at the least, utmost impatience; possibly a word which, fully uttered,wouldhaveexpresseddisgust,perhaps—evenloathing!AndonDanny was turned such a mask as he had never seen before The cleanly shaven face was dark The cold blue eyes flashed a chill fire and the grim slit of a tightly closedmouthtwitched,asdidthefingersattheskirtsoftheimmaculatecoat Lenoxseniorbackedaway,puttingoutahandtothetable,edgingalonguntil a corner of it was between himself and his heir Then the hand, fingers stiffly extended,pressedagainstthetabletop Ittrembled Theboyflushed,thensmiled,thensobered Onthethoughtofwhatseemed tohimthecertainanswertothestrangenessofthisreception,hisvoicebrokethe stillness,filledwithsolicitude "Did I startle you?" he asked, and a smile broke through his concern "You jumpedasthough—" Again he broke short His father's right hand, palm outward, was raised toward him and moved quickly from side to side That gesture meant silence! Dannyhadseenitusedtwicebefore—oncewhenamanofpoliticalpowerhad let his angered talk rise in the Lenox house until it became disquieting; once whenamancametheretoplead Andthegestureonthoseoccasionshadcarried thesamequiet,ominousconvictionthatitnowimpressedonDanny Thevoiceoftheoldmanwascoldandhard,almostbrittleforlackoffeeling "How much will you take to go?" he asked, and breathed twice loudly, as thoughstrugglingtoholdbackaburstingemotion Danny leaned slightly forward from his hips and wrinkled his face in his inabilitytounderstand "What?"Hedrawledouttheword "Oncemore,please?" "Howmuchwillyoutaketogo?" Againthecrackling,colorlessquery,byitschillstrengthnarrowingeventhe thoughtwhichmusttranspireinthepresenceofthespeaker "How much will I take to go?" repeated Danny "How much what? To go where?" Lenoxseniorblinked,andhisfacedarkened Hisvoicelostsomeofitsedge, becameatriflemuffled,asthoughtheemotionhehadbreathedhardtosuppress hadcomeupintohisthroatandadheredgummilytothewords "Howmuchmoney—howmuchmoneywillyoutaketogoawayfromhere? Awayfromme?AwayfromNewYork?Outofmysight—outofmyway?" Oncemorethefingerspressedthetabletopandthefightingjawofthegrayhairedmanprotrudedslowlyastheyoungerdrewnearerafalteringstep,two— three,untilhefoundsupportagainstthetable There across the corner of the heavy piece of furniture they peered at each other;oneinsilent,mightyrage;theotherwitheyeswidening,quick,confusing lightsplayingacrosstheirdepthsashestrovetorefusetheunderstanding "How much money—to go away from New York—from you? Out of your way?" YoungDanny'svoiceroseinpitchateachwordaswithaddedrealizationthe strainonhisemotionsincreased Hisbodysaggedforwardandthehandsonthe tableboremuchofitsweight;somuchthattheelbowsthreatenedtogive,ashad hisknees "Togoaway—why?Why—isthis?" In his query was something of the terror of a frightened child; in his eyes somethingofthelookofawoundedbeast "Youaskmewhy!" Lenox senior straightened with a jerk and followed the exclamation with something that had been a laugh until, driven through the rage within him, it becameonlyarattlingraspinhisthroat "Youaskmewhy!"herepeated "Youaskmewhy!" Hisvoicedroppedtoathinwhisper;then,angercarryingitaboveitsnormal tone: "Youstandhereinthisroom,yourfacelikesuetfrommonthsandyearsof debauchery,yourmindunabletocatchmyideabecauseofthepoisonyouhave forcedonit,becauseofthestultifyingthoughtsyouhaveletoccupyit,because of the ruthless manner in which you have wasted its powers of preception, of judgment,andaskmewhy!" Inquickgestureheleveledavibratingfingeratthefaceofhissonandwith pausesbetweenthewordsdeclared:"You—are—why!" Danny'selbowsbentstillmoreundertheweightonthem,andhislipsworked ashetriedtoforceadrythroatthroughthemotionsofswallowing Onhisface was reflected just one emotion—surprise It was not rage, not resentment, not shame,notfear—justsurprise He was utterly confused by the abruptness of his father's attack; he was unabletoplumbthedepthsofitssignificance,althoughaninherentknowledge oftheother'smoodstoldhimthathefaceddisaster Thentheoldermanwassaying: "YouhavestrippedyourselfofeverythingthatGodandmancouldgiveyou Youhavethrownthegemsofyouropportunitybeforeyourswinishdesires You have degenerated from the son your mother bore to a worthless, ambitionless, idealless,thoughtless—drunkard!" Dannytookahalf-stepclosertothetable,hiseyesheldonthoseotherswith mechanicalfixity "Father—but,dad—"hetriedtoprotest Againtheupraised,commandingpalm "IhavestooditaslongasIcan Ihavesuggestedfromtimetotimethatyou give serious consideration to things about you and to your future; suggested, whenanormalyoungmanwouldhavegoneaheadofhisownvolitiontomeet theexigencieseveryindividualmustfacesoonerorlater "Butyouwouldhavenoneofit!Fromyourboyhoodyouhavebeenawaster Ihopedoncethatallthetroubleyougaveuswasevidenceofaspiritthatwould laterbedirectedtowardagoodend ButIwasneverjustifiedinthat "You wasted your university career Why, you weren't even a good athlete! You managed to graduate, but only to befog what little hope then remained to me "Youhavehadeverythingyoucouldwant;youhadmoney,friends,andyour familyname Whathaveyoudone?Wastedthem!Youhadyourpolostringand the ability to play a great game, but what came of it? You'd rather sit in the clubhouseandsaturateyourselfwithdrinkandwiththeidle,parasiticthoughts ofthecrowdthere! "Youhavedroppedlowandloweruntil, everythingelsegone,youarenow wasting the last thing that belongs to you, the fundamental thing in life—your vitality! "Oh,don'ttrytoprotest!Thosesacksunderyoureyes!Yourshouldersaren't asstraightastheywereayearago;youdon'tthinkasquicklyasyoudidwhen makingapretenseofplayingpolo;yourhandisn'tsteadyforamanoftwentyfive You'regoing;you'reonthetobogganslide "Youhavewastedyourself,flungyourselfaway,andnotoneactorthoughtof your experience has been worth the candle! Now—what will you take to get out?" Theboybeforehimmovedaslowstepbackward,andaflushcameupover "Youoldfool!"hewhispered "Youoldfool!Now,ifhe'sgone—" Fortwenty-fourhourshehadnotdaredframethewords Heliftedhiseyestothewindow,andagainstthemoonlightstoodabottle,its outlinesdistortedbyincrustingsoftallow Nocandlewasinitsneck Therewas onlythebottle After a time the old man got up and paced the floor, three steps each way from the splotch of moonlight that came through the window He had been walkingthatwayforanightandaday—andnowitwasanothernight Whileitwasdaylighthehadwalkedoutside,eyeseverontheroad,hoping, fearing Andnoonehadcome!Now,asthenightworeonandtheboydidnot return,Jed'sconditionborderedondistraction Hispacingbecamefasterandmorefast Helengthenedthelimitsofhiswalk to those of the room, and finally in desperation jerked open the door to walk outside Buthedidnotleavethethreshold Twofigures,amanandahorse,coming uptheroadheldhimasthoughrobbedofthewilltomove Hestoodandstared, breathingirregularly Theman,whowalkedahead,madehiswayslowlytoward thegate Hewasfollowedbythehorse,followedasadogmightfollow,fornot somuchasastrapwasontheanimal Theman'smovementswerepainful,those ofthehorsedeliberate Jed knew both those figures too well to be mistaken, even though his sight dimmed Hewantedtocryout,butdarednot Onequestionalonecrowdedtogetpast his teeth The answer would mean supremest joy or sorrow Fear of the latter heldhimmute The man unfastened the gate and let it swing open "Come, boy," he said gently,andthebiganimalsteppedinside Withthesameslowmovementsagain,themanclosedthebars Jedstoodsilent Acoyotehighonthehillsliftedhisvoiceinathinyapping, andthesoundmadeOldVBshiver Theboycameslowlytowardthehouse HesawJed,butgavenosign,nordid theoldmanmove Hestoodthere,eyesontheotherinamistedstare,andVB stoppedbeforehim,puttingahandagainstthewallforsupport Thencamethequestion,poppingitswaythroughunwilling,tightlips: "ShallIlightth'candle,YoungVB?" Hisvoicewasshrill,strained,vibrantwithanxiety ButVBdidnotanswer— merelyliftedahandtohishothead "VB,whenyouleftlastnightth'candledroppeddownintoth'bottlean'went out Ididn'tdarelightanewoneto-night—"Hisvoicebroke,andhepauseda moment "Ididn'tdarelightituntilIknowed I'vebeensettin'inth'darkhere, thinkin'things—tryin'nottothinkdarkthings." One hand went halfway to his mouth in fear as he waited for the other to answer VB put a hand on Jed's shoulder, and the old man clamped his cold fingersoveritdesperately "Yes, Jed—light it," he said huskily Then he raised his head and looked at theoldmanwithahalfsmile "Lightit,Jed Letitburnonandon,justforthe sakeofbeingbright Butwe—wedon'tneeditanymore Notfortheoldreason, Jed." Thecoldhandtwitchedasitgrippedthehotone "Not for the old reason, Jed," VB continued "There's a bigger, better, truer light burning now It won't slip into the bottle; it can't be blown out It didn't waver when the true crisis came It'll always burn; it won't slip down into the bottle It's—it'stherealthing." He staggered forward, and Jed caught him, sobbing like a woman, a happy woman Theyhadthewholestoryoverthenbythelightofafreshcandle WhenJedstartedforwardwithacryattherecitaloftheshootingVBpushed himoff "It's only a flesh wound; it don't matter—much Mrs Worth dressed it, and I'mallright It'stheCaptainIwanttotellabout—theCaptain,Jed!" Andhetolditall,inshort,chokingsentences,strippinghissoulnakedforthe littlerancher Hedidnotsparehimself,notonelonelash Heended,crushedand bleedingbeforetheeyesofhisfriend Afterapausehestraightenedbackinhis chair, the new fire in his eyes, the fire the man at Worth's had seen when he offereddrink "But I've got to make it up to the Captain now," he said with a wild little laugh "I've got to go on He gave me the chance He took me into blackness, intothetestIneeded,andbroughtmebacktolight I'vegottobeaman,Jed—a man—" And throughout the night Jed Avery tended the wound and watched and muttered—withjoyinhisheart Morning came, with quieted nerves for VB He lay in the bunk, weak, immobile Jedcameinfromtendingthehorses "Hedidn'tbleed,didhe,VB?" "No." "It ain't what you thought, sonny It ain't bad Give him a rest an' he'll be better'n ever Why, he's out there now, head up, whisperin' for you! You can't breakaspiritlikehisunlessyoutearhisvitalsout!" VBsmiled,andthesmileswelledtoalaugh "Oh,Jed,itmakesmesohappy!Butitwon'tbeasitwas Icanneverlethim carrymeagain." Theoldmanturnedontheboyapuzzledlook "Whatyougoin'todowithhim,VB—turnhimlooseagain?" "Notthat,Jed;hewouldn'tbehappy He'llnevercarrymeagain,butperhaps —perhapshecouldcarryalightrider—agirl—awoman." AndfromJed:"Oh-o-o-o!" Anintervalofsilence "Thatis,"mutteredVB,"ifshe'lltakehim,and—" "Wouldyouwanthimawayfromyou?"theoldmaninsisted "Oh, I hope it won't be that, Jed! I hope not—but I want her to— You understand Jed?Youunderstand?" Theothernoddedhishead,alookofgravetendernessintheoldeyes "Then—then,Jed,I'mallright Icangetalongalone Wouldyoumindriding overand—askingherifshe'dcome— "Yousee,Jed,Iknownow Ididn'tbefore—I'msureit'sworththecandle— andthere'llbenomoredarkness;nolastingnightforherif—" Jedwalkedslowlyoutintotheotherroomandpickeduphisspurs VBheard himstrapthemon,heardhisbootsstampacrossthefloorandstop "I'dgo,VB,butitain'tnecessary." Theboyraisedhishead,andtohisearscamethebellowofahigh-powered motor,thesoundgrowingmoredistinctwitheachpassingsecond "Lord, how that woman's drivin'!" Jed cried "Lordy!" And he ran from the house ThebellowofthemotorrosetoasoundlikebatteriesofGatlingsinaction; thencamethewailofbrakes WithapulsingthrillVBheardhervoiceupraised—withsuchathrillthathe didnotcatchthedreadinhertoneasshequestionedJed Shecametohimswiftly,eyesdimmedwithtears,withoutwords,andknelt byhisbunk,handsclaspedabouthishead Formanyminutestheywereso,VB grippingherfine,firmforearms Thensheraisedherfacehigh "Andyouwouldn'tletmehelp?"sheaskedquerulously Helookedatherlongandsoberly,andtookbothherhandsinhis "Itwastheoneplaceyoucouldn'thelp,"hemuttered "Itwasthatsort—my love,Imean Ihadtoknow;hadtoknowthatIwouldn'tputahatefulmarkon youbyloving Ihadtoknowthat Don'tyousee?" She moved closer and came between him and the sunshine that poured throughtheopendoor Thegloriouslightwascaughtbyherhairandthrown,it seemed,totheveriestcornersofthedingylittleroom "Thelight!"hecried Shesettledagainsthim,herlipsonhis,andclungso Fromoutsidecamethe shrillingcalloftheCaptain VBcrushedhercloser CHAPTERXXVI TOTHEVICTOR Uptheflaggedwalktothehouseofchill,whitestoneoverlookingtheNorth River went a messenger, and through the imposing front portal he handed a letter, hidden away in a sheaf of others A modest-appearing letter; indeed, perhaps something less than modest; possibly humble, for its corners were crumpled and its edges frayed Yet, of all the packages handed him, Daniel Lenox,aloneathisbreakfast,singleditoutfortheearliestattention Andwhathereadwasthis: DEARFATHER: Inmylastletter—writtentenyearsago,itseems—IpromisedtotellyoumywhereaboutswhenIhad achievedcertainends InowwritetotellyouthatIamattheThorpeRanch,onehundredandthirtymiles northwestofColt,Colorado,thenearestrailroadpoint IcaninformyouofthisnowbecauseIhavewonmyfightagainstthethingwhichwouldhavestripped meofmymanhood AndIwanttomakeclearthepointthatitwasyou,father,whoshowedmetheway, whomademerealizetowhatdepthsIhadgone Iamveryhumble,forIknowthepowersthatrulemen WhenIleftNewYorktherewaslittleinmetointerestyou,butIammakingboldenoughtotellyouof thegreatestthinginmylife Ihavewontheloveofagoodwoman Wearetobemarriedherethetwentieth, andsomedayIwillwanttobringherEastwithme Ihopeyouwillwanttoseeher Yourson, DANNY Whilethehandofthebigclockmadeaquartercirclethemansatinertinhis chair;limp,weakinbody,spirit,andmind,whippedbythebitterestlashesthat humanmindcanconjure Thenheraisedhischinfromhisbreastandrestedhis headagainstthebackofthechair,whilehishandshunglooseathissides Hislipsmoved "Hope—youwillwanttoseeher,"herepeatedinawhisper Apause,andagainwords: "Hewouldn'tevenaskme—wouldn'tdreamIwantedto—bethere!" An old man, you would have said, old and broken The snap, the precision that had been his outstanding characteristic, was gone But not for long The change came before the whispering had well died; the lines of purpose, of decision,returnedtohisface,hisarmsceasedtohanglimp,thelookintheeyes —nonethelesswarm—becamedefinite,focused SuddenlyDanielLenoxsaterectandraisedthelettertothelightoncemore "Thetwentieth!"hemuttered "Andthisis—" Anothertrainfumedatthedistances,leftcitiesbehind,andcrawledonacross prairiestomountainranges Asitprogressed,dispatchers,oneafteranother,sat fartherforwardintheirchairsandthealertkeennessoftheirexpressiongrewa trifle sharper For the Lenox Special, New York to Colt, Colorado, invited disaster with every mile of its frantic rush across country Freights, passenger trains,eventhewidelyadvertisedlimiteds,edgedoffthetrackstoletitshriekon unhampered In the swaying private car sat the man who had caused all this disarray of otherwiseneatschedules Atregular,shortintervalshishandtraveledtowatchpocketandhisblueeyesscrutinizedthedialofhistimepieceasthoughtodetect a lie in the sharp, frank characters In the other hand, much of the time, were held sheets of limp paper They had been folded and smoothed out again so many times and, though he was an old man and one who thought mostly in figures,fondledsomuch,thattheinkonthemwasallbutobliteratedinplaces Hereadandrereadwhatwaswrittenthereasthetraintoreoverthemiles,and ashereadthegreatwarmthcamebacktohiseyes Withit,attimes,afearcame Whenfearwasthere,hetuggedathiswatchagain Up grades, through cañons, the special roared its way At every stop telegramszittedahead,andhoursbeforethetrainwasdueanautomobilewaited bythedepotplatformatColt Daniel Lenox heeded not the enthusiastic train-men who held watches and calculated the broken record as brakes screamed down and the race by rail ended Baginhand,hestrodeacrossthecinderplatformandenteredthewaiting automobile, without a single glance for the group that looked at him wonderingly "YouknowthewaytotheThorpeRanch?"heaskedthedriverofthecar "Likeabook!" "Canyoudriveallnight?" "Ican." "Good!Wemustbethereasearlyto-morrowaspossible." And ten minutes before noon the next day the heavy-eyed driver threw out hisclutchandslowedthecartoastopbeforetheSBarSranchhouse Saddled horses were there, a score of them standing with bridle reins down Sounds of lifted voices came from the house, quickly lulled as an exclamation turned attentiononthearrival From the ample door came a figure—tall and lean, well poised, shoulders square, feet firm on the ground Pale, true, but surely returning strength was evidenced in his very bearing VB's lips moved His father, halfway to him, stopped "Dad!" "AmIontime?"queriedtheolderman "Dad!" Withacrytheboywasuponhim,graspingbothhandsinhis "Ididn't—darehopeyou'dwant—Dad,itmakesmeso—" Theotherlookedalmostfiercelyintotheboy'sface,clingingtothehandsthat clutchedhis,shakingthemtremblinglynowandthen Thepenetratingblueeyes searchedouteverylineintheboy'scountenance,andthelookinthemgrewtobe suchasVBhadneverseenbefore "DidyouthinkI'dstaybackthereinNewYorkandletyoudoallthisalone? DidyouthinkIwouldn'tcomeon,intimeifIcould,andtellyouhowashamedI amtohaveeverdoubtedyou,myownblood,howmeanathingwasthatwhichI thoughtwasfaith?" HisgazewentfromVBtoGail,comingtowardhimcladallinsimplewhite, flushingslightlyassheextendedherhand Heturnedtoher,tookthehand,and lookeddeepintoherbigeyes Hetriedtospeak,butwordswouldnotcomeand heshookhisheadtodrivebackthechokingemotion "Bless you!" he finally muttered "Bless you both You're a man—Danny Andyou—" His voice failed again and he could only remain mute, stroking the girl's hand ThenJedcameupandgreetedthenewcomersilently,abitgrimly,asthough hehadjustforgivenhimsomething "Comeoverhere,youthree,"saidVB,andledthemovertowheretwohorses stood together One was the bay the boy had ridden that afternoon he charged downtheridgetomakethegreatstallionhis,andbesidehim,towering,headup, alert,regallyself-conscious,stoodtheCaptain ThebayboreVB'ssaddle Onthe Captain'sbackperchedoneofsmallertree,silvermountedandhandtooled,with stirrupsthatweremuchtooshortforaman They looked the great horse over silently, moving about him slowly, and Dannypointedouthisfinephysicalqualitiestohisfather Arattlingofwheels attracted them and they looked up to see a team of free-stepping horses swing toward them, drawing a light buckboard The vehicle stopped and from it steppedamanintheclothingofaclergyman "He'shere,VB,"Jedmuttered "Tobesure,an'he'sgothisropedown,too Th'iron'shot;th'corralgate'sopenandhe'sgoin'toheadyouin 'Tain'toften you see such a pair of high-strung critters goin' in so plumb docile, Mister Lenox!" And from the corner of his eye he saw the man beside him wipe his hand acrosshischeek,asthoughtobrushsomethingaway TheCaptainpawedthegroundsharply Thenheliftedhisheadhigh,drewa great breath, and peered steadily off toward the distant ridges, eagerly, confidently,asthoughheknewthatmuchwaited—outyonder EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookof"IConquered",byHaroldTitus ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK"ICONQUERED"*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed35866-h.htmor35866-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/3/5/8/6/35866/ ProducedbyAndrewSly,AlHainesandtheOnlineDistributed ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone theoldeditions willberenamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatno oneownsaUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation (andyou!)cancopyanddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithout permissionandwithoutpayingcopyrightroyalties Specialrules, 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