round here, an’ hit th’ trail out. Mebby I’m wrong, but here’s where Mr. Smitty gets a jolt he won’t forget. It will be Number One. Whether or not he gets any more will depend on how he takes this one. I’m bettin’ he don’t stalk me for 鏉窞涓嬫矙澶у鐢熷吋鑱屽枬鑼?it鈥攈ere he comes, ridin’ lazy an’ tryin’ to sing. I ought to be able to come awful close at this distance, with a rifle layin’ on a rock rest.”
Mr. Smith, of the
Bar H, rode at a walk, singing a song, the words of which should never appear 鏉窞妗戞嬁灏忓 in print. He had a message to deliver to the Doc and was in no hurry. His hat, a Mexican sombrero with ultra-fancy band, and a high crown, which appeared to be even higher because of the vertical dents which pushed the top into a peak, was 鏉窞鐢峰＋鏍归儴spa tilted rakishly off-center and looked rather ludicrous to the man on the mountain, who noted that there appeared to be plenty of hat and horse, but very little man. When just across a short stretch of rocky trail there rang out over the rider’s head a roar such as only black powder can make, and the tilted sombrero flew into 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇澶氬皯閽?the air and struck the ground. 鏉窞涓濊鏈嶅姟 The horse and its rider heard the roar at the same instant and each acted as their instincts prompted. The horse shot forward, clearing a dozen feet in the jump, sprang back, wheeling in the air, and bolted for the arroyo it had just 鏉窞榫欏嚖闃佽鍧?left, where it quickly recovered its poise and stopped to search out succulent grass tufts. Mr. Smith’s instincts seemed to have come to him through generations of acrobatic ancestors, although he was not aware that any of his family tree claimed any such accomplishments, at least since they had forsaken arboreal surroundings. Certainly he never boasted, even in his maddest sprees, of being in any way gifted in acrobatics. Nevertheless, he performed a creditable exhibition when the roar smashed against his ears. As the horse leaped, he grabbed at the pommel, missed it, and in his haste to jerk 鏉窞鎸夋懇閭ｅ濂?his head back from the screaming lead he lost his balance. His feet left the stirrups, and then came swiftly upward as he pivoted on the saddle. They swept up past the horse’s neck, kept on and described a half-circle, the saddle as the 鏉窞瓒崇枟搴楁渶澶氱殑鍦版柟 center. As they went up Mr. Smith’s head went down, and as the horse leaped back and whirled, he was jolted into a position rarely seen in horseback riding except in exhibitions. For a moment he stood on his shoulder against the cantle of the saddle and then turned a pretty, if unintentional, back flip onto the ground, landing squarely on his hat. The whole thing happened in a flash and the sound of the shot was still rumbling among the hills when, grabbing his sombrero, he started on a dead run for the horse and the ranch. When he reached the animal he leaped into the saddle without 鍏ㄥ浗楂樼鍝佽尪澶栧洿touching the stirrups, and urged a speedy departure, which his spurs obtained.
Johnny rolled over on his back and laughed heartily. Finally he sat up, put the empty shell in his pocket, reloaded the rifle and went up the mountain to hide Squint’鏉窞姘寸（iso鍏ㄥ s saddle in a better place, for he now believed such a precaution necessary. It was more than probable that Pine Mount