A story of a mountain ranch and of a man's hard fight on the uphill road to manliness. Bower knows the West of the cowboys, as do few writers... The word pictures of Western life are realistic, and strongly suffused with local color.
You can't ever tell when death or matrimony's goin' to get a man. By hokey, seems like there's no dodgin' either one."
Ford lifted a bloodshot eye to the other. "And I always counted you for a friend, Bill," he reproached heavily. "Sandy says I licked you good and plenty. Well, looks to me like you had it coming, all right."
"Well--I got it, didn't I?" snorted Bill, his hand lifting involuntarily to his nose. "And I ain't bellering, am I?" His mouth took an abused, downward droop. "I ain't holdin' any grudge, am I? Why, Sandy here can tell you that I held one side of you up whilst he was leadin' the other side of you home! And I am sorry I stood there and seen you get married off and never lifted a finger; I'm darned sorry. I shoulda hollered misdeal, all right. I know it now." He pulled remorsefully at his wet mustache, which very much resembled a worn-out sharing brush.
Ford straightened up, dropped a hand upon his thigh, and thereby discovered another sore spot, which he caressed gentl
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