wboys would drag them through the brush at their horses' tails."
Bud saluted again and went to choose his companion and saddle his roan, Pepper. Both men grabbed some jerked beef, knowing they were likely to go supperless. They chewed it as they rode. Both their mounts were far better than anything else in the country, grained and groomed, selected from the pick of herds and private stock, trained and, like their masters, in tiptop condition.
Bud wore his Stetson and high-heeled boots of fine leather, decorated with fancy sewing, spurred. On the right hip was his Colt, on the left a bowie knife. Double belts held shells for his six-gun and the rifle in its boot beneath his left thigh. Beyond this equipment every trooper dressed according to individual taste.
Bud considered the country.
"They'll go north," he said, "make fer the Big Red an' figger on gittin' inter Oklahomy."
"Do we hev authority there?" asked the trooper. "We'll git it," said Bud Jones.
He was not worr