rks. Just where they had left the trail and disappeared he had not noted, having but an idle interest in them after all. He had not seen them for many miles before reaching Willow Spring, he remembered. This fact gave no clew to the direction the man had taken, of course, since, being pursued, he would naturally leave the trail at some point and endeavor to cover his sign. He might have continued south as he had started or he might have doubled back.
At about one o'clock in the afternoon, as he was approaching the gap that opened into Shoestring, Ike saw, far ahead, a group on the trail. There seemed to be a wagon around which several men were standing. The wagon resembled one of his own camp equipages, and he spurred up his horse and hastened forward with some idea that the cow-punchers might be attacking it.
As he came nearer, however, one of the men swung into his saddle and headed back toward him at a gallop. Ike drew the rifle from its scabbard under his knee and went more cautiously. The m
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