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gin with; threw the saddles aboard in a mess which it was necessary to untangle; finally clambered on awkwardly and rode precariously amid the yells and laughter of th air max 90 sale e spectators.
„How you expect to be a ranger, if you can’t ride?“ shouted some one at the lumberjack.
„If horses don’t plumb _detest_ me, I reckon I can learn!“ retorted the shanty boy, stoutly. „This ain’t my game!“
But when young Pollock, whom Bob recognized as Jim’s oldest, was called out, the situation was altered. He appeared leading a beautiful, half-broken bay, that snorted and planted its feet and danced away from the unaccustomed crowd. Nevertheless the lad, as impassive as an image, held him well nike air max classic in hand, awaiting Thorne’s signal.
„Go!“ called the Supervisor, his eyes on his watch.
The boy, still grasping the hackamore in his left hand, with his right threw the saddle blanket over the animal’s back. Stooping again, he seized the heavy stock saddle by the horn, flipped it high in the air, and brought it across the horse with so skilful a jerk that not only did the skirts, the heavy stirrup and the horsehair cinch fall properly, but the cinch itself swung so far under the horse’s belly that young Pollock was able to catch it deftly before it swung back. To thrust the bro cheap nike air max 90 ad latigo through the rings, jerk it tight, and fasten it securely was the work of an instant. With a yell to his horse the boy sprang into the saddle. The animal bounded forward, snorting and buck-plunging, his eye wild, his nostril wide. Flung with apparent carelessness in the saddle, the rider, his body swaying and bending and giving gracefully to every bound, waved his broad hat, uttering shrill _yips_ of encouragement and admonition to his mount. The horse straightened out and thundered swift as an arrow toward nike air max sale the tree that marked the turning point. With unslackened gait, with loosened rein, he swept fairly to the tree. It seemed to Bob that surely the lad must overshoot the mark by many yards. But at the last instant the rider swayed backward and sidewise; the horse set his feet, plunged mightily thrice, threw up a great cloud of dust, and was racing back almost before the spectators could adjust their eyes to the change of movement. Straight to the group horse and rider raced at top speed, until the more inexperienced instinctively ducked aside. But in time the horse sat back, slid and plunged ten feet in a spray of dust and pine needles, to come to a quivering halt. Even before that young Pollock had thrown himself from the saddle. Three jerks ripped that article of furniture from its place to the earth. The boy, with an engaging gleam of teeth, threw up both hands.
It was flash-riding, of course; but flash-riding at its best. And how the boys enjoyed it! Now the little group of „buckeroos,“ heretofore rather shyly in the backgro nike air max 1 und, shone forth in full glory.
„Now let’s see how good you are at packing,“ said Thorne, when the last man had done his best or worst. „Jack,“ he told young Pollock, „you go up in the pasture and catch me up that old white pack mare. She’s warranted to stand like a rock.“
While the boy was gone on this errand, Thorne rummaged the camp. Finally he laid out on the ground about a peck of loose potatoes, miscellaneous provisions, a kettle, frying-pan, coffee-pot, cheap nike air max tin plates, cutlery, a single sack of barley, a pick and shovel, and a coil of rope.
„That looks like a reasonable camp outfit,“ remarked Thorne. „Just throw one of those pack saddles on her,“ he told Jack Pollock, who led up the white mare. „Now you boys all retire; you mustn’t have a chance to learn from the other fellow. Hicks, you stay. Now pack that stuff on that horse. I’ll time you.“
Hicks looked about him.
„Where’s the kyacks?“ he demanded. [Footnote: Kyacks–pack sacks slung either side the pack saddle.]
„You don’t get any kyacks,“ stated Thorne crisply.
„Got to pack all that stuff without ‚em?“
Hicks set methodically to work, gathering up the loose articles, thrusting them into sacks, lashing the sacks on the crossbuck saddle. At the end of a half-hour, he stepped back.
„That might ride–for a while,“ said Thorne.
„I never pack without kyacks,“ said Hic nike air max 90 sale ks.
„So I see. Well, sit down and watch the rest of them. Ware!“ Thorne shouted.
The prospector disengaged himself from the sprawling and distant group.
„Throw those things off, and empty out those bags,“ ordered Thorne. „Now, there’s your camp outfit. Pack it, as fast as you can.“
Ware set to work, also deliberately, it seemed. He threw a sling, packed on his articles, and over it all drew the diamond hitch.
„Reckon that’ll travel,“ he observed, stepping back.
„Good pack,“ commended Thorne briefly, as he glanced at his watch. „Eleven minutes.“
„Eleven minutes!“ echoed Bob to California John, who sat near, nike air max „and the other man took thirty-five! Impossible! Ware didn’t hurry any; he moved, if anything, slower than the other man.“
„He didn’t make no moves twice,“ pointed out California John. „He knows how. This no-kyack business is going to puzzle plenty of those boys who can do good, ordinary packing.“
„It’s near noon,“ nike air max 95 Thorne was saying; „we haven’t time for another of those duffers. I’ll just call up your partner, Ware, and we’ll knock off for dinner.“
The partner did as well, or even a little better, for the watch credited him with ten and one-half minutes, whereupon he chaffed Ware hugely. Then the pack horse was led to a patiently earned feed, while the little group of rangers, with Thorne, his sister and Bob, moved slowly toward headquarters.
„That’s all this morning, boys,“ he told the waiting group as they passed it. „This afternoon we’ll double up a b air max 90 it. The rest of you can all take a try at the packing, but at the same time we’ll see who can cut down a tree quickest and best.“
„Stop and eat lunch with us,“ Amy was urging Bob. „It’s only a cold one–not even tea. I didn’t want to miss the show. So it’s no bother.“
They all turned to and set the table under the open.
„This is great fun,“ said Bob gratefully, as they sat down. „Good as a field day. When do you expect to begin your examinations? That’s what these fellows ar e here for, isn’t it?“
He looked up to catch both Thorne and Amy looking on him with a comically hopeless air.
„You don’t mean to say!“ cried Bob, a light breaking in on him. „–of course! I never thought—-“
„What do you suppose we would examine candidates for Forest Ranger in–higher mathematics?“ demanded Amy.
„Now that’s practical–that’s got some sense!“ cried Bob enthusiastically cheap nike air max .
Thorne, with a whimsical smile nike air max 90 , held up his finger for silence. Through the thin screen of azalea bushes that fringed this open-air dining room Bob saw two men approaching down the forest. They were evidently unaware of observation. With considerable circumspection they drew near and disappeared within the little tool house. Bob recognized the two lumberjacks from his own camp.
„What are those fellows after?“ he demanded indignantly.
But Thorne again motioned for caution.
„I suspect,“ said Thorne in a low voice. „Go on eating your lunch. We’ll see.“
The men were inside the tool house for some time. When they reappeared, each carried an axe. They looked about them cautiously. No one was in sight. Then they thrust the axes underneath a log, and disappeared in the directi cheap nike air max trainers on of their own camp.
Thorne laughed aloud.

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