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peered at him through the moonlight and recognized, vaguely, the man who had been so mysteriously pursuing them all day. He drew back.
“For the Lord’s sake do what I tell you!” whispered the man. “Here!”
His hand sought the shadow of his side, and instantly gleamed with a weapon. Bob started back; but the man was holding the revolver’s butt to him.
“Now come on!” besought the stranger with a strange note of pleading. “Don’t wake your pardner!”
Yielding, with a pleasant thrill, to the adventure of the situation, and it must be confessed, to a strong curiosity, Bob hastily assumed his outer clothing. Then, with the muzzle of the revolver, he motioned the stranger to proceed.
Stepping cautiously they gained the open forest beyond the screen of brush. Here the man led the way more rapidly. Bob followed close at his heels. They threaded the forest aisles without hesitation, cros nike air max sale sed a deep ravine where the man paused to drink, and began to clamber the precipitous and rocky sides of Baldy.
“That’ll do for that!” growled Bob suddenly.
The man looked around as though for information.
“You needn’t go so fast. Keep about three feet in front of me. And when we strike your gang, you keep close to me. _Sabe_?”
“I’m alone,” expostulated the man.
Nevertheless he slackened pace.
After five minutes’ climb they entered a narrow ravine gashed almost perpendicularly in the side of the mountain. At this point, however, it flattened for perhaps fifty paces, so that there existed a tiny foothold. It was concealed from every point, and nevertheless, directly to the west, Bob, pausing for breath, looked out over California slumbering in the moon. On this ledge flowed a tiny stream, and over it grew a score of cedar and fir trees. A fire smouldered near an open camp. On this the man tossed a handful of pitch pine. Immediately the flames started up.
“Here we are!” he remarked aloud.
“Yes, I see we are,” replied Bob, looking suspiciously about him, “but what does all thi s mean?”
“I couldn’t get to talk with you no other way, could I?” said the man in tones of complaint; “I sure tried hard enough! But you and your pardner stick closer than brothers.”
“If you wanted to speak to me, why didn’t you say so?” demanded Bob, his temper rising.
“Well, I don’t know who your pardner is, or whether he’s reliable, nor nothin’. A man can’t be too careful. I thought mebbe you’d make a chance yourself, so I kept giving you a show to. ‘Course I didn’t want to be seen by him.”
“Not seen by nike air max 1 him!” broke in Bob impatiently. “What in blazes are you driving at! Explain yourself!”
“I showed myself plain only to you–except when he cut loose that time with his fool six-shooter. I thought he was further in the brush. Why didn’t you make a chance to talk?”
“Why should I?” burst out Bob. “Will you kindly explain to me why I should make a chance to talk to you; and why I’ve been dragged out here in the dead of night?”
“No call to get mad,” expostulated the man in rather discouraged tones; “I just thought as how mebbe you was still feeling friendly-like. My mistake. But I reckon you won’t be giving me away anyhow?”
During this speech he had slowly produced from his hip pocket a frayed bandana handkerchief; as slowly taken off his hat and mopped his brow.
The removal of the floppy and shady old sombrero exposed to the mingled rays of the fire and the moon the man’s full features. Heretofore, Bob had been able to see indistinctly only the meagre facts of a heavy beard and clear eyes.
“George Pollock!” he cried, nike blazers dropping the revolver and leaping forward with both hands outstretched.
Part 5 Chapter 11
Pollock took his hands, but stared at him puzzled. “Surely!” he said at last. His clear blue eyes slowly widened and became bigger. “Honest! Didn’t you know me! Is that what ailed you, Bobby? I thought you’d done clean gone back on me; and I sure always remembered you for a friend!”
“Know you!” sh nike air max 95 outed Bob. “Why, you eternal old fool, how should I know yo nike air max 90 sale u?”
“You might have made a plumb good guess.”
“Oh, sure!” said Bob; “easiest thing in the world. Guess that the first shadow you see in the woods is a man you thought was in Mexico.”
“Didn’t you know I was here?” demanded Pollock earnestly. “Sure pop?”
“How should I know?” asked Bob again.
George Pollock’s blue eyes smouldered with anger.
“I’ll sure tan that promising nephew of mine!” he threatened; “I’ve done sent you fifty messages by him. Didn’t he never give you none of them?”
“Who; Jack?”
“That’s the whelp.”
Bob laughed.
“That’s a joke,” said he; “I’ve been bunking with him for a year. Nary message!”
“I told Carroll a blazers nd Martin and one or two more to tell you.”
“I guess they’re suspicious of any but the mo nike air max untain people,” said Bob. “They’re right. How could they know?”
“That’s right, they couldn’t,” agreed George reluctantly. “But I done told them you was my friend. And I thought you’d gone back on me sure.”
“Not an inch!” cried Bob, heartily.
George kicked the logs of the fire together, filled the coffee pot at the creek, hung it over the nike air max 90 blaze, and squatted on his heels. Bob tossed him a sack of tobacco which he caught.
“Thought you were bound for Mexico,” hazarded Bob at length.
“I went,” said Pollock shortly, “and I came back.”
“Yes,” said Bob after a time.
“Homesick,” said Pollock; “plain homesick. Wasn’t so bad that-a-way at first. I was desp’rit. Took a job punching with a cow outfit near Nogales. Worked myself nike air max classic plumb out every day, and slept hard all night, and woke up in the morning to work myself plumb out again.”
He fished a coal from the fire and deftly flipped it atop his pipe bowl. After a dozen deep puffs, he continued:
“Never noticed the country; had nothing to do with the people. All I knew was brands and my bosses. Did good enough cow work, I reckon. For a fact, it was mebbe half a year before I begun to look around. That country is worse than over Panamit way. Ther cheap nike blazers e’s no trees; there’s no water; there’s no green grass; there’s no folks; there’s no nothin’! The mountains look like they’re made of paper. After ab cheap nike air max out a half year, as I said, I took note of all this, but I didn’t care. What the hell difference did it make to me what the country was like? I hadn’t no theories to that. I’d left all that back here.”
He looked at Bob questioningly, unwilling to approach nearer his tragedy unless it was necessary. Bob nodded.
“Then I begun to dream. Things come to me. I’d see places plain–like the falls at Cascadell–and smel cheap nike air max trainers l things. For a fact, I smelt azaleas plain and sweet once; and woke up in the damndest alkali desert you ever see. I thought I’d never want to see this country again; the farther I got away, the more things I’d forget. You understand.”
Again Bob nodded.
“It wasn’t that way. The farther off I got, the more I remembered. cheap nike air max So one day I cashed in and come back.”
He paused for some time, gazing meditatively on the coffee p

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