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The Flying U Ranch By B. M. Bower Characters: 3617

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07

Pink rolled over in his bed so that he might look-however sleepily-upon his fellows, dressing more or less quietly in the cool dawn-hour.

"Say, I got a letter for you, Weary," he yawned, stretching both arms above his head. "I opened it and read it; it was from Chip, so-"

"What did he have to say?"

"Old Man any better?"

"How they comm', back here?"

Several voices, speaking at once, necessitated a delayed reply.

"They'll be here, to-day or to-morrow," Pink replied without any circumlocution whatever, while he fumbled in his coat pocket for the letter. "He says the Old Man wants to come, and the doctors think he might as well tackle it as stay there fussing over it. They're coming in a special car, and we've got to rig up an outfit to meet him. The Little Doctor tells just how she wants things fixed. I thought maybe it was important-it come special delivery," Pink added naively, "so I just played it was mine and read it."

"That's all right, Cadwalloper," Weary assured him while he read hastily the letter. "Well, we'll fix up the spring wagon and take it in right away; somebody's got to go back anyway, with MacPherson. Hello, Cal; how's Happy?"

"All right," answered Cal, who had watched over him during the night and came in at that moment after someone to take his place in the sickroom. "Waked up on the fight because I just happened to be setting with my eyes shut. I wasn't asleep, but he said I was; claimed I snored so loud I kept him awake all night. Gee whiz! I'd ruther nurse a she bear with the mumps!"

"Old Man's coming home, Cal." Pink announced with more joy in his tone and in his face than had appeared in either for many a weary day. Whereupon Cal gave an exultant whoop. "Go tell that to Happy," he shouted. "Maybe he'll forget a grouch or two. Say

, luck seems to be kinda casting loving glances our way again-what?"

"By golly, seems to me Pink oughta told us when he come in, las' night," grumbled Slim, when he could make himself heard.

"You were all dead to the world," Pink defended, "and I wanted to be. Two o'clock in the morning is a mighty poor time for elegant conversation, if you want my opinion."

"And the main point is, you knew all about it, and you didn't give a darn whether we did or not," Irish said bluntly. "And Weary sneaked in, too, and never let a yip outa him about things over in Denson coulee."

"Oh, what was the use?" asked Weary blandly. "I got an option out of Oleson for the ranch and outfit, and all his sheep, at a mighty good figure-for the Flying U. The Old Man can do what he likes about it; but ten to one he'll buy him out. That is, Oleson's share, which was two-thirds. I kinda counted on Dunk letting go easy. And," he added, reaching for his hat, "once I got the papers for it, there wasn't anything to hang around for, was there? Especially," he said with his old, sunny smile, "when we weren't urged a whole lot to stay."

Remained therefore little, save the actual arrival of the Old Man-a pitifully weak Old Man, bandaged and odorous with antiseptics, and quite pathetically glad to be back home-and his recovery, which was rather slow, and the recovery of Happy Jack, which was rapid.

For a brief space the Flying U outfit owned the Dots; very brief it was; not a day longer than it took Chip to find a buyer-at a figure considerably above that named in the option, by the way.

So, after a season of worry and trouble and impending tragedy such as no man may face unflinchingly, life dropped back to its usual level, and the trail of the Flying U outfit once more led through pleasant places.

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