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   Chapter 46 LOOSE THREADS

Oh, You Tex! By William MacLeod Raine Characters: 3092

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

The Governor had been himself a cattleman. Before that he had known Ellison and Wadley during the war. Therefore he lent a friendly ear to the tale told him by his old-time friends.

Clint did most of the talking, one leg thrown across the arm of a leather-bound chair in the library of the Governor's house. The three men were smoking. A mint julep was in front of each.

The story of Jack Roberts lost nothing in the telling. Both of the Panhandle men were now partisans of his, and when the owner of the A T O missed a point the hawk-eyed little Captain was there to stress it.

"That's all right, boys," the Governor at last broke in. "I don't doubt he's all you say he is, but I don't see that I can do anything for him. If he's in trouble because he deliberately helped a murderer to escape-"

"You don't need to do a thing, Bob," interrupted Wadley. "That's just the point. He's in no trouble unless you make it for him. All you've got to do is shut yore eyes. I spent three hours with a pick makin' a hole in the jail wall so as it would look like the prisoner escaped. I did a real thorough job. Yorky, the jailer, won't talk. We got that all fixed. There'll be no trouble a-tall unless you want the case against Jack pushed."

"What was the use of comin' to me at all, then? Why didn't you boys keep this under your hats?" the Governor asked.

Wadley grinned. "Because of Jim's conscience. You see, Bob, he fills his boys up with talk about how the Texas Rangers are the best police force in the world. That morale stuff! Go

through an' do yore duty. Play no favorites an' have no friends when you're on the trail of a criminal. Well, he cayn't ignore what young Roberts has done. So he passes the buck to you."

The Governor nodded appreciation of Ellison's difficulty. "All right, Jim. You've done your duty in reporting it. Now I'll forget all about it. You boys go home and marry those young people soon as they're ready."

The Panhandle cattleman gave a whoop. "That'll be soon as I can draw up partnership papers for me 'n' Jack as a weddin' present for him an' Mona."

* * *

They were married at Clarendon. All the important people of the Panhandle attended the wedding, and it was generally agreed that no better-looking couple ever faced the firing line of a marriage ceremony.

There was a difference of opinion as to whether the ex-line-rider deserved his good luck. Jumbo Wilkins was one of those who argued mightily that there was no luck about it.

"That doggoned Tex wore his bronc to a shadow waitin' on Miss 'Mona an' rescuin' her from trouble. She plumb had to marry him to git rid of him," he explained. "I never saw the beat of that boy's gall. Six months ago he was ridin' the line with me. Now he's the segundo of the whole outfit an' has married the daughter of the boss to boot."

Jumbo was on hand with a sack of rice and an old shoe when the bride and groom climbed into the buckboard to drive to the ranch. His admiration found vent in one last shout as the horses broke into a run:

"Oh, you Tex! Let 'em go, son!"


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