The Long Shadow by Bower B M

The Long Shadow by Bower B M

Author:Bower, B M [Bower, B M]
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Published: 2011-02-28T00:56:24.656000+00:00

Chapter XI."When I Lift My Eyebrows This Way."

It is rather distressful when one cannot recount all sorts of exciting things as nicely fitted together as if they had been carefully planned and rehearsed beforehand. It would have been extremely gratifying and romantic if Charming Billy Boyle had dropped everything in the line of work and had ridden indefatigably the trail which led to Bridger's; it would have been exciting if he had sought out the Pilgrim and precipitated trouble and flying lead. But Billy, though he might have enjoyed it, did none of those things. He rode straight to the ranch with Dill-rather silent, to be sure, but bearing none of the marks of a lovelorn young man-drank three cups of strong coffee with four heaping teaspoonfuls of sugar to each cup, pulled off his boots, lay down upon the most convenient bed and slept until noon. When the smell of dinner assailed his nostrils he sat up yawning and a good deal tousled, drew on his boots and made him a cigarette. After that he ate his dinner with relish, saddled and rode away to where the round-up was camped, his manner utterly practical and lacking the faintest tinge of romance. As to his thoughts-he kept them jealously to himself.

He did not even glimpse Miss Bridger for three months or more. He was full of the affairs of the Double-Crank; riding in great haste to the ranch or to town, hurrying back to the round-up and working much as he used to work, except that now he gave commands instead of receiving them. For they were short-handed that summer and, as he explained to Dill, he couldn't afford to ride around and look as important as he felt.

"Yuh wait, Dilly, till we get things running the way I want 'em," he encouraged on one of his brief calls at the ranch. "I was kinda surprised to find things wasn't going as smooth as I used to think; when yuh haven't got the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, yuh don't realize what a lot of things need to be done. There's them corrals, for instance: I helped mend and fix and toggle 'em, but it never struck me how rotten they are till I looked 'em over this spring. There's about a million things to do before snow flies, or we won't be able to start out fresh in the spring with everything running smooth. And if I was you, Dilly, I'd go on a still hunt for another cook here at the ranch. This coffee's something fierce. I had my doubts about Sandy when we hired him. He always did look to me like he was built for herding sheep more than he was for cooking." This was in August.

"I have been thinking seriously of getting some one else in his place," Dill answered, in his quiet way. "There isn't very much to do here; if some one came who would take an interest and cook just what


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