Texas Another World Texas Tales Kid Wolf of Texas

Kid Wolf of Texas

Kid Wolf of Texas
Catalog # SKU3722
Publisher Texas National Press
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Ward M. Stevens
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Kid Wolf of Texas

A Western Story

Ward M. Stevens

Together, man and mount made a striking picture; yet it would have been hard to say which was the more picturesque-the rider or the horse. The latter was a splendid beast, and its spotless hide of snowy white glowed in the rays of the afternoon sun. With bit chains jingling, it gracefully leaped a gully, landing with all the agility of a mountain lion, in spite of its enormous size.

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The rider, still whistling his Texas tune, swung in the concha-decorated California stock saddle as if he were a part of his horse. He was a lithe young figure, dressed in fringed buckskin, touched here and there with the gay colors of the Southwest and of Mexico.

Two six-guns, wooden-handled, were suspended from a cartridge belt of carved leather, and hung low on each hip. His even teeth showed white against the deep sunburn of his face.

"Reckon we-all bettah cut south, Blizzahd," he murmured to his horse. "We haven't got any business on the Llano."

He spoke in the soft accents of the old South, and yet his speech was colored with just a trace of Spanish-a musical drawl seldom heard far from that portion of Texas bordering the Rio Bravo del Norte.

Wheeling his mount, he searched the landscape with his keen blue eyes. Behind him was broken country; ahead of him was the terrible land that men have called the Llano Estacado. The land rose to it in a long series of steppes with sharp ridges.

Queerly shaped and oddly colored buttes ascended toward it in a puzzling tangle. Dim in the distance was the Llano itself-a mesa with a floor as even as a table; a treeless plain without even a weed or shrub for a landmark; a plateau of peril without end.

The rider was doing well to avoid the Llano Estacado. Outlaw Indian bands roamed over its desolate expanse-the only human beings who could live there. In the winter, snowstorms raced screaming across it, from Texas to New Mexico, for half a thousand miles. It was a country of extremes. In the summer it was a scorching griddle of heat dried out by dry desert winds. Water was hard to find there, and food still harder to obtain. And it was now late summer-the season of mocking mirages and deadly sun.

The horseman was just about to turn his steed's head directly to the southward when a sound came to his ears-a cry that made his eyes widen with horror.

Few sounds are so thrillingly terrible as the dying scream of a mangled horse, and yet this was far more awful. Only the throat of a human being could emit that chilling cry. It rose in shrill crescendo, to die away in a sobbing wail that lifted the hair on the listener's head. Again and again it came-a moan born of the frightful torture of mortal agony.

Giving his mount a touch of spur, the horseman turned the animal westward toward the Llano Estacado. So horrible were the sounds that he had paled under his tan. But he headed directly toward the direction of the cries. He knew that some human being was suffering frightful pain.

Crossing a sun-baked gully, he climbed upward and onto a flat-topped, miniature butte. Here he saw a spectacle that literally froze him with horror.

Although accustomed to a hundred gruesome sights in that savage land, he had never seen one like this. Staked on the ground, feet and arms wide-stretched, and securely bound, was a man. Or rather, it was a thing that had once been a man. It was a torture that even the diabolical mind of an Indian could not have invented. It was the insane creation of another race-the work of a madman.

For the suffering wretch had been left on his back, face up to the sun, with his eyelids removed!

Ants crawled over the sufferer, apparently believing him dead. Flies buzzed, and a raven flapped away, beating the air with its startled wings. The horseman dismounted, took his water bag from his horse, and approached the tortured man.

The moaning man on the ground did not see him, for his eyes were shriveled. He was blind.

The youth with the water bag tried to speak, but at first words failed to come. The sight was too ghastly.

"Heah's watah," he muttered finally. "Just-just try and stand the pain fo' a little longah. I'll do all I can fo' yo'."

He held the water bag at the swollen, blackened lips. Then he poured a generous portion of the contents over the shriveled eyes and skeletonlike face.

For a while the tortured man could not speak. But while his rescuer slashed loose the rawhide ropes that bound him, he began to stammer a few words:

"Heaven bless yuh! I thought I was dead, or mad! Oh, how I wanted water! Give me more-more!"

"In a little while," said the other gently.

In spite of the fact that he was now free, the sufferer could not move his limbs. Groans came from his lips.

208 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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