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LIFE ON THE TRAIL.

doctors and did what I could for them; but the cure was often slow for they would drink now and again to drown care and several in this way, made the disease chronic. I could never understand the temptation; to get drunk was bad enough; but in that state to go with some dirty Greaser woman, or half-breed prostitute was incomprehensible to me.

Naturally I enquired about the Vidals; but no one seemed to have heard of them and though I did my best, the weeks passed without my finding a trace of them. I wrote, however, to the address Gloria had given me before leaving Chicago so that I might be able to forward any letters; but I had left Texas before I heard from her: indeed her letter reached me in the Fremont House when I got back to Chicago. She simply told me that they had crossed the Rio Grande and had settled in their hacienda on the other side, where perhaps, she added coyly, I would pay them a visit some day. I wrote thanking her and assuring her that her memory transfigured the world for me—which was the bare truth: I took infinite pains to put this letter into good Spanish though I fear that in spite of Bob's assistance it had a dozen faults. But I'm outrunning my story.

Rapidly the herd was got together. Early in July we started northwards driving before us some 6000 head of cattle which certainly hadn't cost five thousand dollars. That first year everything went well with us; we only saw small bands of Plain Indians and we were too strong for them. The Boss had allowed me to bring 500 head of cattle on my own account: he wished to reward me, he said, for my incessant hard work; but I was sure it was Reece and Dell who put the idea into his head.

The fact that some of the cattle were mine made me a most watchful and indefatigable herdsman.