By Hans Wilhelm
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No man was ever turned from my fire without a meal inside him. ” When I’d tied Dapple I walked up to the fire, and there was a big, handsome man lying on the ground by the fire, a man with a golden beard like one of those Vikings Pa used to tell of. ” I asked him. ” “We’ve had our troubles with farmers, Mr. ” He had an itch for trouble and his kind I’d met before. He was a medium-tall man with a low hanging shoulder on his gun side. His black brows met over his nose and his face was thin and narrow.
Pausing to look back, he squinted his eyes against the glare and the sting of sweat. “We got to learn something, Tye,” he said suddenly, “we’re both ignorant, and it ain’t a way to be. Listening to Tom makes a man think. ” “Tom’s got the right idea. ” “The country makes a man think of it. ” When we got back into the saddle the leather was so hot on my bottom I durned near yelled when I settled down into my seat. After awhile, country like that, you just keep moving, putting one foot ahead of the other like a man in a trance.
With that Orrin rides right up to the porch and standing up in his stirrups he said, “Howdy, ma’am! A mighty fine evening! ” Mayhap he needed a shave and a bath like we all did, but there was something in him that always made a woman stop and look twice. Before she could answer a tall man stepped out. “Young man,” he spoke mighty sharp, “I will thank you not to annoy my daughter. ” Orrin smiled that big, wide smile of his. “Sorry, sir, I did not mean to offend. ” Then he flashed that girl a smile, then reined his horse around and we rode on to the saloon.