“An’ what might all this here gang be for?” inquired Lefty mildly.

“We’re the posse, waitin’ to be sworn in,” announced one of the men.

“Swearin’ in takes a terrible lot of time,” said Lefty, “an’ besides, I don’t know how it’s done. I don’t want no posse, as I said before. I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Anyway, twenty men on horseback make enough noise to scare away a whole gang of bandits. You might as well start lookin’ for trouble with a brass band, because you’d sure find the trouble.”

He hitched at his belt in his customary manner when at a loss for words, and his right hand dropped gracefully upon the handle of his gun and drooped thereon somewhat sinisterly.

“This here Malone,” went on the sheriff, “may be a tolerable bad man in his way, but I ain’t no shorn lamb myself. I’m goin’ out to get him, an’ I’m goin’ to get him by myself. I reckon that’s final.”

They accepted his announcement with cheers, and set about offering all the information in their power. It was generally believed that the bandit lived somewhere at the far end of Eagle Head Canon, about fifteen miles from the town. His dwelling had never been spotted, but he was most frequently seen riding to and from this place. Thrice posses had raked the cañon as with a fine-toothed comb, but they had never come upon a trace of his habitation: but the cañon was thick with caves, and heaped with giant boulders which offered innumerable places of concealment, and the legend was strong that Slim Malone lived in that place.

The next thing was to find a proper mount. This proved a more difficult task. The sheriff knew horse- ham nose to hoof, and he was hard to please. At last he selected a tall roan with a wicked eye and flat shoulders which promised speed. These preparations made, he swung to the saddle, waved his hand to the crowd, and galloped out of town.

There was not much bluff about Lefty Cornwall… chevronRight icon