The music stopped. Malone had stooped over the table with the speed of a bird picking up a grain of wheat, and with the same movement he whirled and fired. The gun spun from the hand of the sheriff and he stood staring into eyes which now beyond all doubt flared with a yellow animal fire.

“Now put your hands behind your back after you’ve thrown those bracelets to me,” said Malone. “I naturally hate to break up this party, but I think you’ve had about enough whisky to keep you warm on the ride back, Lefty, my boy.”

There was an insane desire on the sheriff’s part to leap upon Malone bare-handed, but he had seen too many fighting men in action before. He knew the meaning of those eyes and the steadiness of the revolver.

“It’s your game, Slim,” he said, with as little bitterness as possible; “but will you tell me why in the name of God you aren’t on the stage? It isn’t what you do, pal, it’s the way you do it!”

Appleton woke early the next morning. Some one shouted and then fired a pistol. The populace gathered at windows and doors rubbing sleepy eyes which a moment later shone wide awake, and yawns turned into yells of laughter, for down the middle of Appleton’s one street came the sheriff. He was sitting the roan horse, with his feet tied below the girth, and his hands tied behind his back. And even the weary roan seemed to feel in his drooping head the defeat of his rider.

Upon the back of the sheriff was a large piece of cardboard, upon which was printed in large letters the following:

I’m sending this back with my signature in token of a pleasant evening in my home in Eagle Head Cañon. I’m sorry to announce that I’m moved. ⁠

Slim Malone.

The End


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