The fame of Lefty had begun in Texas when he mortally wounded one greaser and crippled two others in a saloon fight. Since then it had increased and spread until he was a household word even farther north than Appleton. He came from that sun-burned southland where a man’s prowess was gaged by his speed and dexterity with his “irons,” and even on that northern plateau of Appleton men knew that to cross Lefty Cornwall was death or murderous mutilation.

At first there were some dissenters. Men stated freely that Lefty would never dream of coming as far north as Appleton for a paltry five thousand dollars. There were even a few dissenters who claimed that even should he come he would never be able to cope with Slim Malone, but these were laughed and hooted down by a radical minority who came from the south-land and knew the fame of Lefty Cornwall in detail. The sheriff accounted for the others by stating that he had already communicated with Lefty, and had received his assent by letter. This announcement dissolved the meeting in cheers.

Appleton decreed the day of the arrival of the new sheriff a festival occasion.…