This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1909. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER III. IN AND OUT OF A SINK-HOLE Getting down from the saddle, Dan made the first examination, and, after a few seconds of intense silence, Ralph followed. Oliver looked on with much interest, but knew enough not to disturb them. "Well, what do you make out?" asked Dan, presently, as he straightened up and looked at his brother. "I don't know what to say, exactly. Three seem to have gone down Nolan's way, and three this way. But up there are the tracks of five horses." "You are right, Ralph, three did start to go Nolan's way, but two came back, a rider and an empty horse, and joined the others on the North Bend Fork. I reckon they came over yonder rocks, after going perhaps quarter of a mile or less." "But why did they separate, and then why did one rider come back to go up the Fork?" asked Oliver. "I don't know, excepting it may have been that they thought it best only one of them should go past Nolan's." "Perhaps the single rider went to Nolan's to get something to eat," suggested Oliver. "Nolan wouldn't let him have anything unless he questioned the man pretty sharply." "But he might lie out of the truth," put in Ralph. "A man who will steal horses won't hesitate to lie a streak if he's called on to do it." The matter was talked over for a few minutes, and the three concluded to ride on to the ranch kept by George Nolan, one of the first settlers in that district, a man who had come in under Stephen Austin. Here they knew they could get something to eat, and possibly Nolan might join them in the attempt to capture the horse thieves. When the ranch of the pioneer was reached, they found Nolan sitting on his doorstep mending a broken saddle. He was a short, stocky man, with reddish hair and beard, and with blue eyes which could twinkle with merrime...
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