Page:For the Liberty of Texas.djvu/53

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45
THE ATTACK ON THE RANCH.

"All but the door. But bring in all the buckets full of water first. We may be in for a regular siege of it."

Dan s suggestion was carried out, and the older boy also made a raid on the cattle yard and brought in one of the cows, tying her close to the door. "Now we'll have milk and meat too, if the worst comes to the worst," he observed. No matter what else happened he did not intend to be starved out.

Their regular chores done, the two boys locked up below, but left the door unbarred, and then went to the loft, taking with them their guns and the spy-glass.

"I suppose we can count this something of a fort," remarked Ralph. "But I don't care to play soldier—I'd rather have the Indians leave us alone."

"So would I. But I guess I can play soldier if I have to," added Dan, with quiet emphasis. Secretly he loved soldiering much better than life on the ranch, but in those days he never dreamed of the adventures on the battle-field which were still in store for him.

The afternoon wore away slowly until the sun began to set behind the timber west of the ranch. In the meantime, the boys, having had no dinner, grew hungry, and Ralph spent some time below in boiling a pot of coffee and stirring and baking