Page:Yule Logs.djvu/431

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
415
ON A MEXICAN RANCHE

you may some day bitterly regret that your kindness of heart led you to open your doors to an adventurer;" and without waiting he hurried forward to the stable, called for his horse, and ordered the three men who had accompanied him to saddle at once and follow him, and then rode furiously away. He drew rein after riding a mile, and waited until his followers came up. He called one of them up to him, and with him went slowly on, the other two falling behind.

"You have followed the orders I gave you the first day we came here, Juan?"

"I have, sir; I have found out all about him: he does not live with the others at the camp, but has a small hut in a lonely valley some miles from here; he shoots and hunts early in the morning, and then generally he breakfasts, and afterwards rides over to the camp."

"That is excellent. I want you to stay behind here, Juan, and put a stop to his riding—you understand. You will be well paid for the business."

The man nodded. "I will do it, señor. It is rather risky, for they say that he is a first-rate shot."

"Well, then, you must manage so that he doesn't get a shot at you, Juan. He is alone in the hut?"

"Yes, except that he has a dog Don Garcia gave him, a fierce beast that would let no one into the hut without awakening its master. It cannot be done that way. When he is away I must hide in the bushes near his hut, and shoot him as he returns."

"Well, don't blunder over the business, Juan. If you are doubtful about yourself, hire a man or two to help you, there is never any difficulty in picking up a man for that sort of work."

"I can put my hand on the men. My brother was one of those who made the attack on Don Garcia and his daughter, and this Englishman shot him, therefore I should be ready to do the job without being paid for it, though I