Page:For the Liberty of Texas.djvu/254

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Stover, and turned his pony to ride away from the river bank.

"Halt! Who goes?" came the cry, in Spanish, from one of the Mexican guards.

"We are discovered," whispered Dan. "Come on!"

He turned away from the river bank and dove straight into the pine brake. Then came a shot of warning, but the Mexican fired high, not daring to take aim for fear of hitting a friend.

The shot caused a commotion, and soon Dan and Stover felt that they were being followed. They tried to make their mustangs move on a run, but the animals could not be urged farther.

"They will catch us, sure," gasped the boy, as the steps of the enemy sounded nearer and nearer. "What shall we do?"

"Move to the right, and we'll see if we can't throw them off the trail," answered Poke Stover.

To the right there was a slight hollow, filled with mesquite-trees and bushes, and beyond this was a sandy plain covered with cacti. But of the latter both were ignorant.

Down into the hollow they dove, their horses glad enough of the chance to get a drink at the pool among the bushes. Under the mesquite-trees they halted, and Stover went back to reconnoitre.

The scout was gone for fully quarter of an hour, and came back chuckling softly to himself.