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The Delafield Affair
written by "Kelly, Florence Finch, 1858-1939"
...ou to-night, blest if you don’t, old girl, and you shall have it, too.” He gathered together, for her food and her bed, the alfalfa hay from several of the bunks, and found for her also a small measure of oats. Then, having [Pg 173]attended to her wants, he looked about for something to stay his own hunger. It was his custom to keep some canned provisions in the place, as the station was much used by his men. On a little smouldering fire in one corner of the room, he made some tea in a tin can. A frying-pan hung against the wall, and in it, awkwardly fumbling with his one useful hand, he contrived to warm a stew of tinned chile con carne and pilot bread. Fine sand drifted in and settled in a red dust over the food as he ate, and he could feel its grit between his teeth. The bird he had carried in his bosom he found to be a Southwestern tanager. Its pinkish-red plumage shone with a silvery radiance in the lamplight. One of its legs was broken, and one wing had been injured. “I’ll take it to Miss Bancroft,” he said aloud, “and she’ll care for it till it can shift for itself again, poor little devil!” With intense satisfaction Conrad at last sat down to the letter in which he had all day been longing to express his feelings. “I wonder,” he thought, “if Dellmey Baxter did it because he don’t like the things I say about him. Well, he’ll have to get used to it, then, [Pg 174]for I’m not going to quit.” There was a grim smile on his face as he wrote: “I consider it the square thing to tell you that I am onto the game of your man, José Gonzalez. We had our first set-to this morning, in which he winged me, but I got the best of him. I could have killed him if I had wanted to, but he is such a good cowboy I hated to do him up. I am going to keep him in my employ, but I want you to understand, distinctly, that if he makes another crack at me...

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