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llllllllllllliHlilllilllllilliilllllllllllllllllllillllllllllllllilUllllllllllllllllllllllllllHIIIIllllllllllllllHIIIIIIHIIIIIHHUllIUUlllIIIIIlt ZEN of the Y. D © I A N o v e l o f the F o o th ills | By ROBERT STE75D | 5 Author of \The Cow Puncher” — “ The Homesteaders ” — \N e ighbors” etc. ~ sii i immlui in nnmmnmnn 111111 miinnnnnmummniimin iiiniiiinninniiiiinnminiinnnnHiiimiiiuMiiiwmmiutr DRAZK’S GREAT IDEA SYNOPSIS. — Transley’s hay- cutting outfit, after stacking 2,000 tons, is on Its way to the big Y.D. ranch headquarters. Transloy is a master of men and circumstances. Linder, foreman. Is substantial, but not self-asser tive. George Drazk, one o f the men, is an Irresponsible chap who proposes to every woman he meets. Transley and Linder dine with Y.D. and his w ife and daughter Zen. Transley resolves to marry Zen. Y.D. Instructs Transley to cut the South Y.D., \spite o’ h—-l an* high water\ and a fellow named Landson. Drazk proposes to Zon and is neatly rebuffed. Transloy pitches camp on the South Y.D. and finds Landson’s outfit cutting hay. Den nison Grant, Landson’s manager, notifies Transloy that he Is w o rk ing under a lease from the legal owners and warns Transley off All of which means war. Y.D. and Zen ride to the South Y.D. Zen Is a natural vamp, not yet halter-broke and ripe for mating. Y.D. has taken a liking to Trans ley. Zen holds Transley off and encourages Linder. Zen enjoys the prospect of a race between Transley and Linder for her fa vor, but secretly laughs at both She has another and more serious encounter with Drazk. Y.D. m ow ing machines are ruined by Iron stakes set In the grass. CHAPTER IV— Continued, — 5— “ So that’s the way of It,” he said. “That’s the kind of war Mr. Land- son mnkes. Well, we can fight hack with the snme weapons, but that won’t cut the hay, will it?\ By this time Y.D. and Transley, with four other teamsters, were ob served coming in. Each driver had hnd the same experience. An iron stake, carefully hidden In a clump of grass, had been driven down into the ground until It was just high enough to intercept the cutting-bar. The fine, sharp knives were crumpled against It; In some cases the heavy cutting- bar, In which the knives operate, was damaged. Y.D.’s face was black with fury. “That’s the lowest, mangyest, cow ardliest trick I ever hud pulled on me,\ he was saying. “I’m plumb equal to ridin’ down to Landson’s an’ driv- In’ one of them stakes through under his short ribs.” “But can you prove that Landson did it?” said Zen, who had an element of caution in her when her father was concerned. She hnd a vision of a fight, with Landson pleading entire Ignor ance of the whole cause of offense, and her father probably summoned by the police for unprovoked assault. “ No, I can't prove that Landson did It, an’ I can’t prove that the grass m.v steers eat turns to hair on their bncks,” he retorted, “but I reach my own conclusions. Is there any shoot- in’ irons in the place?” “ Now, Dad, that’s enough,” said the girl, firmly. \There’ll be no shooting between you and Landson. If there Is to be anything of that kind I’ll ride down ahead and warn him of what’s coming.\ “ Darter,” said Y.D.— it was only on momentous occasions that he ad dressed her as daughter—“I brought you over here ns a guest, not ns man ager o’ my affairs. I’ve taken care of those affairs for some considerable years, an’ I reckon I still have the oualifications. If you’re a-goin’ to net *ip obstrep'rous I’ll get Mr. Transley to lend me a man to escort you home.\ “ At your service, Y.D.,” said George Drazk, who was In the crowd which hnd gathered about the rancher, his daughter, and Transley. “That Petc- horse an’ tne would jus’ see her over the hills a-whoopln’.” “I don’t think It would be wise to take any extreme measures, at least, aot just yet,\ said Transley. “ It’s out of the question to suppose that Landson has picketed the whole val ley with those stakes. It is now quite clear why we were left In peace yes terday. He wanted us to get started, and get a few swaths cut, so that he would know where to drive the stakes to catch us the next morning. Some of these machines can be repaired nt once, and the others within a day or two. We will just mote over a little and start on new fields. There’s pret ty good moonlight these nights and we’ll leave a few men out on guard, and perhaps we can catch the enemy at his little game. Let us get one of Landson’s men with the goods on him.” Y.D. was somewhat pacified by thl? suggestion. “You’re a practical de\il. Transley,” he said, with considerable admiration. “Now, in a cuse of this kind I jus’ get plumb fightin’ mad. I want to bore somebody. I guess it’« the only kind o’ procedure that comes easy to my hand. I guess you’re right, but I hate to let anybody have the laugh on me.\ Y.D. looked down the valley, shading his eyes with his hand. 'Th a t son-of-a-gun has got a dozen or store stacks down there. I don’t wish nobody any hard luck, but if some ienderfoot was to drop a cigar— ” “In that case I suppose you’d pray for a west wind, Dad,” Zen suggested, “but the winds in these valleys, even with your prayers to direct them, are ■one too reliable.” . “Everybody to work on Axing up these machines,\ Transley ordered. “Linder, make a list of what repairs are needed and Drazk will ride to town with it at once. Some of them may have to come out from the city by express. Drazk can get the orders In and a team will follow to bring out the repairs.” In a moment Transley’s men were busy with wrenches and hammers, re placing knives and appraising dam ages. Even In his anger Y.D. took approving note of the,promptness of Transley’s decisions and the zest with which his men carried them into ef fect. “ A he-man, that fellow, Zen,” he confided to his daughter. “ If he’d blowed Into this country thirty years ago, like I did, he’d own It by this time plumb to the sky-line.” When the list 'of repairs was com pleted Linder handed it to Drazk. “Beat it to town on that Pete-horse of yours, George,\ he said. \Burn the grass on the road.\ “I bet I’ll be ten miles on the road back when I meet my shadow goin’,” said Drazk, making a spectacular lpap Into Ills saddla. “ ’By, Y.D. I ; ’by, Zen!” he shouted while he whirled his horse’s head eastward and waved his hand to where they stood. In spite of her annoyance at him she had to smile and return his salute. “Mr. Drazk Is Irrepressible,” she re marked to Tranxley. \And Irresponsible,” the contractor returned. “I sometimes wonder why I keep him. In fact, I don’t really keep him; he Just stays. Every spring he hunts me up end fastens on. Still, I got a lot of good service out of him. Praise 'that Pete-horse,’ and George would ride his head off for you. He hns a weakness for wanting to marry every woman he sees, but his Infatua tions seem harmless enough.” “I know something of his weakness,” Zen replied. “I have already been honored with a proposal.\ Transley looked in her face. It was slightly flushed, whether with the summer sun or with her confession, but it was a wonderfully good face to look in. “ Zen,\ he said, in a low voice that Y.D. and the others might not hear, “how would you take u serious pro- “ ’ By, Y.D.; 'By, Z e n i” posal, made seriously by Gdie who loves you, and who knows that you are, and always will be, a queen among women?\ \ I f you had been a cow puncher in stead of a contractor,” she told him, “ I’m sure you would long ago have ended your life In some dash over a cu thank.” Meanwhile Drazk pursued his way to town. The trail, after crossing the ford, turned abruptly to the right from that which led across country to the North Y.D. For a mile or more it skirted the stream in a park-like drive through groves of spruce and cottonwood. Sun shine and the babble of water every where filled the air. Sunshine, too, filled George Drazk’s heart. The im portance of his mission was pleasantly heavy upon him. He pictured the Im pression he would make in town, gal loping In with his horse wet over the hnek, and rushing to the Implement agency with all the Importance of a courier from Y.D. He would let two of the boys take Pete to the stable, and then,- seated on a mower seat in the shade, he would tell the story. It would lose nothing in the telling. He would even add how Zen hnd thrown a kiss at him In parting. Perhaps he would have Zen kiss him on the cheek before the whole camp. He turned that possibility over In his mind, weighing nicely the credulity of his imaginary audience. . . . At any rate, whether he decided to put that In the story or not, It was very pleas ant to think about. Presently the trail turned abruptly up a gully leading Into the hills. A huge cutbank, jutting Into the river, barred the way in front, and its pre cipitous side, a hundred feet or more in height, kept continually crumbling and falling into the stream. These cutbanks are a terror to inexperi enced riders. The valleys are swal lowed up In the tawny sameness of the ranges; the vision catches only the higher levels, and one- may gallop to the verge of a precipice before be coming aware of its existence. It was to this that Zen had referred in speak ing of Transley’s precipitateness. Drazk followed the gully up into the hills, letting his horse drop hack to a walk in the hard going along the dry bed of a stream which flowed only In the spring freshets. Pete had to pick his way over bowlders and across stretenes of sand and boggy, patches of black mud formed by little' springs leaking out under clumps of willows. Here and there the white ribs of a steer’s skeleton peered through the brush; once or twice an overpowering stench gave notice of a carcass not wholly decomposed. It was not a pleasant environment, but in an hour Drazk was out again on the brow of the brown hills, where the sunshine flooded about and a fresh breeze beat up against his face. After all his winding in the gully he was not more titan a mile from the cut- bank. \I reckon I could get a great view from that cutbank of what Landson is doin’,” he suddenly remarked to him self. He took off his hat and scratched ills tousled head in reflection. \Linder said to beat It,\ he ruminated, “ but 1 can’t get back tonight anyway, an’ it might be worth while to do a little scoutin’. Here goes!\ He struck a smart gallop to the southward, and brought his horse up, spectacularly, a yard from the edge of the precipice. The view which his position commanded was superb. Up the valley lay the white tents of Trans ley’s outfit, almost hidden in green foliage; the ford across the river was distinctly visible, und stretching south from it lay, like a great curving snake, the trail which wound across the val ley and lost itself in the foothills far to the south; across the western hori zon hung the purple curtain of the mountains, soft and vague In their noonday mists, but touched with set tings of ivory where the snow fields beat buck the blazing sunshine, far down the valley was the gleam of Landson’s whitewashed buildings, and nearer at hand the greenish-brown of the upland meadows which his liny -1 makers had already cleared of their crop of prairie wool. This was now arising In enormous stacks; it must have been three miles to where they lay. but Drazk's keen eyes could dis tinguish ten completed stacks and two others in course of building. He could even see the sweeps hauling the new hay, after only a few hours of sun drying, and sliding it up the inclined platforms which dumped it into the form of stacks. The foothill rancher makes hay by horse power, and almost without the aid of a pitchfork. Even ns Drazk watched he saw a load skid ded up; saw its apparent momentary poise In air; saw the well-trained horses stop and turn nnd start back to the meadow with their sweep. And up the valley Transley’s outfit was at a standstill. Drazk employed his limited but ex pressive vocabulary. It was against all human nature to look on such a scene unmoved. He recalled Y.D.’s half-spoken wish about a random cigar. Then suddenly George Drazk’s mouth dropped open and his eyes rounded with a great idea. Of course It was against all the rules of the range— it was outlaw business—but what about driving iron stakes In a hay meadow? Drazk’s philosophy was that the end justifies the means. And if the end would win the approval .of Y.D.— and of Y.D.’s daughter—then any means was justi fied. Had not Linder said, “ Burn the grass on the road?” Drazk knew well enough that Linder’s remark was a figure of speech, but his eccentric mind found no trouble in converting It into literal instructions. Drazk sniffed the air and looked at the sun. A soft breeze was moving slowly up the valley; the sun was just past noon. There was every reason to expect that as the lowland prairies grew hot with the afternoon sunshine a breeze would come down out of the mountains to occupy the area of great atmospheric expansion. ,Drazk knew nothing about the theory of the thing; ail that concerned him was the fact that by mid-afternoon the wind would probably change to the west. Two miles down the valley he found a gully which gave access to the wa ter’s edge. He descended, located a ford, and crossed. There were cattle trails through the cottonwoods; he might have followed them, but he feared the telltale shoe-print^. He elected the more difficult rout«, down the stream itself. The South Y.I*. ran mostly on a wide gravel bottom; it was possible to pick out a course which kept Pete in water se»dom higher than his knees. An hour of this, and Drazk, peering through the trees, could see the nearest of Land- son’s stacks not half a mile away. The Landson gang were working far ther down the valley, and the stack Itself covered approach from the river. Drazk slipped from the saddle and stole quietly Into the open. -The breeze was now coming down the valley. C H A P T E R V Transley’s men had repaired such machines as they could and Ntbrned to work. The clatter of mowing ma chines filled the valley; the horses were speeded up to recover lost time. Transley and Y.D. rode about, care fully scrutinizing the short grass for iron stakes, and keeping a general eya on operations.- Suddenly Transley sat bolt-still on his horse. Then, In a low voice: “Y.D .!” he said. The rancher turned and followed the line of Transley’s vision. The nearest of Landson’s stacks was ablaze, and a grea* pillar of smoke was rolling skyward. Even as they watched, the base of the fire seemed to spread; then, in a moment, tongues of flame were seen leaping from a stack farther on. “Looks like your prayers were an swered, Y.D.,’’ said Transley. \I bet they haven’t a plow nearer than the ranch.” Y.D. seemed fascinated by the sight. I-Ie could not take his eyes off it. He drew a cigar from his pocket and thrust It far Into his mouth, chewing It savagely and rolling It in his lips hut, according to the law of the hay field, refraining from lighting it. Af first there was a gleam of vengeanct, in his eyes, but presently that gavs way to a sort of horror. Every hon orable tradition of the range demand ed that he enlist his force against the common enemy. \H— I, Transley!\ he ejaculated, “we can’t sit and look at that! Order the men out I What have we got to fight with?” For answer Transley swung round In ids saddle and struck his palm into Y.D.’s. “Good boy, Y.D. 1” he said. “I did you an Injustice—I mean, about your prayers being answered.. We haven’t as much as a plow, either, but we can gallop down with some barrels In a wagon and put a sack brigade to work. I’m afraid it won’t save Landson’s hay, but it will show where our hearts are.\ Transley nnd Y.D. galloped off to round up the men, some of who'm had already noticed the fire. Transley dispatched four men and two team? to take barrels, sacks and horse blankets to the Landson meadows. The others he sent off at once on horseback to give what help they could. Zen rode up just as they left, and her fine horse seemed to realize the tension in the air. I-IIs keen, hard- strung muscles quivered as she brought his gallop to a stop. “How did it start. Dad?” she de manded. \How do I know?\ he returned, shortly. “D’ye think I fired it?” “No. but I just asked the question that Landson will ask, so you better have your answer handy. I ’m going to gallop down to their ranch; per haps I can help Mrs. Landson.\ “The ranch buildings are safe enough, I think,\ said Transley. “The grass there Is close cropped, and there is some plowing.” For a moment the three sat, watch ing the spread of the flames. By this timp the whole lower valley was blanketed In smoke. Clouds of blue and mauve and creamy yellow rolled from the meadows and stacks. The fire was whipping the light breeze of the afternoon to a gale, und was al ready running wildly over the flanks of the foothills. “ Well, I’m off,” said Zen. “Good bye!\ “Be careful, Zen 1” her father shout ed. “Fire Is fire.” But already her horse was stretching low and straight In a hard gallop down the valley. “ I ’ll ride in to camp and tell Tomp kins to make up a double supply of sandwiches and coffee,” said Trans ley. “ I guess there’ll be no cooking in Landson’s outfit this afternoon. After that we can both run down and lend a hand, if that suits you.\ As they rode to camp together Y.D. drew up close to the contractor. “Transley,\ he said, “how do you reckon that fire started?” “I don’t know,” said Transley, “ any more than you do.\ “I didn’t ask you what you knew. I asked you what you reckoned.’’ Transley rode for some minutes in silence. Then nt last he spoke: “A man isn’t supposed to reckon in things of this kind. He should know, or keep his mouth shut. But I al low myself just one guess. Drazk.\ \Why Drazk?\ Y.D. demanded. “ He has nothin’ to gnin, and this prank may put him in the cooler.\ “ Drazk would do anything to be spectacular,\ Trunsley explained. “He probably will boast openly about it. You know, he’s trying to make an Im pression on Zen.\ “Nonsense!” \O f course it's nonsense, but Drazk doesn’t see it that way.\ “I’d string him to the nearest cot tonwood if I thought he—\ “ Now don’t do him an Injustice, Y.D. Drazk doesn’t realize that he is no mate for Zen. He doesn’t know of any reason why Zen shouldn’t look on him with favor; Indeed, with pride. It’s ridiculous, I know, but Drazk Is built that way.” Zen has a desperate encounter with Drazk. How do you think It came out? (T O BE CONTINUED.) “Appeal to a man’s reason” la apt to be made too lat^ MUtOYED UNIFORM INTERNATIONAL S i m d a y S c h o o l ' L e s s o n ’ (By REV. P. B. FITZWATER, D.D., Teacher ot English Bible in the Moody Bible Insti tute of Chicago.) (©, 1924, Western Newspaper Union.) Lesson for M a y 18 IS A IA H A N D T H E ASSYRIAN CRISIS. ' LESSON T E X T — Isa. 36. 37. GOLDEN T E X T — “ God Is our refuge and strength, a very present help In trouble.\— Ps. 46:1. P R IM A R Y TOPIC— How God A n swered Their Letter. JUNIOR TO P IC— Isaiah and the Boastful Assyrian. IN T E R M E D IA T E AND SENIOR TO P IC— H o w Isaiah’s Faith Saved a City. YOUNG PE O P L E AND AD U L T T O P IC— Isaiah's Service to His Country. I. The King of Assyria Invades Judah (Isa. 36). 1. Rabshakeh Meets a Deputation From Judah (vv. 1-21). ltabshakeh was a representative of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, whose mission was to induce Judah to surrender. In order to accomplish this lie: (1) Tried to bully them into sub mission (vv. 4-0). He taunted them with their weakness and told them that Egypt was a broken reed that would not only fail of support but even pierce the hand that reached out to It. He challenged them by offering 2,000 horses, If they would furnish riders for them. If they could not furnish this small number it would be futile for them to attempt to withstand the great Assyrian army. (2) He asserted that it was use less for them to put their trust in God (v. 10). He even declared that the Lord had sent him to destroy Judah. (3) He tried to create a panic among the people (vv. 13-21). Fear ing a panic among , the people the deputation of the Jews urged Rab shakeh not to speak In the Jews’ language. Taking up the suggestion ae spoke loudly in the Jews’ language, warning them against trusting in Heze- kiali. (4) He promised them plenty in an other land similar to their own (vv. 10, 17). He urged them to make agree ment with him and upon his return from Egypt he would take them to a land of plenty, but the people were loyal to Hezekiali, for they knew that the cruel Assyrians could not be trusted. 2. The Deputation Reports to Heze- idah (v. 22). They rent their garments (j doubtless In fear and dismay over their perilous condition, for the crisis long before predicted by Isaiah had now come upon them. II. Hezekiah’s Behavior (Isa. 37: 1-35), i .i „ „ „ 1. Resorted to the House of the Lord (v. 1). This is a sure resort of> God’s people in time of distress (Ps. 73:16, 17; 77:13). This action was prompted by faith, for God had prom ised that those who in time of distress resorted to His house would be heard by Him (II Chron. 7 :15, 16). 2. Sent Isaiah (vv. 2-7). The logical and natural thing for the king to do under such circumstances was to send for God’s prophet. The prophet sent back words of encouragement to Hezekiali, assuring him that God would bring deliverance. 3. Hezekiah’s Prayer (vv. 14-20). Rabshakeh, who seems to have with drawn from Jerusalem for a little while, now returns from Sennacherib with a letter warning Hezeldah against trusting God for deliverance, assuring him that he would be deceived for no god was able to stand against the As syrian army. He spread the letter be fore tlie Lord and prayed. (1) He recognized God’s throne, making it the ground of his plea (v. 16). (2) He recognized the peril which threatened the people (vv. 17-10). Sennacherib bad indeed laid waste the surrounding nutions, but that ruin re sulted because the gods of the nations were not real. (3) He asked for deliverance (v. 20). He desired that deliverance would come in such a way as to vindi cate and honor the Lord. 4. Isaiah’s Message to Hezeklah (vv. 21-35). (1) That Sennacherib’s sin was blas phemy against the Holy One of Israel (vv. 21-23). (2) That Sennacherib hnd forgotten that he wns an Instrument in God’s hand (vv. 24-28)-. (3) Judgment unon Sennacherib was imminent (vv. 29-35). 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