The Trail Horde

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III A Woman's Eyes THERE had been a day when fillets was but a name, designating a water tank and a railroad siding where panting locomotives, hot and dry from a long run through an arid, sandy desert that stretched westward from the shores of civilization, rested, while begrimed, overalled men adjusted a metal spout which poured refreshing water into gaping reservoirs. In that day Willets sat in the center of a dead, dry section, swathed in isolation so profound that passengers in the coaches turned to one another with awe in their voices and spoke of God and the insignificance of life. But there was a small river near the water tank— the headwaters of the Wolf — or there had been no tank. And a prophet of Business, noting certain natural advantages, had influenced the railroad company to build a corral and a station. From that day Willets became assured of a future. Cattlemen in the Wolf River section began to ship stock from the new station, rather than drive to Red Rock — another shipping point five hundred miles east. From the first it became evident that Willets would not be a boom town. It grew slowly and steadily until its fame began to trickle through to the outside world— though it was a cattle town in the beginning, and a cattle town it would remain all its days. Therefore, because of its slow growth, there were old buildings in Willets. The frame station had an ancient appearance. Its roof sagged in the center, its walls were bulging with weakness. But it stood defiantly flaunting its crimson paint above the wooden platform, a hardy pioneer among the moderns. Business had strayed from the railroad track; it had left the station, the freighthouse, the company corral, and some open sheds, to establish its enterprises one block southward. T...
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