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Eight miles east of the Cibolo ranch-house Ranse loosened the pressure of his knees, and Vaminos stopped under a big ratama tree.

No sentimentality there, in spite of the moonlight, the odour of the ratamas, and the admirable figure of Ranse Truesdell, the lover.

After striking dry country Ranse had removed the wagon sheet from the bows and thrown it over the goods in the wagon.

Soon, mounted on Vaminos, Ranse leaned in the saddle, pressed with his knees, and galloped eastward past the store, where sat Sam trying his guitar in the moonlight.

Did you ever wake up a lion, Ranse, with the mistaken idea that he would be a kitten?

Curly was sitting on his blankets in the San Gabriel camp cursing talentedly when Ranse Truesdell rode up and dismounted on the next afternoon.

Much benefit might accrue to educators and moralists if they could know the details of the curriculum of reclamation through which Ranse put his waif during the month that he spent in the San Gabriel camp.

And then Ranse furnished Curly with mounts and saddle and equipment, and turned him over to Buck Rabb, instructing him to finish the job.

There was always something slimy involved in his dealings, though Ranse ignored that as much as he could.

But his steel gray eyes were hard and cold, and Ranse felt them stab into him like twin needles.

He wanted Ranse to secure those drugs for them, if somebody stumbled across them.

With wicked amusement, Ranse Cole sent them out to meet Lena McCarver.

He only wagged his tail and found a more comfortable position in his dog-house, as Ranse tiptoed to the privet-lined chain-link fence between the properties and peered out through the thick foliage.

One thing Ranse knew beyond question was that Shipp was straight, so this was no set-up.

Now how did a redneck like Ranse Cole ever think of hacking into bank and government records?