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Hopalong Cassidy by Clarence E. Mulford

Hopalong Cassidy by Clarence E. Mulford

(Hopalong Cassidy, 3)

The scheme was simple: start a range war between two outfits and rustle their cattle while they were otherwise occupied. And it would have succeeded with any other outfit than the Bar-20.

Book Details

Book Details

The scheme was simple: start a range war between two outfits and rustle their cattle while they were otherwise occupied. And it would have succeeded with any other outfit than the Bar-20.

A range war is brewing between the Bar-20 and the neighboring H2 over water and grass access. Meanwhile, a scheme is being hatched to rustle the cattle from both outfits when the range war gets hot. Hopalong Cassidy leads the line riders from the Bar-20 to stop the range war and stamp out the rustlers on their mesa top stronghold.

Chapter I – Antonio’s Scheme
Chapter II – Mary Meeker Rides North
Chapter III – The Roundup
Chapter IV – In West Arroyo
Chapter V – Hopalong Asserts Himself
Chapter VI – Meeker Is Told
Chapter VII – Hopalong Meets Meeker
Chapter VIII – On The Edge Of The Desert
Chapter IX – On The Peak
Chapter X – Buck Visits Meeker
Chapter XI – Three Is A Crowd
Chapter XII – Hobble Burns And Sleepers
Chapter XIII – Hopalong Grows Suspicious
Chapter XIV – The Compromise
Chapter XV – Antonio Meets Friends
Chapter XVI – The Feint
Chapter XVII – Pete Is Tricked
Chapter XVIII – The Line House Re-captured
Chapter XIX – Antonio Leaves The H2
Chapter XX – What The Dam Told
Chapter XXI – Hopalong Rides South
Chapter XXII – Lucas Visits The Peak
Chapter XXIII – Hopalong And Red Go Scouting
Chapter XXIV – Red’s Discomfiture
Chapter XXV – Antonio’s Revenge
Chapter XXVI – Frisco Visits Eagle
Chapter XXVII – Shaw Has Visitors
Chapter XXVIII – Nevada Joins Shaw
Chapter XXIX – Surrounded
Chapter XXX – Up The Wall
Chapter XXXI – Fortune Snickers At Doc
Chapter XXXII – Nature Takes A Hand
Chapter XXXIII – Doc Trails
Chapter XXXIV – Discoveries
Chapter XXXV – Johnny Takes The Hut
Chapter XXXVI – The Last Night
Chapter XXXVII – Their Last Fight
Chapter XXXVIII – A Disagreeable Task
Chapter XXXIX – Thirst
Chapter XL – Changes
Chapter XLI – Hopalong’s Reward

HopalongCasidy4 Hopalong Cassidy by Clarence E. Mulford

Clarence Edward Mulford (1883–1956) was the creator of the character Hopalong Cassidy, one of the most well known Western characters of all time.

Mulford was born in Streator, Illinois. He created Hopalong Cassidy in 1904 while living in Fryeburg, Maine.

Hopalong Cassidy contains 5 illustrations by Maynard Dixon as published in the original 1910 edition.


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Excerpt: Hopalong Cassidy

Chapter I

Antonio’s Scheme

THE raw and mighty West, the greatest stage in all the history of the world for so many deeds of daring which verged on the insane, was seared and cross-barred with grave-lined trails and dotted with presumptuous, mushroom towns of brief stay, whose inhabitants flung their primal passions in the face of humanity and laughed in condescending contempt at what humanity had to say about it. In many localities the real bad-man, the man of the gun, whose claims to the appellation he was ready to prove against the rancorous doubting of all comers, made history in a terse and business-like way, and also made the first law for the locality—that of the gun.

There were good bad-men and bad bad-men, the killer by necessity and the wanton murderer; and the shifting of these to their proper strata evolved the foundation for the law of to-day. The good bad-men, those in whose souls lived the germs of law and order and justice, gradually became arrayed against the other class, and stood up manfully for their principles, let the odds be what they might; and bitter, indeed, was the struggle, and great the price.

From the gold camps of the Rockies to the shrieking towns of the coast, where wantonness stalked unchecked; from the vast stretches of the cattle ranges to the ever-advancing terminals of the persistent railroads, to the cow towns, boiling and seething in the loosed passions of men who brooked no restraint in their revels, no one section of country ever boasted of such numbers of genuine bad-men of both classes as the great, semi-arid Southwest. Here was one of the worst collections of raw humanity ever broadcast in one locality; here the crack of the gun would have sickened except that moralists were few and the individual so calloused and so busy in protecting his own life and wiping out his own scores that he gave no heed to the sum total of the killings; it was a word and a shot, a shot and a laugh or a curse.

In this red setting was stuck a town which we will call Eagle, the riffle which caught all the dregs of passing humanity, where men danced as souls were freed. Unmapped, known only to those who had visited it, it reared its flimsy buildings in the face of God and rioted day and night with no thought of reckoning; mad, insane with hellishness unlimited.

Late in the afternoon of a glorious day towards this town rode Antonio, “broncho-buster” for the H2, a Mexican of little courage, much avarice, and great capacity for hatred. Crafty, filled with cunning of the coyote kind, shifty-eyed, gloomy, taciturn, and scowling, he was well fitted for the part he had elected to play in the range dispute between his ranch and the Bar-20. He was absolutely without mercy or conscience; indeed, one might aptly say that his conscience, if he had ever known one, had been pulled out by the roots and its place filled with viciousness. Cold-blooded in his ferocity, easily angered and quick to commit murder if the risk were small, he embraced within his husk of soul the putrescence of all that was evil.

In Eagle he had friends who were only a shade less evil than himself; but they had what he lacked and because of it were entitled to a forced respect of small weight—they had courage, that spontaneous, initiative, heedless courage which toned the atmosphere of the whole West to a magnificent crimson. Were it not for the reason that they had drifted to his social level they would have spurned his acquaintance and shot him for a buzzard; but, while they secretly held him in great contempt for his cowardice, they admired his criminal cunning, and profited by it. He was too wise to show himself in the true light to his foreman and the outfit, knowing full well that death would be the response, and so lived a lie until he met his friends of the town, when he threw off his cloak and became himself, and where he plotted against the man who treated him fairly.

Riding into the town, he stopped before a saloon and slouched in to the bar, where the proprietor was placing a new stock of liquors on the shelves.

“Where’s Benito, an’ th’ rest?” he asked.

“Back there,” replied the other, nodding toward a rear room.

“Who’s in there?”

“Benito, Hall, Archer an’ Frisco.”

“Where’s Shaw?”

“Him an’ Clausen an’ Cavalry went out ’bout ten minutes ago.”

“I want to see ’em when they come in,” Antonio remarked, shambling towards the door, where he listened, and then went in.

In the small room four men were grouped around a table, drinking and talking, and at his entry they looked up and nodded. He nodded in reply and seated himself apart from them, where he soon became wrapped in thought.

Benito arose and went to the door. “Mescal, pronto,” he said to the man outside.

“D——d pronto, too,” growled Antonio. “A man would die of alkali in this place before he’s waited on.”

The proprietor brought a bottle and filled the glasses, giving Antonio his drink first, and silently withdrew.

The broncho-buster tossed off the fiery stuff and then turned his shifty eyes on the group. “Where’s Shaw?”

“Don’t know—back soon,” replied Benito.

“Why didn’t he wait, when he knowed I was comin’ in?”

Hall leaned back from the table and replied, keenly watching the inquisitor, “Because he don’t give a d—n.”

“You——!” shouted the Mexican, half arising, but the others interfered and he sank back again, content to let it pass. But not so Hall, whose Colt was half drawn.

“I’ll kill you some day, you whelp,” he gritted, but before anything could come of it Shaw and his companions entered the room and the trouble was quelled.

Soon the group was deep in discussion over the merits of a scheme which Antonio unfolded to them, and the more it was weighed the better it appeared. Finally Shaw leaned back and filled his pipe. “You’ve got th’ brains of th’ devil, ‘Tony.”

“Eet ees not’ing,” replied Antonio.

“Oh, drop that lingo an’ talk straight—you ain’t on th’ H2 now,” growled Hall.

“Benito, you know this country like a book,” Shaw continued. “Where’s a good place for us to work from, or ain’t there no choice?”

“Thunder Mesa.”

“Well, what of it?”

“On de edge of de desert, high, beeg. De walls are stone, an’ so ver’ smooth. Nobody can get up.”

“How can we get up then?”

“There’s a trail at one end,” replied Antonio, crossing his legs and preparing to roll a cigarette. “It’s too steep for cayuses, an’ too narrow; but we can crawl up. An’ once up, all h—l can’t follow as long as our cartridges hold out.”

Excerpt From: Clarence E. Mulford. “Hopalong Cassidy.”

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