From: The Light Of Western Stars
In the whirl of the succeeding days it was a mooted question whether
Madeline's guests or her cowboys or herself got the keenest enjoyment
out of the flying time. Considering the sameness of the cowboys'
ordinary life, she was inclined to think they made the most of the
present. Stillwell and Stewart, however, had found the situation trying.
The work of the ranch had to go on, and some of it got sadly neglected.
Stillwell could not resist the ladies any more than he could resist the
fun in the extraordinary goings-on of the cowboys. Stewart alone kept
the business of cattle-raising from a serious setback. Early and late
he was in the saddle, driving the lazy Mexicans whom he had hired to
relieve the cowboys.
One morning in June Madeline was sitting on the porch with her merry
friends when Stillwell appeared on the corral path. He had not come
to consult Madeline for several days--an omission so unusual as to be
"Here comes Bill--in trouble," laughed Florence.
Indeed, he bore some faint resemblance to a thundercloud as he
approached the porch; but the greetings he got from Madeline's party,
especially from Helen and Dorothy, chased away the blackness from his
face and brought the wonderful wrinkling smile.
"Miss Majesty, sure I'm a sad demoralized old cattleman," he said,
presently. "An' I'm in need of a heap of help."
"What's wrong now?" asked Madeline, with her encouraging smile.
"Wal, it's so amazin' strange what cowboys will do. I jest am about to
give up. Why, you might say my cowboys were all on strike for vacations.
What do you think of that? We've changed the shifts, shortened hours,
let one an' another off duty, hired Greasers, an', in fact, done
everythin' that could be thought of. But this vacation idee growed
worse. When Stewart set his foot down, then the boys begin to get sick.
Never in my born days as a cattleman have I heerd of so many diseases.
An' you ought to see how lame an' crippled an' weak many of the boys
have got all of a sudden. The idee of a cowboy comin' to me with a
sore finger an' askin' to be let off for a day! There's Booly. Now I've
knowed a hoss to fa