Part of: LUCK
From: Crooked Trails And Straight
Curly was right when he said that those who knew about Sam's share in the
planning of the Tin Cup hold-up would keep their mouths closed. All of the
men implicated in the robbery were dead except Dutch. Cullison used his
influence to get the man a light sentence, for he knew that he was not a
criminal at heart. In return Dutch went down the line without so much as
breathing Sam's name.
Luck saw to it that Curly got all the credit of frustrating the outlaws in
their attempt on the Flyer and of capturing them afterward. In the story
of the rescue of Kate he played up Flandrau's part in the pursuit at the
expense of the other riders. For September was at hand and the young man
needed all the prestige he could get. The district attorney had no choice
but to go on with the case of the State versus Flandrau on a charge of
rustling horses from the Bar Double M. But public sentiment was almost a
unit in favor of the defendant.
The evidence of the prosecution was not so strong as it had been. All of
his accomplices were dead and one of the men implicated had given it out
in his last moments that the young man was not a party to the crime. The
man who had owned the feed corral had sold out and gone to Colorado. The
hotel clerk would not swear positively that the prisoner was the man he
had seen with the other rustlers.
Curly had one important asset no jury could forget. It counted for a good
deal that Alec Flandrau, Billy Mackenzie, and Luck Cullison were known to
be backing him, but it was worth much more that his wife of a week sat
beside him in the courtroom. Every time they looked at the prisoner the
jurymen saw too her dusky gallant little head and slender figure. They
remembered the terrible experience through which she had so recently
passed. She had come through it to happiness. Every look and motion of the
girl wife radiated love for the young scamp who had won her. And since
they were tender-hearted old frontiersmen they did not intend to spoil her
joy. Moreover, society could afford to take chances with this young fellow
Flandrau. He had been wild no doubt, but he had shown since the real stuff
that was in him. Long before they left the box each member of the jury
knew that he was going to vote for acquittal.
It took the jury only one ballot to find a verdict of not guilty. The
judge did not attempt to stop the uproar of glad cheers that shook the
building when the decision was read. He knew it was not the prisoner so
much they were cheering as the brave girl who had sat so pluckily for
three days beside the husband she had made a man.
From the courtroom Curly walked out under the blue sky of Arizona a free
man. But he knew that the best of his good fortune was that he did not go
alone. For all the rest of their lives her firm little steps would move
beside him to keep him true and steady. He could not go wrong now, for he
was anchored to a responsibility that was a continual joy and wonder to
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