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Page 152

CHAPTER 10 - THE TRAP

" O.K. brothers, get your hands up, and don't try anythin'. I've got you cold."
The three swung round, to find themselves gazing at Bill's gun. He had come silently from cover. From the other side of the outcrop Ned and Jake came swiftly. They, too had their Colts levelled.
It was easy, far easier than Bill had expected. The Bruce outfit weren't needed after all, though he couldn't have anticipated that. Tuck and Jeb put up their hands.
" What's the game ?" growled Tuck. " Who the heck are you ? "
" Rangers," replied Bill briefly, this being the show-down. " What you doin' with that wire, Werner ? Sure, you needn't explain-you hid it up here, or rather the boy did, and you were aimin' to use it, on Indian Range beasts. You've tripped up, mister. We were waitin' for you."
Others came up now, Bruce himself in the lead. Tuck started in to talk, pulling a story that Bud had found the wire that morning, had reported to him and he had brought the boy and Jeb along to investigate, hoping to grab the rustlers in the act. It was a yarn not likely to be believed, though smart work at such short notice.
Old man Bruce's mouth was set hard as he stared at Tuck and Jeb.
" Guess you'll have to think o' somethin' better than that," he rasped. " This ain't the first time you've rustled cattle, Schultz," he added.
Jeb's narrow face contorted. He spat out an oath. Bill interrupted him.
" We've got you taped-Schy Hunt," he said quietly. " You were recognised, brother. You've got a record for rustlin'."

Page 153

CHAPTER 10 - THE TRAP

Tuck's face was working, Jeb was staring at Bill with hate in his eyes. Bud was cringing, moistening dry lips with his tongue.
But then, before anything else could be said, from far away there came a sudden glow in the sky, a glow that flickered ominously, grew dim for a moment but then flared up again brighter than ever. Fire had broken out somewhere. . . .
Bruce grabbed Bill's arm. The Indian Range ranch-house lay in the direction from which the glow

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