Actions speak louder than words.

The few buildings in Gunsight appeared as though a curtain were slowly rising and finally stood revealed in their entirety. The sun rose and threw soft, delicate shadows from the bases of all standing objects, too weak to mark their patterns far, melting into oblivion.[295] A door slammed, sounding irreverent and out of place, and from the hotel chimney curled a timid wisp of smoke, this way and that, finally climbing straight up and losing its identity against the gray-blue of the sky, while its supporting column twisted and turned and danced as it hurried to self-effacement. Dailey’s chimney sent up a skirmishing film, which died out; and then, as if in stalwart support of the fainting advance, there came a darker, thicker column, telling all who cared to read that Dailey put his trust in kerosene. The hotel door opened, causing a quick movement of Big Tom’s rifle, and George, sleepy and unpleasant in looks and disposition, glanced idly around and went back again. From far off in the west the quavering, long-drawn wail of a coyote, mercifully tempered by distance, arose to greet the rising sun. Birds sang with delirious abandon and the soft noises in grass and sand and brush told of a waking world. In the vague grayness of the hotel, framed by the open door, something moved, steadily growing plainer and soon took the form of a towel in the hands of George, who drove winged pests before him and, with a final, frenzied waving, took hold of the door and slammed it shut. As it closed Big Tom relaxed, eased his hold on the rifle and reached back to remove a stone which was beginning to assert its presence under him to his growing discomfort. Turning his head, he looked back, and froze, his groping fingers rigid. Ten feet behind him and to his right was the black muzzle of a heavy rifle, and behind that a pair of gray-blue eyes regarded him malevolently through narrow slits in the bronzed face. For a tense, appre[296]ciable interval eyes looked into eyes, and then the foreman squirmed.

The few buildings in Gunsight appeared as though a curtain were slowly rising and finally stood revealed in their entirety. The sun rose and threw soft, delicate shadows from the bases of all standing objects, too weak to mark their patterns far, melting into oblivion.[295] A door slammed, sounding irreverent and out of place, and from the hotel chimney curled a timid wisp of smoke, this way and that, finally climbing straight up and losing its identity against the gray-blue of the sky, while its supporting column twisted and turned and danced as it hurried to self-effacement. Dailey’s chimney sent up a skirmishing film, which died out; and then, as if in stalwart support of the fainting advance, there came a darker, thicker column, telling all who cared to read that Dailey put his trust in kerosene. The hotel door opened, causing a quick movement of Big Tom’s rifle, and George, sleepy and unpleasant in looks and disposition, glanced idly around and went back again. From far off in the west the quavering, long-drawn wail of a coyote, mercifully tempered by distance, arose to greet the rising sun. Birds sang with delirious abandon and the soft noises in grass and sand and brush told of a waking world. In the vague grayness of the hotel, framed by the open door, something moved, steadily growing plainer and soon took the form of a towel in the hands of George, who drove winged pests before him and, with a final, frenzied waving, took hold of the door and slammed it shut. As it closed Big Tom relaxed, eased his hold on the rifle and reached back to remove a stone which was beginning to assert its presence under him to his growing discomfort. Turning his head, he looked back, and froze, his groping fingers rigid. Ten feet behind him and to his right was the black muzzle of a heavy rifle, and behind that a pair of gray-blue eyes regarded him malevolently through narrow slits in the bronzed face. For a tense, appre[296]ciable interval eyes looked into eyes, and then the foreman squirmed.

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