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Eleven-year-old twins, Paul and Patty Gates laid on grass on the north bank of the Rio Hondo, a few feet from water. An old sway back plow horse stood close by eating grass. “Put your socks and shoes on Patty, we’d better ride a few miles before sunup. We’ll get to Picacho after a bit, I hope.”

As she slipped on those long, mid-calf socks and shoes she asked, “Do you think it would be alright if I ate just a half piece of jerky? I’m so hungry. Sorry I ate all the food.”

“A half will be alright, and drink lots of water. That will help your hunger. We don’t know how much farther we have to go. Someone will tell us along the way.”

Paul led the horse over by a short dirt bank and helped Patty on that then upon that horse’s bareback. He climbed on in front of her and tapped his heals to the horse’s sides, “Let’s go Molly.”

With her arms around his waist, Pattie asked, “Paul, what will happen to Daddy if we can’t find Marshal Shorty? Can Mama, I mean can we live without him?”

“Patty, we’ll find Marshal Shorty, I promise. And in plenty of time, wait and see.” They turned west on that stage road.









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