The Jeweled Spur

The Jeweled Spur by Gilbert Morris

Book: The Jeweled Spur by Gilbert Morris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gilbert Morris
I remember him well—Captain Tom Winslow!” He looked around at his two companionsand winked. “This is an army girl, boys. None of your shenanigans, you hear me?” Then he said, “This is Johnny Baker, The Cowboy Kid, and this is Major Frank North. Miss Laurie, get down and I’ll introduce you to the performers.”
    Why he’s the biggest flirt I’ve ever seen! Laurie thought, and it came as a shock to her. But there was no mistaking the way Cody held her arm as he took her around, introducing her to the men who made up his show. I’ll have to tell Dad that Buffalo Bill is a lady killer—or thinks he is!
    Cody waited until last to introduce the Indians who were gathered over to one side of the encampment. He led Laurie up, squeezing her arm and whispering, “Don’t be afraid, little lady. They look fierce, but I’m right here beside you!” He lifted his hand and said, “This is a guest, Running Bear. Miss Laurie Winslow. Miss Laurie, Running Bear is a great Sioux war chief.”
    Running Bear stared at Laurie out of flat black eyes, then said something in his own language. The braves around him laughed and Laurie’s face burned. She had been a great friend of Luis Montoya, her father’s best scout, and he had taught her a great deal of the Sioux language. Running Bear had made a crude joke about her, and without thinking, she responded in his own language, “Does a great chief of the Sioux speak so to a helpless woman?”
    Her words fell like a blow on the Indians, and Running Bear’s eyes opened wide with astonishment. He studied Laurie, then said, “The white woman is wise in the ways of the Sioux. How do you come to speak the language of the People?”
    Colonel Cody stood staring at Laurie while she explained, his eyes filled with admiration. He himself knew only a few words of the Sioux language, and when Laurie finished, he said, “Now, Miss Laurie, that is something! Speak it like one of their own!” He took her arm again and led her to the cook tent, where he sat her at the table, piled her plate high, and told everyone how she’d handled Running Bear.

    “What did the varmint say, Miss Laurie?” Johnny Baker demanded. He was a wiry young man barely twenty, and he had the palest blue eyes Laurie had ever seen.
    “Something no gentleman would say to a lady,” Laurie smiled. “I’m sure you would never say such a thing!”
    “Don’t you believe it,” Cody laughed. “He’s a real ladies’ man, Johnny is.” At that moment he caught a smile on Laurie’s face as she looked at him, which made him falter. “Well, now, about that fine horse of yours, ever race him?”
    “Oh yes,” Laurie nodded. “He’s pretty fast.”
    “How about a race?” Cody asked instantly.
    “I’m not much for betting.”
    “Why, no, Miss Laurie,” Cody protested. “Just for the fun of it.”
    Laurie allowed herself to be persuaded, and after the meal, the cowboys all followed Cody and Laurie. The Sioux came also, and Running Bear asked in his own language, “Can your horse win?”
    “Bet on him!” Laurie said confidently, and the Indians at once began making bets with the cowboys.
    Cody mounted his gray horse and winked at Laurie. “I like to be courteous to women, Miss Laurie, but when I race a hoss, I just plumb have to win!”
    “Do your best, Mr. Cody, but I might make you one little wager.”
    Cody beamed at her. “How much?”
    “Not money. If you win, you can take me to dinner with you after the show.”
    “That will be my pleasure!” Cody beamed.
    “But if I win,” Laurie went on, “I want you to think seriously about a request. I don’t ask for a promise, just that you’ll listen carefully.”
    “Done!” Cody agreed. “We’ll race to those trees over there and back again. Johnny, give the signal—”
    The two riders sat their horses, and when Johnny yelled, “Go!” they both took off at the same moment. Both horseswere fast, but Cody’s was somewhat stronger. He led as they

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