The Man Called Noon: A Novel
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In one swift moment, a fall wiped away his memory. All he knew for certain was that someone wanted him dead—and that he had better learn why. But everywhere he turned there seemed to be more questions—or people too willing to hide the truth behind a smoke screen of lies. He had only the name he had been told was his own, his mysterious skill with a gun, and a link to a half million dollars’ worth of buried gold as evidence of his past life. Was the treasure his? Was he a thief? A killer? He didn’t have the answers, but he needed them soon. Because what he still didn’t know about himself, others did—and if he didn’t unlock the secret of his past, he wasn’t going to have much of a future.
searched about, found a small drawer of medical supplies, and bandaged the wound again. It was healing fast, and a bandage would soon not be needed. A bandage attracts attention, and he hoped he could do without it before he reached El Paso. Finding a carpetbag in the closet, he packed a suit, several shirts, and a few other necessary items; then he went out to the stable, stripped the gear from the dun, and turned it loose. At the mirror he trimmed the several days’ growth of beard, and sat
get that coat?” Her voice was suddenly cold. “That is my brother’s coat, Dean’s coat. I was with him when he chose the material.” “It is? All I knew was that it was not mine. I must have taken it by mistake.” “You don’t know?” “No.” He touched his head. “I was struck on the head. I believe I tried to escape from somewhere after I was struck, and I must have caught up a coat from where mine was hanging.” “Where was this?” “Northwest of here…quite a way off.…You spoke of Ruble Noon. Did your
be high enough to see the cabin and the corral, which meant the pinnacle opposite, or the ridge to the west. What worried him was that somebody obviously had learned something about the working methods of Ruble Noon, for they had known of the ranch near El Paso, and they had discovered this place, probably by working out from the lonely station. Or had they a clearly marked map of his hide-outs? Might not any place he chose to go be watched? If they knew more about him than he himself could
line, he entered the trees at a spot where there was no snow. Glancing back, he could see no trail behind him, but he knew he must have left one. He worked his way up toward the crest of the ridge, which was several hundred feet higher than the meadow. When he had climbed almost halfway he stopped to get his breath. He was high up, and the altitude as well as his wound was getting him. Crouching close to a deadfall where he could watch the way he had climbed, he got out his handkerchief and
looked at it after they left, and it was a map of the rancho of Señor Davidge. It showed this place, and I hear one man say, ‘That must be where they go.’ And another say, ‘Then it is there.’ And then they all go to their horses to ride. “Henneker, he knows of this place, and he told me how to get here fast by the old outlaw trail, and I came. They are close behind me.” Ruble Noon turned quickly. “Fan…go into the tree house and search it. And see if there’s a way out. Lebo, duck into the rocks