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"You can look at the pistol as I hold it," said Walter, in response to the request recorded at the close of the preceding chapter.
"I say," remarked the stranger suddenly, "don't you want to buy a horse?"
"How much do you ask for the horse?" he inquired.
"I want to get her off my hands. Give me fifty dollars, and she's yours."
Walter had a pad in his satchel and a fountain pen in his pocket. He hastily wrote out the following form:
"In consideration of fifty dollars by me received, I give and transfer to Walter Sherwood my roan horse." Here followed a brief description of the animal.
"Now put your name there, and I will hand you the money," said Walter.
"Thank you, stranger! You've got a good bargain."
"I agree to that," said Walter.
"I suppose the horse is sound?" he said inquiringly.
"Sound as a die! Don't you take no trouble about that. It goes to my heart to give her up. Good-by, old gal!"
Walter touched the horse lightly with his whip, and she bounded forward. After a few miles he reached a town of good size. Riding along the main street his attention was drawn to a printed notice in front of a store. It read thus:
"Stolen from the subscriber, on the evening of the twenty-fifth, a roan mare, eight years old and sixteen hands high, with a white mark between the eyes. Answers to the name of Bess. Whoever will return her to the subscriber, or give information that will lead to her recovery, will receive a suitable reward.
"COLONEL RICHARD OWEN, Shelby."
A terrible suspicion entered Walter's mind. He recognized the white mark. Then he called "Bess." The mare half turned her head and whinnied.
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