en-fr  Hearts and Crosses (1913)
Cœurs et croix (1913).

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter, 1862-1910).

BALDY WOODS TENTAIT DE BOIRE QUELQUE CHOSE, et l'obtenait. Quand Baldy voulait quelque chose, il l'obtenait généralement. Il—mais ce n'est pas l'histoire de Baldy. Maintenant, il prit son troisième verre, qui était plus grand que le premier et le second. Baldy avait écouté les problèmes d'un ami. Maintenant, Baldy allait dire à son ami quoi faire. Donc, l'ami lui payait les boissons. C'était la bonne chose à faire pour l'ami.

— Je voudrais être roi si j'étais toi, déclara Baldy. Il le disait à voix haute et clairement.

Webb Yeager remit son large chapeau sur sa tête. Il mit ses doigts dans sa chevelure blonde et la déplaca. Il avait l'air plus sauvage qu'auparavant. Mais cela ne l'aida pas à mieux réfléchir. Et donc, il eût également un autre verre.

— Si un homme épouse une reine, ça ne le change en rien, dit Webb. C'est son véritable problème.

— Sûrement pas, répondit Baldy. Tu devrais être roi. Mais tu n'es que le prince consort. C'est ce qui arrive à tout homme en Europe s'il épouse la fille du roi. Sa femme devient une reine. Mais est-il roi ? Non. Son seul devoir est d'apparaître avec la reine sur les photos. Et d'être le père du prochain roi. Ce n'est pas juste. Oui, Webb, tu n'es que le mari de la reine. Et si j'étais toi, je bouleverserai tout et je serai roi.

Baldy termina sa boisson

— Baldy, déclara Webb, — tu et moi avons été cowboys ensemble pendant des années. Nous avons piétiné les mêmes routes depuis que nous sommes très jeunes. Je ne parlerais de ma famille qu'à toi. Tu travaillais au Nopalito Ranch (ou Ranch Nopalito) lorsque j'ai épousé Santa McAllister. J'étais alors contremaître. Mais qu'est-ce que je suis maintenant ? Rien.

Lorsque le vieux McAllister était le roi du bétail de l'ouest du Texas, continua Baldy, tu étais quelqu'un. Tu disais aux gens ce qu'il fallait faire. Tes ordres étaient aussi puissants que les sien .

— C'était le cas, approuva Webb, jusqu'à ce qu'il ait découvert que je voulais me marier avec Santa. Puis il m'envoya aussi loin que possible du ranch. Quand le vieil homme mourut, ils commencèrent à appeler Santa la « reine du bétail ». Maintenant, je dis au bétail ce qu'il faut faire. C'est tout. Elle s'occupe de toutes les affaires. Elle s'occupe de tout l'argent. Je ne peux pas vendre de bétail... pas un seul animal. Santa est la reine, et je ne suis rien.

— Je serais roi si j'étais toi, déclara Baldy Woods à nouveau. Quand un homme se marie avec une reine, il devrait l'être comme elle. Beaucoup de gens pensent que c'est étrange, Webb. Tes mots ne signifient rien au Nopalito Ranch. Mme Yeager est une belle petite dame. Mais un homme devrait être le chef de sa propre maison.

Le visage mate de Webb s'allongea avec tristesse. Avec cette expression, ses cheveux blonds rebelles et ses yeux bleus, il ressemblait à un écolier qui avait perdu sa suprematie envers un autre garçon fort. Pourtant, son grand corps semblait trop fort pour qu'une telle chose lui arrive.

— Je retourne au ranch aujourd'hui, déclara-t-il. Il était facile de voir qu'il ne voulait pas y aller. Je dois lancer un troupeau sur la route de San Antonio demain matin.

— J'irai avec toi jusqu'à Dry Lake, déclara Baldy.

Les deux amis s'emparèrent de leurs chevaux et quittèrent la petite ville où ils s'etaient rencontrés ce jour là.

À Dry Lake, ils s'arrêtèrent pour se dire au revoir. Ils avaient parcouru des kilomètres sans parler. Mais au Texas, la discussion est rarement continue. (plus léger traduit ainsi) Beaucoup de choses peuvent se produire entre les paroles. Mais lorsque vous recommencez à parler, vous parlez encore de la même chose. Du coup Webb ajouta quelque chose à la conversation qui avait commencé à dix milles ailleurs.

— Tu te souviens, Baldy, il fut un temps où Santa était différent. Tu te souviens des jours où le vieux McAllister m'éloignait du ranch. Tu te souviens comment elle m'envoyait un signal qu'elle voulait me voir ? Le vieux McAllister disait qu'il me tuerait si j'étais suffisamment proche. Tu te souviens du signal qu'elle envoyait, BALDY ? Le dessin d'un coeur avec une croix à l'intérieur ?

— Moi ? S'écria Baldy. Bien sûr, je me souviens. Chaque cow-boy du ranch connaissait ce signe du cœur et de la croix. On les voyait sur les choses envoyées par le ranch. On les voyait sur n'importe quoi. C'etait sur les journaux. Sur les boîtes de nourriture. Une fois, je les ai vu sur le dos de la chemise d'un cuisinier que McAllister envoyait du ranch.

— Le père de Santa lui avait fait promettre qu'elle ne m'écrirait pas ou ne m'enverait aucun mot. Ce signal de cœur et de croix était son plan. Quand elle voulait me voir, elle mettrait cette marque sur quelque chose qu'elle savait que je verrais. Et quand je le (le signal) voyais, je me rendais rapidement au le ranch ce même soir. Je la rencontrais à l'extérieur de la maison.

— Nous le savions tous, déclara Baldy. Mais nous n'avons jamais rien dit. Nous voulions que tu épouses Santa. Nous savions pourquoi tu avais ce cheval rapide. Lorsqu'on voyait le cœur et la croix sur quelque chose du ranch, on savait toujours que ton cheval irait vite cette nuit-là.

— La dernière fois que Santa m'a envoyé le signal, déclara Webb, c'était quand elle était malade. Quand je l'ai vu, je suis monté sur mon cheval et j'ai pris la route. C'était un trajet de quarante-mille. Elle n'était pas à notre lieu de rendez-vous. Je suis allé dans la maison. Le vieux McAllister me rencontra à la porte. — Êtes-vous venu ici pour être tué ? Dit-il. Je ne vous tuerai pas ce coup-ci. J'allais vous faire venir. Santa vous veut. Allez dans cette chambre la voir. Et ensuite, venez ici me voir.

— Santa était couchée dans son lit très malade. Mais elle sourit et mit sa main dans la mienne, et je me suis assis près du lit boueux et de ma tenue d'équitation et de tout. — Je pouvais t'entendre arriver depuis des heures, Webb, dit-elle. J'étais sûr que tu viendrais. Tu as vu le signal ? — Je l'ai vu, dis-je. C'est notre signal, dit-elle. Des coeurs et des croix. Aimer et souffrir, c'est ce qu'ils veulent dire.

Et le vieux Docteur Musgrove était là. Et Santa s'endort et le docteur Musgrove touche son visage et il me dit : — Vous êtes bien pour elle. Mais partez maintenant. La petite dame ira bien au reveil.

— Le vieux McAllister était devant sa chambre. — Elle dort, dis-je. Et maintenant, vous pouvez commencer à me tuer. Vous avez amplement le temps. Je n'ai rien à combattre.

Le vieux McAllister rit, et il me dit : — Tuer le meilleur contremaître de l'ouest du Texas n'est pas bon pour les affaires. Je ne sais pas où je pourrais trouver un autre bon contremaître. Je ne vous veux pas dans la famille. Mais je peux vous utiliser au Nopalito si vous restez loin du ranch. -- Vous montez et dormez, et après nous allons parler.'

Les deux hommes se préparaient à se séparer. Ils se serrèrent la main.

— Au revoir Baldy, dit Webb. Je suis heureux de t'avoir vu et d'avoir eu cette conversation.

Avec une precipiration soudaine, les deux cavaliers étaient en route.

Puis Baldy s'arrêta et cria.

Webb se tourna.

— Si j'étais toi, revint la voix forte de Baldy, je serais roi !

À huit heures du matin, Bud Turner descendit de cheval au ranch Nopalito. Bud était le cow-boy qui prenait le bétail pour San Antonio. Mme Yeager était à l'extérieur de la maison, arrosant des fleurs.

À bien des égards, Santa était comme son père, « le Roi » McAllister. Elle était sûre de tout. Elle n'avait peur de rien. Elle était fière. Mais Santa ressemblait à sa mère. Elle avait un corps fort et une beauté douce. Parce qu'elle était une femme, ses manières étaient féminines. Elle aimait être reine, comme son père avait aimé être roi.

Webb se tenait près d'elle, donnant des ordres à deux ou trois cow-boys.

— Bonjour, dit Bud. Où voulez-vous que le bétail se rende ? Chez Barber's comme d'habitude ? La reine répondait toujours à une telle question. Toutes les affaires, achat, vente et services bancaires, étaient tenues entre ses mains. Les soins du bétail revenaient à son mari. Lorsque « le Roi » McAllister était vivant, Santa était sa secrétaire et son aide. Elle avait poursuivi son travail et son travail avait porté ses fruits. Mais avant qu'elle ne puisse répondre, le mari de la reine parla : — Vous conduisez ces troupeaux chez Zimmerman et Nesbit. J'ai parlé à Zimmerman à ce sujet.

Bud se tourna, prêt à partir.

— Attendez ! Appela Santa rapidement. Elle regarda son mari avec de la surprise dans ses yeux gris.

— Que voulez-vous dire, Webb ? Demanda-t-elle. Je ne traite jamais avec Zimmerman et Nesbit. Barber a acheté tous les bovins de ce ranch depuis cinq ans. Je ne vais pas changer.

Elle dit à Bud Turner: « Prenez ces bovins à Barber ».

Bud ne regardait ni l'un ni l'autre. Il restait planté là à attendre.

— Je veux que ces bovins partent chez Zimmerman et Nesbit, retorqua Webb. Il y avait une lumière froide dans ses yeux bleus.

— C'est l'heure du depart, déclara Santa à Bud. Dites à Barber que nous aurons plus de bétail prêt dans environ un mois. Bud s'autorisa à tourner les yeux et de rencontrer ceux de Webb.

« Vous prenez ces bovins », déclara Webb, « à »— « Barber », déclara Santa rapidement. N'en parlons plus. « Qu'attendez-vous, Bud ? ».

« Rien », dit Bud. Mais il ne se pressa pas de partir, car l'homme est l'allié de l'homme, et il n'aimait pas ce qui s'était passé.

— Vous avez entendu ce qu'elle a dit, cria Webb. On fait ce qu'elle ordonne. Il ôta son chapeau et fit une grande révérence avec, touchant le sol.

— Webb, dit Santa, qu'est ce qui ne va pas avec toi aujourd'hui ?
— Je suis le fou de la reine, dit Webb. À quoi t'attendre ? Laisse moi te dire. J'étais un homme avant de me marier avec une reine du bétail. Que suis-je à présent ? Quelque chose pour faire rire les cow-boys. Mais je vais redevenir un homme.

Santa le regarda.

— Sois raisonnable, Webb, dit-elle calmement. Il n'y a rien de mal. Tu prends soin du bétail. Je m'occupe des affaires. Tu comprends le bétail. Je comprends mieux les affaires que toi. J'ai appris cela de mon père.

— Je n'aime pas les rois et les reines, déclara Webb, sauf si je suis l'un d'eux moi-même. D'accord. C'est ton ranch. Barber obtient le bétail.

Le cheval de Webb était attaché près de la maison. Il entra dans la maison et sortit les fournitures qu'il prenait sur de longues chevauchées. Il commenca à les attacher sur son cheval. Santa le suivit. Son visage était pâle.

Webb monta sur son cheval. Il n'y avait aucune expression sur son visage, sauf une lumière étrange brûlant dans ses yeux.

— Il y a du bétail au point d'eau de Hondo, déclara-t-il. Ils doivent être déplacés. Des animaux sauvages ont tué trois d'entre eux. J'ai oublié de dire à Sims de le faire. Tu lui diras.

Santa posa une main sur le cheval et regarda son mari dans les yeux.

— Est-ce que tu vas me quitter, Webb ? Demanda-t-elle calmement.

— Je vais redevenir un homme, répondit-il.

— Je te souhaite de réussir, dit-elle avec une froideur soudaine. Elle se retourna et entra dans la maison.

Webb Yeager alla au sud-est aussi droit qu'il pouvait aller. Et quand il arriva à l'endroit où le ciel et la terre semblent se rencontrer, il avait disparu. Ceux du Nopalito ne savent plus rien de lui.

Les jours passèrent, puis les semaines, puis les mois. Mais Webb Yeager ne revenait pas.

Un jour, un homme nommé Bartholomew, pas un homme important, s'arrêta au ranch Nopalito. Il était midi et il avait faim. Il s'assit à la table du dîner. Pendant qu'il mangeait, il parlait.

— Mme. Yeager, dit-il, j'ai vu un homme au ranch Seco avec votre nom. Webb Yeager. Il était le contremaître là-bas. C'était un homme grand aux cheveux blonds. Pas un bavard. Quelqu'un de votre famille ?
— Un mari, déclara Santa. C'est bien pour le Seco ranch. M.Yeager est le meilleur contremaître de l'Ouest. Tout se passait bien au Nopalito Ranch.

Durant plusieurs années, ils travaillèrent au Nopalito avec un type différent de bétail. Ces bovins provenaient d'Angleterre, et ils étaient meilleurs que les bovins habituels du Texas. Ils avaient réussi au Ranch Nopalito, et les hommes d'autres ranchs s'y intéressaient.

En conséquence, un jour, un cow-boy arriva au Ranch Nopalito et donna à la reine cette lettre : Mme Yeager- Le Nopalito Ranch : Les propriétaires du Seco Ranch m'ont dit d'acheter 100 de vos bovins anglais. Si vous pouvez les vendre au Seco, envoyez-les à l'attention de l'homme qui apporte cette lettre. Nous vous enverrons ensuite l'argent.

Webb Yeager, contremaître du Seco Ranch.

Les affaires sont les affaires pour une reine comme pour les autres. Cette nuit-là, les 100 bovins furent déplacés près du ranch, prêts pour un départ de bonne heure le lendemain matin.

Quand la nuit vint et que la maison fut calme, Santa Yeager pleura-t-elle seule ? A-t-elle tenu cette lettre près de son cœur ? Est-ce qu'elle a dit le nom qu'elle était trop fière pour dire pendant plusieurs semaines ? Ou a-t-elle placé la lettre avec d'autres lettres d'affaires, dans son bureau ?

Demandez si vous voulez, mais il n'y a pas de réponse. Ce qu'une reine fait, c'est quelque chose qu'on ne sait pas toujours. Mais ceci vous sera dit : Au milieu de la nuit, Santa sortit tranquillement du ranch. Elle était vêtue de sombre. Elle s'arrêta un instant sous un arbre. C'était la pleine lune, un oiseau chantait et les fleurs embaumaient. Santa tourna son visage vers le sud-est et envoya trois baisers dans cette direction pendant que personne ne pouvait la voir.

Puis elle se dirigea discrètement vers un petit bâtiment. Nous ne pouvons qu'imaginer ce qu'elle y fit. Mais on voyait la lumière rouge d'un feu et entendait du bruit comme si Cupidon fabriquait ses flèches.

Ensuite, elle sortit tenant un étrange outil en fer à la main. Dans l'autre main, elle portait quelque chose qui facilite un petit feu. À la lueur du clair de lune, elle se dépêchait vers l'enclos où le bétail anglais avait été rassemblé.

Ce bétail anglais était en général rouge foncé. Mais au milieu de ces cent bêtes une seule était blanche comme du lait.
Et alors, Santa attrapa l'animal blanc comme les cowboys le font avec le bétail. Elle fit une première tentative et échoua. Puis elle réessaya et l'animal tomba lourdement. Santa courut vers lui mais l'animal se remit debout.

Elle essaya à nouveau et cette fois-ci elle réussit. L'animal retomba à terre. Avant qu'il ait pu se relever, elle lui avait lié les pattes ensemble.

Puis elle courut vers le petit feu qu'elle avait apporté. Et y prit l'étrange instrument en fer. Il était chauffé à blanc.

L'animal hurla lorsque le fer chauffé à blanc lui brûla la peau. Mais personne ne sembla avoir entendu. Tout était calme dans le ranch. Et dans les profondeurs de cette nuit calme, Sandra retourna vers le ranch et se mit au lit. Elle laissa ses larmes couler comme si les reines avaient un cœur comme celui des épouses de fermier et comme si le mari d'une reine pouvait devenir roi, s'il revenait.

Dans la matinée, le jeune homme qui avait apporté la lettre se mit en route vers le ranch Seco. Il avait des cowboys avec lui pour l'aider à convoyer le troupeau de bétail anglais. C'était un voyage de six jours sur quatre-vingt-dix milles.

Les animaux arrivèrent au ranch Seco un soir au moment du crépuscule. Ils furent réceptionnés et comptés par le contremaître du ranch.

Le lendemain matin à huit heures, un cavalier arriva au ranch Napolito. Il descendit péniblement de cheval et marcha vers la maison. Son cheval poussa un grand soupir, laissa tomber sa tête et ferma les yeux.

Mais ne soyez pas désolé pour Belshazzar, le cheval. Aujourd'hui, il vit heureusement au Nopalito, où il reçoit le meilleur soin et la meilleure nourriture. Aucun autre cheval n'a jamais porté un homme pour un tel trajet.

Le cavalier entra dans la maison. Deux bras encerclèrent son cou, et quelqu'un cria avec à la fois la voix de la femme et de la reine : — Webb, oh, Webb ! — J'ai eu tort, déclara Webb Yeager. Je suis un...et il nomma un petit animal avec une mauvaise odeur, un animal que personne n'aime.

— Silence, dit Santa. — L'as-tu vu ? — Je l'ai vu, déclara Webb.

De quoi parlaient-ils ? Peut-être pouvez-vous deviner, si vous avez lu attentivement l'histoire.

Sois la reine du bétail, déclara Webb. Oublie ce que j'ai fait, si tu le peux. J'avais tort lorsque... — Chut ! Dit encore Santa en posant ses doigts sur sa bouche. Il n'y a aucune reine ici. Sais-tu qui je suis ? Je suis Santa Yeager, Première Dame de la Chambre. Viens ici.

Elle le conduisit dans une chambre Il y avait un petit lit de bébé. Et dans le lit se trouvait un bébé, un beau bébé riant, parlant avec des mots que personne ne pouvait comprendre.

Il n'y a pas de reine dans ce ranch, déclara Santa à nouveau. Regarde le roi. Il a tes yeux, Webb. Mets-toi à genoux et regarde le roi.

Il y eut un bruit de pas à l'extérieur et Bud Turner fut là à la porte. Il posa la même question qu'il avait posée il y a presque un an.

— Bonjour. Dois-je conduire ces bovins chez Barber, ou ... Il vit Webb et s'arrêta, la bouche ouverte.

—Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba! écria le roi en agitant les bras.

— Vous entendez ce qu'il dit, Bud, dit Webb Yeager. Nous faisons ce que le roi ordonne.

Et c'est tout, à l'exception d'une chose. Lorsque le vieux Quinn, propriétaire du ranch Seco, alla inspecter son nouveau bétail anglais, il demanda à son nouveau contremaître : — Quelle est la marque du ranch Nopalito ? — X sur Y, repondit Wilson.

— Je le pensais aussi, déclara Quinn. Mais regardez cet animal blanc là-bas. Elle a une autre marque... un cœur avec une croix à l'intérieur. De qui est cette marque ?
unit 1
Hearts and Crosses (1913).
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 2
O. Henry (William Sidney Porter, 1862-1910).
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 3
BALDY WOODS REACHED FOR A DRINK, and got it.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 4
When Baldy wanted something, he usually got it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 5
He—but this is not Baldy’s story.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 6
Now he took his third drink, which was larger than the first and the second.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 7
Baldy had been listening to the troubles of a friend.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 8
Now Baldy was going to tell his friend what to do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 9
So the friend was buying him the drinks.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 10
This was the right thing for the friend to do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 11
“I would be king if I were you,” said Baldy.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 12
He said it loudly and strongly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 13
Webb Yeager moved his wide hat back on his head.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 14
He put his fingers in his yellow hair and moved it about.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 15
It now looked wilder than before.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 16
But this did not help him to think better.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 17
And therefore he also got another drink.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 6 months ago
unit 18
“If a man marries a queen, it ought not to make him nothing,” said Webb.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 19
Here was his real problem.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 20
“Surely not,” said Baldy.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 21
“You ought to be a king.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 22
But you’re only the queen’s husband.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 23
That’s what happens to a man in Europe if he marries the king’s daughter.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 24
His wife becomes a queen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 25
But is he a king?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 26
No.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 27
His only duty is to appear with the queen in pictures.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 28
And be the father of the next king.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 29
That’s not right.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 30
Yes, Webb, you are only the queen’s husband.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 31
And if I were you, I’d turn everything upside down and I would be king”.
4 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 32
Baldy finished his drink.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 33
“Baldy,” said Webb, “you and I have been cowboys together for years.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 34
We’ve been riding the same roads since we were very young.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 35
I wouldn’t talk about my family to anyone but you.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 36
You were working on the Nopalito Ranch when I married Santa McAllister.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 37
I was foreman then.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 38
But what am I now?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 39
Nothing”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
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unit 41
You told people what to do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 42
Your commands were as strong as his”.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 43
“That was true,” said Webb, “until he discovered that I wanted to marry Santa.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 44
Then he sent me as far away from the ranch house as he could.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 45
When the old man died, they started to call Santa the ‘cattle queen’.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 46
Now I tell the cattle what to do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 47
That’s all.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 48
She takes care of all the business.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 49
She takes care of all the money.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 50
I can’t sell any cattle—not one animal.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 51
Santa is the queen, and I’m nothing”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 52
“I would be king if I were you,” said Baldy Woods again.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 53
“When a man marries a queen he ought to be the same as she is.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 54
Plenty of people think it’s strange, Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 55
Your words mean nothing on the Nopalito Ranch.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 56
Mrs. Yeager is a fine little lady.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 57
But a man ought to be head of his own house”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 58
Webb’s brown face grew long with sadness.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 60
Yet his tall body looked too strong for such a thing to happen to him.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 61
“I’m riding back to the ranch today,” he said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 62
It was easy to see that he did not want to go.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 63
“I have to start some cattle on the road to San Antonio tomorrow morning”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 64
“I’ll go with you as far as Dry Lake,” said Baldy.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 65
The two friends got on their horses and left the little town where they had met that morning.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 66
At Dry Lake, they stopped to say goodbye.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 67
They had been riding for miles without talking.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 68
But in Texas, talk does not often continue steadily.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 69
Many things may happen between words.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 70
But when you begin to talk again, you are still talking about the same thing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 71
So now Webb added something to the talk that began ten miles away.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 72
“You remember, Baldy, there was a time when Santa was different.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 73
You remember the days when old McAllister kept me away from the ranch house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 74
You remember how she would send me a sign that she wanted to see me?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 75
Old McAllister had said he would kill me if I came near enough.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 76
You remember the sign she used to send, Baldy?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 77
The picture of a heart with a cross inside it?”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 78
“Me?” cried Baldy.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 79
“Sure I remember.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 80
Every cowboy on the ranch knew that sign of the heart and the cross.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 81
We would see it on things sent out from the ranch.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 82
We would see it on anything.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 83
It would be on newspapers.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 84
On boxes of food.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 85
Once I saw it on the back of the shirt of a cook that McAllister sent from the ranch”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 86
“Santa’s father made her promise that she wouldn’t write to me or send me any word.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 87
That heart-and-cross sign was her plan.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 88
When she wanted to see me, she would put that mark on something that she knew I would see.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 89
And when I saw it, I traveled fast to the ranch that same night.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 90
I would meet her outside the house”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 91
“We all knew it,” said Baldy.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 92
“But we never said anything.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 93
We wanted you to marry Santa.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 94
We knew why you had that fast horse.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 96
“The last time Santa sent me the sign,” said Webb, “was when she was sick.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 97
When I saw it, I got on my horse and started.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 98
It was a forty-mile ride.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 99
She wasn’t at our meeting-place.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 100
I went to the house.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 101
Old McAllister met me at the door.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 102
‘Did you come here to get killed?’, he said.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 103
‘I won’t kill you this time.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 104
I was going to send for you.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 105
Santa wants you.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 106
Go in that room and see her.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 107
And then come out here and see me’.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 108
“Santa was lying in bed very sick.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 109
unit 110
‘I could hear you coming for hours, Webb,’ she said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 111
‘I was sure you would come.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 112
You saw the sign?’ ‘I saw it,’ I said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 113
‘It’s our sign,’ she said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 114
‘Hearts and crosses.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 115
To love and to suffer—that’s what they mean’.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 116
“And old Doctor Musgrove was there.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 118
But go away now.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 119
The little lady will be all right in the morning’.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 120
“Old McAllister was outside her room.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 121
‘She’s sleeping,’ I said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 122
‘And now you can start killing me.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 123
You have plenty of time.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 124
I haven’t anything to fight with’.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 126
I don’t know where I could get another good foreman.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 127
I don’t want you in the family.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 128
But I can use you on the Nopalito if you stay away from the ranch house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 129
You go up and sleep, and then we’ll talk.’”.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 130
The two men prepared to separate.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 131
They took each other’s hand.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 132
“Goodbye, Baldy,” said Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 133
“I’m glad I saw you and had this talk”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 134
With a sudden rush, the two riders were on their way.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 135
Then Baldy pulled his horse to a stop and shouted.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 136
Webb turned.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 137
“If I were you,” came Baldy’s loud voice, “I would be king!”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 138
At eight the following morning, Bud Turner got off his horse at the Nopalito ranch house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 139
Bud was the cowboy who was taking the cattle to San Antonio.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 140
Mrs. Yeager was outside the house, putting water on some flowers.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 141
In many ways Santa was like her father, “King” McAllister.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 142
She was sure about everything.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 143
She was afraid of nothing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 144
She was proud.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 145
But Santa looked like her mother.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 146
She had a strong body and a soft prettiness.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 147
Because she was a woman, her manners were womanly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 148
She liked to be queen, as her father had liked to be king.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 149
Webb stood near her, giving orders to two or three cowboys.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 150
“Good morning,” said Bud.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 151
“Where do you want the cattle to go?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 152
To Barber’s as usual?” The queen always answered such a question.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 153
All the business—buying, selling, and banking—had been held in her hands.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 154
Care of the cattle was given to her husband.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 155
When “King” McAllister was alive, Santa was his secretary and his helper.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 156
She had continued her work and her work had been successful.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 158
I spoke to Zimmerman about it”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 159
Bud turned, ready to go.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 160
“Wait!” called Santa quickly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 161
She looked at her husband with surprise in her gray eyes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 162
“What do you mean, Webb?” she asked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 163
“I never deal with Zimmerman and Nesbit.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 164
Barber has bought all the cattle from this ranch for five years.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 165
I’m not going to change”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 166
She said to Bud Turner: “Take those cattle to Barber”.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 167
Bud did not look at either of them.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 168
He stood there waiting.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 169
“I want these cattle to go to Zimmerman and Nesbit,” said Webb.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 170
There was a cold light in his blue eyes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 171
“It’s time to start,” said Santa to Bud.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 173
“You take those cattle,” said Webb, “to—” “Barber,” said Santa quickly.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 174
“Let’s say no more about it.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 175
What are you waiting for, Bud?”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 176
“Nothing,” said Bud.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 177
unit 178
“You heard what she said,” cried Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 179
unit 180
“Webb,” said Santa, “what’s wrong with you today?”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 181
“I’m acting like the queen’s fool,” said Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 182
“What can you expect?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 183
Let me tell you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 184
I was a man before I married a cattle queen.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 185
What am I now?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 186
Something for the cowboys to laugh at.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 187
But I’m going to be a man again”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 188
Santa looked at him.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 189
“Be reasonable, Webb,” she said quietly.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 190
“There is nothing wrong.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 191
You take care of the cattle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 192
I take care of the business.
3 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 193
You understand the cattle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 194
I understand the business better than you do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 195
I learned it from my father”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 196
“I don’t like kings and queens,” said Webb, “unless I’m one of them myself.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 197
All right.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 198
It’s your ranch.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 199
Barber gets the cattle”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 200
Webb’s horse was tied near the house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 201
He walked into the house and brought out the supplies he took on long rides.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 202
These he began to tie on his horse.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 203
Santa followed him.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 204
Her face had lost some of its color.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 205
Webb got on his horse.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 206
There was no expression on his face except a strange light burning in his eyes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 207
“There are some cattle at the Hondo water-hole,” he said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 208
“They ought to be moved.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 209
Wild animals have killed three of them.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 210
I did not remember to tell Simms to do it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 211
You tell him”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 212
Santa put a hand on the horse and looked her husband in the eye.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 213
“Are you going to leave me, Webb?” she asked quietly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 214
“I am going to be a man again,” he answered.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 215
“I wish you success,” she said, with a sudden coldness.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 216
She turned and walked into the house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 217
Webb Yeager went to the southeast as straight as he could ride.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 218
And when he came to the place where sky and earth seem to meet, he was gone.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 219
Those at the Nopalito knew nothing more about him.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 220
Days passed, then weeks, then months.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 221
But Webb Yeager did not return.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 222
One day, a man named Bartholomew, not an important man, stopped at the Nopalito ranch house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 223
It was noon and he was hungry.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 224
He sat down at the dinner table.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 225
While he was eating, he talked.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 226
“Mrs.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 227
Yeager,” he said, “I saw a man on the Seco Ranch with your name.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 228
Webb Yeager.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 229
He was foreman there.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 230
He was a tall yellow-haired man.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 231
Not a talker.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 232
Someone of your family?”.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 233
“A husband,” said Santa.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 234
“That is fine for the Seco Ranch.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 235
unit 236
For several years they had been working at the Nopalito with a different kind of cattle.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 237
These cattle had been brought from England, and they were better than the usual Texas cattle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 238
They had been successful at the Nopalito Ranch, and men on other ranches were interested in them.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 240
If you can sell these to the Seco, send them to us in the care of the man who brings this letter.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 241
We will then send you the money.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 242
Webb Yeager, Foreman, Seco Ranch.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 243
Business is business to a queen as it is to others.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 244
unit 245
When night came and the house was quiet, did Santa Yeager cry alone?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 246
Did she hold that letter near to her heart?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 247
Did she speak the name that she had been too proud to speak for many weeks?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 248
Or did she place the letter with other business letters, in her office?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 249
Ask if you will, but there is no answer.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 250
What a queen does is something we cannot always know.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 251
But this you shall be told: In the middle of the night Santa went quietly out of the ranch house.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 252
She was dressed in something dark.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 253
She stopped for a moment under a tree.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 254
There was moonlight, and a bird was singing, and there was a smell of flowers.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 256
Then she hurried quietly to a small building.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 257
What she did there, we can only guess.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 258
But there was the red light of a fire, and a noise as if Cupid might be making his arrows.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 259
Later she came out with some strange iron tool in one hand.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 260
In the other hand she carried something that held a small fire.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 261
She hurried in the moonlight to the place where the English cattle had been gathered.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 262
Most of the English cattle were a dark red.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 263
But among those 100 there was one as white as milk.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 264
And now Santa caught that white animal as cowboys catch cattle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 265
She tried once and failed.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 266
Then she tried again, and the animal fell heavily.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 267
Santa ran to it, but the animal jumped up.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 268
Again she tried and this time she was successful.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 269
The animal fell to earth again.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 270
Before it could rise, Santa had tied its feet together.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 271
Then she ran to the fire she had carried here.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 272
From it she took that strange iron tool.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 273
It was white hot.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 274
There was a loud cry from the animal as the white-hot iron burned its skin.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 275
But no one seemed to hear.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 276
All on the ranch were quiet.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 277
And in the deep night quiet, Santa ran back the ranch house and there fell onto a bed.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 279
In the morning the young man who had brought the letter started toward the Seco Ranch.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 280
He had cowboys with him to help with the English cattle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 281
It was ninety miles, six days’ journey.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 282
The animals arrived at Seco Ranch one evening as the daylight was ending.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 283
They were received and counted by the foreman of the ranch.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 284
The next morning at eight a horseman came riding to the Nopalito ranch house.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 285
He got down painfully from the horse and walked to the house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 286
His horse took a great breath and let his head hang and closed his eyes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 287
But do not feel sorry for Belshazzar, the horse.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 288
Today he lives happily at Nopalito, where he is given the best care and the best food.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 289
No other horse there has ever carried a man for such a ride.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 290
The horseman entered the house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 292
“I was a—” and he named a small animal with a bad smell, an animal no one likes.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 293
“Quiet,” said Santa.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 294
“Did you see it?” “I saw it,” said Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 295
What were they speaking of?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 296
Perhaps you can guess, if you have read the story carefully.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 297
“Be the cattle queen,” said Webb.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 298
“Forget what I did, if you can.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 299
I was as wrong as—” “Quiet!” said Santa again, putting her fingers upon his mouth.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 300
“There’s no queen here.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 301
Do you know who I am?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 302
I am Santa Yeager, First Lady of the Bedroom.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 303
Come here”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 304
She led him into a room.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 305
There stood a low baby’s bed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 306
unit 307
“There is no queen on this ranch,” said Santa again.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 308
“Look at the king.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 309
He has eyes like yours, Webb.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 310
Get down on your knees and look at the king”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 311
There was a sound of steps outside and Bud Turner was there at the door.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 312
He asked the same question he had asked almost a year ago.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 313
“Good morning.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 314
Shall I drive those cattle to Barber’s, or—” He saw Webb and stopped, with his mouth open.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 315
“Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba!” cried the king, waving his arms.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 316
“You hear what he says, Bud,” said Webb Yeager.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 317
“We do what the king commands”.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 318
And that is all, except for one thing.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 320
“I thought so,” said Quinn.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 321
“But look at that white animal there.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 322
She has another mark—a heart with a cross inside.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
unit 323
Whose mark is that?”
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 5 months ago
Gabrielle • 13930  translated  unit 39  1 year, 5 months ago
markvanroode • 6594  translated  unit 26  1 year, 5 months ago

Hearts and Crosses (1913).

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter, 1862-1910).

BALDY WOODS REACHED FOR A DRINK, and got it. When Baldy wanted something, he usually got it. He—but this is not Baldy’s story. Now he took his third drink, which was larger than the first and the second. Baldy had been listening to the troubles of a friend. Now Baldy was going to tell his friend what to do. So the friend was buying him the drinks. This was the right thing for the friend to do.

“I would be king if I were you,” said Baldy. He said it loudly and strongly.

Webb Yeager moved his wide hat back on his head. He put his fingers in his yellow hair and moved it about. It now looked wilder than before. But this did not help him to think better. And therefore he also got another drink.

“If a man marries a queen, it ought not to make him nothing,” said Webb. Here was his real problem.

“Surely not,” said Baldy. “You ought to be a king. But you’re only the queen’s husband. That’s what happens to a man in Europe if he marries the king’s daughter. His wife becomes a queen. But is he a king? No. His only duty is to appear with the queen in pictures. And be the father of the next king. That’s not right. Yes, Webb, you are only the queen’s husband. And if I were you, I’d turn everything upside down and I would be king”.

Baldy finished his drink.

“Baldy,” said Webb, “you and I have been cowboys together for years. We’ve been riding the same roads since we were very young. I wouldn’t talk about my family to anyone but you. You were working on the Nopalito Ranch when I married Santa McAllister. I was foreman then. But what am I now? Nothing”.

“When old McAllister was the cattle king of West Texas,” continued Baldy, “you were important. You told people what to do. Your commands were as strong as his”.

“That was true,” said Webb, “until he discovered that I wanted to marry Santa. Then he sent me as far away from the ranch house as he could. When the old man died, they started to call Santa the ‘cattle queen’. Now I tell the cattle what to do. That’s all. She takes care of all the business. She takes care of all the money. I can’t sell any cattle—not one animal. Santa is the queen, and I’m nothing”.

“I would be king if I were you,” said Baldy Woods again. “When a man marries a queen he ought to be the same as she is. Plenty of people think it’s strange, Webb. Your words mean nothing on the Nopalito Ranch. Mrs. Yeager is a fine little lady. But a man ought to be head of his own house”.

Webb’s brown face grew long with sadness. With that expression, and his wild yellow hair, and his blue eyes, he looked like a schoolboy who had lost his leadership to another, strong boy. Yet his tall body looked too strong for such a thing to happen to him.

“I’m riding back to the ranch today,” he said. It was easy to see that he did not want to go. “I have to start some cattle on the road to San Antonio tomorrow morning”.

“I’ll go with you as far as Dry Lake,” said Baldy.

The two friends got on their horses and left the little town where they had met that morning.

At Dry Lake, they stopped to say goodbye. They had been riding for miles without talking. But in Texas, talk does not often continue steadily. Many things may happen between words. But when you begin to talk again, you are still talking about the same thing. So now Webb added something to the talk that began ten miles away.

“You remember, Baldy, there was a time when Santa was different. You remember the days when old McAllister kept me away from the ranch house. You remember how she would send me a sign that she wanted to see me? Old McAllister had said he would kill me if I came near enough. You remember the sign she used to send, Baldy? The picture of a heart with a cross inside it?”.

“Me?” cried Baldy. “Sure I remember. Every cowboy on the ranch knew that sign of the heart and the cross. We would see it on things sent out from the ranch. We would see it on anything. It would be on newspapers. On boxes of food. Once I saw it on the back of the shirt of a cook that McAllister sent from the ranch”.

“Santa’s father made her promise that she wouldn’t write to me or send me any word. That heart-and-cross sign was her plan. When she wanted to see me, she would put that mark on something that she knew I would see. And when I saw it, I traveled fast to the ranch that same night. I would meet her outside the house”.

“We all knew it,” said Baldy. “But we never said anything. We wanted you to marry Santa. We knew why you had that fast horse. When we saw the heart and cross on something from the ranch, we always knew your horse was going to go fast that night”.

“The last time Santa sent me the sign,” said Webb, “was when she was sick. When I saw it, I got on my horse and started. It was a forty-mile ride. She wasn’t at our meeting-place. I went to the house. Old McAllister met me at the door. ‘Did you come here to get killed?’, he said. ‘I won’t kill you this time. I was going to send for you. Santa wants you. Go in that room and see her. And then come out here and see me’.

“Santa was lying in bed very sick. But she smiled, and put her hand in mine, and I sat down by the bed—mud and riding clothes and all. ‘I could hear you coming for hours, Webb,’ she said. ‘I was sure you would come. You saw the sign?’ ‘I saw it,’ I said. ‘It’s our sign,’ she said. ‘Hearts and crosses. To love and to suffer—that’s what they mean’.

“And old Doctor Musgrove was there. And Santa goes to sleep and Doctor Musgrove touches her face, and he says to me: ‘You were good for her. But go away now. The little lady will be all right in the morning’.

“Old McAllister was outside her room. ‘She’s sleeping,’ I said. ‘And now you can start killing me. You have plenty of time. I haven’t anything to fight with’.

“Old McAllister laughs, and he says to me: ‘Killing the best foreman in West Texas is not good business. I don’t know where I could get another good foreman. I don’t want you in the family. But I can use you on the Nopalito if you stay away from the ranch house. You go up and sleep, and then we’ll talk.’”.

The two men prepared to separate. They took each other’s hand.

“Goodbye, Baldy,” said Webb. “I’m glad I saw you and had this talk”.

With a sudden rush, the two riders were on their way.

Then Baldy pulled his horse to a stop and shouted.

Webb turned.

“If I were you,” came Baldy’s loud voice, “I would be king!”.

At eight the following morning, Bud Turner got off his horse at the Nopalito ranch house. Bud was the cowboy who was taking the cattle to San Antonio. Mrs. Yeager was outside the house, putting water on some flowers.

In many ways Santa was like her father, “King” McAllister. She was sure about everything. She was afraid of nothing. She was proud. But Santa looked like her mother. She had a strong body and a soft prettiness. Because she was a woman, her manners were womanly. She liked to be queen, as her father had liked to be king.

Webb stood near her, giving orders to two or three cowboys.

“Good morning,” said Bud. “Where do you want the cattle to go? To Barber’s as usual?”

The queen always answered such a question. All the business—buying, selling, and banking—had been held in her hands. Care of the cattle was given to her husband. When “King” McAllister was alive, Santa was his secretary and his helper. She had continued her work and her work had been successful. But before she could answer, the queen’s husband spoke:

“You drive those cattle to Zimmerman and Nesbit’s. I spoke to Zimmerman about it”.

Bud turned, ready to go.

“Wait!” called Santa quickly. She looked at her husband with surprise in her gray eyes.

“What do you mean, Webb?” she asked. “I never deal with Zimmerman and Nesbit. Barber has bought all the cattle from this ranch for five years. I’m not going to change”.

She said to Bud Turner: “Take those cattle to Barber”.

Bud did not look at either of them. He stood there waiting.

“I want these cattle to go to Zimmerman and Nesbit,” said Webb. There was a cold light in his blue eyes.

“It’s time to start,” said Santa to Bud. “Tell Barber we’ll have more cattle ready in about a month.”

Bud allowed his eyes to turn and meet Webb’s.

“You take those cattle,” said Webb, “to—”

“Barber,” said Santa quickly. “Let’s say no more about it. What are you waiting for, Bud?”.

“Nothing,” said Bud. But he did not hurry to move away, for man is man’s friend, and he did not like what had happened.

“You heard what she said,” cried Webb. “We do what she commands.” He took off his hat and made a wide movement with it, touching the floor.

“Webb,” said Santa, “what’s wrong with you today?”.
“I’m acting like the queen’s fool,” said Webb. “What can you expect? Let me tell you. I was a man before I married a cattle queen. What am I now? Something for the cowboys to laugh at. But I’m going to be a man again”.

Santa looked at him.

“Be reasonable, Webb,” she said quietly. “There is nothing wrong. You take care of the cattle. I take care of the business. You understand the cattle. I understand the business better than you do. I learned it from my father”.

“I don’t like kings and queens,” said Webb, “unless I’m one of them myself. All right. It’s your ranch. Barber gets the cattle”.

Webb’s horse was tied near the house. He walked into the house and brought out the supplies he took on long rides. These he began to tie on his horse. Santa followed him. Her face had lost some of its color.

Webb got on his horse. There was no expression on his face except a strange light burning in his eyes.

“There are some cattle at the Hondo water-hole,” he said. “They ought to be moved. Wild animals have killed three of them. I did not remember to tell Simms to do it. You tell him”.

Santa put a hand on the horse and looked her husband in the eye.

“Are you going to leave me, Webb?” she asked quietly.

“I am going to be a man again,” he answered.

“I wish you success,” she said, with a sudden coldness. She turned and walked into the house.

Webb Yeager went to the southeast as straight as he could ride. And when he came to the place where sky and earth seem to meet, he was gone. Those at the Nopalito knew nothing more about him.

Days passed, then weeks, then months. But Webb Yeager did not return.

One day, a man named Bartholomew, not an important man, stopped at the Nopalito ranch house. It was noon and he was hungry. He sat down at the dinner table. While he was eating, he talked.

“Mrs. Yeager,” he said, “I saw a man on the Seco Ranch with your name. Webb Yeager. He was foreman there. He was a tall yellow-haired man. Not a talker. Someone of your family?”.
“A husband,” said Santa. “That is fine for the Seco Ranch. Mr. Yeager is the best foreman in the West.”

Everything at the Nopalito Ranch had been going well.

For several years they had been working at the Nopalito with a different kind of cattle. These cattle had been brought from England, and they were better than the usual Texas cattle. They had been successful at the Nopalito Ranch, and men on other ranches were interested in them.

As a result, one day a cowboy arrived at the Nopalito Ranch and gave the queen this letter:

Mrs. Yeager—The Nopalito Ranch:

I have been told by the owners of the Seco Ranch to buy 100 of your English cattle. If you can sell these to the Seco, send them to us in the care of the man who brings this letter. We will then send you the money.

Webb Yeager, Foreman, Seco Ranch.

Business is business to a queen as it is to others. That night the 100 cattle were moved near the ranch house, ready for an early start the next morning.

When night came and the house was quiet, did Santa Yeager cry alone? Did she hold that letter near to her heart? Did she speak the name that she had been too proud to speak for many weeks? Or did she place the letter with other business letters, in her office?

Ask if you will, but there is no answer. What a queen does is something we cannot always know. But this you shall be told:

In the middle of the night Santa went quietly out of the ranch house. She was dressed in something dark. She stopped for a moment under a tree. There was moonlight, and a bird was singing, and there was a smell of flowers. Santa turned her face toward the southeast and threw three kisses in that direction, for there was no one to see her.

Then she hurried quietly to a small building. What she did there, we can only guess. But there was the red light of a fire, and a noise as if Cupid might be making his arrows.

Later she came out with some strange iron tool in one hand. In the other hand she carried something that held a small fire. She hurried in the moonlight to the place where the English cattle had been gathered.

Most of the English cattle were a dark red. But among those 100 there was one as white as milk.
And now Santa caught that white animal as cowboys catch cattle. She tried once and failed. Then she tried again, and the animal fell heavily. Santa ran to it, but the animal jumped up.

Again she tried and this time she was successful. The animal fell to earth again. Before it could rise, Santa had tied its feet together.

Then she ran to the fire she had carried here. From it she took that strange iron tool. It was white hot.

There was a loud cry from the animal as the white-hot iron burned its skin. But no one seemed to hear. All on the ranch were quiet. And in the deep night quiet, Santa ran back the ranch house and there fell onto a bed. She let the tears from her eyes, as if queens had hearts like the hearts of ranchmen’s wives; and as if a queen’s husband might become a king, if he would ride back again.

In the morning the young man who had brought the letter started toward the Seco Ranch. He had cowboys with him to help with the English cattle. It was ninety miles, six days’ journey.

The animals arrived at Seco Ranch one evening as the daylight was ending. They were received and counted by the foreman of the ranch.

The next morning at eight a horseman came riding to the Nopalito ranch house. He got down painfully from the horse and walked to the house. His horse took a great breath and let his head hang and closed his eyes.

But do not feel sorry for Belshazzar, the horse. Today he lives happily at Nopalito, where he is given the best care and the best food. No other horse there has ever carried a man for such a ride.

The horseman entered the house. Two arms fell around his neck, and someone cried out in the voice of woman and queen together: “Webb, oh, Webb!”

“I was wrong,” said Webb Yeager. “I was a—” and he named a small animal with a bad smell, an animal no one likes.

“Quiet,” said Santa. “Did you see it?”

“I saw it,” said Webb.

What were they speaking of? Perhaps you can guess, if you have read the story carefully.

“Be the cattle queen,” said Webb. “Forget what I did, if you can. I was as wrong as—”
“Quiet!” said Santa again, putting her fingers upon his mouth. “There’s no queen here. Do you know who I am? I am Santa Yeager, First Lady of the Bedroom. Come here”.

She led him into a room. There stood a low baby’s bed. And in the bed was a baby, a beautiful, laughing baby, talking in words that no one could understand.

“There is no queen on this ranch,” said Santa again. “Look at the king. He has eyes like yours, Webb. Get down on your knees and look at the king”.

There was a sound of steps outside and Bud Turner was there at the door. He asked the same question he had asked almost a year ago.

“Good morning. Shall I drive those cattle to Barber’s, or—”

He saw Webb and stopped, with his mouth open.

“Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba!” cried the king, waving his arms.

“You hear what he says, Bud,” said Webb Yeager. “We do what the king commands”.

And that is all, except for one thing. When old man Quinn, owner of the Seco Ranch, went to look at his new English cattle, he asked his new foreman, “What is the Nopalito Ranch’s mark?”

“X over Y,” said Wilson.

“I thought so,” said Quinn. “But look at that white animal there. She has another mark—a heart with a cross inside. Whose mark is that?”