“That new deputy sheriff came by here yesterday. It seems there’s been some cattle stolen down south of here, and the law is looking into it.” “A real sheriff?” I asked. I had heard of him a couple of years earlier, but we never actually saw things like “the law”. “What did he look like?” “Just a deputy. Substantial guy, though” Unc told me. “He had on a tan uniform and a hat like a drill sergeant wears, with a tall peak and dented in on four sides. Narrow, straight brim. Carried a whale of a gun, too. He asked a lot of questions until I set him straight. I think he
wanted to hang around and talk to Elaine a little longer, but then your grandmother came out and glared at him until he left.” “You set him straight?” “Sure. I told him there’s only three paved roads for anyone to truck cattle out of this country, and none of them are near the Perkins place. East to Idaho, south to Nevada, or northwest toward Burns. I gave him the directions to the Burns Junction, so he wouldn’t get lost, and I figured that was all he needed to know.” Unc was grinning. That ended that, I guessed. I would have liked seeing the deputy, though. Not exactly a cowboy, but at least he wore a good hat and carried a six-shooter. Rats.