"Missis Yeager," he babbled, "I see a man the other day on the Rancho Seco down in Hidalgo County by your name--Webb Yeager was his. He'd just been engaged as manager. He was a tall, light-haired man, not saying much. Perhaps he was some kin of yours, do you think?"
"A husband," said Santa cordially. "The Seco has done well. Mr. Yeager is one of the best stockmen in the West."
The dropping out of a prince-consort rarely disorganises a monarchy. Queen Santa had appointed as /mayordomo/ of the ranch a trusty subject, named Ramsay, who had been one of her father's faithful vassals. And there was scarcely a ripple on the Nopalito ranch save when the gulf-breeze created undulations in the grass of its wide acres.
For several years the Nopalito had been making experiments with an English breed of cattle that looked down with aristocratic contempt upon the Texas long-horns. The experiments were found satisfactory; and a pasture had been set aside for the blue-bloods. The fame of them had gone forth into the chaparral and pear as far as men ride in saddles. Other ranches woke up, rubbed their eyes, and looked with new dissatisfaction upon the long-horns.
As a consequence, one day a sunburned, capable, silk-kerchiefed nonchalant youth, garnished with revolvers, and attended by three Mexican /vaqueros/, alighted at the Nopalito ranch and presented the following business-like epistle to the queen thereof:
Mrs. Yeager--The Nopalito Ranch:
I am instructed by the owners of the Rancho Seco to purchase 100 head of two and three-year-old cows of the Sussex breed owned by you. If you can fill the order please deliver the cattle to the bearer; and a check will be forwarded to you at once.
Respectfully, Webster Yeager, Manager the Rancho Seco.