You see now why I didn’t want anyone
to go off half-cocked agin that bunch?
“Damned government sends in a bunch of lily-fingered surveyors, then passes a few fancy laws sayin’ a man don’t own the ground he spilled blood to take and build up. Well, I told ’em all that no thievin’, grubbin’, sodbustin’ son of a coyote is goin’ to put up his soddy on Buffalo land and I’ve always made it stick. I’ve warned off those that didn’t believe me and I’ve buried those that defied me. That’s the way it’s goin’ to be.”
“That was before, Mr. Bligh. This time the federal government is behind it. They want the West opened up for settlement.”
“What do they think I’ve done to it — this part leastways? I’ve opened up a whole damn valley!”
“But you’re just one man. The government reckons the big claims have got to break up to give everybody a chance to own land. I’ve seen what they’re doing further east. They’re backing up the new legislation with law enforcement.”
“Law! Quint, you ought to know better than anybody else that I’m the law in Cherokee Valley!” Bligh slapped the gun at his waist. “That’s my law, and when that ain’t enough, I hire more, like I’m hirin’ yours.”