Valley of Wild Horses by Zane Grey

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Ride Along for One of Zane Grey's Exciting Adventures

They climbed and crossed that ridge, which could have been called a foothill if there had been any mountains near.

Another valley, narrow and rough, not so low as the last, lay between this ridge and the next one, a cedared rise of rock and yellow earth that promised hard going. Beyond it rose the range of mountains, black and purple, and higher still, white peaked into the blue. They called to Pan.

This was wild country, and even to see it in the distance was all satisfying.

This narrow valley also showed some wild-horse bands, but not many, for there appeared to be scant grass and water. These horses were going or coming, all on a trot, but when they sighted the hunters they would halt stock-still. Soon a stallion trotted out a hundred paces or more, snorted and whistled, then taking to his heels he led his band away in a cloud of dust.

Some of these bands would run a long way; others would halt soon to look back. The water which they had come to drink was not very good, according to Pan's taste. His sorrel did not like it.

This was Pan's first experience with hot alkali water. It came out almost boiling, too hot to drink, but a few rods from the spring it cooled off. The spring was surrounded by low trees still green, though many of the leaves had turned yellow.

While the hunters watered there, Pan spied another herd of wild horses that trooped in below, and drank from the stream. He counted ten horses, mostly blacks and bays. The leader was a buckskin, and Pan would not have minded owning him. The others were not bad looking, of fair size, weighing around a thousand pounds, but they showed inbreeding.

After they had drunk their fill they pawed the mud and rolled in the water, to come up most unsightly beasts. Pan let out a loud yell.

Swift as antelopes the horses swept away….

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