THE MAN WHO INFLUENCED ME MOST

By Zane Grey

submitted by Clara Smith

HIS name was Jim Emett. He had been born in a covered wagon crossing the plains, and all of his life had been lived on the desert. He told me that five nights out of every seven he had slept out, on the sand and the rocks,or under the pines.

I met Emett in Flagstaff, Arizona, upon the occasion of my first trip West with Buffalo Jones. We were on our way across the desert and canyon to Buckskin Forest, where Jones was going to lasso mountain lions, and my part in the expedition was to photograph him doing it and to write the story. "Come up to the courthouse," invited the old plainsman, the day I arrived in Flagstaff. "Big trial going on, Jim Emett and his outfit are here.

Emett is on trial for the supposed rustling of cattle over across the canyon. Saunders, a rich cattle man, has had Emett arrested. Dimmick, foreman for the Saunders outfit, is the only witness against Emett. There's bad blood between Emett and Dimmick. They'll shoot it out some day.

This trial won't last long. Emett has powerful friends here." It was in the courtroom that I first saw Emett. He stood well over six feet, and his leonine build, ponderous shoulders, and great shaggy head and white beard gave an impression of tremendous virility and dignity. He appeared like a patriarch to me, and the assumption that he was a cattle thief seemed absurd. He had a grave, kindly countenance, rugged and strong. There were more than forty in his party, rangy, lean-faced, gray-eyed men and somber-appearing women clad in plain flowing garments.

ON the following day Emett was acquitted. I was introduced to him in the lobby of the little hotel, and also to his eldest son, Snap. Emett at once took a kindly interest in me and my first visit to the West. I learned afterward that it was his way to help everybody. When Jones mentioned the object of our presence in Flagstaff, Emett's keen, piercing gray eyes flashed like steel. "Rope lions! That'll be fun. Jones, I'm going with you. Suppose you throw in with my outfit till we get to my home at Lee's Ferry." "W-al, I had a hunch you'd go," replied Jones with a laugh. "Fact is, we were wantin' to join your outfit across the desert." That was how the remarkable opportunity of traveling with a caravan, in covered wagons, came to me. It took us ten days to cross the Painted Desert. As the years go by I look back at that trip with ever-growing wonder and thrill.

I made the most of my opportunity. Often I rode beside Emett on the seat of his covered wagon, and from the first began to appreciate that he was an extraordinary man. He was not above playing jokes on me. For that matter, there never was a Westerner who would not delight in tricks at the expense of an Eastern tenderfoot. The joke I remember most poignantly was not any fun for me at the time, though now I can look back at it with humor.

Early one morning, as the caravan started out across the vast colorful waste, Emett pointed at what I imagined were some black rocks, and said,"that's an old ruin built by a prehistoric race, It'll interest you. Walk over and look at it." "Is it far?" I asked rather dubiously. Already the strange, deceiving nature of the desert atmosphere had dawned upon me. "Only a few miles," replied Emett. "And the road goes by there, to the north. We've a lot of sand to cross. It'll be slow travel. You'll have time to spare." "Arizona miles!" drawled Buffalo Jones as I started off.

I turned to catch a twinkle in his eagle eyes, but Emett's face was a mask of serenity and kindliness. I strode away across the desert, and in that walk were born many feelings which became permanent with me. Summed up, they mean lore of the desert. At the end of the first hour of brisk walking it dawned upon me that I was apparently no closer to the ruin than when I started. A few miles! I had walked four. At the end of the second hour I imagined the ragged black outlines of stone had begun to enlarge and grow clearer. Looking north toward the road I could see the caravan toiling on over the sand. Thus fortified by sight of my comrades I pushed on, determined to see that old ruin. I realized now , of course, that Aimed had played a trick on me.

AT the conclusion of another hour's walk I reached the ruin, and found seeing it worth vastly more than the effort it had cost. And to this day I can recall the weathered rocks, placed so neatly by human hands, and between them the red cement, the secret of which no white builder has yet solved, and the shallow hollows in the slabs of stone, worn there by moccasined feet.

I was every bit as long, if not longer, toiling back to the caravan, which I reached sore-footed and aching but radiant. Buffalo Jones indulged in = a hearty laugh. Emett listened in silence to my rhapsodies about that old ruin, his clear eyes studying me intently. "Well," he said finally, "if you feel that way about a heap of stones I'm wondering what you'll think of Snake Gulch and the Siwash. They're full of caves with paintings on the walls, and ruins still standing, where nobody has bothered to dig. I'll take you there, and we'll make some discoveries."

From that time, though Jones and his cowboys, and even the Indians, found vast amusement in playing tricks one me, Aimed never did so again. Aimed possessed a strange gift of revelation, something I did not hear about for a long while, and which I did not believe in or understand for years. It was connected with his profound psychic and religious powers. Shortly before he died, which was about eight years later, he wrote me that the day I had limped back to the caravan, and, worn out and wet with perspiration, had climbed to a seat on his wagon, he had divined what the desert would come to mean to me. He had seen all it was to bring to me. The last two days of that ride overwhelmed me with the beauty and color of the sand and clay dunes, the wastes of rock, the red mesas and plateaus, the long, level, ragged black line of Buckskin Forest, rising so wonderfully above the stark and naked desert, and the staggering solemnity and sublimity of the Grand Canyon. We rode down and down, ever down into what appeared an endless descent over a torn and rent world of rock, down into a red gulf. At the bottom, about the hour of sunset, we came to the Colorado River at the head of the Grand Canyon. Aimed had constructed an Old barge that crossed the swift river by cable. It did not look safe to me. And the dark red river, roaring from V-shaped gap in the tremendous red walls, was appalling in the extreme.

Aimed drove two wagons onto the barge. Jones and I embarked with this first load. The water of that fearful river surged round the clumsy craft, bulged over the bow, and swept by with sullen roar. "Can you swim?" asked Aimed with his genial smile. And when I replied in the affirmative he added, "Well, I can't. But it wouldn't be of any use to you here. This river is half sand. It weights you down...I lost a boat this spring at high water. Two wagons and two men! The ropes broke and the whole outfit went down the canyon." I shuddered as I gazed down the river to where it disappeared in a black-walled gorge from whence rose a deeper, more thunderous roar.

This gap was the head of the Grand Canyon of Arizona. It was pitch dark when we reached Emett's home. I could not tell much about it. There were log cabins under rustling cottonwoods. Back of these, black walls of stone seemed to loom to the white stars. Little as I could grasp about the place then, it impressed me as had Emett himself.

I made my bed out under the trees. Dry, sweet odors of earth and hay, flowers and horses and burning wood assailed my nostrils. Before I fell asleep I became aware of falling wisps of cotton from the blossoming cottonwood trees. Dawn opened my eyes to what seemed the strangest and most wonderful place in the world.

EMETT'S home was set at the edge of a luxuriant oasis, green with foliage and alfalfa, colored by bright flowers, and shut in on three sides by magnificent red walls three thousand feet high. The thundering Colorado formed a fourth side and separated the oasis from another colossal wall across the river. Paria Creek ran down from the cliff to this secluded and desert-bound spot. The low log cabins, crude and picturesque, were shaded by a grove of cottonwoods spreading and gnarled, like the oaks of the Druids.

This home of Emett's was a hundred and sixty miles from Flagstaff, and about as far in the other direction from any settlement. His only neighbors were Navajo Indians, and they lived far across the river, beyond the saw-toothed Echo Cliffs.

Jim Emett had been married twice and had eighteen children. His present wife was a comely, ruddyfaced woman, sweetvoiced and merry, always busy and happy.

Emett's grown boys were true sons of the desert, tall, lean, rangy, still-faced and intenteyed. They all packed guns and wore blue jeans tucked into boots that were always decorated with long, shiny spurs. I grew friendly with all these sons except the eldest, and he never had any use for Buffalo Jones or me.

THESE grown sons all had wives and the oasis appeared to be overrun with good-looking young women and bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked, healthy, happy children. It was wonderful to see the children flock after Jim Emett and climb over him if he chanced to sit down. Sometimes they would remind me of Gulliver and the pygmies. That Jim Emett had a great heart then became as manifest as his giant form. I saw five tots swing from his outstretched brawny arm.

I tramped around this oasis with Emett, gauging for myself the evidences of his superhuman labors and listening to the simple, enthralling narratives of which he had such store. His work had kept him out upon the open desert ranges, where the cattle ran, or up on the high plateaus, where the sheep grazed. Yet during the years there at Lee's Ferry he had built up a monument of labor that seemed incredible as the prowess of one man. You only had to look at his hands, however, to believe him capable of any physical task. They were huge and brawny, yet remarkably mobile and deft despite the horny palms and calloused fingers.

Emett was a splendid carpenter, as the cabins, sheds, and homemade furniture attested. He also made all the harness, from the tanning of the hides to the forging of buckles. He was a capital blacksmith. I saw him pound out a horseshoe from a straight bar of iron. Many were the proofs of his capacity as a mason, especially the smooth hearths, the splendidly-drawing open fireplaces, the stone chimneys, and particularly the tunnel piercing a corner of cliff through which he had drawn Paria Creek to irrigate the oasis. The orchard, sand fields of alfalfa, the grapevines that Jones averred grew bunches of grapes of incredible size, the pumpkins so big that I could not roll one over, the intensive cultivation of the rich red soil--these things were proof of Emett's prowess as a farmer. If Flagstaff had not been so many miles and days distant he could have made a fortune purveying fruit and grain and other products of his oasis. The heat of the sun, reflected from the cliff walls, tempered the winter climate, and during the other seasons acted most favorably upon anything planted in that fertile soil. But the rough desert was a barrier to transportation of any perishable products, and is so to this day.

ANY visitor at Lee's Ferry would have been struck with the variety of pets that overran the place. Dogs, rabbits,burros, a deer, a coyote, two foxes, squirrels, cats and quail, lambs and rams, colts and horsed, all mingled together with the children in a lazy, drowsy, contented life, characteristic of Emett's household. A more careful search discovered different kinds of birds that made their homes in the cottonwoods. Emett had at one time and another collected this menagerie. Anything crippled, hurt, lost, deserted, or sick found refuge with Jim Emett. He loved and cared for all these creatures as he did the children. Marvelous indeed how he ever found time for all! But he did. The earliest streak of gray dawn in the east found this desert man at his many tasks. They told me that Emett's mercy and protection extended to outcast and starved Indians, to wanderers of the wasteland who happened by the Ferry, to cowboys and sheep-herders out of jobs. His gate was ever open. Rustlers and horse thieves, outlaws from the noted Hole in the Wall, an isolated rendezvous back in the, hunted fugitives--all were welcomed by Jim Emett. He had no fear of any man. He feared only his God.

ANY visitor at Lee's Ferry would have been struck with the variety of pets that overran the place. Dogs, rabbits,burros, a deer, a coyote, two foxes, squirrels, cats and quail, lambs and rams, colts and horsed, all mingled together with the children in a lazy, drowsy, contented life, characteristic of Emett's household. A more careful search discovered different kinds of birds that made their homes in the cottonwoods. Emett had at one time and another collected this menagerie. Anything crippled, hurt, lost, deserted, or sick found refuge with Jim Emett. He loved and cared for all these creatures as he did the children. Marvelous indeed how he ever found time for all! But he did. The earliest streak of gray dawn in the east found this desert man at his many tasks. They told me that Emett's mercy and protection extended to outcast and starved Indians, to wanderers of the wasteland who happened by the Ferry, to cowboys and sheep-herders out of jobs. His gate was ever open. Rustlers and horse thieves, outlaws from the noted Hole in the Wall, an isolated rendezvous back in the, hunted fugitives--all were welcomed by Jim Emett. He had no fear of any man. He feared only his God.

IN the wild and whirling days that followed, when I was broken into the West, to horses, cowboys, wild-horse hunters, to chasing lions and hunting deer, wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats and squirrels, and even the lowly cottontail, it was Jim Emett who was a boy with me. Jones would chase and rope mountain lions, but that was work, not fun for him, and he would not waste time on lesser game.

Jim Emett, however, was of different mould. He loved the outdoors, to ride and pack and camp, and especially to hunt. Thus he and I were together many and many a wonderful day. Even then I realized my marvelous good fortune to have been brought West by Buffalo Jones, last of the old plainsmen, and to have Jim Emett as a constant companion in the wildest and most beautiful country in the world. But it was in real outdoor adventure that I got the most satisfaction out of contact with Emett. It happened that the first time I ever saw a mountain lion treed, Emett and Jones were with me. Jones climbed the rather small pinon tree and, roping the lion, threw the end of the lasso down to Emett. "Pull him off!" yelled Jones. Emett, with a single lunge of his huge shoulders, jerked the lion clear out of the tree. It bounded up, squalling frightfully, and leaped straight at me. In a flash I jumped over a cliff into the top of a cedar tree and crashed through to the ground. When I got back upon the ledge Jones had the lion stretched out on two ropes. "Jim--I didn't--mean for you--to yank him clear--out of the tree," panted Jones. "the idea is to let a lion-- down over a branch so I can--reach him with another rope."

As our hunt progressed, I could see the ambition growing in Emett to rope and tie up a lion on his own account. Jones did not take kindly to the idea, and the more he cautioned Emett not to attempt it the keener Emett became. As for myself, I wanted to see Jim tackle a lion and I kept asking Jones to let him try. That irritated the old plainsman. Presently it dawned on me that Jones was not above playing a trick. I began to suspect that he was waiting to foist on Emett. I awaited the events with thrilling anticipation. And one day it happened--surely the most exciting day I had ever experienced.

We were hunting on a wild, isolated plateau on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Lions were amazingly plentiful, but it was hard to catch them because of the exceedingly rough nature of the place. On this never- to-be-forgotten day we arranged that Emett was to hunt in Middle Canyon, with the hounds Don and Moze, while Jones and I were to take Right Canyon with the hounds Sounder and Jude.

Jones and I rimmed a mile of our canyon without finding so much as a single lion track and Jones grumbled that no success would attend our efforts this morning.

We reached the ragged mouth of Right Canyon, where it opened into the deep, wide bay, and because we hoped to hear our companion across the canyon we rode close to the rim. Sounder and Jude both began to bark on a cliff. "They scent a lion," said Jones. "Let's put them over the wall." HARDLY had they gone out of sight when we heard them yelping. We rushed to the rim and looked over. The first step was short, a crumbled section of wall, and from it led down a long slope, dotted here and there with cedars. Both hounds were baying furiously.

I spied Jude with her paws upon a cedar, and above her hung a lion, so close that she could nearly reach him. Sounder was not yet in sight. "There! There!" I cried, directing Jones's glance. "Aren't we lucky?" "I see. By George! Come, we'll go down. Leave everything that you don't absolutely need." Spurs, chaps, gun, coat, hat, I left on the rim, taking only my camera and lasso. I had forgotten to bring my canteen. We descended a ladder of shaly cliff, the steps of which broke under our feet. The slope below us was easy, and soon we stood on a level with the lion. The cedar was small and afforded no good place for him. Evidently he had jumped from the slope to the tree and had hung where he first alighted. "Where's Sounder? Look for him. I hear him below. This lion won't stay treed long."

I, too, heard Sounder. The cedar tree obstructed my view and I moved aside. A hundred feet farther down the hound bayed under a tall pinon. High in the branches I saw a great mass of yellow. Then a second glance showed two lions close together. "Two more! Two more! Look! Look!" I yelled to Jones. "Hi! Hi! Hi!" he joined his robust yell to mine and for a moment we made the canyon bellow.

"Waa-hoo!" Emett's signal, faint, far away, soaring but unmistakable, floated down to us. Across the jutting capes separating the mouths of these canyons, high above them on the rim wall of the opposite side of the bay, stood Emett silhouetted against the white sky. We yelled in chorus: "Three lions treed! Three lions treed! Come down--hurry!"

A crash of rolling stones made us wheel. Jude's lion had jumped. He ran straight down, drawing Sounder away from his guard. Jude went tearing after them. "I'll follow; you stay here and keep the two lions treed if you can!' yelled jones. Then in long strides he passed down out of sight among the trees and crags.

IT had all happened so quickly that I could scarcely realize it. The yelping of the hounds, the clattering of stones, grew fainter, telling me Jude and Sounder, with Jones, were going to the bottom of the bay. Both lions snarling at me brought me to a keen appreciation of the facts in the case. Two full-grown lions to be kept treed without hounds, without a companion, without a gun!

"This is fine! This is funny!" I cried, and for a moment I wanted to run. I pronounced one savage malediction upon myself for leaving my gun. I could not go for it; I would have to make the best of my error, and in the wildness born of the moment I swore if the lions would stay treed for the hounds they would stay treed for me. Presently a chorus of bays, emphasized by Jones's yell, told me his lion had been treed again. "Waa-hpp!" rolled down from above, I saw Emett farther to the left from the point where he had just appeared. "Where--can--I--get--down?" I surveyed the walls of the bay. Cliff on cliff, slide on slide, jumble, crag, and ruin baffled my gaze. But I finally picked out a path. "Farther to the left!" I yelled and waited. He passed on, Don at his hells. "There!" I yelled again. "Stop there. Let Don go down with your lasso and come yourself." I watched him swing the hound down a wall and pull the slip noose free, Don slid to the edge of a slope, trotted to the right and left of crags, threaded the narrow places, and turned in the direction of the baying hounds.

Then I saw Emett sliding, leg wrapped around his lasso, down the step of the rim. With the stones and gravel roaring down, streaming over the walls like waterfalls,he seemed like a giant pursuing a foe, From time to time he sent up a jell of encouragement that wound down the canyon, to be answered by Jones and the baying hounds. Gaining his feet he at last passed out of sight behind the crests of the trees;I heard him going down, down till the sounds came up faint and hollow.

I was left absolutely alone with my two lions. I sat there in the sun watching them. For a long time they were quiet, listening. But as the bays and yells below diminished in volume and occurrence and then ceased altogether, they became restless. It was then that I, remembering another lion that I had held on top of a crag, began to bark like a hound. The lions became quiet once more. I bayed them for an hour. My voice grew from hoarse to hoarser and finally failed in my throat. The lions immediately grew restless again. The lower one hissed, spat, and growled at me, and made many attempts to start down, each one of which I frustrated by throwing stones under the tree. At length he made one more effort, turned head downward, and stepped from branch to branch. I dashed down the incline with a stone in one hand and a long club in the other. Instinctively I knew I must hurt him--make him fear me. If he got far enough down to jump he would either escape or have me helpless. I aimed deliberately at him and hit him square in the ribs. "Go back! Go back!" I yelled. "Don't you dare come down. I'll break your old head for you!"

Foolish or not, this means effectually stopped the descent. He climbed to his first perch. It was then, realizing what I had done, that I would certainly have made tracks from under that pinon if I had not heard the faint yelp of a hound. I listened, It came again, faint but clearer. I looked up at my lions. They to heard, for they were very still. Then the faint yelp floated up again in the silence. I saw the lions quiver. The yelp wafted up again, closer this time. I recognized it; it belonged to Don. The great hound on the back trail of the other lion was coming to my rescue. "Hi! Hi! Don, old boy!" I yelled. He leaped upon me like a shot and then ran to stand all his long length, fore paws against the pinon, his deep bay ringing defiance to the lions.

MOMENTS passed. I was just on the point of deciding to go down to hurry up my comrades, when a black and yellow, swiftly-flying string of hounds bore into sight, streaked up and circled the pinon. Jones, who at last showed his tall, stooping form on the steep ascent, seemed as long in coming as the hounds had been swift. "Did you get the lion? here's Emett?" I asked in breathless eagerness. "Lion tied--all fast," replied the panting Jones. "Left Emett-- to guard--him." "What are we to do now?" "Wait--till I get my breath. Think out--a plan. We can't get both lions--out of one tree." "All right," I replied after a moment's thought. "I'll tie Sounder and Moze. You go up the tree. That first lion will jump, sure; he's almost ready now. Don and the other hounds will tree him again pretty soon. If he runs up the canyon, well and good. Then, if you can, get the lasso on the other; I'll follow Don."

Jones began the ascent of the pinon. The branches were not too close, affording him easy climbing. Before we looked for even a move on the part of the lions the lower one began stepping down. I yelled a warning, but Jones did not have time to take advantage of it.. He had half turned, meaning to swing out and drop,when the lion planted both forepaws upon his back. Jones went sprawling down with the lion almost on him. Don had his teeth in the beast before he touched the ground; and when he did strike, the rest of the hounds were on him. A cloud of dust rolled down the slope. The lion broke loose and with great, springy bounds ran up the canyon, Don and his followers hot-footing it after him. Moze and Sounder broke the dead sapling to which I had tied them and, dragging it behind them, endeavored in frenzied action to join the chase. I drew them back, loosening the rope, so in case the other lion jumped I could free them quickly. Jones calmly gathered himself up, rearranged his lasso, took his long stick, and proceeded to mount the pinon again. I waited till I saw him slip the noose over the lion's head, then I headed up the canyon.

I hung close to the broad trail left by the lion and his pursuers, and began to climb. The baying of the hounds directed me and I soon found the lion crouched in a thick pinon. I took one picture of him as he sat in the dark shade, and then climbed to the low cliff and waited for assistance. An hour passed before Sounder and Moze, vociferously venting their arrival, foretold the coming of Jones. I saw his gray locks waving in the breeze, and yelled for him to take his time. As he reached me the lion jumped and ran up the canyon. This suited me, for I knew he would take to a tree soon, and the farther up he went the less distance we would have to pack him. From the cliff I saw him run up a slope, pass a big cedar, cunningly turn on his trail, and then climb into the tree and hide in its thickest part.

Jones and I toiled laboriously upward. He had brought my lasso, and now he handed it to me with the significant remark that I would soon have need of it. The cedar was bushy and overhung a yellow, bare slope that made Jones shake his head. He climbed the tree, lassoed the spitting lion and then leaped down to my side. By united and determined efforts we pulled the lion off the limb, let him down, and soon had his paws bound fast. "Now what?" asked Jones. "Emett is watching the second lion, which we fastened by chain and lasso to a swinging branch. I'm all in. My heart won't stand any more climb." "You go to camp for the pack horses," I said briefly. "I'll help Emett tie up the second lion and then we'll pack them both up here to this one. You take the hounds with you." "Can you help Emett tie up that lion?" asked Jones. "Mind you, he's loose except for a collar and chain. His claws haven't been clipped. Besides, it'll be an awful job to pack those two lions up here." "We can try,' I said. "You hustle to camp. Your horse is right back of here, across the point, if I don't mistake my bearings." Jones, admonishing me again, called the hounds and wearily climbed the slope. I waited until he was out of hearing, then began to retrace my trail down into the canyon. I made the descent in quick time, to find Emett standing guard over the lion. The beast had been tied to an overhanging branch that swung violently with every move he made. "When I got here," said Emett, "he was hanging over the side of that rock, almost choked to death. I drove him into this corner between the rocks and the tree, where he has been comparatively quiet. Now what's up? Where is Jones?Did you get the third lion?" I related what had occurred and then said we were to tie this lion and pack him with the other one up the canyon to meet Jones and the horses. "All right," replied Emett with a grim laugh. "We'd better get at it. Now, I'm some worried about the lion we left below. He ought to be brought up, but we both can't go. This lion here will kill himself." "What will the other one weigh?" "All of one hundred and fifty pounds." "You can't pack him alone." "I'll try, and I reckon that's the best plan. Watch this fellow and keep him in the corner."

EMETT left me then and I began a third long vigil beside a lion. The rest was more than welcome. An hour and a half passed before I heard the sliding of stones below, which told me that Emett was coming. He appeared on the slope almost bent double, carrying the lion, head downward, before him. He could climb only a few steps without lowering his burden and resting. I ran down to meet him. We secured a stout pole and, slipping it between the lion's paws, below where they were tied, we managed to carry him fairly well, and after several rests got him up alongside the other. "Now to tie that rascal!" exclaimed Emett. "Jones said he was the meanest one he'd tackled, and I believe it. We'll cut a piece off of each lasso and unravel them so as to get strings. I wish Jones hadn't tied the lasso to that swinging branch." "I'll go and untie it." Acting on this suggestion I climbed the tree and started out on the branch. The lion growled fiercely. "I'm afraid you'd better stop," warned Emett. "That branch is bending and the lion can reach you." But despite this I slipped out a couple of yards farther and had almost got to the knotted lasso when the branch swayed and bent alarmingly. The lion sprang from his corner and crouched under me, snarling and spitting, with every indication of leaping. "Jump! Jump! Jump!" shouted Emett hoarsely. I dared not, for I could not jump far enough to get out of the lion's reach. I raised my legs and began to slide myself back up the branch. The lion leaped, missing me but scattering the dead twigs. Then the beast, beside himself with fury, half leaped, half stood up, and reached for me. I looked down into his blazing eyes and open mouth and saw his white fangs. Everything grew blurred before my eyes. I desperately fought for control over mind and muscle. I heard hoarse roars from Emett. Then I felt a hot burning pain in my wrist, which stung all my faculties into keen life again. I saw the lion's beaked claws fastened in my leather wristband. At the same instant Emett dashed under the branch and grasped the beast's tail. One powerful lunge of his broad shoulders tore the lion loose and flung him down the slope the full extent of the rope. Quick as thought I jumped down, and just in time to prevent Emett from attacking the lion with the heavy pole we had used. "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" roared Emett. "No, you won"t," I replied quietly, for my pain had served to soothe my excitement as well as to make me more determined. "You'll tie up the darned tiger if he cuts you all to pieces. You know how Jones will laugh if you fail. Here bind up my wrist." Mention of Jones"s probable ridicule and sight of my injury cooled Emett. "It's a nasty scratch," he said, binding my handkerchief around it. "The leather saved your hand from being torn off. He's an ugly brute, but you're right; I'll tie him. Now let's each take a lasso and worry him till we get hold of a paw. Then we can stretch him out." Jones did a reckless thing when he tied that lion to the swinging branch, and almost surely he did it to play a trick on Emett. It was almost worse than having him entirely free. He had a circle almost twenty feet in diameter in which he could run and leap at will. It seemed he was in the air all the time. First at Emett, then at me he sprang, mouth agape,eyes wild, claws spread. We whipped him with our nooses, but not one would hold. He always tore it off before we could draw it tight. At last I secured a precarious hold on one hind paw and straightened my lasso. "That's far enough," cried Emett. "Now hold him tight; don't lift him off the ground." I had backed up the slope. Emett faced the lion, noose ready, waiting for a favorable chance to rope a front paw. The lion crouched low and tense, only his long tail lashing back and forth across my lasso. Emett threw the loop in front of the spread paws, now half sunk into the dust. "Ease up; ease up." said he. "I'll tease him to jump into the noose."

I let my rope sag. Emett poked a stick into the lion's face. All at once I saw the slack in the lasso which was tied to the lion's chain. Before I could yell to warn my comrade the beast leaped. My rope burned as it tore through my hands. The lion sailed into the air, his paws wide-spread like wings, and one of them struck Emett on the head and rolled him down on the slope. I jerked back on my rope to find it had slipped its hold. "He slugged me one," remarked Emett, calmly rising and picking up his hat. "Did he break the skin?" "No, but he tore your hat band off," I replied.

For a few moments or and hour--no one will ever know how long--we ran 'round him, raising the dust, scattering the stones, breaking the branches, dodging his onslaughts. He leaped at us to the full length of his tether, sailing right into our faces, a fierce, uncowed, tigerish beast. If it had not been for the collar and swivel he would have choked himself a hundred times. Quick as a cat, supple, powerful, tireless, he kept on the go, whirling, bounding, leaping, rolling, till it seemed we would never catch him. "If anything breaks he'll get one of us," cried Emett. "I felt his breath that time." "Lord! How I wish we had some of those fellows here who say lions are rank cowards!" I exclaimed. In one of his sweeping side swings the lion struck the rock and clung there on its flat surface with his tail hanging over. "Attract his attention," shouted Emett,"but don't get too close. Don't make him jump."

While I slowly maneuvered in front of the lion, Emett slipped behind the rock, lunged for the long tail and got a good hold of it. Then with a whoop he ran around the rock, carrying the kicking. squalling lion clear of the ground. "Now's your chance!" he yelled. "Rope a hind foot! I can hold him."

IN a second I had a noose fast on both hind paws, and then passed my rope to Emett. While he held the lion I again climbed the tree, untied the knot that had caused so much trouble, and very shortly we had our obstinate captive stretched out between two trees. After that we took a much-needed breathing spell. "Not very scientific," growled Emett, by way of apologizing for our crude work, "but we had to get him some way." "Emett, do you know I believe Jones put up a job on us?" I said. "Well, maybe he did. We had the job all right. But we'll make short work of him now." He certainly went at it in a way that alarmed me and would have electrified Jones. While I held the chain Emett muzzled the lion with a stick and a strand of lasso. His big blacksmith's hands held, twisted, and tied with remorseless strength. "Now for the hardest part of it,' said he, "packing him up." We toiled and drudged upward, resting every few yards, wet with sweat, boiling with heart, parching for water. We slipped and fell, got up to slip and fall again. The dust choked up. We senselessly risked our lives on the brinks of precipices. We had no thought save to get the lion up.

One hour of unremitting labor saw our task finished so far. Then we wearily went down for the other. "This one is the heaviest," gloomily said Emett. We had to climb partly sideways with the pole in the hollow of our elbows. The lion dragged head downward, catching in the brush and on the stones. Our rests became more frequent. Emett, who had the downward end of the pole and therefore thrice the weight, whistled when he drew breath. Half the time I saw red mist before my eyes. How I hated the sliding stones! "Wait," panted Emett once. "You're--younger--than me--wait!" For that giant--used all his days to strenuous toil, peril, and privation--to ask me to wait for him was a compliment which I valued more than any I had ever received. At last we dropped our burden in the shade of a cedar where the other lions lay, and we stretched ourselves. A long, sweet rest came abruptly to end with Emett's next words: "The lions are choking! They're dying of thirst! We must have water!" One glance at the poor, gasping, frothing beasts proved to me the nature of our extremity. "Water in this desert! Where will we find it? Oh, why did I forget my canteen?"

After all our hopes, our efforts, our tragedies, and finally our wonderful good fortune, to lose these beautiful lions for lack of a little water was sickening, maddening. "Think quick!" cried Emett. "I'm no good; I'm all in. But you must find water. It snowed yesterday. There's water somewhere." Into my mind flashed a picture of the many little pockets beaten by rains into the shelves and promontories of the canyon rim. With the thought I was on the jump. I ran; I climbed; I seemed to have wings; I reached the rim and hurried along it with eager gaze. I swung down on a cedar branch to a projecting point of rock. Small depressions were everywhere still damp, but the water had evaporated. But I would not give up. I jumped from rock to rock and climbed over scaly ledges, and set tons of yellow shale into motion. And I found on a ragged promontory many little round holes, some a foot deep, all full of clear water. Using my handkerchief as a sponge I filled my cap. Then began my journey down. I zigzagged the slopes, slipped over stones, leaped fissures, and traversed yellow slides. I safely descended places that in an ordinary moment would have presented insurmountable obstacles, and burst down upon Emett with an Indian yell of triumph. "Good!" ejaculated he. If I had not known it already, the way his face changed would have told me of his love for animals. He grasped a lion by the ears and held his head up. I saturated by handkerchief and squeezed the water into his mouth. He wheezed, coughed, choked, but to our joy he swallowed. He had to swallow. One after the other we served them so, seeing with unmistakable relief the sure signs of recovery. Their eyes cleared and brightened; the dry coughing that distressed us so ceased; the froth came no more. The savage fellow that had fought us to a standstill, for which we had named him Spitfire, raised his head, the gold in his beautiful eyes darkened to fire, and growled his return to life and defiance. Emett and I sank back in unutterable relief. "Waa-hoo!" Jones's yell came, breaking the warm quiet of the slope. Our comrade appeared riding down. Jones surveyed the small level spot in the shade of the cedars. He gazed from the lions to us, his stern face relaxed, and his dry laugh cracked. "Dog-gone you, Jim Emett-if you didn't do it!"

LOOKING back now at these experiences with Emett, after twelve years of first-hand study of the wild places and strong characters of the West, I can easily see how he took powerful hold of my imagination and fixed for me an ideal which has never changed. Al Western men, developed by hard contact with the desert, are great whether they are good or bad. But Emett was good, and he typified all that was rugged, splendid, enduring. He was an old Viking of the desert. My debt to him is incalculable. No doubt he exerted more influence over my developing, creating, all-absorbing love for the Southwest than any other Westerner. I was singularly young and boyish in impressionable receptiveness. The romance of the West dominated me, though fortunately I did not wholly escape the realism.

Emett loved the West, and he loved his red-walled oasis in all seasons, day and night, sunrise and sunset, Like the Moki Indian, he faced the sunrise and sunset. No task was too urgent to keep him from that. He used to stare at the blank walls as if he could read handwriting there invisible to other eyes.

I verily believe that it was from Emett I contracted the marvelous, all-satisfying habit of watching, seeing, feeling from high places above the desert. Give me a promontory over the desert or a magnificent cape jutting out over a canyon--and my happiness is complete. Yet I did not know that then. I used to sit with Emett and watch and listen for hours. What do I not owe that man? Emett knew when to be silent. Surely, of all the gifts that have come to me from contact with the West, this one of sheer love of wilderness beauty, color, grandeur, has been the greatest, the most significant for my work.

SECONDLY, Emett's love of all creatures, and especially horses, was something I absorbed. Perhaps I was at a sponge-like stage then. I do not think I was ever hard or cruel to animals, but I never had what I learned from Emett. Jones controlled horses, dogs, lions, buffalo, and even the larger beasts of Africa, and he did it by sheer brutal mastery. He made them fear him. But Emett was a different kind of a man. Whatever it was that he felt for horses, and it must have been love, they returned. It was a most remarkable feature about this most remarkable man. I remember when we had to pack the three captured lions back to camp. Jones tried all the horses except one, and that was Emett's gray stallion, one he called Mark. "Let me pack them on Mark," said Emett, when the forceful and irascible Jones had failed on all the other horses. They bit, kicked, bucked--it was impossible to pack them. "That stallion!" yelled Jones. "He'll kill the lions. He'll jump into the canyon." But, wonderful to relate, Emett somehow got the spirited stallion to pack those lions alive to camp.

I first saw Silvermane, the famous white-maned stallion, wildest of wild horses, when I was with Emett. I saw many others, and once Emett thought surely he had got me a glimpse of Wildfire. How the old gray-headed Westerner would stand and gaze! To be sure, he wanted to capture those incomparable wild stallions, but I believed it was because he loved them. Whatever it was, I absorbed it in addition to my own thrilling emotion.

LASTLY, and perhaps the Emett taught me, was to en- Emett taught me, was to endure. I think that of all the qualities of spirit, I most reverence endurance. Stevenson wrote that courage and intelligence are the two qualities of character most worth developing. I believe they inculcate endurance. Fosdick, the best of modern preachers, calls this the faculty to finish.

I saw manifestations of Emett's past endurance. I learned of innumerable feats beyond comprehension. The desert had developed him. Like an Indian, if he was to survive there, he must endure. Loneliness, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, the fierce sandstorm, the desert blizzard, poverty, labor without help, illness without medicine,m tasks without remuneration, no comfort, but little sleep, so few of the joys commonly yearned for by men, and pain, pain, always some kind of pain-these were the things that taught Emett endurance.

I had to revere him. I had to love him. And, in as much as was possible for me, I gritted my teeth and began the development of endurance. It sustained me through years of defeat, of deferred longing and labor, when otherwise I would have fallen by the wayside. To seek, to strive, to find and not to yield, these bands that forged the strong soul of Ulysses were assuredly the strength of Jim Emett.

?? American Magazine April 1926