Jim Harker is a landlord of the crudest type. Harker evicts the Widow Cline and her son Andy from the house which he owns because they cannot pay the rent. The community is so aroused by Harker's action that his own family is ostracized. Finally he is driven out of town entirely, and moves to the far west to try ranching. In the meantime, neighbors provide a purse to send the Clines west. It chances that the Harkers and the Clines take up land in neighboring valleys, without knowing the presence of the others. Harker goes in for ranching on a large scale. His funds are low, but he pledges his crops in payment for the installments on the land, which is held by a brutal fellow named Dominguez. An old squaw appeals to Harker for food. He uses his usual brutal measures on her, and she utters against him a terrible curse: "The drought be upon you." True, a terrible drought visits the region that season. Dominguez sees how things are going and calls for a pledge for the coming season. ...
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