Now, in wild countries, such a command is never disobeyed, except by a fool or a would-be suicide. As Dick Trent was neither, his hands went up at once. And as he looked into the wicked muzzles of two bulldog revolvers, he inwardly cursed the carelessness that had led him so far afield, unarmed. For that he had been careless there was not the shadow of a doubt. All that morning, as his train wound its way through Central Mexico, there had been unmistakable evidence on every side of the disturbed state of the nation. From the car windows he had seen a fertile country turned into a desert. The railroad line itself had been fairly well guarded by strong detachments of Federal forces; but outside the direct zone of travel there were abundant witnesses of strife and desolation.