Jimmy Hayes and Muriel (Henry)

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Jimmy Hayes and Muriel
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young ranger was thought to be a coward after disappearing during a fight, but his skeleton was later found alongside those of the enemies he had single-handedly defeated.

Jimmy Hayes was a young, good-natured man who joined a group of Texas Rangers. He was well-liked by his comrades for his humor and simplicity, but they were unsure of his bravery and ability to handle the dangerous situations they often faced. Jimmy had a unique companion, a horned frog named Muriel, which he kept with him at all times.

Jimmy Hayes — young, inexperienced ranger; good-natured, humorous; had a pet horned frog named Muriel.
Muriel — Jimmy's pet horned frog; wore a red ribbon around its neck.

Brace up, Muriel, old girl, we’re ’most there now! Been a long ride for ye, ain’t it, ye old antediluvian handful of animated carpet-tacks?

The frog was a source of amusement for the rangers, but they wondered if Jimmy would be able to prove himself in battle.

One day, the rangers were attacked by a group of Mexican bandits led by Sebastiano Saldar. The rangers fought back, but Jimmy went missing during the battle. They searched for him but found no trace, leading them to believe that he had fled in fear. This brought shame to the group, as they had never had a member show cowardice before.

Nearly a year later, the rangers were sent to a location near their previous camp to investigate smuggling. While riding through a dense area, they came across the skeletons of three Mexicans, including the notorious Sebastiano Saldar. The men had been killed in a fierce battle, their rifles still pointing in the direction of their attacker.

A short distance away, they found another skeleton, that of a man who had fought the Mexicans to the death. As they examined the remains, Muriel the horned frog emerged from the tattered clothing, revealing that the brave fighter was none other than Jimmy Hayes.

Lieutenant Manning — commander of the ranger company; responsible, authoritative.

The rangers realized that Jimmy had not fled in fear, but had instead pursued the bandits and single-handedly taken them down, sacrificing his own life in the process.

A strange requiem, you may say, over the body of a fallen comrade; but if Jimmy Hayes could have heard it he would have understood.

The rangers let out a wild yell, a mixture of grief, apology, and triumph, as they finally understood the true courage of their fallen comrade.