Steel Ball Run - Chapter 13
The sheriff, knowing that Steven would refuse to call the race off, has asked Mountain Tim, a trustworthy cowboy and bounty hunter, to investigate the crime scene. He appears, flirting with Lucy, and uncovers two clues: first that the culprit's horse has a recognizably dented horseshoe, secondly that the murder caused a button to eject itself from a victim's jean. Mountain Tim also mentions a mystic place which is rumored to grant strange powers to those crossing it.
Some time later, the competitors are aligned at the starting line of the 2nd Stage: a 2,000 km long crossing of the Arizona Desert. Gyro and Johnny discuss the other competitors and the stage, noting among other things that they should head north initially to the first water point then head east to the second water point.
At 10:00 AM the 26th of September 1890, the 2nd stage begins. Suddenly Gyro veers north-east, and Johnny understands with consternation that Gyro is looking for another short-cut by crossing 150 km of the Arizona Desert without water. Johnny follows Gyro nonetheless, and both are followed by competitor Mrs. Robinson, whose horse happens to have the same dented horseshoe as the murderer.