his throat and the long sword of his dead daimio
passed through his heart.
Byrne held the corpse until he was positive that life was extinct, then
he dropped it quietly back upon its pallet, and departed to search the
adjoining dwelling. Here he found a large front room, and a smaller
chamber in the rear--an arrangement similar to that in the daimio's
The front room revealed no clue to the missing men. Within the smaller,
rear room Byrne heard the subdued hum of whispered conversation just as
he was about to open the door. Like a graven image he stood in silence,
his ear glued to the frail door. For a moment he listened thus and then
his heart gave a throb of exultation, and he could have shouted aloud in
thanksgiving--the men were conversing in English!
Quietly Byrne pushed open the door far enough to admit his body. Those
within ceased speaking immediately. Byrne closed the door behind him,
advancing until he felt one of the occupants of the room. The man shrank
from his touch.
"I guess we're done for, Mallory," said the man in a low tone; "they've
come for us."
"Sh-sh," warned the mucker. "Are you and Mallory alone?"
"Yes--for God's sake who are you and where did you come from?" asked the
surprised Mr. Harding.
"Be still," admonished Byrne, feeling for the cords that he knew must
bind the captive.
He found them presently and with his jackknife cut them asunder. Then he
"Follow me," he said, "but go quietly. Take off your shoes if you
have 'em on, and hang 'em around your neck--tie the ends of the laces
The men did as he bid and a moment later he was leading them across the
room, filled with sleeping men, women, children, and domestic animals.
At the far side stood a rack filled with long swords. Byrne removed two
without the faintest suspicion of a noise. He handed one to each of his
companions, cautioning them to silence with a gesture.
But neither Anthony Harding nor Billy Mallory had had second-story
experience, and the former struck his weapon accidentally against the
door frame with a resounding clatter that brought half the inmates
of the room, wide-eyed, to sitting postures. The sight that met the
natives' eyes had them on their feet, yelling like madmen, and dashing
toward their escaping prisoners, in an instant.
"Quick!" shouted Billy Byrne. "Follow me!"
Down the village street the three men ran, but the shouts of the
natives had brought armed samurai to every door with a celerity that was
uncanny, and in another moment the fugitives
It was a strained smile which twisted the rather too perfect mouth of The Oskaloosa Kid, an appellation which we must, perforce, accept since the youth did not deny it.Page 8
"Not a cent less 'n fifty thou, you tinhorn!" he bellowed, belligerent and sprayful.Page 12
He was a prosaic old bachelor who had amassed a fortune by the simple means of inheriting three farms upon which an industrial city subsequently had been built.Page 15
There were those who, if pressed, would have conceded that Reginald had no morals.Page 18
Another flash of lightning revealed a fork in the road immediately ahead--to the left ran the broad, smooth highway, to the right a dirt road, overarched by trees, led away into the impenetrable dark.Page 20
The man followed more slowly.Page 27
What are doors to such.Page 28
Hysteria won't help us any.Page 41
The beams of the little electric lamp, moving from side to side, revealed a small cellar littered with refuse and festooned with cob-webs.Page 43
Bridge looked at him questioningly; but did not urge the matter.Page 52
But I mind the time, the fust day he got the dinged thing, he gets out an' tries to lead it by Lem Smith's threshin' machine.Page 53
Here the path was beaten into soft mud and as Bridge came to it he stopped and bent his gaze incredulously upon the ground.Page 63
"And as for yourself.Page 67
"By George! though, I'd as soon have hunted a real ghost in the dark as to have run into this fellow.Page 72
A dozen times he had been arraigned upon suspicion; but as many times had he been released with a clean bill of morals until of late Bridge had become almost immune from arrest.Page 74
"He fill up now.Page 77
At a safe distance he followed the girl and the bear through one alley after another until they came out upon the road which leads south from Payson.Page 87
He knew he was done.Page 93
" "But I don't want to--I only want to choose my own husband," replied Abigail.Page 94
"Tell me," demanded the girl, "why you were so kind to me when you thought me a worthless little scamp of a boy who had robbed some one's home.