"Come! come! now," Bridge tried to soothe him. "You have a case of
nerves. Lie down here on this bed and try to sleep. Nothing shall harm
you, and when you wake up it will be morning and you'll laugh at your
"Lie on THAT bed!" The voice was almost a shriek. "That is the bed the
Squibbs were murdered in--the old man and his wife. No one would have
it, and so it has remained here all these years. I would rather die than
touch the thing. Their blood is still upon it."
"I wish," said Bridge a trifle sternly, "that you would try to control
yourself a bit. Hysteria won't help us any. Here we are, and we've to
make the best of it. Besides we must look after this young woman--she
may be dying, and we haven't done a thing to help her."
The boy, evidently shamed, released his hold upon Bridge and moved
away. "I am sorry," he said. "I'll try to do better; but, Oh! I was so
frightened. You cannot imagine how frightened I was."
"I had imagined," said Bridge, "from what I had heard of him that it
would be a rather difficult thing to frighten The Oskaloosa Kid--you
have, you know, rather a reputation for fearlessness."
The darkness hid the scarlet flush which mantled The Kid's face. There
was a moment's silence as Bridge crossed to where the young woman still
lay upon the floor where he had deposited her. Then The Kid spoke. "I'm
sorry," he said, "that I made a fool of myself. You have been so brave,
and I have not helped at all. I shall do better now."
"Good," said Bridge, and stooped to raise the young woman in his arms
and deposit her upon the bed. Then he struck another match and leaned
close to examine her. The flare of the sulphur illuminated the room
and shot two rectangles of light against the outer blackness where the
unglazed windows stared vacantly upon the road beyond, bringing to a
sudden halt a little company of muddy and bedraggled men who slipped,
cursing, along the slimy way.
Bridge felt the youth close beside him as he bent above the girl upon
"Is she dead?" the lad whispered.
"No," replied Bridge, "and I doubt if she's badly hurt." His hands ran
quickly over her limbs, bending and twisting them gently; he unbuttoned
her waist, getting the boy to strike and hold another match while he
examined the victim for signs of a bullet wound.
"I can't find a scratch on her," he said
Jonas Prim pass from his library to his second floor bed-room unnoticed when Mrs.Page 5
rolled cigarets.Page 8
Soup Face, who had been assiduously communing with a pint flask, leaned close to Columbus Blackie, placing his whiskers within an inch or so of the other's nose as was his habit when addressing another, and whispered, relative to the pearl necklace: "Not a cent less 'n fifty thou, bo!" "Fertheluvomike!" ejaculated Blackie, drawing back and wiping a palm quickly across his lips.Page 9
"You gotta cut that if you travel with this bunch," said The Sky Pilot in a voice that was new to The Oskaloosa Kid; "and you, too, Blackie," he continued.Page 10
"You're a cheerful guy," commented Dopey Charlie; "but you may be right at dat.Page 11
He had seen that the two men were conversing together earnestly, though he could over-hear nothing they said, and that he had been the subject of their nocturnal colloquy, for several times a glance or a nod in his direction assured him of this.Page 21
You say you could hear his screams as long as you were within earshot of the barn--dead men don't scream, you know.Page 22
A clump of trees surrounded the house, their shade adding to the almost utter blackness of the night.Page 23
In the ditch beside the road they found in a dishevelled heap the body of a young woman.Page 27
"Didn't I tell you that it can't get in?" "How do you know it can't get in?" whimpered the youth.Page 32
"Oh, don't!" pleaded The Oskaloosa Kid.Page 36
And Bridge could not find it in his heart to refuse him, for the man realized that the boyish waif possessed a subtile attraction, as forceful as it was inexplicable.Page 38
"Let me go.Page 39
"The General an' I'll look after the kids--won't we bo?" "Sure," assented The General; "we'll take care of 'em.Page 48
"I wisht I'd asked six bits more--I mought jest as well o' got it as not.Page 57
"Thet's what they do say, an' this here Oskaloosie Kid said they heered things las' night an' seed a dead man on the floor, didn't he M'randy?" M'randy nodded her head.Page 60
With raised finger he motioned the others to silence and then pointed through the branches ahead.Page 74
"I don' think he no hurt you anyway," she said.Page 80
Down went the man and as he fell he released his hold upon the youth who immediately turned and ran for the road.Page 84
Jonas Prim and his wife awaited Abigail's return in the spacious living room at the left of the reception hall.