The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

girl was running one hand gingerly over her head and face, so that
her next question did not surprise him.

"Am I badly wounded?" she asked. "Do you think that I am going to die?"
The tremor in her voice was pathetic--it was the voice of a frightened
and wondering child. Bridge heard the boy behind him move impulsively
forward and saw him kneel on the bed beside the girl.

"You are not badly hurt," volunteered The Oskaloosa Kid. "Bridge
couldn't find a mark on you--the bullet must have missed you."

"He was holding me over the edge of the car when he fired." The girl's
voice reflected the physical shudder which ran through her frame at the
recollection. "Then he threw me out almost simultaneously. I suppose he
thought that he could not miss at such close range." For a time she was
silent again, sitting stiffly erect. Bridge could feel rather than see
wide, tense eyes staring out through the darkness upon scenes, horrible
perhaps, that were invisible to him and the Kid.

Suddenly the girl turned and threw herself face downward upon the bed.
"O, God!" she moaned. "Father! Father! It will kill you--no one will
believe me--they will think that I am bad. I didn't do it! I didn't
do it! I've been a silly little fool; but I have never been a bad
girl--and---and--I had nothing to do with that awful thing that happened

Bridge and the boy realized that she was not talking to them--that for
the moment she had lost sight of their presence--she was talking to that
father whose heart would be breaking with the breaking of the new day,
trying to convince him that his little girl had done no wrong.

Again she sat up, and when she spoke there was no tremor in her voice.

"I may die," she said. "I want to die. I do not see how I can go on
living after last night; but if I do die I want my father to know that
I had nothing to do with it and that they tried to kill me because
I wouldn't promise to keep still. It was the little one who murdered
him--the one they called 'Jimmie' and 'The Oskaloosa Kid.' The big one
drove the car--his name was 'Terry.' After they killed him I tried to
jump out--I had been sitting in front with Terry--and then they dragged
me over into the tonneau and later--the Oskaloosa Kid tried to kill me
too, and threw me out."

Bridge heard the boy at his side gulp. The girl went on.


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