The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

to stare at him. "Yew seen it?" he asked in
awestruck tone.

"Yes," said the Kid in a low voice, and bending close toward the other;
"it had bloody froth on its lips!"

The Case boy shrank back. "An' what did yew hear?" he asked, a glutton
for thrills.

"Something that dragged a chain behind it and came up out of the cellar
and tried to get in our room on the second floor," explained the youth.
"It almost got us, too," he added, "and it did it all night."

"Whew," whistled the Case boy. "Gosh!" Then he scratched his head and
looked admiringly at the youth. "What mought yer name be?" he asked.

"I'm The Oskaloosa Kid," replied the youth, unable to resist the
admiration of the other's fond gaze. "Look here!" and he fished a
handful of jewelry from one of his side pockets; "this is some of the
swag I stole last night when I robbed a house."

Case Jr. opened his mouth and eyes so wide that there was little left
of his face. "But that's nothing," bragged The Kid. "I shot a man, too."

"Last night?" whispered the boy.

"Yep," replied the bad man, tersely.

"Gosh!" said the young Mr. Case, but there was that in his facial
expression which brought to The Oskaloosa Kid a sudden regret that he
had thus rashly confided in a stranger.

"Say," said The Kid, after a moment's strained silence. "Don't tell
anyone, will you? If you'll promise I'll give you a dollar," and he
hunted through his roll of bills for one of that lowly denomination.

"All right," agreed the Case boy. "I won't say a word--where's the
dollar?"

The youth drew a bill from his roll and handed it to the other. "If you
tell," he whispered, and he bent close toward the other's ear and spoke
in a menacing tone; "If you tell, I'll kill you!"

"Gosh!" said Willie Case.

At this moment Case pere and mere emerged from the kitchen loaded with
provender. "Here's enough an' more'n enough, I reckon," said Jeb Case.
"We got eggs, butter, bread, bacon, milk, an' a mite o' garden sass."

"But we ain't goin' to charge you nothin' fer the garden sass,"
interjected Mrs. Case.

"That's awfully nice of you," replied The Kid. "How much do I owe you
for the rest of it?"

"Oh," said Jeb Case, rubbing his chin, eyeing the big roll of bills and
wondering just the limit he might raise to, "I reckon 'bout four dollars
an' six bits."

The Oskaloosa Kid peeled a five dollar bill from his roll and proffered
it to the farmer.

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