it was evident that he did not realize that
practically every word he had spoken had reached the ears of the three
in hiding and that his final precaution as he divulged the information
to the girl was prompted by an excess of timidity and secretiveness.
The eyes of the girl widened in surprise and fear as she learned that
three watchers lay concealed at the verge of the clearing. She bent
a long, searching look in the direction indicated by the boy and then
turned her eyes quickly toward the hut as though to summon aid. At the
same moment Bridge stepped from hiding into the clearing. His pleasant
'Good morning!' brought the girl around, facing him.
"What you want?" she snapped.
"I want you and this young man," said Bridge, his voice now suddenly
stern. "We have been watching you and followed you from the Squibbs
house. We found the dead man there last night;" Bridge nodded toward the
quilt enveloped thing upon the ground; "and we suspect that you had
an accomplice." Here he frowned meaningly upon Willie Case. The youth
trembled and stammered.
"I never seen her afore," he cried. "I don' know nothin' about it.
Honest I don't." But the girl did not quail.
"You get out," she commanded. "You a bad man. Kill, steal. He know; he
tell me. You get out or I call Beppo. He keel you. He eat you."
"Come, come, now, my dear," urged Bridge, "be calm. Let us get at the
root of this thing. Your young friend accuses me of being a murderer,
does he? And he tells about murders in Oakdale that I have not even
heard of. It seems to me that he must have some guilty knowledge himself
of these affairs. Look at him and look at me. Notice his ears, his chin,
his forehead, or rather the places where his chin and forehead should
be, and then look once more at me. Which of us might be a murderer and
which a detective? I ask you.
"And as for yourself. I find you here in the depths of the wood digging
a lonely grave for a human corpse. I ask myself: was this man murdered?
but I do not say that he was murdered. I wait for an explanation from
you, for you do not look a murderer, though I cannot say as much for
your desperate companion."
The girl looked straight into Bridge's eyes for a full minute before she
replied as though endeavoring to read his inmost soul.
"I do not know this boy," she said. "That is
The man was sitting at a table a short distance from Billy.Page 17
He wanted to hear more, and as Billy was not handicapped by any overly refined notions of the ethics which frown upon eavesdropping he lost no time in transferring the scene of his labors to a point sufficiently close to one of the cabin ports to permit him to note what took place within.Page 29
I think they intend holding us for ransom.Page 30
Barbara Harding, finding herself unmolested, finally acceded to the repeated pleas of Mr.Page 33
She took a step toward the door.Page 38
" "Starve nothin'," shrieked Skipper Simms.Page 55
Are you game?" "You know it, cul--go to 't," was Billy Byrne's laconic rejoinder.Page 94
From appearances it seemed that either might breathe his last at any moment, and as she looked at Theriere a wave of compassion swept over her, and the tears welled to her eyes; yet it was to the mucker that she first ministered--why, she could not for the life of her have explained.Page 124
Then he crawled on again up to the top, and staggering to his feet made his way cautiously toward the two huts.Page 129
Coward! SHE had called him that once, and then she had changed her mind.Page 142
And Billy was practically without witnesses.Page 143
"Come along, Byrne," a bailiff interrupted his thoughts, "the jury's reached a verdict.Page 191
Now Billy Byrne was more than passing well acquainted with many of the fundamental principles of sudden brawls.Page 206
Only the sentry paced up and down the sidewalk in front.Page 211
" "Then we shall have him before morning," cried the captain, "for there is but one place to the south where a robber would ride, and he has not had sufficient start of us that he can reach safety before we overhaul him.Page 221
Then the door was closed with a bang.Page 238
"Bridge got away all right," he said.Page 244
Within, Billy Byrne turned inquiring eyes in the direction of the opening door, and as he saw who it was who entered surprise showed upon his face; but he spoke no word for the girl held a silencing finger to her lips.Page 255
Rozales called a soldier to saddle and bridle their horses and shortly after the two were riding abreast down the trail out of the hills.Page 257
Beside the brown body lay a long rifle.