The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 65

in the same
boat. We haven't any of us done anything so very bad but it would be
embarrassing to have to explain to the police what we have done," here
he glanced at The Oskaloosa Kid and the girl standing beside the youth.
"Suppose we form a defensive alliance, eh? We'll help you and you help
us. What do you say?"

"All right," acquiesced Giova; "but what we do with this?" and she
jerked her thumb toward Willie Case.

"If he don't behave we'll feed him to Beppo," suggested Bridge.

Willie shook in his boots, figuratively speaking, for in reality he
shook upon his bare feet. "Lemme go," he wailed, "an' I won't tell
nobody nothin'."

"No," said Bridge, "you don't go until we're safely out of here. I
wouldn't trust that vanishing chin of yours as far as I could throw
Beppo by the tail."

"Wait!" exclaimed The Oskaloosa Kid. "I have it!"

"What have you?" asked Bridge.

"Listen!" cried the boy excitedly. "This boy has been offered a hundred
dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the men
who robbed and murdered in Oakdale last night. I'll give him a hundred
dollars if he'll go away and say nothing about us."

"Look here, son," said Bridge, "every time you open your mouth you put
your foot in it. The less you advertise the fact that you have a hundred
dollars the better off you'll be. I don't know how you come by so much
wealth; but in view of several things which occurred last night I should
not be crazy, were I you, to have to make a true income tax return.
Somehow I have faith in you; but I doubt if any minion of the law would
be similarly impressed."

The Oskaloosa Kid appeared hurt and crestfallen. Giova shot a suspicious
glance at him. The other girl involuntarily drew away. Bridge noted the
act and shook his head. "No," he said, "we mustn't judge one another
hastily, Miss Prim, and I take it you are Miss Prim?" The girl made a
half gesture of denial, started to speak, hesitated and then resumed. "I
would rather not say who I am, please," she said.

"Well," said the man, "let's take one another at face value for a while,
without digging too deep into the past; and now for our plans. This wood
will be searched; but I don't see how we are to get out of it before
dark as the roads are doubtless pretty well patrolled, or at least every
farmer is on the lookout for suspicious strangers. So we might

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