The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 67

Gypsies. I got lot clothing in house. We all go Gypsies, an' when we
reach Payson we no try hide--jus' come out on street with Beppo. Mak'
Beppo dance. No one think we try hide. Then come night we go 'way. Find
more wood an' leetle lake other side Payson. I know place. We hide there
long time. No one ever fin' us there. We tell two, three, four people
in Payson we go Oakdale. They look Oakdale for us if they wan' fin' us.
They no think look where we go. See?"

"Oh, I can't go to Payson," exclaimed the other girl. "Someone would be
sure to recognize me."

"You come in house with me," Giova assured her, "I feex you so your own
mother no know you. You mens come too. I geeve you what to wear like
Gypsy mens. We got lots things. My father, him he steal many things from
our people after they drive us out. He go back by nights an' steal."

The three followed her toward the little hovel since there seemed no
better plan than that which she had offered. Giova and the other girl
were in the lead, followed by Bridge and the boy. The latter turned to
the man and placed a hand upon his arm. "Why don't you leave us," he
asked. "You have done nothing. No one is looking for you. Why don't you
go your way and save yourself from suspicion."

Bridge did not reply.

"I believe," the youth went on, "that you are doing it for me; but why I
can't guess."

"Maybe I am," Bridge half acknowledged. "You're a good little kid, but
you need someone to look after you. It would be easier though if you'd
tell me the truth about yourself, which you certainly haven't up to

"Please don't ask me," begged the boy. "I can't; honestly I can't."

"Is it as bad as that?" asked the man.

"Oh, it's worse," cried The Oskaloosa Kid. "It's a thousand times worse.
Don't make me tell you, for if I do tell I shall have to leave you,
and--and, oh, Bridge, I don't want to leave you--ever!"

They had reached the door of the cabin now and were looking in past the
girl who had halted there as Giova entered. Before them was a small room
in which a large, vicious looking brown bear was chained.

"Behold our ghost of last night!" exclaimed Bridge. "By George! though,
I'd as soon have hunted a real ghost in the dark as to have run into
this fellow."

"Did you know last night that

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