The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 69

a gang o'
thieves an' murderers, an' I'm callin' up thet big city deetectiff to
come arter 'em."

Mrs. Case sank into a chair, prostrated by the weight of her emotions,
while Willie took down the receiver after ringing the bell to attract
central. Finally he obtained his connection, which was with Jonas Prim's
bank where detective Burton was making his headquarters. Here he learned
that Burton had not returned; but finally gave his message reluctantly
to Jonas Prim after exacting a promise from that gentleman that he would
be personally responsible for the payment of the reward. What Willie
Case told Jonas Prim had the latter in a machine, with half a dozen
deputy sheriffs and speeding southward from Oakdale inside of ten
minutes.

A short distance out from town they met detective Burton with his two
prisoners. After a hurried consultation Dopey Charlie and The General
were unloaded and started on the remainder of their journey afoot under
guard of two of the deputies, while Burton's companions turned and
followed the other car, Burton taking a seat beside Prim.

"He said that he could take us right to where Abigail is," Mr. Prim
was explaining to Burton, "and that this Oskaloosa Kid is with her,
and another man and a foreign looking girl. He told a wild story about
seeing them burying a dead man in the woods back of Squibbs' place. I
don't know how much to believe, or whether to believe any of it; but
we can't afford not to run down every clew. I can't believe that my
daughter is wilfully consorting with such men. She always has been full
of life and spirit; but she's got a clean mind, and her little escapades
have always been entirely harmless--at worst some sort of boyish prank.
I simply won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes. If she's with
them she's being held by force."

Burton made no reply. He was not a man to jump to conclusions. His
success was largely due to the fact that he assumed nothing; but merely
ran down each clew quickly yet painstakingly until he had a foundation
of fact upon which to operate. His theory was that the simplest way is
always the best way and so he never befogged the main issue with any
elaborate system of deductive reasoning based on guesswork. Burton never
guessed. He assumed that it was his business to KNOW, nor was he on any
case long before he did know. He was employed now to find Abigail Prim.
Each of the several crimes committed the previous night

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Text Comparison with A Princess of Mars

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