The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

ever to be passed up--and if she's followed she
won't come here. At least I hope she won't."

"What's that?" exclaimed The Oskaloosa Kid. Each stood in silence,
listening.

The girl shuddered. "Even now that I know what it is it makes me creep,"
she whispered, as the faint clanking of a distant chain came to their
ears.

"We ought to be used to it by this time, Miss Prim," said Bridge. "We
heard it all last night and a good part of to-day."

The girl made no comment upon the use of the name which he had applied
to her, and in the darkness he could not see her features, nor did
he see the odd expression upon the boy's face as he heard the name
addressed to her. Was he thinking of the nocturnal raid he so recently
had made upon the boudoir of Miss Abigail Prim? Was he pondering the
fact that his pockets bulged to the stolen belongings of that young
lady? But whatever was passing in his mind he permitted none of it to
pass his lips.

As the three stood waiting in silence Giova came presently among them,
the beast Beppo lumbering awkwardly at her side.

"Did he find anything to eat?" asked the man.

"Oh, yes," exclaimed Giova. "He fill up now. That mak him better nature.
Beppo not so ugly now."

"Well, I'm glad of that," said Bridge. "I haven't been looking forward
much to his company through the woods to-night--especially while he was
hungry!"

Giova laughed a low, musical little laugh. "I don' think he no hurt you
anyway," she said. "Now he know you my frien'."

"I hope you are quite correct in your surmise," replied Bridge. "But
even so I'm not taking any chances."

*****


Willie Case had been taken to Payson to testify before the coroner's
jury investigating the death of Giova's father, and with the dollar
which The Oskaloosa Kid had given him in the morning burning in his
pocket had proceeded to indulge in an orgy of dissipation the moment
that he had been freed from the inquest. Ice cream, red pop, peanuts,
candy, and soda water may have diminished his appetite but not his pride
and self-satisfaction as he sat alone and by night for the first time in
a public eating place. Willie was now a man of the world, a bon vivant,
as he ordered ham and eggs from the pretty waitress of The Elite
Restaurant

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