The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 79

whatever's coming to you, son," replied Burton. "You say
there are two men and two women--are you sure that is all?"

"And the bear," corrected Willie.

"All right, keep quiet and wait for me," cautioned Burton. "You'll know
me by the spot light on my car--I'll have it pointed straight up into
the air. When you see it coming get into the middle of the road and wave
your hands to stop us. Do you understand?"

"Yes," said Willie.

"And don't talk to anyone," Burton again cautioned him.

A few minutes later Burton left Oakdale with his two lieutenants and a
couple of the local policemen, the car turning south toward Payson and
moving at ever accelerating speed as it left the town streets behind it
and swung smoothly onto the country road.

*****


It was after midnight when four men cautiously approached the old mill.
There was no light nor any sign of life within as they crept silently
through the doorless doorway. Columbus Blackie was in the lead. He
flashed a quick light around the interior revealing four forms stretched
upon the floor, deep in slumber. Into the blacker shadows of the far end
of the room the man failed to shine his light for the first flash had
shown him those whom he sought. Picking out their quarry the intruders
made a sudden rush upon the sleepers.

Bridge awoke to find two men attempting to rain murderous blows upon
his head. Wiry, strong and full of the vigor of a clean life, he pitted
against their greater numbers and cowardly attack a defense which was
infinitely more strenuous than they had expected.

Columbus Blackie leaped for The Oskaloosa Kid, while The Sky Pilot
seized upon Abigail Prim. No one paid any attention to Giova, nor, with
the noise and confusion, did the intruders note the sudden clanking of
a chain from out the black depths of the room's further end, or the
splintering of a half decayed studding.

Soup Face entangling himself about Bridge's legs succeeded in throwing
the latter to the floor while Dirty Eddie kicked viciously at the
prostrate man's head. The Sky Pilot seized Abigail Prim about the waist
and dragged her toward the doorway and though the girl fought valiantly
to free herself her lesser muscles were unable to cope successfully
with those of the man. Columbus Blackie found his hands full with The
Oskaloosa Kid. Again and again the youth struck him in the face;

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