The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

I am
going to stick to you, and there is some excuse for me because I have a
reason--the best reason in the world."

"What is it?" asked Bridge.

The Oskaloosa Kid shook his head, and once more he flushed.

"Well," said the guard, with a shrug of his shoulders, "it's up to you
guys. If you want to hang, why hang and be damned. We'll do the best we
can 'cause it's our duty to protect you; but I guess at that hangin's
too good fer you, an' we ain't a-goin' to get shot keepin' you from
gettin' it."

"Thanks," said Bridge.

The uproar in front of the jail had risen in volume until it was
difficult for those within to make themselves heard without shouting.
The Kid sat upon his bench and buried his face in his hands. Bridge
rolled another smoke. The sound of a shot came from the front room of
the jail, immediately followed by a roar of rage from the mob and a
deafening hammering upon the jail door. A moment later this turned to
the heavy booming of a battering ram and the splintering of wood. The
frail structure quivered beneath the onslaught.

The prisoners could hear the voices of the guards and the jailer raised
in an attempt to reason with the unreasoning mob, and then came a final
crash and the stamping of many feet upon the floor of the outer room.

Burton's car drew up before the doorway of the Prim home in Oakdale. The
great detective alighted and handed down the missing Abigail. Then he
directed that the other prisoners be taken to the county jail.

Jonas Prim and his wife awaited Abigail's return in the spacious living
room at the left of the reception hall. The banker was nervous. He paced
to and fro the length of the room. Mrs. Prim fanned herself vigorously
although the heat was far from excessive. They heard the motor draw up
in front of the house; but they did not venture into the reception hall
or out upon the porch, though for different reasons. Mrs. Prim because
it would not have been PROPER; Jonas because he could not trust himself
to meet his daughter, whom he had thought lost, in the presence of a
possible crowd which might have accompanied her home.

They heard the closing of an automobile door and the sound of foot steps
coming up the concrete walk. The Prim butler was already waiting at the
doorway with the doors swung wide to receive the prodigal daughter of
the house of Prim. A slender figure with

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