The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 86

talked a few minutes two men came out of the bank.
Mr. Paynter introduced them to me. He said they were driving out into
the country to look at a piece of property--a farm somewhere north
of Oakdale--and that on the way back they were going to stop at The
Crossroads Inn for dinner. He asked me if I wouldn't like to come
along--he kind of dared me to, because, as you know, The Crossroads has
rather a bad reputation.

"Father had gone to Toledo on business, and very foolishly I took his
dare. Everything went all right until after we left The Inn, although
one of the men--his companion referred to him once or twice as The
Oskaloosa Kid--attempted to be too familiar with me. Mr. Paynter
prevented him on each occasion, and they had words over me; but after
we left the inn, where they had all drunk a great deal, this man renewed
his attentions and Mr. Paynter struck him. Both of them were drunk.
After that it all happened so quickly that I could scarcely follow it.
The man called Oskaloosa Kid drew a revolver but did not fire, instead
he seized Mr. Paynter by the coat and whirled him around and then he
struck him an awful blow behind the ear with the butt of the weapon.

"After that the other two men seemed quite sobered. They discussed what
would be the best thing to do and at last decided to throw Mr. Paynter's
body out of the machine, for it was quite evident that he was dead.
First they rifled his pockets, and joked as they did it, one of them
saying that they weren't getting as much as they had planned on; but
that a little was better than nothing. They took his watch, jewelry,
and a large roll of bills. We passed around the east side of Oakdale and
came back into the Toledo road. A little way out of town they turned
the machine around and ran back for about half a mile; then they turned
about a second time. I don't know why they did this. They threw the body
out while the machine was moving rapidly; but I was so frightened that
I can't say whether it was before or after they turned about the second

"In front of the old Squibbs place they shot at me and threw me out; but
the bullet missed me. I have not seen them since and do not know where
they went. I am ready and willing to aid in their conviction; but,
please Mr.

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