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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 14:59:00
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Really,” asserted Willie. I know where she's goin' to be all night. I heard 'em say so. The Oskaloosie Kid's with her an' annuder guy an' the girl I seen with the dead man in Squibbs' woods an' they got a BEAR!” It was almost a shriek. You'd better come right away an' bring Mr. Prim. I'll meet you on the ol' Toledo road right south of Payson, an' say, do I get the whole reward?”

Bridge extended a hand and patted her bowed head. In the eyes of The Oskaloosa Kid there glistened something perilously similar to tears.

We seen The Oskaloosa Kid this evenin',” volunteered one of the newcomers.

For a moment his auditors were too surprised to voice a single emotion; but presently one murmured, soulfully: Pipe de swag!” He of the frock coat, golf cap, and years waved a conciliatory hand. He tried to look at the boy's face; but for the life of him he couldn't raise his eyes above the dazzling wealth clutched in the fingers of those two small, slim hands. From one dangled a pearl necklace which alone might have ransomed, if not a king, at least a lesser member of a royal family, while diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds scintillated in the flaring light of the fire. Nor was the fistful of currency in the other hand to be sneezed at. There were greenbacks, it is true; but there were also yellowbacks with the reddish gold of large denominations. The Sky Pilot sighed a sigh that was more than half gasp.

The girl also ran to the man's side and clutched him by the sleeve.

From below came no repetition of the inexplicable noises of that night of terror and at last, with every object plainly discernible in the light of the new day, Bridge would delay no longer; but voiced his final determination to descend and make a fire in the old kitchen stove. Both the boy and the girl insisted upon accompanying him. For the first time each had an opportunity to study the features of his companions of the night. Bridge found in the girl and the youth two dark eyed, good-looking young people. In the girl's face was, perhaps, just a trace of weakness; but it was not the face of one who consorts habitually with criminals. The man appraised her as a pretty, small-town girl who had been led into a temporary escapade by the monotony of village life, and he would have staked his soul that she was not a bad girl.

ago.'”

I reckon you croaked IT,” suggested the second newcomer, hopefully; but, as though the THING without had heard and understood, the clanking of the chain recommenced at once; but now it was retreating along the hallway, and soon they heard it descending the stairs.


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