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"Sinkin' spells. Doctors workin' with him," sententiously remarked the guard to the sergeant, pausing a moment in his regular tramp.
For the first time in her life Rafella told a deliberate lie. "No," she said, her heart fluttering painfully with fear and shame. "I had only just come out to listen for the trap.
Lad moved over to him; hesitated a moment, looking wistfully upward at the solid ground above. Then, he seemed to decide which way his duty pointed. Lying down beside the freezing child, he pressed his great shaggy body close to Cyril’s; protecting him from the swirling snow and from the worst of the cold.
The story narrates graphically how Waller and his men were overawed and compelled, under fear, to agree to join the robber band; how they were received into it with melodramatic ceremonies and then were oath-bound, but not fully trusted; how they made their escape—the savage and astute robbers being, of course, fooled for the exigencies of the event; how the Waller force combined with its waiting reinforcements, returned, captured Jim Wilson and then went to Hurricane Island and destroyed that part of the band; and how eventually “Jim Wilson’s head was severed, his body buried ... the head identified and delivered to the proper authorities at Pittsburgh ... and the captors received the merited reward.” This last point is plainly an echo of Mason’s fate.
During our drive, and about the tea-table, the talk of course dwelt mainly on the awkward incident of Bolton Byrne’s thrashing. The women were horrified or admiring, as their humour moved them; but the men all agreed that it was natural enough. In such a case any pretext was permissible, they said; though it was stupid of Hayley to air his grievance on a public occasion. But then he was stupid—that was the consensus of opinion. If there was a blundering way of doing a thing that needed to be done, trust him to hit on it! For the rest, everyone spoke of him affectionately, and agreed that Leila was a fool ... and nobody particularly liked Byrne, an “outsider” who had pushed himself into society by means of cheek and showy horsemanship. But Leila, it was agreed, had always had a weakness for “outsiders,” perhaps be
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