And the subtle inflection, as the Agent addressed himself to Steve Allenwood's wife, was by no means lost upon him. "Three!" The answer came in chorus from the two daughters of the doctor. And it came with a giggle. "Oh, if you're going to count a supper 'extra, why Anyway what's three out of twenty-seven. There's no kick coming to that. Guess a feller would be all sorts of a fool "
McDowell was startled completely out of all official attitude. Such a thing as Allenwood's resignation from the force had never for a moment entered his thoughts. It would have been simply unthinkable. "Yes." Steve was very deliberate. He picked up one of the letters at his side and tapped it with a forefinger. "It's this, sir," he said. "You can read this, and the others.
He had read the meaning of Steve Allenwood's sudden departure in the light of his own interpretation of the trouble he had seen in the man's grey eyes. He was entirely wrong. Steve had heard the approaching wagon, and he knew that his wife and the other folk were returning from the dance. But almost at the same instant he had detected the sound of horses' hoofs in an opposite direction.