And then another voice was interjected, another disputant stepped quickly forward, and Toomey checked himself in the first breath of an impassioned outburst; his black hand suddenly shot half-way up to the cap-visor, then came down with a jerk; his heels had clicked together and his knees straightened out, then as suddenly went limp. The new-comer had sprung up the steps.

Some one set the kitchen door ajar and looked out; between it and Thore stood old Ole, with his cap-visor down over his eyes, for the cap was too large now that he had lost his hair.

A couple of men in the maroon uniform of Pelton's store police were waiting as Prestonby's 'copter landed on the top stage; one of them touched his cap-visor with his gas-billy in salute and said: "Literate Prestonby? Miss Pelton is expecting you; she's in her father's office. This way, if you please, sir."

The soldier tapped at the panel, and at the prompt "Come in" pushed it partly open and stood with one white-gloved hand resting on the knob, the other raised to his cap-visor in salute. "Lieutenant Blake?" he asked, as he glanced around. "What is it?" asked Blake, stepping quickly from the window.

His coat was buttoned to the throat, his cap-visor pulled low over his eyes, his pistol hand hanging straight down at his side, his gaze never wavering from me. I knew he was coolly, deliberately measuring the distance between us with as deadly a purpose as any murderer. The almost painful stillness was broken by Caton, and I marked the tremor in his voice. "Are you both ready, gentlemen?"

It was a fifteen-minute process from the curb to the first of the porch steps, and then Mrs. Goldstone leaned forward, her voice straining to keep its pitch. "Effie!" The young figure sprang around the porch pillar. "Mamma Hat! Honey, you didn't wait up for me?" Mr. Kessler came forward, goggles pushed up above his cap-visor. "Well, I'm hanged! What did you think that I was kidnapping the kid?"