Why am I arrested for the murder of my own self preposterous! I, a man as alive as you are? You can see for yourself that I am Elder Craigmile's son. You know me?"
I could go back and buy that bank that was Peter Craigmile's pride " His voice rose, but he again suppressed it. "I could buy that pitiful little bank a hundred times over. And she is gone. I tried to keep her and the remembrance of her in my mind above the gold, but it was like a lunacy upon me.
Really it had begun before that, for there were other paintings in that home portraits, old and fine, which Elder Craigmile's father had brought over from Scotland when he came to the new world to establish a new home. These paintings were the pride of Elder Craigmile's heart, and the delight of Bertrand Ballard's artist soul. To Bertrand they were a discovery an oasis in a desert.
Then is he, posing as Peter Craigmile, Jr., free from the charge of murder even if he makes confession thereto. He returns and makes this plea because he would live the life of a free man and not that of an outcast. He has himself told you why. "Now, as for the proofs that he is Richard Kildene, you have heard them and know them to be unanswered. He has not the marks of Elder Craigmile's son.
We're friends all of us and we'll go all around to Elder Craigmile's house this night, and help him give thanks by partaking of his bounty and now will ye lift your voices and give a cheer for Elder Craigmile, a man who has stood in this community for all that is excellent, for uprightness and advancement, for honor and purity, a man respected, admired, and true who has stood for the good of his fellows in this town of Leauvite for fifty years."
The letters reached their opposite destinations at about the same time. The one to Amalia closely buttoned in Larry's pocket, and the short one to himself which he read and reread as his horse slowly climbed the trail, were halfway up the mountain when the postboy delivered Hester Craigmile's at the door of the sedate brick house belonging to the Craigmiles of Aberdeen.
Some one ought to go in fairness to Richard who loves " She choked and could say no more. "I will talk to your mother first. There is another thing that should soften your heart to the Elder. All over the country there is financial trouble. Banks are going to pieces that never were in trouble before, and Elder Craigmile's bank is going, he fears.
By this time a crowd had collected, and the servants were running from their work all over the hotel, while the proprietor stood aloof with staring eyes. "Here, Mr. Decker, you remember me Elder Craigmile's son? Some of you must remember me." But the proprietor only wagged his head. He would not be drawn into the thing. "I have no means of knowing who you are no more than Adam.