One was to securely lash the gold-chest in its place; but its place he changed to the front of the cart. Another was to leave the lid of the foot-box, built against the dashboard, wide open, and to so secure it that it could not close again. Another was to adjust the lowered hood of the cart in a certain way that it was raised head-high as he sat in his driving-seat.
He knew death when he saw it, and he had seen it shining in those staring eyes. James had passed over the one-way trail, and his had been the hand that had sped him upon his journey. Now he took a deep breath and stood swaying. Then he glanced with measuring eye at the foot-box at his feet. He changed his support, and, bending slowly, dragged a rawhide rope from inside it.
There was fire and cross-fire. There were exultant shouts and cries of pain. And through it all the scuttling of rushing hoofs and champing bits. A moment and the defender dropped. But instantly he rose again, gripping in his nervous hands the butts of a pair of fresh guns snatched from his foot-box. Nor did he stir foot again, nor relax a muscle, till every one of the twelve chambers was emptied.