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He was just beginning to think of the questions he had wanted to ask, a dozen, half a hundred of them more definitely who she was; how and why she had come to Athabasca Landing; her interest in Sandy McTrigger; the mysterious relationship that must surely exist between her and Inspector Kedsty; and, chiefly, her real motive in coming to him when she knew that he was dying.

He twisted the collar about the dog's limp neck until he came to the worn plate, on which he could make out the faintly engraved letters K-a-z-a-n. He spelled the letters out one by one, and the look in his face was of one who still disbelieved what he had seen and heard. "A dog!" he exclaimed again. "A dog, Sandy McTrigger an' a a beauty!" He rose to his feet and looked down on his victim.

Kent drew himself up higher against his pillows and faced the door when Cardigan went out. In a flash all that O'Connor had said swept back upon him this girl, Kedsty, the mystery of it all. Why had she come to see him? What could be the motive of her visit unless it was to thank him for the confession that had given Sandy McTrigger his freedom? O'Connor was right.

McTrigger looked into the fireplace instead of at Kent. Then he said: "He killed those men, but he didn't murder them, Kent. It couldn't be called that. It was justice, single-man justice, without going to law. If it wasn't for Marette, I wouldn't tell you about it not the horrible part of it. I don't like to bring it up in my memory. ... It happened years ago.

McTrigger looked into the fireplace instead of at Kent. Then he said: "He killed those men, but he didn't murder them, Kent. It couldn't be called that. It was justice, single-man justice, without going to law. If it wasn't for Marette, I wouldn't tell you about it not the horrible part of it. I don't like to bring it up in my memory. ... It happened years ago.

And Jeems Jeems " She raised herself from the pillow. Her breath was coming a little excitedly. Both her hands, instead of one, were gripping his hand now. "I knew that you didn't kill John Barkley," she repeated. "And SANDY MCTRIGGER DIDN'T KILL HIM!" "But " "He DIDN'T," she interrupted him, almost fiercely. "He was innocent, as innocent as you were. Jeems I Jeems I know who killed Barkley.

McTrigger must have seen him afterward, for he waited at the office until Kedsty came. I don't know what passed between them. Constable Doyle says they were together for half an hour. Then McTrigger walked out of barracks, and no one has seen him since. It's mighty queer. The whole thing is queer. And the queerest part of the whole business is this sudden commission of mine at Fort Simpson."

He tried to visualize McTrigger, the man he had saved from the hangman, waiting for Kedsty in the office at barracks. He pictured the girl, as O'Connor had described her, with her black hair and blue eyes and then the storm broke. The rain came down in a deluge, and scarcely had it struck when the door opened and Cardigan hurried in to close the window.

Kent followed him to the fireplace. From the shelf over the stonework McTrigger took a picture and gave it to him. It was a snapshot, the picture of a bare-headed man standing in the open with the sun shining on him. A low cry broke from Kent's lips. It was the great, gray ghost of a man he had seen in the lightning flare that night from the window of his hiding-place in Kedsty's bungalow.

For a space a flash of seconds she looked at him as if possessed of the subconscious fear that he was not Jim Kent, and then slowly her arms opened, and she reached them out to him. She did not smile, she did not cry out, she did not speak his name now; but her arms went round his neck as he took her to him, and her face dropped on his breast. He looked at McTrigger.