And the sight brought, not indeed compassion, but a separated measure of respect. When they had almost reached the car, he called a halt. "I shan't keep on threatening you," he said "You're down and out. Understand, once for all, that, on the least movement, I shoot to kill." He pointed to the coat spread over what had been Mut-mut. "That's yours," he said. "Put it on."
Melchard stood erect and began to run towards them, slowly and painfully. "He's found his gun," said Dick. A raised arm and a sharp crack proved his words. "Throw in the top speed," said Dick. "We must go through the Bull's Neck. No cover the other way." He looked up at the ridge. Mut-mut was not there nor anywhere in sight.
"Oh, my foot!" she cried. Dick's chief fear was that shooting should begin too soon. But he heard Melchard's high voice shouting angrily to Mut-mut in his own tongue. "Jagun pakai snapong. Brenkali akau mow pukul sama prempuan." And Dick smiled, turning his head in time to see Mut-mut tuck away his revolver. He leaned over Amaryllis, with pretence of trying to pull her to her feet. "All right.
The bullet was too late to stop that gorilla-like spring, and Mut-mut, with a glitter of steel flashing in one of his outspread palms, launched himself upon them, landing, like some huge and horrible cat of dreams, on all fours in the body of the car.
And the monster obeyed the voice and touch of his master, restoring Woodfall to his feet with a docility that made him, if possible, more hateful to the crowd than before. "Akau baleh," continued Melchard. "Dan nante sana." And Mut-mut, the crowd yielding passage, made his way to the car, and sat at the wheel.
This, she had resolved, must be the moment when she should lose sight of the last runner; and by turning her head sideways, though never raising it, she could see that Dick had the same idea; for he had so directed his flight that he and Melchard were soon hidden from her, while the lumbering Mut-mut, wasting huge force, it seemed, upon each short stride, pounding along the lower ground, vanished only when, reaching his chosen line of ascent, he began to mount the hill.
Too quickly for any eye but Dick's to see how it was done, he had Bob Woodfall by the nape of the neck and the band of his trousers and lifted the long body high above the crowd at full-length of his terrible arms, brandishing it helpless, like some Mongolian Hercules a Norse Antaeus; took three steps to the stone wall of the stable-yard, and would have flung the village hero over it to break upon the cobble-stones, but for a gloved hand laid upon his shoulder, and a soft, high-pitched voice, saying: "Taroh, plan plan, Mut-mut!"
"The tangle-foot all went down the pussyfoot's neck, so I left 'Robbie Burns' in the car. By the way, don't forget to ring up about that car. Old Mut-mut cut the cushions to ribbons; that bit of evidence might save my neck." Finucane smiled pleasantly. "You seem to have left a trail of coroner's inquests behind you," he said. "All in the day's work," said Dick. "But not, thank God! in to-night's."
But at this moment Dixon Mallaby caught a gleam from his eyes which assured him that the least familiarity or impertinence of Melchard's would be resented in a manner likely to divert the crowd's lingering anger from Mut-mut to his master.
Her voice roused him; with an effort he found and unscrewed the flask. He had hardly drained it before sight came back to his eyes and he remembered the danger ahead. Mut-mut! They had reached a strip of road level and straight, some two hundred yards in length, which crossed the breadth of the ridge, on its way to a descent as steep as the climb already accomplished.