Auntie Sue, while joining in the laughter, and acknowledging the introduction, regarded the business-looking gentleman by the window with intense interest. "I think," she said, slowly, and the sweetness of her low, cultured voice was very marked in contrast to the Sheriff's thundering tones, "I think, sir, that this is the first time in my life that I ever saw a real detective.
"You let loose an earful that time," spoke Bud, in picturesque, western slang. "We'll have to let the bottle-breaker wait for a spell, until we size up this rustler question. We may have to get up a sheriff's posse and clean out the rascals." "If we can find 'em," grimly added Dick.
Such people were, for the most part, merely on the ragged edge of the white world, seldom rising above the level of overseers, or slave-catchers, or sheriff's officers, who could usually be relied upon to resent the drop of black blood that tainted them, and with the zeal of the proselyte to visit their hatred of it upon the unfortunate blacks that fell into their hands.
"Come to Jack's weddin', of course," replied Polly, adding complacently: "And probably projectin' a hitch-up of his own." Slim ran around the corner of the house directly into the crowd, who seized him before he could recover from his surprise, and proceeded to haze him, to their intense delight and the Sheriff's embarrassment, for he knew that Polly was somewhere near, enjoying his discomfiture.
The first man who entered an officer of the Crown from the sheriff's court on the bridge took off his hat to the majesty that dominated that bare cell. The Cowgate region presented many a startling contrast, but such a one as this must seldom have been seen.
The current caught the boat and swept it through the break. Oh, I was so glad! I'm so afraid of water, but not then. I used the paddle as a rudder, and to push floating timber away. My foot was hurting me, and I looked at last and saw that it was cut." A groan came from the judge, and the sheriff's head drooped. "All day I drifted, and all night. I was so thirsty, and I grew so weak.
"It was an awful thing was done in this house that night, Mrs. Hale," said the sheriff's wife. "Killing a man while he slept slipping a thing round his neck that choked the life out of him." Mrs. Hale's hand went out to the bird-cage. "His neck. Choked the life out of him." "We don't know who killed him," whispered Mrs. Peters wildly. "We don't know." Mrs. Hale had not moved.
The Sheriff's words had left no vestige of doubt in Grassette's mind. This Bignold was the man who had taken Marcile away, first to the English province, then into the States, where he had lost track of them, then over to England. Marcile where was Marcile now? In Keeley's Gulch was the man who could tell him, the man who had ruined his home and his life.
I don't want you talking about what you saw. I don't want you thinkin' about it. What's the use? Thurman's dead and buried. The cor'ner come and held an inquest, and the jury agreed it was an accident. I was on the jury. The sheriff's took charge of his property. You couldn't prove what you saw, even if you was to try." He looked at her very much as Lone Morgan had looked at her.
The sheriff's officers, when engaged in the compulsory raising of taxes, would have a lively time, and I am sure they would never get any money. We don't take it seriously yet. If the bill were actually on the statute book and an Irish House of Commons doing the Finnigan's wake business with the furniture legs of the College Green Lunatic Asylum, even then we would not take it seriously.