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Newspaper Page Text
time. Something about the man's
appearance arrested his attention
and he surveyed him again with a
casual glance which nevertheless
j took in all details.
"It's a goodish walk frpm
Tampa," he continued, without
waiting for the other to reply.
"Nigh upon five and twenty
. ifliles it niust be."
"You are a Cornishman!" ex
claimed the other, rising from the
stool which he had occupied. "I
was born Tn Bodmin.' I haven't
heard the speech in seven years.
The hound's mote sounded
again, far over the marshes, and
another hound took up the call,
"You're from the convict
camp, I reckon," said the smith
quietly, as he began to hammer
again. "When did you get
"Five nights ago," the stranger
, cried, advancing into the glow of
. the fire. The smith could see the
hideous stripes plainly now, the
shaved head and the hands blis
tered with resin. "You'll help
me?" the stranger pleaded in
eager, rapid accents. "You'll tell
them I'm your help and give me
some' bread and put an old suit
about me? I wouldn't have asked
you if you hadn't been a- Cornish-
i man. Ie have took what I want
ed. Look!" '
He showed him the sharp knife
and then replaced it in his coat,
running it between the lining and
"Friend," said the smith, laying
k hi hammer down and approach
ing the other man, "you've time
to answer a question or two be
fore I answer you. jL'ii& heard
those camps are hell on earth, but
there's men hellish enough to de
serve to suffer in them. What
was your crime and how long did
they send you away for?"
"They sent me up for life!"
shouted the convict. "That was
seven years ago and I've been in
hell all that time. I guess I've
paid, the price."
."What was your crime, friend?"
the smith continued inexorably.
"Murder!" 'the other shouted.
"I killed a man, the lowest arid
meanest vermin that ever crawl
The smith stood facing the
convict quietly, butjthe kindliness
in his eyes had giv;en place fp
loathing. . e
"I'll give np help' to a mur
derer!" he cried. "Whoso sheds
nian's blood, by man his blood
should be shed. That's in the
Good Book. Be you gone, for
you'll get no help from me."
Standing there defenseless, he
yet covyed the tnan who had the
knife in his coa. The , fugitive
did not .even remember it.
"You'll hear me first," he
pleaded .. "If ever murder could
be justified, this was. Wait, now.
I'll tell you everything there's
time to tell and then I'll go, if you
won't help me." He went on rap
idly, disregarding the old man's
threatening gestures. "I was
raised in Bodmin and came to
this, country eight years aga to
marry my girl, the girl who was
pledged to me. She'd comd here