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and" you can go, free. We-ain't got
nothing against your
Warden Davis deliberately arose
and drew a line in the mud with his
" boot toe.. Then he closed one-half
the gate slowly, calmly.
"The first man that sets foot across
that line I'll shoot," said Davis, rais
ing his rifle.
The -man who had addressed him
"I know you, Simms, for all your
mask, said the warden. Now boys,
are you going to follow that man to
your death? Go home, you fools."
Suddenly there came' a revolver
crack from the mob and the old man
pitched forward, struggled to rise
and sank back with a "groan. His
knee was shattered. The rifle had
fallen from his hand and -he made
frantic, futile efforts to-regain it." At
tne souna or tne snot Mouie naa
sprung to "her f-atKer's J' side?-'" She
snatched the rifle and, pointing it at
Simms, fired. TneTmatf reeled and
fell. The mob shrank back and in an
instant .she had dragged"- Her father
inside the . gate and closed' it. Next
moment.sne was carrying ,mm;. pant
ins: under his weight, into the house.
while the- crowd hammered, in fury
upon tne gates. i
"They'll last five minutes,'' Davis
muttered, and relapsed into uncon
sciousness. Upon the wall of the office hung
the keys. Acting now by blind in
stinct, Mollie seized the heaviest of
all, the key which opened the dobr of
Lowndes' cell. She ran down the
flagged passage, gasping. The key
clicked in the lock, and the convict
rose in astonishment to see the girl
"Come!" she, cried, and ran back.
As Lowndes followed her he heard
the thud of wood upon wood and the
triumphant yells of the mob as the
gates splintered before, the blows of
The girl dragged him into the office
and flung the shutters close and
barred the door.
.into. .his. hands. "TphU save my i"
father?" she cried. "I trust you.. g
They are maddened now by the sight rA
of blood, but they shall never set foot '
in here, as 'iqng as I liye." ' , ,
"Or I," he answered, and kneeling c t
beside the window, opened a chink, rB '
in. the shutters and thrust the rifle '
forth. The leaders looked into it as
they ran yelling forward. They knew-,;p '
that their revolver bullets were ppw-r rf
erless against the strong, window T'
"Turn back or .1 fireJ cried ,the
convict. As they paused he knew
that he had. them at his mercy. The
mob. instinct of fear had conquered,
that of hate. They halted and the'
courage was gone out of then He' ,n
flung the shutters wide and rose to 0 s -his
"Fling down your, weapons!" he fe'
shouted. - f.
They saw the tall figure in con- '
vict!s stripes and the gleaming bar
rel leveled-.on them. Sullenly theys -
obeyed and. withdrew toward the J
eate Then from bevond the road
a trampling was heard. Gray-coated
men came at thedouble quick toward "i
the prison. It was the militia com- rA
pany from the capital.
A moment later and the last of the
assailants, were racing to, safety.
Two officers bore the man who. had
been shdt.into the office and placed.
-him at the warden's side. The elder
man opened his eyes. .
Thank. God, warden, we came in t.
time' said the commanding officer.
What, have they done to vou? A v
knee wound? You'll be up and around
in a week, man. But as fpr.him " '
pUUUia iuyaucu ctuu auuggmu llllu 4
sitting posture, his head restine T?rfl
against the officer's shoulder. He " nr
was shot through the bqdy. He could ,i
not live an hour. .
"I want to tell you " he mut
tered, and then his eyes met those
of thejeonvict's. The tvo meh.staied 4 .
fixedly at each other. Simms uttered sis
a groan. - - l4?
"Listen before I die," he gasped xg,