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Newspaper Page Text
Woods held cloe to the eyes of the
astonished Waith a badge of the gov
ernment secret service.
"I never saw it before," declared
"That won't do!" snarled Woods.
"You have come here under false
'(M pretences to get a clew to the hiding
he added to Vance and the others,
"we are honest men, but we stick to
our friends in trouble and my brother
must be protected, l demand this
man's life as the penalty for his spy
ing into our affairs.
There was silence and bowed
heads. Hector Waith knew that his
fate was sealed. He thought of the
wild-rose beauty, Nellie, whose
bright, tender ways had won him to
linger in this wild district. His clear
glance swept the faces before him.
Speech would be useless. He must
act if he would save his life.
The men stepped aside in low
toned consultation. Waith saw
Woods draw out his revolver. Just
beyond the copse a, horse grazed un
tetered. Withia spring Waith gained
his feet and dashed towards the ani
mal. He was in the saddle in a flash.
The horse made a bound along a
narrow ledge skirting a deep ravine.
"Bang! Bang!" with an unearthly
scream the splendid steed wavered,
upreared. Pierced at a vital part, the
brave animal swung to one side.
Horse and rider went hurtling over
the edge of the narrow footpath, dis
appearing amid fathomless depths
The pursuing coterie reached the
edge of the ravine. They peered down
in awed silence. Only Dale Woods
said t ohimself, with a- thought of
"That ends the man who came be
tween nfe and my love!"
It was hours afterwards, when a
limping form with tattered and dis
ordered attire emerged from a re
mote passageway between two walls
of rock leading from the ravine.
It was Hector Waith. He had es- j
caped after a terrible erHonce.
The horse had gone to the bottom of
the gully. He had sunk a few rods
down into a "est of dence enveloping
Waith had clung to these, safely
sheltered from the view of his pur
suers until they had left the spot.
He could not climb up, the grade was
too precipitous, but foot by foot he
let himself down until he reached the
bottom of the ravine. This progress
had been accompanied by dangerous
falls and contact with sharp-pointed
The moon was up when he emerg-
ed from the ravine. He was at sea as
to distance or direction. His only
thought now was to get out of the
district before being overtaken. Nel
lie would come to him at some point
of safety when he wrote to her later
tl was in the early hours of the
morning. The moon was just sink
ing, when lying in the road before
him he made out a human form. It
was that of an old woman. She had
apparently been making her way
from one point to another of the
desolate district when she had sunk
from exhaustion. She was insensible
andWaith could not arouse her.
HiVbiat shall I do?" he questioned
himself. "It is dangerous for me to
delay, but I cannot leave this helpless
old woman to. die."
Like the true man he was, Waith
thought only of .the unconscious
charge on his handstand the hours
passed on. He discovered a deserted
hut at a little distance. He carried
the old woman thither, gathered up
dry grass for a bed and made her as
comfortable as he could. She revived
somewhat, but wan- stni incoherent
From her wanderings, Vdith decided
that she had started to visit p. rela
tive and had got lost and old age and
exhaustion had broughfher to the
ebbing state of vitality.
For two days Waith gathered ber
ries, nuts, whatever he could find to
give sustenance to his charge. She