A BLACK MOMENT
By Adrian C. Howard.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.) . .
Crash thud!-- .
A crouching foftn had arisen
stealthily from among the thick un
derbrush surrounding a lone log
cabin. It held a light. In its flare,
leaning over a table preparing his
homely meal, the occupant could be
plainly seen by the lurker, who, lift
ing his revolver, took steady aim.
The window pane crashed to my
riad splinters, the man at the table
went over and down like a shot.
"I never missed yet!" growled out
the lurker. A savage glee was domi
nant in his strong, swarthy face. He
turned from the spot, momentarily
satisfied that he had wrought a meas
ure of justice rude, exacting fron
All day long Greg Davis had hung
around the spot All day long he had
nursed his fancied wrongs. The flask
at his feet filled with fiery fluid had
fed the dread appetite for blood. Now
the deed was done.
"Dan Moffat will never double
cross another partner," he muttered,
and he tramped on, striving to place
forever behind him an episode that
strangely, he fancied, persisted in
obscuring all other thoughts.
With a growl he dashed the flask
against a rock, its last drop exhaust
ed. His eyes grew bloodshot as he
hurried on. As the effects of the
liquor began to dissipate, it seemed
as if he could not escape the tor
menting fancies that come to him.
Nature appeared to have a thousand
"Coward murderer accursed !"
The chorus rang forth remorse
lessly. His fugitive course broke in
to a run, until at length, miles and
miles away from the scene of his
crime, Greg Davis sank to the ground
and slept the sodden sleep of exhaustion.
He awoke with a start and sprang
up with a shudder. All nature was
smiling, yet a red mist seemed to ob
scure it all. A dull horror traversed
the man's soul as he recalled what
he had done.
Oh, to take back yesterday! The
cursed drink, filling his mind with
sophistry, driving him to slaughter
in cold blood his friend, his chum, his
Then he tried to justify himself.
Together they had found a famous
claim. It was remote, and quick as
they got back to civilization, it was
agreed that together they should go
111 I M9$l$ft 1
fill SI fl IM WmmMmart
"I Never Missed Yet!"
and make good their preemption,
meantime keeping its- discovery a
sacred secret. Moffat had' returned
to the cabin. Davis had gone away
for a week to settle an old lawsuit.
Returning homewards, he had stop
ped to register the claim in his name
and that of his partner.
"Piled on a week ago," was the
astounding report, and Davis had
staggered away, concluding that his
partner had played him false. Who
else knew -of th& claim?
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