THE CROSSVILLE CHRONICLE
"OR I'LL SHOOT."
STNOPSIS. At Thornton Fair
child's death hla aon Robert learne
there haa been a dark period l
hla father'e life which for almoat
thirty yeara haa caused him unr
ing. The aecret la hinted at In a
document left by the
child, which also Informs Robert
he la now owner of a mining claim
in Colorado, and advising him io
aae Henry Beamish, a lawy er.
Beamish tella Robert hla claim, a
.liver mine la at Ohadl. thirty
eight milea f.om Denver. He also
warn, him agalnat a "J?;
"Squlnf Rodaine. hla "'""
my. Robert decides to go to Ohadl
On the road to Ohadi from Denver
Falrchlld assists a girl apparently
In a frensy of haste, to change a
tire on her auto. When she haa
left, the sheriff and a posse appear,
in pursuit of a bandit. Falrch Id.
bewildered, misleads them as to the
direction the girl had fken" I
Ohadl Falrchlld la warmly 8"eted
by "Mother" Howard, boarding
house keeper, for hla father a Bake.
From Mother Howard Falrchlld
learna something of the mystery
connected with the disappearance
of "Sissle" Larsen. his father co
worker in the mine. He meets tne
girl he had assisted, but she denies
her Identity. She la Anita Rich
mond. Judge Richmond's daughter.
Vialting hla claim. Falrchlld -W
shadowed by a man he r:fn;;
from deacrlptlona aa "Squint ko
dalne. Back In Ohadl. hla fathei-e
old friend, Harry Harklna. a Cor
nlshman. summoned-from England
by Beamish to help FaU-chlld,
halls him with Joy. The pair And
the mine flooded and have not suffi
cient funds to have It pumped dry.
Later In the day "Squint" Rodalna
announces that he practically saw
Harklna fall Into the flooded mine,
and evidenUy la drowned. Harklna
being a general favorite, the entire
population turna out to clear the
flooded mine. When the work la
practically done, Harry appear.
It had been a shrewd trick, and
the men take it aa a good Joke.
Falrchlld learns that Judge Rich
mond la dying, and that he and
Anita are in the power of the Ro
datnea. They begin, as partners,
to work the mine. In their hearta
both fear Larsen was killed by
Thornton Falrchlld and his body
burled by a cave-In which de
stroyed the mine.
CHAPTER IX Continued.
From far away the drone of the call
er sounded In a voice familiar, and
Falrchlld looked up to see the narrow
eyed, scarred face of Squint Rodaine,
who was officiating at the wheel. He
lost Interest in the game; lackadais
ically he placed the buttons on their
squares as the numbers were shouted,
finally to brush them all aside and de
sert the game. His hatred of the Ro
daines had grown to a point where
he could enjoy nothing with which
they were connected, where he de
spised everything with which they
bad the remotest affiliation excepting,
of course, one person. And as he rose,
Falrchlld saw that she was Just enter
ing the dance hall.
Only a moment he hesitated. Man
rice Rodaine, attired in a mauve frock
suit and the inevitable accompanying
beaver, had stopped to talk to some
one at the door. She stood alone, look
ing about the hall, laughing and nod
dingand then she looked at him!
Falrchlld did not wait.
From the platform at the end of the
big room the fiddles had begun to
squeak, and the caller was shouting
his announcements. Couples began to
line up on the floor. The caller's voice
"One mere couple then the dance
tarts. One more couple, lady an' a
gent I One more "
"Please I" Robert Falrchlld had
reached her and was holding forth his
hand. She looked up In half surprise,
"But I don't know these old dances."
"Neither do I or any other, for that
matter," he confessed with sudden
boldness. "But does that make any
difference T Please I"
She glanced quickly toward the
door. Maurice Rodaine was still talk
ing, and Falrchlld saw a little gleam
come Into her eyes the gleam that
shows when a woman decides to make
some one pay for rudeness.
Falrchlld's hand was still extended.
Again Anita Richmond glanced toward
the door, chuckled to herself while
Falrchlld watched the dimples that the
merriment caused, and then Falrchlld
forgot the fact that he was wearing
hobnailed shoes and that his clothes
were worn and old. He was going
forward to take his place on the dance
floor, and she was beside, him I
Some way, as through a bane, he
saw her. Some way he realized that
now and then his hand touched hers,
and that once, as they whirled about
the room. In obedience to the monarch
on the fiddler's rostrum, his arm was
aborrbher waist, and her bead touching
his ttavrider. It made little difference
whetfctsTiitbe dance calls were obeyed
afterfchfcf Falrchlld was making up
for -aTlrith -years he had plodded, all
the years A which he had known noth
ing but a slow, grubbing life, living
them all again and rightly, In the few
swift moments of a dance.
The music ended, and laughing they
Copyrlgat by Utile, Brews Oe.
returned to the side of the halL Out
of the tmze be heard words, uud knew
Indistinctly that they were his own:
"Will will you Ounce with me again
"Selfish !" 6he chlded.
"But will your
For Just a moment her eyes grew
"Did you ever realize that we've
never been. Introduced?"
Falrchlld was finding more conversa
tion than he ever had believed pos
sible. "No but 1 realize that 1 don't care
if you'll forgive It I believe that
I'm a gentleman."
"So do I or I wouldn't have danced
"Then please "
"Pardon me." She had laid a hand
on his arm for Just a moment, then
hurried away. Falrchlld sow that she
wa approaching young Rodaine,
scowling In the background. That per
son shot an angry remark at her as
she approached and followed It with
streaming sentences. Falrchlld knew
the reason. Jealousy 1 Couples, re
turning from the dance floor. Jostled
against him, but he did not move. He
was waiting waiting for the outcome
of the quarrel and in a moment it
came. Anita Richmond turned swiftly,
her dark eyes ablaze, her pretty lips
set and firm. She looked anxiously
about her, sighted Falrchlld, and then
started toward him, while he advanced
to meet her.
"Yes," was her brief announcement.
"I'll dance the next one with you."
"And the next after that?"
But Falrchlld did not appear to
A third dance and a fourth, while
In the Intervals Falrchlld's eyes sought
out the sulky, sullen form of Maurice
Rodaine, flattened against the wall,
eyes evil, mouth a straight line, and
the blackness of hate discoloring his
face. It was as so much wine to Fair
child ; he felt himself really young for
the first time in his life. And as the
music started again, he once more
turned to his companion.
Only, however, to halt and whirl
and stare In surprise. 'There had come
a shout from the doorway, booming,
"'Ands up, everybody! And quick
Some one laughed and Jabbed his
hands Into the air. ther, quickly
sensing a staged surprise, followed the
example. It was just the finishing
touch necessary the old-time hold-up
of the old-time dance. The "bandit"
"Out from be'lnd that bar I Drop
that gun 1" he commanded of the white
aproned attendant. "Out from that
roulette wheel. Everybody line up!
Quick and there ain't no time for
Chattering and laughing, they
obeyed, the sheriff, nls star gleaming,
standing out in front of them all, shiv
ering In mock fright, bis hands higher
than any one's. The bandit, both re
volvers leveled, stepped forward a foot
or so, and again ordered speed. A
bandanna handkerchief was wrapped
about his head, concealing his hair and
ears. A mask was over his eyes, sup
plemented by another bondannn,
which, beginning at the bridge of his
nose, flowed over his chin, cutting oft
all possible chance of recognition.
Only a second more he waited, then,
with a wave of the guns, shouted his
"All right, everybody ! I'm a decent
fellow. Don't want much, but I want
It quick 1 This 'ere's for the relief of
wldders and orphans. Make it sudden.
Each one of you gents step out to the
center of the room and leave five dol
lars. And step back when you've put
it there. Ladles stay where you're
Again a laugh. Falrchlld turned to
his companion, as she nudged him.
"There, it's your turn."
Out to the center of the floor went
Falrchlld, the rest of the victims
laughing and chiding him. Back he
came In mock fear, his hands In the
air. On down the line went the con
tributing men. Then the bandit rushed
forward, gathered up the bills and gold
pieces, shoved them In his pockets,
and whirled toward the door. '
"The purpose of this 'ere will be In
the paper tomorrow," he announced.
"And don't you folio me to find out!
Back, there 1"
Two or three laughing men had
started forward, among them a fiddler,
who had Joined the line, and who now
rushed out In flaunting bravery, brand
ishing bis violin as though to brain the
Intruder. Again the command:
"Back, there get back!" ;
Then the crowd recoiled. Flashes
had come from the masked man's guns,
the popping of electric light globes
above and the showering of glass tes
tifying to the fact that they bad con
tained something more than mere wad
ding. Somewhat dazed, the fiddler con
tinued his rush, suddenly to crumple
and rail, while men milled and women
screamed. A door slammed, the lock
clicked, and the crowd rushed for the
windows. The holdup bad been real
after all Instead of a planned, joklug
affair. On the floor the tiddler lay
gasping and bleeding.
All in a moment the dance hall
seemed to have gone mad. Men were
rushing about and shouting; panic
stricken women clawed at one another
and fought their way toward a free
dom they could not gain. Windows
crashed as forms hurtled against them ;
screams sounded. Hurriedly, as the
crowd massed thicker, Falrchlld raised
the small form of Anita In bis arms
and carried her to a chair, fa at one
"It's all right now," be said, calming
her. "Everything's overr-look, they're
helping the fiddler to his feet Maybe
he's not badly hurt Everything's all
And then he straightened. A man
had unlocked the door from the out
side and had rushed Into the dance
hall, excited, shouting. It was Maurice
"1 know who It was," he almost
screamed. "1 got a good look at him
Jumped out of the window and almost
beaded him off. He took off his mask
outside and I saw him." ,
"You saw him?" A hundred voices
shouted the question at once.
"Yes." Then Maurice Rodaine nodded
straight toward Robert Falrchlld. "The
light was good, and 1 got a straight
look at him. He was that fellow's
partner a Cornlshman they call
"1 don't believe It!" Anita Richmond
exclaimed with conviction and clutched
at Falrchlld's arm. "I don't believe
"I can't!" Robert. answered. Then
he turned to the accuser. "How could
It be possible for Harry to be down
here robbing a dance hall when he's
out working the mine?"
"Working the mine?" This time It.
was the sheriff. "What's the necessity
for a day and night shift?"
?'We agreed upon t yesterday after
noon." . "
"At whose suggestion?"
"I'm not sure but I think It was
"Young fellow," the sheriff had ap
proached him now, "you'd better be
certain about that ' It looks to me
that might be a pretty good excuse to
give when a man can't produce an
alibi. Anyway, the Identification seems
pretty complete. Then be turned to
the crowd. "1 want a couple of good
men to go along wit me as deputies."
"I have a right to go." Falrchlld
had stepped forward.
"Certainly.' But not as a deputy.
Who wants to volunteer?"
Half a dozan men came forward,
and from then the sheriff chose two.
Falrchlld turned to say good-by to
Anita. In vala. Already Maurice Ro
daine had escorted her, apparently
against her will, to a far end of the
dance hall, and therj was quarreling
with her. Falrchlld hurried to Join
the sheriff and his two deputies, Just
starting out of the dance hall. Five
minutes Inter they were In a motor car,
chugging up Kentucky gulch.
Slowly, tht motoi car fighting
against the frade, the trip was ac
complished. Then the four men leaped
from the machine at the last rise be
fore the tunnej was reached and three
of them went forward afoot toward
where a sligti gleam of light came
from the moutj) of the Blue Poppy
The sheriff look the lead, at last to
stop behind a boulder and to shout a
"Hey you, it there."
M,Ey youralfl" It was Harry's
"Come -eut-and be quick about It
Hold your llglt In front of your face
with both hads."
"The 'ell I -vfll l And 'oo's talking?"
' "Sheriff Adohs of Clear Creek coun
ty. You've gt one minute to come
out or I'll shot"
"I'm comlniron the run!"
And almost instantly the form of
Harry, his actylene lamp lighting op
his bulbous, surprised countenance
with its sprajlke mustache, appeared
at the mouth f the tunneL
"What the rtoody "ell?" he gasped,
as he looked Into the muzzle of the
revolver. Frm down the mountain
side came tbeshout of one of the dep
uties: " j '
"Sheriff! looks like It's him, all
right. I've fund a horse down here
aH sweatedup from running."
"That's abut the answer." Sher
iff Atfams wot forward and with t
motion of hi revolver sent Harry's
hands into tfe air. "Let's see what
vnn've rot ODVOU
A light gUmed neiow as an eiec-
trie flash In be hands of one of the
deputies bega an investigation of the
surroundings. The sheriff, finishing
his search of Arry's pockets, stepped
"Well," he demanded, "what did you
do with the proceeds?"
"The proceeds?" Harry stared blank
ly. "Of what?"
"Quit your kidding, now. They've
found your horse down there."
"Wouldn't It be a good Idea" Fair
child had cut in acridly "to save
your accusations on this thing until
you're a little surer of It? Harry
hasn't any horse. If he's rented one,
you ought to be able to find that out
As If In answer, the sheriff turned
and shouted a question down the
mountain side. And back came the
"It's Doc Mason's. Must have been
stolen. Doc was at the dance."
"I guess that settles It" The offi
cer reached for his hip pocket "Stick
out your bands, Harry, while I put
tl-c cuffs on them."
"But 'ow in bloody 'ell 'ave I been
doing anything when I've been up 'ere
working on the cblv wheel? 'Ow ?"
"They say you held up the dance
tonight and robbed us," Falrchlld cut
In. Harry's face lost Its surprised
look, to give way to a glance of keen
"And do you say It?"
"I most certainly do not The iden
tification was given by that honorable
person known as Mr. Maurice Ro
daine." "Oh! one thief Identifying an
"Sheriff I". Again the voice from be
"We've found a cache down here.
Must have been made In a hurry two
new revolvers, bullets, a mask, a cou
ple of new handkerchiefs and the
Harry eyes grew wide. Then b
stuck out his bands.
"The evidence certainly Is piling
upl" be grunted. "I might as well
save my talking for later."
"That's a good idea." The sheriff
snapped the handcuffs Into place.
Then Falrchlld shut off the pumps
and they started toward the machine.
Buck In Ohadl more news awaited
them. Harry, If Harry had been the
highwayman, had gone to no expense
for his outfit. The combined general
store and hardware emporium of
Gregg Brothers had been robbed of
the articles necessary for a disguise
a'so the revolvers and their bullets.
Robert Falrchlld watched Harry
placed In the solitary cell of the county
Jail with a spirit that could not re
spond to the Cornlshman's grin and
his assurances that morning would
bring a righting of affairs. Four
charges hung heavy above blm: that
(f horse-stealing, of burglary, of high
way robbery, and worse, the final as
sault with attempt to kill. Falrchlld
turned wearily away; he could not
find the optimism to join Harry's
cheerful announcement that It would
be "all right" The appearances were
otherwise. Besides, up in the little
hospital on the hill, Falrchlld had seen
lights gleaming as he entered the Jail,
and he knew that doctors were work
ing there over the wounded body of
the fiddler. Tired, heavy at heart,
bis earlier conquest of the night sod
den and overshadowed now, he turned
away from the cell and Its optimistic
occupant out into the night.
It was only a short walk to the hos
pital and Falrchlld went there, to
leave with at least a ray of hope. The
probing operation had been completed ;
the fiddler would live, and at least the
charge against Harry would not be
one of murder. That was a thing for
which to be thankful; but there was
plenty to cause consternation, as Fair
child, walked slowly down the dark,
winding street toward the main thor
oughfare. Without Harry, Falrchlld
now felt himself lost. Before the big,
genial, eccentric Cornlshman had come
Into his life, -he had believed, with
some sort of divine Ignorance, that
he could . carry out his ambitions by
himself, with no knowledge of the tech
nical details necessary to mining, with
no previous history of the Blue Pop
py to guide him, and with no help
against the enemies who seemed every
where. Now he saw fhat it was im
possible. More, the Incidents of the
night showed how swiftly those ene
mies were working, how sharp and
stiletto-like their weapons.
Looking back over It now, he could
see how easily Fate had played Into
the hands of the Rodalnes, If the Ro
dalnes bad not oossessed a deeper con
cern than merely to seize upon a hap
pening and turn it to their own ac
count The highwayman was big. The
highwayman talked with a "Cousin-
Jack" accent for. all Cornlshmen are
"Cousin Jacks" in the mining country.
Those two features In themselves,
Falrchlld thought, as he stumbled
along in the darkness, were sufficient
te stan me bvuciuiuK Vitn m uia uraio
of Maurice Rodaine, already ugly and
evil through the trick played by Harry
on his father and the rebuke that bad
come from Anita Richmond. It was
an easy matter for him, to get the In
spiration, leap out of the window, and
then wait until the robber bad gone,
that he might flare forth with bis
accusation. And after that .
Either Chance, or something strong
er, had done the rest The finding of
the stolen horse and the carelessly "
made cache near the mouth of the
Blue Poppy mine would be sufficient
In the eyes of auy Jury. The evidence
was both direct and circumstantial.
To Falrchlld's mind, there was small '
chance for escape by Harry, once hut
case weut to trial.
Down tne dark street the man wan
dered, his hands sunk deep In his
shoulders only to suddenly galvanize
into Intensity, and to stop short that
he might hear again the voice which
had come to him. At one side was
a big house a house whose occupants
he knew Instinctively, for he had seen
the shadow of a woman, hands out
stretched, as she ptssed the light
strewn shade of a window on the sec
It was pleading, and at the same
time angered with the passion of a
person approaching hysteria. A bark
ing sentence answered her, something
that Falrchlld could not understand.
He left the old board sidewalk and
crept to the porch that he might hear
the better. Then every nerve within
him Jangled, and the black of the dark
ness changed to red. The Rodaines
were within; he had heard first the
cold voice of the father, then the rasp
ing tones of the son, In upbraiding.
More, there had come the sobbing of
woman; Instinctively Falrchlld knew
that It was Anita Richmond. And
It was her voice, high, screaming.
Hysteria had come the wild, racking
hysteria of a person driven to the
"Leave this house hear me! Leava
this house ! Can't you see that you'ra
killing him? Don't you dare, touch ma
leave this house I No I won't be
quiet I won't you're killing him, I
tell you I" ' f
And Falrchlld waited for nothing
more. A lunge, and he was on tha
veranda. One more spring and he
had reached the door, to find It on-1
locked, to throw it wide and to leap
Into the hall. Great steps, and he ha4
cleared the stairs to the second floor.
Dimly, as through a red screen, Falr
chlld saw the frightened face of Anita
Richmond, and on the landing, front
ing him angrily, stood the two Ro-
Wnf o mnmont fffllfrtllM ftlS-
uaiiico. vui w i..
regarded them and turned to the sob
bing, disheveled little betng In the
aoorway. - - ,
"What's happened?" Z '
"They were threatening me and
father!" she moaned. "But you -
shouldn't have come in you shouldn't
"I heard you scream. I couldn't help
It. I heard you say they were kllllhjr
The girl looked anxiously toward aa
inner room, where Falrchlld could sea
faintly the still figure of a man out
lined under the covers of an old
"They they got him excited. Ha
had another stroke. I I couldnt
stand It any longer."
"You'd better get out," said Falr
chlld curtly to the Rodalnes, with a
suggestive motion toward the staim
They hesitated a moment and Maurice
seemed about to launch himself at
Robert, but his father laid a restrain
ing hand on his arm. A step and the
elder Rodaine hesitated.
"I'm only going because of your
father," he said gruffly, with a glance
toward Anita. "I'm not going be
"Oh, I know. Mr. Falrchlld
shouldn't have come in here. He
shouldn't hr.ve done it I'm sorry
Down the steps they went, the old-
er man with his hand still on his son's""
arm; while, white-faced, Falrchlld
awaited Anita, who had suddenly sped
past him into the sick-room, then was
"Can I help you?" he asked at last
"Yes," came her rather cold answer,
only to be followed by r. quickly whis
pered "Forgive me." And then the
tones became louder so that they
could be heard at the bottom of the
stairs: "You can help me greatly
simply by going and not creating any -
more of a disturbance."
"Please go," came the direct answer.
"And please do not vent your spite on
Mr. Rodaine and his son. I'm sure
that they will act like gentlemen If
you will. You shouldn't have rushed
"I heard you screaming, Miss Rich
"I know," came her answer, as Icily
as ever, men tne aoor downstairs
closed and the sound of steps came on
the veranda. She leaned close to him,
"I had to say that," came her whis
pered words. "Please dont try to un
derstand anything I do In the future.
Just go please!"
And Falrchlld obeyed.
"Your partner's In Jail. Guilty
or not guilty 1"
(TO BB CONTINUED.)
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