“Isn’t it dandy, Gus?” Bill exclaimed, surveying the place and the result of their labors in preparation. “If we can’t do things here, it’s only our fault. Now, then—”
“It is fine,” said Gus, “and we’re in luck, but somehow, I think we must be on our guard. I can’t get my mind off ghosts and the damage over yonder. I’m going to take a sneak around there to-night again, along around midnight and a little after. I did last night; didn’t tell you, for you had your mind all on this. George was on duty, challenged me, but I’ve got a hunch that he knows something he doesn’t want to worry us about and thinks he can cope with.”
A BIT TRAGIC
“Hold up your hands, nigger!”
The voice was low and sepulchral, but either the ghostly apparition that uttered the command had slipped up on its vernacular, or it was the spirit of a bandit. Some demand of the kind was, however, urgently necessary, for George did not, as formerly, show a desire to flee; his belligerent attitude suggested fight and he was a husky specimen with a handy club. Even though he might have suffered a qualm at again beholding the white apparition in the moonlight, his determination to dare the spectre was bolstered by the voice and the manner of the command.
“Ah knows who yo’ is an’ Ah’s gwine hol’ yo’ up! Yo’ ain’t no ghos’. Dis club’ll knock de sure ‘nough breff out’n yo’; then we’ll see.”
To Gus, on the hillside above the power plant, it looked very much as though this threat were going to be carried out. He had been quietly observing, under the light of a half moon, the ghostly visitation and even the advent of this individual before the white raiment had been donned some distance behind the tool house and unknown to the watchful George. All this had not surprised Gus, but he had been puzzled by the appearance on the hillside of another figure that kept behind the scant bushes much as Gus was doing, except that it was screened against being seen from below and evidently did not know of Gus’s presence. Now, however, all attention was given to the altercation before the tool house, around which the ghost had come, evidently to be disappointed at not seeing George take to his heels.
Suddenly there was a shot. The reverberation among the hills seemed ominous, but not more so than the staggering back and sinking down of poor George. Gus saw the white figure stand for a moment, as though peering down at the victim of this murderous act; then it turned and fled straight up the hill and directly toward the one up there crouching and—waiting? Were they in collusion? Gus had but a moment to guess. Still crouching, unseen, though brave,—for Gus was courageous even sometimes to the point of being foolhardy in the rougher sports, or where danger threatened others,—he avoided now the almost certain fate of George, for the villain was still armed and desperate, no doubt. And Gus hoped that the arrest of the scamp would surely follow his meeting with the other observer.