The big mulatto and two Greeks, lay unconscious before him; in the nickering light of the match, two blood-stained dirks gleamed in the grass, so, with a minute attention to detail, Dirty Dan possessed himself of these weapons, picked up his club, and, reasoning shrewdly that Donald McKaye’s enemies had had enough combat for a few weeks at least, the dauntless fellow dragged the fallen clear of the path, in order that his youthful master might not stumble over them on his way home, and then disappeared into the night. Half an hour later, smeared with dust and blood, he crawled up the steps of the Tyee Lumber Company’s hospital on his hands and knees and rapped feebly on the front door. The night nurse came out and looked him over.
“I’m Dirty Dan O’Leary,” he wheezed; “I’ve been fightin’ agin.”
The nurse called the doctor and two orderlies, and they carried him into the operating-room.
“I’m not the man I used to be,” Dirty Dan whispered, “but glory be, ye should see the other fellers.” He opened his hand, and two blood-stained clasp-knives rolled out; he winked knowingly, and indulged in humorous reminiscences of the combat while he was being examined.
“You’re cut to strings and ribbons, Dan,” the doctor informed him, “and they’ve stuck you in the left lung. You’ve lost a lot of blood. We may pull you through, but I doubt it.”
“Very well,” the demon replied composedly.
“Telephone Judge Alton to come and get his dying statement,” the doctor ordered the nurse, but Dirty Dan raised a deprecating hand.
“’Twas a private, personal matther,” he declared. “’Twas settled satisfacthory. I’ll not die, an’ I’ll talk to no man but Misther Daney. Sew me up an’ plug me lung, an’ be quick about it, Docthor.”
When Andrew Daney came, summoned by telephone, Dirty Dan ordered all others from the room, and Daney saw that the door was closed tightly after them. Then he bent over Dirty Dan.
“Where’s Donald?” he demanded.
“That’s neither here nor there, sir,” Mr. O’Leary replied evasively. “He’s safe, an’ never knew they were afther him. T’ree o’ thim, sir, the naygur and two Greeks. I kidded thim into thinkin’ I was Misther McKaye; ‘tis all over now, an’ ye can find out what two Greeks it was by those knives I took for evidence. I cannot identify thim, but go up to Darrow in the mornin’ an’ look for a spreckled mulatter, wan Greek wit’ a broken right arm, an’ another wit’ a broken neck, but until I die, do nothin’. If I get well, tell them to quit Darrow for good agin’ the day I come out o’ the hospital. Good-night to you, sir, an’ thank ye for callin’.”
From the hospital, Andrew Daney, avoiding the lighted main street, hastened to the Sawdust Pile. A light still burned in Caleb Brent’s cottage; so Daney stood aloof in the vacant lot and waited. About ten o’clock, the front door opened, and, framed in the light of the doorway, the general manager saw Donald McKaye, and beside him Nan Brent.