“Didn’t you recognize him as being the murderer?” Weary asked him curiously.
Andy moved uneasily on his bed. “No, I didn’t. By gracious, you must think I’m a plumb fool!”
“Well, yuh sure hit the mark, whether yuh meant to or not,” Pink asserted. “He was the jasper, all right. Look how he was glaring at yuh while you were telling about it. He knew he was the party, and having a guilty conscience, he naturally supposed yuh recognized him from the start.”
“Well, I didn’t,” snapped Andy ungraciously, and they put it down to the peevishness of invalidism and overlooked the tone.
“Chip has given his description in to the sheriff,” soothed Weary, “and if he gets off he’s sure a good one. And I heard that the sheriff wired down to the San Simon country and told ’em their man was up here. Mama! What bad breaks a man will make when he’s on the dodge! If Blink had kept his face closed and acted normal, nobody would have got next. Andy didn’t know he was the fellow that done it. But it sure was queer, the way the play come up. Wasn’t it, Andy?”
Andy merely grunted. He did not like to dwell upon the subject, and he showed it plainly.
“By golly! he must sure have had it in for that fellow,” mused Slim ponderously, “to kill him the way Andy says he did. By golly, yuh can’t wonder his eyes stuck out when he heard Andy telling us all about it!”
“I betche he lays for Andy yet, and gits him,” predicted Happy Jack felicitously. “He won’t rest whilst an eye-witness is running around loose. I betche he’s cached in the hills right now, watching his chance.”
“Oh, go to hell, the whole lot of yuh!” flared Andy, rising to an elbow. “What the dickens are yuh roosting around here for? Why don’t yuh go on out to camp where yuh belong? You’re a nice bunch to set around comforting the sick! Vamos, darn yuh!”
Whereupon they took the hint and departed, assuring Andy, by way of farewell, that he was an unappreciative cuss and didn’t deserve any sympathy or sick-calls. They also condoled openly with Pink because he had been detailed as nurse, and advised him to sit right down on Andy if he got too sassy and haughty over being shot up by a real outlaw. They said that any fool could build himself a bunch of trouble with a homicidal lunatic like Blink, and it wasn’t anything to get vain over.
Pink slammed the door upon their jibes and offered Andy a cigarette he had just rolled; not that Andy was too sick to roll his own, but because Pink was notably soft-hearted toward a sick man and was prone to indulge himself in trifling attentions.
“Yuh don’t want to mind that bunch,” he placated. “They mean all right, but they just can’t help joshing a man to death.”
Andy accepted also a light for the cigarette, and smoked moodily. “It ain’t their joshing,” he explained after a minute “It’s puzzling over what I can’t understand that gets on my nerves. I can’t see through the thing, Pink, no way I look at it.”