“You may well say that, madam! We are a law-abiding nation. We don’t put up with the pranks they play in Montana. They say the scoundrels have got off. If we don’t catch them, Canada’s disgraced.”
“I say, Elizabeth,” cried Philip, pushing his way to her through the crowd, “there’s been a lot of shooting. There’s some Mounted Police here, we picked up at Revelstoke, on their way to help catch these fellows. I’ve been talking to them. The police from Kamloops came upon them just as they were making off with a pretty pile—boxes full of money for some of the banks in Vancouver. The police fired, so did the robbers. One of the police was killed, and one of the thieves. Then the rest got off. I say, let’s go and help hunt them!”
The boy’s eyes danced with the joy of adventure.
“If they’ve any sense they’ll send bloodhounds after them,” said the elderly man, fiercely. “I helped catch a murderer with my own hands that way, last summer, near the Arrow Lakes.”
“Where is Mr. Anderson?”
The question escaped Elizabeth involuntarily. She had not meant to put it. But it was curious that he should have left them in the lurch at this particular moment.
“Take your seats!” cried the station-master, making his way through the crowded platform. “This train goes as far as Sicamous Junction only. Any passenger who wishes to break his journey will find accommodation at Glacier—next station.”
The English travellers were hurried back into their car. Still no sign of Anderson. Yerkes was only able to tell them that he had seen Anderson go into the station-master’s private room with a couple of the Mounted Police. He might have come out again, or he might not. Yerkes had been too well occupied in exciting gossip with all his many acquaintances in the train and the station to notice.
The conductor went along through the train. Yerkes, standing on the inside platform, called to him:
“Have you seen Mr. Anderson?”
The man shook his head, but another standing by, evidently an official of some kind, looked round and ran up to the car.
“I’m sorry, madam,” he said, addressing Elizabeth, who was standing in the doorway, “but Mr. Anderson isn’t at liberty just now. He’ll be travelling with the police.”
And as he spoke a door in the station building opened, and Anderson came out, accompanied by two constables of the Mounted Police and two or three officials. They walked hurriedly along the train and got into an empty compartment together. Immediately afterwards the train moved off.
“Well, I wonder what’s up now!” said Philip in astonishment. “Do you suppose Anderson’s got some clue to the men?”
Delaine looked uncomfortably at Elizabeth. As an old adviser and servant of the railway, extensively acquainted moreover with the population—settled or occasional—of the district it was very natural that Anderson should be consulted on such an event. And yet—Delaine had caught a glimpse of his aspect on his way along the platform, and had noticed that he never looked towards the car. Some odd conjectures ran through his mind.