Evarts was too much dazed to resist much. Tom snatched the revolver out of his hand.
Sambo, beholding this much, came to a dismayed stop for an instant.
“Dick, it’s your trade to know how to handle this tool better than I can,” Tom cried, passing the captured revolver to Prescott, who swiftly received it as he rose. “I’m afraid,” continued the young engineer, “that it’s going to be necessary to kill the negro.”
“Wow! Woof!” uttered Sambo Ebony. It didn’t take that villain an instant to decide on flight. Bending low, the black man ran off with frantic speed.
Dick took a step forward—–only one, for Evarts furiously gripped at one of the young army officer’s ankles, bringing him down to his knees.
“Hang you, you hound!” ground out Tom, in a rage, as he threw himself athwart of the ex-foreman. Within the next thirty seconds Evarts received a swift, fearful pummeling.
“Let up, Mr. Reade! Let up!” cried the wretch. “I’ll behave myself.”
“I’ll wager you will,” retorted the young engineer grimly, as he gripped Evarts by the coat collar and drew him to his feet.
Dick was up and had run ahead some distance. But the time that had been gained for the black man had proved sufficient. Sambo, was now out of sight, nor did he send back any sound to guide his pursuers.
“It may have to be a long hunt for the negro,” remarked Tom Reade when Lieutenant Dick stepped back to state the case. “Stand by me and shoot this fellow down in his tracks if he tries to get away.”
“Why, what are you going to do to me?” quaked the ex-foreman.
“It’s back to jail for yours,” Tom informed him crisply.
“Then the laugh will be on you,” jeered Evarts. “I’m out on bail—–all in regular form.”
“You’re not on bail on the latest charge against you—–attempted murderous assault,” Reade rejoined. “Nor will any court allow you out on bail again when Mr. Prescott and I testify to hearing you tell the negro that you were going to jump your bail.”
“Humph! That was all a joke,” blustered Evarts.
“All right,” nodded Tom. “Explain the joke to the judge, if you can find a judge who’s a good and willing listener. What you’ll find, at this time, is that a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of bail won’t get you out of jail. Start along with you,” Tom wound up, shaking Evarts by the arm that he gripped. “If this sneak tries to get away, Dick, bring him down with a bullet.”
“I’m ready enough to do it,” Prescott agreed.
A sudden great change came over the ex-foreman. At first he threatened. Then he begged to be turned loose, promising nothing but the best behavior in the future.
“Stop all your nonsense,” ordered Reade finally. “There’s only one proper place on earth for you, Evarts, and that’s behind the bars. Now, move right along, or I’ll give you a worse walloping every time you stop or argue.”