“I guess you can’t get up, but it wouldn’t be wise to try,” the fellow pointed out significantly.
George took the hint. He meant to escape and attend the court, but he had no wish to ruin any chance of his doing so by making a premature attempt. His captors meant to prevent his seeing which way they were going, but he could make out that the sky was brightest on the left side of the wagon, which indicated that they were heading south. They stopped at noon in a thick bluff, from which, when he was released and allowed to get down, he could see nothing of the prairie. Only one man remained to watch him; but as he was armed, and George could hear the others not far away, he decided that his escape must be postponed.
During the afternoon, they went on again, George occupying his former position in the bottom of the wagon, where it was unpleasantly hot; but the strongest glare was now on his right side, which showed him that they were still holding south. Their destination was evidently the American frontier. In the evening they camped near a thicket of low scrub, and after supper George was permitted to wander about and stretch his aching limbs. It was rolling country, broken by low rises, and he could not see more than a mile or two. There was nothing that served as a, landmark, and as soon as he began to stroll away from the camp he was sharply recalled. In the end, he sat down to smoke, and did not move until he was told to get into the wagon, where a blanket was thrown him. So far, he had been permitted to see only one of his captors near at hand.
The next morning they set out again. George thought that fresh horses had been obtained in the night, because they drove at a rapid pace most of the day; and he was tired and sore with the jolting when they camped in another bluff at sunset. Two more days were spent in much the same way; and then late at night they stopped at a little building standing in the midst of an unbroken plain, and George was released and told to get out. One of the men lighted a lantern and led him into an empty stable, built of thick sods. It looked as if it had not been occupied for a long time, but part of it had been roughly boarded off, as if for a harness room or store.
“You have got your blanket,” said his companion. “Put it down where you like. There’s only one door to this place, and you can’t get at it without passing me. I got a sleep in the wagon and don’t want any more to-night.”
George heard the vehicle jolt away, and sat down to smoke while the beat of hoofs gradually sank into the silence of the plain. Then he wrapped his blanket about him and went to sleep on the earthen floor.