“I shall bring Rosalie back with me, mother,” said Elsie as she prepared to drive away. Mrs. Banks, frail and wan, bowed her head listlessly and turned to follow her hostess indoors. With Roscoe in the seat with the driver, the carriage started briskly off down the shady street, headed for the ferry road and Bonner Place.
To return to Anderson Crow and his precipitancy. Just as the lodge keeper had said, the marshal, afoot and dusty, descended upon Mr. Barnes without ceremony. The great lawyer was strolling about the grounds when his old enemy arrived. He recognised the odd figure as it approached among the trees.
“Hello, Mr. Crow!” he called cheerily. “Are you going to arrest me again?” He advanced to shake hands.
“Yes, sir; you are my prisoner,” said Anderson, panting, but stern. “I know you, Mr. Barnes. It won’t do you any good to deny it.”
“Come in and sit down. You look tired,” said Barnes genially, regarding his words as a jest; but Anderson proudly stood his ground.
“You can’t come any game with me. It won’t do you no good to be perlite, my man. This time you don’t git away.”
“You don’t mean to say you are in earnest?” cried Barnes.
“I never joke when on duty. Come along with me. You c’n talk afterward. Your hirelin’ is in jail an’ he c’n identify you; so don’t resist.”
“Wait a moment, sir. What is the charge?”
“I don’t know yet. You know better’n I do what it is.”
“Look here, Mr. Crow. You arrested me the first time I ever saw you, and now you yank me up again, after all these years. Haven’t you anything else to do but arrest me by mistake? Is that your only occupation?”
Anderson sputtered indignantly. Driven to it, he informed John Barnes that he was charged with kidnaping, attempted murder, polygamy, child desertion, and nearly everything else under the sun. Barnes, at first indignant, finally broke into a hearty laugh. He magnanimously agreed to accompany his captor to Tinkletown. Not only that, but he provided the means of transportation. To the intense dismay of the servants, he merrily departed with Mr. Crow, a prisoner operating his own patrol wagon. The two were smoking the captive’s best cigars.
“It’s mighty nice of you, Mr. Barnes, to let us use your autermobile,” said Anderson, benignly puffing away as they bowled off through the dust. “It would ‘a’ been a long walk. I’ll speak a good word fer you fer this.”
“Don’t mention it, old chap. I rather enjoy it. It’s been uncommonly dull up here. I did not get away as soon as I expected, you see. So I am charged with being Rosalie’s father, eh? And deserting her? And kidnaping her? By jove, I ought to be hung for all this!”
“‘Tain’t nothin’ to laugh at, my friend. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I was onto you the day you stopped me in the road an’ ast about her. What a fool you was. Reg’lar dead give-away.”