Marjory, too excited to act like a blushing bride, took up the story and told all that had happened. George Crosby became so interested that he forgot to keep guard.
“This is a funny mess!” he exclaimed. “There’s something wrong—”
“Hey, you!” came a shout from the outside.
“There they are!” cried Marjory, flying to her husband’s side. “What are we to do?”
“You mean, what are they to do? We’re married, and they can’t get around that, you know. Let ’em come!” cried the groom exultantly. “You don’t regret it, do you, sweetheart?” quite anxiously. She smiled up into his eyes, and he felt very secure.
“What do you fellows want?” demanded Crosby from the window. Anderson Crow was standing on the river bank like a true Napoleon, flanked by three trusty riflemen.
“Who air you?” asked Anderson in return. He was panting heavily, and his legs trembled.
“None of your business! Get off these grounds at once; they’re private!”
“None o’ your sass, now, young man; I’m an officer of the law, an’ a detective to boot! We sha’n’t stand any nonsense. The place is surrounded and he can’t escape! Where is he?”
“That’s for you to find out if you’re such a good detective! This is David Bracken’s place, and you can find him at his home on the hilltop yonder!”
“Ask him what we’ve done, George,” whispered Barnes.
“We ain’t after Mr. Bracken, young feller, but you know what we do want! He’s in there—you’re shielding him—we won’t parley much longer! Send him out!” said Anderson Crow.
“If you come a foot nearer you’ll get shot into the middle of kingdom come!” shouted Crosby defiantly.
The inmates gasped, for there was not a firearm on the place.
“Be careful!” warned the Reverend “Jimmy” nervously.
“Goin’ to resist, eh? Well, we’ll get him; don’t you worry; an’ that ornery female o’ hisn’, too!”
“Did you hear that?” exclaimed Jack Barnes. “Let me get at the old rat.” He was making for the door when the two women obstructed the way. Both were frantic with fear.
“But he called you a female!” roared he.
“Well, I am!” she wailed miserably.
“Who is it you want?” asked Crosby from the window.
“That’s all right,” roared Anderson Crow; “purduce him at once!”
“Is this the fellow?” and Crosby dragged the Reverend “Jimmy” into view. There was a moment’s inspection of the cadaverous face, and then the sleuths shook their heads.
“Not on your life!” said Mr. Crow. “But he’s in there—Ike Smalley seen him an’ his paramount go up the steps from the landin’! ’Twon’t do no good to hide him, young feller; he’s—”
“Well, let me tell you something. You are too late—they’re married!” cried Crosby triumphantly.
“I don’t give a cuss if they’re married and have sixteen children!” shouted the exasperated Crow, his badge fairly dancing. “He’s got to surrender!”