“We left her there at old Mis’ Luce’s,” related Roscoe, “an’ then went over to Robertson’s Pond to skate. She tole us to stop in fer her about nine o’clock, didn’t she, Bud? Er was it eight?” He saw the necessity for accuracy.
“Ten,” corrected Bud deliberately.
“Well, pop, we stopped fer her, an’—an’—”
“Stop yer blubberin’, Roscoe,” commanded Anderson as harshly as he could.
“An’ got her,” concluded Roscoe. “She put on her shawl an’ mittens an’ said she’d run us a race all the way home. We all got ready to start right in front of old Mis’ Luce’s gate. Bud he stopped an’ said, ’Here comes Tony Brink.’ We all looked around, an’ sure enough, a heavy-set feller was comin’ to’rds us. It looked like Tony, but when he got up to us I see it wasn’t him. He ast us if we could tell him where Mr. Crow lived—”
“He must ‘a’ been a stranger,” deduced Anderson mechanically.
“—an’ Bud said you lived right on ahead where the street lamps was. Jest then a big sleigh turned out of the lane back of Mis’ Luce’s an’ drove up to where we was standin’. Bud was standin’ jest like this—me here an’ Rosalie a little off to one side. S’posin’ this chair was her an’—”
“Yes—yes, go on,” from Anderson.
“The sleigh stopped, and there was two fellers in it. There was two seats, too.”
“Front and back?”
“I understand. It was a double-seated one,” again deduced the marshal.
“An’ nen, by gum, ’fore we could say Jack Robinson, one of the fellers jumped out an’ grabbed Rosalie. The feller on the groun’, he up an’ hit me a clip in the ear. I fell down, an’ so did Bud—”
“He hit me on top of the head,” corrected Bud sourly.
“I heerd Rosalie start to scream, but the next minute they had a blanket over her head an’ she was chucked into the back seat. It was all over in a second. I got up, but ’fore I could run a feller yelled, ‘Ketch him!’ An’ another feller did. ’Don’t let ’em get away,’ said the driver in low, hissin’ tones—”
“Regular villains,” vowed Anderson.
“Yes, sir. ’Don’t let ’em git away er they’ll rouse the town.’ ’What’ll we do with ’em?’ asked the feller who held both of us. ’Kill ’em?’ Gosh, I was skeered. Neither one of us could yell, ’cause he had us by the neck, an’ he was powerful strong. ’Chuck ’em in here an’ I’ll tend to ‘em,’ said the driver. Next thing we knowed we was in the front of the sleigh, an’ the whole outfit was off like a runaway. They said they’d kill us if we made a noise, an’ we didn’t. I wish I’d’a’ had my rifle, doggone it! I’d’a’ showed ’em.”
“They drove like thunder out to’rds Boggs City fer about two mile,” said Bud, who had been silent as long as human nature would permit. “’Nen they stopped an’ throwed us out in the road. ‘Go home, you devils, an’ don’t you tell anybody about us er I’ll come back here some day an’ give you a kick in the slats.’