The Daughter of Anderson Crow eBook

George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about The Daughter of Anderson Crow.
describe its condition.  He saw no sign of life, and retired in utter disgust.  Then came the trip to the cellar.  Again he had no followers, the Tinkletown men emphatically refusing to go down where old Mrs. Rank’s body had been buried.  Bonner laughed at them and went down alone.  It was nauseous with age and the smell of damp earth, but it was cleaner there than above stairs.  The cellar was smaller than either of the living rooms, and was to be reached only through the kitchen.  There was no exit leading directly to the exterior of the house, but there was one small window at the south end.  Bonner examined the room carefully and then rejoined the party.  For some reason the posse had retired to the open air as soon as he left them to go below.  No one knew exactly why, but when one started to go forth the others followed with more or less alacrity.

“Did you see anything?” demanded the marshal.

“What did old Mrs. Rank look like when she was alive?” asked Bonner with a beautifully mysterious air.  No one answered; but there was a sudden shifting of feet backward, while an expression of alarmed inquiry came into every face.  “Don’t back into that open well,” warned the amused young man in the doorway.  Anderson Crow looked sharply behind, and flushed indignantly when he saw that the well was at least fifty feet away.  “I saw something down there that looked like a woman’s toe,” went on Bonner very soberly.

“Good Lord!  What did I tell you?” cried the marshal, turning to his friends.  To the best of their ability they could not remember that Anderson had told them anything, but with one accord the whole party nodded approval.

“I fancy it was the ghost of a toe, however, for when I tried to pick it up it wriggled away, and I think it chuckled.  It disappear—­what’s the matter?  Where are you going?”

It is only necessary to state that the marshal and his posse retreated in good order to a distant spot where it was not quite so dark, there to await the approach of Wicker Bonner, who leisurely but laughingly inspected the exterior of the house and the grounds adjoining.  Finding nothing out of the ordinary, except as to dilapidation, he rejoined the party with palpable displeasure in his face.

“Well, I think I’ll go back to the ice,” he said; “that place is as quiet as the grave.  You are a fine lot of jokers, and I’ll admit that the laugh is on me.”

But Bonner was mystified, uncertain.  He had searched the house thoroughly from top to bottom, and he had seen nothing unusual, but these men and boys were so positive that he could not believe the eyes of all had been deceived.

“This interests me,” he said at last.  “I’ll tell you what we’ll do, Mr. Crow.  You and I will come down here to-night, rig up a tent of some sort and divide watch until morning.  If there is anything to be seen we’ll find out what it is.  I’ll get a couple of straw mattresses from our boathouse and—­”

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The Daughter of Anderson Crow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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