“That’ll do, now!” he growled. “I’ll put the gag back on you if you keep it up. So’s you won’t worry, I want to say this to you: Your friends don’t know where you are, and they couldn’t find you if they tried. You are to stay right here in this cave until we get orders to move you. When the time comes we’ll take you to wherever we’re ordered, and then we’re through with you. Somebody else will have the say. You won’t be hurt here unless you try to escape—it won’t do you any good to yell. It ain’t a palace, but it’s better than the grave. So be wise. All we got to do is to turn you over to the proper parties at the proper time. That’s all.”
“Is the person you speak of my—my mother or my father?” Rosalie asked with bated breath.
With the Kidnapers
Sam stared at her, and there was something like real amazement in his eyes.
“Yer mother or father?” he repeated interrogatively. “Wha—what the devil can they have to do with this affair? I guess they’re askin’ a lot of questions themselves about this time.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Crow are not my parents,” she said; and then shrewdly added, “and you know it, sir.”
“I’ve heard that sayin’ ‘bout a child never knowin’ its own father, but this business of both the father and mother is a new one on me. I guess it’s the chloroform. Give us that booze, Bill. She’s dippy yet.”
He tried to induce her to swallow some of the whiskey, but steadfastly she refused, until finally, with an evil snarl, Sam commanded the giantess to hold her while he forced the burning liquor down her throat. There was a brief struggle, but Rosalie was no match for the huge woman, whose enormous arms encircled her; and as the liquid trickled in upon her tongue she heard above the brutal laughter of the would-be doctors the hoarse voice of Bill crying:
“Don’t hurt her, Sam! Let ’er alone!”
“Close yer face! Don’t you monkey in this thing, Bill Briggs. I’ll—well, you know. Drink this, damn you!”
Sputtering and choking, her heart beating wildly with fear and rage, Rosalie was thrown back upon the straw by the woman. Her throat was burning from the effects of the whiskey and her eyes were blinded by the tears of anger and helplessness.
“Don’t come any of your highfalutin’ airs with me, you little cat,” shrieked the old woman, rubbing a knee that Rosalie had kicked in her struggles.
“Lay still there,” added Sam. “We don’t want to hurt you, but you got to do as I tell you. Understand? Not a word, now! Gimme that coffee-pot, Davy. Go an’ see that everything’s locked up an’ we’ll turn in fer the night. Maude, you set up an’ keep watch. If she makes a crack, soak her one.”
“You bet I will. She’ll find she ain’t attendin’ no Sunday-school picnic.”