Thus Judson, who was still sober, and who meant to be faithful according to his gifts. He was scarcely blameworthy for not knowing of the existence of a small back room in the rear of the gambling-den; or for the further unknowledge of the fact that the man in search of diversion had passed on into this back room after placing a few bets at the silent game, appearing no more until he had come out through the gambling-room on his way to the train. If Judson had dared to press his espial, he might have been the poorer by the loss of blood, or possibly of his life; but, living to get away with it, he would have been the richer for an important bit of information. For one thing, he would have known that Flemister had not spent the afternoon losing his money across the faro-table; and for another, he might have made sure, by listening to the subdued voices beyond the closed door, that the man he was shadowing was not alone in the back room to which he had retreated.
On the second day following Flemister’s visit to Angels, Lidgerwood was called again to Red Butte to another conference with the mine-owners. On his return, early in the afternoon, his special was slowed and stopped at a point a few miles east of the “Y” spur at Silver Switch, and upon looking out he saw that Benson’s bridge-builders were once more at work on the wooden trestle spanning the Gloria. Benson himself was in command, but he turned the placing of the string-timbers over to his foreman and climbed to the platform of the superintendent’s service-car.
“I won’t hold you more than a few minutes,” he began, but the superintendent pointed to one of the camp-chairs and sat down, saying: “There’s no hurry. We have time orders against 73 at Timanyoni, and we would have to wait there, anyhow. What do you know now?—more than you knew the last time we talked?”
Benson shook his head. “Nothing that would do us any good in a jury trial,” he admitted reluctantly. “We are not going to find out anything more until you send somebody up to Flemister’s mine with a search-warrant.”
Lidgerwood was gazing absently out over the low hills intervening between his point of view and the wooded summit of Little Butte.
“Whom am I to send, Jack?” he asked. “I have just come from Red Butte, and I took occasion to make a few inquiries. Flemister is evidently prepared at all points. From what I learned to-day, I am inclined to believe that the sheriff of Timanyoni County would probably refuse to serve a warrant against him, if we could find a magistrate who would issue one. Nice state of affairs, isn’t it?”
“Beautiful,” Benson agreed, adding: “But you don’t want Flemister half as bad as you want the man who is working with him. Are you still trying to believe that it isn’t Hallock?”
“I am still trying to be fair and just. McCloskey says that the two used to be friends—Hallock and Flemister. I don’t believe they are now. Hallock didn’t want to go to Flemister about that building-and-loan business, and I couldn’t make out whether he was afraid, or whether it was just a plain case of dislike.”