Incredulous, but irresistibly impressed by his earnest words, they retired to the opposite side of the street to watch for their prey, who, they convinced themselves, had darted through the house and concealed himself about the premises too quickly to be detected by the inmates. That the fugitive had disappeared at that side door, some of them knew beyond question.
As Stanley stepped out to learn exactly what the excitement meant, Daisy again turned the key, and observing a stain of blood on her white dress, she dared not re-enter the parlor with the tell-tale sign.
Hurrying up the stairs, she filled a basin with water, and with a roll of linen, proceeded quickly to the attic, where the man stood, leaning against a packing-box, tightly clasping his hand.
“You are wounded somewhere?” she asked.
“Yes, in the hand,” he faintly answered. “He shot me.”
“Who?” asked the girl.
“The Judge,” sullenly said Burns.
“Then you didn’t kill him?”
“Kill him! I wish I had!”
Going to a back window, Daisy signed to a servant to come up, but when there, the frightened creature refused to touch the bloody hand. So Daisy proceeded to bathe and dress the lacerated flesh, all the while talking kindly and warningly to the man, who stared at the lovely vision with something like shame in his face.
As she started to leave him, a stone sped its way swiftly through the window and fell at her feet.
“You see,” said she, “your life is not safe a moment where you are. They believe that you are here. Some one saw you enter the door. Remain perfectly quiet till nightfall and then go home a wiser and a better man.”
“God bless you, miss!” said the man brokenly. “I have been very wicked all my life. I have wronged many, and you more than all; but if my life is spared, I’ll make some things right.”
Wondering at his words, Daisy left him and rejoined her friends, after the brief absence which was destined to bear rich fruits to her orphaned heart.
That night, under cover of the darkness, the man went away. But at ten o’clock, in defiance of prudence, he came back, knocked boldly, and asked to see Miss Templeton—he had a package for her. She came, and placing something in her hand, abruptly left, mounted his horse, and rode away in a fierce gallop, ere she could speak, and again Daisy closed the door upon this thread of her romantic destiny.
On opening the package she found a coral necklace and armlets, with clasps engraved, and a soiled, miserably-scrawled letter. The initials on the jewels were R.M. The letter told her that he, the desperate and outlawed writer, had been leagued with a band of reckless men some years ago, and had stolen her away from her beautiful home in Louisville, thinking to obtain a heavy ransom. While passing through Garrard county, he, the man to whose care the gang had confided her, because he