The car proceeded slowly now, and when our hero ventured to steal a quick glimpse from under his covering he perceived that they were going along a road so dark and narrow that it seemed like a leafy tunnel. The somber darkness and utter silence of this sequestered region made the deed of these outlaws seem all the blacker. There was now no doubt whatever of the criminal nature of their bold enterprise. For surely no law-abiding, civilized beings lived in such a remote wilderness as now closed them in.
Soon the car came to a stop, and Pee-wee’s thumping heart almost came to a stop at the same time. Suppose they should lift the robe? What would they do? And quite as much to the point, what should he do? A sudden impulse to throw off his kindly camouflage and run for all he was worth, seized him. But he thought of those seventy pistols and two blackjacks and refrained. Should he face them boldly, like the hero in a story book and say, “Ha, ha, you are foiled. The eyes of the scout have followed you in your flight and you are caught!”
No he would not do that. A scout is supposed to be cautious. He would remain under the buffalo robe.
Presently he heard the unmistakable sound and felt the unmistakable feeling of the car being run into some sort of a shelter. The voices of the thieves sounded different, more hollow, as voices heard in small quarters indoors. A little suggestion of an echo to them.
Pee-wee Harris, scout, did not know where he was or what was going on, but he felt that four walls surrounded him. The plot was growing thicker. And it was suffocating under that heavy robe, now that there was no free air blowing about it.
“Where’s the stuff?” one of the men asked.
“On the back seat,” said the other.
“Oh, no, I guess it’s on the floor,” the man added, “I think I put the silver cup under the back seat—”
Pee-wee shuddered. So they had been stealing silver cups.
“Either there or—oh, here it is.”
Pee-wee breathed again.
Then he heard no more voices. But he heard other sounds. He heard the creaking of a heavy rolling door. He heard a sound as if it were being bolted or fastened on the inside. Then he heard the slamming of another door and a muffled, metallic sound as of someone locking it on the outside. Then he heard footsteps, fainter, fainter.... Then he heard a sound which seemed to him familiar. He could not liken it to anything in particular, but it sounded familiar, a kind of clanking, metallic sound. Then he heard a voice say, “Let me handle her, give her a shove, hold her down, that’s right.”
Pee-wee’s blood ran cold. They were killing someone out there; some poor captive maiden, perhaps....
Then he heard no more.