“Who told you this?”
“Find out as best you can. Perhaps I might suggest to you the possibility of having already made friends among the members of the Order.”
“Order! Who the d——l told you there was an Order?”
“Well, find out.”
“I will, then!”
“And you will not!”
“Then there’s treason in the League, and I’ll ferret it out.”
“Do so, by all means!”
She was gaining the victory again, and he changed his tactics.
“I care but little who you may have in league with you, so long as you are here in my power. No one can enter this room without my consent, and in it I am safe even from the attack of an army without. Here you are my prisoner; you think you are safe in the other apartment with the door locked and bolted on the inside, but you are not. There is a secret passage to the room, of which you are in total ignorance. I can avail myself of it at any moment: and you will some time be compelled to sleep. Don’t you see I have you, now?”
This was sheer folly; for it was evidently his best policy to have kept the knowledge of the secret passage to himself if he expected to avail himself of it; but he was for inflicting all the pain he could, and this he fancied would be a deep thrust.
“I thank you, villain, for this timely piece of information; and be assured I shall not fail to be prepared for your reception, should you dare to intrude into my presence while there.”
“Hooty-tooty! as if I am not to be master in my own house! Well, well; flatter yourself with foolish fancies if you will; but know that your destiny is fixed. You shall never leave this cave, except as my wife. This is your fate, and you may as well make up your mind to it at once. I will have no more words with you at present, but will leave you to reflect on what I have said, with the hope that a little calm thought will show you the folly of resistance, the certainty of your fate and the wisdom of a peaceful acquiescence therein.”
Saying which, he left the cave, as much vanquished as victor, though with a firm resolve to carry his purpose, even if he had to disable her first, by shooting her through the arm, with a pistol, in order to overcome her!
BILL AND DICK—HORSE-STEALING—ANTI-THIEF LEAGUE.
On leaving the cave, after the interview with Eveline, Bill and Dick resorted to a place where they were in the habit of holding consultations on their own affairs, arrived at which, Bill produced the note which Eveline gave him, from his pocket, and at once perused it. A dark scowl gathered on his face as he read, and when he had mastered the document, an exclamation broke from his lips to this effect:
“Infernal villain and coward!”
“What now?” queried Dick, not a little surprised at his companion’s violent language.