“Take that, you damned fool,” he growled, “and mind your own business.”
Jasper did not wait to argue. In a twinkling he threw himself full upon the man. His blood surged madly through his veins, for the blow stung him to fury. His opponent, though he tried to put up a fight, was as a child in Jasper’s hands, and soon he was sprawling upon the ground with Jasper sitting upon his body.
“Now, then,” the victor calmly remarked, “as you would not answer my question in a civil manner while standing on your feet, perhaps you will do it here on the ground. And you will do it before you get up, remember that, so you might as well speak first as last. Who are you, and why were you following me up the road and prowling so suspiciously around my cabin?”
“I’m a stranger here,” was the low reply, “and I was looking for a place to spend the night. Will that satisfy you?”
“No, it will not,” Jasper emphatically replied. “I believe that you are lying. What is your name?”
“Jim Dobbins,” was the somewhat hesitating answer. “I am seeking for work with the Light and Power Company and got astray.”
“Now, look here,” and Jasper rose to his feet, “it’s no use for you to string off such lies to me. Your name is Sydney Bramshaw, the artist. I know who you are, but why you are acting this way I do not know. So get up now, and clear out of this. If I catch you at any more such pranks I’ll break every bone in your body. You had better mind what you do while in this place, and keep out of my sight after this.”
Without a word the prostrate man rose to his feet and stood for an instant as if he would speak. He was trembling with rage, though in the darkness Jasper could not see the ugly expression upon his face. Presently he turned and glided away swiftly from the cabin, and was soon lost to sight.
Jasper stood for a while and peered through the night. He was almost tempted to follow the man to be sure that he really departed and was not hiding among the bushes but a short distance away. He called himself a fool for letting him off so easily. He should have kept him until morning to be sure that he would do no mischief under cover of darkness. At length, however, he entered the cabin and threw himself upon his cot. He wished to think it all over and keep awake lest the man should return and wreak vengeance upon him in some under-handed way. He felt sure now that Lois’ opinion of the man was correct, and that for some unaccountable reason he had a contemptible enemy to deal with, who would stoop to almost anything to carry out his evil designs, whatever they might be.
IN THE PATH OF DESTRUCTION
It was only natural that the people of Creekdale should have been greatly excited over the progress made at the falls. They watched everything with the keenest interest which reached its highest point on the night of David’s arrival home. To see the road so brilliantly illuminated was both wonderful and puzzling. They all knew that it was done for “Crazy David’s sake,” and they could not understand why such a fuss should be made over his return to the place.