“For the murder of your uncle, sir.”
In the tense silence that followed rose a little throat sound that was not quite a sob and not quite a wail. Kirby turned his head toward the back of the room.
Wild Rose was standing in her place looking at him with dilated eyes filled with incredulity and horror.
“Chuck” Ellis, reporter, testified that on his way home from the Press Club on the night of the twenty-third, he stopped at an alley on Glenarm Street to strike a light for his cigar. Just as he lit the match he saw a man come out from the window of a room in the Paradox Apartments and run down the fire escape. It struck him that the man might be a burglar, so he waited in the shadow of the building. The runner came down the alley toward him. He stopped the man and had some talk with him. At the request of the district attorney’s assistant he detailed the conversation and located on a chart shown him the room from which he had seen the fellow emerge.
“Would you know him again?"’
“Do you see him in this room?”
Ellis, just off his run, had reached the court-room only a second before he stepped to the stand. Now he looked around, surprised at the lawyer’s question. His wandering eye halted at Lane.
“There he is.”
“Which man do you mean?”
“The one on the end of the bench.”
“At what time did this take place?”
“Lemme see. About quarter-past ten, maybe.”
“Which way did he go when he left you?”
“Toward Fifteenth Street.”
“That is all.” The lawyer turned briskly toward Kirby. “Mr. Lane, will you take the stand?”
Every eye focused on the range rider. As he moved forward and took the oath the scribbling reporters found in his movements a pantherish lightness, in his compact figure rippling muscles perfectly under control. There was an appearance of sunburnt competency about him, a crisp confidence born of the rough-and-tumble life of the outdoor West. He did not look like a cold-blooded murderer. Women found themselves hoping that he was not. The jaded weariness of the sensation-seekers vanished at sight of him. A man had walked upon the stage, one full of vital energy.
The assistant district attorney led him through the usual preliminaries. Lane said that he was by vocation a cattleman, by avocation a rough rider. He lived at Twin Buttes, Wyoming.
One of the reporters leaned toward another and whispered, “By Moses, he’s the same Lane that won the rough-riding championship at Pendleton and was second at Cheyenne last year.”
“Are you related to James Cunningham, the deceased?” asked the lawyer.
“How long since you had seen him prior to your visit to Denver this time?”