Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 216 pages of information about The Big-Town Round-Up.

Clay got to his feet and waited for Durand to rise.  His enemy rolled over and groaned.

“Had enough?” demanded the Westerner.

No answer came, except the heavy, irregular breathing of the man on the floor who was clawing for air in his lungs.

“I’ll ask you once more where Kitty Mason is.  And you’ll tell me unless you want me to begin on you all over again.”

The beaten pugilist sat up, leaning against the wall.  He spoke with a kind of heavy despair, as though the words were forced out of him.  He felt ashamed and disgraced by his defeat.  Life for him had lost its savor, for he had met his master.

“She—­got away.”

“How?”

“They turned her loose, to duck the bulls,” came the slow, sullen answer.

“Where?”

“In Central Park.”

Probably this was the truth, Clay reflected.  He could take the man’s word or not as he pleased.  There was no way to disprove it now.

He recovered his revolver, threw the automatic out of the window, and walked to the door.

“Joe’s tied up in a back room,” he said over his shoulder.

Thirty seconds later Clay stepped into the street.  He walked across to a subway station and took an uptown train.

Men looked at him curiously.  His face was bruised and bleeding, his clothes disheveled, his hat torn.  Clay grinned and thought of the old answer: 

“They’d ought to see the other man.”

One young fellow, apparently a college boy, who had looked upon the wine when it was red, was moved to come over and offer condolence.

“Say, I don’t want to butt in or anything, but—­he didn’t do a thing to you, did he?”

“I hit the edge of a door in the dark,” explained Clay solemnly.

“That door must have had several edges.”  The youth made a confidential admission.  “I’ve got an edge on myself, sort of.”

“Not really?” murmured Clay politely.

“Surest thing you know.  Say, was it a good scrap?”

“I’d hate to mix in a better one.”

“Wish I’d been there.”  The student fumbled for a card.  “Didn’t catch your name?”

Clay had no intention of giving his name just now to any casual stranger.  He laughed and hummed the chorus of an old range ditty: 

  “I’m a poor lonesome cowboy,
  I’m a poor lonesome cowboy,
  I’m a poor lonesome cowboy,
    And a long way from home.”

CHAPTER XXIII

JOHNNIE COMES INTO HIS OWN

When Clay shot off at a tangent from the car and ceased to function as a passenger, Johnnie made an effort to descend and join his friend, but already the taxi was traveling at a speed that made this dangerous.  He leaned out of the open door and shouted to the driver.

“Say, lemme out, doggone you.  I wantta get out right here.”

Follow Us on Facebook