The next moment he was down below in the office rapidly preparing for action, and Miss Norvell, leaning far out across the banister, listened to his quick, nervous words of instruction with an odd thrill of pride that left her cheeks crimson.
IN OPEN REBELLION
“It wus about the durndest fight as ever I see,” explained Bill Hicks confidentially to a group of his cronies in the bar-room of the Poodle-Dog, while he tossed down a glass of red liquor, and shook the powdered snowflakes from his bearskin coat. “He wus a sorter slim, long-legged chap, thet young actor feller I showed the trail down ter Bolton ter, an’ he scurcely spoke a word all durin’ thet whol’ blame ride. Search me, gents, if I c’d git either head er tail outer jist whut he wus up to, only thet he proposed ter knock ther block off some feller if he had the good luck ter ketch ’im. Somehow, I reckoned he ‘d be mighty likely ter perform the job, the way his jaw set an’ his eyes flared. Leastwise, I didn’t possess no rip-roarin’ ambition fer ter be thet other feller. Still, I didn’t suppose he was no whirlwind.”
Bill mechanically held out his drained glass, and, warming up somewhat, flung his discarded overcoat across a vacant bench, his eyes beginning to glow with reawakened enthusiasm.
“But, by gory, he wus! He wus simply chain lightnin’, thet kid, an’ the way he handed out his dukes wus a sight fer sore eyes. I got onto the facts sorter slow like, neither of us bein’ much on the converse, but afore we hed reached Bolton I managed to savvy the most of it. It seems thet feller Albrecht—the big, cock-eyed cuss who played Damon, ye recollect, gents—wus the boss of the show. He wus the Grand Moke, an’ held the spuds. Well, he an’ thet one they call Lane jumped the ore train last night, carryin’ with ’em ’bout all the specie they’d been corrallin’ fer a week past, and started hot-foot fer Denver, intendin’ ter leave all them other actor people in the soup. This yere lad hed got onter the racket somehow, an’ say, he wus plumb mad; he wus too damn mad ter talk, an’ when they git thet fur gone it’s ’bout time fer the innocent spectator ter move back outen range. So he lassoed me down at Gary’s barn fer ter show him the ol’ trail, an’ we had one hell of a night’s ride of it. But, gents, I would n’t o’ missed bein’ thar fer a heap. It was a great scrape let me tell you. We never see hide ner hair of thet Albrecht or his partner till jist afore the main-line train pulled in goin’ north. The choo-choo wus mighty nigh two hours late, so it wus fair daylight by then, an’ we got a good sight o’ them two fellers a-leggin’ it toward the station from out the crick bottom, whar they ‘d been layin’ low. They wus both husky-lookin’ bucks, an’ I was sufficient interested by then ter offer ter sorter hold one of ’em while the kid polished off the other. But Lord! that wan’t