The Valley of Fear eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about The Valley of Fear.

There is little more to tell.  Scanlan had been given a sealed note to be left at the address of Miss Ettie Shafter, a mission which he had accepted with a wink and a knowing smile.  In the early hours of the morning a beautiful woman and a much muffled man boarded a special train which had been sent by the railroad company, and made a swift, unbroken journey out of the land of danger.  It was the last time that ever either Ettie or her lover set foot in the Valley of Fear.  Ten days later they were married in Chicago, with old Jacob Shafter as witness of the wedding.

The trial of the Scowrers was held far from the place where their adherents might have terrified the guardians of the law.  In vain they struggled.  In vain the money of the lodge —­ money squeezed by blackmail out of the whole countryside —­ was spent like water in the attempt to save them.  That cold, clear, unimpassioned statement from one who knew every detail of their lives, their organization, and their crimes was unshaken by all the wiles of their defenders.  At last after so many years they were broken and scattered.  The cloud was lifted forever from the valley.

McGinty met his fate upon the scaffold, cringing and whining when the last hour came.  Eight of his chief followers shared his fate.  Fifty-odd had various degrees of imprisonment.  The work of Birdy Edwards was complete.

And yet, as he had guessed, the game was not over yet.  There was another hand to be played, and yet another and another.  Ted Baldwin, for one, had escaped the scaffold; so had the Willabys; so had several others of the fiercest spirits of the gang.  For ten years they were out of the world, and then came a day when they were free once more —­ a day which Edwards, who knew his men, was very sure would be an end of his life of peace.  They had sworn an oath on all that they thought holy to have his blood as a vengeance for their comrades.  And well they strove to keep their vow!

From Chicago he was chased, after two attempts so near success that it was sure that the third would get him.  From Chicago he went under a changed name to California, and it was there that the light went for a time out of his life when Ettie Edwards died.  Once again he was nearly killed, and once again under the name of Douglas he worked in a lonely canyon, where with an English partner named Barker he amassed a fortune.  At last there came a warning to him that the bloodhounds were on his track once more, and he cleared —­ only just in time —­ for England.  And thence came the John Douglas who for a second time married a worthy mate, and lived for five years as a Sussex county gentleman, a life which ended with the strange happenings of which we have heard.


The police trial had passed, in which the case of John Douglas was referred to a higher court.  So had the Quarter Sessions, at which he was acquitted as having acted in self-defense.

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The Valley of Fear from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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