The Heart of the Hills eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 269 pages of information about The Heart of the Hills.
they cried, and a mountaineer had turned it.  The lawless hillsmen had come down and brought their cowardly custom of ambush with them.  The mountain secretary of state was speeding away from the capitol at the moment the shot was fired, and that was a favorite trick of alibi in the hills.  That shot had come from his window.  Within ten minutes the terrified governor had ringed every State building with bayonets and had telegraphed for more militia.  Nobody, not even the sheriff, could enter to search for the assassin:  what else could this mean but that there was a conspiracy—­that the governor himself knew of the plot to kill and was protecting the slayer?  About the State-house, even after the soldiers had taken possession, stood rough-looking men, a wing of the army of intimidation.  A mob was forming at the hotel, and when a company of soldiers was assembled to meet it, a dozen old mountaineers, looking in the light of the camp-fires like the aged paintings of pioneers on the State-house walls, fell silently and solemnly in line with Winchesters and shot-guns.  The autocrat’s bitterest enemies, though unregretting the deed, were outraged at the way it was done, and the rush of sympathy in his wake could hardly fail to achieve his purpose now.  That night even, the Democratic members tried to decide the contest in the autocrat’s favor.  That night the governor adjourned the legislature to a mountain town, and next morning the legislators found their chambers closed.  They tried to meet at hotel, city hall, court-house; and solons and soldiers raced through the streets and never could the solons win.  But at nightfall they gathered secretly and declared the autocrat governor of the commonwealth.  And the wild rumor was that the wounded man had passed before his name was sealed by the legislative hand, and that the feet of a dead man had been put into a living one’s shoes.  That night the news flashed that one mountaineer as assassin and a mountain boy as accomplice had been captured and were on the way to jail.  And the assassin was Steve and the boy none other than Jason Hawn.

XXVI

One officer pushed Jason up the steps of the car with one hand clutched in the collar of the boy’s coat.  Steve Hawn followed, handcuffed, and as the second officer put his foot on the first step, Steve flashed around and brought both of his huge manacled fists down on the man’s head, knocking him senseless to the ground.

“Git, Jason!” he yelled, but the boy had already got.  Feeling the clutch on his coat collar loosen suddenly, he had torn away and, without looking back even to see what the crashing blow was that he heard, leaped from the moving train into the darkness on the other side of the train.  One shot that went wild followed him, but by the time Steve was subdued by the blow of a pistol butt and the train was stopped, Jason was dashing through a gloomy woodland with a speed that he had never equalled on a foot-ball

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Project Gutenberg
The Heart of the Hills from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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