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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 7, 1905)
jai o7e Gentleman
By 'Booth Tarkigtoj
Copyright. 1899. by "Doubtiday
..i;; Copyright. 1902.
"w" " " flWlilMmWmilll4JlillliMMMMll
(CONTINUED FIIOM LAST WEEK ;
Watts tried to call tlicm back.
"What's the use your getttn' killed?"
"Why not?" answered Llge, and. like
the others, was Increasing his speed
when old "Wimby" rose up suddenly
from the roadside ahead of them and
motioned them frantically to go back.
"They're laid out along the fence wait
in' fer ye," he warned them. "Git out
the road. Come by the fields. Fer the
Lord's sake, spread!" Then as sudden
ly ns he had appeared he dropped down
Into the weeds again. LIgo and those
with him paused, and the whole body
came to a halt while the leaders con
sulted. There was a sound of metallic
clicking and a thin rattle of steel. From
far to the rear came the voice of old
"John Brown's body lies a-molderlne In
John Brown's body lies a-moldcrlnjj in
A few near him as they stood wait
ing began to take up the burden of thu
song, Tinging It in slow time like a
dirge. Then those farther away took
It up. It spread, reached the leaders.
They, too, began to sing, taking off
their hats us they joined in, and soon
the whole concourse, solemn, earnest,
uncovered, was singing a thunderous
requiem for John llarkless.
The sun was swinging lower, and
the edges of the world were embroider
ed with gold, while that deep volume
of sound shook the ulr, the song of a
stern, savage, Just cause sung perhaps
as some of the ancestors of these men
sang with Hampden before the bris
tling walls of u hostile city. It had
Iron audited lu it The meu lying ou
their guns in the ambuscade along the
fence beard the dirge rise and grow
to its mighty fullness, and they shiver
ed. One of them, posted nearest tho
advance, had his rllle carefully leveled
at LIgo Wllletts, a fair target in the
road. When he heard the singing ho
turned to the man next behind him
and laughed harshly, J'l reckon we'll
see a big Jamboree otl'ier side Jordnn
The huge murmur of tho chorus ex
panded and gnthered in rhythmic
strength and swelled to power and
rolled and thundered across tho plain.
"John Brown's body Ilea a-moldcrlng In
John Brown'B body lies a-moldorlng In
John Brown's body lies n-molderlng In
His soul goes marching on!
Glory, glory, hnllelulah!
J Glory,. glory, halleluiah!
j Glory, glory, hullclulah!
His soul goes marching on!"
A gun spat lire from tho higher
ground, nnd Wllletts dropped where
lie stood, but was up again in n second,
with a red lino across his forehead
where the ball had grazed his temple.
The mob spread out like a fan, tho
men climbing the fence nnd beginning
the advance through tho Holds, thus
closing on tho nmbuscadc from both
sides. Mr. Watts, wading through the
high grass in the Held north of the
road, perceived the barrel of a gun
shining from tho fence some distance
In front of him and tho snmo second,
although no weapon was seen in his
hnnd, discharged a revolver at tho
clump of grass and weeds behind the
gun. Instantly ton or twelve men
leaped from their hiding places nlong
the fences of both fields and, firing
hurriedly and harmlessly into the scat
tered ranks of the oncoming mob,
broke for tho shelter of tho houses,
where their fellows were posted. Tak
en on the flanks and from tho rear,
there was but one thing for them to
do to keep from being hemmed In and
shot or captured. (They excessively pre
ferred being shot.) With a wild, high,
Joyous yell, sounding like the bay of
young hounds breaking Into view of
their quarry, the Plattvlllo men fol
lowed. Tho most eastward of the debilitated
edifices of Six Crossroads was the sa
loon. It bore the painted legends, on
the west wall, "Last Chance;" on tho
east wall, "First Chance." Next to
this and separated by two or three
acres of weedy vacancy from the cor
ners, where tho population centered
thickest, stood If one may so predi
cate of a building which leaned In sev
en directions the house of Mr. Rob
ert Skillett, tho proprietor of the sa
loon. Hoth buildings were shut up as
light ns their state of repair permit
ted. As they were furthest to the east,
they formed the nearest shelter, and to
them tho Crossronders bent their lllght,
though they stopped not here, but dis
appeared behind Sklllett's shanty, put
ting It between thorn atid their pur-i
suers, whose guns were beginning to
speak. Tho fugitives had a good start,
ami, being the picked runucra of tho
SL McClurt Co.
by McClurt. Thilttpj f3L Co. ff
Crossroads, they crossed the open,
weedy acres In snfety and made for
their homes. Every house had become
a fort, and the defenders would have
to be fought and torn out one by one.
As the guns sounded, n woman In a
utility near tne rorge began to scroa.
and kept on screaming.
On came the farmers and the men of
Plattvlllo. They took the saloon at a
run, battered down tho crazy doors
with u fence rail and swarmed Inside
like busy insects, making the place
hum like a hive, but with the hotter
industries of destruction. It was empty
of life as a tomb, but they beat and
tore and battered and broke and ham
mered and shattered like madmen; they
reduced the tawdry Interior to a mere
chaos and came pouring forth laden
with trophies of ruin, and then there
Was a charry smell In tho air, and n
slender feather of smoke floated up
from a second story window.
At the same time Watts led an as
sault on the adjoining house, an assault
which came to a sudden pause, for
from cracks in tho front Avail a squirrel
rifle and a shotgun snapped and
banged, fnd the crowd fell back in dis
order, ifomer Tlbbs had a hat blown
away, full of buckshot holes, while Mr.
Watts solicitously examined n small
They were coining.
aperture in the skirts of bis brown coat.
The house commanded the road, and
the rush of the mob into the village
was checked, but only for tho Instant.
A rickety woodshed which formed a
portion of the Skillett mansion closely
Joined the "Last Chance" side of the
fumlly place of business. Scarcely bad
the guns of the defenders sounded
when, with a loud shout, LIgo Wllletts
lenped from an upper window on that
side of the burning saloon and landed
on the woodshed nnd, immediately
climbing the roof of the mansion Itself,
applied a brand to the dry, time worn
clapboards. Itoss Schofleld dropped on
tho woodshed close behind him, his
arm lovingly Infolding a gallon Jug of
whisky, which ho emptied (not without
evident regret) upon the clapboards as
Llge tired them. Flames burst forth
almost lnstnntly, nnd tho smoke, unit
ing with that now rolling out of every
window of the saloon, went up to heav
en in a cumbrous, gray column.
As the flames began to spread there
was a rapid fusillade from the rear of
tho house, and a hundred men and
more, who had kept on through tho
fields to tho north, assailed It from be
hind. Their shots passed clear through
the flimsy partitions, and there was a
screaming like beasts' howls from with
in. Tho front door was thrown open,
and a lean, flerce eyed girl, with a ease
knife in her hnnd, ran out In tho face
of tho mob. At sound of tho shots In
the rear they had begun to advance on
the bouse a second time, nud Hartley'
Bowlder was the nearest man to the'
girl. With awful words and shrieking
Inconceivably she mndo straight at
Hnrtley and attacked him with the1
knife. She struck nt him again and1
again, nnd In her anguish of hnte and '
fear sho was so extraordinary a spectn-!
do that sho gained for her companions
tne seconds they needed to escape from
tho house. As sho hurled herself alono
at the oncoming torrent they sped from
the door unnoticed, sprnng over the
fence and reached tho open lots to tho
west before thoy were seen by Wllletts
from the roof.
"Don't let 'em fool you J" he shouted.
"Look to your left! There they go!
Don't let 'em got nway!" -
Tho Crossroaders were runnlnc across
tho field. Thoy wore Rob Skillett and,
his younger brother, and Mr. Skillett'
was badly damaged. Ho seemed to bo
holding his Jaw on his face with both
hands. Tho girl turned and sped after,
them. She wns over the fence almost
as soon as they were, and the three ran
in single file, tho girl last. Sho wns ci
ther mngnlflcently sacrificial and fear
less or she cunningly calculated that
the regulators would take no chances
of killing a woman-child, for she kept
between their guns and her two com
panions, trying to cover and shield the
latter with her frail body.
"Shoot, Llge," called Watts. "If wo
Are from here we'll bit the girl. Shoot!"
Wllletts and Hoss Scholleld were still
standing on the roof at the edge out
of the smoke, nnd both fired at tho
same time. The fugitives did not turn.
They kept on running, and they had
nearly reached the other side of tho
field when suddenly, without any pre
monitory gesture, the elder Skillett
dropped flat on his face. The Cross
roaders stood by each other that day,
for four or five men ran out of tho
nearest shanty Into the open, lifted the
prostrate figure from the ground and
began to carry it back with them. Hut
Skillett was alive. Ills curses wer
heard above all other sounds. Llge
and Scholleld fired again, nnd one of
the rescuers staggered. Nevertheless
ns the two men slid down from tho roof
the burdened Crossroaders were seen
to break Into a run, nnd at that, with
another yell, fiercer, wilder, more joy-1
.. ,i..... i... .1 i ii... ........ i
uun iiiiiii inu lira i, mu I'lnilVllie 111011
The yell rang loudly In the ears of
rid Wllkerson, who had remained back
In tho road, and at the same instant
he heard another shout behind him.
He had not shared In the attack; but,
greatly preoccupied with his own his
trionic affairs, was proceeding alone
np the pike, except for the unhappy
yellow mongrel still dragged along by
the rope, nnd alternating, as was his
natural wont, from one fence to the
other, crouching behind every bush to
lire an Imaginary rifle at the dog and
then springing" out with triumphant
bellowlngs to fall prone upon the terri
fied animal. It was after one of these
victories that a shout of warning was
laiscd behind him. nnd .Mr. Wllkei-hon.
by grace of the god Ruechus, lolling
out of the way In time to save his life,
saw a horse dash by him, n big. black
horse whose polished flanks were drip
ping with lather. Warren Smith was
the rider. He was waving n slip of yel
low paper high in the air.
He rode up the slope and drew rein
beyond the burning buildings just
ahead of those foremost lu the pursuit.
He threw his horse across the road to
oppose their progress, rose In his stir
rups and waved the paper over als
head. "Stop!" he roared. "(Jive me
one minute! Stop!" He had a grand
voice, and he was known In many
parts of tho state for the great bass
roar with which ho startled his Juries.
To be heard at a distance most men
lift tho pitch or their voice. Smith
lowered his an octave or two, and the
result was like an earthquake playing
an organ lu a catacomb.
"Stop!" he thundered. "Stop!"
In answer one of the flying Cross
roaders turned and sent a bullet whis
tling close to li I in. The lawyer paused
long enough to bow deeply In satirical
response; then, flourishing the paper,
ho roared again: "Stop! A mistake!
I have news! Stop, I say! Horner has
To make himself heard over that
tempestuous advance was a feat; for
him, moreover, whoso counsels had so
lately been derided, to Interest the pur
suers nt such a moment enough to
make them listen to And the word
was a greater, and by the word and
by gestures at once vehemently Im
perious and imploring to stop them
wns a still greater. Hut he did It. He
had come at Just the moment- before
the moment that would have been too
late. They all heard him. They nil
knew, too, that he was not trying to
save tho Crossroads as a matter of
duty, because ho had given that up be
fore tho mob left I'lattville. Indeed, it
was a question if nt the last he bad
not tacitly approved, and no one feared
indictments for the day's work. It
would do no harm to listen to what ho
had to say. The work could wait. It
would "keep" for five minutes. They
began to gather around him, excited,
flushed, perspiring nnd smelling of
smoke. Hartley Howlder, won by
Llge's desperation nnd Intrepidity, was
helping the latter tie up his head. No
one else was hurt.
"What Is It?" they clamored impa
tiently1. "Speak quick!" There was
another harmless shot from a fugitive,
and then the Crossroaders, divining
that the diversion was In their favor,
secured themselves in their decrepit
fastnesses and held their Arc. Mean
while tho flames cracTUed cheerfully
in I'lattville curs. No matter what tho
prosecutor had to say, at least the Skil
lett saloon and homestead were gone,
und Hob Skillett and one other would
be sick enough to be good for awhile.
"Listen!" cried Warren Smith, nnd,
rising In his stirrups again, read tho
missive In his hand, a Western Union
telegraph form. "Warren Smith, Plntt
vllle," was tho direction.
Found hoth shell men. Police, familiar
With hoth, and both wnnted here. Ono
arrested at noon in secondhand clothes
store wearing llarkless" hnt; also trying
to dispose torn full dress coat known to
Jiavo been worn by HarklcsB last night.
Stalnson lining believed blood. Second man
found later tit freight yards In empty
lumber ear left I'lattville 1 p. in., badly
hurt, shot and bruised. Supposed llark
less mndo hard light. Hurt man taken to
hospital imonnsclous. Will dlo. Other
uiuii refuse. o tulk no far. Check any
fftdvament CroKJironrin. This clears Bkll
lett, etc. Coma over an 9:15 accommoda
tion. Tho telegram wns signed by Homer,
the sheriff, and by Harrott, the super
intendent of police at Itouen.
"It's all a mistake, boys," the lnwyer
said as he handed the paper to Watts
nnd Parker for Inspection. "Tho Indies
nt the Judge's were mistaken, that's all,
nnd this proves It. It's easy enough to
understand. They were frightened by
tho storm, and watching n fence a
quarter of a mile nway by flashes of
lightning any one would have been
confused and Imagined all the horrors
on earth. 1 don't deny but what I be
lieved It for awhile, and I don't deny
but the Crossroads Is pretty tough, but
you've done n good ileal here already
today, i' '"c'ro saved lu time from u
mistake mat would have turned out
mighty bad. This settles It. Horner got
7l(! vuide vlraluht tit llartlcu.
'a wire to go soon us they got track of
tho llrst man. That was when we saw
him ou the Itouen accommodation."
A slightly cracked voice, yet a huskl
ly tuneful one, was lifted qunvcringly
on the ntr from the roadside, where an
old man and u yellow dog sat lu the
dust together, the latter reprieved at
the last moment, his surprised head
raklshly garnished with n hasty wreath
of dog fennel daisies.
"John Brown's body lies a-moldcrlng In
While wo go marching on."
Three-quarters of an hour later tho
Inhabitants of the Crossroads, saved,
they knew not how; guilty, knowing
nothing of the fantastic pendulum of
opinion which, swung by the events of
the day, had marked the fatal moment
of guilt now on others, now on them
who deserved It these natives and
refugees, conscious of utroclty, dum
founded by a miracle, thinking the
world goin mad, hovered together In
a dark, ragged- mass at the crossing
comers, while the skeleton of the rot
ting buggy in the slough rose behind
them against the face of the west.
They peered with stupefied eyes
through the smoky twilight.
From afar, faintly through tho
gloaming, came mournfully to their
ears the many voiced refrain, fainter,
"John Brown's body lies a-moldcrlng In
John Brown'B body lies a-moldcrlng In
John Brown's body lies mold
wo go tnurch on."
I a T the city hospltnl In Rouen
fl that night n stout young man
frjTt-lt1 Introduced himself to Hur
IE?4SJ t'ctt, superintendent of po
lice; Warren Smith nnd Horner, sheriff
of Cnrlow. He spoke In u low voice.
"My nmiiG is Meredith," ho said. "Mr.
Harkless was an old and and " He
paused for a moment. The I'lattville
men nodded solemnly. "An old nnd
dour friend of mine," he went on, with
some difficulty, and Warren Smith took
hlui silently by tho hand.
"You can come in und seo this man,
the Teller, with us if you like, Mr. Mer
edith," said the superintendent. "Your
friend made it very hot for him be
foro the two of 'em got away with him.
He's so shot and hacked up his mother
wouldn't know him If she wanted to.
At least that's what they say out here.
We haven't seen him. He's called Jer
ry the Teller, and ono of my sergeants
found him In the freight yard. Know
it was the Teller, because ho was stow
ed nway In one of tho empty cars that
came from I'lattville lust night And
Sluttcry that's his running mate, the
ono wo caught with tho coat and hat
owned up thut they beut their way on
that freight. Looks like Slattery let
the Teller do all tho fighting. lie ain't
scratched. We've been nt Slattery
pretty hard, but he won't open his
head, nnd wo hope to get something
but of this one. He's delirious, but
they say he'll come to before he dies.
Do you want to go In with us?"
"Yes," said Meredith simply, nnd a
young surgeon presently appeared and
led them down n wldo corridor and up
a narrow hall, and they entered a
small, quiet ward.
There was a pungent smell of chem
icals In the room. Tho light was low,
nnd the dimness was Imbued with a
thick, confuted murmur, incoherent
whisperings that came from a cot In
tho corner. It was the only cot In use
in the ward, and Meredith was con
scious of a terror that mnde him dread
to look nt It, to go near it. Reside it
nurse sat silent, and upon It feebly
tossed the racked body of him whom
Bnrrctt had culled Jerry the Teller.
The head was a shapeless bundle, so
swathed It was with bandages and
cloths, nnd what part of the face wan
visible was discolored and pigmented
with drugs. Stretched under the whlto
sheet the man looked Immensely tall
bb Horner saw with vague misgiving
nnd lie lay In an odd, Inhuman fash
ion, as though he. had been all broken
to pieces. Ills attempts to move were
constantly soothed by the nurse, and
lie us constantly continued such at
tempts, and one hnnd, though torn
nnd bandaged, was not to be restrained
from u wandering, restless movement
that Meredith felt to be pathetic. He
bad entered the room with a flare of
hate for tltc thug whom he had como
to see die and who had struck down
the old friend whose nearness he had
never known until It was too lute. Hut
nt llrst sight of the broken figure ho
felt nil animosity fall away from him.
Only awe remained and a growing
traitorous pity ns he watched the long
white lingers of tho Teller pick nt tho
coverlet. The man was muttering
rapid fragments of words nnd sylla
bles. "Somehow I feel n sense of wrong,
Guy," Meredith whispered to the sur-(
goon, whom he know. "I feel ns If I
had done the fellow to death myself,
ns If It were all out of gear. I know
now bow Henry felt over the great
Gulsard. How tall he looks! That
doesn't seem to me like n thug's band."
The surgeon nodded. "Of course If
there's n mistake to bo made you can
count on Harrett and Ids sergeants to
make It. I doubt If this Is their man.
When they found him, what clothes
he wore wero torn and stained, but
they had been good once, especially
Barrett bent over the recumbent fig
tire. "Sec here, Jerry," be said. "1 want
to talk to you a little. Rouse up, will
you? I want to tulk to you ns a
Tho Incoherent muttering continued.
"See here, Jerry!" repeated Harrett
more sharply. "Jerry l Rouse up, will
you? We don't rnnt nny fooling, un
derstand that, Jerry!" He dropped his
hand on tho man's shoulder und shook
The Teller uttered a short, gasping
"Lot me," snld Gay und swiftly In
terposed, landing over the cot, he snld
In u pleasant voice: "It's nil right, old
! man; it's nil right. Slattery wants to
know what you did with that man
down at I'lattville when you got
through with him. He can't remember,
ond he thinks there was money left on
him. Slattery's head was hurt. He
can't remember. He'll go shares with
you when he gets it. Slattery's going to
stand by you If he can got the money."
The Teller only tried to move his free
hand to the shoulder Harrett had shak
en. "Slattery wants to know," repeated
Aie young surgeon, gently moving the
hnnd back upon the sheet. "He'll divvy
up when he gets It. He'll stand by you,
"Would you please not mind," whis
pered tho Teller faintly "would you
please not mind If you took care not to
brush against my shoulder again?"
The surgeon drew back, with an ex
clamation, but the Teller's whisper
gathered strength, nnd they heard him
murmuring oddly to himself. Mere
dith moved forward, with n sturtled
gesture. "What's that?" be said.
"Seems to bo trying to sing, or some
thing," snld Barrett, bending over to
The Teller swung his nrm heuvlly
over the side of the cot, .the lingers nev
er censing their polnful twitching. Tho
surgeon leaned down and gently moved
the cloths so that tho white, scarred
lips wore free. They moved steadily.
They seemed to be framing the sem
blance of nn old ballad that Meredith
know. The whisper grew more distinct.
It became a rich but broken voice, and
they heard It singing like the sound of
some far, halting minstrelsy:
"Wavo willows murmur waters golden
Earthly nu.c cannot waken lovely
Meredith gave nn exclnmatlon.
The bandaged hand waved Jauntily
over the Teller's head. "Ah, men," ho
said, almost clearly, and tried to lift
hlmseir on his arm, "I tell you It's u
grand eleven we have tills year! Thcro
will bo llttlo left of anything that
stands ogulnst them. It's our cham
pionship. Did you seo Jim Romley ride
over his man this nfternoon?"
As tho voice grew clearer the sheriff
stopped forward, but Tom Meredith,
with a loud cry of grief, threw him
self ou his knees beside the cot and
seized tho wandering fingers in bis
own. "John!" he cried. "John, is it
(to he continued.)
ftneky Mountain Tea Nuggets !
A Juay Medicine for Busy People.
Brings GolJaa Health and Itenowoi Vigor.
A sricIllo for Constipation, Imllgoitlon, Live '
nnd Klilney Troubles, l'lmple. Kecmi, Impur
Uootl, Il.ul breath, Rlngglsh bowels, Headache
'.nd Hudmrlio. It's Rocky Mountain Tea In tao
t form, a"5 cents u box. Genuine- mndo by
lor.usTEa Unco Oompanv, Mmllgon, Wis.
OLDEN flUQGETS FOR SALLOW PEOPLE
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