-end-book
Part Five
Chapter XXXVII
 

Bob threw back his head and laughed.

"So did I!" he cried; and then, after a moment, more soberly. "I think, incidentally, it saved my life."

"Now what are you driving at?" asked Orde.

"Listen, this is funny: Newmark had me kidnapped by one of his men, and lugged off to a little valley in the mountains. The idea was to keep me there until after the trial, so my testimony would not appear. You see, none of our side knew I had that testimony. I hadn't told anybody, because I had been undecided as to what I was going to do."

Orde whistled.

"I got away, and had quite a time getting home. I'll tell you all the details some other time. On the road I met Newmark. I was pretty mad, so I lit into him stiff-legged. After a few words he got scared and pulled a gun on me. I was just mad enough to keep coming, and I swear I believe he was just on the point of shooting, when I said those very same words: 'I'm going to give you the very worst licking you ever heard tell of.' He turned white as a sheet and dropped his gun. I thought he was a coward; but I guess it was conscience and luck. Now, wouldn't that come and get you?"

"Did you?" asked Orde.

"Did I what?"

"Give him that licking?"

"I sure did start out to; but I couldn't bring myself to more than shake him up a little."

Orde rose, stretching his legs.

"What are your plans now?"

"To see Baker. I'm going to tell him that on the first indications of his making trouble I'm going to enter complaint for bribery against both him and Mr. Welton. You see, I was there too. Think it'll work?"

"The best way is to go and see."

"Come on," said Bob.