The Stroud Democrat (Stroud, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 27, Ed. 1 Friday, March 24, 1916 Page: 2 of 8
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THE STROUD DEMOCRAT
^rCIlAMIS NTA1I.LT BUCK
" AUTHOR"/ "The CALLo/theCUMBERLANDS"
Juanlta Holland, a Philadelphia young
Woman of wealth, on h r lourney with
her KuWhv Good Anne Tnlhotl, into tlie
heart of tho Cumberland* tx
teacher of the mount 'n childni. I titits
at the door of Plot M« Nash's cahln
Wnlto rttftliiK there *h« ovi
between Had Ann<> Have\ « hh f «-f his
clan, nnd on# of his henchmen thit U
Gualnts her with the Htv( \ m Briar feud.
Juanlta has an unprotltahh talk with H-id
Anse nnd they become nntanonistH <al
1 "i *laa of thi* Havey clan i. on trial In
Peril, fi r the murder «■ f Noah Wyatt. a
McHr'ar. In the night luanita In* am
feudists ride past tin- MrN.tsh cahln.
Juanlta and Dawn McNaeh become
friends. Cal DoiiKias !s acquitted. Nash
Wyatt attempts t«- Kill him but Is hlm-
•eif killed b> thi Havey8 Juanlta aoea
to live with the Wldoiv Kv. rsoii. whose
boys are outside the feud. Milt McUrlar.
head of his elan, meets Had Ans. there
and disclaims responsibility for Wyatt's
attempt to kill Douglas rhej dsolan a
truce, under presauri from Good Anse
Talbott. Juanlta thinks she finds that
Bad Anns is opposing her efforts to buy
land and build a school. Milt M Hriar
break® the truce b> having Kh tch Mc-
Nash murdered. Jeh McNash bega Had
Anse to tell him who killed ins father,
but Is not told Juanlta and Had Anse
further misunderstand each other Had
An§e Is bitter, but tells Juanlta he (lot s
rot tight woman and will gi\e her land If
necessary Juanlta pets her land and
cahln Old Hob McOn-egoi Incites Jeh
McNash to murder Young Milt Mtltrlar,
but Jeh refrains as he la not sure Young
Idllt is the murder* r
Dawn turned away and wont stalk-
ing along the woodland path without a
backward glance, and Milt followed at
her heela, with Juanita, much amused,
bringing up the rear The easterner
thought that these two young folks
made a splendid pair, specimens of the
best of the mountains, as yet unbroken
by heavy harness. Then, as the
younger girl passed under a swinging
rope of wild grapevine, stooping low,
a tendril caught in her hair.
Without a word Young Milt bent for-
ward and was freeing It, tingling
through his pulses as hia lingers
touched the heavy black mass, but as
soon as she was loose the girl sprang
away and wheelod. her eyes blazing.
"How dast ye tech me?" she de-
manded. panting with wrath. "How
The boy laughed easily. "I dast do
anything I wants," he told her.
For a moment they stood looking at
each other, then the girl dropped her
eyes, but the anger had died out of
them, and Juanita saw that, despite
her condescending air, she was not
Juanita. of course, knew nothing of
Jeb's suspicions that had led him into
the laurel, but even without that in-
formation, when Young Milt met them
more often than could be attributed
to chance on their walks and fell into
the habit of strolling back with them,
strong forebodings began to trouble
And one morning these forebodings
were verified in crisis for, while the
youthful McBrlar lounged near the
porch of Juanita's cabin talking with
Pawn, another shadow fell across the
sunlight: the shadow of Jeb McNash.
He had come silently, and it was only
as Young Milt, whose back had been
turned, shifted his position, that the
two boys recognized each other.
Juanlta saw the start with which
Jeb's figure stiffened and grew taut.
She saw his hands clench themselves
and his face turn white as chalk; saw
his chest rise and fall under heavy
breathing that hissed through clenched
teeth, and her own heart pounded with
But Milt McBriar's face showed
nothing. His father's masklike calm-
ness of feature had come down to him,
and as he read the meaning of the
other boy's attitude he merely nodded
and said casually: "Howdy, Jeb."
Jeb did not answer. He could not
answer. He was training and punish
lng every fiber cruelly simply in
standing where he was and keeping
his hands at his sides For a time
he remained stiff and white, breathing
spasmodically; then, without a word,
he turned and stalked away.
That moon a horseman brought a
note across the ridge, and as Juanita
Holland read It she felt that all her
dreams were crumbling that the soul
of them was paralyzed.
It was a brief note, written in a
copybook hand, and it ran:
I'll have to ask you to send the McNash
children over to my house. Jeb doesn't
want them to be consorting with the Mc-
Brlars, and I can't blame him. He is the
bead of his family.
A stronger thing to Juanlta Holland
than the personal disappointment
which had driven her to this work was
now her eager, flery interest in the
undertaking itself. In these months
she had disabused herself of many
prejudices There remained that lin-
gering one against the man with whom
she had not made friends.
The thing she had set out to do was
a hundredfold more vital now than It
had been when It stood for carrying
oat a dead grandfather's wish. She
had been with these people in child-
birth and death. In sickness and want;
she had seen summer go from its ten-
der beglunliig to a vagabond end with
Its tattered banners of ripened corn;
autumn had blazed and flared Into
As young Jeb had turned on hit heel
| nnd stalked away, even before the com-
ing of the note she knew what would
1 happen, and what would happen not
unly in this instance, but in others
like It. This would not be just losing
I Dawn, bad as that was. It would be
j paralysis and death to the school; it
would mean the leaving of every Ha-
I vey boy and girl.
j So Bhe stood there, and afterward
said quietly: "Milt, I guess you'd bet-
ter go," and Milt had gone gravely and
unquestionlngly, but with that In his
eye which did not argue brightly for
restoration of peace between Ills house
and that of his enemy.
When the two girls had gone to-
gether Into tlie cabin Dawn stood with
a face that blanchcd as she began to
realize what it all meant, then slowly
she stiffened and her hands, too,
clenched and her eyes kindled.
She canie across to tho chair Into
which the older girl had dropped list-
lessly and, falling to her knees, seized
both Juanita's hands. She seized them
tightly and fiercely, and her eyes were
blazing and her voice broke from her
lips in turgid vehemence.
"1 hain't a goln' ter leave ye!" cried
Dawn. "1 haiu't a goln' ter do It."
No word had been spoken of her
leaving, but In this life they both knew
that certain things bring certain re-
sults. and they were expecting a note
from Bad Anso.
"I hope not. dear," said Juanlta, but
Then the mountain girl sprang up
and became transformed. With her
rigid flguro and blazing eyes she
seemed a torch burning with all the
pent-up heritage of her past.
"I tells ye I ain't a-goin' ter leave
ye!" she protested, and her utterance
swelled to tlery determination. "Es
fer Milt McBrlar, 1 wouldn't spit on
him. 1 hates him. 1 hates his mur-
derin' breed. I hates 'em like—" she
paused a moment, then finished tu-
multuously "—like all hell. 1 reckon
I'm es good a Havey as Jeb. 1 hain't
seen Jeb do nothin' ylt."
Again she paused, panting with pas-
sionate rage, then swept on while Jua-
nita looked at her BUdden metamor-
phosis into a fury and shuddered.
"When I wasn't nothin' but a baby I
fotched victuals ter my klnfolks a
hidln' out from revenuors. 1 passed
right through men tliet war a-trailin'
'era. I've done served ray kinfolks
afore, an' I'd do hit ergin. but I reckon
1 hain't a-goin' ter let 'em take me
away from ye."
Juanlta could think of only one step
to take, saishe sent Jerry Everson for
Brother Talbott. whom she had seen
riding toward tho shack hamlet in the
"Thar hain't but one thing thet ye
kin do," said Good Anse slowly when
he and Juanita sat alone over tho prob-
lem with the note of Havey command
lying between them. "An' I hain't no-
ways sartain thet hit'll come ter
hain't nuvsr dared ter cross him
"No," she cried bitterly, "he will wel-
come tho chance to humiliate and to
refuse my plea. He has been waiting
for this; to see mo come to him a sup
pliant on bended knee, and then to
laugh at mo and turn me away." She
paused and added brokenly: "And yet
I've got to go to him In surrender—to
be refused—but I'll go."
"Listen." said the preacher, and his
words carried that soft quality of paci-
fication which she had once or twice
heard before. "Thar's a heap worse
fellers than Bad Anse Havey. Ef ye
could jest hev seed yore way ter treat
him a leetle dlfl'rent—"
"How could 1?" demanded Juanlta
hotly. "How could 1 be friends with a
murderer and keep my self-respect?"
The brown-faced man looked up at
her and Bpoke simply.
"I've done kept mine." he said.
The girl roBe.
"Will you go with me?" she asked a
little weakly. "I don't feel quite
strong enough to go over there alone.
While they are humbling me 1 would
like to have a friend at hand. I think
It would help a little."
"I'm ready now," and so, with the
man who had guided her on other mis-
sions, she set out to niako what terms
she could with the enemy she had so
It seemed an Interminable Journey,
though they took the short cut of the
foot-trail over the hills.
The houso that had come down to
Anse Havey had been built almost a
century before. It was originallv
placed in a section so large that else-
where it would have been a domain—a
tract held under the original Virginia
grant. Since those days much of it
had been parceled out as marriage por-
tions to younger generations.
Cabins that had once housed slaves,
barns, a smoke-house, an icehouse, and
a small hamlet of dependent shacks
clustered about a clearing which had
been put there rather to avoid surprise
than to give space for gardening. The
Havey of two generations ago had
been something of a hermit scholar, 1
and in his son had lurked a diminish- !
ing craze for books and an increasing
passion for leadership.
The feud had blazed to its fiercest J
heat in his day, and the father of Bad j
Anse Havey had been the first Bad [
Anse. His son had succeeded to the
title as a right of heritage, and had j
been trained to wear it like a fighting
man. Though he might be a whelp of j
the wolf breed, the boy was a strong |
whelp and one in whom slept latent
possibilities and anomalous qualities,
for in him broke out afresh the love of
It might have surprised his newspa-
per biographers to know how deeply
he had conned the few volumes on the
rotting shelves of the brick houso, or 1
how deeply he had thought along some '
lines. It might havo amazed them had
they heard the fire and romance with
which he quoted tho wise counsel of j
tho foolish Polonlus. "Beware of en-
tering a quarrel, but being in, so bear
thee that tho opposer may beware
As to entering a quarrel, it sufficed
his logic that he had been born Into It;
that he had "helred" his hatreds.
| And because In these parts his fa-
ther had held almost dictatorial pow-
I crs, it had pleased him to send his son,
I Just come to his majority, down to the
j state capital as a member of the legls-
I lature, and the son had gone to Bit for
a while among lawmakers.
"Will You Go With Me?" She Asked
a Little Weakly.
nothin'. Ye've get ter go over tliar
an' have speech with Anse."
Juanlta drew back with a start of
distaste and repulsion. Yet she had
known this all along.
"Ye see," she heard the missionary
saying, "thar's Jest one way Anse kin
handle Jeb, an' nobody else kain't
handle him at all. He thinks he's
right. 1 reckon ef ye kin persuade
Anse ter reason with him ye'll hev ter
promise that Young Milt hain't a goin'
ter hang round hyar."
"I'd promise almost anything. I can't
give them up—I can't—I can't!"
"Ef Anse didn't pertect little Dawn
from the McBrlars, Jeb would, ter a
God's certainty, kill Young Milt," went
on the preacher, and the girl nodded
"1 don't 'low ter blame ye none," be
5ttld slowly, almost apologetically, "but
I've got ter say hit. Hit's a pity ye've
seen fit ter say so many bitter things
ter Anse. Mountain folks air mighty
easy hurt la their priio, an' do one
In other years Bad Anse Havey re-
membered the days In that houBe when
the voices of women and children had
been raised In song and laughter. Then
the family had gathered in the long
winter evenings before the roaring
backlogs, and spinning wheel and quilt-
ing frame had not yet gone to the cob-
webs of tho cockloft. But that was
The quarter-century over which his
memory traveled had brought changes
even to the hills. The impalpable
ghost of decay moves slowly, with no
sound save the occasional click of a
sagging door here and the snap of a
cord there, but in twenty-five years it
moves—and an inbred generation
comes to impaired manhood. Since
Bad Anse himself had returned from
Frankfort his house had been tenanted
only by men, and an atmosphere of
grimness hung In Its shadows. A half-
dozen unkempt and loutish kinsmen
dwelt there with him, tilling the ground
nnd ready to bear arms. More than
once they had been needed.
It was to this place that Juanita Hol-
land and the preacher were making
their way on that October afternoon.
At the gate they encountered a soli-
tary figure gazing stolidly out to the
front, and when their coming roused
it out of its gloomy reverie it turned
and presented the scowling face ot
"Where air they?" he demanded
wruthfully, wheeling upon the two ar-
rivals, and then ho repeated violently:
"By heaven, where air they? Why
hain't ye done fotched Dawn and
"Jeb." said the missionary quietly,
"we done come over hyar fust ter her
speech with Anse Havey. Whar's ho
1 reckon he's In his house, but ye
hain't answered my question. I'm ther
one for ye ter talk ter fust. Hit's my
sister ye've done been sufTerln' ter
consort with murderers, an' hit's me
ye've got ter reckon with."
Brother Talbott only nodded. "Son."
he fci-ntly assured him. "we nltns ter
talk with you. too. but I reckon ye
haiu't got no call ter hinder us from
havln' speech with Anse first."
For a moment Jeb Btood dubious,
then he jerked his head toward the
"Go on in tliar, ef ye sees fit. I
hain't got no license ter stop ye," he
said curtly; "but don't aim ter leave
'thout seein' me, too."
Several shaggy retainers were loung-
ing on tho front porch, but as Good
Ansa Talbott and Juanita turned in at
the gate theje henchmen disappeared
inside They would all be there to wit-
ness her humbling, thought the girl.
It would please him to receive her
with his Jackal pack yelping derisively
Then she saw another figure emerge
from the dark door to stand at the
threshold, and the flush in her eheeks
grew deeper. Bad Anse Havey stood
and waited, and when they reached the
steps of the porch he came slowly for-
ward and said gravely, "Come inside."
He led the way, and they followed In
Juanlta found herself in the largest
room she had yet seen in the moun-
tains—a room dark at Its corners de-
spite a shaft of sun that slanted
through a window and fell on a heavy
table in a single band of light. On the
iable lay a litter of pipes, loose to-
bacco, cartridges and several books.
Down the stripe of sunlight the dust-
motes floated in pulverized gold, and
the radiance fell upon a book which
lay open, throwing it into relief, so
that as the girl stood uncertainly near
the table she read at the top of a pago
the caption. "Plutarch's Lives."
But she caught her breath in relief,
for the retainers had disappeared.
Bad Anse stood Just at the edge of
the sun-shaft, with one side of his
face lighted and the other dark.
But if to the girl the whole picture
was one of somber composition and
color, it presented a different aspect
to Bad Anse himself as the young
mountaineer stood facing tho door.
"We've done come ter hev speech
with ye, Anse," Talbott began. "I
reckon ye know what hit's erbout."
The Havey leader only nodded, and
his steady eyes and straight mouth-
line did not alter their sternness of ex-
He saw the stifled little gasp with
which the girl read the ultimatum of
his set face and the sudden mist of
tears which, In spite of herself,
blurred her eyes. He pushed forward
a chair and gravely Inquired: "Hadn't
ye better set down, ma'am?"
She shook her head and raised one
hand, which trembled a little, to brush
the hair out of her eyes.
Palpably she was trying to speak,
and could not for the moment com-
mand her voice. But at last she got
herself under control, and her words
came slowly and carefully.
"Mr. Havey, I have very little reason
to expect consideration from you.
Even now, if it were a question of
pleading for myself, 1 would die first,
but It Isn't that." She paused and
shook her head. "You told me that I
must fail unless 1 came to you. Well
I've come—I've come to humiliate ray-,
self. 1 guess I've come to surrender."
His face did not change and he did
not answer. Evidently, thought the
girl bitterly, she had not sufficiently
abased herself. After a moment she
went on in a very tired, yet a very
"You are a man of action, Mr. Ha-
vey. 1 make my appeal to your man-
hood. 1 suppose you've never had a
dream that has come to mean every-
thing to you—but that's the sort of
dream I've had. That little girl, Dawn,
wants a chance. Her little brother
wants a chance. I've humbled myself
to come and plead for them. If you
take them away from me you will
smash my school. 1 don't underesti-
mate your power now. Children are
just beginning to come to me. and W
you order these to leave, the others
will leave, too, and they won't come
back. It will kill my school. If that's
your purpose, 1 guess it's no use even
to plead. I know you can do it—and
yet you told me you weren't making
war on me."
"I reckon," interrupted Brother Tal-
bott slowly, "ye needn't have no fear
of thet, ma'am. Anse wouldn't do
"But If you aren't doing that," went
on Juanita. "I want to make my plea
just for the sake of these children of
your own people. I'm ready to accept
your terms. I'm ready to abase and
humble ray own pride, only, for God's
sake, give them a chance to grow clean
and straight and break th<^ shackles
She waited for the man to reply, but
ho neither spoke nor changed expres-
sion, so with an effort she went on
unconsciously bending a little forward
in her eagerness:
"If you could see the way Dawn has
unfolded like a flower, the thirsty in
telllgence with which she has drunk
up what I have taught her; the way
it has opened new worlds to her; I
don't think you could be willing to
plunge her back into drudgery and ig
norance. She Is a woman, or soon
will be, Mr. Havey. You don't need
women In your feuds,"
Again came the cautioning voice of
the preacher In his effort to keep her
away from antagonizing lines.
"They hain't been called away fer no
reason like thet, ma'am." But Juanlta
continued, ignoring the warning:
"The other boy is too young for you
to use yet. Let him at least choose
for himself. Let him reach the age
when he shall have enough knowledge
of both sides to make his own choice
fairly. I'm not asking odds You
have Jeb. nnd he wears your trade-
mark In his face. The bitterness that
lurks there shows that he Is wholly
your vnssal; yours and the feud's.
Doesn't that satisfy you? Won t you
let the others stay with me?"
She broke off with a gasp. Anse
Havey's face stiffened.
Even now he did not speak to her,
but turned toward the missionary.
"Brother Talbott." he said slowly,
"would ye mind wultln' out there on
the porch a little spell? I'd like to
talk with this lady by herself."
When he had gone there was a short
silence, which Havey finally broke
with a question:
"Why didn't ye say all these things
to Jeb? 1 sent the letter on his say-
"But you sent It—and all the Havey
power is In your hands. Jeb wouldn't
understand such a plea. 1 come to the
fountainhead My school is Dot a Ha-
vey school nor a McBrlar school. It is
meant to open its doors to both sides
of the ridge, regardless of factions."
"Did young Milt come there ter gtt
eddlcation? 1 thought he went to col-
lege down below." The question car-
ried an undernote of irony.
Juanita shook her head.
"No." she answered. "He came there
as any other passer-by might have
come, and he hasn't come often Let
me keep the children and he shan't
For a time Bad Anse stood there re-
garding her with a steady and pierc-
For a Time Bad Anse Stood There
Regarding Her With a Steady and
lng gaze, while his brows drew to-
gether In a frown rather of deep
thoughtfulness than of displeasure
"I asked Brother Talbott to go out,"
he finally said, "because I didn't hardly
want to hurt your feelin's by telling
you before him that your school can't
last. You're goin' about it all the
wrong way, an' it's worse to go about
a good thing the wrong way than to
go about a bad thing the right way. I
told ye once that ye couldn't change
the hills, an' that ye'd chang(5 first
yourself. I say that again. Ye can't
take fire out of blood with books. But
if ye've done persuaded Brother Anse
that you're doin' good, 1 didn't want
him to hear me belittle ye."
Anse Havey went to the window,
where he drank deeply of the spiced
air. Then he began to speak again,
and this time it was in a voice the girl
bad never heard—a voice that held tho
fire of the natural orator and that was
colorful with emotion.
"The first time ye saw me ye made
up your mind what character of man I
was. Ye made it up from hearsay evi
dence, and ye ain't never give me a
chance to show ye whether ye was
right or wrong. Ye say I've never
dreamed a dream. Good God! ma'am,
I've never had no true companionship
except my dreams. When I was a
little barefoot shaver 1 used ter sit
there by that chimley an' dream
dreams, an' one of 'em's the biggest
thing in my life today. There were
men around Frankfort, when 1 was In
the legislature, that 'lowed I might go
to congress if 1 wanted to. I didn't
try. My dream was more to me than
congress—an' ray dream was my own
people: to stay here and help 'em."
He stepped over to the table and,
with a swift and passionato gesturo,
caught up two books.
"These are my best friends," he said,
and she read on tho covers, "Plu-
tarch's Lives" and "Tragedies of Wil-
The girl looked up in amazement,
and she met in his gaze a fire and ea-
gerness which silenced her.
She felt a wild thrill of admiration,
not such as any other man had ever
caused, but such as she had felt when
she watched the elemental play of
lightning and thunder and wind along
the mountain tops.
"It's only lonesome people," Anse
Havey went on, "that knows how to
love an' dream. I've stood up there on
the ridge with Julius Caesar and Al-
exander the Great, an' it seemed to
me that I could see 'em as plain as 1
see you now. 1 could see tho sun
shinin' on the eagles of the legion an'
tho shields of the phalanx. I'm rich
enough, 1 reckon, to live amongst other
men that read books, but a dream
keeps me here. The dream is that
some day these here mountains shall
come Into their own. These people
have got It in 'em ter be a great
people, an' I've stayed here because I
aimed to try an' help 'em."
"But," she faintly expostulated, "you
seem to stand for tho very things that
hold them back. You speak almost
reverently of their killing instinct aad
you oppose schools."
The man shook his head gravely and
"I'm a feudist because my people are
feudists an' because I can lead era
only so long as I'm a flghtln' Havey.
God knows, 1! I could wloa out this
blood-Bpillin' I'd gladly go out an' offer
myself as a sacrifice to bring it about.
You call me an outlaw—well, I've done
made laws an' I've done broke them,
an' I've seen just about as much
crookedness an' lawlessness at one
end of the game as at the other."
"But schools?" demanded Juanlta.
"Why wouldn't they help your dreaio
"1 ain't against no school that can
begin at the right end. I'm against
every school that can only onsettle
an' teach dissatisfaction with humble
llrln' where folks has got to live
He paused and paced the room. Ha
was no longer the man who had
seemed the immovable stoic. His eye#
were far away, looking beyond th®
horizon into the future.
"It's took your people two centuries
to get where they're standin' today,"
he broke out abruptly, "an' fer thero
two hundred years we've been stand
in' still or goin' back. Now ye coiue
down here an' seeks to jerk my people
up to where ye stands in the blinkin'
of an eye. Ye comes lookin' down on
'em an' pityin' 'em because they won't
eat outen your hand. They'd rather be
eagles than song-birds in a cage, even
if eagles are wild an' lawless. Ye
comes here an' straightway tells 'em
that their leaders are Infamous. Do
ye offer 'em better leaders? Ye
refuses the aid of men that know 'em—
men of their blood—an' go your own
ignorant way. Do ye see any reason
why I should countenance ye? Don't
ye see ye're just a-scatterin' my sheep
before they knows how to herd them-
"I'm afraid," said the girl very slow-
ly and humbly, "that I've been a fool.'"
"Ye says the boy Jeb wears my
trademark in the hate that's on his
face," continued Anse Havey passion-
ately. "He's been here with me con-
sot^in' with them fellers in Plutarch
and Shakespeare. If I can curb him
an' keep him out of mischief he's goin'
down to Frankfort some day an' learn
his lessons in the legislature. He ain't
goin' to no oollege. because I aims to
fit him for his work right here. I
seek to have fellers like him guide
these folks forward. I don't aim to
have them civilized by bein' wiped out
an' trod to death."
He paused, and Juanita Holland re-
peated helplessly, "I've been a fooll"
"I reckon ye don't know that young
Jeb McNash thinks little Milt kili
Fletch, an' that one day he laid out iu
the la'rel to kill little Milt," Bad Anso
pursued. "Ye don't know that the only-
reason he stayed his hand was that
I'd got his promise ter bide his time.
But I reckon ye do know that if Milt
was killed by a Havey all that's tran-
spired in ten years wouldn't make a
patch on the hell-raisin' that'd go on
hereabouts in a week. Do ye think it's
strange thet Jeb don't want his sister
consortin' with the boy that he thinks
murdered his father?"
Juanita rose from her chair, feeling
like a pert and cocksure interloper
who had been disdainfully looking
down on one with a vision immeasur-
ably wider and surer than her own.
At last she found herself asking: "But
surely Young Milt didn't kill Fletch.
Surely you don't believe that?"
"No, I know he didn't; but there's
Just one way 1 can persuade young
Jeb to believe it—an' that's to tell
him who did."
His eyes met hers and for a moment
lighted with irony. "If I did that, I
reckon Jeb would be willin' to let ye
keep Dawn an' Jesse—an', of course,,
he'd kill the other man. Do ye want
me to do it?"
He moved to the closed door and
paused with his hand on the knob.
"No, stop!" she almost screamed.
"It would mean murder. Merciful
God, it's so hard to decide some
Anse Havey turned back to the
"I Just thought I'd let ye see that
for yourself," he «aid quietly. "Ye
ain't hardly been able ter see why It's
hard for us people to decide 'em."
Suddenly a new thought struck her,
and it brought from her a sudden
question. "But you know who the
murderer Is, and you have spared
The man laughed.
"Don't fret yourself, ma'am. The
man that killed Fletch has left the
mountains, an' right now he's out ot
reach. But he'll be back some day,
an' when he comes I reckon the first
news ye'll hear of him will be that
he's dead." Once more it was the im-
placable avenger that spoke.
Tho girl could only murmur in per-
plexity: "Yet you have kept Jeb in
Ignorance. 1 don't understand."
"I've got other plans fer Jeb," said
Bad Anse Havey. "I dont 'low to let
liira be a feud killer. There's others
that can attend to that."
He flung the door open and called
Jeb, and a moment later the boy, blaclc
of countenance, camo in and stood
glaring about with tho sullen defiance
of a young bull just turned Into the
ring to face the matador.
"Jeb," suggested the chief gravely.
"1 reckon If Dawn don't see Young
Milt again ye ain't goln' to object to
her liavln' an education, are ye?"
The boy stiffened, and his reply was
"1 don't 'low ter hev my folks a con-
sortin' with no McBrlars,"
Anse Havey spoke again, very qui-
etly: "Milt didn't know no more about
that killin' than I did, Jeb."
"How does ye know thet?" The
question burst out fiercely and swiftly.
The boy bent forward, his eyes eagerly
burning above his high check bones
and his mouth stilt in a snarl of sus-
pense. "How does ye know?"
"Because 1 know who did."
"Tell me his name!" The shrill ds-
maud was almost a shriek.
iTO BE CONTINUED^
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Burton, G. C. The Stroud Democrat (Stroud, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 27, Ed. 1 Friday, March 24, 1916, newspaper, March 24, 1916; (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc121207/m1/2/: accessed February 20, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.