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The Bail Jumper   By: (1880-1959)

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THE BAIL JUMPER

BY

ROBERT J. C. STEAD

LONDON T. FISHER UNWIN ADELPHI—TERRACE

First published in 1914.

[ All rights reserved. ]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I—A FRIEND AND AN ENEMY CHAPTER II—SECRETS OF SUCCESS CHAPTER III—TWO ON THE TRAIL CHAPTER IV—CROTTON’S CROSSING CHAPTER V—UNDER SUSPICION CHAPTER VI—THE ARM OF THE LAW CHAPTER VII—ONLY A BARNARDO BOY CHAPTER VIII—A MYSTERIOUS ACQUAINTANCE CHAPTER IX—A FUGITIVE CHAPTER X—PLAYING THE GAME CHAPTER XI—A FRIEND IN NEED CHAPTER XII—LOVE—OR LAW? CHAPTER XIII—GROPING CHAPTER XIV—THE SACRIFICE OF SILENCE CHAPTER XV—STILL PLAYING THE GAME CHAPTER XVI—KIT MCKAY CHAPTER XVII—THE HOMESTEAD LINE CHAPTER XVIII—RIGHT ABOUT FACE! CHAPTER XIX—THE LIGHT AT LAST

THE BAIL JUMPER

CHAPTER I—A FRIEND AND AN ENEMY

“We have felt the cold of winter—cursed by those who know it not— We have braved the blizzard’s vengeance, dared its most deceptive plot; We have learned that hardy races grow from hardy circumstance, And we face a dozen dangers to attend a country dance; Though our means are nothing lavish we have always time for play, And our social life commences at the closing of the day; We have time for thought and culture, time for friendliness and friend, And we catch a broader vision as our aspirations blend.”

Prairie Born.

The short winter day was at an end. The gloom of five o’clock twilight gathered about the frost shrouded team and the farm sleigh which crunched complainingly behind. For twenty miles the team had plodded, steadily, laboriously—their great heads undulating with their gait, through the snow blocked roads. The two fur clad men had long ago dropped all attempt at conversation, and an occasional swing of their arms, in an effort to revive the chilled circulation, was the only evidence that the vital spark still burned in their deep bosomed bodies.

Suddenly a shape loomed through the grey mist of the night. The horses lurched back upon the double trees, their trace chains clattering with the slack. The shape took form; a frightened team were seen plunging in the deep snow by the roadside; the vehicles interlocked.

“What d’ye mean by crowdin’ me off the road like that?” cried an angry voice, as a man’s form rose in the opposing cutter.

“I didn’t crowd you off,” returned the driver of the sleigh. “It was your own reckless speed that got you into trouble. See, man, your nigh horse is down; I’m thinkin’ he needs your attention more than me.”

“But it’s you will have it first,” came the savage reply, as the speaker sprang from the cutter on to the side of the sleigh. But almost before he landed a great bear like arm shot out, and the assailant would have fallen in a crumpled mass beside his struggling horses, had not the same arm jerked him forward into the sleigh.

In the deep gloom the two men thrust their faces close, then drew suddenly back.

“And what way is this to greet a neighbour on the public road, Hiram Riles?” demanded the driver of the sleigh. “Ye’ll have strange tales for the wife to night, I’m thinkin’, by the breath o’ you. Away home with ye, and mind the road. It’s no fit night for a man in your shape, Hiram.”

The other murmured thickly, “I’m all right,” but showed no further belligerent tendencies; and when the team had been extricated from their entanglement and set upon the road again, the two old timers parted in their opposite directions.

“It’s a sore temptin’ o’ Providence for a man to venture on the country roads a winter’s night without all his senses, Raymond,” said the elder man, as they drove on. “See ye’re no guilty of it. There’s many a tragedy blamed to the climate that’s begun in the gin shop... Continue reading book >>




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