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Sandy Flash, the highwayman of Castle Rock online

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Do you know, Dave, I half think Dougherty was on our
side that night at the cave, when Sandy Flash had the
poker. Dougherty's a brute, all right, but he seems to
be mostly that way when Flash drives him to it. He
never was cold cruel, thinking things out ahead of time,



THE LOG SET 279

like that beast over there!" Bob shuddered, as he re-
called the expression he had seen on the outlaw's face.
"We got the leader of the highwaymen and you helped
as much as I did, too. Remember that, Dave. I'll wager
Dougherty'll not cause much trouble, now, by himself.
He's too"

"Maybe you're right, but I hope they get him all the
same! I certainly hope they do. I wonder " Dave
thought of his recent fight and grinned wryly. Sprained
thumbs are sore reminders. As long as his was throbbing
as angrily as it was, the boy was not likely to feel much
pity for the man who had caused it. Dave Thomas was
human.

Could the boys have read the future, they would have
seen how close was their forecast to the facts. Mordecai
Dougherty was not captured, it is true, but never again
was he heard of in the County of Chester. Sandy Flash,
alias Captain Fitz, was taken to Chester Gaol and
after several vain attempts at escape, received sen-
tence of death. On the morning of September 26th,
1778, he was hanged in the yard of the old Courthouse
there. The man paid just price for his crimes, his
vicious cruelty and the wanton damage done his neigh-
bors. The reward of one thousand dollars, offered by
the authorities, was divided between the MacAfees and
Rachel Walker evenly, Dave and Bob maintaining that
they themselves had not been the actual captors. All this,
however, lay far ahead, as Captain Robert and the boys
stood guard, that night, snug in the kitchen by Castle
Rock. The snow swept in staggering buffets about the
walls, tearing at the windows, pelting them with the cruel



280 SANDY FLASH

fury of driven ice. The wind whipped down from the
Willistown Hills, loud with the crash of falling trees and
splintering branches. Bob listened a moment to the tur-
moil without, then got up and moved from the fireplace.

"I say, Dave, I forgot to tell you! Nearly! After I
left Evanes' I came down by Dutton's Mill and had a
look at the otter pond. I'd put a new set there the other
day on the sly, and I wanted to see how it worked. Knew
this snow'd tie us up ever so long." He crossed the
room. "It seemed like a pretty fair try to me and
so"

"So did salt on their tails, last time, didn't it?" Dave
chuckled delightedly. Bob was so serious about the thing
that his chum could never resist the chance to tease.
Really he admired him vastly for his keeping at it.
"What'd you try now, Bob? Better be careful or you
might get something you never bargained for. Was
it a weasel or "

"Not this trip, Davey, boy, nor a muskrat either.
Look!" The big lad smiled good-humoredly at Dave's
patronizing air, then stooped beneath the kitchen settle
where the shadows lay dark upon the floor. Straightening
suddenly, he swung round, his prize held high. Dave
leaped to his feet with a shout of joy, even his wounded
thumb forgotten in sheer astonishment and delight. Bob
smiled again and turned toward the hearth.

"This is what really fetched us here, you know, Davey.
The two of us, to-night. This started it!" He grinned
and held out the great sleek pelt, a thing of beauty,
lovely, tremendous in size, amazingly soft in the firelight.



THE LOG SET 281

"This is what ended Sandy Flash!" He nodded toward
the prisoner. "I say! Won't father be glad!"

Dave touched the fur, then without a word reached
for his comrade's hand. He gripped it hard, a game
loser, quick to yield to the other's luck. Bob Allyn had
trapped the Ridley otter. The log set had won the king
of the pool !



THE END



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Online LibraryClifton LisleSandy Flash, the highwayman of Castle Rock → online text (page 19 of 19)