It is, indeed; but its not for me to point out the man that is to be murdered. Id never rest easy again. And yet its our own necks that may be at stake. In Gods name what shall I do? He rocked to and fro in his agony of indecision.
But his words had moved McMurdo deeply. It was easy to see that he shared the others opinion as to the danger, and the need for meeting it. He gripped Morriss shoulder and shook him in his earnestness.
See here, man, he cried, and he almost screeched the words in his excitement, you wont gain anything by sitting keening like an old wife at a wake. Lets have the facts. Who is the fellow? Where is he? How did you hear of him? Why did you come to me?
I came to you; for you are the one man that would advise me. I told you that I had a store in the East before I came here. I left good friends behind me, and one of them is in the telegraph service. Heres a letter that I had from him yesterday. Its this part from the top of the page. You can read it yourself.
This was what McMurdo read:
Now read the postscript.
McMurdo sat in silence for some time, with the letter in his listless hands. The mist had lifted for a moment, and there was the abyss before him.
Does anyone else know of this? he asked.
I have told no one else.
But this manyour friendhas he any other person that he would be likely to write to?
Well, I dare say he knows one or two more.
Of the lodge?
Its likely enough.
I was asking because it is likely that he may have given some description of this fellow Birdy Edwardsthen we could get on his trail.
Well, its possible. But I should not think he knew him. He is just telling me the news that came to him by way of business. How would he know this Pinkerton man?
McMurdo gave a violent start.
By Garl he cried, Ive got him. What a fool I was not to know it. Lord! but were in luck! We will fix him before he can do any harm. See here, Morris, will you leave this thing in my hands?
Sure, if you will only take it off mine.
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