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put the lantern at the head of the grave and came and sat down with his back
against one of the elm trees. He was so close the boys could have touched him.
“Hurry, men!” he said in a low voice; “the moon might come out at any
moment.” They growled a response and went on digging. For some time there
was no noise but the grating sound of the spades discharging their freight of
mould and gravel. It was very monotonous. Finally a spade struck upon the
coffin with a dull woody accent, and within another minute or two the men had
hoisted it out on the ground. They pried off the lid with their shovels, got out the
body and dumped it rudely on the ground. The moon drifted from behind the
clouds and exposed the pallid face. The barrow was got ready and the corpse
placed on it, covered with a blanket, and bound to its place with the rope. Potter
took out a large spring-knife and cut off the dangling end of the rope and then
said: “Now the cussed thing’s ready, Sawbones, and you’ll just out with another
five, or here she stays.” “That’s the talk!” said Injun Joe.

“Look here, what does this mean?” said the doctor. “You required your pay in
advance, and I’ve paid you.”

“Yes, and you done more than that,” said Injun joe, approaching the doctor, who
was now standing. “Five year ago you drove me away from your father’s
kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you said I warn’t
there for any good; and when I swore I’d get even with you if it took a hundred
years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think I’d forget? The
Injun blood ain’t in me for nothing. And now I’ve got you, and you got to settle,
you know!” He was threatening the doctor, with his fist in his face, by this time.
The doctor struck out suddenly and stretched the ruffian on the ground. Potter
dropped his knife, and exclaimed: “Here, now, don’t you hit my pard!” and the
next moment he had grappled with the doctor and the two were struggling with
might and main, trampling the grass and tearing the ground with their heels.
Injun Joe sprang to his feet, his eyes flaming with passion, snatched up Potter’s
knife, and went creeping, catlike and stooping, round and round about the
combatants, seeking an opportunity. All at once the doctor flung himself free,
seized the heavy head-board of Williams’ grave and felled Potter to the earth
with it-and in the same instant the half-breed saw his chance and drove the
knife to the hilt in the young man’s breast. He reeled and fell partly upon Potter,
flooding him with his blood, and in the same moment the clouds blotted out the
dreadful spectacle and the two frightened boys went speeding away in the dark.
Presently, when the moon emerged again, Injun Joe was standing over the two
forms, contemplating them. The doctor murmured inarticulately, gave a long
gasp or two and was still. The half-breed muttered: “That score is settled-damn
you.” Then he robbed the body. After which he put the fatal knife in Potter’s
open right hand, and sat down on the dismantled coffin. Three-four-five
minutes passed, and then Potter began to stir and moan. His hand closed upon
the knife; he raised it, glanced at it, and let it fall, with a shudder. Then he sat
up, pushing the body from him, and gazed at it, and then around him,
confusedly. His eyes met Joe’s.

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