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Tom glanced at Injun Joe’s iron face and his tongue failed him. The audience
listened breathless, but the words refused to come. After a few moments,
however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and managed to put enough of
it into his voice to make part of the house hear: “In the graveyard!” “A little bit
louder, please. Don’t be afraid. You were-” “In the graveyard.” A contemptuous
smile flitted across Injun Joe’s face.

“Were you anywhere near Horse Williams’s grave?” “Yes, sir.” “Speak up-just a
trifle louder. How near were you?” “Near as I am to you.” “Were you hidden, or
not?” “I was hid.” “Where?” “Behind the elms that’s on the edge of the grave.”
Injun Joe gave a barely perceptible start.

“Any one with you?” “Yes, sir. I went there with-”
“Wait-wait a moment. Never mind mentioning your companion’s name. We
will produce him at the proper time. Did you carry anything there with you?”
Tom hesitated and looked confused.

“Speak out my boy-don’t be diffident. The truth is always respectable. What did
you take there?” “Only a-a-dead cat.” There was a ripple of mirth, which the
court checked.

“We will produce the skeleton of that cat. Now my boy, tell us everything that
occurred-tell it in your own way-don’t skip anything, and don’t be afraid.”
Tom began-hesitatingly at first, but as he warmed to his subject his words
flowed more and more easily; in a little while every sound ceased but his own
voice; every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the
audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly
fascinations of the tale. The strain upon pent emotion reached its climax when
the boy said“-and as the doctor fetched the board around and Muff Potter fell,
Injun Joe jumped with the knife and-” Crash! Quick as lightning the half-breed
sprang for a window, tore his way through all opposers, and was gone!

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