foot, did not return the fire, but halted up the street, as if parleying.

Young Jasper joined his party, and they, too, stood still a moment,

puzzled by the irresolution of the other side.

"Watch out! they're gittin' round ye! Run for the court-house, ye

fools !-ye, run! " The voice came in a loud yell from somewhere

down the street, and its warning was just in time.

A wreath of smoke came about a corner of the house far down the

street, and young Jasper yelled, and dashed up a side alley with his

followers. A moment later judge, jury, witnesses, and sheriff were

flying down the court-house steps at the point of Lewallen guns;

the Lewallen horses, led by the gray, were snorting through the

streets; their riders, barricaded in the forsaken court-house, were

puffing a stream of fire and smoke from every window of

court-room below and jury-room above.

The streets were a bedlam. The Stetsons were yelling with

triumph. The Lewallens were divided, and Rufe placed three

Stetsons with Winchesters on each side of the courthouse, and kept

them firing. Rome, pale and stern, hid his force between the

square and the Lewallen store. He was none too quick. The rest

were coming on, led by old Jasper. It was reckless, riding that

way right into death; but the old man believed young Jasper's life

at stake, and the men behind asked no questions when old Jasper

led them. The horses' hoofs beat the dirt street like the crescendo

of thunder. The fierce old man's hat was gone, and his mane-like

hair was shaking in the wind. Louder-and still the Stetsons were

quiet-quiet too long. The wily old man saw the trap, and, with a

yell, whirled the column up an alley, each man flattening over his

saddle. From every window, from behind every corner and tree,

smoke belched from the mouth of a Winchester. Two horses went

down; one screamed; the other struggled to his feet, and limped

away with an empty saddle. One pf the fallen men sprang into

safety behind a house, and one lay still, with his arms stretched out

and his face in the dust.

From behind barn, house, and fence the Lewallens gave back a

scattering fire; but the Stetsons crept closer, and were plainly in

greater numbers. Old Jasper was being surrounded, and he

mounted again, and all, followed by a chorus of bullets and

triumphant yells, fled for a wooded slope in the rear of the

court-house. A dozen Lewallens were prisoners, and must give up

or starve. There was savage joy in the Stetson crowd, and

many-footed rumor went all ways that night.

Despite sickness and Rome's strict order, Isom had ridden down to

the mill. Standing in the doorway, he and old Gabe saw up the

river, where the water broke into foam over the ford, a riderless

gray horse plunging across. Later it neighed at a gate under Wolf's

Head, and Martha Lewallen ran out to meet it. Across under

Thunderstruck Knob that night the old Stetson mother listened to

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