Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Click here to learn more about MyHeritage and get free genealogy resources

Duck Lake
Chapter XV. The Young Preacher Shot

'WHAT are you men doing here?’ demanded Mr. Green of two men in the bush, whom he saw peering around the trees towards the Parsonage. They were Dodge and his inseparable Lanky. Scenting trouble from what they had heard in the bar-room, when they found that More had left they followed him.

‘Just seein’ More trim his children,’ said Lanky, in a smart sort of way.

‘Seeing what?’

‘Tom More is over there after his children that the preacher’s got. He has laid out the boy, and started the girl home.’

‘And you did not interfere with the brute?’ ‘Naw,’ said Lanky, with a shrug of the shoulders; ‘but we weren’t going to let him shoot them.’

With a look of contempt the teacher left them, and hastened to the rescue. When Jennie saw Mr. Green she ran to him as hard as her legs could carry her.

‘Oh, come quick and save Chubb! ’ she shouted.

Green hurried down the path with Jennie after him. They were just in time to see the young preacher come out of the other side of the bush. He was off his horse in an instant, and on to More like a whirlwind. Catching him by the arms, Hewitt swung him around so quickly that More staggered back and sat plumply down on the ground several yards away.

‘You poor boy!’ said the preacher, turning his attention to Chubb, and dropping on his knees beside him; ‘what did he do to you?’

Springing to his feet, More seized a club, and rushed at the preacher, saying—

'I’ll learn you to steal my children!’

Ere he could strike, Green sprang upon his back and bore him to the ground.

‘I’ll have you men arrested for kidnapping my children,’ declared More.

‘And I’ll have you arrested for cruelty to your children,’ retorted the teacher.

With an oath, More shook himself free of the teacher, and struggled again to his feet.

'I’ll get even with you fellers yet!’ he growled, and turned away.

The teacher thought he was going away, and turned to see how Chubb was. More hastily found his gun, and, without a moment’s warning, raised it and fired. The ball grazed the teacher, cutting a hole through his clothing, and crashed into Mr. Hewitt’s shoulder, causing him to fall over Chubb.

‘There,’ yelled More, 'that’ll learn ye!’

The teacher sprang to Hewitt’s side. More, seeing Jennie standing alone, seized her and ran for the woods.

‘What was that shooting we heard?’ demanded the Game-Warden, Mr. Fitzgerald, of More. He and Jonas were coming to pay a visit to the preacher, and had just reached the edge of the woods when they heard the shot, and soon afterwards met More hurrying away with a smoking gun under one arm, and carrying little Jennie in the other. More tried to pass on.

‘Stop that man, Jonas, in the name of the King; and hold him until we investigate.’

‘Hands off!’ said More.

‘Then you go back. You tell the Warden what he ask,’ said Jonas, with eyes gleaming, while he flourished a silver-mounted pistol before More.

Muttering a curse, More put Jennie down, and went back, as Jonas ordered. As soon as she was freed by her father, Jennie ran back to Chubb. Mr. Fitzgerald had hastened to the scene of the shooting, and was exceedingly pained to learn that Mr. Hewitt was the victim. He, however, proved a timely arrival, for he had some skill in surgery, and was now delighted to bring it into service.

‘Many thanks, Mr. Fitzgerald,’ said the preacher; ‘but please attend to Chubb first.’

‘Jennie and I will look after him,’ said the teacher, and Mr. Hewitt submitted calmly to the treatment of the Warden.

Picking Chubb up in his arms, the teacher carried him into the house. He soon stripped him of his wet clothes, and put him to bed. Consciousness having returned, he left him in Jennie’s care while he hastened to assist the Warden.

After staunching the flow of blood, and roughly binding up the wound, the Warden and teacher helped Mr. Hewitt into the house.

They fixed him up on the couch, where the Warden re-examined the wound, cleansed and dressed it.

During his work the Warden learned from his patient the history of events, Jennie supplementing Mr. Hewitt’s account by the story of her father’s arrival and his actions since.

‘The brute,’ exclaimed Mr. Fitzgerald, ‘he ought to be made swing for it!’

‘Still, he is their father, and I suppose we had no right to keep Chubb away from him,’ said the preacher.

‘He would have been dead long ere this, if he had been taken to that hovel.' put in the teacher.

‘Where is Mr. More now?’ asked the preacher.

‘I left him with Jonas,’ said the Warden. On hearing this the teacher stepped outside, and almost as quickly came in again.

‘You are wanted out here, I think,’ he said quietly to the Warden.

Going out, the Warden found that Dodge and Lanky had tried to rescue More from Jonas, but had found the Indian too many for them. With drawn revolver he had rounded up the whole three and had them sitting peacefully on the ground. The men looked baffled and angry, while Jonas was apparently indifferent, and so cool, that the teacher laughed. The Warden took in the situation at a glance, but was too dignified to smile.

‘More,’ said he, addressing the father of the children, 'you had better go into the house and see what amends you can make for your evil deeds. You had better be pretty penitent unless you want to spend the rest of your life in jail. Go in with him, Green.'

‘And what brings you men here?’ demanded the Warden, after More and the teacher had left.

The men were silent.

‘Did they try to interfere with you, Jonas?’

‘Some,’ was the laconic reply, and Jonas’ face lit up, as he saw the baffled rage of his captives.

‘I thought so,’ said the Warden. ‘Now, Dodge, I have had enough of you. You and your like are a curse to any community. I’ll give you just one week to get out of this country, and if you don’t go I know a way in which to make you.

‘And you,' continued the Warden to the other man, ‘had better settle down to your farm and leave poaching and whisky alone. Do you both understand me? Well, then, go!’ Dodge and his companion arose without a word and slunk away into the bush.

Return to Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.