"Where's Schwitter?"

"At the barn with the missus. Got a boy back there."

Bill grinned. He recognized K., and, mopping dry a part of the porch,

shoved a chair on it.

"Sit down. Well, how's the man who got his last night? Dead?"


"County detectives were here bright and early. After the lady's husband.

I guess we lose our license over this."

"What does Schwitter say?"

"Oh, him!" Bill's tone was full of disgust. "He hopes we do. He hates the


place. Only man I ever knew that hated money. That's what this house


"Bill, did you see the man who fired that shot last night?"

A sort of haze came over Bill's face, as if he had dropped a curtain before

his eyes. But his reply came promptly: "Surest thing in the world. Close to him as you are to me. Dark man, about

thirty, small mustache--"

"Bill, you're lying, and I know it. Where is he?"

The barkeeper kept his head, but his color changed.

"I don't know anything about him." He thrust his mop into the pail. K.


"Does Schwitter know?"

"He doesn't know nothing. He's been out at the barn all night."

The farmhand had filled his box and disappeared around the corner of the

house. K. put his hand on Bill's shirt-sleeved arm.

"We've got to get him away from here, Bill."

"Get who away?"

"You know. The county men may come back to search the premises."

"How do I know you aren't one of them?"

"I guess you know I'm not. He's a friend of mine. As a matter of fact, I

followed him here; but I was too late. Did he take the revolver away with


"I took it from him. It's under the bar."

"Get it for me."

In sheer relief, K.'s spirits rose. After all, it was a good world: Tillie

with her baby in her arms; Wilson conscious and rallying; Joe safe, and,

without the revolver, secure from his own remorse. Other things there

were, too--the feel of Sidney's inert body in his arms, the way she had

turned to him in trouble. It was not what he wanted, this last, but it was

worth while. The reaping-machine was in sight now; it had stopped on the

hillside. The men were drinking out of a bucket that flashed in the sun.

There was one thing wrong. What had come over Wilson, to do so reckless a

thing? K., who was a one-woman man, could not explain it.

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