Free Air (Chapter 10, page 1 of 6)


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Chapter 10

So unexpectedly, so genially, that Claire wondered if he realized what
was happening, Milt chuckled to the tough on the running-board, as the
two cars ran side by side, "Bound for some place, brother?"

The unwelcome guest looked puzzled. For the first time his china eyes
ceased twinkling; and he answered dubiously: "Just gettin' a lift." He
sped up the car with the hand-throttle. Milt accelerated equally.

Claire roused; wanted to shout. She was palsied afraid that Milt would
leave them. The last time she had seen him, she had suggested that
leaving them would be a favor.

Her guest growled at her--the words coming through a slit at the corner
of his rowdy mouth, "Sit still, or I'll run you over."

Milt innocently babbled on, "Better come ride with me, bo'. More room in
this-here handsome coupelet."

Then was the rough relieved in his uneasy tender little heart, and his
eyes flickered again as he shouted back, not looking at Milt, "Thanks,
bub, I'll stick by me friends."

"Oh no; can't lose pleasure of your company. I like your looks. You're a
bloomin' little island way off on the dim silver skyline." Claire
knitted her brows. She had not seen Milt's rhetoric. "You're an island
of Hesperyds or Hesperides. Accent on the bezuzus. Oh, yes, moondream, I
think you better come. Haven't decided"--Milt's tone was bland--"whether
to kill you or just have you pinched. Miss Boltwood! Switch off your
power!"

"If she does," the tough shouted, "I'll run 'em off the bank."

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