The Oakdale Affair (Chapter 5, page 1 of 15)


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Chapter 5

It was after midnight when four men cautiously approached the old mill. There was no light nor any sign of life within as they crept silently through the doorless doorway. Columbus Blackie was in the lead. He flashed a quick light around the interior revealing four forms stretched upon the floor, deep in slumber. Into the blacker shadows of the far end of the room the man failed to shine his light for the first flash had shown him those whom he sought. Picking out their quarry the intruders made a sudden rush upon the sleepers.

Bridge awoke to find two men attempting to rain murderous blows upon his head. Wiry, strong and full of the vigor of a clean life, he pitted against their greater numbers and cowardly attack a defense which was infinitely more strenuous than they had expected.

Columbus Blackie leaped for The Oskaloosa Kid, while The Sky Pilot seized upon Abigail Prim. No one paid any attention to Giova, nor, with the noise and confusion, did the intruders note the sudden clanking of a chain from out the black depths of the room's further end, or the splintering of a half decayed studding.

Soup Face entangling himself about Bridge's legs succeeded in throwing the latter to the floor while Dirty Eddie kicked viciously at the prostrate man's head. The Sky Pilot seized Abigail Prim about the waist and dragged her toward the doorway and though the girl fought valiantly to free herself her lesser muscles were unable to cope successfully with those of the man. Columbus Blackie found his hands full with The Oskaloosa Kid. Again and again the youth struck him in the face; but the man persisted, beating down the slim hands and striking viciously at body and head until, at last, the boy, half stunned though still struggling, was dragged from the room.

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