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Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/136

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stationed there might shoot the more easily into the street in times of siege.

I could have reached this without trouble, but I desired to employ Broussard, that I might know where he was and prevent treachery. For that double purpose I reached up and grasped the sill, commanding him to catch me about the knees and lift so I might see out. This he did. While in that position he made a pretence of shifting his hold, and something impelled me to glance downward at him. He was stealthily drawing a concealed knife from his bosom. I threw all my weight back upon him, casting the twain of us together to the floor. Meantime he had the knife full drawn, in his left hand held at my breast.

I grappled with him, holding his left hand in my right, and with the free hand clutched him by the throat, burying my thumb deep in his wind-pipe. Instinctively he raised both hands to protect his throat, and then we struggled to our feet. He made futile efforts to strike me with the knife, but his strength deserted him with his wind. The blade dropped clattering on the floor. My other hand closed about his neck, circling it with an unyielding collar of steel. Desperately as a caged rat might fight he squirmed and twisted in my grasp. To no avail.

Tigerish now, as though I held a rabid dog, I thrust him back against the wall, and there rigidly held him fast. In merciless silence I listened to the precious breath gurgling from his body; a reddish froth gathered at the lips. I could feel his hot blood surge and beat