THE SECRET AT THE CROSSROADS
of the heart and went about reproducing Laurent’s operation like the born surgeon he was.
The hunt was up. First we heard a shot; then two; then a tremendous hullaballoo from up above, knocking about, cur dogs barking, and the shrieking of Negroes.
I looked at Agard and dropped a probe. He never paused.
“I can’t be in two places at once,” he said. “Glad I can’t just now.” He faced me. "Would you like to beat up to Millard’s pasture, Doctor? I can easily turn down the lamp for you.”
“I’ll do with this for a while yet,” I answered. The sweat began to trickle off the point of my chin in a little stream. Agard seemed dry and cool—a man sapped of all moisture.
The racket at the quarters in time wore away to silence; Sarah had evidently kept her trust. I peeped out to see if the premises were on fire.
“I’d keep that door shut, if I were you,’”’ Agard harshly whispered.
But it must have been a hunting instinct, and not my indiscretion, that was responsible for what followed. The cry was full on us almost before we knew it had started. All the jungle that had seemed to me so vast was covered in one rush. We had just shot home the prepared injection when the door burst open before a booted heel.
“Ah! I knew damned well we'd find ’em together!” the leader exulted.
In the lamp’s yellow light he stood instantaneously revealed to my eye, for what he was—a young nobleman. Though frightened out of my wits, I loved him unawares. I claimed him as of my own people. He was a six-footer, about thirty, trim-belted. He covered us steadily with a blue steel automatic. His face was fresh and full; his very teeth were handsome; his voice, though keen with revilings, had a quality that no mongrel ever yet registered.
He was a young lion lashing himself into a proper frenzy.
Behind him trampled a small but adequate mob. I saw a rope, pistols, faces—some stern and resolute, others relaxing already into enjoyment.
“Jim Agard will doctor up the black dog!” shouted the leader. ‘But never mind, Doc, we'll treat his ailment now,