of his appeal is thus stated in the Richmond (Va.) Times,

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Literodeslowlydowntheroadtothestable,andcursedtheimpulsethathadmadehimblunderso.Hehadnocompunctionsf 。

Lite rode slowly down the road to the stable, and cursed the impulse that had made him blunder so. He had no compunctions for the lie, if only it had done any good. It had done harm; he could see now that it had. But he could not believe that it would make any material difference in Aleck's case. As the story had been repeated to Lite by half a dozen men, who had heard him tell it, Aleck's own testimony had been responsible for the verdict.

of his appeal is thus stated in the Richmond (Va.) Times,

Men had told Lite plainly that Aleck was a fool not to plead self-defense, even in face of the fact that Johnny Croft had not drawn any weapon. Jim had declared that Aleck could have sworn that Johnny reached for his gun. Others admitted voluntarily that while it would be a pretty weak defense, it would beat the story Aleck had told.

of his appeal is thus stated in the Richmond (Va.) Times,

Lite turned the mare and colt into a shed for the night. He milked the two cows without giving any thought to what he was doing, and carried the milk to the kitchen door before he realized that it would be wasted, sitting in pans when the house would be empty. Still, it occurred to him that he might as well go on with the routine of the place until they knew to a certainty what the grand jury would do. So he went in and put away the milk.

of his appeal is thus stated in the Richmond (Va.) Times,

After that, Lite let other work wait while he cleaned the kitchen and tried to wash out that brown stain on the floor. His face was moody, his eyes dull with trouble. Like a treadmill, his mind went over and over the meager knowledge he had of the tragedy. He could not bring himself to believe Aleck Douglas guilty of the murder; yet he could not believe anything else.

Johnny Croft, it had been proven at the inquest, rode out from town alone, bent on mischief, if vague, half-drunken threats meant anything. He had told more than one that he was going to the Lazy A, but it was certain that no one had followed him from town. His threats had been for the most part directed against Carl, it is true; but if he had meant to quarrel with Carl, he would have gone to the Bar Nothing instead of the Lazy A. Probably he had meant to see both Carl and Aleck, and had come here first, since it was the nearest to town.

As to enemies, no one had particularly liked Johnny. He was not a likeable sort; he was too "mouthy" according to his associates. He had quarreled with a good many for slight cause, but since he was so notoriously blatant and argumentative, no one had taken him seriously enough to nurse any grudge that would be likely to breed assassination. It was inconceivable to Lite that any man had trailed Johnny Croft to the Lazy A and shot him down in the kitchen while he was calmly helping himself to Jean's gingerbread. Still, he must take that for granted or else believe what he steadfastly refused to confess even to himself that he believed.

It was nearly dark when he threw out the last pail of water and stood looking down dissatisfied at the result of his labor, while he dried his hands. The stain was still there, in spite of him, just as the memory of the murder would cling always to the place. He went out and watered Jean's poppies and sweet peas and pansies, still going over and over the evidence and trying to fill in the gaps.

He had blundered with his lie that had meant to help. The lie had proven to every man who heard him utter it that his faith in Aleck's innocence was not strong; it had proven that he did not trust the facts. That hurt Lite, and made it seem more than ever his task to clear up the matter, if he could. If he could not, then he would make amends in whatever way he might.

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