ESCAPING FROM THE WRECK. 103
down. It was Packard. Then Bill he come out and got in. Packard says, in a low voice :
"All ready—shove off !"
I couldn't hardly hang onto the shutters, I was so weak. But Bill says :
" Hold on—'d you go through him ? "
"No. Didn't you ?"
"No. So he's got his share o' the cash, yet."
" Well, then, come along—no use to take truck and leave money."
" Say—won't he suspicion what we're up to ? "
" Maybe he won't. But we got to have it anyway. Come along."
So they got out and went in.
The door slammed to, because it was on the careened side; and in a half second I was in the boat, and Jim come a tumbling after me. I out with my knife and cut the rope, and away we went!
We didn't touch an oar, and we didn' speak nor whisper, nor hardly even breathe. We went gliding swift along, dead silent, past the tip of the paddle-box, and past the stern ; then in a second or two more we was a hundred yards below the wreck, and the darkness soaked her up, every last sign of her, and we was safe, and knowed it. •
When we was three or four hundred yards down stream, we see the lantern show like a little spark at the texas door, for a second, and we knowed by that that the rascals had missed their boat, and was beginning to understand that they was in just as much trouble, now, as Jim Turner was.
Then Jim manned the oars, and we took out after our raft. Now was the first time that I begun to worry about the men—I reckon I hadn't had time to before. I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. I says to myself, there ain't no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself, yet, and then how would / like it ? So says I to Jim:
" The first light we see, we'll land a hundred yards below it or above it, in a place where it's a good hiding-place for you and the skiff, and then I'll go and fix up some kind of a yarn, and get somebody to go for that gang and get them out of their scrape, so they can be hung when their time comes."
But that idea was a failure ; for pretty soon it begun to storm again, and this