11v A HOLLOW OF THE HILLS. 205

that gang the sheriff was in pursuit of. She has been kept in perfect ignorance of her brother’s crimes. She must never know them—-nor even know his fate! If he perished utterly in this catastrophe, as it would seem it was God’s will to spare her that knowledge. I tell you this, to warn you in anything you say before her. She must believe, as I shall try to make her believe, that he has gone back to the States where she will perhaps, hereafter, believe that he died. Better that she should know nothing-— and keep her thought of him 1m- changed.”

I see I see I see, Mr. Key,” mur- mured the injured man. Thet ’s wot I ’ve been sayin’ to myself lyin’ here all night. Thet ’s wot I bin sayin’ o’ my wife Sadie, —- her that I actooally got to think kem back to me last night. You see I ’d heerd from one o’ those fellars that a woman like unto her had been picked up in Texas and brought on yere, and that mebbe she was somewhar in Californy. I was that foolish —and that ontrue to her, all the while knowin’, as I once told you, Mr. Key, that ef she ’d been alive she ’d bin yere —that I