“I do. Aleck Curry holds no power over me that can in any way endanger Mona. If I owe a debt, I am willing to pay it. Neither Mona nor I have anything that we want to sell, and Aleck Curry has nothing that we want to buy.”

Carter drew in a deep breath.

“If you look at it in that way——”

“There is no other way.杭州水疗会所398能干嘛 ”

“But 杭州品茶吧 Curry and I are the only two men on earth who can swear that you have done these things. The smallest restitution I can make to you for all the wrong I have done your father is to keep my knowledge secret. Torture could not tear it from me. Now—if we can silence Curry, tie his tongue, break him——”

“None of which we can do,” interrupted Peter. “He has hated me since the day we first fought over Mona when we were boys. Only one thing could stop his vengeance. I would have to kill him, and that is inconceivable. For my father I would have done that. I had even prepared myself to kill you, Carter, if such an act became necessary to save him. But for myself—no!”

Carter thrust out his hand, but as it gripped Peter’s he turned his face away. “You’re a lot like your dad,” he said. “I see it more every day. I’m going to bed. 杭州发廊一条街在哪里Good night!”

Caution and habit had made the ferret spread his blankets in the pit of gloom outside the glow of firelight. He disappeared in the darkness and a moment[304] later Peter heard him as he stretched himself out for the night.

But Carter had no idea of sleeping. For days past a thought had been building itself up slowly in his brain, and tonight he had almost revealed that thought to Peter. He watched him now, and in the firelight the drooped figure and pale, sensitive face of the man he had hunted and whose happiness he had helped to destroy tightened something at his heart until he found it hard to breathe. He had never loved a woman, and had never felt the bond of a great friendship for a man, but for Peter something more than the friendship he had known—a thing that was very close to a man’s love for a man—had begun 杭州足浴胸推 to possess him body and soul. In this one warm emotion of his cold and merciless life Carter felt a deeper thrill than in the hour of his greatest man-hunting triumph, and as he lay in stillness, strengthening that thought which was becoming a larger and more definite thing between Peter and Mona and the tragedy which threatened them, his lips parted in the grim and humorless smile which in all the years of his service had made men fear and avoid him.

And with that smile, deadly and uncompromising, Carter whispered to himself: “I guess maybe you needn’t worry, Peter. I don’t think Aleck Curry and the law are going to get you—not if I can help it.”

With this settled, it was easier for Carter to give himself up to sleep.

For a long time Peter sat near the fire. The birch[305] logs burned down into a mass of coals, and as 杭州特殊的男士spa deeper shadows closed in about the camp he felt himself alone except for the visions which came and went in the dying embers. With a clearness that brought almost physical pain the years passed before his eyes, and when they had gone they had taken with them his boyhood, the father he had worshiped, his dreams and happiness, leaving behind in the ash of the fire only memories shadowed with the gloom of tragedy. But calmly and with a courage inspired by his own grief he was ready to accept what lay ahead of him. The fight, as a physical thing, was over—and he was going home. On that point his mind was fixed and no sense of self-preservation could move it. What was to happen to him when he reached Five Fingers was a matter which Fate should decide.

Even in these moments of his decision he felt Mona’s nearness and her protest. If 杭州足疗店哪个好 in 杭州丝袜足浴上门 defense of his father he had become


an outlaw, there was still a wide world in which he could hide, and Mona would come to him. So the persistent voice of caution whispered to him, and at times that voice was Mona’s.

Haggard-faced, Peter went to bed, and in the morning it was Carter, cold and mechanically efficient, who pointed out the same way to him.

But even as he pressed his reasoning home, Peter observed there was a still deeper and more mysterious change in his companion. It lay more in Carter’s eyes than in his voice or the unemotional lines of his face.


“You’ve learned how big the woods are,” he said. “Go north, into the Yukon or Alaska. I will see that Mona comes to you—safely.”

Peter shook his head.

“I’ve also learned what it means to run from thicket to thicket, guarding a hunted thing you love. That 杭州男士根部spa would 杭州桑拿价格 be Mona’s share—years


of it, until the end. And the end would come sometime. I’d rather pay the debt—and have free years left to me afterward.”

It was Carter’s last effort. From that hour he traveled steadily homeward with Peter, making no protest against this new code which had come into his life of giving, instead of taking, a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye.

The middle of May found them halfway between Lac St. Joe and the Height of Land, with Five Fingers still a hundred and eighty miles ahead of them.

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