Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
In a Hollow of the Hills Bret Harte

Chapter V.

Page 4 of 8

Table Of Contents: In a Hollow of the Hills

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

For all his cynical levity, for all his affected exaggeration, there was the ring of an unmistakable and even pitiable vanity in his voice, and a self-consciousness that suffused his broad cheeks and writhed his full mouth, but seemed to deepen the frown on Riggs's face.

"You know the woman hates it, and would bolt if she could,--even from you," said Riggs gloomily. "Think what she might do if she knew her husband were here. I tell you she holds our lives in the hollow of her hand."

"That's your fault, Mr. Jack Riggs; you would bring your sister with her infernal convent innocence and simplicity into our hut in the hollow. She was meek enough before that. But this is sheer nonsense. I have no fear of her. The woman don't live who would go back on Godfrey Chivers--for a husband! Besides, she went off to see your sister at the convent at Santa Clara as soon as she passed those bonds off on Charley to get rid of! Think of her traveling with that d--d fool lawyer all the way to Stockton, and his bonds (which we had put back in her bag) alongside of them all the time, and he telling her he was going to stop their payment, and giving her the letter to mail for him!--eh? Well, we'll have time to get rid of her husband before she gets back. If he don't go easy--well"--

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"None of that, Chivers, you understand, once for all!" interrupted Riggs peremptorily. "If you cannot see that your making away with that woman's husband would damn that boasted reputation you make so much of and set every man's hand against us, I do, and I won't permit it. It's a rotten business enough,--our coming on him as we have; and if this wasn't the only God-forsaken place where we could divide our stuff without danger and get it away off the highroads, I'd pull up stakes at once."

"Let her stay at the convent, then, and be d--d to her," said Chivers roughly. "She'll be glad enough to be with your sister again; and there's no fear of her being touched there."

"But I want to put an end to that, too," returned Riggs sharply. "I do not choose to have my sister any longer implicated with OUR confederate or YOUR mistress. No more of that--you understand me?"

The two men had been standing side by side, leaning against the chimney. Chivers now faced his companion, his full lips wreathed into an evil smile.

"I think I understand you, Mr. Jack Riggs, or--I beg your pardon-- Rivers, or whatever your real name may be," he began slowly. "Sadie Collinson, the mistress of Judge Godfrey Chivers, formerly of Kentucky, was good enough company for you the day you dropped down upon us in our little house in the hollow of Galloper's Ridge. We were living quite an idyllic, pastoral life there, weren't we?-- she and me; hidden from the censorious eye of society and-- Collinson, obeying only the voice of Nature and the little birds. It was a happy time," he went on with a grimly affected sigh, disregarding his companion's impatient gesture. "You were young then, waging YOUR fight against society, and fresh--uncommonly fresh, I may say--from your first exploit. And a very stupid, clumsy, awkward exploit, too, Mr. Riggs, if you will pardon my freedom. You wanted money, and you had an ugly temper, and you had lost both to a gambler; so you stopped the coach to rob him, and had to kill two men to get back your paltry thousand dollars, after frightening a whole coach-load of passengers, and letting Wells, Fargo, and Co.'s treasure-box with fifty thousand dollars in it slide. It was a stupid, a blundering, a CRUEL act, Mr. Riggs, and I think I told you so at the time. It was a waste of energy and material, and made you, not a hero, but a stupid outcast! I think I proved this to you, and showed you how it might have been done."

Page 4 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
In a Hollow of the Hills
Bret Harte

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004