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Westy Martin

118 pages
Library of Alexandria
A quick, sharp report rent the air. Followed several seconds of deathlike silence. Then the lesser sound of a twig falling in the still forest. Again silence. A silence, tense, portentous. Then the sound of foliage being disturbed and of some one running. Westy Martin paused, every nerve on edge. It was odd that a boy who carried his own rifle slung over his shoulder should experience a kind of panic fear after the first shocking sound of a gunshot. He had many times heard the report of his own gun, but never where it could do harm. Never in the solemn depths of the forest. He did not reach for his gun now to be ready for danger; strangely enough he feared to touch it. Instead, he stood stark still and looked about. Whatever had happened must have been very near to him. Without moving, for indeed he could not for the moment move a step, he saw a large leaf with a hole through the middle of it. And this hung not ten feet distant. He shuddered at the realization that the whizzing bullet which had made that little hole might as easily have blotted out his young life. He paused, listening, his heart in his throat. Some one had run away. Had the fugitive seen him? And what had the fugitive done that he should flee at the sight or sound of a human presence? Suddenly it occurred to Westy that a second shot might lay him low. What if the fugitive, a murderer, had sought concealment at a distance and should try to conceal the one murder with another?