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thread, and that thread the will of Kelsy. Slowly the latter raised his rifle, while the party, breathless, intently fixed their eyes upon the victim. Dick's hand began to tremble, and his aim became unsteady, for the sickly form of the stranger's wife again seemed to rise and plead for mercy–he rested his rifle on the ground, without the heart to fire; but, in an instant the vision fled, and his eye fell clear upon the countenance of the stranger; a morning ray lighting up his features, exhibited a gleam of mingled triumph, hatred, hope, and revenge—there was no mistaking its dark expression of contending passions. The pity that had almost unnerved Kelsy and saved his foe vanished, and raising his rifle sudden as thought, the weapon rung out the stranger's knell. As the ball from its muzzle sped through his brain, a wild shriek arose upon the air, and all was again still—they loosened his bonds, and he fell forward, dead !
His remains were consigned to the earth without a tear, even from his companion, to whom the tragedy had been imparted. His cruelties had long since obliterated from her heart the last spark of early fondness; all she requested, when the grave had closed over him, was to be sent to her friends in Ohio,
which was kindly done by the settlers-Dick bestowing upon her his whole stock of fine furs to defray her expenses.
Kelsy set himself down in undisturbed possession of his claim, and Sam, his faithful slave, often points to the small green mound at the edge of the grove, with the remark
"Dat's Massa Dick's signature to dis land claim-dat is !"
HOSS ALLEN'S APOLOGY;
“WELL, old fellow, you're a hoss!” is a western expression, which has grown into a truism as regards Judge Allen, and a finer specimen of a western judge, to use his constituents' language, “aint no whar," for besides being a sound jurist, he is a great wag, and the best practical joker within the circuit of six states. Among the wolf-scalp hunters of the western border of Missouri, Judge, or, as they more familiarly style him, Hoss Allen is all powerful popular, and the “bar” hunters of the southern section equally admire his free and easy mannersthey consider him one of the people—none of your stuck-up imported chaps from the dandy states, but a real genuine westernerin short, a hoss! Some of the Judge's ad
mirers prevailed upon him recently to stand a canvass for the gubernatorial chair, in which he had Judge Edwards for an antagonist, and many are the rich jokes told of their political encounters. A marked difference characterizes the two men, and more striking opposites in disposition and demeanour would be hard to find, Edwards being slow, dignified, and methodical, while Hoss tosses dignity to the winds, and comes right down to a free and easy familiarity with the “ boys.” Hoss Allen counted strong on the border counties, while his antagonist built his hopes on the centre.
Allen and Edwards had travelled together for a number of days, explaining their separate views upon state government, at each regular place of appointment, and were now nearing the southern part of the state, a section where Hoss had filled the judgeship with great unction. Here he resolved to spring a joke upon his antagonist, which would set the south laughing at him, and most effectually insure his defeat among the bar hunters. He had been maturing a plan, as they journeyed together, and now having stopped for the night, about one day's journey from the town of Benton, one of their places of appointment, and the head quarters of the most influential men of the bar section, Hoss proceeded to put his trick in progress of execution. He held a secret conference, at the stable, with the boy who took his horse, and offered him a dollar to take a message that night to Tom Walters, at the forks leading to Benton. The boy agreed, and Hoss pencilled a note describing his antagonist, who was unknown in the south of the state, coupled with an earnest request, that he would keep a look-out for Judge Eddards, and by all means be careful not to let him get into that cussed cedar swamp !" His express was faithful, and in due time Tom received the missive. In the meantime, the victim, Edwards, in a sweet state of confidence, was unbending his dignity at hearing Hoss relate to their host his amusing yarns about the early settlers. Having talked all the household into a merry mood, he proposed turning in for the night, but first offered his service to unlace the girls' corsets, and in an underbreath asked the old woman to elope with him in the morning-Edwards blushed at this, the girls tittered, and the host and his wife said, he was a “raal hoss !” Allen acknowledged he was a leetle inclined that way, and as he had had his feed, he now wanted his straw.