HUGH HENRY BRACKENRIDGE rested his elbow on a bale of furs in the rear of Beaumont's store and watched the cooly indifferent clerk wait upon a woman whose homespun garments and misshapen figure, stooped with years of field labor and child- bearing, proclaimed her to be from the country. Anger was evident in the tone of her voice and in the way she flung back on the counter the ribbon she had been holding. As she stalked from the store the lawyer came forward.
"What was it she said?" he asked.
"She said she'd get it for less in a few days, Mr. Brackenridge," the clerk answered.
The lawyer walked to the door and looked out into the street. The woman had been joined by a man whose red thatch gleamed in the July sun and who bore under his arm a long, murderous- looking rifle. The pair turned into another store.
"Probably intends to buy flints and powder," mused Brackenridge. He hesitated a moment, then crossed the street to the shop of Dennis McCarty, who, though he preferred to shoe horses, sometimes tried his quick Irish fingers at gunsmithing. The smith dropped the handle of his bellows as his neighbor entered.
"Ah, the tap o' the marnin' to ye, Misther Brackenridge.