"Don't move!" said Holcroft sternly, and he picked up the revolver. "So you meant to kill me, eh?"
"No, no! I didn't. I wouldn't have fired if it hadn't been in self-defense and because I hadn't time to think." He spoke with difficulty, for his mouth was bleeding and he was terribly bruised.
"A liar, too!" said the farmer, glowering down upon him. "But I knew that before. What did you mean by your threats to my wife?"
"See here, Mr. Holcroft; I'm down and at your mercy. If you'll let me off I'll go away and never trouble you or your wife again."
"Oh, no!" said Holcroft with a bitter laugh. "You'll never, never trouble us again."
"What, do you mean to murder me?" Ferguson half shrieked.
"Would killing such a thing as you be murder? Any jury in the land would acquit me. You ought to be roasted over a slow fire."
The fellow tried to scramble on his knees, but Holcroft hit him another savage blow, and said, "Lie still!"