Tallyman said: " I am dying man. I have had diabetesfor years. My doctor tells me. That it is a question whether I shall live a month."
Falcon said: "Just tell me the truth " I shall jot down the facts. You will sign it and I will have a friend witness it. Then I could produce your confession at the last extremity to save young McKenna. I promise you that I will not use it unless it is absolutely needed." "Tallyman started "
McKenna was a devil.
His claws has been in me twenty years, and has blasted my life.
I will tell you how I came into his power.
I was young and hot blooded and reckless, ready to turn my hand at any thing. I got in with the wrong companions. There were four of us and we came up with the idea of robbing a gold shipment. From a Brinks truck But things went wrong and three of my friends were killed along with two troopers. Things were happening so fast. I found myself with my pistol to the head, of the driver, who was McKenna and told him to get out. I wish to God I had shot him. But I spared him. I got away with the gold and made good investments and became a very wealthy man and moved to Wyoming and determined to settle down to a quiet and respectable life. I bought this estate and married and had Janet. My wife died shortly after. I did my best to make up for my past. All was going well when McKenna laid his claws into me.
I had gone to town to make some investments and met him in front of the bank. As soon as he saw me. He said: "Here we are Jack, as he touched me on the arm. We are as good as family to you. There is two of us, me and my brother and you can keep us. If you don't. There is always a policeman I can talk to. "
They have been living rent free on my best land ever since. It grew worse as Janet grew up, because he saw I was more afraid of her knowing my past then the police. Whatever he wanted he must have and I gave it to him without question. Land money house until at last he asked one thing I couldn't give him.
“His brother, you see, had grown up, and so had my girl, and as I was known to be in weak health, it seemed a good idea to him that his brother should step into the whole property. But there I was firm. I would not have his cursed stock mixed with mine; not that I had any dislike to the lad, but his blood was in him, and that was enough. I stood firm. McCarthy threatened. I him to do his worst. We were to meet at the pool midway between our houses to talk it over.
“When I went down there I found him talking with his brother, so I smoked a cigar and waited behind a tree until he should be alone. But as I listened to his talk all that was black and bitter in me seemed to come uppermost. He was urging his brother to marry my daughter with as little regard for what she might think as if she were a slut from off the streets. It drove me mad to think that I and all that I held most dear should be in the power of such a man as this. I though why not just kill him. I was already a dying and a desperate man. Though clear of mind and fairly strong of limb, I knew that my own fate was sealed. But my memory and my girl! Both could be saved if I could but silence that devil. I did it, Falcon I would do it again.. But that my girl should be entangled in the same meshes which held me was more than I could suffer. I struck him down like he was a beast. His cry brought back his brother; but I had gained the cover of the woods. That is the true story,”
“Well, it is not for me to judge you,” said Falcon as the old man signed the statement which had been drawn up.
I will keep your confession and if McKenna is condemned I shall be force to use it. If not it shall never be seen and your secret whether you are a live or dead shall be safe with me.
James McKenna was acquitted at the strength of a number of objection which had been drawn out by Falcon.