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It was long pust miduight, but the goveruor still sat alone in his library, bard at work ou bis forthcoming message. Absolute quiet reigned iu the mansion, and not a light was to be seen iu any of the neigiiboring liouses. The governor'd wifo was visiting frienda in the country, aud tlie servauts were all asleep in tbeir quarters in a separate building. The governor's pen moved rapidly over sheet after sheet of paper. Einally the writer paused and for a moment was absorbed iu profound thought. Then he rose and slowly paced the room, oocafiionally stopping, apparently to listen to some real or imaginary noise in another part of the house. He feit that his work had overtaxod him, and a nervous feeling carne over him, due partly to physical exhaustion and partiy to his sense of utter loneliuess. "I wish that I had told John to sit up, " he said to himself, "but he is like all the other servants, too sleepy headed to be of any nse. ' ' He resumed his chair and took up his pen. What was that in the hall? Was it a footstep? Nearor and nearer came the stealthy, shuffliiig steps. The governor could uo longer doubt the testimony of his own ears, but a strange nnmbness seized bim, and he feit unablu to rise from his chair. In another moment it was too late. The door opened softly, and a man walked in - a big, stout fellow, roughly ciad, with hard, wicked face and bold, daring eyes. The intruder quietly locked the door and took a chair on the sido of the table opposite the govornor. "Keep your seat, governor," he said, with a peculiar leer. "My business won't tako long. Ten minutes will be enough. " "Who are you, " gasped the governor, "and how did you get in?" "Red Rube is what theycallme, " was the reply, "and I walked in at the back door. I knocked your nigger down and gagged him and took the key away two hours ago, when he left the hoxise, and theu I waited until everything was quiet. Any more questions?" The governor's face turnedpale. Red Rube was one of the worst desperadoes that have been sent to the penitentiary in many years, and his midnight visit certainly meaut robbery aud perhaps murder. "So you have escaped f rom prison," said the governor. "Yes; I skipped out last night. Then I came to town, called on a friend and got Borne clothes and these. " ( As he said this he exhibitod a large bowie knife and a pistol. " ■ You see, I am wellfixed, and I mean business," laughp.d the rufflan. "But what do you want, and why are you hero?" as-ked the other. "Woll, governor, tomakealong story short, I want you to write me a pardon aud let me have enough money to pay my way out west. " It was an outrageous request. Should the ruler of a great state allow himself to be bulldozed iuto pardoning a niurderer and supplyiDg him with funds? And yetwhat was to be done? It was iinpossible to raiso an alarm tbat would be heard. If tho intruder's demaiid was refused, the governor would be a dead man, aud the oonvict would rob his persou aud make his escupe. The heroic thiug would be to resisfc to the end, but the governor thought of his young wife, and he feit that he must save his life at any cost. It was out of tha question foran unarmedmau in delicate health to struggle with a giant like Red Rube, who could finish him with his knife in a second. "I won't be havd on you, " said Red Rube, "but I ïmifit have the pardon, and I must have at least $100." "I will suinmon help," said the governor. "Excuse me, but you can 't, " replied Red Rube. "The servants and the neighboTS can't liear you, and if you raise your voico or try to ring a bell, why, I'll have to use this, " and he pointed to his knife. The helpless mau on the other side of the table could uot represa a slight .shuddoi', but he made an effort to appear cahn. "You are dronk or crazy, " he said sternly, "but I will give you one chance. Leave the house, and I will saynothing about your visit. " Red Rube laughed heartily. "You don't size up the situation, " he said. "I have got to make this deal or go back to prison, and I will dio before I will go back. Now, if I kill you aud they capture me, they will not hang me." "I would like to know why, " said the astonished governor. "Because they have sent me to the insane ward, " was the answer, "and they were göttiug ready to put me in the ftsylum. í am no longer a criminal, but a bowling iunatic, don't yon see? Well, if they try me for killing you, all they will do will be to send me to the insane asylum. " The governor sank back in his chair, aud Rube grinued. "Yon see, " said Rube, "I was ouce acquitted of a murder in Texas on the ground of insanity aud was locked up a yar in au asylum, but I got ont, and here I aui. I can prove that insanity runs in my faruily. My father and twc of my brothers have been crazy foi years. When I ani disappointod iu anything, my fit couies ou, and I try to kill everything in sight. " He looked like a madinan, with his glaring eyes aud unkempt hair. "There is no glory in beiiig killed by a lunatic, " thought tho goveruor. But he tried oue more appeal. "I uní sorry for you, " he said, "ií your mind is dis-ordered. Here is a $10 bilí. Tako it and go. Follow the country roads and got out of tho state and try to lead a better life. " "Thanks!" sneered the robber. Thon, fïrnily graspiug his kuife, he walked to the governor's chair. "Time flies, " he growlod. "Fix that pardon, and lix it d d quick, and hand me that $100!" . His look was that of a wild beast, and a white froth stood on bis lips. The mau iu tbe chair looked up inte the pitilesa face above him. lied Eubc canie closer with his big knlfe. "Yes or no- say it quick I" ho muttered. "All riht," was the hasty rcply. "Hore's the money, and now 111 lixthe purdon. " He opeued a drawer in bis desk and took out a printed fovm partially fllled out. "I was goingtovisit the penitentiary tomorrow, " he explained, "and I had several pardons filled out by my secrotary, with thogreat seal affixed, and all that I havo to do is to put iu your name and sign my own. " In a moment the blauks were filled, and Red Rubo had the precious document iu his pockt-t. "Much obliged, governor," said he, with a smile, "but you won't play any tricks, will you?" "Not if I eau help it, " was the answer. "I dou't want you caught. I am the last man ia the world to make this business public. " "I thoughtso," repliedRube. "That suits ma If you offer no reward, I eau get away, and if they ever fiud out who I am wheu I get out west this pardon will protect me. Walk to tho door with ine, governor. " The other followed without a word to the back door of the hall. "Goodby, old man, " whispered Rube. "No tricks, you know. " "I shall say nothiug and offer no reward, " said the master of the mansión. Red Rube disappeared in the darkness, softly ehuckling as he wont. "Pardoned by the governor!" he kept repeating to himself. The governor locked the door and returned to tho librury. Allnight long he walked tho floor, and it was not untii morning that he sought his bed after a short talk with the servant who hac given up the key. Fortunately for him, Red Rube was never board of again. If he had beei captured, tho developments rnight have


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