"Shut up!" he bellowed. "'you want to bring the whole county down on us? We--"
He ceased speaking; and lurched at full speed to the car and to the top of its single seat. For, at sound of his voice, Lad had loosed his grip on the screeching Eitel and whirled about on this earlier adversary.
The man reached the car-seat and slammed the door behind him, perhaps a sixth of a second too soon for Lad to reach him.
Eitel, warned by his brother's bawled command, made a rush for the other side of the machine and clambered up. He was a trifle less fortunate than had been Roodie, in making this ascent. For Lad's flashing jaws grazed his ankle and carried away in that snap a sample of Eitel's best town-going trousers.
Thus, on the seat of the car, swaying, and clutching at each other, crouched the two sore-wounded brethren; while Lad ravened about the vehicle, springing upward now and, again in futile effort to clear the top of the closed door.
Far down the road shone the lights of an approaching motor. Eitel dropped into the driving seat and set the runabout into motion. Once more, the dread of pursuit and of capture and of prison danced hideously before his frightened mental vision.
Barely missing the crying baby, as the runabout jerked forward, he made a fruitless attempt to run down the raging collie. Then he addressed himself to the business of getting himself and his brother as far out of the way as possible, before the oncoming car should reach the scene of strife.
As a matter of fact, the other car never reached this spot. Its occupants were two youths and two damsels, in search of a sequestered space of road where they might halt for a brief but delectable "petting party," on their way to a dance in the village. They found such a space, about a furlong on the thither side of the curve where the runabout had stopped. And they advanced no farther.