Of a sudden a cloud of poisonous flies rose, buzzing, up before them; and there in a dimple of the ground lay a murdered sheep. Deserted by its comrades, the glazed eyes staring helplessly upward, the throat horribly worried, it slept its last sleep.
The matter was plain to see. At last the Black Killer had visited Kenmuir.
"I guessed as much," said the Master, standing over the mangled body. "Well, it's the worst night's work ever the Killer done. I reck'n Th' Owd Un come on him while he was at it; and then they fought. And, ma word! ii munn ha' bin a fight too." For all around were traces of that terrible struggle:
the earth torn up and tossed, bracken up-Tooted, and throughout little dabs of wool and tufts of tawny hair, mingling with dark-stained iron-gray wisps.
James Moore walked slowly over the battlefield, stooping down as though he were gleaning. And gleaning he was.
A long time he bent so, and at length raised himself.
"The Killer has killed his last," he muttered; "Red Wull has run his course." Then, turning to Andrew: "Run yo' home, lad, and fetch the men to carry yon away," pointing to the carcass, "And Bob, lad, yo 'ye done your work for to-day, and right well too; go yo' home wi' him. I'm off to see to this!"
He turned and crossed the Stony Bottom. His face was set like a rock. At length the proof was in his hand. Once and for all the hill-country should be rid of its scourge.