"Ye'd do better at Kenmuir--eh, Wuflie!" the little man replied.
"Nay," the other answered, "he'll not go to Kenmuir. There's Th' Owd TJn to see to hini there o' nights."
"Are ye so sure he is there o' nights, ma lad?" he asked with slow significance.
"He was there when some one--I dinna say who, though I have ma thoughts--tried to poison him," sneered the boy, mimicking his father's manner.
"II he was poisoned, and noo I think aiblins he was, he didna pick it up at Kenmuir, I tell ye that," he said, and marched out of the room.
In the mean time the Black Killer pursued his bloody trade unchecked. The public, always greedy of a new sensation, took up the matter. In several of the great dailies, articles on the "Agrarian Outrages" appeared, followed by lengthy correspondence. Controversy raged high; each correspondent had his own theory and his own solution of the prob1cm; and each waxed indignant as his were discarded for another's.
The Terror had reigned already two months when, with the advent of the lambing-time, matters took a yet more serious aspect.
It was bad enough to lose one sheep, often the finest in the pack; but the hunting of a flock at a critical moment, which was incidental to the slaughter of the one, the scaring of these woolly mothers-about-to-be almost out of their fleeces, spelt for the small farmers something akin to ruin, for the bigger ones a loss hardly bearable.