PART II. The Country of the Saints.
5. CHAPTER V. THE AVENGING ANGELS.
Far from doing so, it had, if anything, augmented it.
The hunter's mind was of a hard, unyielding nature, and the
predominant idea of revenge had taken such complete
possession of it that there was no room for any other
emotion. He was, however, above all things practical. He
soon realized that even his iron constitution could not stand
the incessant strain which he was putting upon it. Exposure
and want of wholesome food were wearing him out. If he died
like a dog among the mountains, what was to become of his
revenge then? And yet such a death was sure to overtake him
if he persisted. He felt that that was to play his enemy's
game, so he reluctantly returned to the old Nevada mines,
there to recruit his health and to amass money enough to
allow him to pursue his object without privation.
His intention had been to be absent a year at the most, but a
combination of unforeseen circumstances prevented his leaving
the mines for nearly five. At the end of that time, however,
his memory of his wrongs and his craving for revenge were
quite as keen as on that memorable night when he had stood by
John Ferrier's grave. Disguised, and under an assumed name,
he returned to Salt Lake City, careless what became of his
own life, as long as he obtained what he knew to be justice.
There he found evil tidings awaiting him. There had been a
schism among the Chosen People a few months before, some of
the younger members of the Church having rebelled against the
authority of the Elders, and the result had been the
secession of a certain number of the malcontents, who had
left Utah and become Gentiles. Among these had been Drebber
and Stangerson; and no one knew whither they had gone.
Rumour reported that Drebber had managed to convert a large
part of his property into money, and that he had departed a
wealthy man, while his companion, Stangerson, was
comparatively poor. There was no clue at all, however,
as to their whereabouts.