A murder in a Philippine army post results in a young officer's being wrongly dishonorably discharged. The real murderer is a rough Kentucky mountain private, half-crazed with malaria. By a circuitous narrative route, both Grant, the murderer, and Spurrier, the cashiered officer arrive in the mountains. Spurrier, connected with a firm engaged in oil land speculation, scouts the countryside and inadvertently kills the pet partridges of a native girl. Spurrier's attempts to stay out of the range of Grant, reinstate himself in the girl's good graces, and do justice by the oil company keep him busily scrambling over Hemlock Moimtain.
oor opened and the corporal of the guard entered and saluted. His eyes traveled rapidly about the room and he addressed Spurrier, since James was not a line officer.
"I picked this revolver up, sir, just outside the window," he said, holding out a service pistol. "It was lying in the moonlight and one chamber is empty."
Spurrier took the weapon, but when the man had gone James suggested in an even voice: "Don't you think you had better hand that gun to me?"
"To you? Why?"
"Because this looks like a case for G. C. M. It will have a better aspect if I can testify that, after the gun was brought in, it wasn't handled by you except while I saw you?"
"It seems to me"--a belligerent flash darted in the lieutenant's eyes--"that you are singularly set on hanging this affair around my neck."
"You were with him and no one else was. If I were you, I'd go direct to the major and make a statement of facts. He'll be getting reports from other sources by now."
"Perhaps you ar