"In the name of the law, I command you to cease," he cried, when he saw down the two figures in menacing attitudes. But before he could say another word, some one fell prostrate in the road before him, gasping:
"We have shot an elk; so has that man down on the ice. We give ourselves up."
Mr. Bjornerud, making no answer, leaped over the prostrate figure, and, followed by the deputy, dashed down upon the ice.
"In the name of the law!" he shouted again, and both rifles were reluctantly lowered.
"I have shot an elk," cried Ralph, eagerly, "and this man is a poacher, we heard him shoot."
"I have killed an elk," screamed the poacher, in the same moment, "and so has this fellow."
The sheriff was too astonished to speak. Never before, in his experience, had poachers raced for dear life to give themselves into custody. He feared that they were making sport of him; in that case, however, he resolved to make them suffer for their audacity.
"You are my prisoners," he said, after a moment's hesitation. "Take them to the lock-up, Olsen, and handcuff them securely," he added, turning to his deputy.