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Its skull had been crushed, and the brains licked out, and there were signs of other injuries. The hunters pondered long over this strange discovery, and hazarded many guesses as to its meaning.
Murphy jumped to his feet. "And you have known this three months and never told us! Is that any way to treat your friends? Do you suppose we want to lie by and see you licked off this dam like a yellow cur? It's no use for you to ask this to be kept quiet, Boss. I won't do it." Jim rose and pointed his pipe at Murphy.
"And I always counted you for a friend, Bill," he reproached heavily. "Sandy says I licked you good and plenty. Well, looks to me like you had it coming, all right." "Well I got it, didn't I?" snorted Bill, his hand lifting involuntarily to his nose. "And I ain't bellering, am I?" His mouth took an abused, downward droop.
Quite a shock it gave me when I looked up to find the beast staring at me with what I took to be the most hearty disapproval. My hostess paused in silence as she noted my glance. The beast then approached me, sniffed at my boots inquiringly, then at my hands with increasing animation, and at last leaped into my lap and had licked my face before I could prevent it.
"His own gristle. I remember Mr. Hacket told me once that the worst kind of a fool was the man who was conceited over his fighting power and liked to talk about it. If I ever get that way I hope that I shall have it licked out of me." "I never git conceited not that I ain't some reason to be," said Mr. Purvis with a highly serious countenance.
Where the green waters licked the piles and gurgled under the jetties, waterside loafers sat on the edge of the wharves intently watching a fishing-line thrown out. Men in greasy clothes and flannel shirts, with the look of the sea in their eyes, smoked and spat as they watched the ships in brooding silence. For of all structures contrived by the hands of man, a ship is the most fascinating.
Beautiful river! which might furnish the English tale-teller with legends wild as those culled on shores licked by Hydaspes, and sweet as those which Cephisus ever blended with the songs of nightingales and the breath of violets! But what true English poet ever names thee, O Father Thames, without a melodious tribute?
"It depends," says I, "on how deep the yellow runs in you. Course it's all right for you to register this leader about not bein' scared of him. You may think you ain't, but you are all the same; and as long as you're in that state you're licked. That's the big trouble with most of us, bein' limp in the spine.
"Huh!" said Jimmie, and grinned. "What did you get?" "You belong to union in America?" countered the other. "You bet I do!" said Jimmie. "Vat sort of union?" "Machinists." "You been on strike, maybe?" "You bet I have!" "You got licked, maybe?" "You bet!" "You don't never scab, hey?" "Not much!" "You vat you call class-conscious?" "You bet! I'm a Socialist!"
He gave up his Highland tour, shouldered the whole Canongate business, organised the thing as never before, inveigled all his friends into the same deadly breach, among the number your humble servant, who at the time was fiercely endeavouring in the last lap of the course to atone for a two years' loaf, organised a champion team which has licked the spots off everything in sight, and in short, has made the whole business a howling success; at the cost, however, of all worldly delights, including his Highland tour and the International."