"Yep, I feels that ways, too, sometimes, Steve," he said presently; "and let me tell yuh the temptation is nigh more'n I c'n stand; but I jest shuts my teeth together, and tells myself that I started in to do this job, and I'm agoin' to stick it out or know the reason why. Then I git my second wind agin' and it's all right.
Ah, ha! I see where you're ladin' me; but it won't do, Miss Kitty Lowry. I'll bring you back to the catechize agin. You'd light the straw to get away in the smoke; but you're worth two gone people yet, dhough." "Worth half a dozen o' you, any day." "Well, as we're both to the fore, we'll soon see that. How did you know, my lady, that the masther's hall door was left open to-night?
By George, I was that stiff with the long ride and the cold that I nearly fell down. He'd got a bit of a fire, so we lit our pipes and had a comfortable smoke. 'Well, Dick, you're back agin, I see, he says, pretty pleasant for him. 'Glad to see you, Captain, once more. It's been lonesome work nobody but me and Jim and Warrigal, that's like a bear with a sore head half his time.
Anxious to defend the dog, Ben answered impulsively, "I'm quite sure Baldy wouldn't do a thing like that. He's been friends with Wolf; I saw them playing together only yesterday. And it really ain't a bit like Baldy t' be cruel an' sneakin' t' lay fer a dog that didn't have a chance agin him."
"'H'm'm, I says. 'Any o' their people ben up here lately? I says. "'That's jest it, he says. 'One o' their travellin' men was up here last week, an' he come in in the afternoon as chipper as you please, wantin' to sell me a bill o' goods, an' I put him off, sayin' that I had a putty big stock, an' so on, an' he said he'd see me agin in the mornin' you know that sort of talk, he says.
For three stiddy days I put before that man the best vittles that these hands could make, or this brain could plan. And at the end of the 3d day I gently tackled him agin on the subject, and his state wuz such, bland, serene, happified, that he consented without a parlay. And so it wuz settled that the next summer we wuz to go to Saratoga.
We boys was all that way: o' course we didn't know nothin' 'bout what the woman wanted, or what she come for, or whether she was comin' agin; 'n fact, we didn't know nothin' about it, and yet we sort o' expected suthin' to come o' it; and suthin' did come, sure enough. "Come on night, jest at dusk, we see a boat comin' alongside; and there, sure enough, was the lady in it.
"Guess we're goin' to lose our sleighin', ain't we?" "It seems to be going pretty fast," replied Miss Clara, laughing. "Yes'm," he remarked, "we sh'll be scrapin' bare ground putty soon now if this weather holds on. How's the old hoss now you got him agin?" he asked. "Seem to 've wintered putty well? Putty chipper, is he?" "Better than ever," she affirmed. "He seems to grow younger every year."
Ted interfered agin then, and, arter listening to wot he 'ad got to say, Charlie said as 'ow he'd try and keep his love under control a bit more. "She won't stand much more of it," he ses to Ted, arter they 'ad got 'ome that night. "I shouldn't be surprised if she don't turn up to-morrow." Ted shook his 'ead.
It was therefore with a light heart that he went across to the Black Dog and placed the note in the hands of Perkins, merely saying that he was glad to say that he had been able to get the money to satisfy the red-haired tailor for his loss of beauty. "It goes agin my heart to give it to him, Mr. Norris; but in course if you decide not to face it out there's nothing for it.
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