Ther Martin boys an' ther Copelands an' others beside 'em, 'lows thet they ain't seekin' no heedless trouble and hit's more heedful-like fer 'em ter go on home an' avoid an affray. Ef they stays on hit's right apt to end in blood-lettin'." McGivins drew himself to a more rigid erectness. "Go back an' tell them boys thet I needs 'em," he ordered. "Tell 'em ef they don't stand by me now, I'm ruint.
Then come ther battle at Claytown ter cap hit off with more blood-lettin'. "One of ther vi'lent leaders war shot ter death an' t'other one agreed ter go away an' give ther country a chanst ter draw a free breath in peace onc't more." Again he fell silent, and when after a long pause he had not begun again Dorothy restively inquired: "What's thet got ter do with me an Bas Rowlett, Gran'pap?"
"No," cried George, between set teeth, "theer be more nor blood-lettin' 'twixt you an' me I said as 'ow one on us would lie out 'ere all night an' so 'e shall by God! come on fists be best arter all!" This was the heyday of boxing, and, while at Oxford I had earned some small fame at the sport.
"That's what I'm doin' until I make it into enough where I can go back and do some good. It's tired I am of blood-lettin', and patchin' up the sick and ailin', fevers an' all. I've got a few years left to enjoy meself an' I'm seventy come November an' I mane to do it." "How did ye find me?"
"George!" said I. "You 'm a-bleedin', Peter!" "For that matter, so are you." "Blood-lettin' be good for a man sometimes eases un." "It does," I panted; "perhaps you are willing to hear reason now?" "We be even so fur but fists be better nor sticks any day an' I be goin' to try ye wi' fists!" "Have we not bled each other sufficiently?"
It was too dark to see much, but we jumped in an' pulled 'em apart, never once thinkin' it was more than two young hotheads doin' a little blood-lettin'. Then this chap turned an' run for it, trippin' up Sandy McPherson to get clear, and we after him. Somebody said he was a spy, an' that's the whole I know about it." "They'll never get him," returned the other solemnly.
I'd sort o' be lost without it now, after all these years. Thar's no one to worry about, anyway, savin' Jake Howkle, an' I don' believe he's hankerin' for blood-lettin'." "Jake? Oh, never," Hamilton replied with assurance; "why, he's only about my age." "That's only partly why," the old man said, "not only because he's your age, but because he's b'n at school.
"I told ye 'twarnt nothin'," said Big Jerry, not without a note of relief in his voice, however. "A leetle blood-lettin' won't do me no hurt. I'll jest wind a rag eround hit, an' ..." "Not so fast," laughed Donald.