Nobody ever yet done me a meanness and got away with it. I reckon the Rutherfords won't be the first. It ain't on the cyards," he boasted. "You're going away . . . to leave me here . . . to starve?" "Who said anything about going away? I'll stick around for a while. It's none of my business whether you starve or live high. Do just as you please about that.
"My name's Prebol," the man said, "Jest Prebol. I live on Old Mississip'! I live anywhere, down by N'Orleans, Vicksburg everywhere! I'm a grafter, I am " "A grafter?" Rasba repeated the strange word. "Yas, suh, cyards, an' tradin' slum, barberin' mebby, an' mebby some otheh things. I can sell patent medicine to a doctor, I can! I clean cisterns, an' anything." "You gamble?"
Taking from his pocket a smoothly-creased handkerchief he proceeded to dust languidly first one and then the other of his boots; and not until he had succeeded in flicking the last grain of dust from them did he take up the business in hand. "Gentlemen, what's wrong with the cyards?" he now began in his peculiar drawling voice. Sonora pointed to the faro table.
One of the oldest rangers there, and one notoriously shy with women, made me the object of a general laugh. He raised his glass solemnly and said: "Well, here's wishin' you joy, but I jest want to say this: ef you'd a played yo' cyards a little bit different, you wouldn't 'a had to take White Mountain." Before the dinner was over a call came from the public camp ground for aid.
Returning, he quickly plucked a stick-pin from the prisoner's scarf, saying, while he suited his action to his words: "See, now I place the deuce of spades over his heart as a warning. He can't leave the camp, and he never plays cyards again see?" And while the men, awed to silence, stood looking at one another, he instructed Handsome to pass the word through the camp. "Ow, now, don't si that!
"That's so," he said with appreciation, and propped his folded arms upon the bar. "It sort o' come sudden, too." He smiled faintly. "It come as I said it would right here in this bar. The boys was settin' around sousing, an' pushin' round the cyards, an' the Vigilante Committee was settin' on a pow-wow.
"Which'd yo' rather git to play, Parson?" someone asked, slyly. "Cyards er bones er pull-sticks?" "I've a friend down yeah, gentlemen." The Prophet ignored the insult. "His mother wants him. She's afeared likely he mout forget, since he was jes' a boy friendly and needing friends.
"Thar's never been a Tolliver convicted of killin' nobody, much less hung an' thar ain't goin' to be." "I'm glad you warned me," said Hale still quietly, "though it wasn't necessary. But if he's convicted, he'll hang." The giant's face worked in convulsive helplessness and he turned away. "You hold the cyards now, but my deal is comin'." "All right, Judd you're getting a square one from me."
They always spoke of "Proosia" and "Roosia," drank tea out of a "chaney" cup, and the eldest of them was still "much obleeged" for any little service rendered to her, played at "cyards," and took a stroll in the "gyarden." My grandfather, who was born in 1766, insisted to the end of his life on terming the capital of these islands "Lunnon," in eighteenth-century fashion.
And so they got me to go down with Hank to Gardner for flour and sugar and truck, which we had to wait for. We lay around the Mammoth Springs and Gardner for three days, playin' cyards with friends. And I got plumb interested in them tourists. For I had partly forgot about Eastern people. And hyeh they came fresh every day to remind a man of the great size of his country.