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"Hold hard there, my hearties!" exclaimed the man in a gruff but not unpleasant voice. "What are you trying to cross my bows for in this fashion? That's no way to run, not showing a masthead light or even blowing a whistle. Avast and belay! You might have sunk me if I didn't happen to be a heavier craft than you."

As to the convicts, they went their way with the coach, and I knew at what point they would be spirited off to the river. In my fancy, I saw the boat with its convict crew waiting for them at the slime-washed stairs, again heard the gruff "Give way, you!" like and order to dogs, again saw the wicked Noah's Ark lying out on the black water.

The gruff hippopotamus is as widespread as any, being found wherever there is water to float him; whilst the shy giraffe and zebra affect all open forests and plains where the grass is not too long; and antelopes, of great variety in species and habits, are found wherever man will let them alone and they can find water. The lion is, however, rarely heard much more seldom seen.

At times the skipper weakened, but the watchful mate was always on hand to prevent mischief. Owing to his fostering care Evans was generally busy, and always gruff; and Miss Cooper, who was used to the most assiduous attentions from him, knew not whether to be most bewildered or most indignant.

"Why, you talk to me as though I were a child," she laughed. "Well, good-bye, everybody, then. You see, my stern husband is taking me off. When are you coming to see me, Doctor Harrison?" "Nothing to see you for," was the gruff reply. "You are as well as any woman here." "Just a little unsympathetic, isn't he?" she complained to Dominey.

We did not kill that fish till after forty hours of the hardest work I ever went through." Some of my shipmates seemed to doubt the truth of this story; but, for my part, I believed it, because the mate was a grave, truthful man, though he was gruff, and never told lies, as far as I knew.

After pacing to and fro in much agitation, he struck his forehead, and burst out in a wild strain, singing of his hatred for Roderigo, his love for Zara, and his pleasing resolution to kill the one and win the other. The gruff tones of Hugo's voice, with an occasional shout when his feelings overcame him, were very impressive, and the audience applauded the moment he paused for breath.

"Curse that dog, he'll be waking up the people, and may be fixing his fangs into the throat of one of us," exclaimed some one in a gruff voice, who was concealed apparently behind a snake fence some little way off. "I'll stick my bowie-knife into him, if he comes near me," said another person. Dan was about to cry out and call the dog back, but I stopped him in time. "Keep silence!"

I could not say who told me so but the conviction of this seemed to pervade the house. I never knew how much we had all looked up to the silent, gruff Mr. Horner for decisions, until he was gone. My lady herself was a pretty good woman of business, as women of business go.

Then he said very stern and gruff, "Well, sir?" Oh, boy, wasn't I shaky! But I started right in, and when you once get started it's easy, that's one sure thing. I said, "Maybe you'll only be more mad when I tell you but I heard you say something about Uncle Jimmy deserting. Twice you said that. And I thought maybe you might be a veteran, hey? Maybe that's a crazy thing to think, hey?"