This time I was discouraged, and gave over the search. His secret, whatever it might be, was "too dear for my possessing." But my fellow-observer kept up his visits, as I have said, and the hummer remained faithful to his task as late as July 15th, at least.
But goodness gracious, Peter, I can't stop gossiping here any longer. You have no idea what a care seven babies are." With a jerk of her tail off flew Jenny Wren, and Peter hurried back to tell Johnny Chuck all he had found out about Hummer the Hummingbird. Butcher the Shrike was not the only newcomer in the Old Orchard.
Bill Patton had to make over his schedule to please the Prince, and of course we were all pretty tickled about it, for more reasons than one. The telegram didn't come until five o'clock yesterday afternoon, but you know what a hummer the Governor is when he gets a start. He made up his mind this building should be put in shape within twenty-four hours.
One was a tiny hummer, one of the species known as woodstars, with dainty but not brilliant plumage; its kind is never found except in the deep, dark woods, not coming out into the sunshine. Its crop was filled with ants; when shot it was feeding at a cluster of long red flowers.
I'm a hummer at it, and I don't measure a thing." Patty looked at him coldly. "If you turn out to be a BETTER cook than I am," she said, "I'll never speak to you again!" "Oh, I'm not! I'm a FEARFUL cook! I spoil everything I touch! DON'T ask me to make that dressing! Patty couldn't help laughing at his foolishness, and the work went merrily on. But picking out the crabs was a tedious task.
"Going to be a hummer and no mistake," he commented half aloud; "good thing-it-didn't catch me out in the middle of the alkali or Red Bill and his cronies might have had a new lease of life." It was close upon midnight when the professor found a spot to his liking, and by that time the first desultory puffs of the coming storm were sighing in the nooks and crannies of the barren hills.
Nothing was to be seen, and it was as good as certain, the branches being well separated, and easily overlooked, that there was nothing there. Four days later I set out alone, to try my luck with the riddle. As I entered the clearing, the hummer was seen at his post, and my suspicions fastened upon a small wild apple-tree, perhaps twenty rods distant.
I hastily slipped on my clothes and buckled my gold belt around my waist. The fire was humming away in a steady crescendo, punctuated by confused shouts of many men. Light flickered redly through the cracks of the loosely constructed hotel building. I found Johnny awaiting me at the door. "It's a hummer," he said; "started in Denison's Exchange. They say three men have been killed."
Hummer kept his faith and day after day flew away in the direction old King Eagle had gone, hoping to meet him coming back. At last a day was set to choose a new king. That morning, as soon as it was light enough to see, little Mr. Hummer darted away, and his heart was heavy. He would take no part in choosing a new king. He would go until he found King Eagle or until something happened to him.
"When ye get to Glasgow, if ye are on the lookout for a place to slape, try Barney O'Toole's in Argyle Street. The place is nothin' to look at, but it's a hummer inside, sor." I yawned drowsily once more, but the hint did not stop him.