"Get out of there, you young cubs!" suddenly roared a voice, whose owner they could not see. "I'll l'arn ye to interfere with other folks' business. I'll give yer five minutes to shake ther dust of this hy'ar mounting off yer feet. If any of ye is here then, it'll be the worse for ye. This claim belongs to Ab Durkin. Now, mosey! D'ye hear?" Tad Butler did hear. And now he saw as well as heard.
"You're right, strannger," he cried; "thar is your road, as plain as the way up a hickory, b'aring to a camp of old friends and acquaintances, and hy'ar is mine, running right slap among fighting Injuns!"
"Hy'ar it is," said the man, flinging out his hand with angry energy; "I wants to ax of you, as a sodger, for I've heer'd you're of the reggelar sarvice, whether it's a wiser and more Christian affa'r, when thar's Injuns in the land a murdering of your neighbours' wives and children, and all the settlement's in a screech and a cry, to send an able-bodied man to fight them; or to tote him off, a day's journey thar and back ag'in, to track a road that a blind man on a blind horse could travel, without axing questions of anybody?