But McStenger went on, more loudly than before: "By fellows, as I said, who came from orphans' homes, and never knew who their parents was, and whose mothers may have been God knows what " Pilling, without turning, had lifted his glass. With an easy motion he had tossed its remaining contents of beer into the face of Tobit McStenger. The latter drew back from the splash of the liquid as if stung.

Tobit McStenger, in the few weeks immediately following this change in the primary school, remained continuously industrious, to the surprise of all who knew him. As Tobit was an expeditious oyster-opener, Tony Couch, the saloon-keeper who employed him, was much rejoiced. Tobit toiled at oyster-opening and little Tobe became regular in his attendance at school.

"Say Pop, where do you get this gold, anyhow?" asked a tobacco-chewing gamin at the railroad station one day. "Dat's my business," replied Thornberry, with some dignity. "Oh," said his questioner, "I know. Tobe McStenger followed you out the other day and saw where you got it. He'd a brung some in hisself, but it wasn't on his property."

"I know what that means," cried Tobit McStenger. "It means they ain't satisfied with having our children ruled with kindness. It means Miss Wiggins, who's kep' a good school, which I know all about, fer my son's one of her scholars it means she don't use the rod enough. They've made up their minds to control the kids by force, and they went and hired a man to lick book learnin' into 'em.

The oyster-opener was held pending trial until January court. He was then sentenced to thirty days more in the county jail. Meanwhile little Tobe mounted a freight-train one day to steal a ride, and Brickville has not seen or heard of him since. He enlisted in the great army of vagabonds, doubtless. Perhaps some city swallowed him. Tobit McStenger felt at home in jail.

Pilling, whose bashfulness was manifest only in the presence of women, had the utmost calmness before his pupils. He walked quietly to the door and locked it. McStenger, furious without, heard the sound of the bolt being thrust into place, whereupon he began to kick at the door. Pilling turned the chair facing his class and told the girl with the braided hair to continue.

It was not a bad place of residence during the coldest months. But for one defect, jail life would have been quite enviable; it forced upon him abstinence from alcoholic liquor. Every period of thirty days has its termination, and Tobit McStenger became a free man. He returned to his old life, opening oysters during part of the time, idling and drinking during the other part.

McStenger placed his back against the bar, resting his elbows upon it, and turned a scornful gaze toward Pilling, who had taken one draught from his glass of beer. "Say, Tony," began McStenger, in his big, growling voice, "who's your ladylike customer? Oh, it's him, is it? Well, he needn't be skeered of me. I don't mix up with folks o' his sort.

He had shown himself less prudish than he had been thought. Occasionally he drank whiskey or beer, which was looked upon as a good sign in a man of his kind. Tobit McStenger did not know this. He invariably evaded mention of Pilling. People wondered what would happen when the two should meet. For Tobit was known to be revengeful, and he was now, more than ever, in speech and look, a bad man.

You see, people could only expect to be insulted through their children by fellows of his birth " "Hush, Mack!" whispered Tony Couch, whose sense of deportment advised him that McStenger was treading forbidden ground. Pilling had not looked up. He stood quietly at some distance from the others, intent upon his glass of beer on the bar before him, perfectly still.