None better. Knowed him all my life." "Got pretty good horse?" "Got none at all; expect ter borry Mr. Kettison's." "I'll go show ye whar the saddle be," exclaimed Meddy, with her wonted officious-ness, and glibly picking up the bits of her shattered scheme.
Meddy she will git ter studyin' on that of a winter night, an' how the woman that keered fer him mus' hev watched an' waited fer him, an' 'lowed he war deceitful an' de-sertin', an' mebbe held a gredge agin him, whilst he war dyin' so pitiful an' helpless, walled up in that tree. Then Meddy will tune up agin, an' mighty nigh cry her eyes out.
Their cries were taken up by the two chain-bearers still farther back. "Is it a lake, Baptiste?" cried Tom Dunscombe, the young surveyor, as he hurried forward through balsams that edged the woods and concealed the open space from those among the trees. "No, seh; only a beaver meddy." "Clean?" "Clean! Yesseh! Clean 's your face. Hain't no tree for two mile if de line is go right." "Good!
"You have the makings of a very dangerous anarchist in you, ma. I've seen that for some time. But we're an honest family all right now, with the exception of a few properties that I'll have to sit up with nights sit right by their sick-beds and wake them up to take their meddy every half hour " "Now, my son, don't you get to going without your sleep," began his mother.
Her voice seemed to steady his straying fancies. "How're the cattle looking?" "Just fine," lied Billy Louise. "You're the skinniest thing I've seen on the ranch. Now do you think you can keep your senses, while I go and pick some nice, good meddy off a sage bush?" "I guess so." Ward spoke drowsily. "Give me some more coffee and I can." "Oh, you're the pesteringest patient!
"Light a tallow-dip, Meddy," cried old Kettison, excitedly. "An' fetch the candle on the porch so ez we-uns kin view who rides so late in sech a night 'fore we bid 'em ter light an' hitch." But these were travelers not to be gainsaid the sheriff of the county and four stout fellows from the town of Colbury, summoned to his aid as a posse, all trooping in as if they owned the little premises.
Already the signal, he was prompt at the tryst, the sharp, crystalline vibration of the tap on the glass! The sheriff rose instantly with that cumbrous agility sometimes characterizing portly men. "There he is now!" he exclaimed. But Meddy, with a little hysterical cry, had sprung first to the opening door. "Barton Smith!" she exclaimed, with shrill significance.
His hair stood up in two tufts above his forehead, one on each side, and he had large, round, grayish eyes and a solemn, pondering expression. To Meddy, staring horror-stricken, he seemed as owlishly wise as he looked while he explained the object of his expedition. "This district have got a poor reputation with the law, Mr. Kettison.
"Gal," he used the word as a polite form of address, the equivalent of the more sophisticated "lady," "ef ye will believe me, all my ammunition is spent. Not a ca'tridge lef', not a dust of powder." Meddy caught both her hands to her lips to intercept and smother a cry of dismay. "I snared a rabbit two days ago in a dead-fall.
"That's what frets Meddy; she can't abide the idee of huntin' a human with sech special coursers ez money reward. She 'lows it mought tempt a' evil man or a' ignorant one ter swear a miser'ble wretch's life away. Let the law strengthen its own hands that's what Meddy say. Don't kindle the sperit of Cain in every brother's breast.