Faith accordingly stalked past Dan with her chin out and an expression of scorn that bit into his soul. He turned and shouted after her. "Pig-girl! Pig-girl!! Pig-girl!!!" in a crescendo of insult. Faith walked on, seemingly oblivious. But her lip trembled slightly with a sense of outrage. She knew she was no match for Dan Reese when it came to an exchange of epithets.
"You are a coincidence!" said Walter scornfully, turning still whiter. He had only a very hazy idea what a coincidence was, but Dan had none at all and thought it must be something peculiarly opprobrious. "Yah! Cowardy!" he yelled gain. "Your mother writes lies lies lies! And Faith Meredith is a pig-girl a pig-girl a pig-girl! And she's a rooster-girl a rooster-girl a rooster-girl! Yah!
She wished Jem Blythe had been with her instead of Walter. If Dan Reese had dared to call her a pig-girl in Jem's hearing, Jem would have wiped up the dust with him. But it never occurred to Faith to expect Walter to do it, or blame him for not doing it. Walter, she knew, never fought other boys. Neither did Charlie Clow of the north road.
No fear now that they would have to leave the Glen and the graveyard and Rainbow Valley. But she fell asleep troubled by a disagreeable subconsciousness that Dan Reese had called her pig-girl and that, having stumbled on such a congenial epithet, he would continue to call her so whenever opportunity offered.
Walter had no clear consciousness of what he was doing until suddenly the red mist cleared from his sight and he found himself kneeling on the body of the prostrate Dan whose nose oh, horror! was spouting blood. "Have you had enough?" demanded Walter through his clenched teeth. Dan sulkily admitted that he had. "My mother doesn't write lies?" "No." "Faith Meredith isn't a pig-girl?" "No."
Faith was glad to escape him and run home. Dan Reese, standing among the crowd of boys at the gate, looked at her and shaped his mouth into "pig-girl," but dared not utter it aloud just there. Next day in school was a different matter. At noon recess Faith encountered Dan in the little spruce plantation behind the school and Dan shouted once more, "Pig-girl! Pig-girl!
She had not even spoken to him since Dan had called her pig-girl. He was glad when they came to the parting of the ways. Faith, too, was relieved, though for a different reason. She wanted to be alone because she suddenly felt rather nervous about her errand. Impulse had cooled, especially since Dan had bruised her self-respect.
Meredith, who was coming home from an afternoon call on the Miss Wests. That reverend gentleman looked gravely at him. "It seems to me that you have been fighting, Walter?" "Yes, sir," said Walter, expecting a scolding. "What was it about?" "Dan Reese said my mother wrote lies and that that Faith was a pig-girl," answered Walter bluntly. "Oh h! Then you were certainly justified, Walter."