Tommy sprang to his feet with an oath which would have shocked a woman of lesser heart, ripped loose the sturdy reef-knots and flung back the flaps of the tent. The trio peered out. It was not a heartening spectacle. A few water- soaked tents formed the miserable foreground, from which the streaming ground sloped to a foaming gorge. Down this ramped a mountain torrent.
"Ye're afraid of him," sneered Buckrow. "Ye're afraid of Thirkle with reef-knots on his hands, and ye'll be afraid of him when he's dead, ye coward!" "I ain't afraid of him, Bucky, but he says we'll hang; and so we will if we don't let him have a hand gettin' this gold clear away." "He'll do for us; and then what good will the gold be to us?
'Frisco Kid knew what he was able to do, and because of this he had confidence in himself. He was cool and self-possessed, working hurriedly but not carelessly. There was no bungling. Every reef-point was drawn down to stay. Other accidents might occur, but the next squall, or the next forty squalls, would not carry one of those reef-knots away.