I had always preferred to think of Daniel stilling the wild beasts by the grandeur of his soul, and the suggestion that I drag him from his throne, king of men and king of beasts, and picture him playing sock-ball, doing a double shuffle with his sandalled feet, tossing his long robe wildly about, now leaping, now dodging, to avoid the flying sphere it was too much. It angered me.

He raised his head and fixed one red eye on me, for the other was hidden by his hand. "I guesst you was never hit on the eye by a ball, was ye?" he stuttered. "I guess I have been," was my reply. "I was a good round-town player, and you never saw me crying like that, either." "I was playin' sock-ball," snuffled the boy, and a solitary tear rolled down his snub nose.

"Brace up, Daniel, for I must call the others in, and you don't want them to see you crying. Dare to be like the great Daniel, who wasn't even afraid of the wild beasts." "But Dan'el in the Lion's Den never played sock-ball," whimpered the boy, covering each eye with a chubby fist as he rubbed away the traces of his tears. Beware, Daniel Arker!

He flicked it away with his right hand, and this act disclosed to me a great bluish swelling, from under which a bit of eye was twinkling mournfully at me. The boy was hurt; my heart went out to him, for the memory of my own sock-ball and tickley-bender days came back to me. "Come, come," I said more kindly, laying a hand on the black head.