When he went to sleep we unlocked the cuffs and I got off at the next depot. Horses was waitin' there for us." "Who do you mean by us? Who was with you?" "I don' know who he was. Fellow said Brad Steelman sent him to fix things up for me." Thomas borrowed the field-glasses of Crawford. Presently he lowered them.
"Naw, it's not in the hip," said the old man. "My leg's gone at the knee." "Oh! stiff joint; I know what that is. Had a touch of it once myself. An uncle of mine was nearly crippled with it. He used to use St Jacob's oil. Ever try St Jacob's oil?" "Naw," said the old man, "not that I know of. I've used linseed oil though." "Linseed oil!" said Steelman; "I've never heard of that for stiff knee.
It was an effort to such a prime artificer as Steelman to ask instruction from any man, especially a foreigner, but Tibble had a nature of no common order, and set perfection far above class prejudice; and moreover, he felt Abenali to be one of those men who had their inner eyes devotedly fixed on the truth, though little knowing where the quest would lead them.
I landed 50 Pounds " "Fifty pounds for twenty?" "That's the tune of it and not much of a tune, either. My God! If I'd only had that thousand of mine by me, or even half of it, I'd have made a pile!" "Fifty pounds for twenty!" cried Steelman excitedly. "Why, that's grand! And to think we chaps have been grafting like niggers all our lives! By God, we'll stand in with you for all we've got!"
Brad Steelman sat hunched before a fire of piñon knots, head drooped low between his high, narrow shoulders. The restless black eyes in the dark hatchet face were sunk deeper now than in the old days. In them was beginning to come the hunted look of the gray wolf he resembled. His nerves were not what they had been, and even in his youth they were not of the best.
They agreed, and Master Headley then told them that if they would tarry till the next day in searching out their uncle, they could have the company of Tibble Steelman, who had to see one of the captains of the guard about an alteration of his corslet, and thus would have every opportunity of facilitating their inquiries for their uncle.
They were evidently those Saint Paul's School boys whom Ambrose envied so much, and as they finished their bargaining and ran away together, Ambrose advanced with a salutation, asked if he did not see Master Lucas Hansen, and gave him the note with the commendations of Tibble Steelman the armourer.
Master Headley himself was a good deal taken up with city affairs, and left the details of his business to Tibble Steelman and Kit Smallbones, though he might always appear on the scene, and he had a wonderful knowledge of what was going on. The breaking-in and training of the two new country lads was entirely left to them and to Edmund Burgess.
Almost any of them would have shot him in the back on a dark night, but none had the cold nerve to meet him in the open. For even in a land which bred men there were few to match Emerson Crawford. Shorty looked at Steelman. "I'm waitin', Brad," he said. The sheepman nodded sullenly. "You done heard your orders, Shorty."
Old Man Hard Luck's campin' on his trail sure enough. The banks'll be shakin' their heads at his paper soon." The stage had stopped to take on a mailsack. Now it started again, and the rest of the talk was lost to Dave. But he had heard enough to guess that the old feud between Crawford and Steelman had taken on a new phase, one in which his friend was likely to get the worst of it.