And I believe there have been plenty of young heroes, of middle stature and feeble beards, who have felt quite sure they could never love anything more insignificant than a Diana, and yet have found themselves in middle life happily settled with a wife who waddles. Yes!
Waddles interposed and seconded her move. "Let 'em rip," he said. "There's just a chance." Bangs was the first to change mounts. The boy's physical qualifications were as sound as his mental ability was limited and it was his pride to have a string of mounts that included the worst horses in the lot.
Even if he took a chance with Waddles and won out he would be in worse shape than before, for if he turned a finger against her old watchdog and friend he would gain only her deadly enmity. "Waddles, you win," Slade said. "I'll be going before you change your mind."
A man is now a more handy and far less objectionable being in a sick-room than a woman. Compelled by her dress, every woman now either shuffles or waddles only a man can cross the floor of a sick-room without shaking it! What is become of woman's light step? the firm, light, quick step we have been asking for?
Then Harris saddled Calico and Papoose and they rode down to the fields. As they turned into the lane they heard the twang of Waddles's guitar from the cook shack, the booming voice raised in song in mid-afternoon, a thing heretofore unheard of in the annals of Three Bar life. "There'll be one real feast to-night," Harris prophesied. "Waddles will spread himself."
She was thirteen then, and as beautiful as she was young. . . . No; I shall never forget those days . . . When she spoke her voice was as gentle as the whispering south wind, and when she ran she passed among the trees as silently and as swiftly as a vanishing dream; but now," added Oo-koo-hoo, with a sly, teasing glance at his wife, "but now look at her, my son . . . She is nothing but a bundle of old wrinkled leather, that makes a noise like a she-wolf that has no mate, and when she waddles about she goes thudding around on the split end of her body like a rabbit with frozen feet."
A score of times they had stood so, never tiring of the view afforded from this spot, a view which spoke of Three Bar progress and future prosperity. The hands had come in from the round-up the night before, prior to the return of Harris and Waddles from their mysterious two-day trip in response to the sheriff's message, and Evans had led them to Brill's for a night of play.
A form loomed above him, a heavy rock upraised in both hands. The gun barked just as a downward sweep of the arms started the rock for his head. Morrow pitched down across him and Waddles swept him aside with a single thrust. He rose and stirred the limp shape with his toe as the sheriff reached his side. "Dead bird!" Waddles announced and turned to limp back to the cabin.
It looks something as I should think a crown might on a king." "Aye?" "You would make a better-looking king than George III." "Did you ever see that old granny? Waddles about in farthingales, and carries a peacock fan, don't he? Did you ever see him?" "Was as close to him as I am to you now, Captain. In Kew Gardens it was, where I worked gravelling the walks.
It was not long before Waddles was dispensing nourishment from the lowered tail-gate, ladling food and hot coffee into the plates and cups which the men held out to him. They drew away and sat cross-legged on the ground. The meal was almost finished when six horsemen rode down the valley and pulled up before the wagon. "What's the chance for scraps?" the leader asked.