Whend you begand to tell your story, I waked up an' I listened. I hearn all you said an' all he said. Ev'thing. Unc' Bernique, you cayn't tell nobody!

The boy turned an impressionable, sympathetic face. "Come rat along," he said. He looked at Bruce a moment questioningly before adding, "Reckin's haow you aint usen to the quiet yit. Taint so lonely, the woods an' the hills whend you know um."

He's took my side always. Y'see, I aint got no people an' I just ride araoun'. Y'see," Piney quivered with boyish fire, "I just got to ride araoun'. I cayn't stay on no farm an' in no haouse. Kills me. I got to git to the woods an' the hills. An' Unc' Bernique he stands by me, an' keeps me in his shack whend they's any trouble abaout it. Y'see, some people think I oughter oughter work!"

"Six sights six sights and a right what what?" "W'y," the Missourian had explained forbearingly, blinking toward the sun, and waving his loosely jointed arms westward, "it's this-a-way you'll git sight of Poetical f'm six hills, an' whend you git to the bottom of the sixt' hill they's a right smart chanst you won't be to Poetical evum yit awhile. You cand see far in this air.

Later on someone over in the crowd spoke. "Pity Mist' Crit Madeira aint here to see all this. Haow he woulda taken to it. That son-in-law of his woulda jes adzackly suited Mist' Crit. Pity he had to die off sudden-like jes whend ev'thing wuz comin' araoun'." It was a woman's voice and it was all softened with pity. "Yass, oh yass," said a man next her gingerly.

"You'll like her, too, all righty," he told Bruce confidently, "whend you git broke to her." On one of youth's candid impulses to speak up for the life on the inside, the cherished desire, the gallant ideal, the buoyant fancy, he made a supple, sudden divergence in the conversation. "D'you know," he said, "they aint no place whur I'd drur be than Mizzourah ceppen only one."

"She'll do the rat thing whend she knows, Unc' Bernique;" he had put the pony about, "I'll see you on the hills in the mornin'!" he was gone down the yellow road like a winged Mercury. On the hills behind him, Old Bernique, comprehending and envying, locked his hands on his saddle-horn in a vehement tension.

His eyes looked misty, with a little spark of high light cutting bravely through. He would not finish his sentence. "Did Unc' Bernique say whend he's comin' back to Canaan?" he asked moodily. "No, he didn't, though I urged him to. That's a fine old man, Piney." Piney's eyes softened beautifully. "Takes mighty good keer of me," he said. "Is he kin to you?" "I d'n know abaout that.

He twisted his head like a bird and looked out across the extensive sweep of the land and the long slow curve of the river, a deep inspiration swelling his chest. "Simlike they up an' talk to you, the woods an' the hills an' the quiet, whend you know um," he said. All on the instant Steering knew that, as in the case of Old Bernique, here again was character.