Buy fur man packhorse," he added, pointing across the woods in the direction in which Alexander MacLeod was presumably still wearily tramping. The corporal for the moment forgot how good-looking he was. He concentrated his whole attention on Willinawaugh's disingenuous countenance, and then turned and cast a long, searching look upon Odalie.
Willinawaugh's mutter of dissatisfaction showed that he esteemed the possibility no very great mischance, and set no high store on Josephine. Now and again he eyed the cat, too, malevolently, as if he could ill brook her mannerisms and pampered mien.
She controlled with an effort her tendency to laugh, but still wept with the profusion of exhaustion and nervous tension. Willinawaugh's eyes were fixed on her with deep displeasure. "Ugh!" he grunted from time to time. "Ugh!" "Oh, there's bloody murder here, if one could but chance upon the carpse," said the corporal to himself, looking bewildered from her to the boy.
But for himself Hamish avoided the Indian's eyes with their curious painted circles of black and white, as much as he might, for whenever their glances met, Willinawaugh's facial contortion to deride the "fonny" disposition he deemed a part of Hamish's supposed French nature so daunted the boy that he bent his head as well as his muscles to the work.
Savanukah, who really spoke French, had made capital of it, and had rendered Willinawaugh's pretensions ridiculous in the eyes of the nation, for Willinawaugh had always boasted, to Savanukah at least, that he understood French, although it was beneath his dignity to speak it.
Would the great chief, whose words in whatever language were of paramount importance, accept a money price? As several gold pieces rolled out on the buffalo rug, the wrinkles so gathered around Willinawaugh's eyes that those crafty orbs seemed totally eclipsed.
He turned to Atta-Kulla-Kulla, who sat on his right hand, and in an eager, low voice spoke for a moment; the half-king seeming anxious, doubtful, then nodded in slow and deliberative acquiescence. Meantime Willinawaugh's words flowed on.
Odalie had often noted it; dark it was, for the shadows fell on it, and it might be deep; limited it would but hold her piggin, should she thrust it there, or admit a man's head, yet not his shoulders and this was what it had done yesterday, for protruding thence Fifine maintained she had seen Willinawaugh's face with "him top-feathers, him head, an' him ugly mouf!"
He went down with a whoop, somewhat like Willinawaugh's own war-cry, then called out that the coast was clear, and asked for his rifle to be handed to him. Following the wall with his hand and the sound of the water he took his way through a narrow subterranean passage, so densely black that it seemed he had never before known what darkness was.
With this intimation of Willinawaugh's reserves of irritability the pioneers journeyed on, a trifle more ill at ease in mind, which was an added hardship, since their physical sufferings were intensifying with every long mile of continued effort.