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I never saw a finer thing," shouted Uncle Sam, like a school-boy. "I were too many for you, missy dear; but the old dog wollops the whole of us. I just shot a barrow-load of gravel on your nugget, to keep it all snug till Firm should come round; and if the boy had never come round, there the gold might have waited the will of the Almighty. It is a big spot, anyhow."

And, if detected, they did not think a dose of the strap by any means too high a price to pay for their fun. For William's sufferings under that instrument of discipline were not to be measured by his doleful howlings and roarings, nor even by his ready tears. "What be 'ee so voolish for as to say nothin' when her wollops 'ee?" he asked of Jan, in a very friendly spirit, one day.

But his smile put it all right, and she not only took his penny but put it in her mouth with a "Thank you, mister. Did they wollop you then?" "Oh no!" answered Diamond. "They never wollops me." "Lor!" said the little girl, and was speechless.

Remembering how he had nearly drowned me in the spring, I resented his sudden change. He could not do enough for me. I asked the reason for my sudden popularity. Herky scratched his head and grinned. "Yep, kid, you sure hev riz in my estimashun." "Hey, you rummy cow-puncher," broke in Bud, scornfully. "Mebbe you'd like the kid more'n you do if you'd got one of them wollops."