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The flirtation, however, was short-lived, for suddenly, without an instant's warning, Miss Lizzie, Miss Mame, and Pete himself went clawing up a water-pipe to a convenient roof above, while down the street came floating a shrill, defiant yowl. "Chase yerse'f, bo!" called Pete in a voice of fear. "It's Ash-Can Sam!"

Ef you'd like ter keep yerse'f out o' mischief, you Greg'ry, you kin go 'long and tell him I wants him to carry a letter fur me." "I'll do that," said Gregory, "fus' thing in de mornin'." "Better go 'long now," said Aunt Matilda. "Too late now, Aunt Matilda," said Gregory, anxiously. "Couldn't git dar 'fore dark, no how, and he'd be gone away, and I 'spect I couldn't fin' him."

"I wonder ye ain't 'feared ter be hyar all by yerse'f hevin' the lung complaint." "Why, man alive, I'm well, or so near it there's no use talking. I could go home to-morrow, except, as I have had the house built, I think I'd better stay the winter in it. But before the cold weather comes on they are going to send up a darky to look after me.

An' dey all laft an' flopped dey wings; an' sez dey, 'Good-bye ter yer, Sis Nancy Jane O. I hope yer'll enjoy yerse'f, sez dey; an' den dey riz up an' stretched out dey wings, an' away dey flewed.

"Look-a-hyar, Rufe," he exclaimed, excitedly; "how d'ye know ennything 'bout Nate's grant an' whar 't war hid?" Rufe glanced up scornfully, insulted in some occult manner by the question. "How did I know, Birt Dicey? How d'ye know yerse'f?" he retorted. "I knows a heap, ginerally." Perkins, catching the drift of Birt's intention, came to the rescue.

A memory it was of wild things, to be killed a blood-lust memory and now at last it woke in a pampered, velvet-hearted cat. Ringtail Pete was conscious of the other's wistful look, and laughed; for his battle with life had taught him generosity. "Say, bo, yer don't want to do de bashful see? 'cause me 'n' you is gents what understands de game er chanst. Here take holt an' chaw yerse'f off a hunk!"

Andy Byers replied with stalwart independence to his employer. "I hev laid off ter attend. Ef ye want ennybody ter bide with the tanyard, an' keer fur this hyar pit, ye kin do it yerse'f, or else Birt kin. I hev laid off ter attend." Andy Byers was a man of moods. His shaggy eyebrows to-day overshadowed eyes sombre and austere. He seemed, if possible, a little slower than was his wont.

There was also a drop of molasses on one corner of it, which John William said would do to seal it up with; but Gregory wiped it carefully off on the leg of his trousers. "Now, den," said Aunt Matilda; "sot yerse'f right down dar on de floor. Git off dat ar smooth board, you Dick, an' let Greg'ry put his paper dar. I hain't got no pen, but hyar's a pencil Miss Kate lef' one day.

Yer look like sparkin' Miss Robin now! hit's er gre't pity she can't see yer stretched out like dat; an' she'll be hyear, too, d'rectly; she's er comin' ter de party, sezee, 'an' I'm gwine ter gib her er new dish; I'm gwine ter sot her down ter roas' Woodpecker dis ebenin'. An' now, efn yer'll 'scuse me, I'll lef' yer hyear fur ter sorter 'muse yerse'f wile I grin's my ax fur ten' ter yer.

"Hallelujah, amen, bress de Lord. How is ye dis night, Mammy Grace?" said a cheerful voice at the cabin-door. "Ho! go 'long, Simon, I knowed ye was comin'. Ye allus blows yer trumpet 'fore yer gits here. Come in, help yerse'f to a cha'r. Here, chile," addressing Tidy, "here's yer supper, eat it now; and don' ye neber let what I's telled ye slip out of yer 'membrance."