You have been told how I never thought on those adventures of The Emperor’s Cigars, and The German Girl’s Diamonds, without sensations of shame, and pain. Indeed! they were engagements of ignobility! Following the latter affair I felt a strongest impulse to change somewhat my occupation. I longed for an employment a bit safer and less foul. I counted my fortunes; I was rich with over seventy thousand dollars; that might do, even though I gained no more. And so it fell that I was almost ready to leave the Customs, and forswear and, if possible, forget, those sins I had helped commit in its name.“Come now with me,” said Moh-Kwa to Strike Axe, “an’ I will show you what the Feather an’ Yellow Face do while you are gone. You are a young buck an’ a good buck, an’ because of your youth an’ the kind deed you did when you found for me the bees—to whom I shall go back an’ fight with for more honey to-morrow and every day while it lasts—I will show you a danger like a lance, an’ how to hold your shield so you may come safe from it.”“What I observes partic’lar in the narration,” said the Old Cattleman, “is how luck is the predominatin’ feacher throughout. The girl an’ her old pap has bad luck in losin’ the gewgaw’s. You-all customs sharps has good luck in havin’ the news brought to your hand as to where them diamonds is hid, by a coyote whom you can bluff plumb outen the play at the finish. As for the coyote informer, why he has luck in bein’ allowed to live. canada goose sale womens canada goose sale womens
Thus chase Bill’s cogitations when the sudden sight of the Saucy Paoli and her glances, full of wist and warmth, fasten his gallant fancy and crystalize a resolution to act at once.Thereupon the steward cast aside restraint and wandered forth upon that dinner with a heart care-free and unrestrained. He would make of it a moment of terrapin and canvas-back and burgundy which time should date from and folk remember for long to the Chamberlin praise.CHAPTER XVIII.—THE RESCUE OF CONNELLY.As we kicked the logs into a cheerful uproar of sparks, and drew that evening about the great fireplace, it was the Old Cattleman to break conversational ground.Peeping from my hiding place I could tell that my adroit interference in the late contest was becoming the subject of public concern. Rupert’s driver, still sitting in his sulky, was holding high his whip in professional invocation of the judges’ eyes. And that ill-used horseman was talking; at intervals he pointed with the utmost feeling towards my butonwood. Nor was his oratory without power; he had not discoursed long when amid an abundance of shouts and oaths and brandished canes, one thousand gentlemen of the turf were under head in my direction.Thus it came to pass that on the occasion when The Emperor’s Cigars were held aloft for bids, the garrulous lecturer employed in selling the collected plunder of three confiscation months, took up one of the two thousand boxes as a sample, and said:As to Harris and myself; what with delays, what with expenses, what with figures reduced to dispose of our plunder, we got evenly out. We got back our money; but for those fear-shaken hours of two separate perils, we were never paid.Ish-koo-dah, the Fire, did not say anything to this, for the Fire’s feelings were hurt; an’ Moh-Kwa who was heavy with his labors over the blackberries lay down an’ took a big sleep.That’s all thar is to the yarn. Little Enright Peets is packed into camp an’ planted in the midst of them books an’ blocks an’ candies which Faro Nell su’gests; also, he’s made happy with the little hoss. Dan, in his medicine mask an’ paint, does a skelp dance, an’ is the soul of the hour.I turned naturally to the horses, for it was those continuous efforts which I put forth to name winners that had so dissipated my patrimony. About the time I might have selected a victor now and then, my wealth was departed away. It is always thus. Sinister yet satirical paradox! the best judges of racing have ever the least money!CHAPTER XV.—HOW MOH-KWA FED THE CATFISH.Then he opens his mouth ag’in in the same egree-gious way, while the scientist addressed scouts about tharin with his eyes, plenty owley. At last the Doc shows symptoms of bein’ ready to report.The Statesman from Tupelo mused, while clouds of regret began to gather on his brow. His conscience had him by the collar; his conscience was avenging that bankruptcy of Jim Britt.“With a profound respect for you,” observed the Jolly Doctor to the Sour Gentleman when that raconteur had ended, “and disavowing a least imputation personal to yourself, I must still say that I am amazed by the corruption which your tale discloses of things beyond our Customs doors. To be sure, you speak of years ago; and yet you leave one to wonder if the present be wholly free from taint.”My ill-favored visitor accepted the chair Mike placed for him and perched uneasily on its edge. When we were alone, I brought him and his business to instant bay. I was anxious to free myself of his presence. His bear’s grease and jaded appearance bred a distaste of him.About the first dash outen the box, Old Houston gets himse’f into trouble with two Lone Star leadin’ citizens whose names, respective, is Colonel Morton an’ jedge Webb.Then Moh-Kwa, when he knew that now Yellow Face with three arrows in his left hand was stringing a bow to shoot against the log which he had dressed up an’ named “Strike Axe,” said there was little time to be lost; an’ Moh-Kwa hurried Strike Axe to the round deep spring of clear water which was in the cavern, an’ told him to stand on the edge of the spring an’ look hard in the looking glass an’ take sharp notice just as Yellow Face was to shoot the arrow against the log.“Never!” declares James of the Beads. “Do you suppose I don’t know what I’m about? I’m worth a million for each year of my life, and I made every stiver of it by the very method I take to discover this horse. Can’t you see that I’m not guessing?—that I have reason for what I do? Roysterer for a place! Never! get down every splinter that Roysterer finishes first.”Then suddenly: “I’ll tell you what you do; get into this wagon outside and come with me.” canada goose sale womens canada goose sale womens It was during one of these visits home when I first cheated at cards—memorable event!—and it was on another that my roguery was discovered and my father struck that blow. canada goose sale womens Again, Jim Britt would engage a venerable senator from Alabama in talk. He was instantly taken by the helpless button, and for a quintette of hours told of the national need of a Panama Canal, and given a list of what railroads in their venality set the flinty face of their opposition to its coming about.During those months of exile—for exile it was—which I spent in Washington Square, I cultivated misanthropy—a hardness of spirit; almost, I might say, I fostered a hatred of my fellow man. And more or less I had success. I became owner of much stiffness of sentiment and a proneness to be practical; and kept ever before me like a star that, no matter how unimportant I might be to others, to myself at least I was most important of mankind. Doubtless, I lost in grace by such studies; but in its stead I succeeded to safety, and when we are at a final word, we live by what we keep and die by what we quit, and of all loyalties there’s no loyalty like loyalty to one’s self.“And now,” observed the Red Nosed Gentleman, dipping deeply into his burgundy, as if for courage, “I’ll even keep my promise. I’ll tell a story of superstition and omen; also how I turned in my infancy to cards as a road to wealth. Cards as a method to arrive by riches is neither splendid nor respectable, but I shall make no apologies. I give you the story of The Sign of The Three.”Nacherally, I admits, thar has been a modicum of blood shed west an’ some slight share tharof can be charged to Arizona. No, I can’t say I deplores these killin’s none. Every gent has got to die. For one, I’m mighty glad the game’s been rigged that a-way. I’d shore hesitate a lot to be born onless I was shore I’d up an’ some day cash in. Live forever? No, don’t confer on me no sech gloomy outlook. If a angel was to appear in our midst an’ saw off on me the news that I was to go on an’ on as I be now, livin’ forever like that Wanderin’ Jew, the information would stop my clock right thar. I’d drop dead in my moccasins.