“If this Bill Breen,” I reflected, “is half as fast as my Bill Breen, he’s fit to carry C?sar and his fortunes.”As my hair has whitened with the sifting frosts of years, I confess that my sophistries of smuggling seem less and less plausible, while smuggling itself loses whatever of romantic glamour it may once have been invested with, or what little color of respect to which it might seem able to lay claim. This tale shall be told in simplest periods. That is as should be; for expression should ever be meek and subjugated when one’s story is the mere story of a cheat. There is scant room in such recital for heroic phrase. Smuggling, and paint it with what genius one may, can be nothing save a skulking, hiding, fear-eaten trade. There is nothing about it of bravery or dash. How therefore and avoid laughter, may one wax stately in any telling of its ignoble details?“It seems,” said Harris, quite out of breath with the speed we’d made in hunting cover, “that Stewart is for America the sole agent of these particular brands of silk which we’ve brought in. Some one to whom we’ve offered them has notified the Stewart company. At this moment and as we sit here, the detectives belonging to Stewart, and for all I may guess, the whole Central Office as well, are on our track. They want to discover who has these silks; and how they came in, since the customs records show no such importations. And there’s a dark characteristic to these silks. Each bolt has its peculiar, individual selvage. Each, with a sample of its selvage, is registered at the home looms. Could anyone get a snip of a selvage he could return with it to Lyons, learn from the manufacturers’ book just when it was woven, when sold, and to whom. I can tell you one thing,” observed Harris, as he concluded his story, “we’re in a bad corner.” canada goose black friday deals
In a blurred way Mike resents the blood-eagerness which glows in the eyes of his enemy; but he knows no fear. It serves to remind him, however, that no restraints are laid upon him in favor of the brute across the ring, and that he is at liberty to hit with what lust he will.Moh-Kwa saw this was true talk, so he let the Big Medicine Elk go free.“Twenty-third street! Fifth avenue! Broadway!” he mutters. “Still three—always three!”This partner was frequently on the lips of Chicken Bill, especially when our hero was in his cups. He was always mentioned with a gush of tears, this partner, and his name as furnished by Chicken Bill was Flim Flam Murphy. Flim Flam had met death somewhere in the Gunnison country while making good his name, and passed with the smoke of the Colt’s-44 that dismissed him. But Chicken Bill reverenced the memory of this talented man and was ready to honor him, and, having staked out his claim with the fraudulent purpose aforesaid, filed on it appropriately as “The Flim Flam Murphy.” canada goose black friday deals “At the quarter,” sings the tall man. “Starlight first, Blenheim second, Roysterer third!” There is a pause. Then the tall man: “At the half! Starlight first, Blenheim second, Roysterer third!” Rand turns to Reed. “He must better that,” says Rand, “or he’ll explode the superstition of our friend.” There is a wait of twenty-five seconds. Again the tall, binoculared man: “Three-quarter post! Starlight first, Blenheim second, Roysterer third—and whipping!”The Robin went back, an’ finding the Swallow still asleep on the medicine robe, lay down by his side; an’ soon she too fell asleep, for the Robin was a very tired squaw since to be cunning an’ full of craft is hard work an’ soon wearies one.CHAPTER XIV.—HOW TO TELL THE LAST FOUR.Preferring safety to profit, we put forth no efforts to realize on our speculations for almost a year. By that time the one day’s wonder of “Who’s got Stewart’s silks?” had ceased to disturb the mercantile world and the grand procession of dry goods interest passed on and over it.To say I was impressed is not to exaggerate. I was frank enough to confess, however, that privately I held no hope of change. Several years before, I had become convinced, after a full survey of myself and the close study of my inclinations, that I was born to live and die, like my grandsire, the victim of drink. I was its thrall, bound to it as I lay in my cradle; there existed no gate of escape. This I told; not joyously, I promise you, or as one reciting good fortune; not argumentatively and as reason for the forthcoming of asked-for wine; but because it was true and made, as I held it, a reason for going in this matter of tipple with freest rein since dodge or balk my fate I might not. canada goose black friday deals “There’s a mighty deal in luck,” observed the Red Nosed Gentleman, sagely. “Certainly, it’s the major part in gambling, and I think, too, luck is a decisive element in every victory or defeat a man experiences.”“What is it you want?” My tones were brittle and sharp.“Got down fifteen thousand. Won one hundred and five thousand,” reads James of the Beads from Rand’s telegram sent from the track. James of the Beads is in his offices; he has just finished a victorious day, at once heavy and tumultuous with the buying and the selling of full three hundred thousand shares of stocks. “They should have wagered the full one hundred thousand and let the odds look after themselves,” he says. Then James of the Beads begins to caress the gypsy chain. “You knew,” he murmurs; “of course, you knew!” There is a note of devotion in the tones. The bead-worship goes on for a silent moment. “Only one hundred and five thousand!” ruminates James of the Beads. “I suppose Rand was afraid!” canada goose black friday deals While Joe housed me as his guest for many months and paid the bills, one is not to argue therefrom any unhappy pauperism on my boyish part. In good sooth! I was more than rich during those days, with a fortune of anywhere from five hundred to as many as four thousand dollars. Like all disciples of chance I had these riches ever ready in my pocket for what prey might offer.Often I went over this plan in my thoughts—a fashion of mental rehearsal, as it were—and the more I considered the more certain I became that when the pinch arrived it would not fail. As I’ve stated, none shared with me my secret of that hinged and hollow couch; it was my insurance—my cave of retreat in any tornado of the law; and the knowledge thereof steadied me and aided my courage to compose those airs of cheerful confidence which taught others safety and gave countenance to the story of my unqualified and sure “protection!” Alas! for the hour that unmasked me; from that moment The Shotgun fell away; my stream of golden profits ran dry; from a spectacle of reverence and respect I became the nine-day byword of my tribe!“It was a cheap finish for a 10,000-dollar start,” remarked the Red Nosed Gentleman, sententiously. “But why should this adventurer, Ryan, as you call him, go into the business of freeing Cuba? Where would lie his profit? I don’t suppose now it was a love of liberty which put him in motion.”Coldheart hated Openhand because he was so much loved. Coldheart was himself sulky an’ hard, an’ his hand was shut tight like a beaver-trap that is sprung, an’ it would not open to give anything away. Those who came hungry went hungry for all of Coldheart; an’ if they were cold, they were cold. Coldheart wrapped his robes the closer, an’ was the warmest whenever he thought the frost-wolf was gnawing others.Moh-Kwa warned Strike Axe to look only at Yellow Face that he might be sure an’ swift as the loon to dive from the last arrow. Strike Axe did as Moh-Kwa counselled; an’ when the last arrow flew from the bow, Strike Axe with a big splash was safe an’ deep beneath the waters of the spring.“Not on your life!” was Deadwood Maggie’s reply.“Now you may sing your death song, for Pauguk, the Death, is in the river with you an’ those are Pauguk’s catfish which gnaw your legs.”I had been looking for the boat’s coming and was waiting on the wharf as her lines and her stagings were run ashore.But Bill is in partial error. Gray Wolf is not in any sordid, money frame. Your savage is a sentimentalist solely on two matters: those to touch his pride and those to wake his patriotism. And because of the recent triumph of the Poncas, and the consequent censures upon him now flaming, though hidden, in the common Osage heart, Gray Wolf’s pride is raw and throbbing. He looks up at Bill where he waits. canada goose black friday deals “Play Blue Bells!” and Coburn looked at me hard and as one who held mysterious knowledge.Jim Britt was not the least conspicuous among the men of Last Chance. Withal, Jim Britt was much diffused throughout the commerce of that village and claimed interests in a dozen local establishments, from a lumber yard to a hotel. Spare of frame, and of an anxious predatory nose, was Jim Britt; and his gray eyes ever roving for a next investment; and the more novel the enterprise, the more leniently did Jim Britt regard it. The new had for him a fascination, since he was in way and heart an Alexander and hungered covetously for further worlds to conquer. Thus it befell that Jim Britt came naturally to his desire to build a railway when the exigencies of his affairs opened gate to the suggestion.No, as I’ve heretofore explained, there dawned a day when I gave up card gambling and played no more. It is now twenty years since I wagered so much as a two-bit piece in any game other than the Wall Street game of stocks. And yet it was no moral arousal that drew me from roulette, from farobank and from draw poker. I merely awoke to the truth that the greatest simpleton of cards is the professional gambler himself; and with that I turned my back on the whole scurvy business and quit the dens for the exchange. And with no purpose to preach, I say openly and with a fullest freedom that the game of stock speculation is as replete of traps and pitfalls, and of as false and blackleg character as any worst game of iniquitous faro that is dealt with trimmed and sanded deck from a dishonest box. As an arena of morals the stock exchange presents no conscious improvement beyond what is offered by the veriest dead-fall ever made elate with those two rings at the bell which tell the waiting inmates that some “steerer” is on the threshold with rustic victim to be fleeced. I once read that the homestead of Captain Kidd, the pirate, stood two centuries ago on that plot of ground now covered by the New York Stock Exchange; and I confess to a smile when I reflected how the spirit of immortal rapine would seem to hover over the place. The exchange is a fit successor to the habitat of that wild freebooter who died and dried in execution dock when long ago the Stuart Anne was queen.