“Give me your wax. What’s for a seal?” They looked about. Mac’s eye fell on a metal button that hung by a thread from the old militia jacket he was wearing. He put his hand up to it, paused, glanced hurriedly at the Colonel, and let his fingers fall.
“Yes, yes,” said the Kentuckian, “that’ll make a capital seal.”
“No; something of yours, I think, Colonel. The top of that tony pencil-case, hey?”
The Colonel produced his gold pencil, watched Mac heat the wax, drop it into the neck of the demijohn, and apply the initialled end of the Colonel’s property. While Mac, without any further waste of words, was swinging the wicker-bound temptation up on the shelf again, they heard voices.
“They’re coming back,” says the Kentuckian hurriedly. “But we’ve settled our little account, haven’t we, old man?”
Mac jerked his head in that automatic fashion that with him meant genial and whole-hearted agreement.
“And if Potts or O’Flynn want to break that seal—”
“I’ll call ’em down,” says Mac. And the Colonel knew the seal was safe.
* * * * *
“By-the-by, Colonel,” said the Boy, just as he was turning in that night, “I—a—I’ve asked that Jesuit chap to the House-Warming.”
“Oh, you did, did you?”
“Well, you’d just better have a talk with Mac about it.”
“Yes. I’ve been tryin’ to think how I’d square Mac. Of course, I know I’ll have to go easy on the raw.”
“I reckon you just will.”
“If Monkey-wrench screws down hard on me, you’ll come to the rescue, won’t you, Colonel?”
“No I’ll side with Mac on that subject. Whatever he says, goes!”
“Humph! that Jesuit’s all right.”
Not a word out of the Colonel.
TWO NEW SPISSIMENS
Medwjedew (zu Luka). Tag’ mal—wer
bist du? Ich
kenne dich nicht.
Luka. Kennst du denn sonst alle Leute?
Medwjedew. In meinem Revier muss ich jeden kennen und dich kenn’ich nicht....
Luka. Das kommt wohl daher Onkelchen, dass dein
Revier nicht die ganze
Erde umfasst ... ’s ist da noch ein Endchen draussen geblieben....
One of the curious results of what is called wild life, is a blessed release from many of the timidities that assail the easy liver in the centres of civilisation. Potts was the only one in the white camp who had doubts about the wisdom of having to do with the natives.
However, the agreeable necessity of going to Pymeut to invite Nicholas to the Blow-out was not forced upon the Boy. They were still hard at it, four days after the Jesuit had gone his way, surrounding the Big Cabin with a false wall, that final and effectual barrier against Boreas—finishing touch warranted to convert a cabin, so cold that it drove its inmates to drink, into a dwelling where practical people, without cracking a dreary joke, might fitly celebrate a House-Warming.