“Yo’ lie me, yo’ die quick. Injun god biteum. Mebby snake. I dunno. How long yo’ ketchum heap jam, heap shirt?”
Now that he knew the way, Casey had in mind a certain short-cut that would subtract two days from the round trip. He held up his hand, fingers spread, and got up. Then he thought of the threat and added one of his own.
“I’ve got a God myself, Jim. You lie about that gold mine and the jam’ll choke yuh to death. You can ask anybody.”
Casey went out and straightway packed for the journey. Fate, he told himself, was playing partners with him. I don’t suppose Casey, even in his most happy-go-lucky mood, had ever been quite so content with life as when he returned to the camp of the tenderfeet for a mule load of jam and silk shirts. Trading an old muzzle-loading shotgun to an Indian chief for the future site of a great city could not have seemed more of a bargain in the days of our forefathers.
He made the trip almost half a day sooner than he had promised and went straight up to Injun Jim’s camp with his load. He was whistling all the way up the canyon to the tepee; but then he stopped.
Inside the hut was the sound of wailing. Casey tried not to guess what that meant. He tied William and went to the door of the tepee.
The young squaw came from within and stood just before the opening, regarding Casey with that maddening, Indian immobility so characteristic of the race. She did not speak, though Casey waited for fully two minutes; nor did she move aside to let him go in. Casey grinned disarmingly.
“Me ketchum heap jam for Injun Jim. Heap silk shirts. Me go tellum,” he said.
“Are those they?” the young squaw inquired calmly, and pointed to William. Casey jumped. Any man would, hearing that impeccable sentence issue from the lips of a squaw with a blanket over her head.
“Uh-huh,” he gulped.
“My father is dead. He died yesterday from eating too much pickles that you gave him. I should like to have what you have brought to give him. I should thank you for the silk shirts. I can fix them so that I can wear them. I will talk to you pretty soon about that gold mine. I know where it is. I have helped my father bring the gold away. My father would not tell you if you gave him all the jam and all the silk in the world. My father was awful mean. I thought he would maybe kill you and that is why I listened beside the tepee. I wished to protect you because I know that you are a good man. Will you give me the silk shirts and the jam?”
She smiled then, and Casey saw that she had a gold tooth in front, which further demonstrated how civilized she was.
“You will excuse the way I am dressed. I have to dress so that I would please my father. He was very mean with me all the time. He did not like me because I have gone to school and got a fine educating. He wanted me to be Indian. But I knew that my father is a chief and that makes me just what you would say a princess, and I wished to learn how to be educate like all white ladies. So I took some gold from my father’s mine and I spent the money for going to school. My name,” she added impressively, “is Lucy Lily. What is your name?”