And the trio fell to voraciously, as he handed them each a steaming tin mug and an equally steaming plate. The newly awakened youngster, who had been cuddling his head sleepily against Neal’s shoulder (a glance showed that they were brothers), had clamored for his share of the banquet.
“You haven’t been lonely, Dol, I hope, have you?” said Cyrus, as a whole flapjack, doubled over and drenched in sirup, disappeared down his capacious throat.
“Not I,” answered Dol (Adolphus Farrar, ladies and gentlemen), shutting and opening a pair of steel-gray eyes with a sort of quick snap. “Uncle Eb and I sat by the fire until twelve o’clock. He sang songs, and told tip-top stories about coon hunts. I tell you it was fun! I’d rather see a coon hunt than go out at night jacking, especially if I got a ducking instead of a deer, like some bungling fellows I know.”
“Don’t be saucy, Young England, or I’ll go for you when I’ve finished eating,” laughed Cyrus good-humoredly. “Who told you what we got?”
Dol winked at Uncle Eb, who had, indeed, entertained him with giggling jokes about the unsuccessful hunters while they were stripping off their wet garments.
Adolphus, being the youngest of the camping-party, was favored with the softest pine-bough bed and the best of the limited luxuries which the camp possessed, with unlimited nicknames,—from “Young England” to “Shaver” or “Chick,” according to the whims of his comrades.
“Say, Uncle Eb, we’re having a fine old time to-night—all sorts of experiences! I guess you may as well finish that song we interrupted while we’re finishing our meal.”
“All rightee, gen’lemen!” answered the jolly guide and cook.
The dog Tiger had retreated to the back of the camp-fire, where he lay blissfully snoozing; but at a booming “Whoop-ee!” from his master, which formed a prelude to the following verses, he shot up like a rocket, and manifested all his former signs of excitement.
“Dey’s a big fat goose whar
de turkey roos’—
Ketch him, Tiger, ketch him!
En de goose—he say,
’Hit’ll soon be day,
En I got no feders fer ter give away!’
Oh, ketch him, Tiger, ketch him!
“Ketch him, oh, ketch him,
Run ter de roos’ en fetch him!
He ain’t gwine tell
On de dinner bell—
Ketch him, Tiger, ketch him!”
“Scoot ’long to bed now, you yonkers, or ye’ll look like spooks to-mo-oh! Hit’s day a’ready,” cried the singer directly he had whooped out his last note.
And the “yonkers,” nothing loath, for they had finished their repast, sprang up to obey him.
“Isn’t it a comfort that we haven’t any trouble of undressing and getting into our bedclothes, fellows?” Cyrus said, as they reached the wangen, and prepared to throw themselves upon the fragrant camp-bed of fresh green pine-boughs, which made the bark hut smell more healthily than a palace.