“Yes, he’s too good for such a wretch as you are,” was the fearless reply.
“No lip, boy, or I’ll give you a licking you’ll remember. By the way, where’s that old father of yours?” said the man.
Billy made no reply but walked out of the kitchen, to be soon after followed by his sister Mary who said anxiously:
“Oh, Will, they say father must have come with you, and they intend to search the house again.”
“Then I’ll go up and tell father,” whispered Billy, and up-stairs he went.
He found his father asleep, and his mother was seated near him and told Billy he had a high fever.
“Then don’t wake him, and I’ll not let them come up here,” said Billy, and he went out of the room and took his place at the stairs.
A moment after the two men, both with pistols in their hands, came out of the kitchen and started to come up-stairs.
“Stop, Luke Craig, for you can’t come up here,” said the boy.
With a hoarse laugh the man sprung up the steps to fall back as a pistol flashed in his face and roll back to the bottom, knocking his companion down too.
But the latter quickly sprung to his feet and dashed out of the house to where their horses were hitched.
His horse was a white one, and his comrade’s was Sable Satan, and to the latter he ran.
But up went the window and in a loud voice Billy cried:
“I’ve got my rifle on you, and I’ll fire if you take my horse.”
The man evidently believed that he would, from what he had seen, and mounting his own horse dashed swiftly away in the darkness while Billy returned to the one he had shot.
He found him badly wounded, but not fatally, and putting him in his father’s buggy drove him to the nearest doctor, at whose house he remained for months before he was well again.
Love and rivalry.
Finding that Billy was becoming far more accomplished as a rider and shot, than in his books, Mrs. Cody determined to send him to a small school that was only a few miles away.
Billy, though feeling himself quite a man, yielded to his mother’s wishes and attended the school, which was presided over by a cross-grained Dominie that used the birch with right good earnest and seeming delight.
Of course Billy’s love of mischief got him many a whipping; but for these he did not seem to care until there suddenly appeared in the school another pupil in the shape of a young miss just entering her teens.
The name of this young lady was Mollie Hyatt, and she was the daughter of a well-to-do settler who had lately arrived, and was as pretty as a picture.
Billy’s handsome face and dark eyes won her young heart, and the love-match was going smoothly along until a rival appeared in the field in the shape of a youth two years the junior of young Cody, and larger and stronger.