“They say God made this world, Bud—if He did, I guess He was asleep when you was made, Bud—anyway, remembering little Maggie, you ain’t got no right to breathe any longer—so that’s for me—an’ that’s for her!”
Lounging still, he fired twice from the hip and M’Ginnis, twisting upon his heels, fell and lay with his face at his slayer’s feet. Then, spying the packet of letters that lay upon the grimy floor, Soapy stooped painfully and fired rapidly four times; when the smoke cleared, of those tear-blotted pages with their secret of a woman’s anguish, there remained nothing but a charred piece of ribbon and a few smouldering fragments of paper. And now Soapy was seized with another fit of coughing, above which he heard hoarse shouts and hands that thundered at the door. Lazily he stood upon his feet, turned to glance from that scorched ribbon to the still form upon the floor and, lifting a lazy foot, ground his heel into that still face, then, crossing unsteadily to the door, unlocked it. Beyond was a crowd, very silent now, who drew back to give him way, but Soapy paused in the doorway and leaned there a moment.
“What’s doin’?” cried a voice.
“Say, run f’r a doctor, somebody—quick—Soapy’s hurt bad, I reckon—”
“Hurt?” said Soapy, in soft, lazy tones. “’S right! But—say—fellers, there’s a son of a dog in there—waitin’ f’r a spade—t’ bury him!” Then Soapy laughed, choked, and groping before him blindly, staggered forward, and pitching sideways, fell with his head beneath a table and died there.
OF THE OLD UN AND FATE
Spike leaned back among his cushions and, glancing away across close-cropped lawns and shady walks, sighed luxuriously.
“Say, Ann,” he remarked. “Gee whiz, Trapesy, there sure ain’t no flies on this place of old Geoff’s!”
“Flies,” said Mrs. Trapes, glancing up from her household accounts, “you go into the kitchen an’ look around.”
“I mean it’s aces up.”
“Up where?” queried Mrs. Trapes.
“Well, it’s a regular Jim-dandy cracker-jack—some swell clump, eh?”
“Arthur, that low, tough talk don’t go with me,” said Mrs. Trapes, and resumed her intricate calculations again.
“Say, when’ll Geoff an’ Hermy be back?”
“Well, considerin’ she’s gone to N’ York t’ buy more clo’es as she don’t need, an’ considerin’ Mr. Ravenslee’s gone with her, I don’t know.”
“An’ what you do know don’t cut no ice. Anyway, I’m gettin’ lonesome.”
“What, ain’t I here?” demanded Mrs. Trapes sharply.
“Sure. I can’t lose you!”
“Oh! Now I’ll tell you what it is, my good b’y—”
“Cheese it, Trapes, you make me tired, that’s what.”
“If you sass me, I’ll box your young ears—an’ that’s what!”
“I don’t think!” added Spike. “Nobody ain’t goin’ t’ box me. I’m a sure enough invalid, and don’t you forget it.”