David at first refused to listen to such an arrangement, but Jasper was determined and claimed a host’s privilege of making his guests as comfortable as possible. He sat for some time at the little table after David and Betty had gone to sleep. He dwelt long and carefully upon the rude plan the old man had shown him. The more he studied it, the more convinced he became that there was a great deal in it after all. But it would mean much money, and he sighed as he at length blew out the light, stretched himself upon the floor, and drew a great coat over his body.
OUT OF BONDAGE
During the night the storm broke, and the morning was fine and warm. After breakfast Jasper and David sat on a log outside and smoked. Betty was busy in the house, washing the dishes and tidying up the rooms. She hummed softly to herself as she moved lightly across the floor. She was anxious to get through as quickly as possible that she might take David back to Jim Goban’s. She felt a little uneasy for his sake as she knew how angry his taskmaster would be with him. For herself she did not care. If Jim said too much, she could leave him at once. And yet she did not wish to go, for she felt that she must look after this old man who was so helpless and depended so much upon her for protection.
When her work was finished, she joined the men outside.
“It’s time we were going, Mr. David,” she began. “The river is calm now, and it will not be hard rowing back.”
“I wish you could stay here all day,” Jasper replied. “I shall feel very lonely when you go.”
“But we shall come to see you again, sir. It has been so good of you to keep us. But Jim Goban will be angry if we do not hurry home. I know how he will rage as it is. The longer we stay the harder it will be for him,” and she pointed to David.
Scarcely had she finished speaking ere a team was heard driving furiously along the road.
“Oh, it’s Jim now!” the girl cried, “and I know he is mad by the way he is driving. He’s stopping at the gate, too!”
Jim had seen them from the road, and having tied his horse to a tree, he made his way swiftly along the little path leading to the cabin. He was certainly in no pleasant frame of mind, and when he came near he gave vent to his feelings in coarse, brutal language.
David, rose and advanced to meet the angry man, hoping in some way to appease his rage, but in this he was mistaken.
“Ye old cuss,” Jim shouted, “what do ye mean by runnin’ away with that girl? Ye look as meek as a lamb but I guess ye’re about as near a devil as they make ’em.”
“He didn’t run away with me,” Betty sharply replied. “I ran away with him, that’s the way it was, and you needn’t get on your high horse, Jim Goban. You, yourself, would be the first one to run away with a girl if you could find one crazy enough to run with you.”