Beth Norvell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about Beth Norvell.

With the swift, noiseless motion of a bird Mercedes flitted across the narrow space, forcing her slender figure in between the two contestants, her white teeth gleaming merrily, the bright sunshine shimmering across her black hair.  Like two stars her great eyes flashed up imploringly into the Swede’s angry face.

“No, no, senors!  You no fight like de dogs vid me here.  I not like dat, I not let you.  See! you strike him, you strike me. Dios de Dios!  I not have eet so—­nevah.”

A strong, compelling hand fell suddenly on Winston’s shoulder, and he glanced about into the grave, boyish countenance of Stutter Brown.

“Th-thar ‘s quite c-c-consid’able of a c-crowd comin’ up the t-t-trail t-ter the ‘Independence,’ an’ B-Bill wants yer,” he announced, his calm eyes on the controversy being waged beyond in the open.  “Th-thar ’ll be somethin’ d-doin’ presently, but I r-reckon I better s-s-straighten out t-this yere i-i-international fracas first.”

CHAPTER XX

THE GAME OF FOILS

The grave-faced, yet good-natured giant pressed his way through the tangled mass of obstructing bushes, and unceremoniously proceeded to proclaim peace.  His methods were characteristic of one slow of speech, yet swift of action.  With one great hand gripping the Swede, he suddenly swung that startled individual at full length backward into the still smouldering embers of the fire, holding the gasping Mike down to earth with foot planted heavily upon his chest.  It was over in an instant, Swanson sputtering unintelligible oaths while beating sparks from his overalls, the Irishman profanely conscious of the damage wrought to his eye, and the overwhelming odds against him.  Senorita Mercedes clapped her little hands in delight at the spectacle, her steps light as those of the dance, the girlish joy in her eyes frank and unreserved.

“Ah, de Senor Brown—­bueno!  Dey vas just children to you even ven dey fight, hey?  It vas good to see such tings doin’, just like de play.”

She circled swiftly up toward him, a happy bird of gay, fluttering plumage, pressing her fingers almost caressingly along the swelling muscle of his arm, and gazing with earnest admiration up into his face.  Beneath the witching spell of her eyes the man’s cheeks reddened.  He took the way of savagery out of unexpected embarrassment.

“Th-that ’s enough, now, Swanson,” he commanded, the stutter largely vanishing before the requirement of deeds.  “Th-this is no c-continuous vaudeville, an’ ther curtain’s rung d-down on yer act.  Mike, yer ol’ varmint, if yer do any more swearin’ while ther lady’s yere I ’ll knock ther words back down yer throat.  Yer know me, so shut up.  Th-thar’ll be fightin’ in p-plenty fer both o’ yer presently, the way things look.  Now, vamoose, the two o’ yer, an’ be quiet about it.  Mike, y-yer better do something fer yer eyes if yer wanter see well ’nough ter take a pot-shot at Farnham’s gang.”

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Project Gutenberg
Beth Norvell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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