The Conquest of Canaan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Conquest of Canaan.

“You—­you didn’t happen to see him anywhere this—­this afternoon?”

“No’m, I ain’ see him.”  Sam’s laughter vanished and his lowered voice became serious.  “I ain’ see him, but I hearn about him.”

“What did you hear?”

“Dey be’n consid’able stir on de aidge o’ town, I reckon,” he answered, gravely, “an’ dey be’n havin’ some trouble out at de Beach—­”

“Beaver Beach, do you mean?”

“Yes’m.  Dey be’n some shootin’ goin’ on out dat way.”

She sprang forward and caught at his arm without speaking.

“Joe Louden all right,” he said, reassuringly.  “Ain’ nuffum happen to him!  Nigh as I kin mek out f’m de talk, dat Happy Fear gone on de ramPAGE ag’in, an’ dey hatta sent fer Mist’ Louden to come in a hurry.”

XIV

WHITE ROSES IN A LAW-OFFICE

As upon a world canopied with storm, hung with mourning purple and habited in black, did Mr. Flitcroft turn his morning face at eight o’clock antemeridian Monday, as he hied himself to his daily duty at the Washington National Bank.  Yet more than the merely funereal gloomed out from the hillocky area of his countenance.  Was there not, i’faith, a glow, a Vesuvian shimmer, beneath the murk of that darkling eye?  Was here one, think you, to turn the other cheek?  Little has he learned of Norbert Flitcroft who conceives that this fiery spirit was easily to be quenched!  Look upon the jowl of him, and let him who dares maintain that people—­even the very Pikes themselves—­were to grind beneath their brougham wheels a prostrate Norbert and ride on scatheless!  In this his own metaphor is nearly touched “I guess not!  They don’t run over me!  Martin Pike better look out how he tries it!”

So Mother Nature at her kindly tasks, good Norbert, uses for her unguent our own perfect inconsistency:  and often when we are stabbed deep in the breast she distracts us by thin scratches in other parts, that in the itch of these we may forget the greater hurt till it be healed.  Thus, the remembrance of last night, when you undisguisedly ran from the wrath of a Pike, with a pretty girl looking on (to say nothing of the acrid Arp, who will fling the legend on a thousand winds), might well agonize you now, as, in less hasty moments and at a safe distance, you brood upon the piteous figure you cut.  On the contrary, behold:  you see no blood crimsoning the edges of the horrid gash in your panoply of self-esteem:  you but smart and scratch the scratches, forgetting your wound in the hot itch for vengeance.  It is an itch which will last (for in such matters your temper shall be steadfast), and let the great Goliath in the mean time beware of you!  You ran, last night.  You ran—­of course you ran.  Why not?  You ran to fight another day!

A bank clerk sometimes has opportunities.

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The Conquest of Canaan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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