“That ricochet was a Sharps!” exclaimed Hopalong, and they lost no time in getting into the building, where the discussion was renewed as they prepared for the final struggle. Red grunted his cheerful approval, for now he was out of the blazing sun and where he could better appreciate the musical tones of the flying bullets; but his companion, slamming shut the door and propping it with a fallen roof-beam, grumbled and finally gave rein to his rancor by sneering at the Winchester.
“It shore gets me that after all I have said about that gun you will tote it around with you and force yoreself into a suicide’s grave,” quoth Mr. Cassidy, with exuberant pugnacity. “I ain’t in no way objecting to the suicide part of it, but I can’t see that it’s at all fair to drag me onto the edge of everlasting eternity with you. If you ain’t got no regard for yore own life you shore ought to think a little about yore friend’s. Now you’ll waste all yore cartridges an’ then come snooping around me to borrow my gun. Why don’t you lose the damned thing?”
“What I pack ain’t none of yore business, which same I’ll uphold,” retorted Mr. Connors, at last able to make himself heard. “You get over on yore own side an’ use yore Colt; I’ve wondered a whole lot where you ever got the sense to use a Colt—I wouldn’t be a heap surprised to see you toting a pearl-handled .22, like the kids use. Now you ’tend to yore grave-yard aspirants, an’ lemme do the same with mine.”
“The Lord knows I’ve stood a whole lot from you because you just can’t help being foolish, but I’ve got plumb weary and sick of it. It stops right here or you won’t get no ’Paches,” snorted Hopalong, peering intently through a hole in the shack. The more they squabbled the better they liked it,—controversies had become so common that they were merely a habit; and they served to take the grimness out of desperate situations.