“It seems you don’t like agreeable s’prises,” said Dick, “any more’n the man did what got hooked by a cow one mornin’, before breakfast. It didn’t improve his appetite much.”
“I’ve most broke my arm,” said Micky, ruefully, rubbing the affected limb.
“If it’s broke you can’t fire no more stones, which is a very cheerin’ reflection,” said Dick. “Ef you haven’t money enough to buy a wooden one I’ll lend you a quarter. There’s one good thing about wooden ones, they aint liable to get cold in winter, which is another cheerin’ reflection.”
“I don’t want none of yer cheerin’ reflections,” said Micky, sullenly. “Yer company aint wanted here.”
“Thank you for your polite invitation to leave,” said Dick, bowing ceremoniously. “I’m willin’ to go, but ef you throw any more stones at me, Micky Maguire, I’ll hurt you worse than the stones did.”
The only answer made to this warning was a scowl from his fallen opponent. It was quite evident that Dick had the best of it, and he thought it prudent to say nothing.
“As I’ve got a friend waitin’ outside, I shall have to tear myself away,” said Dick. “You’d better not throw any more stones, Micky Maguire, for it don’t seem to agree with your constitution.”
Micky muttered something which Dick did not stay to hear. He backed out of the alley, keeping a watchful eye on his fallen foe, and rejoined Henry Fosdick, who was awaiting his return.
“Who was it, Dick?” he asked.
“A partic’lar friend of mine, Micky Maguire,” said Dick. “He playfully fired a rock at my head as a mark of his ’fection. He loves me like a brother, Micky does.”
“Rather a dangerous kind of a friend, I should think,” said Fosdick. “He might have killed you.”
“I’ve warned him not to be so ’fectionate another time,” said Dick.
“I know him,” said Henry Fosdick. “He’s at the head of a gang of boys living at the Five-Points. He threatened to whip me once because a gentleman employed me to black his boots instead of him.”
“He’s been at the Island two or three times for stealing,” said Dick. “I guess he won’t touch me again. He’d rather get hold of small boys. If he ever does anything to you, Fosdick, just let me know, and I’ll give him a thrashing.”
Dick was right. Micky Maguire was a bully, and like most bullies did not fancy tackling boys whose strength was equal or superior to his own. Although he hated Dick more than ever, because he thought our hero was putting on airs, he had too lively a remembrance of his strength and courage to venture upon another open attack. He contented himself, therefore, whenever he met Dick, with scowling at him. Dick took this very philosophically, remarking that, “if it was soothin’ to Micky’s feelings, he might go ahead, as it didn’t hurt him much.”