"I know it, by Jove!" cried Henderson, in quick contriteness.
"All right," grunted Gillispie, in tacit acceptance of this apology. "I guess you thought you was in civilized parts."
Two days after this Waite came in late to his supper. "Well, I seen her," he announced.
"Oh! did you?" cried Henderson, know- ing perfectly well whom he meant. "What was she doing?"
"Killin' snakes, b'gosh! She says th' baby's crazy fur um, an' so she takes aroun' a hoe on her shoulder wherever she goes, an' when she sees a snake, she has it out with 'im then an' there. I says to 'er, 'Yer don't expec' t' git all th' snakes outen this here country, d' yeh?' 'Well,' she says, 'I'm as good a man as St. Patrick any day.' She is a jolly one, Henderson. She tuk me in an' showed me th' kids, and give me a loaf of gingerbread to bring home. Here it is; see?"
"Hu!" said Gillispie. "I'm not in it." But for all of his scorn he was not above eating the gingerbread.
It was gardening time, and the three Johns were putting in every spare moment in the little paling made of willow twigs behind the house. It was little enough time they had, though, for the cattle were new to each other and to the country, and they were hard to manage. It was generally conceded that Waite had a genius for herd- ing, and he could take the "mad" out of a fractious animal in a way that the others looked on as little less than superhuman. Thus it was that one day, when the clay had been well turned, and the seeds arranged on the kitchen table, and all things prepared for an afternoon of busy planting, that Waite and Henderson, who were needed out with the cattle, felt no little irritation at the inex- plicable absence of Gillispie, who was to look after the garden. It was quite night- fall when he at last returned. Supper was ready, although it had been Gillispie's turn to prepare it.
Henderson was sore from his saddle, and cross at having to do more than his share of the work. "Damn yeh!" he cried, as Gillispie appeared. "Where yeh been?"