Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/242

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

the bluejackets down on me. I see through your tricks as clear as glass, but ye shatn’t trick me. I’ll have my money if there’s law in the land—ye bloody, unnatural thief ye, who’d go agin our dead father’s will!”

Then—if the roof had fallen in upon him, Levi West could not have been more amazed—Hiram suddenly strode forward, and, leaning half across the table with his fists clenched, fairly glared into Levi’s eyes. His face, dull, stupid, wooden, was now fairly convulsed with passion. The great veins stood out upon his temples like knotted whipcords, and when he spoke his voice was more a breathless snarl than the voice of a Christian man.

“Ye’ll have the law, will ye?” said he. “Ye’ll—have the law, will ye? You’re afeared to go to law—Levi West—you try th’ law—and see how ye like it. Who ’re you to call me thief—ye bloody, murderin’ villain ye! You’re the thief—Levi West—you come here and stole my daddy from me ye did. You make me ruin—myself to pay what oughter to been mine then—ye—ye steal the gal I was courtin’, to boot.” He stopped and his lips writhed for words to say. “I know ye,” said he, grinding his teeth. “I know ye! And only for what my daddy made me promise I’d a-had you up to the magistrate’s before this.”

Then, pointing with quivering finger: “There’s the door—you see it! Go out that there door and don’t never come into it again—if ye do—or if ye ever come where I can lay eyes on ye again—by th’ Holy Holy I’ll hale ye up to the Squire’s office and tell all I know and all I’ve seen. Oh, I’ll give ye your belly-fill of law if—ye want th’ law! Git out of the house, I say!”

As Hiram spoke Levi seemed to shrink together. His face changed from its copper color to a dull, waxy yellow. When the other ended he answered never a word. But he pushed back his chair, rose, put on his hat and, with a furtive, sidelong look, left