Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/313

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285
AT SIMPSON'S BAR

To assure himself of obedience he disengaged one hand from the blanket, and, grasping his father’s sleeve, again composed himself to rest.

For some moments the Old Man waited patiently. Then the unwonted stillness of the house excited his curiosity, and without moving from the bed he cautiously opened the door with hid disengaged hand, and looked into the main room. To his infinite surprise it was dark and deserted. But even then a smoldering log on the hearth broke, and by the upspringing blaze he saw the figure of Dick Bullen sitting by the dying embers.

"Hello!"

Dick started, rose, and came somewhat unsteadily toward him.

"Whar’s the boys?" said the Old Man.

"Gone up the canon on a little pasear. They’re coming back for me in a minit. I’m waitin’ round for ’em. what are you starin’ at, Old Man?" he added, with a forced laugh; "do you think I’m drunk?"

The Old Man might have been pardoned the supposition, for Dick’s eyes were humid and his face flushed. He loitered and lounged back to the chimney, yawned, shook himself, buttoned up his coat and laughed. "Liquor ain't so plenty as that, Old Man. Now don’t you git up," he continued, as the Old Man made a movement to release his sleeve from Johnny's hand. "Don’t you mind manners. Sit jest