whar you be; I'm goin’ in a jiffy. Thar, that’s them now."
There was a low tap at the door. Dick Bullen opened it quickly, nodded "Good-night" to his host, and disappeared. The Old Man would have followed him but for the hand that still unconsciously grasped his sleeve. He could have easily disengaged it; it was small, weak and emaciated. But perhaps because it was small, weak and emaciated he changed his mind, and, drawing his chair closer to the bed, rested his head upon it. In this defenceless attitude the potency of his earlier potations surprised him. The room flickered and faded before his eyes, reappeared, faded again, went out, and left him—asleep.
Meantime Dick Bullen, closing the door, confronted his companions. "Are you ready?" said Staples. "Ready," said Dick; "what’s the time?" "Past twelve," was the reply’ "can you make it?—it’s nigh on fifty miles, the round trip hither and yon." "I reckon," returned Dick shortly. "Whar’s the mare?" "Bill and Jack’s holdin’ her at the crossin’." "Let ’em hold on a minit longer," said Dick.
He returned and reentered the house softly. By the light of the guttering candle and dying fire he saw that the door of the little room was open. He stepped toward it on tiptoe and looked in. The Old Man had fallen back in his chair, snoring, his helpless feet thrust out