Had everything been normal, a few hours would have sufficed
"Wally boy, heap bueno," she said; and her malicious old face softened as she spoke of him, dear as her own first-born. "Jack bueno, mebbyso Gene bueno, mebbyso Clark, mebbyso Donny all time bueno." Doubt was in her voice when she praised those last two, however, because of their continual teasing. She stopped short to emphasize the damning contrast. "Good Injun all same mebbyso yo' boy Grant, hee-ee-eap kay bueno. Good Injun Grant all time DEBBIL!"
It was at this point that Donny slipped away to report that "Mamma and old Hagar are scrappin' over Good Injun again," and told with glee the tale of his misdeeds as recounted by the squaw.
Phoebe in her earnestness forgot to keep within the limitations of their dialect.
"Grant's a good boy, and a smart boy. There isn't a better-hearted fellow in the country, if I have got five boys of my own. You think I like him better than I like Wally, is all ails you, Hagar. You're jealous of Grant, and you always have been, ever since his father left him with me. I hope my heart's big enough to hold them all." She remembered then that they could not understand half she was saying, and appealed to Viney. Viney liked Grant.
"Viney, you tell me. Grant no come Hartley, no drunk, no yell, no catchum you dog, no ride in Hagar's wikiup? You tell me, Viney."
Viney and Lucy bobbed their heads rapidly up and down. Viney, with a sidelong glance at Hagar, spoke softly.
"Good Injun Grant, mebbyso home Hartley," she admitted reluctantly, as if she would have been pleased to prove Hagar a liar in all things. "Me thinkum no drunk. Mebbyso ketchum dog--dog kay bueno, mebbyso me killing. Good Injun Grant no heap yell, no shoot all time--mebbyso no drunk. No breakum wikiup. Horse all time kay bueno, Hagar--"
"Shont-isham!" (big lie) Hagar interrupted shrilly then, and Viney relapsed into silence, her thin face growing sullen under the upbraiding she received in her native tongue. Phoebe, looking at her attentively, despaired of getting any nearer the truth from any of them.