to the reports of several mining engineers made in the
Hagar forestalled the hospitable intent by getting slowly upon her fat legs, shaking her hair out of her eyes, and grunting a command to the others. With visible reluctance Lucy and Viney rose also, hitched their blankets into place, and vanished, soft-footed as they had come.
"Oo-oo!" Evadna stared at the place where they were not. "Wild Indians--I thought the boys were just teasing when they said so--and it's really true, Aunt Phoebe?"
"They're no wilder than you are," Phoebe retorted impatiently.
"Oh, they ARE wild. They're exactly like in my history--and they don't make a sound when they go--you just look, and they're gone! That old fat one--did you see how she looked at me? As if she wanted to--SCALP me, Aunt Phoebe! She looked right at my hair and--"
"Well, she didn't take it with her, did she? Don't be silly. I've known old Hagar ever since Wally was a baby. She took him right to her own wikiup and nursed him with her own papoose for two months when I was sick, and Viney stayed with me day and night and pulled me through. Lucy I've known since she was a papoose. Great grief, child! Didn't you hear me say they're old friends? I wanted you to be nice to them, because if they like you there's nothing they won't do for you. If they don't, there's nothing they WILL do. You might as well get used to them--"
Out by the gate rose a clamor which swept nearer and nearer until the noise broke at the corner of the house like a great wave, in a tumult of red blanket, flying black hair, the squalling of a female voice, and the harsh laughter of the man who carried the disturbance, kicking and clawing, in his arms. Fighting his way to the milk-house, he dragged the squaw along beside the porch, followed by the Indians and all the Hart boys, a yelling, jeering audience.
"You tell her shont-isham! Ah-h--you can't break loose, you old she-wildcat. Quit your biting, will you? By all the big and little spirits of your tribe, you'll wish--"
Panting, laughing, swearing also in breathless exclamations, he forced her to the top of the steps, backed recklessly down them, and came to a stop in the corner by the door. Evadna had taken refuge there; and he pressed her hard against the rough wall without in the least realizing that anything was behind him save unsentient stone.