Well, its the same society here.
Scanlan looked at him long and fixedly. There was something sinister in his eyes.
Youll tell me that in a months time. I hear you had a talk with the patrolmen after I left the train.
How did you know that?
Oh, it got aboutthings do get about for good and for bad in this district.
Well, yes. I told the hounds what I thought of them.
By the Lord, youll be a man after McGintys heart!
What, does he hate the police too?
Scanlan burst out laughing. You go and see him, my lad, said he as he took his leave. Its not the police but you that hell hate if you dont! Now, take a friends advice and go at once!
It chanced that on the same evening McMurdo had another more pressing interview which urged him in the same direction. It may have been that his attentions to Ettie had been more evident than before, or that they had gradually obtruded themselves into the slow mind of his good German host; but, whatever the cause, the boarding-house keeper beckoned the young man into his private room and started on the subject without any circumlocution.
It seems to me, mister, said he, that you are gettin set on my Ettie. Aint that so, or am I wrong?
Yes, that is so, the young man answered.
Vell, I vant to tell you right now that it aint no manner of use. Theres someone slipped in afore you.
She told me so.
Vell, you can lay that she told you truth. But did she tell you who it vas?
No, I asked her; but she wouldnt tell.
I dare say not, the leetle baggage! Perhaps she did not vish to frighten you avay.
Frighten! McMurdo was on fire in a moment.
Ah, yes, my friend! You need not be ashamed to be frightened of him. It is Teddy Baldwin.
And who the devil is he?
He is a boss of Scowrers.
Scowrers! Ive heard of them before. Its Scowrers here and Scowrers there, and always in a whisper! What are you all afraid of? Who are the Scowrers?
The boarding-house keeper instinctively sank his voice, as everyone did who talked about that terrible society. The Scowrers, said he, are the Eminent Order of Freemen!
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