proud to meet yu’. Why, if I was seen travellin’ with yu’, I’d have to explain it to my friends! Think you’ve got me left, do yu’? Just because yu’ ride through this country on a rail, do yu’ claim yu’ can find your way around? I could take yu’ out ten yards in the brush and lose yu’ in ten seconds, you spangle-roofed hobo! Leave me behind? you recent blanket-mortgage yearlin’! You plush-lined, nickel-plated, whistlin’ wash room, d’ yu’ figure I can’t go east just as soon as west? Or I’ll stay right here if it suits me, yu’ dude-inhabited hot-box! Why, yu’ coon-bossed face-towel--” But from here he rose in flights of novelty that appalled and held me spellbound, and which are not for me to say to you. Then he came down easily again, and finished with expressions of sympathy for it because it could never have known a mother.

“Do you expaict it could show a male parent offhand?” inquired a slow voice behind us. I jumped round, and there was the Virginian.

“Male parent!” scoffed the prompt Scipio. “Ain’t you heard about them yet?” “Them? Was there two?” “Two? The blamed thing was sired by a whole doggone Dutch syndicate.” “Why, the piebald son of a gun!” responded the Virginian, sweetly. “I got them steers through all right,” he added to me. “Sorry to see yu’ get so out o’ breath afteh the train. Is your valise sufferin’ any?” “Who’s he?” inquired Scipio, curiously, turning to me.

The Southerner sat with a newspaper on the rear platform of a caboose. The caboose stood hitched behind a mile or so of freight train, and the train was headed west. So here was the deputy foreman, his steers delivered in Chicago, his men (I could hear them) safe in the caboose, his paper in his lap, and his legs dangling at ease over the railing. He wore the look of a man for whom things are going smooth. And for me the way to Billings was smooth now, also.

“Who’s he?” Scipio repeated.

But from inside the caboose loud laughter and noise broke on us. Some one was reciting “And it’s my night to howl.” “We’ll all howl when we get to Rawhide,” said some other one; and they howled now.

“These hyeh steam cyars,” said the Virginian to Scipio, “make a man’s language mighty nigh as speedy as his travel.” Of Shorty he took no notice whatever--no more than of the manifestations in the caboose.

“So yu’ heard me speakin’ to the express,” said Scipio. “Well, I guess, sometimes I--See here,” he exclaimed, for the Virginian was gravely considering him, “I may have talked some, but I walked a whole lot. You didn’t catch me squandering no speed. Soon as--”

“I noticed,” said the Virginian, “thinkin’ came quicker to yu’ than runnin’.” I was glad I was not Shorty, to have my measure taken merely by my way of missing a train. And of course I was sorry that I had kicked my valise.

“Oh, I could tell yu’d been enjoyin’ us!” said Scipio. “Observin’ somebody else’s scrape always kind o’ rests me too. Maybe you’re a philosopher, but maybe there’s a pair of us drawd in this deal.” Approval now grew plain upon the face of the Virginian. “By your laigs,” said he, “you are used to the saddle.” “I’d be called used to it, I expect.” “By your hands,” said the Southerner, again, “you ain’t roped many steers lately. Been cookin’ or something?” “Say,” retorted Scipio, “tell my future some now. Draw a conclusion from my mouth.” “I’m right distressed,” unsevered the gentle Southerner, “we’ve not a drop in the outfit.” “Oh, drink with me uptown!” cried Scipio “I’m pleased to death with yu’.” The Virginian glanced where the saloons stood just behind the station, and shook his head.

“Why, it ain’t a bit far to whiskey from here!” urged the other, plaintively. “Step down, now. Scipio le Moyne’s my name. Yes, you’re lookin’ for my brass ear-rings. But there ain’t no earrings on me. I’ve been white for a hundred years. Step down. I’ve a forty-dollar thirst.” “You’re certainly white,” began the Virginian. “But--”

Here the caboose resumed:

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