Story Of A Mewl
(The story teller had been journeying along a raad when he fouml lumsolf luddenly cornered by a rifle in the hands of a boy, who took liitu for a man whoin Marvin, the boy's father, was gunning for. The ly was linally con vineed that he had made a inistake and the two waitcd for the lov's father. Alter he had coruo up aod thoy had all had sonie xmversation. tho traveler was allowed io prooeed.) When I left young Marvin and his "pap" I hadn't a. thought that the man vho had been shot at would interfere vith me, even if hu hadn't been driven well mt of the neighlxirhood. Any sensible man when fired upon will take the fact as a hint that he snould be going, and I supposed this stranger would go so fast that there was nu dauger of my overtaking him. I had followed tho rocty t'ali fora mile and a half, and wa descending into the depths of a dark ravine, when a man sprang out of the bushee into the trail and shouted Mt me: "Who'8 you 'un. thar?" "A traveler," I answered. "Wliar from'" "Several places." He came forward, hin gmi held ready to flre, and when he was naar niiough to look me over he groivled: "Shoo! you'un hain't hol HimV a coward or he'd gin me a show!" "Are you the man who is looking for Lem Marvin?" 1 asked as 1 sat down on a handy bowlder. "lar! Whoop! Whar's hiro! Whoop! Bung I1Í3 onery pictur', but whar's himr" "I left him back there about a uiile and a half. Did he shoot at youï"' "Him did: yes. Whoop! Hiinhidbe bind the rocks and got the drop on me, nul him's bullet wont througli my hatl Look - a' - that!" He threw an old feit bat at my feet, and I pickod it up and saw that a piece of the rim had been gouged out by a bullet. "And mebbe the cowardly him sent you'un to git meofF my guard while him skulks up fur another try!" howled the manas hedanced around and threatened me with the gun. "My friend," I answered, trying very hard to be cool, "I never sav Lem Marvin until an hour ago, and I neVer want to sce him agiiin. Hes got a son named Davey." "Yes, him ha8, btmg hisonery picttir'." "Well, Davey stopped me on the road with his Bhotgun and held me (irisoner until the old man carne up. He was off hunting for jou." "Whoop! And what did him say when him cuín back?" "Said he had fired at you andmissed." "Whoop! Yes, him fired at mei Him may be right around yere nowf' The man sprang backwards and looked all around him, his gun held roady to shoot, and though I assured him that Marvin had given up the liunt and gone home, he still seemed to believe that my coming was a put up job to assassinate him. While he v:is whooping and cing around and threatening I lighted a cigarand settlcd back forasmoke. TliLs calmed him down afte awliile and he etood before me and asked: "Do you know why him wants to kill me?" "Something about a mulo, wasn't it?" "Whoop! She was! And it's about that mulo vvliy I want to kill he!" "Well, go ahead and teil ine the story, and, by the way, it's a wonder you don't shoot yourself in the foot witli that gun. You are the most careless man 1 ever Baw. Put down the hammer and stajid it up here and teil mo your story." "And you'un wants to grab it and shute mo!" "Bosh! You are no braver than Davey Marvin!" "I haint, oh? Whoop-ee! I kin lick the huil Marvin family with niy lcgs and hands tied! Don't go fur to run me down, strenger, or ril shute." I smokod a way in silence, and by and by he put down hisgun and began: "I had a mewl. It was seven years ago. J Ji; war a mewl to dote on. Thar's mewls about till yo can't rest, but they don't go fur shuefcs." "Yes." "I raisod that 'ere mewl frota a yearling, I did. I knowed him froni top to bottoui. He knowed mo froni head to feet. Whoop! I can't hold niyself uhuii I think of it!" "Go on." "I had that mewl in the fam'ly fur nine years," he continued. "He growed mo' daiuly all the time. Tho old woman sot store by him, and the cliildren sot store by him, and I'd hev gone without whisky (o Leep he front sufierin'. Whoopoi'! I'm a-gittin' dangerousl It rises nu; otï iny feot to think of vvhata fule I made of niyselfl" "Ditl that male have a name?" I asked. "In course he did! I called him Damascus, and bed cum at rny holler as f ur as he could hear it. He was a runnin' mewl. Stranger, that 'ere Damascuscouldbeat greased lightnio' at runnin'! He oever lost one outer forty scrub races." "Wol):" "Wall, one day I was lip in these digginson tluit mewl'8 back, lookin' tur a race with somebody, and I got drunk. AVhoop-o-e! I want to shed blood when [ thüik oí i! Went and got o drunk liat I lost my senses! ín that condishun .fcis Lfin Marvin cura along with an oíd valliT nicui- a critter as couldn't stand still ana ioók ve in tho face - tlie poorest, meanest, waíl eyedest, knockkneedest mcwl in all the kêntryl Him got me to rade. I kin remember that nim told me his mewl was valued at $14,000, and hat liim could do 150 circus tricks. Whoop-e-e! Süunger, look up and witness a pictur of terrorl" "Go on." "The fust thing I remeiuhor was of gittin' home with that ar' onery beast, and of fue ole wotnan nnd ehildren a-cryin' out arter the beloved Damascus. Their yella and howls sobered me upa bit. and vrhen I fnund that I had dun goné and made a fule of mvwlf I fainted dead away! Whoon! Whoopl Siranger. 1 am dangerousl I ortcr be tied toa tree!" "You am all right - what else?" "Wall, I cum back up yero to fit Damascus, and Lcin Marvin wóuldn't (,rin heup. llim said il was a f air trade, and the only thing left was to sluite he. Tve tried to fur the last two years, but luck ia agin me. Hip! Woofl Stranger, I've got to hev l.'loixl or go to piecesl 1 reckon you'un l.iiil in with the Marvin agin me! Ves, 1 reckon yedid!" "I didn't care a copper whether you killed Marvin or lic killed you. I don't believe in murder of this sort. Both of you ought to I; arrest ed." "Ilear ho! W hoop! Hear he sidin' agin me au' wishin' I had been shot!" howled the man as he danced arouiul. "I don't side against you. though you brought it on by getting drunk. I say that no man has a right to go gunning for human lite. The law ought to make it hot for you." 'Hear he! Jist hearken to hel He's agin me and fur the Marvins! VVhoop-ee! Stranger, I"ll gin ye two minutes topray. I can't let ye live - 'deed I cantl VVlien I go home t ole woman wil] ix me: 'Jim, did ye git Damascus? 'No.' 'Did ye git Marvin' 'No.' 'Then who did ye git?' And I'll teil her that I met an ornery critter alout your size on the road, and dropped him for luck. Stranger?" I sized him up for a braggart, and while he was dancing around, 1 got out my revolver. As he seeined to be drawing the interview to a clioinx I vuvered him and said: "If you move a hand I'll !ore you!" "He-he-hear he!" he gasped, turning pale fiister than a pointer could have put it on with a brush. ''Do yon want my life?" " 'Deed no, stranger! I wouldn't take it! I wonldn't hurt a luiiron yonr headi I was a fule, stranger - u consarned fule for bluffin' at ye! I was a-doin' it to show otf !" "Shall we be friends?" "If j'eonly will, stranger. I liko yer looks, and I U'lieve we kin be like brothers. Hurt ye, sah! Why, I'd stand to your baclï agin the huil world! I was hraggin', Bah - jist a braggin', and I hope yo won't lay it up agin me. I'll lire off the charge in the gun to prove wy words." He lircc! in the bushes, and we walked lovingly together for the next five miles. When we parted he held his hand out and said: "Don't lay it up agin me, stranger. 1 was powerfully afïected bv the loss of that mewl, and onless I kin Uil] Lem Marvin I may never git over it." - "M. Quad" in Detroit l-'ree Press.
Ann Arbor Register