ays later Bidwell crept stealthily down the trail, leading his mule as silently as possible. He timed his arrival so that Mrs. Delaney would be in the kitchen alone with the Chinaman, getting the dishes ready for breakfast.
“Who is ut?” called the widow as he softly knocked.
“Me–Sherm,” he replied.
“Saints in hevin! What’s the matter? Are ye sick?” she gasped as she flung the door open.
“‘Sh! Don’t speak so loud,” he commanded. “Sit down; I want to speak solemn-like to you.”
His tone impressed her deeply. “Have ye struck ut?” she asked, tremulously.
“I hain’t found it yet, but I want to tell ye–I believe I’ve had a hunch. Send the ‘chink’ away.”
Something in his tone stopped all scornful words upon her lips. Ordering the Chinaman to bed, she turned and asked:
“Phwat do ye mean? Spake, man!”
“Well, sir, as I started up the trail something kept sayin’ to me, ‘Sherman, you’re on the wrong track.’ It was just as if you pulled my sleeve and nudged me
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