On the bridge M'Adam turned, and, seeing his pursuer hot upon him, screamed, missed his footing, and fell with a loud splash into the stream--almost in that identical spot into which, years before, he had plunged voluntarily to save Red Wull.
On the bridge Owd Bob halted and looked down at the man struggling in the water below. He made a half move as though to leap in to the rescue of his enemy; then, seeing it was unnecessary, turned and trotted back to his master.
"Yo' nob'but served him right, I'm think-in'," said the Master. "Like as not he came here wi' the intent to mak' an end to yo.' Well, after Thursday, I pray God we'll ha' peace. It's gettin' above a joke." The two turned back into the yard.
But down below them, along the edge of the stream, for the second time in this story, a little dripping figure was tottering homeward. The little man was crying--the hot tears mmgling on his cheeks with the undried waters of the Wastrel--crying with rage, mortification, weariness.
Chapter XXV THE SHEPHERDS' TROPHY
It broke calm and beautiful, no cloud on the horizon, no threat of storm in the air; a fitting day on which the Shepherds' Trophy must be won outright.
And well it was so. For never since the founding of the Dale Trials had such a concourse been gathered together on the North bank of the Silver Lea. From the Highlands they came; from the far Campbell country; from the Peak; from the county of many acres; from all along the silver fringes of the Soiway; assembling in that quiet corner of the earth to see the famous Gray Dog of Ken-muir fight his last great battle for the Shepherds' Trophy.
By noon the gaunt Scaur looked down on such a gathering as it had never seen. The paddock at the back of the Dalesman's Daughter was packed with a clammering, chattering multitude: animated groups of farmers; bevies of solid rustics; sharp-faced townsmen; loud-voiced bookmakers; giggling girls; amorous boys,--thrown together like toys in a sawdust bath; whilst here and there, on the outskirts of the crowd, a lonely man and wise-faced dog, come from afar to wrest his proud title from the best sheep-dog in the North.