"One o' ma sheep been killed back o' t' Dyke," he announced shortly, jerking his thumb over his shoulder.
The cordiality beaming in every wrinkle of the little man's face was absorbed in a wondering interest; and that again gave place to sorrowful sympathy.
"Dear, dear! it's come to that, has it--at last?" he said gently, and his eyes wandered to the gray dog and dwelt mournfully upon him. "Man, I'm sorry--I canna tell ye I'm surprised. Masel', I kent it all alang. But gin Adam M'Adam had tell't ye, no ha' believed him. Weel, weel, he's lived his life, gin ony dog iver did; and noo he maun gang where he's sent a many before him. Puir mon! puir tyke!" He heaved a sigh, profoundly melancholy, tenderly sympathetic. Then, brightening up a little: "Ye'll ha' come for the gun?"
James Moore listened to this harangue at first puzzled. Then he caught the other's meaning, and his eyes flashed. 305
"Ye fool, M'Adarn! did ye hear iver tell o' a sheep-dog worryin' his master's sheep?"
The little man was smiling and suave again now, rubbing his hands softly together.
"Ye're right, I never did. But your dog is not as ither dogs--'There's none like him-- none,' I've heard ye say so yersel, mony a time. An' I'm wi' ye. There's none like him--for devilment." His voice began to quiver and his face to blaze. "It's his cursed cunning that's deceived ivery one but me-- whelp o' Satan that he is!" He shouldered up to his tall adversary. "If not him, wha else had done it?" he asked, looking, up into the other's face as if daring him to speak.
The Master's shaggy eyebrows lowered. He towered above the other like the Muir Pike above its surrounding hills.