The Master turned his face and looked at Andrew, a dumb, pitiful entreaty in his eyes; but in the boy's white, horror-stricken countenance was no comfort. Then his head lolled down again, and the strong man was whimpering.
"He! he! he! 'Scuse ma laffin', Mr. Moore--he! he! he!"
A little man, all wet and shrunk, sat hunching on a mound above them, rocking his shrivelled form to and fro in the agony of his merriment.
"Ye raskil--he! he! Ye rogue--he! he!' and he shook his fist waggishly at the unconscious gray dog. "I owe ye anither grudge for this--ye've anteecipated me "--and he leant. back and shook this way and that in convulsive mirth.
The man below him rose heavily to his feet. and tumbled toward the mocker, his great figure swaying from side to side as though in blind delirium, moaning still as he went. And. there was that on his face which no man can mistake. Boy that he was, Andrew knew it..
"Feyther! feyther! do'ee not!" he pleaded, running after his father and laying impotent. hands on him.
But the strong man shook him off like a fly, and rolled on, swaying and groaning, with that awful expression plain to see in the moonlight.
In front the little man squatted in the rain, bowed double still; and took no thought to flee.