``You--just--let--them--alone,'' she repeated.
``I've already made up my mind to that.''
``Well, then!'' she said, with an air of satisfaction, but why I don't know.
I went back to the poplar grove. The Declaration was over and the crowd was gone, but there was the Hon. Samuel Budd, mopping his brow with one hand, slapping his thigh with the other, and all but executing a pigeon-wing on the turf. He turned goggles on me that literally shone triumph.
``He's come--Dave Branham's come!'' he said. ``He's better than the Wild Dog. I've been trying him on the black horse and, Lord, how he can take them rings off! Ha, won't I get into them fellows who wouldn't let me off this morning! Oh, yes, I agreed to bring in a dark horse, and I'll bring him in all right. That five hundred is in my clothes now. You see that point yonder? Well, there's a hollow there and bushes all around. That's where I'm going to dress him. I've got his clothes all right and a name for him. This thing is a-goin' to come off accordin' to Hoyle, Ivanhoe, Four-Quarters-of-Beef, and all them mediaeval fellows. Just watch me!''
I began to get newly interested, for that knight's name I suddenly recalled. Little Buck, the Wild Dog's brother, had mentioned him, when we were over in the Kentucky hills, as practising with the Wild Dog--as being ``mighty good, but nowhar 'longside o' Mart.'' So the Hon. Sam might have a good substitute, after all, and being a devoted disciple of Sir Walter, I knew his knight would rival, in splendor, at least, any that rode with King Arthur in days of old.
The Blight was very quiet at lunch, as was the little sister, and my effort to be jocose was a lamentable failure. So I gave news.
``The Hon. Sam has a substitute.'' No curiosity and no question.