Silently he got in and I pushed off--to the centre.
``This the deepest part, Buck?''
I dropped in the stone and the line reeled out some fifty feet and began to coil on the surface of the water.
``I guess that's on the bottom, isn't it, Buck?''
Buck looked genuinely distressed; but presently he brightened.
``Yes,'' he said, `` ef hit ain't on a turtle's back.''
Literally I threw up both hands and back we trailed--fishless.
``Reckon you won't need that two-hoss wagon,'' said Buck. ``No, Buck, I think not.'' Buck looked at the Blight and gave himself the pleasure of his first chuckle. A big crackling, cheerful fire awaited us. Through the door I could see, outstretched on a bed in the next room, the limp figure of ``pap'' in alcoholic sleep. The old mother, big, kind- faced, explained--and there was a heaven of kindness and charity in her drawling voice.