"Isom's got the lingerin' fever ag'in, 'n' he's out"i his head. He's ravin' 'bout that fight. Looks like ye tol' him 'bout it. He says,' Don't tell Uncle Gabe'; 'n' he keeps sayin' it. Hit'll 'most kill him ef you go 'way; but he wants ye to git out o' the mount'ins; 'n', Rome, you've got to go."
"Who was it, Uncle Gabe, that seed me 'n' Steve comm' 'way from thar?
He air the same feller who hev been spyin' ye all the time this war's been goin' on; hit's that dried-faced, snaky Eli Crump, who ye knocked down 'n' choked up in Hazlan one day fer sayin' something ag'in Isom."
"I knowed it-I knowed it-oh, ef I could git my fingers roun' his throat once more-jes once more-I'd be 'mos' ready to die."
He stretched out his hands as he strode back and forth, with his fingers crooked like talons; his shadow leaped from wall to wall, and his voice, filling the cave, was, for the moment, scarcely human. The old man waited till the paroxysm was over and Rome had again sunk before the fire.
"Hit 'u'd do no good, Rome," he said, rising to go. "You've got enough on ye now, without the sin o' takin' his life. You better make up yer mind to leave the mount ins now right 'way. You're a-gittin' no more'n half-human, livin' up hyeh like a catamount. I don't see how ye kin stand it. Thar's no hope o' things blowin' over, boy, 'n' givin' ye a chance o' comm' out ag'in, as yer dad and yer grandad usen to do afore ye. The citizens air gittin' tired o' these wars. They keeps out the furriners who makes roads 'n' buys lands; they air ag'in' the law, ag'in' religion, ag'in' yo' pocket, 'n' ag'in' mine. Lots o' folks hev been ag'in' all this fightin' fer a long time, but they was too skeery to say so. They air talkin' mighty big now, seem' they kin git soldiers hyeh to pertect 'em. So ye mought as well give up the idea o' staying hyeh, 'less'n ye want to give yourself up to the law."
The two stepped from the cave, and passed through the rhododendrons till they stood on the cliff overlooking the valley. The rich light lay like a golden mist between the mountains, and through it, far down, the river moaned like the wind of a coming storm.
Did ye tell the gal whut I tol' ye?"