Chapter XXXIX.

Our story has to follow a little way an infinitesimal personage.

Abner, the ungratefulish one, with a bundle tied up in a handkerchief, strode stoutly away toward Mr. Meredith's grazing ground. "I am well out of that place," was his reflection. As he had been only once over the ground before, he did not venture to relax his pace lest night should overtake him in a strange part. He stepped out so well that just before the sun set he reached the head of a broad valley that was all Meredith's. About three miles off glittered a white mansion set in a sea of pasture, studded with cattle instead of sails. "Ay! ay!" thought the ungratefulish one, no fear of the scab breaking up this master--"I'm all right now." As he chuckled over his prospects a dusky figure stole noiselessly from a little thicket--an arm was raised behind him--crosssh! a hard weapon came down on his skull, and he lay on his face with the blood trickling from his mouth and ears.