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A Waif of the Plains Bret Harte

Chapter IX

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"Nothing," said Clarence, striving to keep back the hot tears that rose in his eyes. "But you were going away without saying 'goodby.' You've been very kind to me, and--and--I want to thank you!"

A deep flush crossed Flynn's face. Then glancing suspiciously towards the corridor, he said hurriedly,--

"Did HE send you?"

"No, I came myself. I heard you going."

"All right. Good-by." He leaned forward as if about to take Clarence's outstretched hand, checked himself suddenly with a grim smile, and taking from his pocket a gold coin handed it to the boy.

Clarence took it, tossed it with a proud gesture to the waiting peon, who caught it thankfully, drew back a step from Flynn, and saying, with white cheeks, "I only wanted to say good-by," dropped his hot eyes to the ground. But it did not seem to be his own voice that had spoken, nor his own self that had prompted the act.

There was a quick interchange of glances between the departing guest and his late host, in which Flynn's eyes flashed with an odd, admiring fire, but when Clarence raised his head again he was gone. And as the boy turned back with a broken heart towards the corridor, his cousin laid his hand upon his shoulder.

"Muy hidalgamente, Clarence," he said pleasantly. "Yes, we shall make something of you!"

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A Waif of the Plains
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