The PAGAN CHILD. 59
study, and plainly committed to memory, seemed
so satisfactory to Mr. McClosky, that he repeated it
again, after John Ashe had led him into his private
office, where, depositing his valise in the middle of
the floor, and sitting down before it, he began care¬
fully to avoid the eye of his host. John Ashe, a
tall, dark, handsome Kentuckian, with whom even
the trifles of life were evidently full of serious
import, waited with a kind of chivalrous respect,
the further speech of his guest. Being utterly
devoid of any sense of the ridiculous, he always
accepted Mr. Mc Closky as a grave fact, singular
only from his own want of experience of the class.
" Ores is running light now," said Mr. McClosky
with easy indifference,
John Ashe returned that he had noticed the same
fact in the receipts of the mill at Four Forks.
Mr. Mc Closky rubbed his beard, and looked at
his valise, as if for sympathy and suggestion.
" You don't reckon on having any trouble with
any of them chaps as you cut out with Jinny ?"
John Ashe, rather haughtily, had never thought
of that, " I saw Ranee hanging round your house
the other night when I took your daughter home;
but he gave me a wide berth," he added, carelessly,
" Surely," said Mr. Mc Closky, with a peculiar
winking of the eye. After a pause, he took a fresh
departure from his valise.