锘挎澀宸炴寜鎽╁叏濂?
no means complimentary, for 鏉窞鎸夋懇涓€鏉¢緳 he didn’t feel it necessary to flatter his humble companion. “You never hit anything, you know.”

“Come, James, that’s a little too strong,” said Tom, in a tone of annoyance. “I don’t pretend to be as good a shot as you are, but still I have hit a bird before now.”

“When 鏉窞闈炴瑙勮冻娴村簵鍝噷鏈?it was perched on a fence, eh?”

“No, on the wing.”

“Who saw you do it?”

“I was alone.”

“So I thought,” said James, laughing.

“I did it, really. Of course I can’t shoot as well as you.”

“I don’t think there is a boy in the village can come up to me in that line,” said James.

“Of course not; though Mark Manning isn’t a 鏉窞榫欏嚖濡冨瓙闃?bad shot.”

“Mark Manning! He’s one of the peggers in my father’s shop, isn’t he?”

“Yes.”

“Son of the poor widow that lives near the schoolhouse?”

“Yes.”

“What can he know of gunning? He had better stick to the shop.”

“I didn’t say he was equal to you,” said Tom apologetically, “but I 鏉窞鍝佽尪璁哄潧 have seen him shoot well.”

“Has he a gun of his own?”

“No, but he often gets the loan of Farmer Jones’s.”

“I suppose he could hit a barn door if he were within fifty feet of it,” said James, contemptuously.

Tom was 鏉窞娲楁荡鎸夋懇鏈嶅姟 silent. It was not the first time he had noticed how distasteful to James was praise of any other boy.

At this moment, from another direction came

鏉窞淇濆仴鎸夋懇鎶€甯? width==90%

a third boy, of about the same size and age as the two already introduced. He also had a gun on his shoulder. He had on a well-worn suit of mixed cloth, which had been darned in one or 鏉窞姘寸(浼氭墍鎺掕 two places. His face was open and attractive, his form was well-knit and muscular, and he was evidently in vigorous health.

Tom Wyman was the first to notice 鏉窞妗戞嬁棰勭害 the newcomer.

“Talk of the鈥攐ld Harry,” he said, “and he is sure to appear.”

“What do you mean?” asked James, who had not yet espied the new arrival.

“There’s Mark Manning coming towards us.”

James condescended to turn his glance 鏉窞鎸夋懇涓€鏉¤ in Marks’ direction.

“What brings him here, I wonder?” he said, with a curl of the lip.

“The same errand that 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇36寮?brings us, I should judge, from the gun on his shoulder,” answered Tom.

By this time Mark was within calling distance.

“Hallo, boys!” he said. “Have you shot anything yet?”

“No,” answered Tom. “Have you?”

“No, I have only just come.”

“Why are you not in the shop?” demanded James, with the air of a young lord.

“Because we work only 鐜板湪鏉窞鍝噷杩樻湁浼戦棽搴?half-time to-day.”

“I suppose you were glad of the holiday?”

“No, I would rather have worked. Half-work, half-pay, you know.”

“I suppose that’s quite an important consideration for a鈥攁 working boy like you,” drawled James, with an air of patronage.

Mark surveyed James, with a quizzical smile, for he had a genuine boy’s disdain for affectation, and James was a very good specimen of a self-conceited dude, though the latter term had not yet come into use.

“Yes,” he said, after a slight pause, “it 鏉窞鐢ㄥ彛鐨凷PA is a consideration鈥攖o a working boy like me.”

“How much now does my father pay you?” 鏉窞姘寸枟鍏ㄥ浼氭墍 inquired James, with gracious condescension.

“Seventy-five cents a day鈥攖hat’s the average.”

“Very fair pay! I suppose you

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