him now ... and he did his best."
"You dictatin' too, hey!" he stormed, pushing her off. "No wonder the young un's no good with your eternal coddlin' an' interferin'. Stand out the way there."
But the mother-tigress instinct was roused in its helpless way. Still she clung to his arm. Only Billy seemed to have come to any self-control.
"Don't, mummy," he ordered calmly; "I c'n stand it."
The nerve, the audacity of the proud little figure angered Dan more because it shamed him. If the boy had been a foot taller his father would have been cowed by the quiet reproach in the steady brown eyes, but Billy was only such a little handful of bones--something like a bird when you cover it with your hand and find it all feathers and skeleton and crushable, so he suffered the full punishment--the sickening, lithe, cutting, kind of blows that we have shivered to hear dealt to colts out in the far recesses of the green country, away from the danger of official interference. He emerged ridged, wel