eglected street urchin, a playmate of blacks and the lowest whites, till Cavanaugh had put him to work and had discovered in him a veritable dynamo of physical and mental energy.
"Good morning," several of the negroes said, cordially, but John barely nodded. It was his way, and they thought nothing of it.
"Has Sam got here yet?" he inquired of a stalwart mortar-mixer called Tobe.
"No, suh, boss, he 'ain't," said the negro. "I was gwine ter see 'im. I'm out o' sand--not mo' 'n enough ter las' twell--"
"Four loads will be dumped here in half an hour," John broke in. "Did you patch that hose? Don't let the damn thing leak like it did yesterday."
"It's all right, boss. She won't bust erg'in." The negro smiled. Evidently he had not washed his face that day, for splotches of whitewash with globules of dry mortar were on his black cheeks and the backs of his hands.
The whistle at a shingle-factory blew. It was eight o'clock, the hour for work to begin.