Down the Slope
"I had a mighty strong s'picion."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Then I'd got a thumping. I wanted you to hurry out with me?"
By this time the work had begun, and the noise was so great that conversation could be indulged in only at the expense of considerable shouting. Fred's hands, sore from the previous day's labor, were cut anew in many places, and more than one piece of slate was marked with his blood as he threw it among the refuse.
The "gang," as Fred termed his enemies, gave no sign of carrying the threat previously made into execution. The watchful eyes of the breaker boss prevented them from idling, and nothing occurred to arouse the new boy's suspicions until just before the noon-day whistle sounded, when a piece of board, thrown while Donovan was not looking, fell at Fred's feet.
At first he believed the intention was to hit him with the missile; but when the stream of coal ceased to flo