The Secret of the Storm Country
Later in the forenoon, when Tessibel returned home from an errand to Kennedys', she found Daddy Skinner on the bench at the side of the shanty, one horny hand clutching the bowl of a pipe in which the ashes were dead. It took but one sharp glance from the red-brown eyes for Tess to note that his face was white, almost grey; she saw, too, with a quiver of loving sympathy, that his lower lip hung away from his dark teeth as though he suffered. She sprang toward him, and dropped to her knees, at his side.
"Daddy Skinner!" she exclaimed. "Daddy Skinner, ye're sick! Ye're sick, darlin'!... Tell me, Daddy, what air the matter? Tell Tessibel."
She laid her hand tenderly on his chest. His heart was beating a heavy tattoo against the blue gingham shirt.
"Ye hurt here?" she queried breathlessly.
The pipe dropped to the soft sand, and Skinner's crooked fingers fell upon the profusion of red curls. Then he slowly tilted up her face.
"Yep, I hurt in there!" he mutte