"'If you don't mind,' says I, standing up, 'we'll wait for Paisley to come before finishing this. I've never done anything dishonourable yet to our friendship, and this won't be quite fair.'
"'Mr. Hicks,' says Mrs. Jessup, looking at me peculiar in the dark, 'if it wasn't for but one thing, I'd ask you to hike yourself down the gulch and never disresume your visits to my house.'
"'And what is that, ma'am?' I asks.
"'You are too good a friend not to make a good husband,' says she.
"In five minutes Paisley was on his side of Mrs. Jessup.
"'In Silver City, in the summer of '98,' he begins, 'I see Jim Batholomew chew off a Chinaman's ear in the Blue Light Saloon on account of a crossbarred muslin shirt that--what was that noise?'
"I had resumed matters again with Mrs. Jessup right where we had left
"'Mrs. Jessup,' says I, 'has promised to make it Hicks. And this is another of the same sort.'