And after that the vendetta must take its course unchecked.
David was now the only link between the two farms. Despite his father's angry commands, the boy clung to his intimacy with the Moores with a doggedness that no thrashing could overcome. Not a minute of the day when out of school, holidays and Sundays included, but was passed at Kenmuir. it was not till late at night that he would sneak back to the Grange, and creep quietly up to his tiny bare room in the roof--not supperless, indeed, motherly Mrs. Moore had seen to that. And there he would lie awake and listen with a fierce contempt as his father, hours later, lurched into the kitchen below, lilting liquorishly:
"We are na Lou, we're nae that Lou, But just a drappie in our e'e; The cock may craw, the day may daw', And ay we'll taste the barley bree!"
And in the morning the boy would slip quietly out of the house while his father still slept; only Red Wull would thrust out his savage head as the lad passed, and snarl hungrily.
Sometimes father and son would go thus for weeks without sight of one another. And that was David's aim--to escape attention. It was only his cunning at this game of evasion that saved him a thrashing.
The little man seemed devoid of all natural affection for his son. He lavished the whole fondness of which his small nature appeared capable on the Tailless Tyke, for so the Dales-men called Red Wull. And the dog he treated with a careful tenderness that made David smile bitterly.
The little man and his dog were as alike morally as physically they were contrasted. Each owed a grudge against the world and was determined to pay it. Each was an Ishmael among his kind.
You saw them thus, standing apart, leper-like, in the turmoil of life; and it came quite as a revelation to happen upon them in some quiet spot of nights, playing together, each wrapped in the game, innocent, tender, forgetful of the hostile world.