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"It's all hunkydory," he called as he approached. "We'll just go down to that clump of trees by the creek an' pitch camp. I start work in the mornin', two dollars a day an' board myself. It'd been a dollar an' a half if he furnished the board. I told 'm I liked the other way best, an' that I had my camp with me. The weather's fine, an' we can make out a few days till your foot's in shape. Come on. We'll pitch a regular, decent camp."
"How did you get the job," Saxon asked, as they cast about, determining their camp-site.
"Wait till we get fixed an' I'll tell you all about it. It was a dream, a cinch."
Not until the bed was spread, the fire built, and a pot of beans boiling did Billy throw down the last armful of wood and begin.
"In the first place, Benson's no old-fashioned geezer. You wouldn't think he was a farmer to look at 'm. He's up to date, sharp as tacks, talks an' acts like a business man. I could see that, just by lookin' at his place, before I seen HIM. He took about fifteen seconds to size me up.
"'Can you plow?' says he.
"'Sure thing,' I told 'm.
"'I was hatched in a box-stall,' says I.
"An' just then--you remember that four-horse load of machinery that come in after me?--just then it drove up.
"'How about four horses?' he asks, casual-like.
"'Right to home. I can drive 'm to a plow, a sewin' machine, or a merry-go-round.'
"'Jump up an' take them lines, then,' he says, quick an' sharp, not wastin' seconds. 'See that shed. Go 'round the barn to the right an' back in for unloadin'.'
"An' right here I wanta tell you it was some nifty drivin' he was askin'. I could see by the tracks the wagons'd all ben goin' around the barn to the left. What he was askin' was too close work for comfort--a double turn, like an S, between a corner of a paddock an' around the corner of the barn to the last swing. An', to eat into the little room there was, there was piles of manure just thrown outa the barn an' not hauled away yet. But I wasn't lettin' on nothin'. The driver gave me the lines, an' I could see he was grinnin', sure I'd make a mess of it. I bet he couldn't a-done it himself. I never let on, an away we went, me not even knowin' the horses--but, say, if you'd seen me throw them leaders clean to the top of the manure till the nigh horse was scrapin' the side of the barn to make it, an' the off hind hub was cuttin' the corner post of the paddock to miss by six inches. It was the only way. An' them horses was sure beauts. The leaders slacked back an' darn near sat down on their singletrees when I threw the back into the wheelers an' slammed on the brake an' stopped on the very precise spot.
"'You'll do,' Benson says. 'That was good
"'Aw, shucks,' I says, indifferent as hell. 'Gimme something real hard.'
"He smiles an' understands.
"'You done that well,' he says. 'An' I'm particular about who handles my horses. The road ain't no place for you. You must be a good man gone wrong. Just the same you can plow with my horses, startin' in to-morrow mornin'.'