*rho was eager to avoid it. He was not exceptionally 
brave and looked it. His hair was straw-colored, his eves 
blue, and his cheeks pink. "Why—nothing in particular. 
Who said I was talking about her?" He looked at Pethick, 
whom he knew to be the tale-bearer, and the latter ex- 
claimed, excitedly: 
" Now don't you try to deny it, Hibbs. You know I 
heard you?" 
" Well, what did I say ?" asked Hibbs, defiantly, who 
despised Pethick, and who now realized the mistake of 
ever having made friends with him. 
"Well, what did you say ?" interrupted Callum, grimly, 
transferring the conversation to himself. "That's just 
what I want to know." 
"Why," stammered Hibbs, nervously, " I don't think 
I've said anything that anybody else hasn't said. I just 
repeated that some one said that your sister had been 
very friendly with Mr. Cowperwood. I didn't say any 
more than I have heard other people say around here." 
" Oh, you didn't, did you?" exclaimed Callum, with- 
drawing his ringed hand from his pocket and slapping 
Hibbs in the face. He repeated the blow with his left 
hand, fiercely. " Perhaps that '11 teach you to keep my 
sister's name out of your mouth, you pup!" 
Hibbs's arms flew up. He was not without pugilistic 
training, and he struck back vigorously, striking Callum 
once in the chest and once in the neck. In an instant 
the two rooms were in an uproar. Tables and chairs were 
almost upset by the energy of men attempting to get to 
the scene of action. The two combatants were instantly 
separated; sides were taken by the friends of each, 
excited explanations attempted and defied. Callum was 
examining the knuckles of his left hand, which were cut 
from the blow he had delivered. He maintained a gentle- 
manly calm. Hibbs was very much flustered and ex- 
cited. He maintained that Pethick had been eaves- 
dropping and lying about him. The latter was protesting