She had been accustomed to extraordinary requests; but the language of this boy struck her as being something of the queerest she had yet heard.
"Where is thy Skull-Splitter, lad?" she asked, looking at him dubiously.
"Right here in the underbrush," Wolf-in-the-Temple retorted, gallantly; "stir thy aged stumps now, and thou shalt be right royally rewarded."
He had learned from Walter Scott's romances that this was the proper way to address inferiors, and he prided himself not a little on his jaunty condescension. Imagine then his surprise when the "old crone" suddenly turned on him with an angry scowl and said:
"If thou canst not keep a civil tongue in thy head, I'll bring a thousand plagues upon thee, thou umnannerly boy."
By this threat Wolf-in-the-Temple's courage was sadly shaken. He
knew Martha's reputation as a witch, and had no desire to test in his own person whether rumor belied her.
"Please, mum, I beg of you," he said, with a sudden change of tone; "my friend Hakon Vang is bleeding to death; won't you please help him?"