"But you have made him out all bad," I told him. "I have heard the story often, and he wasn't all bad by any means."
"He was a wild desperado. Why, even after he was dead and lying on the sidewalk in Auburn, a man came up and kicked his face."
"Yes, and they say that everybody in the county was mad about it, and when the man ran for supervisor more than a year later, no decent person would vote for him and he lost his election." Now, the true story of Rattlesnake Dick is this, and I never tire of hearing it:
"Would you present me to your sister's friend, then, George?"
"I am an Ishmailite! I, the son of an honorable English gentleman, have done a term in prison."
"But these ideas are extreme, Dick. There is no such general opinion of you. Were you not exonerated from having stolen the wretched little Jew's goods? It is all forgotten," and George Taylor paused in his restless pacing, before the long, graceful figure on the bunk against the wall. Dick raised handsome eyes whose flashing light was made of pain.
"George, I wish - how I wish that it were forgotten. But it is not. They whisper it in doorways, and over the card tables and down in the drift tunnels. Wherever I go it follows me like an evil spirit, rearing its unclean head between me and all fair things." His deep voice reflected the hurt in his dark eyes, and his broad shoulders drooped in despondency.
"Dick - Dick, the gay the debonair - this is not like you. Brace up, man, and come with me to this opening of the new opera house, if only to add to my pleasure. All the town will be there to hear the singer who has just landed in San Francisco from Boston."