" Him ? He never done nothing to me."
" Well, then, what did you want to kill him for ? "
" Why nothing—only it's on account of the feud."
"What's a feud?"
" Why, where was you raised ? Don't you know what a feud is ? "
"Never heard of it before—tell me about it."
" Well," says Buck, "a feud is this way. A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in—and by-and-by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time."
" Has this one been going on long, Buck ? "
" Well I should reckon /it started thirty year ago, or som'ers along there. There was trouble 'bout something and then a lawsuit to settle it; and the suit went agin one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit— which he would naturally do, of course. Anybody would."
"What was the trouble about, Buck?—land ?"
"I reckon maybe—I don't know."
" Well, who done the shooting ? —was it a Grangerford or a Shepherd-son ? "
" Laws, how do /know ? it was so long ago."
"Don't anybody know ?"
"Oh, yes, pa knows, I reckon, and some of the other old folks; but they don't know, now, what the row was about in the first place."
" Has there been many killed, Buck ? "
" Yes—right smart chance of funerals. But they don't always kill. Pa's got a few buck-shot in him ; but he don't mind it 'cuz he don't weigh much anyway. Bob's been carved up some with a bowie, and Tom's been hurt once or twice."
"Has anybody been killed this year, Buck ?"
" Yes, we got one and they got one. 'Bout three months ago, my cousin Bud, fourteen year old, was riding through the woods, on t'other side of the river,