"The Virginian's pistol came out, and his hand lay on the table, holding it unaimed. With a voice as gentle as ever, a voice that sounded almost like a caress, drawling a very little more than usual so that there was almost a space between each word he issued orders to the man Trampas: "When you call me that, smile!" And he looked at Trampas across the table. Yes, the voice was gentle. But in my ears it seemed as if somewhere the bell of death was ringing; and silence, like a stroke, fell on the large room."