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That Girl

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Airs. Sa Vira Qaston sat, knittillg, in her parlor. Il was not a ni-tdern piulur. uilh dniped dixiTs, eerii window ctnrratni, cnibroldered screeng and quaim china; bul an old-fastli I jinrlnr, witli ( ¦uinbroiis niahogany and Iiair-cfoth furuitiirc: an open fin-plaee. Witíi brasa aiiilirons :nul crossstick, and window Suarteá nt 9tiff irreeii paper. liulJIrs. (.ast.m would haVe been amaed If yon had tcild hor tTiat thére eoiflo! be anything handsonicr in parlor faroishing than orthodox hair-olotb. To lier it was unquestionably the, Üiiug, and she was never more sattoiled than wlien her ca pable hands eould find nothing more to do in tbe vny ot housework, and slio brought her señing In bere and sai down. She was a good w o man, who nieant to do her duty auJbeal peuce uithuil thoworlU; lint to-day tlici -e was a cToud on lier usnally serené 6'row. " Take boardere'.' sjic inurmured to herBelf, drawingout lier seiiin-needle and layi"g It thoughu'ully across her lips, as she Bwayed bacK and forth i o the low rocker. "I never did, and never thotlght I should; but perbapa 1 would like t for a little chance, lírother Ben. writesthat it's a Mr. Walcott, who is out of bealth, and hUwlfe, cliild and daughter. That daughter is what 1 object to. Isynipathize illi sick and suffering jieople. and haveahviiys been called a master-liíind t doctoring up ailing lolks witli herbs and a little comferting notiona o' mine. Í don't object to hiin. The wife isn't a bit stuck np, Ben. says, thotigb thev'ra wtll-to-do people ; anti í'm fond of cliildren. ]Jut a yóung lady, with her pert uoiions, niakint; t'un of everything that is old-fa.sliioned and respectnbk', and witli six tnckcd gkirts and ruflli il lixings in the Wash avel-y week, I nover cotild abide. In tact, if it wiisn't for that ;irl I'd take 'em." Aller awliilc, tliu rose ai.d went through tbe bouse, lookinr obaertañlly ibout her. "J k'pose itwouid look soit of pleasant to city tolks, alter the heat and dnst of the tpwn,'' she eaid. " If su, I lon't it's iny dity to keep itaway fiom "ein," Thcy were mostly low, widc rooms, exquisitely clean and comfortahle, jierfcctly quiet, and looking out iipon ricii, green ma, rows of current bushes and lowboujrhcd ajule-trees. A fut oataii.l (-.. irhii,. kitli'ns fiUed the Beat of b cliintz-covorcd focking chair; a curly brown dug lay on Uie widc, blue door atoue, winkinir slcepily at the llics; a canary liung in the porcfi: bot thougli there WiUsa muu's strawliat in a biL min chair in thedoor-yard, Mrs. G'.iston was alone in the pleasant ulil faini house. "I'U let Korcst decide." slic saidatlast. Pretty soon, a cheery wliistlc sprang up amongr the apple-trtes, aírii a young man, in his 8birt-sreeTv, witli a rake over bis sboulder, camc up idly bi twucn the rows of cun;mt Ijiishes. "Hay 's sjl made and in. mother. Tomorrow I'U take hold of that trans-rlantilinr. 11.He had ajiumlsomcbrowuiacc, a pnir of frank blue eyi, a pleasant, cheery voice, and you coulu safely have sworn that he was his widowed motbqr's idol. "Forest, you teil me whnt to do. Sliall I take thosc city folks to board or not V iMrs. Gaston spoke with emphasis. Forest laoghed, showed a Bet of white teeth, and an engaglllg dlmple in one bronzod check. " Do just as you're a inind to, inotlu-r," proeeeding to cool hi.s heuted head by arenchiug liis curly hairwitb glitteri iig cold water, frorn the veil at the door. It dripprd in show cis upon the green grass. "I tbink I would if t wasn't for tliatgirl, Forest. Girls are so full of airs- city girls, I mean. "Perhaps she won't bc very bad. Just bi-inj: inu utowel- wont you, 'mot her :' " "I think I'll take 'eni,'" slie said, attcr a moment, back with the towel. "Somehow k Bees ns il' I'd bclter." "Wcll, be sureyou ret good help. they'Il nmke Iolsoi uurU," reitrarïteü ffnoet, ailic walk cd oir. Asappeared. be was nally jnditlcicnl in tlie matter. All the spiioí he had been planning to go to Nantasket during the coming tuouth, aiul wonld KMUl be gane. [ Mi niotlier ehosc to rereive these penple and stay at home, nsleail pf golng on a visit to liis grandlather, on thu adjacent farm, as pferiousiy arranged, he did not care. That evening camo another letter f rom brothcr Bon. "Dicau Sauica Told my friends you'd take theni. and thoy aru OTmnig right (long. 'l'ry Lu ïiuiM' np the '.Siniiie; he' very ijoorly. II is nil'e i a. gooU litilc soul, but she don't know aQTtDuls about aickncss. Ilc-ndie is a niee lillle boy, and you wifl like Ainy. l'll tryand run out by and by, but business very prewlng this suniuier." Well, I'll hayetobako, do np the wlndow curtains, and jiut clean sheets and slips on tho bed. Uien tlicy may come anv time," said JIrs. Gaston, atter a moment 8 thougbt. "LikcAmyy the daughter, I supposc. JJkcly. 1 actually dread that glrli I know ! i've .seen too inaiiy city young ladie.v. " Just then whecli ruriibled up and topped at the door. "SakeaaliveJ Uic stage!" ¦crii' Bé) and mil stepped a palé jrcntlrnian with a little boy in bis arma, and twoladies. Forest had gone ; Mrs. Gaston stood alone in the doorway. "Is this Mts. Gaston f We are the Walcotts. Your brotliur - " bciruri the pale gi-nt liman, breathles-h .pulling down Ilieliltle boy. "Come right in !" cried Mm. (aston. "You're all tuckered out. I'in glad to see yon ;il], thougli I wasn't quite readv," she confessett Üppingthe oats out of the chinU rocker, and placlng it. by the Open window of the sitling-room lor Mr. Walcott. It waant exactly the convcutioual waj of receivitifi boarders, Imi the tired peoph thpaght they nerer hiad ueard or seen anytiiiiijr more delhyhtfW. As for Mrs. (as ton, she entlrely forgot the objectionabli "girl." ílie only saw tour entte anc rátlter tired faces, and w:is tmmedlately in lier element miuhjtering to the needy She took the uats nul chjBters, and brought a pitchar of gparkling water, and a slice ol home made bread ftnd buttci tbr littli Henderson, made tin; litle cye. shinc. "Because rappdr isn't ready, and children can't walt when they are hungry,"she taid. She theu bustled away, aiul liad a bountiful meal on pie tubl'e in less tlian aa hour. As soon as supper was over, Mrs. Gaston sbowed her bomrden Into the parlor, and tlicn went up stairs to spread the beds with fresh sheets and pillou -slip. She was r&ther surprised to tind at the end of the hall three formidable tranka, wbere the di ver of the stage had deposltea tnem, after conducting hls passengere to the door. Suddenly the uaU-doói opened, and Forest put in a laughing faca. "What's these, mother? Are these what the you lady keep8 herwar paint in ? By (ieorge !'' liftinjr the handle ot one, " there ain'ta man in the country couU! back them ui those stairs." "Idon't know wliat's to bodene," said Mis. Gaston, helplessly. Let them m, for the present. Foresi." Tliis matter waseastly ndjnsted by a sugge8tion fi'om Mr. Walcott. "Well, niother," said Forest tl i ut even i ir. haring Jhst returned frotn the vlllage, "have you round thayoung lady very formldablef I couldn't get hack to take a I!1!' at her." "liless ugl I eouldllt teil b'oW slie looks, to save my lile !" replied .Mrs. Gaston; 'Tve been in sucha gtir ever si nee they eanic. But about those tiuuks, Forest. Mis. Walcott says the heaviest one is full of books, aad can be left anywbere cm the L'iciund Hoor. Theothers were lighter, and I got grandpa'a man to takc them up. To thlnk of .their lugging half a ton of books about with them P ; Forest's bright face suddcnly grew lu'minous. ''Perbapg the young lady wean Rreen filasses and is studyirifr medicine !" he laUKbed. 'l'lien, seriooaly, and rapping the talile sniarlly uithhis kiiilc-liHiiille. as he ate a late supper : "Pil bet thcy are th; rlght kind.'' ¦¦ es," ad Mis. (aston, looking pleased. ¦- I fVirgot, yon were fond of books, too." ín spite of serious charles laid uponherself, Mrs. Gaston slept ]ast her usual hour, and rose in a burry Of course she was not yet provided with any domestic help, iind liad comineiiced her prepurations fQr somewbat hurried and worried, when the kitchen door swung open and a little figure in a neat print dress and a large giugbam apron entered the room. "ít seenis tliat we carne upon yon unexpectedly. Mis. Gaston, and yon are unprovided with help," said Amy Walcott, "80 yon must let me help you to get breakfaat. I ain used to all kinds of liousework, what sha 11 I do lirst?" "Well," said Mrs. Gaston, more amazed tlian she coold show, "theie's everythinjr to do - coftee to boil, biscuit to inake, ham and eggs to fiy, potatoes to put on, buckwheat - " I will make the biscuit," said Aniy, rolling up her sleeves deltly, and exposing two pretty arma, "ifyou'll plen9e tell me where ilie flpur and baiinjr-powder and jiansare. And then l'll fry the eggï,"she added. sifting Üour handily. "I ahvays make snur milk bisouit ; perhaps you don't know any t hing about those, Bogeested Mis. Gaston. ¦I K'iess I can manage tliem ; l'vestndied eheinistry a little," replied Amy, Studied eliemistry to team how to pook ! Mrs. Gaston looked bewildered. but commenced cutting ham, and then turned togo to the barn for fresh eggs. "Let me go !" críed Ani}-, clapping ner pan of biseláis Into the oven. "I baven't found any hens' eggS gince 1 vas a lit'le girl." And .she ran away, "as f she Was ten veáis oíd," Mrs. Gaston said aflerward. "Hasyour help come, mother V" asked Forest, coming in with a pail of water. 'There's the nicest sort of a little wotnan out m tlie uarn, ni)nuui iieu s oggs"Why, Forest, [t's Miss Walcotn Sinmade the coffee and biscuits - " The duor opened and Amy carne in, her apron held up, her face, of dimpled snow and roses, suíuing. ' Spleudid luck!" she laiifíhed. 'Tve loimd thiiteen - just a bakei's Uo.en." Forest looked, und theu and Hiere fell in love. lie couldn't helj) it, he told his mother, if Amy Walcott had been the (neen ol Euglaod. "l'U lry them and Jay the 'table, Mrs. (laston; and then run up-stairs and dress Hendie," aafd Amy. "I have tlie whole care of liini. mamma's health is so pooi and papa no needs her attentiun lately.' Then: " You needu't fry buckwheats lor us, Mrs. Qastou; there'U be plenty of breaklasl without. J.ut l'll pilt on a.iittleof thisoatmeal for papa, if you please. He is very fond ofit, and it isn't muchtrouble to cook any time, is t V" "Kless yiu I no, ehil('.! And the breakfast's ready like magie." The biscuits (made by chemistry, Mrs. Gaston avowed, with awe) turned out perFectlon; and the oatmeal and creamy milk iiiniished Mr. Walcott was suih a satisfactory breakfasl that he secmed heurtened up wonderrully at once. Before dinner the stout daaghter of a neighbor carne inlo Mis. íaslon's kitchen nd set her inind at rest as to the labor to Sfi iHiformed. Slic was alileto niake her boarders Teel at liome and entirely eomforüible, and in return they seemed to take pains to make tlirui-elves exquisitely agreeable. Bit it was only the ordinary result of lood breeilint; which made the Walcotts so igreeable t" hm (astons - the constant un-ellislniess and jfèntle consideration of Othera which navët fa il (o please the uiostunreflned. lint the Gastons were not unrefined. If Mrs. Gaston occasionally made a grammatieal error, it was due greatly to that lmbit of conversation with uneöncated people about her. Her son had a more than or dinary good education, and, with agricultural tastes, a passlon for books. He had long exhausted the better part of the tmvu library, and, like üliver Twist, was hungry ¦' for more." Mi'. Walcott gave bis permission to use the ininkful of books he had bronght, as if they were his own, and sent Aniy to display them to him; while .Mrs. Waimit 'ave him her sympathy and admiration ecjually. "Such asplendid young Saxon !" sa'idshe laughing, to her busbond. "Just the one lor Amy." It was certainly very suggestive of somethiugof thU kind that Forest gaTa up bii sea-shore tri, and read, and drovc, aiul played chess with Miss Amy.during all tlie long snmmer. Asi have said, the Gastons were neither unrilined nor uueducated, but they did lack the liberal culture of art and modern literatnre. The VValcotts opened to t In m a delihtful world, which did not end in Amy renovating the glootny parlor with uraeelul ilrapery, art panels, statuettes and gein ]iictures. She grew aa dear to Poresfa mother as to himself- indeed, she always deelared she loved her first and, when nm years of loving consummated in marriage, Mi-. Gaston had no prejudice agalnil the alterations made in thcold house at the suggesi ion 's of Forest's wife. She gave her preference to bamboo aud velvet in the ing of the new parlors aml willingly sh consigned the bluck liair-cloth to n spare room, and with aporch líete, a bay-wimlow there, and half-bidden In the mosl plctur esquu, as well as the happiest of homes. bcfore Ik; canie t" the weddiog Brotner Ben, still deep in city traite. htt written to Inqaire M how Sabra liked th Walootta." V " Exceedingly ! " slie answered. "Am thatgirl has been the Messing of iny lite1'


Ann Arbor Courier
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