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The Scissors Grinder

The Scissors Grinder image
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''Is he really so handsome?" said Eleanor May, incredulously. "Tlie hamlsomest man you ever saw in your lifef' cried Olive Satterly. !She was sitting on the back door step, shelling peas, with a great cinnamon rose-bush showering its pink petals down on her brown braids of hair, and her hazel eyes sparkling beneath their long lashes, while Maude, tle beauty of the family, leaned out of the window, her pretty tresses screwed ui ■ cviTmiina iiawm and " gingham wrápper buttoned carelessly at the throat, with no ornamental aceessovies in the way of collars, frills.or ribbon bows; for Maude had been to a party the night before, and had slept late, scolded her mother because the coftee wascold, and absolutely declined any interference with the household affaira that morning. "Exactly like a corsair!" said Maude, Buppressing a yawn. "Tall and dark, with such a great diamond on his little finger, and eyes like sherry wine. And he was so surprised to think that I recognized him through his disguise!" 'What costume did he assume?" asked Eleanor May, who, not liaving received an invitation to the fancydress ball at Mrs. Pipington's, was naturally exceedingly inquisitivo on the subject. "A Pirate," said Maude. "With black velvet cap, you know, and scarlet sash, and a cutlass. And he declared he would disguise himself so corupletely the next time that I couldn't possibly identify him, and he wagered a box of kid gloves on the I question." "1 suppose he ineans at Lizzie Hooker's birthday party V" said Olive. "Of course," said Maude. "1 wish I could go !" said Olive working diligently awav at the peas, that dropped like emerald rain into the shining tin pan. "Well you can't," replied Maude, ghortly. "Mamma says she cannot rd two fancy dresses, and I'm the oldest" "Yes, I know," said Olive meekly. "And Mr. Mendicote danced only once with you last night," added Maude, unable to repress her exultation, "and he waltzed with me three times, besides the Germán!" Little Olive, looking shyly up at her sister, secretly wished thac Providence had seen üt to make her also a beauty. "I suppose," said Miss May, curiously, "that he is very rich?" "Oh, very," nodded Maude. And Oliye's thoughts jumped at once to the idea of how beautiful her bister WOUlri look in thp rpgnlatirvn ar. diige blossoms and white tulle. "I wonder if I ever shall be maried ?" pondered Olive, slielling peas 'aster than ever. "Who'sthat coming around the corner of the house?" cried Maude, with sume asperity. "One of those everasting peddlers again?" Oh, it's only i scissors-erinder." "And very fortúnate, too," said Mrs. Satterly, a palé, over-worked little wouan, with light hair and faded complexion; "lor uiy shears are so bad I don'tcut with 'ein. And there's the embroidery Bcissors, and the pair that belongs to tïemending basket, and-" "How much do you ask a pair?" demanded Maude, sailing out upon the garden path, with her pretty f eet thrust into slipshüd slippers, soiled wrapper torn down one side, and her hair yet in the loose, tangled curls, which had hung like coiled gold down her back the night before. ï'ne man - a swart-browed, stooping foreigner - set liis wheel upon the grass, bowed luw, with a smile which disclosed teeth gleaming whitely through his tbick, bushy beard, and held up six lingers, in pantomimic gestare. "That's too much," said Maude. "He can't understand you," said Eleanor, laughing. Miss Satterly shookher head, stamped the little untidy foot, held up six pairs of scissors in various stages of dilapidation, and displayed a silver quarter of a dollar. The scissors-grmder smiled again, made an obeisance nearly to the grouïd, and assented to the bargain with numerous nods and signs. " Isn't he f unny Y" said Eleanor. ' Horrid velveteen-coated fellow!" said Maude. " ïo think that he longs to the saine humanity with my divine Algernon !" "He looks tired and thirsty," Baid gentle-bearted Olive. " I've a great mind to offer him a cool drink." " You'll do no such thing," said Mande, imperiously. "I'll have no sister of mine running to walt on scissors-grinders 1 Mamma, is that chocolate ready yet ?" "Chocolate?" repeated poor Mrs. Satterly, with a conscience-stricken air, " I declare, Maude, I forgot all about it. 15ut I'll run direotly and set it boiling." Maude Satterly crimsoned to the very temples. "Forgot!" repeated she. "You're always forgetting! I never aaw any onelike you in my life! Xo; 1 won't have it now. II' yon can't prepare niy chocolate wlien l want it, you shan't prepare it at all. 1 should tliink you inicflit liave thought of it, Olive." "I am very sorry, Maude," began Olive, apologetically ; "f ar al I that, I think you ought not to speak so orossly to mamma.'" "Ilold your tongue!" said Maude stamping her foot again. "Do you suppose 1'tn going to be tutored by youï I shall speak as I please, and so 1 give you fair warning! l)ear me, how that scissors-grinder's bnzzing makes my head ache!" And she swept into the house like a fair fury. When Olive carne in, a few minutes afterward, with the six pairs of scissors sharpened and bunüshed up to a scientiflc state of brilliancy, her sister was lying on the sofa with her face turned toward the wall, and her eyes resolutely closed. "Oh, dear me!" thought Olive, "I'm afraid she's in for one of hor regular sulking lits, that lasts twenty-l'our hours at a time." And she took advantage of circumstances to pour out a goblet of icewater, and offered it surreptitiously to the swarthy Italian, when she carried out the silver quarter that he had so hardly earned. He bowed low, once more after the oriental fashion, drank it eagerly, and astonished Olive very much by raising her hand to his lips, as he uttered the wonls, " Buon giorno, signorina I" and departed. " 1 suppose it's his foreign way," said Olive turning very rosy. "It's lucky for you that Maude didn't see him," laughed Eleanor May. "Oh, Eleanor, don't teil her!" said Olive, blushing deeper than ever. " Of course I shan't," said Eleanor. "Well, what luck?" demanded Guy Mariner, as he sat smoking at his window that evening, and hailed with acclamation the approach of Algernon Medlicote. "l've won my wagerV" Nor " J3ut, by the shades of Mohammed, 1 have!" asserted Medlicote, sitUng down vi" +1-" 'i i n-w.-, .-e ...-:■ ' ■ coula ïan lus bow. "How did you manage?" "Idisguised myselE as a scissorgrinder, and put the family shears n perfect order." "Did they suspect? - the young ladies I mean." "Not in the least." "And how does the ' Fair One with the Golden Locks ' appear in the seclusion of her own home P" Medlicote made a slight giimace. "Like a slovenly virago," said he " Had it been anything else than the testimony of my own eyes, I couldn't have believed it. Iíut Olive- little brown-eyed Olive - she is a jewel of the rarest water." "So y o 11 have transferred your allegiance f rom one sister to the other!" laughed Mariner. "But isn't it rather hard for the divine Maude to lose both her wager and her lover at the same time ?" "It's a rosebud mouth," said Medlicote, gravely shaking his liead; "but the sharp words spoiled its perfect Cupid's bow;the hair was like span gold, but crimping papers are not becoming to the female face. And upon the whole, Mariner, I think I have reason to be grateful forever and ever to the scissors grinding fraternity." And beautiful Maude Satterly could not understand why it was that Algernon Medlicote proposed to little brownskinned Olive instead of her. "Everybody thought he was devoted to me," said she, disconsolately. "Perhaps he changed his mind," said Eleanor. Of course Mr. Medlicote confessed the episode of the scissors grinding to his blushing and happy little wife after their marriage - well regulated husbands never do keep anything from their wives - but Maude never suspected. For what says the old adage ? '■Where ipnorance isbliss.'tis follv to be wise.'


Old News
Michigan Argus