Слике страница

"Dern me if thet ain't Nancy comin' down agin!" he exclaimed in surprise. "Must 'a hurried through her chores seems if-Want me?" as his wife thrust her head through the kitchen door.

"No; just put in a batch of peanuts to roast an' I'll come in an' stir 'em a spell." And the head disappeared.

"Wall, somethin's goin' to happen," remarked Ben, "an' I'll bet it's a row. Her offerin' to roast my peanuts of a Monday mornin' looks suspicious; an' then she had on them curl papers an' they always mean trouble." He went over to the roaster and dropped the peanuts into it one by one. "Like as not she's goin' to try to coax me into somethin',-she don't offer to roast peanuts for nuthin! But I see through her wheedlin', an' she can't move me any more'n a rock."

He settled himself firmly and grasped the handle of the peanut roaster which was beginning to steam and whistle briskly by the time Mrs. Huff returned.

"Is thet apple puddin' I smell?" asked Ben, sniffing expectantly as his wife shut the kitchen door. "Ain't expectin' comp'ny, Nancy ?”

"No, but we ain't had any puddin' for a spell, an' Clemmie likes it," replied Nancy apologetically. "Here, let me sit down. there an' turn; it ain't good fer your rheumatics to be bent up so."

Ben cast a wondering glance at her and obeyed.

"The sign looks great, don't it?" she went on. "I think Clemmie done fine on it, considerin' he didn't hev only thet green paint left over from the barn. I'll tell you what Mrs. Grant, up to the hotel, says to me yesterday about Clem. Says she, Your son Clem's got the makin' of an artist in him. The other day down on the beach,' says she, he sketched a lan'scape on a shell, an' it showed real talent!' Them was her very


"Now I know just what you're drivin' at, Nancy," interrupted Ben. "An' I tell you right off now it ain't no use. You're dead set on hevin' Clem go to the city with thet young noospaper feller thet's offered him a job makin' pictures for the paI say store-keepin's good enough fer any promisin' young man, an' Clem ought to be glad to hev 'a hand in a flourishin' business like mine. There ain't no need to encourage any of them high-flown notions!"

"Wall, don't get excited, Ben," said Mrs. Huff, soothingly, "I don't want my Clem to go off no more than you do; I was jest goin' to say it's too bad to disappoint him. He's allers been set on makin' pictures. Howsomever, he may like. sellin' things when he's boss of the store himself, an' thet'll be in a few years now. You'll hev to take a back seat then, father," she went on, with a sly smile in his direction. "It will be kinder nice hevin' Clem set up for himself. He'll mos' likely hev an annex put on the store fust thing; an' you can stay out in the kitchen an' roast peanuts; it'll be a good rest fer you."

Mr. Huff did not appear to share his wife's enthusiasm at this prospect. He looked anxiously around his little store, and tried to imagine Clem behind the counter in his place; he shuddered at the thought of an annex. Sit in the kitchen and roast peanuts indeed!

"The summer folks is used to seein' me settin' here dealin' out terbaccer an' candy," he protested feebly.


Oh wall, they'd soon get used to Clem, an' he's so pop'lar with the hotel folks," returned his wife pitilessly. "He'd get a lot of trade. He prob❜ly won't sell terbaccer anyhow; it ain't the swell thing nowadays. He might interduce dry goods or groc'ries. We'll hev it up to date, anyway, an' I'll talk to Clem about it this afternoon. We might's well begin to plan 'bout it."

She rose, and emptied the hot peanuts from the roaster, apparently dismissing the subject as settled.

Ben's face had been growing longer and longer. He fidgeted about in silence for a few minutes; then he asked suddenly, "When are you goin' to see thet noospaper feller again ?"

"Oh, I believe he did say he'd be comin' round to-night to find out about it. He's a nice-appearin' feller, an' I'm afraid he'll be some put out, but we'll jes' tell him he can't hev Clem. I'm glad it's settled, anyhow. I might 'a knowed you knew more about it than me. Wall, I guess I might be seein' to thet apple-puddin'; it smells done," and Mrs. Huff went toward the kitchen door.

"Nancy!" called her

husband sternly, as she turned the knob, "You come back. I've been thinkin', an' I come to the conclusion thet Clem ain't jes' suited fer runnin' this store; he ain't got my business abilities. I'll talk to thet young man my

self, when he comes this evenin', an' if Clem wants to go, I shell let him try fer a spell. Mebbe you'll be disappinted about thet annex, but my mind is set now, an' when Ben Huff has his mind set on a thing, it's dern hard to change it."

Mrs. Huff shut the door softly and smiled again as she took out the apple pudding.



There's a shimmer and sheen on the dew, I ween,
As it beads the blades of grass;

There's a swaying breeze through the tops o' the trees,

Though the languid lake is glass;
There's a tinkling tone i' the harebell's cone,
For now the fairy-folk pass.

In a flowery wreath o'er the breathless heath,
The Elf-king leads the dance;

The laughing strains of his lilt's refrain,

The fairy ears entrance;

While his silver sho'on thro' the path o' the moon,
Enticingly gleam and glance.

There's a whiz and a whirr in a frightened stir,
As the fireflies circle the lane ;

There's death and despair in the shining snare
Of the fairies' glistening chain;

For the captive soul will pay bitter toll
With his service of seven years' pain.

One can hardly pick up a number of the "Ladies Home Journal," the "Woman's Home Companion," or of any of the thousand and one magazines devoted to the interests of the home, without finding articles offering

The Girl who "Looks "

both advice and sympathy to different types of girls. There they are one for the bashful girl, who must be encouraged and brought forward; or for the tomboy, whose romping ways are due merely to her high spirits; or for the ungainly girl, who needs years to round her out, all these have a helping word given them, but no one ever dreams of extending sympathy to the girl who "looks."

It may be that the unfortunate side of her possession has not been brought to the notice of people at large. Perhaps she is not recognized as a type, and a subject to be tenderly dealt with. In truth, she can belong to any type. Be she pretty or homely, short or tall, graceful or awkward, if a girl has a mobile face, and is thrown with critical people who are fond of analyzing aloud, her happiness and unconsciousness are forever gone. We hear a good deal about the misfortune of having great riches, yet the possession of mobile features is a far worse fate. The former can be given away, or at least turned over to the care of some one else, but this is impossible with the latter. Nothing can keep the girl who looks, from looking.

"One can always tell what you're thinking about, anyway," declare her friends. She knows very well that they can not. She almost wishes they could, their misinterpretations of her expressions are so sad. One of her friends, for instance, a vivacious, fun-loving girl says, "I'd like to throw a brick at you when you look at me like that. When I'm telling a story and every one else is doubling up, you sit there with that supercilious smile on your face, thinking what an idiot I am. The minute I catch your eye everything falls flat, you cynical old thing!" Now this is very hard when the girl has been thoroughly enjoying the story, and wishing that she could entertain a roomful of people as well. There is another friend who will never let her smile or move her brows during their conversations without teasing her for the idea which is the supposed cause of the motion. The girl disclaims the possession of such a thing. "Oh, you'd never look like that if you weren't thinking of something nice," persists the curious individual. So to save her reputation as a thinking being, the girl has to evolve an idea from the hazy sensations which she has been enjoying, and drag it forth, hoping that it will match the expression.

Then there are faces whose mechanism she understands. Faces which in a moment of madness she has "made up" for the amusement of a friend. She meets some guests in the friend's room. She is trying to combine the right proportions of informality and dignity in her manner, when a request is made for her please to do her baby or cherub face, or-most ignominious of all-her pug-dog face, which, the strangers are told, she does to perfection!

The girl looks meditatively at her neighbor across the table.

The neghbor begins to squirm. "Ugh! stop looking at me like that," she commands.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know I was," replies the unconscious victimizer, and drops her eyes to her lap.

"Well, you needn't look like a martyr," is the criticism. What is a girl to do? Her face is in repose, she looks cross; she is tired, she looks glum. The only look that every one recognizes is one of joy, and that does not mean anything. It is often difficult to find reasons for her smiles,-which perhaps explains the remark that she is "grinning like an idiot." Yet even this is better than to be told to cheer up because you look like a thunder-cloud.

Now I beg of you extend your tenderest sympathy to the girl who looks, and if you number her among your friends, be kind. For once forego the pleasures of criticism, that she may go on her way, peacefully unconscious of the fault which she can not ALLIE NEAL LOCKE.


Waring was walking jauntily through the bright October woods. He seemed to be in a cheerful, even an exalted state of mind, and any one observing him would have been far from supposing that he had just gone through the trying ordeal of a refusal. Yet such was the case. For three long months he had been laying siege to Miss Ainslee's heart, and to-day for the fourth time she had told him that she did not love him and never would, and ended by requesting him to let her alone. An ordinary mortal would have been discouraged, especially since Miss Ainslee had always been indifferent, to say the least. Yet Waring was not even cast down. All his life he had been a novel-reader and a theater-goer, and from these two sources he had gathered a knowledge of womannature rarely, if ever, equaled. It was one of the foundationstones of his belief that a woman always says and does the direct opposite of what she means,-if she says "yes," you may at once conclude that she means "no," and vice versa. Naturally, viewed in the light of this theory, Miss Ainslee's conduct was far from discouraging. Still, Waring felt that this fourth refusal had brought matters to a crisis, and he was conscious that his love-story had reached the third chapter from

In Which the Cow
Does Not Appear

« ПретходнаНастави »