delectable filling? Or such rich, nutty doughnuts?--doughnuts that had
spurned the hot fat which is the ruin of so many, and risen from its
waves like golden-brown Venuses.
"By the great seleckmen!" ejaculated Jed Towle, as he swallowed his
fourth, "I'd like to hev a wife, two daughters, and four sisters like
them Wileys, and jest set still on the river-bank an' hev 'em cook
victuals for me. I'd hev nothin' to wish for then but a mouth as big as
"And I wish this custard pie was the size o' Bonnie Eagle Pond," said
Ike Billings. "I'd like to fall into the middle of it and eat my way
"Look at that bunch o' Chiny asters tied on t' the bail o' that
biscuit-pail!" said Ivory Dunn. "That's the girl's doin's, you bet
women-folks don't seem to make no bo'quets after they git married. Let's
divide 'em up an' wear 'em drivin' this afternoon; mebbe they'll ketch
the eye so't our rags won't show so bad. Land! it's lucky my hundred
days is about up! If I don't git home soon, I shall be arrested for
goin' without clo'es. I set up'bout all night puttin' these blue patches
in my pants an' tryin' to piece together a couple of old red-flannel
shirts to make one whole one. That's the worst o' drivin' in these
places where the pretty girls make a habit of comin' down to the bridge
to see the fun. You hev to keep rigged up jest so stylish; you can't git
no chance at the rum bottle, an' you even hev to go a leetle mite light
"Steve Waterman's an awful nice feller," exclaimed Ivory Dunn just then.
Stephen had been looking intently across the river, watching the
Shapleys' side door, from which Rose might issue at any moment; and at
this point in the discussion he had lounged away from the group, and,
moving toward the bridge, began to throw pebbles idly into the water.
"He's an awful smart driver for one that don't foiler drivin' the year
round," continued Ivory; "and he's the awfullest clean-spoken,
soft-spoken feller I ever see."
"There's be'n two black sheep in his family a'ready, an' Steve kind o'
feels as if he'd ought to be extry white," remarked Jed Towle. "You
fellers that belonged to the old drive remember Pretty Quick Waterman
well enough? Steve's mother brought him up."
Yes; most of them remembered the Waterman twins, Stephen's cousins, now
both dead,--Slow Waterman, so moderate in his steps and actions that you
had to fix a landmark somewhere near him to see if he moved; and Pretty
Quick, who shone by comparison with his twin.
"I'd kind o' forgot that Pretty Quick Waterman was cousin to Steve,"
said the under boss; "he never worked with me much, but he wa'n't cut
off the same piece o' goods as the other Watermans. Great hemlock! but
he kep' a cussin' dictionary, Pretty Quick did! Whenever he heard any
new words he must 'a' writ 'em down, an' then studied 'em all up in theDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>