pile or making it tremble. When this occurred, you gave place to your

opponent, who relinquished his turn to you when ill fortune descended

upon him, the game, which was a kind of river-driving and jam-picking in

miniature, being decided by the number of pieces captured and their

value. No wonder that the under boss asked Rose's advice as to the

key-log. She had a fairy's hand, and her cunning at deciding the pieces

to be moved, and her skill at extricating and lifting them from the

heap, were looked upon in Edgewood as little less than supernatural. It

was a favorite pastime; and although a man's hand is ill adapted to it,

being over-large and heavy; the game has obvious advantages for a lover

in bringing his head very close to that of his beloved adversary. The

jackstraws have to be watched with a hawk's eagerness, since the

"trembling" can be discerned only by a keen eye; but there were moments

when Stephen was willing to risk the loss of a battle if he could watch

Rose's drooping eyelashes, the delicate down on her pink cheek, and the

feathery curls that broke away from her hair.

He was looking at her now from a distance, for she and Mite Shapley were

assisting Jed Towle to pile up the tin plates and tie the tin dippers

together. Next she peered into one of the bean-pots, and seemed pleased

that there was still something in its depths; then she gathered the

fragments neatly together in a basket, and, followed by her friend,

clambered down the banks to a shady spot where the Boomshers, otherwise

known as the Crambry family, were "lined up" expectantly.

It is not difficult to find a single fool in any community, however

small; but a family of fools is fortunately somewhat rarer. Every

county, however, can boast of one fool-family, and York County is

always in the fashion, with fools as with everything else. The unique,

much-quoted, and undesirable Boomshers could not be claimed as

indigenous to the Saco valley, for this branch was an offshoot of a

still larger tribe inhabiting a distant township. Its beginnings were

shrouded in mystery. There was a French-Canadian ancestor somewhere, and

a Gipsy or Indian grandmother. They had always intermarried from time

immemorial. When one of the selectmen of their native place had been

asked why the Boomshers always married cousins, and why the habit was

not discouraged, he replied that he really didn't know; he s'posed they

felt it would be kind of odd to go right out and marry a stranger.

Lest "Boomsher" seem an unusual surname, it must be explained that the

actual name was French and could not be coped with by Edgewood or

Pleasant River, being something quite as impossible to spell as to

pronounce. As the family had lived for the last few years somewhere near

the Killick Cranberry Meadows, they were called--and completely

described in the calling--the Crambry fool-family. A talented and much

traveled gentleman who once stayed over night at the Edgewood tavern,

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