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From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume IV, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; pp. 626-640.




“Well, Lucy has got Hiram!”

There was such a strong inflection of triumphant joy in Miss Clegg’s voice as she called the momentous news to her friend that it would have been at once — and most truthfully — surmised that the getting of Hiram had been a more than slight labor.

Mrs. Lathrop was waiting by the fence, impatience written with a wandering reflection all over the serenity of her every-day expression. Susan only waited to lay aside her bonnet and mitts and then hastened to the fence herself.

“Mrs. Lathrop, you never saw nor heard the like of this weddin’ day in all your own days to be or to come, and I don’t suppose there ever will be anything like it again, for Lucy Dill didn’t cut no figger in her own weddin’ a-tall, — the whole thing was Gran’ma Mullins first, last, and forever hereafter. I tell you it looked once or twice as if it wouldn’t be a earthly possibility to marry Hiram away from his mother, and now that it’s all over people can’t do anything but say as after all Lucy ought to consider herself very lucky as things turned out, for if things hadn’t turned out as they did turn out I don’t believe anything on earth could have unhooked that son, and I’m willin’ to swear that anywhere to any one.

“So you know, Mrs. Lathrop, that Gran’ma Mullins was so bad off last night as they had to put a mustard plaster onto her while Hiram went to see Lucy for the 627 last time, an’ Mrs. Macy says as she never hear the beat o’ her memory, for she says she’ll take her Bible oath as Gran’ma Mullins told her what Hiram said and done every minute o’ his life while he was gone to see Lucy Dill. And she cried, too, and took on the whole time she was talkin’ an’ said Heaven help her, for nobody else could, an’ she just knowed Lucy’d get tired of Hiram’s story an’ he can’t be happy a whole day without the tells it, an’ she’s most sure Lucy won’t like his singin’ ‘Marchin’ Through Georgia’ after the first month or two, an’ it’s the only tune as Hiram has ever really took to. Mrs. Macy says she soon found she couldn’t do nothin’ to stem the tide except to drink tea an’ listen, so she drank an’ listened till Hiram come home about eleven. Oh, my, but she says they had the time then! Gran’ma Mullins let him in herself, and just as soon as he was in she bu’st into floods of tears an’ wouldn’t let him loose under no consideration. She says Hiram managed to get his back to the wall for a brace ’cause Gran’ma Mullins nigh to upset him every fresh time as Lucy come over her, an’ Mrs. Macy says she couldn’t but wonder what the end was goin’ to be when, toward midnight, Hiram just lost patience and dodged out under her arm and run up the ladder to the roof-room an’ they couldn’t get him to come down again. She says when Gran’ma Mullins realized as he wouldn’t come down she most went mad over the notion of her only son’s spendin’ the Christmas Eve to his own weddin’ sleepin’ on the floor o’ the attic and she wanted to poke the cot up to him but Mrs. Macy says she drew the line at cot-pokin’ when the cot was all she’d have to sleep on herself, and in the end they poked quilts up, an’ pillows an’ doughnuts an’ cider an’ blankets, an’ Hiram made a bed on the floor an’ they all got to sleep about three o’clock.


“Well, Mrs. Lathrop, what do you think? What do you think? They was so awful tired that none of ’em woke till Mrs. Sperrit come at eleven next day to take ’em to the weddin’! Mrs. Macy says she hopes she’ll be put forward all her back-slidin’s if she ever gets such a start again. She says when she peeked out between the blinds an’ see Mrs. Sperrit’s Sunday bonnet an’ realized her own state she nearly had a fit. Mrs. Sperrit had to come in an’ be explained to, an’ the worst of it was as Hiram couldn’t be woke nohow. He’d pulled the ladder up after him an’ put the lid on the hole so’s to feel safe, an’ there he was snug as a bug in a rug an’ where no human bein’ could get at him. They hollered an’ banged doors an’ sharpened the carvin’ knife an’ poured grease on the stove an’ did anything they could think of, but he never budged. Mrs. Macy says she never was so close beside herself in all her life before, for Gran’ma Mullins cried worse ’n ever each minute an’ Hiram seemed like the very dead couldn’t wake him.

“They was all hoppin’ around half crazy when Mr. Sperrit come along o his way to the weddin’ an’ his wife run out an’ told him what was the matter an’ he come right in an’ looked up at the matter. It didn’t take long for him to unsettle Hiram, Mrs. Macy says. He got a sulphur candle an’ tied it to a stick an’ h’isted the lid with another stick, an’ in less ’n two minutes they could all hear Hiram sneezin’ an’ comin’ to. An’ Mrs. Macy says when they hollered what time it was she wishes the whole town might have been there to see Hiram Mullins come down to earth. Mr. Sperrit didn’t hardly have time to get out o’ the way an’ he didn’t give his mother no show for one single grab, — he just bounced into his room and you could have heard him gettin’ dressed on the far side o’ the far bridge.


“O’ course, us at Lucy’s didn’t know anythin’ a-tall about Mrs. Macy’s troubles. We had our own, Heaven help us, an’ they was enough, for the very first thing of all Mr. Dill caught his pocket on the corner of Mrs. Dill an’ come within a ace of pullin’ her off her easel. That would have been a pretty beginnin’ to Lucy’s weddin’ day if her father had smashed her mother to bits, I guess, but it couldn’t have made Lucy any worse; for I will say, Mrs. Lathrop, as I never see no one in all my born life act foolisher than Lucy Dill this day. First she’d laugh an’ then she’d cry an’ then she’d lose suthin’ as we’d got to have to work with. An’ when it come to dressin’ her! — well, if she’d known as Hiram was sleepin’ a sleep as next to knowed no wakin’ she couldn’t have put on more things wrong side out an’ hind side before! She wasn’t dressed till most every one was there an’ I was gettin’ pretty anxious, for Hiram wasn’t there neither, an’ the more fidgety people got the more they caught their corners on Mrs. Dill. I just saved her from Mr. Kimball, an’ Amelia saw her goin’ as a result o’ Judge Fitch an’ hardly had time for a jump. The minister himself was beginnin’ to cough when, all of a sudden, some one cried as the Sperrits was there.

“Well, we all squeezed to the window, an’ such a sight you never saw. They was gettin’ Gran’ma Mullins out an’ Hiram was tryin’ to keep her from runnin’ the color of his cravat all down his shirt while she was sobbin’ ‘Hi-i-i-i-ram, Hi-i-i-i-ram,’ in a voice as would wring your very heart dry. They got her out an’ got her in an’ got her upstairs, an’ we all sat down an’ begin to get ready while Amelia played ‘Lead, Kindly Light’ and ‘The Joyous Farmer’ alternate, ’cause she’d mislaid her Weddin’ March.

“Well, Mrs. Lathrop, you never knowed nothin’ like 630 it! — we waited, an’ we waited, an’ we waited, an’ the minister most coughed himself into consumption, an’ Mrs. Dill got caught on so often that Mr. Kimball told Ed to stand back of her an’ hold her to the easel every minute. Amelia was just beginning over again for the seventeenth time when at last we heard ’em bumpin’ along downstairs. Seems as all the delay come from Lucy’s idea o’ wantin’ to walk with her father an’ have a weddin’ procession, instid o’ her an’ Hiram comin’ in together like Christians an’ lettin’ Mr. Dill hold Gran’ma Mullins up anywhere. Polly says she never see such a time as they had of it; she says fightin’ wolves was layin’ lambs beside the way they talked. Hiram said frank an’ open as the reason he didn’t want to walk in with his mother was he was sure she wouldn’t let him out to get married, but Lucy was dead set on the procession idea. So in the end they done it so, an’ Gran’ma Mullins’s sobs fairly shook the house as they come through the dinin’-room door. Lucy was first with her father an’ they both had their heads turned backward lookin’ at Hiram an’ his mother.

“Well, Mrs. Lathrop, it was certainly a sight worth seein’! The way that Gran’ma Mullins was glued on! All I can say is as octopuses has got their backs turned in comparison to the way that Hiram seemed to be all wrapped up in her. It looked like wild horses, not to speak of Lucy Dill, wouldn’t never be able to get him loose enough to marry him. The minister was scared; we was all scared. I never see a worse situation to be in.

“They come along through the back parlor, Lucy lookin’ back, Mr. Dill white as a sheet, an’ Hiram walkin’ like a snow-plough as isn’t sure how long it can keep on makin’ it. It seemed like a month as they was under way before they finally got stopped in front o’ the minister. An’ then come the time! Hiram had to step beside Lucy 631 an’ take her hand an’ he couldn’t! We all just gasped. There was Hiram tryin’ to get loose and Mr. Dill tryin’ to help him. Gran’ma Mullins’s tears dripped till you could hear ’em, but she hung on to Hiram like he’d paid for it. They worked like Trojan beavers, but as fast as they’d get one side of him uncovered she’d take a fresh wind-round. I tell you, we all just held our breath, and I bet Lucy was sorry she persisted in havin’ a procession when she see the perspiration runnin’ off her father an’ Hiram.

“Finally Polly got frightened and begun to cry, an’ at that the deacon put his arm around her an’ give her a hug, an’ Gran’ma Mullins looked up just in time to see the arm an’ the hug. It seemed like it was the last hay in the donkey, for she give a weak screech an’ went right over on Mr. Dill. She had such a grip on Hiram that if it hadn’t been for Lucy he’d have gone over, too, but Lucy just hung on herself that time, an’ Hiram was rescued without nothin’ worse than his hair mussed an’ one sleeve a little tore. Mr. Sperrit an’ Mr. Jilkins carried Gran’ma Mullins into the dinin’-room, an’ I said to just leave her fainted till after we’d got Hiram well an’ truly married; so they did.

“I never see the minister rattle nothin’ through like that marriage-service. Every one was on whole papers of pins an’ needles, an’ the minute it was over every one just felt like sittin’ right straight down.

“”Mrs. Macy an’ me went up an’ watered Gran’ma Mullins till we brought her to, and when she learned as it was all done, she picked up wonderful and felt as hungry as any one, an’ come downstairs an’ kissed Lucy an’ caught a corner on Mrs. Dill just like she’d never been no trouble to no one from first to last. I never seen such a sudden change in all my life; it was like some miracle had come 632 out all over her and there wasn’t no one there as wasn’t rejoiced to death over the change.

“We all went out in the dinin’-room and the sun shone in and every one laughed over nothin’ a-tall. Mrs. Sperrit pinned Hiram up from inside so his tear didn’t show and Lucy and he set side by side and looked like no one was ever goin’ to ever be married again. Polly an’ the deacon set opposite and the minister an’ his wife an’ Mr. Dill an’ Gran’ma Mullins made up the table. The rest stood around, and we was all as lively as words can tell. The cake was one o’ the handsomest as I ever see, tow pigeon peckin’ a bell on top and Hiram an’ Lucy runnin’ around below in pink. There was a dime inside an’ a ring, an’ I got the dime, an’ they must have forgot to put in the ring for no one got it.”

Susan paused and panted.

“It was —” commented Mr. Lathrop, thoughtfully.

“Nice that I got the dime? — yes, I should say. There certainly wasn’t no one there as needed it worse, an’, although I’d never be one to call a dime a fortune, still it is a dime, an’ no one can’t deny it the honor, no matter how they feel. But, Mrs. Lathrop, what you’d ought to have seen was Hiram and Lucy ready to go off. I bet no one knows they’re brides — I bet no one knows what they are, — you never saw the like in all your worst dreams. Hiram wore spectacles an’ carpet-slippers an’ that old umbrella as Mr. shores keeps at the store to keep from bein’ stole, and Lucy wore clothes she’d found in trunks an’ her hair in curl-papers, an’ her cold-cream gloves. They certainly was a sight, an’ Gran’ma Mullins laughed as hard as any one over them. Mr. Sperrit drove ’em to the train, an’ Hiram says he’s goin’ to spend two dollars a day right along till he comes back; so I guess Lucy ’ll have a good time for once in her life. An’ Gran’ma Mullins walked 633 back with me an’ not one word o’ Hiram did she speak. She was all Polly an’ the deacon. She said it wa’n’t in reason as Polly could imagine him with hair, an’ she said she was thinkin’ very seriously o’ givin’ her a piece o’ his hair as she’s got, for a weddin’ present. She said Polly ’d never know what he was like the night he give her that hair. She said the moon was shinin’ an’ the frogs were croakin’, an’ she kind o’ choked; she says she can’t smell a marsh to this day without seein’ the deacon givin’ her that piece of hair. I cheered her up all I could — I told her anyhow he couldn’t give Polly a piece of his hair if he died for it. She smiled a weak smile an’ went on up to Mrs. Brown’s. Mrs. Brown asked her to stay with her a day or two. Mrs. Brown has her faults, but nobody can’t deny as she’s got a good heart, — in fact, sometimes I think Mrs. Brown’s good heart is about the worst fault she’s got. I’ve knowed it lead her to do very foolish things time an’ again — things as I thank my star I’d never think o’ doin’ — not in this world.

Mrs. Lathrop shifted her elbows a little; Susan withdrew at once from the fence.

“I must go in,” she said, “to-morrow is goin’ to be a more ’n full day. There’s Polly’s weddin’ an’ then in the evenin’ Mr. Weskin is comin’ up. You needn’t look surprised, Mrs. Lathrop, because I’ve thought the subject over up an’ down an’ hind end foremost an’ there ain’t nothin’ left for me to do. I can’t sell nothin’ else an’ I’ve got to have money, so I’m goin’ to let go of one of those bonds as father left me. There ain’t no way out of it; I told Mr. Weskin I’d expect him at sharp eight on sharp business an’ he’ll come. An’ I must go as a consequence. Good night.”

Polly Allen’s wedding took place the next day, and 634 Mrs. Lathrop came out on her front piazza about half past five to wait for her share in the event.

The sight of Mrs. Brown going by with her head bound up in a white cloth, accompanied by Gran’ma Mullins with both hands similarly treated, was the first inkling the stay-at-home had that strange doings had been lately done.

Susan came next and Susan was a sight!

Not only did her ears stand up with a size and conspicuousness never inherited from either her father or her mother, but also her right eye was completely closed and she walked lame.

“The Lord have mercy!” cried Mrs. Lathrop, when the full force of her friend’s affliction effected its complete entrance into her brain, — “Why, Susan, what —”

“Mrs. Lathrop,” said Miss Clegg, “all I can say is I come out better than the most of ’em, an’ if you could see Sam Duruy or Mr. Kimball or the minister you’d know I spoke the truth. The deacon an’ Polly is both in bed an’ can’t see how each other looks, an’ them as has a eye is goin’ to tend them as can’t see at all, an’ God help ’em all if young Dr. Brown an’ the mud run dry!” with which pious ejaculation Susan painfully mounted the steps and sat down with exceeding gentleness upon a chair.

Mrs. Lathrop stared at her in dumb and wholly bewildered amazement. After a while Miss Clegg continued.

“It was all the deacon’s fault. Him an’ Polly was so dead set on bein’ fashionable an’ bein’ a contrast to Hiram and Lucy, an’ I hope to-night as they lay there all puffed up as they’ll reflect on their folly an’ think a little on how the rest of us as didn’t care rhyme or reason for folly is got no choice but to puff up, too. Mrs. Jilkins is awful mad; she says Mr. Jilkins wanted to wear his 635 straw hat anyhow and, she says she always has hated his silk hat ’cause it reminds her o’ when she was young and foolish enough to be willin’ to go and marry into a family as was foolish enough to marry into Deacon White. Mrs. Jilkins is extra hot because she got one on in the neck, but my own idea is as Polly Allen’s weddin’ was the silliest doin’s as I ever see from the beginnin’, an’ the end wan’t no more than might o’ been expected — all things considered.

“When I got to the church, what do you think was the first thing as I see, Mrs. Lathrop? Well, you’d never guess till kingdom come, so I may as well tell you. It was Ed an’ Sam Duruy an’ Henry Ward Beecher an’ Johnny standin’ there waitin’ to show us to our pews like we didn’t know our own pews after sittin’ in ’em for all our life-times! I just shook my head an’ walked to my pew, an’ there, if it wasn’t looped shut with a daisy-chain! Well, Mrs. Lathrop, I wish you could have been there to have felt for me, for I may remark as a cyclone is a caterpillar wove up in hisself beside my face when I see myself daisy-chained out o’ my own pew by Polly Allen. Ed was behind me an’ he whispered ‘That’s reserved for the family.’ I give him one look an’ I will state, Mrs. Lathrop, as he wilted. It didn’t take me long to break that daisy-chain an’ sit down in that pew, an’ I can assure you as no one asked me to get up again. Mrs. Jilkins’s cousins from Meadville come an’ looked at me sittin’ there, but I give them jus’ one look back an’ they went an’ sat with Mrs. Macy themselves. A good many other folks was as surprised as me over where they had to sit, but we soon had other surprises as took the taste o’ the first clean out o’ our mouths.

“Just as Mrs. Davison begin to play the organ, Ed an’ Johnny come down with two clothes-lines wound 636 ’round with clematis an’ tied us all in where we sat. Then they went back an’ we all stayed still an’ couldn’t but wonder what under the sun was to be done to us next. But we didn’t have long to wait, an’ I will say as anythin’ to beat Polly’s ideas I never see — no — nor no one else neither.

“Long down the aisle, two an’ two, an’ hand in hand, like they thought they was suthin’ pretty to look at, come Ed an’ Johnny an’ Henry Ward Beecher an’ Sam Duruy, an’ I vow an’ declare, Mrs. Lathrop, I never was so nigh to laughin’ in church in all my life. They knowed they was funny, too, an’ their mouths an’ eyes was tight set sober, but some one in the back just had to giggle, an’ when we heard it we knew as things as wasn’t much any other day would use us up this day, sure. They stopped in front an’ lined up, two on a side, an’ then, for all the world like it was a machine-play, the little door opened an’ out come the minister an’ solemnly walked down to between them. I must say we was all more than a little disappointed at its only bein’ the minister, an’ he must have felt our feelin’s, for he began to cough an’ clear up his throat an’ his little desk all at once. Then Mrs. Davison jerked out the loud stop an’ began to play for all she was worth, an’ the door behind banged an’ every one turned aroun’ to see.

“Well, Mrs. Lathrop, we saw, — an’ I will in truth remark as such a sawin’ we’ll never probably get a chance to do again! Mrs. Sweet says they practised it over four times at the church, so they can’t deny as they meant it all, an’ you might lay me crossways an’ cut me into chipped beef an’ still I would declare as I wouldn’t have the face to own to havin’ had any hand in plannin’ any such weddin’.

“First come Liza Em’ly an’ Rachel Rebecca hand in 637 hand carryin’ daisies — of all things in the world to take to a weddin’ — an’ then come Brunhilde Susan, with a daisy-chain around her neck an’ her belt stuck full o’ daisies an’ — you can believe me or not, jus’ as you please, Mrs. Lathrop, an’ still it won’t help matters any — an’ a daisy stuck in every button down her back, an’ daisies tangled up in her hair, an’ a bunch o’ daisies under one arm.

“Well, we was nigh to overcome by Brunhilde Susan, but we drawed some fresh breath an’ kept on lookin’, an’ next come Polly an’ Mr. Allen. I will say for Mr. Allen as he seemed to feel the ridiculousness of it all, for a redder man I never see, nor one as looked more uncomfortable. He was daisied, too — had three in his button-hole; — but what took us all was the way him an’ Polly walked. I bet no people getting’ married ever zig-zagged like that before, an’ Mrs. Sweet says they practised it by countin’ two an’ then swingin’ out to one side, an’ then countin’ two an’ swingin’ out to the other — she watched ’em out of her attic window down through the broke blind to the church. Well, all I can say is, that to my order o’ thinkin’ countin’ an’ swingin’ is a pretty frame o’ mind to get a husband in, but so it was, an’ we was all starin’ our eyes off to beat the band when the little door opened an’, to crown everythin’ else, out come the deacon an’ Mr. Jilkins, each with a daisy an’ a silk hat, an’ I will remark, Mrs. Lathrop, as new-born kittens is blood-red murderers compared to how innocent that hat o’ Mr. Jilkins’ looked. Any one could see as it wasn’t new, but he wasn’t new either, as far as that goes, an’ that was what struck me in particular about the whole thing — nothin’ an’ nobody wasn’t any different only for Polly’s foolishness and the daisies.

“Well, they sorted out an’ begun to get married, an’ 638 us all sittin’ lookin’ on an’ no more guessin’ what was comin’ next than a ant looks for a mornin’ paper. The minister was gettin’ most through an’ the deacon was getting’ out the ring, an’ we was lookin’ to get up an’ out pretty quick, when — my heavens alive, Mrs. Lathrop, I never will forget that minute — when Mr Jilkins — poor man, he’s sufferin’ enough for it, Lord knows! — when Mr. Jilkins dropped his hat!

“That very next second him an’ Ed an’ Brunhilde Susan all hopped an’ yelled at once, an’ the next thing we see was the minsiter droppin’ his book an’ grabbin’ his arm an’ the deacon tryin’ madly to do hisself up in Polly’s veil. We would ’a’ all been glum petrified at such goin’s on any other day, only by that time the last one of us was feelin’ to hop and grab an’ yell on his own account. Gran’ma Mullins was tryin’ to slap herself with the seat cushion, an’ the way the daisies flew as folks went over an’ under that clematis rope was a caution. I got out as quick as I —”

“But what —” interrupted Mrs. Latrhop, here eyes fairly marble-like in their redundant curiosity.

“It was wasps!” said Susan, “it was a young wasps’ nest in Mr. Jilkins’s hat. Seems they carried their hats to church in their hands ’cause Polly didn’t want no red rings around ’em, an’ so he never suspected nothin’ till he dropped it. An’ oh, poor little Brunhilde Susan in them short skirts of hers — she might as well have wore a bee hive as to be like she is now. I got off easy, an’ you can look at me an’ figure on what them as got it hard has got on them. Young Dr. Brown went right to work with mud an’ Polly’s veil an’ plastered ’em over as fast as they could get into Mrs. Sweet’s. Mrs. Sweet was mighty obligin’ an’ turned two flower-beds inside out an’ let every one scoop with her kitchen spoons, besides runnin’ 639 aroun’ herself like she was a slave gettin’ paid. They took the deacon an’ Polly right to their own house. They can’t see one another anyhow, an’ they was most all married anyway, so it didn’t seem worth while to wait till the minister gets the use of his upper lip again.”

“Why —” interrogated Mrs. Lathrop.

“Young Dr. Brown wanted to” said Susan, “he wanted to fill my ears with mud, an’ my eye, too, but I didn’t feel to have it done. You can’t die o’ wasps’ bills, an’ you can o’ young Dr. Brown’s — leastways when you ain’t got no money to pay ’em, like I ain’t got just at present.

“It’s —” said Mrs. Lathrop.

“Yes,” said Susan, “it struck me that way, too. This seems to be a very unlucky town. Anything as comes seems to catch us all in a bunch. The cow most lamed the whole community an’ the automobile most broke its back; time’ll tell what’ll be the result o’ these wasps, but there won’t be no church Sunday for one thing, I know.

“An’ it ain’t the least o’ my woes, Mrs. Lathrop, to think as I’ve got to sit an’ smile on Mr. Weskin to-night from between two such ears as I’ve got, for a man is a man, an’ it can’t be denied as a woman as is mainly ears ain’t beguilin’. Besides, I may in confidence state to you, Mrs. Lathrop, as the one as buzzed aroun’ my head wan’t really no wasp a-tall in comparison to the one as got under my skirts.”

Mrs. Lathrop’s eyes were full of sincere condolence; she did not even imagine a smile as she gazed upon her afflicted friend.

“I must go,” said the latter, rising with a groan, “seems like I never will reach the bottom o’ my troubles this year. I keep thinkin’ there’s nothin’ left an’ then I 640 get a wasp at each end at once. Well, I’ll come over when Mr. Weskin goes — if I have strength.”

Then she limped home.

It was about nine that night that she returned and pounded vigorously on her friend’s window-pane. Mrs. Lathrop woke from her rocker-nap, went to the window and opened it. Susan stood below and the moon illuminated her smile and her ears with its most silvery beams.

“He’s just gone!” she announced.

“Yes,” said Mrs. Lathrop, rubbing her eyes.

“He’s gone; I come over to tell you.”

“What —” said Mrs. Lathrop.

“I wouldn’t care if my ears was as big as a elephant’s now.”

“Why —” asked Mrs. Lathrop.

“Mrs. Lathrop, you know as I took them bonds straight after father died an’ locked ’em up an’ I ain’t never unlocked ’em since?”

Mrs. Lathrop assented with a single rapt nod.

“Well, when I explained to Mr. Weskin as I’d got to have money an’ how was the best way to sell a bond, he just looked at me, an’ what do you think he said — what do you think he said, Mrs. Lathrop?”

Mrs. Lathrop hung far out over the window-sill — her gaze was the gaze of the ever earnest and interested.

Susan stood below. Her face was aglow with the joy of the affluent — her very voice might have been for once entitled as silvery.

“He said, Mrs. Lathrop, he said, ‘Miss Clegg, why don’t you go down to the bank and cut your coupons?’ ”

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