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"W’l thar! I thought you'd a got ended, pursing up her lips formally one by now! Mine come last night, at the mention of this worldling. an' Mealy had one yistiddy. Wh' Mrs. Homan sniffed. Sate's gone and sent eout printed "He may 'a' come from York," tickets to most everyone on the answered Mrs. Homan, sharply, Neck t' come ť her weddin'.”
"an' I've heard tell 't he clerked in "Tickets !" repeated Mrs. Homan. a shoe store oncet, but I notice “Tickets! What on earth d' you sence he's been here he's took to mean, Weed Morse ?”
follerin' the bay, same's our own "Jes' whut I say. Printed tickets. boys,-an' I'll bet he don't make no Th' say she went an'had 'em done more'n some of 'em, neither. I've to th' Record office.”
said right along 't' Sate better took "Dew tell!” cried Mrs. Homan. up with some of her own folks 't “What's on 'em? Be they to buy?" she knowed sumthin' 'baout, stid of
“W'1, no, I don't think th' be," a furriner like thet Smith." answered the news-bearer, some- "Yes, yes,” replied Mrs. Morse, what doubtfully, “but thar's a lot o' "thet's so. W'l I mus' go, I'm s'ciety language an' sumthin' 'baout thinkin' of walkin's fur's Aunt requestin' your honors an' your Norchy Ann's an' see what she's presents—I don't recollec' the exac' goin' to dew. I s'pose your ticket'll words. Gilly B’s wife says't means, come soon. Wh' thar comes Sammy come along an' bring your gifts.” Verity neow. I bet he's got your
Mrs. Homan regarded her friend ticket! He fetched mine." in silence a moment. Then she She lingered at the door until spoke severely. “Well, of all shaller Sammy came up, slowly and with doin's! Be you a-goin'?"
evident reluctance. His tow head "I dunno. I was, 'fore I got a was, as usual, innocent of hat or ticket, but I guess I'll wait an' see cap, his face was dirty, his feet were what the rest does."
bare, and yet he was clearly not “What's got inter Sate Verity, I happy. He scowled quite diffish'd like to know?" demanded Mrs. dently as he reached the kitchen Homan. “Puttin' on sech airs! I door. . guess she's forgot ther paw wuz "Here's sumthin' fur ye,” he an oyster watcher till he died, and mumbled, in a shame-faced underher maw has a hard enough time to tone, thrusting a somewhat soiled scratch along, stringin' clams an' envelope at Mrs. Homan. “An'all! I never heard tell o' sech an'maw says will you please lend works.”
her yer ways-o'-the-world bed quilt “Ain't it aw-ful?” remarked Mrs. to throw over the sofy, at the wedMorse, expressing her entire sym- din'." pathy with her friend's views in this "Wh’yes, she kin hev it," anconvenient “Neck” phrase. “I think swered Mrs. Homan, with some it's that Smith she's marryin'. He hesitation. If she felt a little recomes from York, y'know, an' luctant to let her most precious posPhoeb' M'ri Johnson sez his sister session out of her care for a day, 's visitin' Sate an' she's put her up she was somewhat compensated by to these fool notions. I s'pose she's the thought that it was to assist at up on all the new s’ciety ways,” she s'ciety doin's—even if they were
shaller. Such is the complex nature pauses. Mrs. Verity, her usually of woman!
placid face wearing a worried and "Where ye goin' neow, Sammy?" harassed expression, stood at the inquired Mrs. Morse. "Hev yer door anxiously awaiting the other got any more tickets to give out?" guests. The minister, a gaunt, oldThe boy nodded sulkily.
looking young man, wandered aim“Got 't leave one to Seamanses, lessly about the room, occasionally an' then I'm goin' t' Aunt Norchy making a melancholy and futile atAnn's” he muttered, digging his tempt to start a general conversabare toes in the dirt, “to borry her tion. big kettle fer corn beef—the hull "Sammy! Sammy!" came in a heouse is upsot with this darn wed- shrill tone from the attic. din'! I'm tired of it fer one. I ain't “Sammy," called Mrs. Verity done nuthin' but run arrants fer a from the doorway, "she's a-callin'!" week,” he burst forth, unable to re- With a sound between a growl press himself longer.
and a groan Sammy emerged from "Why Sammy! You didn't ought a dilapidated out-building, and vanto talk so!" reproved Mrs. Morse. ished upstairs. He had been coaxed "You come along o' me. I'm goin' and bullied into Sunday clothes, to Aunt Norchy Ann's, tew. Good- shoes and stockings and a rasping, bye, Del,” and Mrs. Morse departed throttling celluloid collar. He down the lane, leading the doubly looked very wretched. reluctant Sammy by the hand.
"Well, what d' ye want, now?” * * * * *
he demanded, appearing at the door The day had arrived. For a week of the attic chamber. “Ain't ye pesthe Verity cottage had been in a tered me 'nough fer one day?” state of upheaval, but at last every- “Anybody come yet?” inquired thing was ready for the great event. Sate, anxiously. The roms were cleaned, the corned “Nope.” beef boiled, cakes made, pies baked, “Whar's William Henry?” and all preparations finished. The "In the barn." bride, dressed for the ceremony, Sate gasped. “Great lands! What stood stiffly in the middle of the on earth's he doin' there? He'd attic room which had been reserved oughter be entertainin' folks," she for the family. The crisp newness cried, nearly reduced to tears by of her white lawn dress forbade any this new trial. easier position, while her veil, a "He's fixin' up the minister's long and elaborate affair strangely hoss,” explained Sammy, somewhat suggestive of a Nottingham curtain softened at the sight of his sister's -loaned and arranged by the fash- distress. “I was helpin' him but ionable sister of the groom—was maw called me.” dragging unpleasantly at her hair. “Well, you run tell him to come
Down stairs, part of the company in, right off ; thar's a good boy," was already assembled, — the York implored Sate. “Tell him he must folks, who had arrived en masse by talk to his folks. An' look up the the 2.30 train. They sat about the road an' see 'f anyone's comin'.” best room talking constrainedly Sammy's uncompromising shoes in whispers, with long expectant slumped down the stairs. With
aval, of the the corked
dogged, if despairing patience Sate “Why, Sate, I thought you liked waited for what seemed to her an- the idea of invites," he began in a other hour or two. Then she heard conciliatory tone, but again his bride lighter footsteps mounting and Hen- broke in. rietta Smith, William Henry's fash- “W'l, I s'pose I did-at fust. ionable sister, entered the room. Henrietta said 'twas the thing to She wore a silk dress of a vivid pink dew. But you needn't come up here shade, and carried a bunch of yellow and pester me, William Henry. I roses. She was to be bridesmaid. won't get married 'thout a single
"Sate,” she said coaxingly, “don't one o' my own folks here, not if I you think we'd better begin? The die fust!" folks are getting uneasy, and the William gazed helplessly at her minister's waitin."
tearful face. Mrs. Verity, now fully Sate shook her head emphatically. convinced of the gravity of the situ“You go deown an’ entertain 'em ation, took matters into her own awhile longer,” she answered, “I hands. ain't comin' yet.”
“Let her be, William,” she adHenrietta Smith glanced at Sate's vised, mildly, and turning, left the inflexible face, and left her. Mrs. room. Arrayed as she was in her Verity passed her on the stairs. best dress, she hastily snatched up
“Daughter,” she began, putting a sun-bonnet and hurried from the her head in the door, “don't yew house. think yew'd better git married Aunt Norchy Ann was her nearneow? All the folks is here an'—" est neighbor, a short distance down
"Yes!” cried the exasperated street, and straight to Aunt Norchy bride half hysterically, “all his folks, Ann's she went. Bursting into the but where's mine?"
kitchen without the formality of She was interrupted by the ap- knocking, she started back in amazepearance of the groom himself. ment. For there, most of them ar"Come, Sate,” he said, impatiently. rayed as for some special occasion, "The minister's waitin' and all the sat the wedding guests who should folks—"
have been assembled in her own best He got no further. Sate inter- room at that moment ! rupted him angrily.
"What be yew awaitin' fur?" she "Folks!” she cried, "yes, your gasped, when she got her breath. folks! None o' mine's come yet, “Why, Sate's waitin' fur yew !" they tell me, — not even Aunt Aunt Norchy Ann, large and stout Norchy Ann! I ain't goin' to be and motherly, with a placid goodmarried without 'em, so there! I natured face, stepped forward and know why, too,-it's sumthin' to placed a chair for Mrs. Verity. She dew with them invites I sent. I did not offer to explain the situation wisht —I wisht - oh dear!” she for a moment, but glanced around wailed, suddenly bursting into tears, at the others. As they made no "I wisht I'd never married you! Ef effort to speak, she sighed gently 't hadn't been for Henrietta's high and pursed up her lips, chewing falutin' notions, I wouldn't 'a' sent deprecatorily on the clove she hano invites.
bitually kept in her mouth. William Henry looked distressed. “Wa-al,” she began at length, in
her slow soft drawl, so different Mrs. Verity looked about her in from the quick, short speech of the distress. other “Neckers," "we didn't jest “W’l now !" she cried, the tears understand them tickets."
starting to her eyes, “I can't say "Thar," ejaculated Mrs. Verity, how sorry I be! You've all took the "I said as much. I told Sate 'twas wrong notion. Sate didn't mean them invites.”
nothin' by them invites. I dunno's “They read, 'Yewr honor an' I wonder at your gittin' mixed. yewr presents is requested' — or 'Twas dreadful confusin' all thet sumthin.” continued Aunt Norchy talk onto the invites. I couldn't git Ann, determined now to do her no clear idee what it meant, but whole duty, her mild tones quite Henrietta Smith said 'twas jest apologetic, "an’ we didn't know as right. But we never thought o' your we'd oughter come withaout pres- thinkin' of it thet way. There where ents. Leastways, most on us hed it says 'presents' it don't mean gifts. been goin' to give Sate sumthin'” Wh' we never thought of sech a she explained, glancing at the thing! I sh'd be too mortified to others, who corroborated her state- hev you think we was askin' for ment with solemn nods. “But we presents !” Poor Mrs. Verity was didn't know's they could be rightly almost overwhelmed with her discalled presents-good enough, that tress. “I declare, I don't know whai is, fer a ticket weddin'! I was goin' to say !" to send her a bar'l of frewit,” she "Now it's all right,” cried Aunt added, rather hesitatingly, “I've had Norchy Ann, comfortingly, "I'm a good frewit season, and I thought amazed to think we got it so wrong. mebby Sate could use some pears Don't you cry, Em, now don't.” an apples an' all, but it didn't seem “I told Sate not to do it,” went jest to go with the tickets.”
on Mrs. Verity, somewhat more "An' I had two pictur's—they composed, “I sez, 'twon't do, I sez, come with soap couponds, I've been to mix up York notions into Neck savin' this great while, but they wuz doin's. But-w'l, I mustn't stand real pretty,” said another woman, here talkin'.” She dried her mild gaining a little courage at last, blue eyes on her bonnet strings. "but,”
"Sate's waitin'. She won't git mar“I was goin't bring Sate a fryin' ried till you all come. So git your pan—it's a brand new one I got o' bonnits, and come with me, do, I the peddler last week fer two old beg.” caliker dresses," interrupted Mrs. The party in Aunt Norchy Ann's Homan. “But when I see how fash- kitchen rose readily, hurriedly got ionable Sate sot out to be, thinks I, their wraps, gathered up their presfryin' pans is rather too—”.
ents, which they had been exhibit"Well," broke in Phoeb' M'ri ing and discussing, and followed Johnson, "fust I had a red table Mrs. Verity down the road. cloth, but when I got my ticket, I Sate, looking out of the attic wintook it right back to Wilson's an' dow, saw them coming, a solemn changed it for this here.” She and decorous procession, each guest proudly displayed an elaborately bearing a more or less unwrapped colored china figure.
present. With a joyful cryshe turned to the door, where William could speak Sammy's voice, plainHenry still stood, disconsolate yet tive but powerful, rose from below. half apologetic.