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but Sarah Ann's dead sot ag'in it, and I know there'd be trouble between her and my darters afore two days.
FRANK (aside). Sniveling old hypocritet
GRANNY. Why don't some of you give Samuel a chair and ax him to sit down?
SAMUEL. No, I must be a-goin'. Wall, I'm glad it's fixed up. Of course, I'd a-liked to have done somethin' in the case, but Sarah Ann was dead sot ag'in it
ANNIE (aside). He said that a couple of times before.
SAMUEL. And, I s'pose, accordin' to your circumstances, it would be better for you to kinder get out of the arrangement, too. She could go on the town, and be cared for, you know, and then she wouldn't be a burden to any of us.
Mr. H. (rising.) Samuel, I s'pose I can attend to my own affairs.
SAMUEL. Oh, well, of course I don't want to say nothin' to offend you, but seein' as you are somewhat reduced in cir. cumstances I thought it wouldn't be out of the way to make the suggestion. But I must be a-goin'. (E.cit Samuel.
FRANK. That man's a disgrace to the family.
Mrs. H. John, if we are poor we are not niggardly and I think we have some charity and humanity in our hearts. Let it be settled that Adalina shall come here.
FRANK. I have been looking forward to a collegiate course, but that settles it-I can't have it now, I
suppose. MR. H. And Annie is to be married next spring to Harvey Wilkinson. Where'll the settin' up come from? And the silk dress, and all sich as that?
Mrs. H. Oh, that will all come right. Harvey loves An. nie and he'd be willing to take her in a calico.
MR. H. Yes, but I kinder think I'd hardly like to have her go that way.
Granny. Who'd you say had got blowed away?
Mr. H. (speaking louder.) I didn't hear of anybody gittin' blowel away
GRANNY. Wall, I shouldn't wonder if somebody would git blowed away, out here on the pe-raries. The wind does blow awful sometimes. If we were only back in old Connecti cut there wouldn't be sich a thing as gittin' blowed away. Mrs. H. That man ought to be ashamed of himself. Just
to think of it! With all his money and all his big house but we'll let the matter drop. We'll take Adalina. Mr. H. Rebecca, you're a good woman.
I knowed how you'd stand. I'm proud of you, Rebecca. (Knock at door.) Frank, will you open the door ?
Enter Silas Hardgrove. Silas. Good mornin' to you all. (They all respond, “Good morning.”)
Mr. H. Take a chair, Silas. How's all the folks?
SILAS (seating himself). Oh, we're all as well as usual. Purty bad kind of weather, this.
Mr. H. Yes, winter seems to be settin' in already.
Silas. Oh, she's first rate. I thought I'd jest come over to see how you're gittin' along.
FRANK (aside). He doesn't come suddenly to the point like Uncle Sainuel.
Mr. H. I s'pose you got a letter from Adalina, too?
Silas. Yes, I–I did—and I-I kinder thought I ought to come down and talk the matter over.
GRANNY. What did you say had biled over?
Silas (speaking louder). I was speakin' of Abram's darter, Adalina. She's comin' on right away to stay with one of us. (Turning to John.) We're buildin' a new house, you know.
FRANK (aside). He's comin' to the point now.
GRANNY. I s'pose Betsey Jane has been makin' a kittle of soap and it has biled over. Wall, there's nothin' but trouble out in in this Western country, anyhow.
Silas. Wall, as I was a-sayin', I thought that there ought to be a fair understandin' about this matter. Of course, Adalina’s a blood relation, but we're buildin' a new house, and, under the circumstances, I don't see as I could take her. So, I s'pose the matter will rest between you and Samuel. Samuel's purty well off in this world's goods and I reckon he could take Adalina. Because, as I said afore, we are buildin'a new house and, of course, we have no room for any. body but our own family and skurcely room enough for that. Adalina said in her letter that her father 'lowed that whoever took her to keep would be rewarded in heavenbut I don't care about waitin' so long to be rewarded. Abram was well enough off when we left Connecticut and I don't understand how it is that he had to come down so that Sis darter has to go on her relations to live. Some people are dreadful shiftless, anyhow.
Mrs. H. Brother Silas, we have decided to take Adalina.
Silas. You have! Wall, then, I feel kind of relieved. Of course,'twouldn't have suited us for to take her on account of the buildin' of the new house. And so you've really made up your minds that you'll take her?
MR. H. Oh, yes, we'll take her. I allers thought a heap of Abram. He was the oldest of the family, you know, and I kinder looked up to him. He was a great help to father and mother and there wasn't anything that he wouldn't do for us boys-you and Samuel and me. And now I can't turn away from his darter, Adalina, jest because they have lost their money and got poor. No, I can't do it. We have con. sid’able of a struggle to get along. Still I felt sure Rebecca would be all right, and she is all right. She says we will take Adalina and give her a home as long as she lives.
Silas (rising). Wall, I'm glad the matter is fixed up. I'm glad too that the gal's goin' to get a home, but I aint one of them kind of men as believes in waitin' for my pay, as Abram says, until I should be rewarded from heaven. In these days a man had ought to look out for his pay right as he goes along, or he will be purty sure to come to the wall. The letter says, she will come right along, and so I s'pose I'd better be a-goin' or she may come a-pokin' into my house, and it would be kind of unpleasant to have to tell her after. ward to come on over here.
GRANNY. Can't you take a chair and sit down for a spell ?
Silas. No, I must be a-goin'. (To John.) But I was jest goin' to say that if she had stayed in Connecticut
GRANNY. Goin' back to Connecticut! Wall, I'll go, too. I've been talkin' to John fur five years and tryin' to persuado him to go back. I'm sure I don't want to stay in sich country as this.
SILAS. No, I'm not goin' back to Connecticut. I didn't hay that,
GRANNY. You aint! Wall, you're jest as stubborn as John. I don't know what anybody'd want to stay here fur. FRANK (aside). I wonder why he doesn't
home. SILAB. Wall, I must be a-goin' home, but I jest wanted to
say to you, John, that you are not very well off, and I think you'd only be doin' your duty by your children not to take Adalina. Of course, it aint nothin' to me, but bein' as I am older than you I thought I had ought to say somethin'
Mk. H. (rising.) There, Silas, that's enough! I have said we'd take Adalina and I s'pose we know what we're doin'.
Silas. Wall, it's all right. Of course, a man can do as he pleases, but Abram had ought to have looked out for his own darter and I don't see, anyhow, how he could have lost all
[Exit Silas. Frank (emphatically). Uncle Silas is a mighty mean man.
GRANNY. Yes, that's so, and it's jest because he is in sich a mean country. He wasn't sich a man when we all lived in Connecticut.
Mrs. H. Father, your brothers seem to think you cannot manage your own affairs.
MR. H. Oh, well, it's a way they have. They think they had ought to look after my welfare, seein' as they are older than I am. (Looking off.) But there comes Adalina, now. Enter Adalina, very oddly dressed. They all rise to greet her.
ADALINA. I've just arrived. (Sets down her satchel.) Needn't make any fuss over me. (Takes off her bonnet and places it on the satchel.) Was Uncle Silas here?
Mr. H. Yes, he's jest stepped out.
ADALINA. I thought so. I came near meeting him but when he saw me coming he climbed over a fence so as to get out of the way. And how about Uncle Samuel? Will he let me have a home with him ?
Frank. Well, I think not. He was here first to say that he wouldn't take you.
Mrs. H. Don't give yourself any uneasiness, dear. You will find a home with us. (Adalina sinks down in a chair and covering her face with her hands commences to weep.)
GRANNY (aside). Wall, I don't wonder that the gal's &cryin'. She has found out what kind of a country she's got into. She'd a-been a heap better off if she had stayed in old Connecticut.
Mrs. H. (going to Adalina and placing her hand on her head.) My dear, let me assure you that we welcome you and that, although our home is a plain one, we cordially invite you to share it with us. Rest assured we will do all in our power to make it pleasant for you.
ANNIE (going to Adalina). Yes, cousin Adalina, you are welcome to our home.
GRANNY (removing her spectacles and wiping her eyes). My eyes seem to be kinder dim somehow. Don't know what on airth has come over 'em.
MR. H. (visibly affected.) 1-1-yes, it's all right. of course, it is—Rebecca's all right, and far enough ahead of me.
FRANK. Cousin Adalina, I assure you I am glad you have come and I join with the others in saying that we will endeavor to make this a pleasant place for you to live. Father, although a brother of Samuel and Silas Hardgrove's, is not one whit like them.
GRANNY. Yes, and it's all on account of the heathenish country they are livin' in.
ADALINA (rising). I can't keep quiet a minute longer; I must speak right out. I'm not poor; I have fifty thousand dollars; and twenty-five thousand goes to this family-according to my father's wish. He had been very success ful in business lately and when he found he must soon die. he requested me to write as I did after he was gone and find out which of the three families would be willing to take me and give me a home. I followed his instructions to the letter. He said he believed that in my apparent poverty, John would be the only one who would be willing to grant his request.
ANNIE (to Adalina). But from your letter we supposed you were poor and had no property to dispose of.
ADALINA. Yes, my dear cousin, and that is just what my father wanted you to think. He was somewhat peculiar and wanted me to find out which of his brothers thought enough of him to be willing to put up with the poor, lonesome old woman. He advised me not to be too hasty, but to look into things a little before I decided. But I couldn't know you any better if I waited two years, you dear, good aunt and uncle, and I now say that half of father's property belongs to me and the other half goes to his brother, John.
MR. H. I said when the matter came up that my wife, Rebecca, would come out all right. And she did come out all right and far enough ahead of me. I shall allers feel proud of my wife, Rebecca.