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It grew in beauty every day,
The maid was two years old, The darling of her another's life,
A pleasure to behold. “One day she wandered to the stream,
It was the time of floods,
Or plucked the yellow buds.
The mother heard the cry,
The flood ran roaring by.
And bear her darling home.
The neighbors gathered round,
The little child was drowned.
She's lingered by the stream,
And dreams a happy dream.
With blue eyes twinkling, mild, Unchanged by half a century,
And still a little child.
She sits the livelong day,
That round the boulders play;
The clothes which it shall wear, The little frock, the tiny shoes,
And ribbons for its hair. " She loves deep silence; blessed with that,
She feeds on empty hope,
With misery to cope.
All speak in whispers low,
And never argue with the thought
That cheers her in her woe.
Though mad, as you may see-
“Amen! amen !” said we.
Such sympathy it woke,
And whispered as I spoke.
OUR WEDDIN'-DAY-BELLE C. GREENE. AS RELATED BY RUTH ANN HAWKINS (née ROBBINS.)
Mr. Hawkins he left the app'intin' of our weddin'-day to me, and I set it for a Sunday. When you come ter think on't, there don't seem to be many days suitable for gittin married in. You see Monday's washin' day, an Tuesday’s ironin' day, and of course nobody would be married a Friday, and Saturday's bakin' and cleanin' up day, so there's only Wednesday and Thursday left, and mother'n me wanted that much time for extra odds and ends of work, and to “turn round" in, as you might say. So I set it a Sunday mornin' before fust service.
Now, to begin with, I must tell you that Mr. Hannibal Hawkins, the man I was goin' ter marry, was what you'd call odd, so that, although we'd been keepin' comp'. ny tergether for some time, and I'd had every chance ter git acquainted, yet I felt mor’lly certain that it would be a good while 'fore I'd know him all through. Not but what he was a likely man-more, tew, for he was a church member in good and reg'lar standin', an' he alwers had the name o' bein' a good husband to his fust wife, and a good pervider and all that; but, as I said, he was odd.
Wall, he came over the Saturday mornin' before the weddin', so's ter be “on hand,” he said, and kinder dew for me and mother. We hadn't no men folks in the house 'cept Caleb Jones, the hired help, and he wa’n't much dependence at such a time.
It was 'bout eight o'clock in the forenoon when Mr. Hawkins 'rived, and an hour or tew later I got a letter from his daughter Car'line. It was marked "private," and read thus :
Dear M188 ROBBINS: (That's me Ruth Anu Robbins, ye know.) I write to caution you about par. I feel awful 'fraid the clo'es he's took with him to be married in ain't right. All to once he was struck with one o' his odd streaks, and insisted on packin' his grip himself, a thing he never done afore in his life, and goodness only knows what he put into it; I don't. You must look him over real sharp 'fore he goes in where the folks be. I'm sorry I can't come to the weddin' but I cut my bangs yesterday, and got 'em so short that I look just tow hijious for anything. I've cried myself most sick, I'm so disappointed, and par says I'm silly ter stay away on account o' the badge ; but I can't belp it. I'd ruther die than go and show myself sech a fright to all them folks—80 there 'tis ! I send you my love, and I bope everything will go off well.
CAR'LINE HAWKINB. P. S. I'm afraid par has took odd boots. Look out for him.
I laughed when I read that letter; it didn't trouble me much if any. Thinks I ter myself, “He is old enough to pack his own grip, 'less he's a gump and a fool, and if he is a gump and a fool the quicker we find it out the better!” I felt the wust because Car'line wa'n't comin' to the weddin'. It worried me to think she was so silly 'bout them bangs.
Wall, come Sunday mornin', when it was time to dress. I'd just got my hair all down, when Hannibal hollered tew me, and said he:
“Ruth Ann! I wish you'd get your needle and thread and dew a little job o' sewin' for me. I find my vest is all split out behind, though goodness knows how it come so. I never wore it but once in my life. It's a bran’ new one."
I thought then of Car'line's letter, and when I see the vest I knew in a minute that he'd took the wrong one, but I gewed the old thing up as well's I could-a pretty lookin' vest it was to be married in—and went to my room feelin' a good deal distarbed and anxious.
His next perdickermunt was wuse yet. This time he
spoke to me so kinder quick and sharp, that I knew it was somethin' serious. I hurried in to see what was the matter now. When I opened the door, there stood Hannibal, in the middle o' the room, lookin' down perplexed like and inquirin' at two old boots-you couldn't call 'em a pair, for I knew the minute I set eyes on 'em that they both belonged to one and the same foot! They both had a round nob stickin' up conspickewous where the big toe went, and another great bulgin' one for the toe j'int. I hadn't never noticed anything peculiar 'bout Hannibal's feet before, but them two boots did look curis enough, and they looked kinder wicked and knowin' somehow, as if they was enjoyin' themselves!
I laughed-I couldn't help it, but Hannibal didn't even smile. He turned to me, and said he:
“Do them two boots look right to you ?”
Then he tried on one, and that was well enough. He put on the other, and--wall, you can imagine how it looked Of course the nobs and bulgin's come in the wrong places, and the hull foot was hind side afore and wrong side tew, as you might say. He took 'em off and revarsed 'em, but still they continnered ter disagree and look wicked at one another. He squared 'em up together as square's he could, and says he:
“Ruth Ann, I believe them boots is odd !”
"Ondoubtedly they be, Hannibal,” says I, “and they look odd; but how do they feel? Can you wear 'em i That is the question.”
“I don't care a continental how they feel,” says he, awful savage; “ I'll wear 'em if they kill me ; but I do wish they didn't look so like the—the evil one!”
I felt like death, but I knew we'd got to make the best of the sitiwation, so I says:
“Oh, I guess they wont be noticed. But you must be sure and set with your feet on the floor and drawed well back under your chair, and you mus’n’t on no 'count cross your legs, or if you dew, be sure and have the right foot on top."
Then I had ter leave him. I was all worked
but I managed ter finish my toilit with my mother's help, and when I was dreseed I went into the spare chamber where the couples that was goin' to stand up with us was waitin'. I found them all right, and finally Hannibal was ready, and him and me locked arms and perceeded down stairs, follered by the others. Cousin Tripheny and R’yal Hunt came fust, then ’Mandy Plymplon and John Ray, then Cousin Seraphine and 'Siar Chase. There was six of 'em, and they made a noble ’pearance, tew. Jest as we got on to the stairs and Hannibal and me was most to the bottom, all of a sudden he claps his hand to his head and whispers :
“Ruth Ann, I must go back a minute. You wait right here.”
“No, Hannibal,” says I, pullin him along, "you can't go back-how it wouid look!”
But I tell ye I must and I will!” says he, jerkin’ away
and turnin' back. The percession stood stock still on the stairs, and fust one, then t'other whispered down ter know what was the matter, and the folks in the parlor began ter peak out and buzz. I concluded as long's I couldn't be married without Hannibal, I might as well go and look after him. Thinks I ter myself, “Who knows but he means ter put an end to his miserable odd existence !” So when he rushed up the stairs and pitched head fust into his room, I wa’n’t fur behind. And what did I
great silly dew but make a dive fer the lookin'-glass and go through with the motions of brushin' his hair, deliberate and arnest, as if,—wall, as if he'd had some hair! For he's most as bald as a bedpost, and what hair he's got lays down of its own accord as slick as grease, all times ! I was mad. I snatched the brush away and grabbed his arm.
“ Hannibal Hawkins !” says I, firm and determined, I tell ye, “Hannibal Hawkins! you come down stairs with me this instant ; I've had enough o' your oddity fer one day! I've bore all I can or will, and when we're