“But, Ford,” asked Annie, “did you find a house?—a good one?”
“Yes,” added Mrs. Foster: “now I’m sure you’re safe, I do want to hear about the house.”
“It’s all right, mother,” said Ford confidently. “The very house you told me to hunt for. Neither too large nor too small. I’ve only seen the outside of it, but every thing about it is in apple-pie order.”
There were plenty of questions to answer now, but
Ford was every way equal to the occasion. Some of his answers might have made Mrs. Kinzer herself open her eyes, for the material for them had been obtained from her own neighbors.
Ford’s report, in fact, compelled his father to look at him with an expression of face which very plainly meant,—
“That’s my boy. He resembles me. I was just like him, at his age. He’ll be just like me, at mine.”
There was excellent reason, beyond question, to approve of the manner in which the young gentleman had performed his errand in the country; and Mr. Foster promptly decided to go over in a day or two, and see what sort of an arrangement could be made with Mrs. Kinzer.
NEW NEIGHBORS, AND GETTING SETTLED.
The week which followed the wedding-day was an important one.
The improvements on the Morris house were pushed along in a way that astonished everybody. Every day that passed, and with every dollar’s worth of work that was done, the good points of the long-neglected old mansion came out stronger and stronger.
The plans of Mrs. Kinzer had been a good while in getting ready, and she knew exactly what was best to be done at every hole and corner.
Within a few days after Ford’s trip of investigation, he and his father came over from the city; and Mr. Foster speedily came to a perfect understanding with Dabney’s mother.
“A very business-like, common-sense sort of a woman,” the lawyer remarked to his son. “But what a great, dangling, overgrown piece of a boy that is! Still, he seems intelligent, and you may find him good company.”
“No doubt of it,” said Ford. “I may be useful to him too. He looks as if he could learn if he only had a fair chance.”
“I should say so,” responded Mr. Foster. “We must not expect too much of fellows brought up away out here, as he has been.”
Ford gravely assented, and they went back to report their success to Mrs. Foster and Annie.
There was a great surprise in store, consequently, for the people of the village. Early in the following week it was rumored from house to house,—
“The Kinzers are all a-movin’ over to Ham Morris’s.”
And then, before the public mind had become sufficiently settled to inquire into the matter, the rumor changed itself into a piece of positive news:—
“The widder Kinzer’s moved over into Ham’s house, bag and baggage.”