“Dick Lee, indeed!” began Samantha.
“A fine boy,” interrupted Dab. “And he’s beginning to dress well. His new clothes fit him beautifully. All he really needs is a shirt, and I’ll give him one. Mine are getting too small.”
Samantha’s fingers fidgeted a little with the tidy they were holding; but Mrs. Kinzer said composedly,—
“Well, Dabney, I’ve been thinking about it. You ought not to be tied down all the while. Suppose you take next week pretty much to yourself: Samantha won’t want the ponies every day. The other horses have all got to work, or I’d let you have one of them.”
Dabney got up, for want of a better answer, and walked over to where his mother was sitting, and gave the thoughtful matron a good sounding kiss.
At the same time he could not help thinking,—
“This comes of Ham Morris and my new rig.”
“There, Dabney, that’ll do,” said his mother; “but how’ll you spend Saturday?”
“Guess I’ll take Ford Foster out in the bay, a-crabbing, if he’ll go,” replied Dabney. “I’ll run over and ask him.”
It was not too late, and he was out of the house before there was any chance for further remarks from the girls.
“Now,” he muttered, as he walked along, “I’ll have to see old lawyer Foster, and Mrs. Foster, and I don’t know who all besides. I don’t like that.”
Just as he came to the north fence, however, he was hailed by a clear, wide-awake voice,—
“Dab Kinzer, is that you?”
“Guess so,” said Dab: “is that you, Ford?”
“I was just going over to your house,” said Ford.
“Well, so was I just coming over to see you. I’ve been too busy all the week, but they’ve let up on me at last.”
“I’ve got our family nearly settled,” replied Ford; “and I thought I’d ask if you wouldn’t like to go out on the bay with me to-morrow. Teach you to catch crabs.”
Dabney drew a long, astonished sort of whistle; but he finished it with,—
“That’s about what I was thinking of. There’s plenty of crabs, and I’ve got a tip-top boat. We won’t want a heavy one for just us two.”
“All right, then. We’ll begin on crabs, but some other day we’ll go for bigger fish. What are you going to do next week?”
“Got it all to myself,” said Dab. “We can have all sorts of a good time. We can have the ponies, too, when we want them.”
“That’s about as good as it knows how to be,” responded the young gentleman from the city. “I’d like to explore the country. You’re going to have a nice place of it, over there, before you get through. Only, if I’d had the planning of that house, I’d have set it back farther. Too much room all round it. Not enough trees either.”
Dab came stoutly to the defence of not only that house, but of Long-Island architecture generally, and was fairly overwhelmed, for the first time in his life, by a flood of big words from a boy of his own age.