“Guess I didn’t forget it,” returned Racey Dawson, placidly. “It ain’t good euchre to lead all yore trumps before you have to. I’m saving that about Dale to tell to Jack Harpe after he turns us down. I’m a heap anxious to see what he says then.”
“Maybe he won’t say anything.”
“Maybe he won’t turn us down. But will you bet he won’t? Give you odds. Any money up to a hundred.”
“I will not,” said Swing Tunstall, shaking a decided head. “Yo’re too lucky. Oh, lookit, lookit!”
THE BACK PORCH
Racey’s gaze casually and uninterestedly followed Swing’s pointing finger. Immediately his eye brightened and he sat up with a jerk.
“I’ll shove the door a li’l farther open,” said Swing, making as if to rise.
“Sit still,” hissed Racey, pulling down his friend with one hand and endeavouring to smooth his own hair with the other. “Yo’re all right, and the door’s all right. I’m going over there in a minute and if yo’re good I’ll take you with me.”
“Over there” was the back porch of the Blue Pigeon Store. Swing’s exclamations and laudable desire to see better were called forth by the sudden appearance on the back porch of two girls. One was Miss Blythe. The other was Miss Molly Dale.
There were two barrel chairs on the porch. Miss Blythe picked up a piece of embroidery on a frame from the seat of one of the chairs and sat down. Molly Dale seated herself in the other chair, crossed her knees, and swung a slim, booted leg. From the breast pocket of her boy’s gray flannel shirt she produced a long, narrow strip of white to which appeared to be fastened a small dark object. She held the strip of white in her left hand. Her right hand held the dark object and with it began to make a succession of quick, wavy, hooky dabs at one end of the strip of white.
“First time I ever seen anybody trying to knit without needles,” said the perplexed Swing.
“That ain’t knitting,” said the superior Racey. “That’s tatting.”
“What’s it for?”
“Lingery.” Racey pronounced the word to rhyme with “clingery.”
“Lingery is clo’es.”
“Clo’es, huh. Helluva funny name for clo’es. Why don’t you say clo’es then instead of this here now lingery?”
“Because lingery is a certain kind of clo’es, you ignorant Jack. Petticoats, and the like o’ that. Don’t you know nothin’?”
“I know yo’re lying, that’s what I know. Yo’re bluffing, you hear me whistlin’. You dunno no more about it than I do. You can’t tell me petticoats is made out of a strip of white stuff less’n a half-inch wide. I’ve seen too many washin’s hangin’ on the lines, I have. Yeah. And done too many. When I was a young one my ma would tie an apron round my neck, slap me down beside a tubful of clo’es, and tell me to fly to it. Petticoats! Petticoats, feller, is made of yards and yards and yards like a balloon.”