[Illustration: Matildy’s Beau]
We ought ter have expected it—she’s
’most eighteen, yer see;
But, sakes alive! she’s always seemed a baby, like, ter me;
And so, a feller after her! why, that jest did beat all!
But, t’ other Sunday, bless yer soul, he come around ter call;
And when I see him all dressed up as dandy as yer please,
But sort er lookin’ ’s if he had the shivers in his knees,
I kind er realized it then, yer might say, like a blow—
Thinks I, “No use! I’m gittin’ old; Matildy’s got a beau.”
Just twenty-four short years gone by—it
do’n’t seem five, I vow!—
I fust called on Matildy—that’s Matildy’s mother now;
I recollect I spent an hour a-tyin’ my cravat,
And I’d sent up ter town and bought a bang-up shiny hat.
And, my! oh, my! them new plaid pants; well, wa’n’t I something grand
When I come up the walk with some fresh posies in my hand?
And didn’t I feel like a fool when her young brother, Joe,
Sang out: “Gee crickets! Looky here! Here comes Matildy’s beau!”
And now another feller comes up my walk, jest
And here’s Matildy blushin’ red in jest her mother’s way;
And when she says she’s got ter go an errand to the store,
We know he ‘s waitin’ ’round the bend, jest as I’ve done afore;
Or, when they’re in the parlor and I knock, why, bless yer heart!
I have ter smile ter hear how quick their chairs are shoved apart.
They think us old folks don’t “catch on” a single mite; but, sho!
I reckon they fergit I was Matildy’s mother’s beau.
* * * * *
“SISTER’S BEST FELLER”
My sister’s best feller is ’most six-foot-three,
And handsome and strong as a feller can be;
And Sis, she’s so little, and slender, and small,
You never would think she could boss him at all;
But, my jing!
She do’n’t do a thing
But make him jump ’round, like he worked with a string!
It jest makes me ’shamed of him sometimes, you know,
To think that he’ll let a girl bully him so.
He goes to walk with her and carries her muff
And coat and umbrella, and that kind of stuff;
She loads him with things that must weigh ’most a ton;
And, honest, he likes it,—as if it was fun!
And, oh, say!
When they go to a play,
He’ll sit in the parlor and fidget away,
And she won’t come down till it’s quarter past eight,
And then she’ll scold him ’cause they get there so late.
He spends heaps of money a-buyin’ her things,
Like candy, and flowers, and presents, and rings;
And all he’s got for ’em ’s a handkerchief case—
A fussed-up concern, made of ribbons and lace;
But, my land!
He thinks it’s just grand,
“’Cause she made it,” he says, “with her own little hand”;
He calls her “an angel”—I heard him—and “saint,”
And “beautif’lest bein’ on earth”—but she ain’t.