Ruth Tole was behind the counter, sorting threads. She was a maiden of middle life and severe countenance, of few and decisive words. The door of the little shop was ajar, and near it a woman sat knitting. She had a position favourable for eye and ear. She could see all who passed, on either side of the way, and not a word or move in the shop escaped her. In the sisterhood she bore the familiar name of Lize. She had been talking about that old case of Riley Brooke and the Widow Glover.
“Looks to me,” said she, thoughtfully, as she tickled her scalp with a knitting-needle, “that she took the kinks out o’ him. He’s a good deal more respectable.”
“Like a panther with his teeth pulled,” said a woman who stood by the counter, buying a spool of thread. “Ain’t you heard how they made up?”
“Land sakes, no!” said the sister Lize, hurriedly finishing a stitch and then halting her fingers to pull the yarn.
The shopkeeper began rolling ribbons with a look of indifference. She never took part in the gossip and, although she loved to hear it, had, mostly, the air of one without ears.
“Well, that old tinker gave ’em both a good talking to,” said the customer. “He brings ’em face to face, and he says to him, says he, ‘In the day o’ the Judgment God’ll mind the look o’ your wife,’ and then he says the same to her.”
“Singular man!” said the comely sister Lize, who now resumed her knitting.
“He never robbed that bank, either, any more ’n I did.”