The Mystery of Metropolisville eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 303 pages of information about The Mystery of Metropolisville.

And Albert gave her some of the spirits and watched her revive.  He warmed her hands and chafed her feet before the fire which the backwoodsman had made.  As she came back to consciousness, Charlton happened to think that he had no dry clothes for her.  He would have gone immediately back to the buggy, where there was a portmanteau carefully stowed under the seat, but that the Inhabitant had gone out and he was left alone with Katy, and he feared that she would faint again if he should leave her.  Presently the tall, lank, longhaired man came in.

“Mister,” he said, “I made kinder sorter free with your things.  I thought as how as the young woman might want to shed some of them air wet feathers of her’n, and so I jist venter’d to go and git this yer bag ‘thout axin’ no leave nor license, while you was a-bringin’ on her to.  Looks pooty peart, by hokey!  Now, mister, we ha’n’t got no spar rooms here.  But you and me’ll jes’ take to the loff thar fer a while, seein’ our room is better nor our comp’ny.  You kin change up stars.”

They went to the loft by an outside ladder, the Inhabitant speaking very reverently in a whisper, evidently feeling sure that there was an angel down-stairs.  They went down again after a while, and the Inhabitant piled on wood so prodigally that the room became too warm; he boiled a pot of coffee, fried some salt-pork, baked some biscuit, a little yellow and a little too short, but to the hungry travelers very palatable.  Even Charlton found it easy to forego his Grahamism and eat salt-pork, especially as he had a glass of milk.  Katy, for her part, drank a cup of coffee but ate little, though the Inhabitant offered her the best he had with a voice stammering with emotion.  He could not speak to her without blushing to his temples.  He tried to apologize for the biscuit and the coffee, but could hardly ever get through his sentence intelligibly, he was so full of a sentiment of adoration for the first lady into whose presence he had come in years.  Albert felt a profound respect for the man on account of his reverence for Katy.  And Katy of course loved him as she did everybody who was kind to her or to her friends, and she essayed once or twice to make him feel comfortable by speaking to him, but so great was his agitation when spoken to by the divine creature, that he came near dropping a plate of biscuit the first time she spoke, and almost upset the coffee the next time.  I have often noticed that the anchorites of the frontier belong to two classes—­those who have left humanity and civilization from sheer antagonism to men, a selfish, crabbed love of solitude, and those who have fled from their fellows from a morbid sensitiveness.  The Inhabitant was of the latter sort.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE INHABITANT.

When Albert awoke next morning from a sound sleep on the buffalo-robe in the loft of the cabin of the Inhabitant, the strange being who had slept at his side had gone.  He found him leaning against the foot of the ladder outside.

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The Mystery of Metropolisville from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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