I wuz touched by the tenderness underlyin’ the idee, but sez I, “Have you counted the cost, Josiah?”
“I know it will cost, you’re hefty and big boneded and I’d want you heroic size, but we needn’t have your hull frame made in posies, I could plant you in different seeds and raise you like a crop, and sell you in the fall. Beans would look well in different colors.”
He see my look of cold irony as he spoke of sellin’ me, and added, “Or I could set you out mostly in pusley if you’d ruther, the garden is full of it.”
“I shall never be sot out in pusley, Josiah Allen, I always hated it. The hull thing is as crazy as anything you ever undertook.”
“Crazy or not it will be did; summer squash would look well and be equinomical, I could probable train ’em so you’d seem to be holdin’ the squashes in your arms.”
“Give up the hull skeem, Josiah Allen; don’t try to combine love and economy so clost.”
But he vowed he wouldn’t give it up, and I spoze I may see trouble weanin’ him from the idee.
That night whilst I wuz restin’ a little in my room after supper, Josiah havin’ stayed down in the parlor a spell talkin’ to granpa Huff and Billy, Blandina come into my room. She wuz all fagged out, but under the fag you could see that expression of perennial good nature and love to man.
She said she’d been readin’ all day to grandpa Huff and as near as I could make out he’d kep’ her right down to them blood-curdlin’ chapters where they fried the martyrs in ile and briled ’em on grid-irons. She looked dretful tired and I told her I wouldn’t gin in and read such stuff all day.
But she said Mr. Huff wuz anxious to hear it and she wuz perfectly willin’ and more than willin’ to please him, for sez she smilin’ in a queer sort of a way and sort o’ bridlin’ a little, “I’m anxious to do anything for him I can because I love him devotedly.”
I wuz fairly stunted. “Love him?” sez I, “why how long ago wuz it that you loved his grandchild passionately? Why,” sez I, “Blandina, you seem to rob the cradle and the grave for objects of affection.”
“Yes, I did love Billy with perfect devotion till I found that my affection wuz driven back like a dove from the rest it fain would made in his youthful heart, and now it has settled down upon his grandpa’s bosom. Mr. Huff needs a companion, Aunt Samantha. He needs a tender female companion to journey by his side over the rough pathway of life. And, oh, I do feel that this world is a cold rough place and my heart, like that wanderin’ dove I spoke on, sithes to find rest.”
“Well,” sez I reasonably, “mebby a dove would be safe to rest on grandpa Huff, but I don’t believe he could stand the weight of a hen. Why, he’s ninety if he’s a day, Blandina.”
She didn’t reply but sot lookin’ mournful but clever, and agin she sez, “This is a cold world.”
“Not here it hain’t, not in St. Louis,” sez I, wipin’ my heated forward, but she went on: