Diggs stood there swallowing his palate in delightful anticipation until Tacks handed him a brimming glass from which the brave thief-taker took one eager mouthful, whereupon he emitted a shriek of terror that could be heard for miles.
“Water! water! quick! I’m a’burnin’ up!” cried the astonished Diggs.
Uncle Peter in his eagerness to quench the flames poured half a pitcher full of ice water down the back of Diggs’ neck.
“It ain’t there, it’s down my throat!” yelled the unfortunate Harmony, whereupon Uncle Peter poured the rest of the ice water over the constable’s head.
When, finally, the old fellow was revived he faintly declined any more refreshment, and with a sad “good-night,” faded away in the twilight.
“Gee!” exclaimed Tacks, as he watched the retreating form, “I’m afraid I upset some tobascum sauce in that glass by mistake.”
Presently, Bunch went off to the depot to take a train back to the city, and for some little time we sat in silence on the piazza.
“Grand, isn’t it?” Uncle Peter said, breaking the spell. “Couldn’t be any nicer, now, could it?” Then he went over and stood near Clara J.
“Little woman,” he said; “ever since we first talked of moving out here I noticed how worried John was.”
“So did I,” she answered, taking my hand in hers.
“A day or two ago I found out what the trouble was,” the old gentleman continued; “this property was too heavy a load for a young man to carry, especially when he’s just married, so I bought it from him!”
Before Clara J. could express a word Uncle Peter put his arm around Aunt Martha’s waist and continued, “Aunt Martha and I talked it all over last night and in celebration of your second anniversary we want you to accept this little present,” and with this he placed a document in Clara J.’s hands.
“It’s the deed to the property,” Aunt Martha said, “all for you, Clara J., but if you don’t mind, we’d like to live here!”
“Yes,” said Uncle Peter; “that garden certainly needs someone to look after it!”
Clara J. was crying softly and hugging Aunt Martha,
My own eyes were damp and I yearned to have somebody run the lawn mower over me.
“I’ll race you down to the gate and back,” I suggested.
“You’re on,” laughed Uncle Peter; “I believe I do need a little exercise!”
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK back to the woods***
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