“Much ’bleeged, boys,” he said. “Do as much f’r you, some day. G’-by.”
“Mr. Spackles,” he said, “kin you fetch Grandmother Penny over here—right now?”
“Calculate I kin,” said Mr. Spackles, and he proved himself able to keep his word.
“Grandmother Penny,” said Scattergood, when she arrived, “you and Mr. Spackles up and made a investment. I been a-lookin’ after that investment f’r you—and f’r these other dum fools in town. Best I could do f’r them others was to git their money back—every cent of it. But I took keer to do a mite more f’r you and Mr. Spackles. I got your five hunderd f’r you—and then I seen a way to git ten thousand more. Here she be. Count it.... I don’t guess there’s any way this here money could be put to better use.”
“F’r us? Ten thousand—”
“I’ll handle it f’r you. Give you int’rest of six hunderd a year. You kin marry like you planned, and if your childern objects you kin tell ’em to go to blazes.... You’ll want a place to live. Wa-al, I got twenty acre back of town and a leetle house and furniture. Took it on a deal. You kin move in and work it on shares. Ought to be able to live blamed well.”
Grandmother Penny was crying.
“You done all this f’r us, f’r James and me! There hain’t no reason f’r it. ’Tain’t believable.... There hain’t no way to say thankee.”
“I hain’t wantin’ you to say thankee, Grandmother Penny. Jest mog along and marry this old coot, and git what joy you kin out of livin’.”
Mr. Spackles was inquisitive in addition to being grateful.
“What I want to know,” he demanded, “is how you managed it?”
“Oh,” said Scattergood, “jest made use of the sayin’ about curin’ with the hair of the dog that bit you. Figgered a swindler wouldn’t never suspect nobody of swindlin’ him with one of his own tricks. This here Mr. Baxter, or Mr. Bowman, or whatever his name is, used to make a livin’ sellin’ gold bricks. When I found that there fact out I jest calc’lated he was ripe to do a mite of gold-brick buyin’ himself.... Which he done.”
“Scattergood,” said Grandmother Penny, “I’m a-goin’ to kiss you.”
Scattergood presented his cheek, and Grandmother Penny threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his weather-beaten face. He smiled, but as if he were smiling at somebody not present. When they had gone their way to find marriage license and parson he went out on to his piazza and looked up at the moonlit sky.
“Grandma Baines,” he said, after a moment, “if you kin see down from where you be, I hope you hain’t missin’ that I done this f’r you. I was pertendin’ all the time that you was Grandmother Penny....”
HE DIPS IN HIS SPOON