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John Habberton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about Romance of California Life.

“Did she?” asked Crayme.  “Well, I guess I was a good-looking fellow in those days; I know Pike came up to me once, with a glass in his hand, and said that he ought to drink to me, for I was the finest-looking groom he’d ever seen.  He was so tight, though, that he couldn’t hold his glass steady; and though you know I never had a drop of stingy blood in me, it did go to my heart to see him spill that gorgeous sherry.”

“She looked very proud of you,” Fred repeated; “but I can’t see why, for I’ve never seen her do it since.”

“You will, though, hang you!” exclaimed the captain.  “Get out of here!  I can think about her now, and I don’t want anybody else around.  No rudeness meant, you know, Fred.”

Fred Macdonald retired quietly, taking with him the keys of both doors, and feeling more exhausted than he had been on any Saturday night since the building of the mill.

FREE SPEECH.

[The following is quoted, by permission, from Mr. Habberton’s volume, “THE SCRIPTURE CLUB OF VALLEY REST,” published by G.P.  Putnam’s Sons, New York.]

The members of the Scripture Club did not put off their holy interest with their Sunday garments, as people of the world do with most things religious.  When the little steamboat Oakleaf started on her Monday morning trip for the city, the members of the Scripture Club might be identified by their neglect of the morning papers and their tendency to gather in small knots and engage in earnest conversation.  In a corner behind the paddle-box, securely screened from wind and sun, sat Mr. Jodderel and Mr. Primm, the latter adoring with much solemn verbosity the sacred word, and the former piling text upon text to demonstrate the final removal of all the righteous to a new state of material existence in a better-ordered planet.  In the one rocking-chair of the cabin sat Insurance President Lottson, praising to Mr. Hooper, who leaned obsequiously upon the back of the chair and occasionally hopped vivaciously around it, the self-disregard of the disciples, and the evident inability of any one within sight to follow their example.  The prudent Wagget was interviewing Dr. Fahrenglotz, who was going to attend the meeting of a sort of Theosophic Society, composed almost entirely of Germans, and was endeavoring to learn what points there might be in the Doctor’s belief which would make a man wiser unto salvation, while Captain Maile stood by, a critical listener, and distributed pitying glances between the two.  Well forward, but to the rear of the general crowd, stood Deacon Bates, in an attitude which might have seemed conservative were it not manifestly helpless; Mr. Buffle, with the smile peculiar to the successful business man; Lawyer Scott, with the air of a man who had so much to say that time could not possibly suffice in which to tell it all; Squire Woodhouse, who was in search of a good market for hay; Principal Alleman, who was in chase of an overdue shipment of text-books; and Mr. Radley, who, with indifferent success, was filling the self-assigned roll of moderator of the little assemblage.

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