“The real truth? What do you mean?” she cried, in fresh alarm.
“Don’t worry, ma’am. He’s improvin’ fine, ‘doc’ says. He told me he’d be out o’ danger when he got back to Boston. His heart’s worryin’ ‘doc’ a little. I ast ‘im to speak plain an’ tell me jest how bad it’s affected. He said: ’At present, only the left ventricle—whatever that be—only the left one is punctured, but the right one seems to need a change of air.’”
The Grin Derisive
“I like your ma,” said Anderson to Wicker, later in the evening. “She’s a perfect lady. Doggone, it’s a relief to see a rich woman that knows how to be a lady. She ain’t a bit stuck up an’ yet she’s a reg’lar aristocrat. Did I ever tell you about what happened to Judge Courtwright’s wife? No? Well, it was a long time ago, right here in Tinkletown. The judge concluded this would be a good place fer a summer home—so him an’ her put up a grand residence down there on the river bluff. It was the only summer place on this side of the river. Well, of course Mrs. Courtwright had to turn in an’ be the leader of the women in this place. She lorded it over ’em an’ she give ’em to understand that she was a queen er somethin’ like that an’ they was nothin’ but peasants. An’ the derned fool women ’lowed her to do it, too. Seems as though her great-grandfather was a ‘squire over in England, an’ she had a right to be swell. Well, she ruled the roost fer two summers an’ nobody could get near her without a special dispensation from the Almighty. She wouldn’t look at anybody with her eyes; her chin was so high in the air that she had to look through her nose.
“Her husband was as old as Methoosalum—that is, he was as old as Methoosalum was when he was a boy, so to speak—an’ she had him skeered of his life. But I fixed her. At the end of the second summer she was ready to git up an’ git, duke er no duke. Lemme me give you a tip, Wick. If you want to fetch a queen down to your level, jest let her know you’re laughin’ at her. Well, sir, the judge’s wife used to turn up her nose at me until I got to feelin’ too small to be seen. My pride was wallerin’ in the dust. Finally, I thought of a scheme to fix her. Every time I saw her, I’d grin at her—not sayin’ a word, mind you, but jest lookin’ at her as if she struck me as bein’ funny. Well, sir, I kept it up good an’ strong. First thing I knowed, she was beginnin’ to look as though a bee had stung her an’ she couldn’t find the place. I’d ketch her stealin’ sly glances at me an’ she allus found me with a grin on my face—a good, healthy grin, too.