The two officers of the law descended upon Tinkletown one day and began to ask peremptory questions. They went about it in such a high-handed, lordly manner that Anderson took alarm and his heart sank like lead. He saw in his mind’s eye the utter collapse of all his hopes, the dashing away of his cup of leisure and the upsetting of the “fairy godmother’s” plans. Pulling his wits together, he set about to frustrate the attack of the meddlers. Whether it was his shrewdness in placing obstacles in their way or whether he coerced the denizens into blocking the sheriff’s investigation does not matter. It is only necessary to say that the officious gentleman from Boggs City finally gave up the quest in disgust and retired into the oblivion usual to county officials who try to be progressive. It was many weeks, however, before Anderson slept soundly. He was once more happy in the consciousness that Rosalie had been saved from disaster and that he had done his duty by her.
“I’d like to know how them doggone jays from Boggs City expected to find out anything about that child when I hain’t been able to,” growled Mr. Crow in Lamson’s store one night. “If they’ll jest keep their blamed noses out of this affair I’ll find out who her parents are some day. It takes time to trace down things like this. I guess I know what I’m doin’, don’t I, boys?”
“That’s what you do, Anderson,” said Mr. Lamson, as Anderson reached over and took a handful of licorice drops from the jar on the counter.
The Village Queen
The spring of 1903 brought Rosalie back to Tinkletown after her second and last year with Miss Brown in New York City. The sun seemed brighter, the birds sang more blithely, the flowers took on a new fragrance and the village spruced up as if Sunday was the only day in the week. The young men of the town trembled when she passed them by, and not a few of them grew thin and haggard for want of food and sleep, having lost both appetite and repose through a relapse in love. Her smile was the same as of yore, her cheery greetings the same, and yet the village swains stood in awe of this fine young aristocrat for days and days. Gradually it dawned upon them that she was human, after all, despite her New York training, and they slowly resumed the old-time manner of courting, which was with the eyes exclusively.
A few of the more venturesome—but not the more ardent—asked her to go walking, driving, or to the church “sociables,” and there was a rivalry in town which threatened to upset commerce. There was no theatre in Tinkletown, but they delighted in her descriptions of the gorgeous play-houses in New York. The town hall seemed smaller than ever to them. The younger merchants and their clerks neglected business with charming impartiality, and trade was going to “rack and ruin” until Rosalie declined to marry George Rawlins, the minister’s