“O, O! ’Scuse me, Silas! I was only ’lustratin’.”
“’Lustrate next time on that post behind you. If Stanshy Macomber had such rigor in her arm as that, I pity those down-townies!”
Was not Aunt Stanshy indignant when she heard how Simes Badger had taken her off at the store! “I’ll try my broom on him next time,” she told Juggie’s granny.
Aunt Stanshy was very popular with the club, who passed a vote of thanks to their honorary member. The down-townies, though, christened her “the dragon of the lane,” and did not venture near her. Knowing that this fear existed, Sid Waters and other members of the club, especially the runaways, now ventured several times as far as Water Street, shouting defiance to imaginary enemies behind corners and trees. Sid was exceedingly daring with his tongue. It was noticed that he never again rode on such occasions. He evidently wished to have his legs handy, as he could rely on these better than the go-cart.
For Sunday-school scholars, an offer.
Charlie and Aunt Stanshy worshiped at St. John’s. Dear old St. John’s! It was a brick edifice, homely in its style, but glorious in its associations. It had two tiers of arched windows, the upper row letting light into a long, lofty gallery, that generally had for its occupants perhaps a dozen very shy auditors. If a “coaster” were in port over Sunday, then the heavy, shuffling tread of several men of the sea might be heard on the gallery stairs. This might happen when the service was a third through, and by the time it was two thirds through the shuffling tread might be heard on the stairs again, and this time echoing toward the door. The gallery was plain and old-fashioned in its finish, but it was supported by twisted wooden pillars considered to be marvels of architectural ingenuity in their day. The pews were old-fashioned in their form and decoration; but then they were surrounded by so many dear associations of the past, that when Aunt Stanshy entered one of those box pews she seemed to have stepped aboard a ship and it drifted her at once far, far away among old friends. On a rainy day, especially, did Aunt Stanshy enjoy the old church. True, not many would come out, and their heads above the backs of the pews looked like scattered turtle heads lifted above the surface of a pond in the woods. Aunt Stanshy was sure to be there, and, while she heard the rain beating upon the windows, there was the minister’s voice reverently echoing in prayer, and Aunt Stanshy had such a sense of protection from this world’s many storms. On fair-weather Sundays there would be quite a rush for the old church. The Browns, Pauls, Randalls, Jamesons, Tapieys, would turn up, smiling, radiant and self-assured as if they had never been absent from church a single service. Their manner almost seemed to declare that they had been there day and night. O, young people, do dare to be rainy-weather Christians!