“Auntie, what do you think a couple of standing up collars would cost?”
“A standing up collar, Charles Pitt! What do you want that for?”
“Why, we have a pammerrammer to-morrow, and I am the one to ’splain it; that is, me or the governor.”
“He is gettin’ to be a man!” thought Aunt Stanshy in sorrow. “A pammerrammer!” she inquired. “I most get into that. Do you have spectators?”
“O, yes. It is only a cent a ticket, and that will get you a reserved seat.”
“Then I must take a reserved seat.”
Aunt Stanshy told the boys she would come whenever they notified her that the pammerrammer was ready. A lively shout of announcement soon came from half a dozen heralds up in the barn window, and Aunt Stanshy dropped her sewing.
“All ready, aunty! Come now,” shouted Charlie.
Aunt Stanshy quickened her steps into a run.
“There goes Stanshy,” said Simes Badger, watching her from Silas Trefethen’s grocery. “Runnin’ t’ a fire, I guess. She only needs an engine behind her t’ make the thing complete.”
Flying through the yard, Aunt Stanshy rushed up the barn chamber stairs. Passing the “sentinel” with the powerful aid of a cent, she looked around upon the chamber. In its center there was a stout wooden post, and between this post and a closet, at one end of the chamber, there had been suspended a dirty, ragged sheet, which the governor’s aunt had taken from the attic and given to the club. Across this sheet stretched a panoramic strip of paper which Aunt Stanshy at once recognized as Charlie’s handiwork. It took two boys, Sid and Wort, to stand at the two ends of the curtain and manage the “pammerrammer.” As Sid unrolled the glorious succession of artistic beauties that Charlie had sketched, Wort at the other end pulled them along and rolled them up. In front of the curtain was ranged a plank. A carpenter’s bench that bordered a wall of the barn supported one end of the plank, and a barrel the other end. This elevated roost was denominated “reserved seats,” and all cent admissions secured “one of the most eligible chances in the Hall,” so Sid declared. There was a string of sweet little beauties on the bench, girls from the neighborhood, and among them was little May Waters, her face one of wonderful vivacity, a kind of panorama in itself, where the most varied emotions chased one another in rapid succession. Aunt Stanshy found a sled to sit on, and the performance began. Gov. Grimes wished to try his hand first at explaining the pictures. He began, grandiloquently,
“This—this—is a building, no, Faneuil Hall. The next is a picture of a ship. That is a—”
“Don’t roll her so tight, Wort,” whispered a voice behind the curtain.
“Monkey!” said the governor, finishing his sentence, but unfortunately chancing to look toward that sensitive soul, Pip Peckham.