The Girl at the Halfway House eBook

Emerson Hough
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about The Girl at the Halfway House.

Franklin smiled in spite of himself.  “Battersleigh’s Tactics and Manual of Strategy,” he murmured.  “All right, old man.  I thank you just the same.  I presume I’ll live, at the worst.  And there’s a bit in life besides what we want for ourselves, you know.”

“There’s naught in life but what we’re ready to take for oursilves!” cried Battersleigh.  “I’ll talk no fable of other fishes in the say for ye.  Take what ye want, if ye’ll have it.  An’ hearken; there’s more to Ned Franklin than bein’ a land agent and a petty lawyer.  It’s not for ye yersilf to sit an’ mope, neyther to spind your life diggin’ in a musty desk.  Ye’re to grow, man; ye’re to grow!  Do ye not feel the day an’ hour?  Man, did ye nivver think o’ Destiny?”

“I’ve never been able not to believe in it,” said Franklin.  “To some men all things come easily, while others get on only by the hardest knocks; and some go always close to success, but die just short of the parapet.  I haven’t myself classified, just yet.”

“Ye have your dreams, boy?”

“Yes; I have my dreams.”

“All colours are alike,” said Battersleigh.  “Now, whut is my young Injun savage doin’, when he goes out alone, on top of some high hill, an’ builds him a little fire, an’ talks with his familiar spirits, which he calls here his ‘drame’?  Isn’t he searchin’ an’ feelin’ o’ himsilf, same as the haythin in far-away Ingy?  Git your nose up, Ned, or you’ll be unwittin’ classifyin’ yersilf with the great slave class which we lift behind not long ago, but which is follyin’ us hard and far.  Git your nose up, fer it’s Batty has been thinkin’ ye’ve Destiny inside your skin.  Listen to Batty the Fool, and search your sowl.  I’ll tell ye this:  I’ve the feelin’ that I’ll be hearin’ of ye, in all the marrches o’ the worrld.  Don’t disappoint me, Ned, for the ould man has belaved in ye—­more than ye’ve belaved in yersilf.  As to the gyurl—­bah!—­go marry her some day, av ye’ve nothin’ more importhant on yer hands.

“But, me dear boy, spakin’ o’ importhant things, I ralely must be goin’ now.  I’ve certain importhant preparations that are essintial before I get dhrunk this avenin’—­”

“O Battersleigh, do be sensible,” said Franklin, “and do give up this talk of getting drunk.  Come over here this evening and talk with me.  It’s much better than getting drunk.”

Battersleigh’s hand was on the door knob.  “The consate o’ you!” he said.  “Thrue, ye’re a fine boy, Ned, an’ I know of no conversayshun more entertainin’ than yer own, but I tale that if I didn’t get dhrunk like a gintleman this avenin’, I’d be violatin’ me juty to me own conscience, as well as settin’ at naught the thraditions o’ the Rile Irish.  An’ so, if ye’ll just excuse me, I’ll say good-bye till, say, to-morrow noon.”

CHAPTER XXXII

THE CALLING

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Project Gutenberg
The Girl at the Halfway House from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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