Mary Ellen could not restrain a smile, but it did not impinge upon the earnestness of the other.
“Yas’m, Miss Ma’y Ellen,” she continued, again taking the girl’s face between her hands. “Gord, he say, it hain’t good fer man toe be erlone. An’ Gord knows, speshul in er lan’ like this yer, hit’s a heap mo’ fitten fer a man toe be erlone then fer a ’ooman. Some wimmen-folks, they’s made fer grievin’, all ther time, fer frettin’, an’ worr’in’, an’ er-mopin’ ‘roun’. Then, agin, some is made fer lovin’—I don’ say fer lovin’ mo’n one man to er time; fer ther ain’t no good ’ooman ever did thet. But some is made fer lovin’. They sech er heap o’ no ’count folks in ther worl’, hit do seem like a shame when one o’ them sort don’ love nobody, an’ won’t let nobody love them!”
Mary Ellen was silent. She could not quite say the word to stop the old servant’s garrulity, and the latter went on.
“Whut I does say, Miss Ma’y Ellen,” she resumed, earnestly looking into the girl’s face as though to carry conviction with her speech—“whut I does say, an’ I says hit fer yo’ own good, is this; Mas’ Henry, he’s daid! He’s daid an’ buh’ied, an’ flowehs growin’ oveh his grave, yeahs ‘n yeahs. An’ you never wuz mahied toe him. An’ you wan’t nothin’ but a gal. Chile, you don’t know nothin’ ‘bout lovin’ yit. Now, I says toe you, whut’s ther use? Thass hit, Miss Ma’y Ellen, whut’s ther use?”
“I wish, Sam,” said Franklin one morning as he stopped at the door of the livery barn—“I wish that you would get me up a good team. I’m thinking of driving over south a little way to-day.”
“All right, Cap,” said Sam. “I reckon we can fix you up. How far you goin’?”
“Well, about twenty-five or thirty miles, perhaps.”
“Which will bring you,” said Sam meditatively, “just about to the Halfway House. Seein’ it’s about there you’ll be stopping I reckon I better give you my new buggy. I sort of keep it, you know, for special ’casions.”
Franklin was too much absorbed to really comprehend this delicate attention, even when Sam rolled out the carriage of state, lovingly dusting off the spokes and with ostentation spreading out the new lap robe. But finally he became conscious of Sam, standing with one foot on the hub of a wheel, chewing a straw, and with a certain mental perturbation manifest in his countenance.