“What do you mean, Mrs. Brown, by tagging my hens until they look like a mark down sale?”
“What are you talking about, Mrs. Jones? Your hens couldn’t have been over here could they? I am sure neither Willie nor I have been out of the yard.”
“I smell something burning.”
In spite of the fact that the Jones homestead was quite a distance and the wind in the direction to blow all odors in the opposite direction Mrs. Brown did not try to detain her. Neither did she punish Willie, in fact she gave him an extra piece of pie for dinner.
* * * * *
The Browns, Joneses and Bakers are still on the best of terms, but Mr. Brown never put the wire netting up and yet Mrs. Brown plants her garden with never a thought of neighbors’ hens.
Incidentally Willie and Ned have developed into first class fishermen.
LILLIAN E. ANDREWS
Captain Enoch Burgess went down Mapleville’s main street at a rate of speed that threatened to break all records. The tails of his linen coat stood out like the sails of a Gloucester fisherman homeward bound with a “full bin fare.” He stamped up Abner Crowell’s walk, and slammed the kitchen door.
Abner was weeding onions. He stared after the captain curiously. “Looks like squally weather,” he commented. “I wonder what’s sent Enoch on his beam ends like that.”
As Abner bent with a grunt to his task, his wife came hurrying toward him, her apron strings flying like distress signals.
“Abner,” she demanded excitedly, “did you ever hear of Captain Enoch’s havin’ fits?”
“No, I dunno’s I ever did,” replied Abner, twitching up an enterprising wild mustard.
“Well, he’s havin’ one now,” insisted Mrs. Crowell. “He come trampin’ in an’ says, ‘Git right out o’ my way, Mis’ Crowell,’ an’ now he’s a pacin’ up an’ down his room like a caged hyeny. You leave them onions, an’ go an see what under the canopy ails him. I’ll stand at the foot of the stairs ready to run for help, if he should be dangerous.”
Abner groaned. Reluctantly he brushed the dirt from his knees, and went into the house. Captain Enoch’s heavy steps jarred the floor of his little room. Three times Abner knocked. Growing wrathful at being ignored, he applied his lips to the key-hole.
“Hey, there,” he bellowed. “You gone clean crazy, Enoch? It’s only me—Abner—open the door!”
Captain Enoch opened the door so suddenly Abner nearly fell over the threshold.
“I didn’t hear you,” apologized Captain Enoch. “I dunno’s I’d heard a fog horn. I’m going loony, I guess.”
Despondency suddenly overcame him. He sat down abruptly. “I’m afraid I’m love cracked,” he groaned despairingly.
“Love cracked!” repeated Abner in blank astonishment. “Wall, I snum! Love cracked!”