“Jest the moment I git these dishes done and a few other little chores that I can’t leave standin’, I’ll run over to Almiry’s and see ’f she’s heerd ’bout the Boston letter that Randy Weston got. My! but that was a letter wuth gittin’.
“I don’t b’lieve Almiry’s heerd ‘bout it, an’ I’m baound to be the fust one ter tell her,” said Mrs. Sophrony Hodgkins.
Soon her tasks were completed, and she went the shortest way across the fields to tell the news, as if she feared that it might spoil if kept too long.
Mrs. Jenks, on her way home from the village paused at the gate to ask her friend, Mrs. Marvin, if she had heard the news, and found that she had already been told of the contents of the letter, and was glad to hear of Randy’s good luck.
“’Tain’t every girl I’d be so glad fer,” said Mrs. Marvin, “but Randy’s such a sweet girl I like ter think of this plan which will, no doubt, give her pleasure.”
“So do I,” said Matilda Jenks, “an’ I fer one shall be on hand ter wish her joy.”
In the little workroom over Barnes’ store, Janie Clifton sat humming cheerfully, her needle flying in and out of the long ruffle which she was hemming.
“I’m making the people here look better than they ever did before,” thought Janie, with pardonable pride in her ability. “I make Mrs. Brimblecom look ever so much less hefty, and I’m sure Mrs. Hodgkins says she never looked as well in any gown she ever wore, as in the one I finished for her last week.
“And that skinny woman, now whatever was her name? She looked almost plump in her new dress last Sunday.”
As she stopped to thread her needle, she gave utterance to the thought which at that moment occupied her mind.
“I b’lieve I’ll go over to call on Mrs. Weston to-night, and p’raps she’ll ask me to help her, in fact, I should think she’d have to.”
A passing figure caused her to look out of the window.
“Well what a looking piece of headgear!” she remarked. “Lucky I took up millinery when I was learning dressmakin’. I’ll go over to the Weston’s to-night, see if I don’t,” and she nodded approvingly to her reflection in the long mirror, a bit of furniture which Janie had felt to be a necessary adjunct to her rooms.
Even old Mrs. Brimblecom had a word to say.
“I declare, Jabez,” she remarked at the dinner table, “I’m reel glad fer Randy Weston. This doos seem ter be a chance fer her ter see somethin’ an’ gain a leetle extry in the way of edication.”
“Umph!” remarked Jabez, as he helped himself to a third potato, “’S you say, it’s a chance fer her, an’ she’s a likely sort er girl,—pass the salt, will ye?—but I hope it won’t poke her head full er notions,—I’ll thank ye fer a biscuit,—so’s when she comes home she won’t remember who any of us be.”
At the table Jabez Brimblecom’s conversation was always a mixture of gossip and numerous requests for food, so that his wife, accustomed to this trait, was able to understand what he wished to say, and could make connected meaning out of what seemed to be a jumble of ideas.