“That was mine, anyway—he can have his chicken wings,” said Everett with a laugh as he began operations on the food before him.
“It wasn’t a very nice party,” answered Rose Mary as she went on with her work on the pile of china. “Stonie acted awfully. He piled up his plate with pieces of chicken, and when Aunt Viney reproved him he said he was saving it for you. And Aunt Viney said she was sure you were sick, and then Uncle Tucker wanted to go look for you and I had to tell him before them all that you had sent me word. Then Aunt Amandy said she was afraid you were not a Prohibitionist, and Aunt Viney said she would have to talk to you in the morning. Then they all told Mr. Newsome all about you, and I don’t think he liked it much because he likes to tell us things about himself. We are so fond of him, and we always want to hear him talk about where he has been and what he has done. I tried to stop them and make him talk, but I couldn’t. It’s strange how liking a person gets them on your mind so that even if you don’t talk about them you think about them all the time, isn’t it? But I oughtn’t to blame them, for I was so afraid they wouldn’t leave enough of things for you that I forgot to talk myself. I was glad Stonie acted that way about the chicken, for the piece he saved made three pieces of white meat for you. Oh, please let’s hurry, because we will miss the speaking if we don’t. Mr. Newsome makes such beautiful speeches that I want you to hear him. Is there any kind of pride in the world like that you have over your friends?”
THE ENEMY, THE ROD AND THE STAFF
And the days that followed the Senator’s prohibition rally at Sweetbriar were those of carnival for jocund spring all up and down Providence Road and out over the Valley. Rugged old Harpeth began to be crowned with wreaths of tender green and pink which trailed down its sides in garlands that spread themselves out over meadow and farm away beyond the river bend. Overnight, rows of jonquils in Mrs. Poteet’s straggling little garden lifted up golden candlestick heads to be decapitated at an early hour and transported in tight little bunches in dirty little fists to those of the neighbors whose spring flowers had failed to open at such an early date. In spite of what seemed an open neglect, the Poteet flowers were always more prolific and advanced than any others along the Road, much to the pride of the equally prolific and spring-blooming Mrs. Poteet. And in a spirit of nature’s accord the white poet’s narcissus showed starry flowers to the early sun in the greatest abundance along the Poteet fence that bordered on the Rucker yard. They peeped through the pickets, and who knows what challenge they flung to the poetic soul of Mr. Caleb Rucker as he sat on the side porch with his stockinged feet up on a chair and his nose tilted to an angle of ecstatic inhalation?