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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 160 pages of information about Rose of Old Harpeth.
frail stems off frailer bushes—­but—­if it hadn’t been—­a sort of fair play all around I wouldn’t stand here telling you about it, you in your hedge of briar roses.  And now suddenly something has come into my life that makes me regret every dollar tossed to the winds and every cent burned in the fires—­and in spite of it all I must make good.  I’m going away from you and I don’t know what is going to happen—­but as I tell you from now on my feet do not stray from Providence Road, my eyes will turn from across any distance to catch a sight of the crown of old Harpeth, and my heart is in your milk-house to be of any kind of humble use.  Ah, comfort me, rose girl, that I can not say more and that go I must if I catch my train.”  And he stretched out his hands to Rose Mary as she arose and stood close at his side, her eyes never leaving his and her lips parted with the quick breathing of her lifted breast.

“And you’ll remember, won’t you, when things go wrong, or you are tired, that the sunny corner in the old farm-house is yours?  Always I shall be here in Harpeth Valley with my nest in the Briars, and because you are gone I’ll be lonely.  But I won’t be in the least anxious, for whatever it is that calls you, I know you will give the right answer, because—­because—­well, aren’t you one of my own nesties, and don’t I know how strong and straight your wings can fly?”

CHAPTER VIII

UNCLE TUCKER’S TORCH

“And how do you do, Mr. Crabtree?  Glad to see you, suh, glad to see you again!  How is all Sweetbriar?  Any new voters since young Tucker, or a poem or so in the Rucker family?  And are you succeeding in keeping the peace with Mrs. Plunkett for young Bob?” And firing this volley of questions through the gently agitated smile-veil the Honorable Gideon Newsome stood in the door of the store, large-looming and jocular.

“Well, howdy, howdy, Senator, come right in and have a chair in the door-breeze!” exclaimed Mr. Crabtree as he turned to beam a welcome on the Senator from behind the counter where he was filling kerosene cans.  “We ain’t seen you in most a month of Sundays, and I’m sure glad you lit in passing again.”

“I never just light in passing Sweetbriar, friend Crabtree,” answered the senator impressively.  “I start every journey with a stop at Sweetbriar in view, and it seems a long time until I make the haven I assure you, suh.  And now for the news.  You say my friend, Mrs. Plunkett, is enjoying her usual good health and spirits?”

“Well, not to say enjoying of things in general, but it do seem she has got just a little mite of spirit back along of this here bully-ragging of Bob and Louisa Helen.  She come over here yesterday and stood by the counter upwards of an hour before I could persuade her to be easy in her mind about letting Bob take that frizzling over to Providence to a ice-cream festibul Mis’ Mayberry was a-having for the church carpet

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