A Man and a Woman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about A Man and a Woman.

There were Harrison Woodell and George Appleton and Frank Hoadly and Mortimer Butler, among the older boys; and, among the second growth, though varying somewhat in their ages, were Alf Maitland and Maurice Shannon and Grant Harlson, and three or four others who ranked with them.  The girls differed more in age, for there were some who aspired to be teachers, who, if boys, would have been home at work in summer-time, and some who could come, while very young, since their older sisters came with them to exercise all needed care.  And among the smaller ones, though not so young as some, was Katie Welwood, a black-haired, black-eyed, evil-tempered little thing, who was the rage among the boys.  She had smiled upon Grant Harlson, and smiled upon young Maitland, so early in her years is the female a coquette, and they looked askance upon each other, though they were the best of friends.  Had they not together defied the big George Appleton, and vanquished him in running fight, and were they not sworn allies, come any weal or woe!  But woman, even at the age of ten, has ever been the cause of trouble between males, and those two had, on her account, a mortal feud.  It all came suddenly.  There had been certain jealousies and heartaches caused by the raven-locked young vixen with the winning eyes, but there had been no outspoken words of anger between these vassals in her train until there came excuse in other way, for your country lad is modest, and never admits that his ailing has aught to do with the grand passion.  But there had been a sharp debate over the proper ownership of a big gray squirrel at which they had shot their arrows from strong hickory bows together, and, with this excuse for fuel to the fire already smoldering, there soon came a great flame.  Neither would yield to one he knew in his heart addicted to winning, villainously, the affections of the young woman, and so they fought.  Unfortunately for Grant, Napoleon was at least in a measure right when he remarked that Providence always favored the heaviest battalions, and equally unfortunate for him that Alf, as resolute as he, was just a little heavier, was as tough of fiber at that stage of their young careers, and was, in a general way, what a patron of the prize ring would term the better man.  Grant went home licked as thoroughly as any country boy, not hyper-critical, could ask, and should have felt that all was lost save honor.  But he did not feel that way.  He did not consider honor at greater length than is generally done by any boy of ten, on the way to eleven, but he did want vengeance.  To lose his siren and a portion of his blood—­“-’twas from the nose,” as Byron says—­together, was too much for his philosophy.  He must have vengeance!  He was no lambkin, and he knew things.  He had read the Swiss Family Robinson.  He resolved that on the morrow he would spear his hated rival and successful adversary!


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A Man and a Woman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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