They walked together to the door. On the threshold the woman turned.
She would have fallen at Miss Mary’s feet. But at the same moment the young girl reached out her arms, caught the sinful woman to her own pure breast for one brief moment, and then closed and locked the door.
It was with a sudden sense of great responsibility that Profane Bill took the reins of the Slumgullion stage the next morning, for the schoolmistress was one of his passengers. As he entered the highroad, in obedience to a pleasant voice from the “inside,” he suddenly reined up his horses and respectfully waited, as Tommy hopped out at the command of Miss Mary.
“Not that bush, Tommy—the next.”
Tommy whipped out his new pocket-knife, and cutting a branch from a tall azalea-bush, returned with it to Miss Mary.
“All right now?”
And the stage-door closed on the Idyl of Red Gulch.
CRUTCH, THE PAGE ------------------- BY GEORGE ALFRED TOWNSEND
George Alfred Townsend (born at Georgetown, Del., January 30, 1841) has written over his signature of “Gath” more newspaper correspondence than any other living writer. In addition he has found time to write a number of books, one of which, “Tales of the Chesapeake” published in 1880, ranks among the notable collections of American short stories. It contains tales in the manner of Hawthorne, Poe, and Bret Harte, which critics have complimented as being equal to the work of these masters. Of the present selection, a story in which a famous Washington character, “Beau Hickman” is introduced, E. C. Stedman said: “It is good enough for Bret Harte or anybody."
CRUTCH, THE PAGE
BY GEORGE ALFRED TOWNSEND ("OATH”)
[Footnote: From “Tales of the Chesapeake.” Copyright, 1880, by George
The Honorable Jeems Bee, of Texas, sitting in his committee-room half an hour before the convening of Congress, waiting for his negro familiar to compound a julep, was suddenly confronted by a small boy on crutches.
“A letter!” exclaimed Mr. Bee, “with the frank of Reybold on it—that Yankeest of Pennsylvania Whigs! Yer’s familiarity! Wants me to appoint one U—U—U, what?”
“Uriel Basil,” said the small boy on crutches, with a clear, bold, but rather sensitive voice.
“Uriel Basil, a page in the House of Representatives, bein’ an infirm, deservin’ boy, willin’ to work to support his mother. Infirm boy wants to be a page, on the recommendation of a Whig, to a Dimmycratic committee. I say, gen’lemen, what do you think of that, heigh?”
This last addressed to some other members of the committee, who had meantime entered.
“Infum boy will make a spry page,” said the Hon. Box Izard, of Arkansaw.
“Harder to get infum page than the Speaker’s eye,” said the orator, Pontotoc Bibb, of Georgia.