“Yes. Bangor, Maine. Now there’s a place as is beau—Take the town hall, for instance. And the Soldiers’ Monument. And the cemetery. They got the swellest cemetery in Bangor you ever—.” Gilbert was almost doubling up with laughter; but Uncle Henry went right on: “As for this gol darn place, I wish it was in—An’ it wouldn’t have fur to go, neither!” he added, emphatically, smiling at his own humor. “I wisht I was back in Maine! There’s where I was always so happy!”
By this time Lucia was smiling too. She went over and shook her finger gently in the invalid’s face. “You’re cross just because you’re hungry!”
“I ain’t neither!” Smith replied, like a little boy.
“Yes, you are!” Lucia kept on.
“Uh, uh!” she teased him, as though she were playing with a baby.
Smith grew peevish. “Gol darn it, I tell you I ain’t!” And he gave his chair a rapid twirl.
“Boo!” came from Lucia softly. She laughed, and ran up the tiny stone stairs that led to her room.
“Boo, yourself!” called out Uncle Henry, determined to have the last word, as Lucia disappeared. Then he turned querulously on his nephew, as soon as he was certain she was out of hearing. “Why did you ever invite ’em to stay here in the first place?” he wanted to know. The sound of “Red’s” harmonica was heard outside.
“Because there was no decent hotel anywhere near. I couldn’t do less than offer them what little hospitality I had, could I, when Sturgis suggested it?”
But his uncle didn’t agree with him at all. “You could have done a whole lot less,” he decided. “You could have invited ’em to keep on going. Comin’ here at a time like this, and not only eatin’ us out of house and home, but drinkin’ up the last bottle of liquor in the world!” This seemed to him the culminating tragedy. When his nephew said nothing at all, he asked, petulantly, “Well, what are you going to do? That’s what I want to know.”
“What can I do?”
“Do you mean to say you’re going to set here and get throwed out into the street and not even try to do something?”
Gilbert merely shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, of all the—” his Uncle Henry went on. “It’s a darn good thing for you that I’m an invalid! That’s all I got to say!” He wheeled about, and aimed at the door that led to the open air. At that instant “Red” Giddings, the husky young foreman, appeared directly in his path, his shock of fiery hair like an aureole about his head. “Git out o’ my way!” Uncle Henry yelled. “Gol darn the gol darn luck, anyhow!”
And through years of practice he shot into the yard as straight as an arrow.
Wherein “Red” Reveals his heart, and Mrs. Quinn gives him good coffee and good advice