David laughed and went on with, “Wa’al, Dick said at that the dominie give a kind of a choke, an’ Dick he bust right out, an’ Lize looked at him as if she c’d eat him. Dick said the dominie didn’t say anythin’ fer a minute or two, an’ then he says to Am, ’I suppose you c’n find somebody that’ll marry you, but I cert’inly won’t, an’ what possesses you to commit such a piece o’ folly,’ he says, ’passes my understandin’. What earthly reason have you fer wantin’ to marry? On your own showin’,’ he says, ’neither one on you ‘s got a cent o’ money or any settled way o’ gettin’ any.’
“‘That’s jest the very reason,’ says Am, ’that’s jest the very reason. I hain’t got nothin’, an’ Mis’ Annis hain’t got nothin’, an’ we figured that we’d jest better git married an’ settle down, an’ make a good home fer us both,’ an’ if that ain’t good reasonin’,” David concluded, “I don’t know what is.”
“An’ be they actially married?” asked Mrs. Bixbee, still incredulous of anything so preposterous.
“So Dick says,” was the reply. “He says Am an’ Lize come away f’m the dominie’s putty down in the mouth, but ‘fore long Amri braced up an’ allowed that if he had half a dollar he’d try the squire in the mornin’, an’ Dick let him have it. I says to Dick, ’You’re out fifty cents on that deal,’ an’ he says, slappin’ his leg, ‘I don’t give a dum,’ he says; ’I wouldn’t ‘a’ missed it fer double the money.’”
Here David folded his napkin and put it in the ring, and John finished the cup of clear coffee which Aunt Polly, rather under protest, had given him. Coffee without cream and sugar was incomprehensible to Mrs. Bixbee.
Two or three days after Christmas John was sitting in his room in the evening when there came a knock at the door, and to his “Come in” there entered Mr. Harum, who was warmly welcomed and entreated to take the big chair, which, after a cursory survey of the apartment and its furnishings, he did, saying, “Wa’al, I thought I’d come in an’ see how Polly’d got you fixed; whether the baskit [casket?] was worthy of the jew’l, as I heard a feller say in a theater once.”
“I was never more comfortable in my life,” said John. “Mrs. Bixbee has been kindness itself, and even permits me to smoke in the room. Let me give you a cigar.”
“Heh! You got putty well ’round Polly, I reckon,” said David, looking around the room as he lighted the cigar, “an’ I’m glad you’re comf’table—I reckon ’t is a shade better ’n the Eagle,” he remarked, with his characteristic chuckle.
“I should say so,” said John emphatically, “and I am more obliged than I can tell you.”
“All Polly’s doin’s,” asserted David, holding the end of his cigar critically under his nose. “That’s a trifle better article ’n I’m in the habit of smokin’,” he remarked.
“I think it’s my one extravagance,” said John semi-apologetically, “but I don’t smoke them exclusively. I am very fond of good tobacco, and—”