“‘Yes’m,’ I says, ’I seen the hull show, putty much. I guess poor folks must be ’t a premium ‘round here. I reckon,’ I says, ’that if they’d club together, the folks your husband p’inted out to me to-day could almost satisfy the requirements of the ’Merican Soci’ty fer For’n Missions.’ Mis’ Price laughed, an’ looked over at her husband. ‘Yes,’ says Price, ’I told Mr. Harum about some of the people we saw this afternoon, an’ I must say he didn’t appear to be as much impressed as I thought he would. How’s that, Harum?’ he says to me.
“‘Wa’al,’ says I, ‘I was thinkin’ ’t I’d like to bet you two dollars to a last year’s bird’s nest,’ I says, ’that if all them fellers we seen this afternoon, that air over fifty, c’d be got together, an’ some one was suddinly to holler “LOW BRIDGE!” that nineteen out o’ twenty ’d duck their heads.’”
“And then?” queried John.
“Wa’al,” said David, “all on ’em laughed some, but Price—he jest lay back an’ roared, and I found out afterwuds,” added David, “that ev’ry man at the table, except the Englis’man, know’d what ‘low bridge’ meant from actial experience. Wa’al, scat my ——!” he exclaimed, as he looked at his watch, “it ain’t hardly wuth while undressin’,” and started for the door. As he was halfway through it, he turned and said, “Say, I s’pose you’d ‘a’ known what to do with that egg,” but he did not wait for a reply.
It must not be understood that the Harums, Larrabees, Robinsons, Elrights, and sundry who have thus far been mentioned, represented the only types in the prosperous and enterprising village of Homeville, and David perhaps somewhat magnified the one-time importance of the Cullom family, although he was speaking of a period some forty years earlier. Be that as it may, there were now a good many families, most of them descendants of early settlers, who lived in good and even fine houses, and were people of refinement and considerable wealth. These constituted a coterie of their own, though they were on terms of acquaintance and comity with the “village people,” as they designated the rank and file of the Homeville population. To these houses came in the summer sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, and at the period of which I am writing there had been built on the shore of the lake, or in its vicinity, a number of handsome and stately residences by people who had been attracted by the beauty of the situation and the salubrity of the summer climate. And so, for some months in the pleasant season, the village was enlivened by a concourse of visitors who brought with them urban customs, costumes, and equipages, and gave a good deal of life and color to the village streets. Then did Homeville put its best foot forward and money in its pouch.