“But,” sez he firmly, “I will be a gondolier, I’m bound on’t. And,” sez he, “I want one of them gorgeous silk dresses that they wear. I’d love to appear in a red and yeller suit, Samantha, or a green and purple, or a blue and maroon, with a pink sash made of thin glitterin’ silk, but I spoze that you will break that up in a minute. So, I spoze that I shall have to dwindle down onto a silk scarf, or some plumes in my hat, mebby—you never are willin’ for me to soar out and spread myself, but you probable wouldn’t break up a few feathers.”
I groaned aloud, and mentally groped round for aid, and instinctively ketched holt of religion.
Sez I, “Elder Minkley is here, Josiah Allen, and Deacon Henzy—Jonesville church is languishin’ in debt. Is this a time for feathers? What will they think on’t? If you can spend money for silk scarfs and plumes, they’ll expect you, and with good reason, too, to raise the debt on the meetin’-house.”
He paused. Economy prevailed; what love couldn’t effect or common sense, closeness did.
His brow cleared from its anxious, ambitious creases, and sez he, “Wall, do come on and less be goin.”
It rained some in the mornin’, and Josiah said, “That it wuz presumptious for any one to go out onto the Fair ground in such a time.”
So he settled down with the last Sunday’s World, which he hadn’t had time to read before, and looked and acted as if he wuzn’t goin’ to stir out of his tracks in some time.
[Illustration: He wuzn’t goin’ to stir.]
But I went out onto the stoop and kinder put my hand out and looked up into the clouds clost, and I see that it didn’t do no more than to mist some, and I felt as if it wuz a-goin’ to clear off before long.
So I said that I wuz a-goin’ to venter out.
Josiah opposed me warmly, and brung up the dangers that might befall me with no pardner to protect me.
He brung up a hull heap on ’em and laid ’em down in front of me, but I calmly walked past ’em, and took down my second-best dress and bunnet, and a good deep water-proof cape, and sot off.
Wall, I got to the Fair ground with no casualities worth mentionin’, and I sauntered round there with my faithful umbrell as my only gardeen, and see a sight, and took considerable comfort.
I had a good honorable lunch at noon, and I wuz a-standin’ on the steps of one of the noble palaces, when I see a sedan chair approachin’ shaped jest like them in my old Gography, borne by two of the men who carry such chairs. Curius-lookin’ creeters they be, with their gay turbans and sashes, and long colored robes lookin’ some like my long night-gowns, only much gayer-lookin’.
As it approached nearer I see a pretty girlish face a-lookin’ out of the side from the curtains that wuz drawed away, a sweet face with a smile on it.