“Well, the’a,” said the landlord, taking the cigar out of his mouth. “I think she’s about the nicest little thing goin’. We’ve had her up he’e, to help out in a busy time, last summer, and she’s got moo sense than guls twice as old. Takes hold like—lightnin’.”
“About how old did you say she was?”
“Well, you’ve got me the’a, Mr. Landa; I guess I’ll ask Mis’ Atwell.”
“The’e’s no hurry,” said Lander. “That buckboa’d be round pretty soon?” he asked of the clerk.
“Be right along now, Mr. Lander,” said the clerk, soothingly. He stepped out to the platform that the teams drove up to from the stable, and came back to say that it was coming. “I believe you said you wanted something you could drive yourself?”
“No, I didn’t, young man,” answered the elder sharply. But the next moment he added, “Come to think of it, I guess it’s just as well. You needn’t get me no driver. I guess I know the way well enough. You put me in a hitchin’ strap.”
“All right, Mr. Lander,” said the clerk, meekly.
The landlord had caught the peremptory note in Lander’s voice, and he came out of his room again to see that there was nothing going wrong.
“It’s all right,” said Lander, and went out and got into his buckboard.
“Same horse you had yesterday,” said the young clerk. “You don’t need to spare the whip.”
“I guess I can look out for myself,” said Lander, and he shook the reins and gave the horse a smart cut, as a hint of what he might expect.
The landlord joined the clerk in looking after the brisk start the horse made. “Not the way he set off with the old lady, yesterday,” suggested the clerk.
The landlord rolled his cigar round in his tubed lips. “I guess he’s used to ridin’ after a good hoss.” He added gravely to the clerk, “You don’t want to make very free with that man, Mr. Pane. He won’t stan’ it, and he’s a class of custom that you want to cata to when it comes in your way. I suspicioned what he was when they came here and took the highest cost rooms without tu’nin’ a haia. They’re a class of custom that you won’t get outside the big hotels in the big reso’ts. Yes, sir,” said the landlord taking a fresh start, “they’re them kind of folks that live the whole yea’ round in hotels; no’th in summa, south in winta, and city hotels between times. They want the best their money can buy, and they got plenty of it. She”—he meant Mrs. Lander—“has been tellin’ my wife how they do; she likes to talk a little betta than he doos; and I guess when it comes to society, they’re away up, and they won’t stun’ any nonsense.”