The Landlord at Lions Head — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 147 pages of information about The Landlord at Lions Head Complete.

Whitwell put his hand in his pocket for his knife, and mechanically looked down for a stick to whittle.  In default of any, he scratched his head.  “I guess she’ll make it warm for him.  She’s had her mind set on his studyin’ law so long, ’t she won’t give up in a hurry.  She can’t see that Jackson ain’t fit to help her run the hotel any more—­till he’s had a rest, anyway—­and I believe she thinks her and Frank could run it—­and you.  She’ll make an awful kick,” said Whitwell, solemnly.  “I hope you didn’t encourage him, Cynthy?”

“I should encourage him,” said the girl.  “He’s got the right to shape his own life, and nobody else has got the right to do it; and I should tell his mother so, if she ever said anything to me about it.”

“All right,” said Whitwell.  “I suppose you know what you’re about.”

“I do, father.  Jeff would make a good landlord; he’s got ideas about a hotel, and I can see that they’re the right ones.  He’s been out in the world, and he’s kept his eyes open.  He will make Lion’s Head the best hotel in the mountains.”

“It’s that already.”

“He doesn’t think it’s half as good as he can make it.”

“It wouldn’t be half what it is now, if it wa’n’t for you and Frank.”

“I guess he understands that,” said Cynthia.  “Frank would be the clerk.”

“Got it all mapped out!” said Whitwell, proudly, in his turn.  “Look out you don’t slip up in your calculations.  That’s all.”

“I guess we cha’n’t slip up.”

XIII.

Jeff came into the ugly old family parlor, where his mother sat mending by the kerosene-lamp which she had kept through all the household changes, and pushed enough of her work aside from the corner of the table to rest his arm upon it.

“Mother, I want you to listen to me, and to wait till I get done.  Will you?”

She looked up at him over her spectacles from the stocking she was darning; the china egg gleamed through the frayed place.  “What notion have you got in your head, now?”

“It’s about Jackson.  He isn’t well.  He’s got to leave off work and go away.”

The mother’s hand dropped at the end of the yarn she had drawn through the stocking heel, and she stared at Jeff.  Then she resumed her work with the decision expressed in her tone.  “Your father lived to be sixty years old, and Jackson a’n’t forty!  The doctor said there wa’n’t any reason why he shouldn’t live as long as his father did.”

“I’m not saying he won’t live to a hundred.  I’m saying he oughtn’t to stay another winter here,” Jeff said, decisively.

Mrs. Durgin was silent for a time, and then she said.  “Jeff, is that your notion about Jackson, or whose is it?”

“It’s mine, now.”

Mrs, Durgin waited a moment.  Then she began, with a feeling quite at variance with her words: 

“Well, I’ll thank Cynthy Whit’ell to mind her own business!  Of course,” she added, and in what followed her feeling worked to the surface in her words, “I know ’t she thinks the world of Jackson, and he does of her; and I presume she means well.  I guess she’d be more apt to notice, if there was any change, than what I should.  What did she say?”

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The Landlord at Lions Head — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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