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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 405 pages of information about Galusha the Magnificent.
Phipps.  Of course, the lies and deceit had resulted in a distinct benefit to her and had been perpetrated solely with that idea, but this fact he ignored entirely.  And no murderer could have been more anxious to hide his guilty secret than was he.  So, for the first few days after his return with the light keeper’s money, he was inclined to be thoughtful and nervous, to fall into troubled trances at table or in the middle of a conversation, and to start rather violently when aroused from those trances.  Primmie was disposed to attribute these lapses to disease.  She confided her fears to her employer.

“You know what I think ’tis makes him act so, Miss Martha?” she asked, on one occasion.

“Makes who act how?”

“Makes Mr. Bangs set there and go moonin’ off and not pay no attention and then jump when you wake him up as if you’d stuck a pin in him.  You know what I think ’tis?  I think maybe it’s dropsy.”

What?”

“Um-hm.  I had a great-aunt once; had a slew of ’em, fur’s that goes, ’cause my grandmother on the starboard side—­”

What side?”

“Eh!  Oh, that’s what pa used to call his side of the family, the starboard side.  All ma’s folks was port side, ‘cordin’ to his tell.  He’d worked aboard vessels, pa had; that is, as much as he ever worked anywheres.  Well, anyhow, his grandmother she had eight sisters and three brothers, so I had great-aunts thicker’n miskeeters in a swamp hole—­my savin’ soul, yes!  Well, anyhow, one of ’em, Aunt Lucifer ’twas—­”

PrimmieWhat was her name?”

“Lucifer.  Ma and us children always called her Aunt Lucy, though; she liked it better.”

“Heavens and earth!  I should think she might.  What possessed anybody to name a child Lucifer?  And a girl-child at that!”

“Does sound kind of funny, don’t it?  Folks ’most always used to laugh when they heard what her name was.  That is, fust along they did; but they never laughed but once when she was around.  Talk about makin’ anybody mad!  And temper—­my Lord of Isrul!  Why, if they laughed at her name she was li’ble to grab hold of the fust thing come to hand, flatiron or frying pan or chunk of stove wood or anything, and let ’em have it rattlety-bang-jing. I never seen her do it, of course—­all that was afore my time—­but pa used to say it never made no difference whether ’twas the man come tryin’ to collect the store bill or the minister or anybody, she’d up and flatten him just the same.  Course pa said ’twas a whole lot more li’ble to be the bill man than the minister ’cause there was precious few ministers ever—­”

“There, there, Primmie!  I can’t stop to listen any longer, I’m busy.  But do tell me why they named the poor thing Lucifer?  How did they ever hear the name, anyway; way over in those Mashpaug woods?”

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