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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 405 pages of information about Galusha the Magnificent.

“You haven’t bored me, Mr. Bangs,” she said,

“Oh, but I must have, really.  I should know better.  You see. . . .  Well, it’s quite extraordinary my talking to you in this way, isn’t it?  I don’t do it often—­ah—­except to other members of my profession.  Why, up there in the mountains—­at the place where I spent the past month or two, I scarcely talked of—­ah—­my work at all.  And I was constantly being asked to do so.  There was a dreadful—­ah—­that is, there was a woman who. . . .  But I promise you I won’t go on in this way again, Miss Phipps, really I won’t.”

Martha drew a long breath and shook her head.

“I hope you won’t promise any such thing,” she declared.  “I feel as if I had been readin’ the most interestin’ storybook that ever was. . . .  My, my!” she added, with a sigh.  “What a curious thing life is, isn’t it?  There’s nothin’ new in that thought, of course, but it comes to us all every little while, I suppose.  Just think of the difference there has been in our two lives, for instance.  Here are you, Mr. Bangs, you’ve been everywhere, pretty nearly, and yet you’re—­well, you’re not so very big or strong-lookin’.  The average person would say I was the one best fitted to trot around the world, and all my life—­or nearly all—­I’ve been keepin’ house in this little corner of East Wellmouth.  That’s curious, isn’t it?  Of course I can’t see myself doin’ the things you do—­ridin’ a camel, for instance.”

“Oh, but it is quite easy, quite,” Galusha hastened to assure her.  “You could do it very well, I’m sure, Miss Phipps.”

“Maybe so, but I’m afraid I’m a little bit doubtful.  I should want my camel on wheels, with a railin’ around his hump.  But you must feel lost enough down in this tame place, Mr. Bangs.  The wildest thing around here is a woodchuck.”

She laughed.  Galusha smiled, but he answered promptly.

“I like it here, Miss Phipps,” he said, earnestly.  “I do, really.  I like it very much indeed.  In fact—­in fact—­Miss Phipps, would you mind answering a question or two? . . .  Oh, they’re not personal questions, personal to you, I mean.  Really they are not.  May I ask them?”

She was puzzled and looked so.

“Why, of course,” she said.

“Well . . . well, they’re foolish questions, I suppose, for I think I know the answers already.  But, you see, I want my conscience to be quite clear before making a decision. . . .  That is, the decision is already made, but you see . . . oh, no, you don’t see, of course, do you?”

“Why not ask your questions, Mr. Bangs?” she suggested.

“Yes—­ah—­thank you; yes, I will.  The first one is about—­ah—­ rest.  This is a good spot for one to—­ah—­rest in, isn’t it?”

She laughed.  “Are you jokin’, Mr. Bangs?” she asked.  “Rest!  I should say the average person would find it easier to rest here than to do anything else.  But you are jokin’, of course?”

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