After he had rapidly repeated the Lord’s prayer, which he had recently learned, and had invoked blessings on all his new friends and never-to-be-forgotten old ones, he concluded with:
“An’, O Lord, You done kep’ me f’om meddlin’ with Aunt Minerva’s hose any mo’, an’ you done kep’ me f’om gittin’ any mo’ Easter eggs, an’ playin’ any mo’ Injun, an’ You done kep’ me f’om lettin’ Mr. Algernon Jones come ag’in, an’ now, O Lord, please don’t lemme worry the very ’zistence outer Aunt Minerva any mo’ ‘n You can help, like she said I done this mornin,’ an’ please, if Thy will be done, don’t lemme tear the next new breeches what she’ll gimme like I done ruint thesehere what I got on.”
A green-eyed billy
Have some candy?” said Miss Cecilia, offering a big box of bonbons to Billy, who was visiting her.
“Where ’d you git ’em?” he asked, as he helped himself generously.
“Maurice sent them to me this morning.”
Billy put all his candy back into the box.
“I don’t believe I wants noner yo’ candy,” he said, scowling darkly. “I reckon you likes him better ’n me anyhow, don’t you?”
“I love you dearly,” she replied.
The child stood in front of her and looked her squarely in the eye. His little form was drawn to its full, proud height, his soft, fair cheeks were flushed, his big, beautiful, grey eyes looked somber and sad.
“Is you in love with that red-headed Maurice Richmond an’ jes’ a-foolin’ o’ me?” he asked with dignity.
A bright flush dyed crimson the young lady’s pretty face.
She put her arm around the childish, graceful figure and drew the little boy to the sofa beside her.
“Now, honey, you mustn’t be silly,” she said gently, “you are my own, dear, little sweetheart.”
“An’ I reckon he’s yo’ own, dear, big sweetheart,” said the jealous Billy. “Well, all I got to say is thishere; if he’s a-goin’ to come to see you ev’y day then I ain’t never comin’ no mo’. He’s been acarryin’ on his foolishness ’bout ’s long as I can stand it. You got to chose ’tween us right this minute; he come down here mos’ ev’y day, he’s tuck you drivin’ more’n fifty hundred times, an’ he’s give you all the candy you can stuff.”
“He is not the only one who comes to see me,” she said smiling down at him. “Jimmy comes often and Len Hamner and Will Reid. Don’t you want them to come?”
“Don’t nobody pay no ’tention to Jimmy,” he replied contemptuously; “he ain’t nothin’ but a baby, an’ them other mens can come if you wants ’em to; but,” said Billy, with a lover’s unerring intuition, “I ain’t a-goin’ to stand fer that long-legged, sorrel-top Maurice Richmond a-trottin’ his great big carkiss down here ev’y minute. I wish Aunt Minerva ’d let me put on long pants to-morrer so ’s we could git married.” He caught sight of a new ring sparkling on her finger.