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“You make your jokes potential? That's sensible. Talking of jokes, Mr. Hopkins told me a good one.

“Yees?”

“Ye-es. Said there was someone who was willing to buy my place. That shows there's another humorist in the world besides myself.”

“It might be your best move to sell if you can."

“When I sell I promise you you will be the first one to be told," she answered dryly.

"You are going to stay and fight it out?” he asked, with a show of genuine eagerness.

"Didn't I tell you I would ?” “That was before you knew how hard it would be.”

“Yes, it is hard. These are laboring, snaky days. I'd almost forgotten that snake. Up north I'd have talked it for seven years.

His breath came quickly again at her mention of the gruesome incident that had brought him speeding from the woods.

“I must not detain you longer, Miss Laurie, but before I go may I shake hands with you for the grittiest girl I ever met?”

Now that word "grittiest” was unfortunately chosen, reminding her that her once well-kept little hands were now gritty indeed, grimed to the bone by the sands of the yam patch. They would have lain like small coals in his outstretched white palm.

"It isn't necessary,” she answered, whipping the discreditable members behind her back, holding her head high because of remembering the probable fact that the lovely girl in his watch had lily fingers.

“You are offended too readily," he said with coldness and pride. Then he walked off.

CHAPTER XII

O

FFENDED!” whispered Miss McAllister, hap

pily offering the word to the scenery for what

it was worth. “I am glad he thinks that I am offended rather than to think I am -or thinks that I feel-oh, I don't know what I am talking about. But how glorious the day is! And how fine and fearless the lake looks! Some day I'm going to borrow Lohengrin's swan and go out for a little paddle by myself, and maybe get near enough to the other side to catch a glimpse of his house and grove. I wager they are kept up to the nines, the way he keeps himself. I am rather pleased to know that he thinks I am brave, for I have sensible doubts about it. He seemed nicer today than ever before. Thank you, snake.”

Wrapped in the causeless, indescribable elation which Roycroft had power to wrap around her like a magic cloak, she meandered dreamily back to her former field of labor.

Lee and Tallahassie had gone. They never took particular pleasure in the undiluted society of their older sister, being too certain of hearing from her in regard to their obvious shortcomings. Osceola was alone, and was rapidly emptying the few remaining hills. In spite of the grime and heat she had kept her pink muslin dress unspotted and uncrushed, and she had kept her wild-rose face unstreaked. She graced the lowly furrow like a fresh flower blown from a bush.

In self-centered anxiety to continue to improve she greeted her yam partner with the next line of the “Elegy."

"Large was his bounty and his soul sincere.”

This happened to accord so tunefully with the general tenor of that partner's musings as to induce her to respond,

“I think so, too." After placing this sentiment on record, Laurie sat herself down to the grubbing.

Under her mushroom-shaped man's hat Osceola looked scandalized.

“That's not your line,” she scolded. “Oh!" Laurie reluctantly waked.

“Heaven did a recompense as largely send,”

she murmured apologetically, then dreamed again.

"He gave to misery all he had a tear,"

continued Osceola, frowning.

Again Laurie came to the surface with a start.

"And gained from heaven-'twas all he asked—a friend."

Then she rebelled and said coaxingly, “Oh, Eola, lassie, life itself is such a lovely poem! Let's shut the books a while and listen to it.”

“It may be well enough for you to talk that-a-way —that way-but how about those whose life a poem, Laurie? From books come my whole happiness. For the sake of being able to buy books I have worked in this ground, though I hate the sun, hate work that

CHAPTER XII

pily offering the word to the scenery for what it was worth. “I am glad he thinks that I am

offended rather than to think I am–or thinks that I feel—oh, I don’t know what I am talking about. But how glorious the day is And how fine and fearless the lake looks! Some day I’m going to borrow Lohengrin's swan and go out for a little paddle by myself, and maybe get near enough to the other side to catch a glimpse of his house and grove. I wager they are kept up to the nines, the way he keeps himself. I am rather pleased to know that he thinks I am brave, for I have sensible doubts about it. He seemed nicer today than ever before. Thank you, snake.”

Wrapped in the causeless, indescribable elation which Roycroft had power to wrap around her like a magic cloak, she meandered dreamily back to her former field of labor.

Lee and Tallahassie had gone. They never took particular pleasure in the undiluted society of their older sister, being too certain of hearing from her in regard to their obvious shortcomings. Osceola was alone, and was rapidly emptying the few remaining hills. In spite of the grime and heat she had kept her pink muslin dress unspotted and uncrushed, and she had kept her wild-rose face unstreaked. She graced the lowly furrow like a fresh flower blown from a bush.

O'FENDED !” whispered Miss McAllister, hapIn self-centered anxiety to continue to improve she greeted her yam partner with the next line of the “Elegy.”

“Large was his bounty and his soul sincere.”

This happened to accord so tunefully with the general tenor of that partner's musings as to induce her to respond, “I think so, too.” After placing this sentiment on record, Laurie sat herself down to the grubbing. Under her mushroom-shaped man’s hat Osceola looked scandalized. “That’s not your line,” she scolded. “Oh!” Laurie reluctantly waked.

“Heaven did a recompense as largely send,” she murmured apologetically, then dreamed again. “He gave to misery all he had—a tear,”

continued Osceola, frowning.
Again Laurie came to the surface with a start.

“And gained from heaven—'twas all he asked—a friend.”

Then she rebelled and said coaxingly, “Oh, Eola, lassie, life itself is such a lovely poem | Let’s shut the books a while and listen to it.” “It may be well enough for you to talk that-a-way —that way—but how about those whose life is not a poem, Laurie? From books come my whole happiness. For the sake of being able to buy books I have worked in this ground, though I hate the sun, hate work that

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