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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Do you call that any way to toak to people


"Most

Ah hold raght still like it was a photograph?" asked Miss Woodburn. "Can Ah toak?"

"Talk all you want," said Alma, squinting her eyes. "And you needn't be either adamantine, nor yet--wooden."

"Oh, ho' very good of you! Well, if Ah can toak--go on, Mr. Fulkerson!"

"Me talk? I can't breathe till this thing is done!" sighed Fulkerson; at that point of his mental drama the Colonel was behaving rustily about the return of his manuscript, and he felt that he was looking his last on Miss Woodburn's profile.

"Is she getting it raght?" asked the girl.

"I don't know which is which," said Fulkerson.

"Oh, Ah hope Ah shall! Ah don't want to go round feelin' like a sheet of papah half the time."

"You could rattle on, just the same," suggested Alma.

"Oh, now! Jost listen to that, Mr. Fulkerson. Do you call that any way to toak to people?"

"You might know which you were by the color," Fulkerson began, and then he broke off from the personal consideration with a business inspiration, and smacked himself on the knee, "We could print it in color!"

Mrs. Leighton gathered up her sewing and held it with both hands in her lap, while she came round, and looked

critically at the sketch and the model over her glasses. "It's very good, Alma," she said.

Colonel Woodburn remained restively on his side of the table. "Of course, Mr. Fulkerson, you were jesting, sir, when you spoke of printing a sketch of my daughter."

"Why, I don't know--If you object--?

"I do, sir--decidedly," said the Colonel.

"Then that settles it, of course,--I only meant--"

"Indeed it doesn't!" cried the girl. "Who's to know who it's from? Ah'm jost set on havin' it printed! Ah'm going to appear as the head of Slavery--in opposition to the head of Liberty."

"There'll be a revolution inside of forty-eight hours, and we'll have the Colonel's system going wherever a copy of 'Every Other Week' circulates," said Fulkerson.

"This sketch belongs to me," Alma interposed. "I'm not going to let it be printed."

"Oh, mah goodness!" said Miss Woodburn, laughing good-humoredly. "That's becose you were brought up to hate slavery."

"I should like Mr. Beaton to see it," said Mrs. Leighton, in a sort of absent tone. She added, to Fulkerson: "I rather expected he might be in to-night."

"Well, if he comes we'll leave it to Beaton," Fulkerson said, with relief in the solution, and an anxious glance at the Colonel, across the table, to see how he took that form of the joke. Miss Woodburn intercepted his glance and laughed, and Fulkerson laughed, too, but rather forlornly.

Alma set her lips primly and turned her head first on one side and then on the other to look at the sketch. "I don't think we'll leave it to Mr. Beaton, even if he comes."

"We left the other design for the cover to Beaton," Fulkerson insinuated. "I guess you needn't be afraid of him."

"Is it a question of my being afraid?" Alma asked; she seemed coolly intent on her drawing.


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