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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Volume 3 by Howells

And Ah'm just goin' to toak yo' to death


She

finally recognized his disappointment: "Ah don't often get a chance at you, Mr. Beaton, and Ah'm just goin' to toak yo' to death. Yo' have been Soath yo'self, and yo' know ho' we do toak."

"I've survived to say yes," Beaton admitted.

"Oh, now, do you think we toak so much mo' than you do in the No'th?" the young lady deprecated.

"I don't know. I only know you can't talk too much for me. I should like to hear you say Soath and house and about for the rest of my life."

"That's what Ah call raght personal, Mr. Beaton. Now Ah'm goin' to be personal, too." Miss Woodburn flung out over her lap the square of cloth she was embroidering, and asked him: "Don't you think that's beautiful? Now, as an awtust--a great awtust?"

"As a great awtust, yes," said Beaton, mimicking her accent. "If I were less than great I might have something to say about the arrangement of colors. You're as bold and original as Nature."

"Really? Oh, now, do tell me yo' favo'ite colo', Mr. Beaton."

"My favorite color? Bless my soul, why should I prefer any? Is blue good, or red wicked? Do people have favorite colors?" Beaton found himself suddenly interested.

"Of co'se they do," answered the girl. "Don't awtusts?"

justify;">"I never heard of one that had--consciously."

"Is it possible? I supposed they all had. Now mah favo'ite colo' is gawnet. Don't you think it's a pretty colo'?"

"It depends upon how it's used. Do you mean in neckties?" Beaton stole a glance at the one Fulkerson was wearing.

Miss Woodburn laughed with her face bowed upon her wrist. "Ah do think you gentlemen in the No'th awe ten tahms as lahvely as the ladies."

"Strange," said Beaton. "In the South--Soath, excuse me! I made the observation that the ladies were ten times as lively as the gentlemen. What is that you're working?"

"This?" Miss Woodburn gave it another flirt, and looked at it with a glance of dawning recognition. "Oh, this is a table-covah. Wouldn't you lahke to see where it's to go?"

"Why, certainly."

"Well, if you'll be raght good I'll let yo' give me some professional advass about putting something in the co'ners or not, when you have seen it on the table."

She rose and led the way into the other room. Beaton knew she wanted to talk with him about something else; but he waited patiently to let her play her comedy out. She spread the cover on the table, and he advised her, as he saw she wished, against putting anything in the corners; just run a line of her stitch around the edge, he said.

"Mr. Fulkerson and Ah, why, we've been having a regular faght aboat it," she commented. "But we both agreed, fahnally, to leave it to you; Mr. Fulkerson said you'd be sure to be raght. Ah'm so glad you took mah sahde. But he's a great admahrer of yours, Mr. Beaton," she concluded, demurely, suggestively.

"Is he? Well, I'm a great admirer of Fulkerson," said Beaton, with a capricious willingness to humor her wish to talk about Fulkerson. "He's a capital fellow; generous, magnanimous, with quite an ideal of friendship and an eye single to the main chance all the time. He would advertise 'Every Other Week' on his family vault."

Miss Woodburn laughed, and said she should tell him what Beaton had said.

"Do. But he's used to defamation from me, and he'll think you're joking."


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