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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

For they'd draw the double waggin


When

Christopher told his wife of the decision about the house, the answering remark, made approvingly, was, 'That's a spunky little girl!'

'What do you mean?' said Christopher, not approving such an irreverent expression.

'She's got stuff in her. I like that sort.'

'But that house ain't really a place for her, you know.'

'That's what I'm lookin' at,' returned Mrs. Bounder, with a broad smile at him. 'She ain't scared by no nonsense from duin' what she's got to du. Don't you be scared neither; houses don't make the folks that live in 'em. But what I'm thinkin' of is, they'll want lots o' help to git along with their movin'. Christopher, do you know there's a big box waggin in the barn?'

'I know it.'

'Wall, that'll carry their things fust-rate, ef you kin tackle up your fine-steppin' French emperor there with our Dolly. Will he draw in double harness?'

'Will he! Well, I'll try to persuade him.'

'An' you needn't to let on anything about it. They ain't obleeged to know where the waggin comes from.'

'You're as clever a woman as any I know!' said Mr. Bounder, with a smile of complacency. 'Sally up there can't beat you; and _she's_ a smart woman, too.'

A

few minutes were given to the business of the supper table, and then Mrs. Bounder asked,--

'What are they goin' to du with the French emperor?'

'Buonaparte?' (Christopher called it 'Buonaparty.') 'Well, they'll have to get rid of him somehow. I suppose that job'll come on me.'

'I was thinkin'. Our Dolly's gittin' old'--

'Buonaparty was old some time ago,' returned Christopher, with a sly twinkle of his eyes as he looked at his wife.

'There's work in him yet, ain't there?'

'Lots!'

'Then two old ones would be as good as one young one, and better, for they'd draw the double waggin. What'll they ask for him?'

'It'll be what I can get, I'm thinking.'

'What did you pay for him?'

Christopher named the sum the colonel had given. It was not a high figure; however, he knew, and she knew, that a common draught horse for their garden work could be had for something less. Mrs. Bounder meditated a little, and finally concluded,--

'It won't break us.'

'Save me lots o' trouble,' said Christopher; 'if you don't mind paying so much.'

'If _you_ don't mind, Christopher,' his wife returned, with a grin. 'I've got the money here in the house; you might hand it over to Miss Esther to-morrow; I'll bet you she'll know what to du with it.'

Christopher nodded. 'She'll be uncommon glad of it, to be sure! There ain't much cash come into her hands for a good bit. And I see sometimes she's been real worrited.'


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