pulpit if you can oblige me with one.'

"Bill scratched his head an' I held my breath. Then says he,

'Pears to me I'd ought to hev a pulpit or two, if I can jest

remember where I keep 'em. I don't never cal'late to be out o'

pulpits, but I'm so plagued for room I can't keep 'em in here with

the groc'ries. Jim (that's his new store boy), you jest take a

lantern an' run out in the far corner o' the shed, at the end

o' the hickory woodpile, an' see how many pulpits we've got in

stock!' Well, Jim run out, an' when he come back he says, 'We've

got two, Mr. Pike. Shall I bring one of 'em in?'

"At that the boys all bust out laughin' an' hollerin' an'

tauntin' the Gorham man, an' he paid up with a good will, I tell

ye!"

"I don't approve of bettin'," said Mrs. Wiley grimly, "but I'll

try to sanctify the money by usin' it for a new wash-boiler."

"The fact is," explained old Kennebec, somewhat confused, "that

the boys made me spend every cent of it then an' there."

Rose heard her grandmother's caustic reply, and then paid no

further attention until her keen ear caught the sound of

Stephen's name. It was a part of her unhappiness that since her

broken engagement no one would ever allude to him, and she longed

to hear him mentioned, so that perchance she could get some

inkling of his movements.

"I met Stephen to-night for the first time in a week," said Mr.

Wiley. "He kind o' keeps out o' my way lately. He's goin' to

drive his span into Portland tomorrow mornin' and bring Rufus

home from the hospital Sunday afternoon. The doctors think

they've made a success of their job, but Rufus has got to be

bandaged up a spell longer. Stephen is goin' to join the drive

Monday mornin' at the bridge here, so I'll get the latest news o'

the boy. Land! I'll be turrible glad if he gets out with his

eyesight, if it's only for Steve's sake. He's a turrible good

fellow, Steve is! He said something to-night that made me set

more store by him than ever. I told you I hedn't heard an unkind

word ag'in' Rose sence she come home from Boston, an' no more I

hev till this evenin: There was two or three fellers talkin' in

the post-office, an' they didn't suspicion I was settin' on the

steps outside the screen door. That Jim Jenkins, that Rose so

everlastin'ly snubbed at the tavern dance, spoke up, an' says he:

'This time last year Rose Wiley could 'a' hed the choice of any

man on the river, an' now I bet ye she can't get nary one.'

"Steve was there, jest goin' out the door, with some bags o'

coffee an' sugar under his arm.

"'I guess you're mistaken about that,' he says, speakin' up jest

like lightnin'; 'so long as Stephen Waterman's alive, Rose Wiley

can have him, for one; and that everybody's welcome to know.'

"He spoke right out, loud an' plain, jest as if he was readin'

the Declaration of Independence. I expected the boys would

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