"Why, no, Mattie," said Sam, a little disconcerted. "Her ma was along." "Why didn't you say so, then?" asked the unappeased beauty. "I forgot all about the old lady, though she was more chinny than the young one. She just seemed like she was a-practisin' the mother-in-law, so as to do it without stumblin' when the time come." "Hullo!

An' he went to work a-practisin' 'air-dyes the very next day, beginnin' on some white rabbits he had, an' then he drored all Rip's markin's on t' back of a white Commissariat bullock, so as to get his 'and in an' be sure of his colours; shadin' off brown into black as nateral as life.

I got 'em trained so dat at de menshun of de word 'reform' dey all busts out in one gran' roar er ent'oosiasm. I had eight hunered of 'em a-practisin' in de assembly rooms over Paddy Coogan's saloon las' night. I tole 'em de louder dey yelled when I said de word 'reform' de more beer dey'd get w'en de lectur was done.

"Why in heck don't we run this here pink-faced conjure-doctor outen the mountings?" demanded Caleb, who had drunk more than a half-pint. "He's a-castin' spells over the boy. He's a-practisin' of deviltries." "We're a-goin' ter see about thet right now," was the response. "We don't 'low to let hit run on no further."

Laughter was smothered, talk whispered. "He'm a-practisin' his spaches." "Smoke the cunnin' old vox out!" "Red pepper's the proper stuff." "See men sneeze! We've a-screed up the door." Then, as a face showed at the lighted window, a burst of harsh laughter broke the hush. He at the window was seen struggling violently to wrench away a bar. The laughter swelled to hooting.