The answer to this question ought naturally to have been the end of the talk; but Alminy Cutterr lingered and looked as if she had something more on her mind. A young fellow does not require a great experience to read a simple country-girl's face as if it were a sign-board.

I used to play with a bear when I was a boy; and the bear used to hug me, and I used to kiss him, so!" It was too bad of Mr. Bernard, only the second time he had seen Alminy; but her kind feelings had touched him, and that seemed the most natural way of expressing his gratitude. Ahniny looked round to see if anybody was near; she saw nobody, so of course it would do no good to "holler."

It was natural that the two prettiest girls in the village, called in the local dialect, as nearly as our limited alphabet will represent it, Alminy Cutterr, and Arvilly Braowne, should feel and express an interest in the good-looking stranger, and that, when their flattering comments were repeated in the hearing of their indigenous admirers, among whom were some of the older "boys" of the school, it should not add to the amiable dispositions of the turbulent youth.

"Wall," sez I calmly, "I have got one." And she told me to come in good season. That afternoon, Josiah a bein' out for a walk, I took out of my trunk a dress that Alminy Hagidon had made for me out of a very full pattern I had got of a peddler, and wanted it all put in, so's it would fade all alike, for I mistrusted it wouldn't wash.

The master took his breakfast with a good appetite that morning, but was perhaps rather more quiet than usual. After breakfast he went up-stairs and put, on a light loose frock, instead of that which he commonly wore, which was a close-fitting and rather stylish one. On his way to school he met Alminy Cutterr, who happened to be walking in the other direction.

"Why, what's the matter, my dear?" said Mr. Bernard. Don't think there was anything very odd in that "my dear," at the second interview with a village belle; some of these woman-tamers call a girl "My dear," after five minutes' acquaintance, and it sounds all right as they say it. But you had better not try it at a venture. It sounded all right to Alminy, as Mr. Bernard said it.

So, at the expiration of the appointed time, Bernard Langdon, late master of the School District No. 1, Pigwacket Centre, took his departure from that place for another locality, whither we shall follow him, carrying with him the regrets of the committee, of most of the scholars, and of several young ladies; also two locks of hair, sent unbeknown to payrents, one dark and one warmish auburn, inscribed with the respective initials of Alminy Cutterr and Arvilly Braowne.

Many a year he had been "hangin' 'raoun'" Alminy, and never did he see any encouraging look, or hear any "Behave, naow!" or "Come, naow, a'n't ye 'shamed?" or other forbidding phrase of acquiescence, such as village belles under stand as well as ever did the nymph who fled to the willows in the eclogue we all remember.

"Why, what's the matter, my dear?" said Mr. Bernard. Don't think there was anything very odd in that "my dear," at the second interview with a village belle; some of these woman-tamers call a girl "My dear," after five minutes' acquaintance, and it sounds all right as they say it. But you had better not try it at a venture. It sounded all right to Alminy, as Mr. Bernard said it.

There wuz 3 piazzas about as long as from our house to Jonesville, or from Jonesville to Loontown, all filled with folks magnificently dressed, and a big garden layin' between 'em about as big as from our house to Miss Gowdey's, and so round crossways to Alminy Hagidone's brother's, and back agin'. It wuz full as fur as that, and you know well that that is a great distance.