"Er-haw! haw! haw!" laughed Hunker. "I reckon the whole town seen 'em, too. Say, they hit up Applesnack's cider barrel, and the stuff fixed 'em it suttinly fixed 'em. They were corned for keeps. Went through town a-hoorayin' and a-whoopin' for you and for all your friends. Said they was goin' down to show their good feelin's toward ye.
"We'll all go over to the grocery and wash the dust out of our throats with Applesnack's cider." "Now, boys," protested the deacon, "I don't think I'd better go. If it should come out, people would talk. I think I'll keep away." "No, ye don't! No, ye don't!" declared Given, as he grasped one of the deacon's arms. "Git hold of his other wing, Eben.
We'll dig him out and bury him in the pauper's lot, if nobody don't claim his carkiss. I judge there'll be a settin' of the coroner's jury on the case, but I kinder guess you needn't worry, young man. A Mexican that tackles a woman gits what he desarves if he's drownded same as this one. Don't you worry. Don't you fret. I s'pose this'll make plenty of talk for the boys at Applesnack's to-night.
It ain't jest right." "Oh, fudge!" laughed Uncle Eb. "On a grand occasion like this you'd better set them air principles aside a little while. Frank is gittin' them into the carriages now. We'll see them off, and then we'll stroll over to Applesnack's and have jest one little taste of that cider." "Let's start a cheer for Frank Merriwell and his friends as they go," suggested the deacon.
I tell you if I wasn't a temperance man, I feel so good I'd jest go down to Applesnack's store and open up two or three bottles of ginger ale." "A little hard cider for me," laughed Uncle Eb. "Rufus has it in his storeroom. I know where we kin git at the keg, boys, and I think we better celebrate ourselves." "That's a good idee, Eben," said Eli.
"Eben Small," she said, as she shook her fingers in his face, "you're a disgrace to the community! Now, not a word! Don't speak! I know what you've been doing, you and my husband and Elnathan Hewett! You've been drinking hard cider at Rufus Applesnack's store! I'm going to take Eli home, and I'll give him a dressing down he won't soon forgit! I tell ye not to speak! You ain't gut nuthin' to say!"
As they rolled past Applesnack's store the grocer and several of his friends stood on the steps and waved a salute at them. All these villagers were smiling as if the reunion gave them almost as much enjoyment as it gave Frank and his old flock. After leaving the village they soon came in sight of the buildings of Farnham Hall.
This hot weather is giving me an awful headache." "Oh, you've got a headache, have ye? Well, that's retribution, Mr. Hewett. You ought to have a headache. You've led my husband astray. He's a temperance man." "Me lead him astray!" groaned Hewett. "Why, 'twas him and Eben that coaxed me over to Applesnack's store." "Now don't you tell me that, you sinful old hypocrite!