"It would be very much duller if we weren't." "Even as it is life can be very dull." "I should certainly not call your life dull," said Miss Briggs. "Anyhow, it's dreadful!" said Lady Sellingworth, with sudden abandonment. "Why is it dreadful?" "Caroline, I was fifty a few days ago." As Lady Sellingworth said this she observed her friend closely to see if she looked surprised.
She was startled by a hand laid upon her bridle, and a voice saying: "Say, Sis, who mout ye be, an' whar mout ye be a-mosyin' ter this time o' night?" She saw a squad of brigandish-looking stragglers at her mare's head. "My name's Polly Briggs. I live on the South Fork o' Overall's Creek. I've done been ter Dr.
He was undone. All Scrap said was, "How do you do," on Mr. Wilkins presenting him, but it was enough; it undid Briggs. From a cheerful, chatty, happy young man, overflowing with life and friendliness, he became silent, solemn, and with little beads on his temples. Also he became clumsy, dropping the teaspoon as he handed her her cup, mismanaging the macaroons, so that one rolled on the ground.
Carter at once suggested that we should try the experiment of plying the men with drink, in the hope of making them intoxicated; and as I considered that this was a case wherein the end justified the means, the plan was at once adopted, Briggs undertaking to carry out to the guard a bottle of especially strong brandy for their delectation.
"What are you smiling to yourself about, Miriam?" demanded Grace. But at this juncture the door was burst violently open and J. Elfreda Briggs dashed into the room, threw herself face downward on her disordered bed and gave way to a long, anguished wail. Miriam and Grace sprang to their feet, regarding the sobbing, moaning girl in blank amazement.
They all talk rather languidly, when an interruption occurs. Briggs brings in a note for Mr. Grandon. "An old woman brought it," he announces, "and she is waiting outside for an answer. She would not come in." Floyd remarks that it is unsealed. Its contents are brief, but written in a fine, irregular hand. "Will Mr. Grandon come at once to Mr. St. Vincent, who is ill in bed?"
She renewed, therefore, again, the subject of Mr Briggs, and told him how vain had been her effort to settle with him.
"It's changed for the worse since your house was shut up. There's a long stretch of unsettled country infested by bad characters." Jeff sat silent. "Briggs." "Sir?" "The last man but one who preceded you was shot by road agents."* * Highway robbers. "Yes, sir." "We lost sixty thousand dollars up there." "Yes?" "Your father was Briggs of Tuolumne?" "Yes, sir."
Then he would go off and try to compose his thoughts for a letter to Jerusha Briggs, but before he knew it he would find himself in the kitchen watching, with dumb admiration, Maria knead bread, with her sleeves rolled to her shoulders, and her white, plump arms and bright face streaked with flour.
I'm going to have a 'Busy, Keep Out' sign made to hang on the door until Christmas." "Don't be cross, J. Elfreda Briggs," laughed Grace. "We have something nice to show you." She handed the telegram to Elfreda with: "We want you to go to the station with us this afternoon. The train is due at five-thirty."