He put the children in the mill and worked them almost to death; even even Deanie," she choked back a sob. "And Shade as good as told me he could make Pap Himes stop it any time I'd promise to marry him. Something they were pulling together over. Maybe it was the silver mine." "The silver mine!" echoed old Pros. "That's it. Gid thought I was likely to die, and the mine would come to your mother.
Pap and me has a er, a little business on hand and she ain't at home. They told me that they was some sort of shindig at Mr. Hardwick's to-night. I reckon Johnnie Consadine is chasin' round after her tony friends. Pap said she left the house a-goin' in that direction or Mavity told me, I disremember which. I reckon you'll find her thar. What do you want of her?" "It's Deanie."
Now you set in to bawl and I'll give ye somethin' to bawl for hear me?" The old man was skilful with hurts, but he was using such unnecessary roughness in this case as set the plucky little chap to sobbing, and, just as Johnnie entered the room, got him heavy-handed punishment for it. It was an unfortunate time to bring up the question of Deanie; yet it must be settled at once.
Mandy caught at Johnnie's hand and drew it to her, fondling it. Her round eyes were still full of tears. "I do know you're the sweetest thing God ever made," she whispered, as Johnnie looked down at her. "You and Deanie." And the two went out into the dining room together.
"Kitten's face wouldn't be pretty either, if she puckered it that way." Jane knew the battle was won, now that Bobbie joked and smiled, so she jumped up quickly and urged them along. "Come on everyone, there's a light in the office," she said. "We will just have a few minutes to talk to Deanie."
"She's all staved in on the side that my pore little Deanie! Oh, I tried to ketch her, but she broke right through and pulled my skirts out of my hand and hit the floor." Pap had drawn nearer on shaking limbs; the children crowded so close that Johnnie looked up and motioned them back. "Shade you run for a doctor, and have a carriage fetched," she ordered briefly.
"I wasn't 'sleep I was 'wake the whole time," whispered the baby, lifting a warm, pursed mouth for a kiss. "Deanie'll be good an' let you go, Sis' Johnnie. An' then when you get down thar whar it's all so sightly, you'll send for Deanie, 'cause deed and double you couldn't live without her, now could ye?"
He had brought a paper of coarse, cheap candy for Deanie, but the child was asleep. The offering was quite as acceptable to Laurella, and she nibbled a stick as she listened to him.
Johnnie put down her tray and came swiftly out, passing Shade and Miss Sessions in the side entry with a word. "What is it?" she inquired of Mandy, with a premonition of disaster in her tones. "Hit's Deanie," choked the Meacham woman. "She's right sick, and they won't let her leave the mill leastways she's skeered to ask, and so am I. I 'lowed I ought to come and tell you, Johnnie. Was that right?
And so, when Laurella could no longer sit up, they brought another cot for her, and she lay all day babbling childish nonsense, and playing dolls within hand-reach of the sick-bed; while Johnnie with Lissy's help, tended on them both. "You've got two babies now, you big, old, solemn Johnnie," Laurella said, with a ghost of her sparkling smile. "Deanie and me is just of one age, and that's a fact."