Miss Furgusson?" The mother's heart was still fluttering. After all, the sun was shining. "No; Mr. Taylor." The mother put her hands to her head. "Hiram! You ain't never borrowed any money of Hiram, have you?" she cried in an agonized voice. "But, Mother dear, he forced it upon me. He came " "Yes, that's what he did to me. Give it back to him, child, now, 'fore you sleep. Don't wait a minute.
"What do you know about it?" inquired Abbie. Such things were Greek to her. "Know? I've got twenty shares, and I'm going to have money to burn before long." Abbie bent her head, and took in as much of Miss Furgusson as she could see through the square hole in her window. "Who gave it to you?" The idea of a girl like Maria ever having money enough to buy anything of that kind never occurred to her.
"Ah'm, Jock Furgusson frae Auchtermurrchty and Achterlony, longest maun in the forty twa," he begins but somebody help me I've forgotten how he goes on, a long rigmarole in broadest Doric; the words and intonation so perfect, you can so little believe your eyes that you are landed with a scarab or a string of beads before you have recovered, and he is off to another passenger, clippin' 'is g's and r's and puttin' in h's to some Englishmen.
Maria called for her mail, and the intimacy had gone so far that before the week was out "Miss Todd" had been replaced by "Abbie" and then "Ab," and Miss Furgusson by "Maria" the postmistress being too dignified for further abbreviation. "Oh, there's our lovely copper mine where did you get it? Who put it up?" Maria was a shirt-waisted young woman with a bang and a penetrating voice.
Jock Furgusson is infinitely more wonderful and artistic to me than the pyramids, for he can imitate accents so as to make you gasp; he spots anyone's nationality instantaneously before you have opened your lips he knows your county! I believe he can distinguish between the English of a Lowland Scot and a Highlander, which is more than 'Punch' does after all these years of practice.
That's why she kept plants all winter in the little sitting-room at home, and nursed one cactus that gave out a scarlet bloom once in so many months. It was Miss Maria Furgusson, of Boston summer boarder at the next cottage; second floor, six dollars a week, including washing that revived, kept alive, in fact, fanned to fever heat, Abbie's first impression of the poster.
Then she resumed her work pigeon-holing the morning's mail. One was from Keep & Co., judging from the address in the corner, and was directed to Maria Furgusson, care Miss Skitson a thick, heavy letter. This she laid aside. "Yes, a big one," she called from the window as she passed it out to that young woman five minutes later. "About the stock, isn't it!"
I sketched of course always keep "screeb, screeb, screebling all day long," as an irate German lady once put it to me, "screebled" a café scene; on the left you see a native, who calls himself Jock Furgusson, trying to pass off a "Genuine Egyptian Scarab" to a tourist.