But, Liz, I don't allow as it's right an' proper fer even you to look down the way ye do on the place ye was born in an' the folks ye was brung up with." "My!" thought the girl to herself, "he's got some spunk, after all, to git off such a speech as that, an' to rake me over the coals, too!" But aloud she retorted, "Who's a-lookin' down on anybody, Jim-Ed A'ki'son?
An' what ever's made ye quit lookin' down on me, so sudden like?" "Jim-Ed," she replied, in a caressing tone, "ef y' ain't got no paper collar on, ner no glas' di'mon' pin, I allow ye're a man. An' maybe maybe ye're the kind of man I like, Jim-Ed." To even such genuine modesty as Jim-Ed's this was comprehensible. Shyly and happily he reached out his hand for hers.
Before she went away she had been, to use the vernacular of the Settlement, "keepin' company with Jim-Ed A'ki'son;" and now, to her, the young man seemed to unite and concentrate in his person all that she had been wont to persuade herself she had outgrown. To be sure, she not seldom caught herself dropping back comfortably into the old conditions.
At any other time Jim-Ed would have resented the town man's tone and words; just now he was thinking about the way Liz had changed. "I've gi'n ye the best half o' the road, mister," he said, deprecatingly, "'n' I can't do no better fer ye than that." "Yes, you can, too," shouted the driver of the trap; "you can give us the whole road.
But these symptoms stirred in her heart an uneasy resentment, akin to that which she felt whenever as would happen at times she could not help recognizing that Jim-Ed and his affairs were not without a passing interest in her eyes. Now she began to grow particularly angry at him because, as she thought, "he hadn't nothing to say fer himself."
As the oxen slowed up she stepped to the right to let them pass, and then walked on, thus placing the cart between herself and her undesired companion. The youth looked disconcerted by these tactics, and for a few moments could find nothing to say. Then, dropping his long white lashes sheepishly, he murmured, "Good-day, Liz." "Well, Jim-Ed!" replied the girl, coolly.