It's mighty funny nobody knows where Mis' Field lives; but this is the old Maxwell house, where she wrote Mandy she lived, an' I'm goin' in." Flora stood aside, and the three women entered with a rush. Lois, standing near the door front, saw them coming through the greenish-yellow gloom, their three black figures scudding before the wind like black-sailed ships. "Land sakes!" shrieked out Mrs.
Come on!" cried his sister in impatient tone. "All right, Mandy, we're nearly through the woods. I begin to see the clearing yonder," said Cameron, pointing to where the light was beginning to show through the tree tops before them.
Under compulsion of Mandy, Haley had found it necessary to drive into the city for some things for the "women folk" and, being in the city, he had called for Cameron and had brought him out.
She ought to wear hoop-skirts and brocaded silks and lace fichus and mits, and sit with her beautiful hands folded in her lap and her tiny little feet on a footstool, and instead she works from morning to night trying to help the good-for-nothingest servants that were ever hired by tired ladies, except Uncle Henson, and Aunt Mandy, the cook, who have been with her for years and years.
Everywhere, it seemed, there were couples strolling. Around to the right, by the side door, with its little, vine-covered pent-house, was a bench beneath a tree; Aunt Mandy and Mrs. Leroy aired their crocks and pans thereon. He led the way to it, spread out his handkerchief, and Alexina, gathering up her gleaming dress, sat down.
"Now, we'll have some fish," cried Mandy cheerily, "and then you'll be fit for your journey home." In twenty minutes more she brought him a frying pan in which two large beautiful trout lay, browned in butter. Mandy caught the wolf-like look in his eyes as they fell upon the food. She cut several thick slices of bread, laid them in the pan with the fish and turned her back upon him.
"Lor' bless you, no; dis ain't no show," Mandy answered; and she laughed reassuringly. "Then where am I?" Polly asked, half breathless with bewilderment. "Nebber you mind 'bout dat," was Mandy's unsatisfactory reply. "But I DO mind," protested Polly, trying to raise herself to a sitting position. "Where's the bunch?" "De wat?" asked Mandy in surprise.
Jealous and hard-working Mandy Baker had chosen for herself a handicap in the marriage game. Sunday morning such a hush pervaded the store on the Shell Road, and brooded over its surroundings, as Lou Grayling had seldom experienced save in the depths of the wilderness. She beheld a breeze-swept sea from her window with no fishing boats going out.
When Albert had asked about the Widow Leach and Bascom, Deacon Oaks and Mandy, heard all the little gossip of the Cape, and given his isolated friends a brief synopsis of current events in the great world of which they could hardly be considered a part, and the evening was two-thirds past, he said: "Now, my good friends, I have a little surprise in store for you," and drawing from an inside pocket a bulky envelope, rising and crossing the room to where Telly sat, he handed it to her with the remark: "I have the honor and exquisite pleasure of presenting to you, Miss Etelka Peterson, sole surviving heiress and descendant of one Eric Peterson, of Stockholm, your paternal grandfather, these legal documents certifying to your inheritance of about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, besides various pieces of real estate as yet unappraised."
"How d'ye, Mas'r," which she felt it incumbent to say, as there was no one else to receive him. Mandy Ann was very bright, and as she knew no restraint in her Florida home, when alone with her old Miss and young Miss, she was apt to be rather familiar for a negro slave, and a little inclined to humor. She knew whom the gentleman had come to see, but when he said.