"I didn't know what it meant when I first heard it, but I know now. Hoo-oo-oo-oo!" "I wish you'd tell us about it," said Benny. "Tell us about beginning to learn it when you wa'n't much bigger'n Pettikins." "That's when the colonel said we must move west'ard," said the witch, laying her pipe down on the log, leaning her elbows on her knees, and resting her bony jaws in the palms of her hands.
"No, I shall have nothing to do with your idiotic mud figures, and I shall tell you nothing further." "Come now, pettikins!" says Manuel. And he began coaxing the Princess of Provence with just such cajoleries as the big handsome boy had formerly exercised against the peasant girls of Rathgor.
Still the more terrible the old Witch seemed, the more Benny wanted to see and hear her. He whispered to Fanny: "She won't hurt you, Pettikins she can't; I won't let her. Hush a minute, and see what I'm going to say to her!" Fanny hushed a little, and Benny fixed an audacious gaze upon the Witch or a gaze which he meant should be audacious. "What is the matter with you?" said he.
But there was Henrietta with the collar and chain and pretty soon Lon was saying: 'You're quite right, Pettikins, and you ought to have the thanks of the community for showing our ladies how to dress rationally on horseback. It's not only sensible and safe but it's modest a plain pair of riding breeches, no coquetry, no frills, nothing but stern utility of course I agree.
From the winder. I hope you didn't wake Junior!" The boy who had begged his father to be a hero! "Now, Pettikins," said Benny Briggs, on the first day of vacation, "come along if you want to see the old Witch." Pettikins got her little straw hat, and holding Benny's hand with a desperate clutch, trotted along beside him, giving frequent glances at his heroic face to keep up her courage.
She makes up beautiful texts, just like the Bible." "Why, Zaidee!" remonstrated Eunice, looking shocked. "You mustn't say that anything is as nice as the Bible. What was it, pettikins?" But Helen was shy, and needed much coaxing before she could be persuaded to give her "text," which was a very practical one. "She who doth not what she is told, gets worse." "Bravo!" cried Eunice, laughing.
Well, as I was saying, Ben Sutton blew into town early last September and after shaking hands with his old confederate, Lon Price, he says how is the good wife and is she at home and Lon says no; that Pettikins has been up at Silver Springs resting for a couple weeks; so Ben says it's too bad he'll miss the little lady, as in that case he has something good to suggest, which is, what's the matter with him and Lon taking a swift hike down to New York which Ben ain't seen since 1892, though he was born there, and he'd now like to have a look at the old home in Lon's company.
I saw from the very beginning that he was determined to spoil our fun. "'The joke is sure on us, says Ben Sutton, 'but I bear him no grudge. In fact, I did him an injustice I knew he wasn't a poet, but I didn't believe he was even a hobo till he jumped that freight. "Alonzo was out in the hall telephoning Henrietta. We could hear his cheerful voice: 'No, Pettikins, no! It doesn't ache a bit.
Lon says it's too bad Pettikins ain't there to go along, but if they start at once she wouldn't have time to join them, and Ben says he can start near enough at once for that, so hurry and pack the suitcase. Lon does it, leaving a delayed telegram to Henrietta to be sent after they start, begging her to join them if not too late, which it would be.