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WHY LIAB AND I PARTED
N. S. EMERSON.
me to sign,
should be mine; For Liab and I had quarreled so many times, you see, That at last we agreed together we couldn't never agree. So I read the paper over, each separate paragraph, And found that of all our property he'd gin me the better half; For he gave me the house and homestead and kept the Holy
rock hill, He gave me the colt, Saladin, and kept the lame horse, Bill; He gave me the brindled heifer-we'd lost the line-back cow; gave me the sheep and the two white shoats, and kept the
lean old sow. I was mad because he favored me, and made it show so plain, And I s'pose if he hadn't done so much I should ’a’ been mad
again; But, looking along the paper, the next thing that I read Was, " Lay us under the maples together, when we're dead.” Then I knew the one choice left me was a flood of tears or
tongue, So I told him I wouldn't sign the thing to save him from being
hung; In his mean old farm or live stock I scorned any part or share; I was going home to my mother's, and 'twas none of his busi
ness,—there! Then straight in my face looked Liab, till I turned my head
away. He walked out through the kitchen, without a word to say. I heard his steps fall heavy, but I didn't see him go. The maples were blushing scarlet, that he planted so long ago, And under them played our Bessie, child of our happy years. I heard her calling “ Papa !” and then came a flood of tears. But before I could reach the doorway, click! went the garden
gate, And to all my sorry feelings it seemed to say: “Too late.”
Then Bessie came in from playing, a tear on each round red
cheek, And asked, "Where's papa going? He kissed me, but didn't
speak.” Up in my arms I caught her, and murmured and sobbed her
name, Bemoaning that ever my darling was born to such woe and
shame. But Liab was gone! The sunshine lay golden along the lane. I strained my eyes with watching, but he did not turn back
again. The hours crept by slow-footed. At last came Saturday night. I tidied up the kitchen, and set the house to right, And cuddled little Bessie until she fell asleep, Then laid her on her pillow, and kissed her eyelids sweet. Oh, how I did miss Liab. I'd given half my life To hear his kind voice saying: “Where are you, Betsey,
wife?” And I thought of how I'd fretted and aggravated him; It made my heart too heavy, and my eyes with tears grow dim. But there was the prayer-meeting gathered that night by Dea
con West. First I thought I wouldn't go, and then concluded 'twas best, For the neighbors knowed.we'd parted, and as Liab allus said, They'd lent their kindest sarvice to help the thing ahead. That night they turned up their noses, with a smile that was
mostly a sneer, And asked: “Where's Mr. Pratt, pray? Why isn't he with
I was mad as a pestered hornet, though I tried to be proud
and cool ; I hated them for hypocrites, and called myself a fool. But when I could bear it no longer, and deacon was praying
still, I slipped out and hurried homeward along by the Holyrock
hill. Silent I entered the kitchen, and silently crossed the floor, But my heart stood still a minute as I opened the bedroom
door, For there was my dear old Liab, a-kneeling by Bessie's bed, And a few tears shone on the pillow, that Bessie never shed. One look, and the very next moment I kneeled beside him
there, And more tears fell on the pillow and some on my darling's
Next morning we burned the paper we both had forgotten to
sign; I didn't ask his forgiveness, and he didn't beg for mine. But we both pretty much concluded, without any words to tell, That what was mine was his'n, and his'n was mine as well.
THE BABY'S NAME.
ORDAUNT,” she called him. In a novel book
His mother found the name she give to him;
I didn't like it, fer I'd kinder took
Half dead but happy, an' she said: “I want
Why, blame it all, of course it is Mordaunt.”
She knew the way I felt about such names
An' that this was a sacrifice, fer she
Had just about the proper ring fer me;
She was the one that had the right to choose,
To reconcile my wishes to her views.
But smarter than the cracker of a whip.
Sometimes he'd pucker up his little lip
Of all the sins you knew he knew you'd done.
By such a name a helpless little one.
An' thinkin' that, when we two was alone,
I called him by the name I liked so well;
But neither Jim nor me would ever tell.
Me whisperin' so happ'ly to him;
But when there's only me about, it's Jim.”
We never told our little secret, an'
We never will—we never, never will.
A little baby's toddlin', toddlin' still,
The God that give an' then that sent fer him.
But in my heart the name is always Jim.
OUT OF HER RECKONING.
66L JOW many in your family?” the census-taker said.
“ Hoo mony?” Mrs. Rafferty she shook her tousled
head. Well, shure, I think there is elivin. Jist let me count," said
she. “There's Mike, my mon, that's did, an' me an' Patsy,—that
makes threeThe triplets four an' Mary five, Tim six, an' Bridget sivin; The blessed twins is eight. Thot's all." “ But that is not
eleven." “Now wait a bit. There's me,—thot's wan—an' little Patsy,
two; The triplets three an' Bridget four, an' Timmy there by you Is five, an' poor did Mike is six, an' me darlin' little twins Is sivin, an' Katy eight. Oh, dear! Now if I jist begins Wid Mike that's did-hivin rest his sowl !—I'm sure to git
thim right, For 'dade there's 'livin; leastways there was when they went
to bed lasht night.
Poor Mike is wan, the twins is two, Timmie au' Patsy four, An' Mary five an' Mike-oh, no; I counted him beforeAn' Mary five, an' Bridget six-ah, now I've got thim
straightAn' Katy sivin, the triplets eight-sure, the triplets they make
eightAn' Katy sivin, the triplets eight. Where have the ithers gone? By all the saints in hivin, I know I've counted ivery wan.
Now whisht an' shtop yer shpakin’. I'll count them jist
wance more. There's me an' Tim an' Patsy an' Katy—thot is four; The triplets and the twins is six, an' Bridget—now just waitAn' Bridget sivin, an' poor did Mike-yis, poor did Mike
makes eight. Yes, thot is right,” said Mrs. R. and rubbed her tousled pate, ,
, "I t'ought there was elivin, but I see there is but eight.
Martha, Samanthy, Matilda, an' Fan,
Eliza, Mirandy, an' Flora, an' Belle,
Somehow or other Ike never could work,