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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (April 15, 1893)
Jfye lopemer?t of fei) poole.
"Seein' yo' folks ain't will in', sweetheart,
I tell yo' there hain't no other way."
"No, 1 reckon there hain't." Shesighed
and looked with a troubled expression at the
thin spiral of bine smoke that curled up
from a house hidden behind the pine trees.
"Besides, I done got.the license now, an'
told the preacher we was comin'. Yo' ain't
goin' back on me now, Nell?"
"No, no, Allen, of course I hain't,
only " her mouth quivered a little and she
still looked away from him. The man stood
uneasily, his hands hanging helplessly at his
side, and watched her. As he saw the color
leave her cheeks and her eyes fill, up he be
gan to fear lest he might lose her altogether,
and he sa'w that something must be done.
Rousing himself he went up to her, and
taking her hand drew himself up to the full
height of his six feet.
"See here, Nell, I hain't goin" to make
yo' leave yo' folks, 1 hain't got no right to.
Yo' kin come with me, or bide with 'em,
jist as yo' choose, only fo' Gawd's sake tell
me now, so if yo' won't have me I kin leave
The girl drew close to him with that ap
pealing gesture of a woman who wants help
or strength from some one, and laid her face
on his arm.
"I want yo,' Allen, .yo' know that. I
hain't feelin' bad to go, only I do hate to
wear that dress mighty bad. Yo' know Fap
bought it fo' me to wear to the Bethel camp
meetin'. He got real silk ribbon fo' it, too,
jist after he sold the sheep, yo' know. It
seems real mean to run away in it."
"Don't wear it then, I kin get yo' plenty
o' dresses, wear what yo' got on, yo' surely
purty enough fo' me that way."
"No, I must wear it, cause I ain't got
nothin' else good enough to marry yo' in.
But don't lets talk about it no mo' dear.
"What time yo1 goin' to come to-night?'
"Bout ten o'clock I reckon. I better not
ccme tco early, yo' folks might hear mo. I
lay I won't go fer away to-day, them revenuo
.fellers is lookin' fo' mo purty sharp."
"I knowed they would be, 1 knowcd it
all along. I wish yo1 wouldn't still no mo
I jist am scared to death now all the time
fo' fear they'll ketch yo'. Why don't yo'
quit stillin' now, Allen?"
"Law me, honey 1 there hain't no harm in
it. I jist makes a little fo' the campmeot-
"I don't keer 'bout the harm, its yo' I'm
"Don't yo' worry 'bout me. I kin give
'em the slip. I'll be here to-night at ten
o'clock if all the revenue officers in the
country are after me. I'll come down hero
by the big chistnut an' whistle. "What shall
I whistle, anyhow, so yo' kin know its me?"
" 'Nelly Bly,? course" she whispered,
"An' yo'll come to me, sho?"
Her only answer was to draw his big,
blonde head down to her and hold it against
"I must go now, Allen, mammy will ho
lookin' fo' me soon." And she slipped
from his arms and ran swiftly up the steep
path toward the house.
Allen watched her disappear among the
pines, and then threw himself down beside a
laurel bush and clasping his hands under his
head began to whistle softly. It takes a
man .of the South to do nothing perfectly,
and Allen was as skilled in that art as were
any of the F. F. Vs. who wore broadcloth.
It was the kind of a summer morning to en
courage idleness. Behind him were the
sleepy pine woods, the slatey ground be
neath them strewn red with slippery needles.
Around him the laurels were just blushing
into bloom. Here and there rose tall;chest
nut trees with the red sumach growing under
them. Down in the valley lay the fields of
wheat and corn, and among them the creek
wound between its willow-grown banks.
Across it was the old, black, creaking foot
bridge which had neither props nor piles,
but was swung from the arms of a great
sycamore tree. The reapers were at work in
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