Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (July 4, 1896)
-Richard Dedham had been out all
day sketching at least all day his
portable easel, with Its nice clan can
vas, had stood waiting:, with accus
tomed patience, for the decorating:
touch of the master's brush.
At this moment he was sketching: in
a most comfortable manner, his flannel-clad
figure prone upon the ground,
his hands clasped under the back of
Ills dark head, a half-smoked pipe
dropping out of the corner of his
mouth. Twice in as many minutes he
had been obliged to remove one hand,
thereby much discomforting himself,
to brush aside a persistent fly which
insisted upon descending upon his
nose. A third attack caused him lo
open bis eyes and utter a impatient
word, decently low in tone just as a
clear, high soprano voice behind him
Sha-all I wake him? No, not I;
For if I did he would surely cry.
And with a derislre shake upon the
last word the branches were pushed
aside to reveal the prettiest little fig
ure that an itinerant painter could ask
as a model.
It was a young girl standing there,
clad in a golf dress of brightest red,
a most ungoMike flower-wreathed
straw hat perched on her crop of curly
hair, mischief dancing In her laughing
eyes, playing among her dimples, and
emphasising the upward turn of her
saucy nose. She held, in her hand a
stick with a curved handle, from
whloa depended a knotted string,
which she waved gayly above the
young artist as he rose into a sitting
position. Then she drew It back sud
denly with a startled exclamation, and
her face grew crimson.
"I beg your pardon," she faltered;
"I thought that K was my brother.
"Neither Tom nor Harry, only Dick,
very much at your service, Miss Bo
Peep or do you still answer to the
name of Rosalind given you jn bap
"Mr. Dedham! How did you know
me?" asked Rosalind, ignoring his
question and digging holes in the
ground with her stick.
"I saw your crook. By-the-way,
where are your sheep?"
"Would children do instead of sheep?
It happens that I am looking for some
at this very moment."
"And I am busily sketching, as you
may see. Tes. I should say that chil
dren would be capital sheep; shall I
Join In your frantic search V
"You had better blow your horn first
and look after your own cows. I
passed them in the corn half an hour
ago as I came along the path and
found you "
"I was not under a haystack; I was
painting fast and furiously, as Hold
you before don't you see my traps?"
"But how did 3'ou know me, Mr.
Dedham? Tou haven't seen me for
ages, not since"
"Your Aunt Annie's dance for you
at Pierce HalL I have a strong mem
ory, you see, and on that occasion you
wore some sort of a blue or green
dress, and your hair was shorter and
your skin was fairer. Don't tou com
pliment me on remembering so well?
I didn't happen to notice your freckles
that evening, but I suppose that they
"They .distress gran'mamma hor
ridly." said the girl, putting up two
little brown hands to hide them; "she
makes me wash my face in butter
milk ugh! how I hate it but they
come and they stay! Still, I don't
really see how you come to know me
it seems strange that oh, dear, did I
hear a child crying?..
"Never mind If you did. You know
the rhyme; what is It? '.Let 'em alone
and they'll come home' how many are
"Two of my small sisters, one small
brother, two small cousins, three
small visitors. We were all playing
hlde-and-seek, and when we got tired
I took Jim's crook to hook down some
"Apples! and green ones, of course!
You are a nice sort of a shepherdess!
And you fed them to the Infants, "and
now they are lying somewhere in the
agonising throes of cholera and you
will be put in jail and hanged as a
murder-ess! Let us run away quick,
before they catch you!"
"They were not green, and you are
very disagreeable and frivolous! Be
sides, I ate them myself, except what
I have In my pocket."
"You have apples In your pocket!.
And you see here before you a hapless
human fellow-creature perishing with
hunger, and you have never offered
me even a bite!"
"What about the cholera?"
"Oh, you said they were not green;
besides, you have partaken of themr
let us die together, or. If we are
brought back to life, I will be more1
generous than Adam. I will not say
The woman Thou gavest me "
"It wouldn't be true If you did, and
you mustn't be irreligious, as well as
"Never mind what I am; tell me
about yourself. When did you get
"How did you know that I was
"What do you suppose that I came
to the Island for?"
"Oh, I don't know; to fish, I suppose.
Aren't there four miles of fishing? Oh,
no, I forgot, you came to sketch, of
"Exactly. Also to see your father
and mother. I called on them day
before yesterday, and they told me
'that you would be at home tomorrow."
"There isn't any to-morrow. I came
"Moral Always expect a girl two
days before she is due."
"But how strange that mamma
didn't tell me. When I spoke of
X5o on, why do you stop at such an
exciting moment? When you spoke
of me what did you say?"
" 'Nothing for naught.' I hoped that
you would please my flattered ear
"Don't be a goose."
"I can't. Both sex and gigantic in
tellect forbid it, even had I the incli
nation, which I politely deny. How
long is it since your Aunt Annie's
"Several months. I believe."
"Several! Is that as near as you
can come to the date? My memory
Is better than yours. It is six months
to a day or was yesterday."
When they had seated themselves
side by side on the trunk of an old
tree. Rosalind had tossed her hat
aside and amused herself by stiring up
the dry leaves with the stick she held.
Now it dropped from her hand, and she
bent to pick it up. lifting a face deeply
flushed by the effort. The man
watched the bright curls and the lit
tle ear. all that he could see of the
face. Intently. The ear was crimson.
"Did you have any reason for com
ing yesterday?" he asked. "Had you
an engagement here?" She was silent.
"I had. I told someone that I would
be back from Europe and would see
her six monthsher six months from the
night of your Aunt Annie's party.
Do you know who It was? Do you
know where she Is? Little Bo-peep,
what a humbug you are!"
Still the head did not turn, though
it drooped a little and the bright color
stained the brown throat.
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