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Aunt M. (furiously.) If you weren't so big, Mary Jane Cole, I'd spank you soundly! I vow I would! Me answer it, indeed! (Leaves the room in great indignation.)
Mary. Look here, Jack; what'll you bet she won't answer that notice?
Jack. Nonsense! Wouldn't she blaze if she heard you?
Mary. I'll wager my new curled waterfall against your ruby pin that Aunt Mattie replies to Mr. " C. G." to-night.
Jack. Done! I'll wear a curled waterfall to-morrow.
Mary. No, sir! But I shall wear a ruby pin. Jack, who do you think "C. G." is?
Jack. Really, I do not know; do you? Ah! I know you do, by that look in your eyes. Tell me, that's a darling.
Mary. Not I. I don't expose secrets to a fellow who tells them all over town. Besides, it would spoil the fun.
Jack. Mary, you are the dearest little sister in the world! Tell me, please (taking her hand) 1
Mary. No, sir! You don't get that out of me. Take care, now. Let go of my hands. I'm going up stairs to keep an eye on Aunt Mattie. She's gone up now to write an answer to "C. G." And if there's any fun by-and-by, Jack, if you're a good boy you shall be there to see.
Granny C. To sea? Going to sea? Why Jack Cole! you haint twenty-one yet and the sea's a dreadful place! There's a sarpint lives in it as big as the Scrubtown meeting-'us', and whales that swaller folks alive, clothes and all! I read about one in a book a great while ago that swallered a man of the name of Jonah, and he didn't set well on the critter's stummuck, and up he come, lively as ever! [ Curtain falls.
SCENE II.—The garden of a deserted house in the mcinity of Mr. Cole's. Mary leading Jack cautiously along a shaded path.
Mary. There; we'll squat down behind this lilac bush. It's nearly the appointed hour. I heard Aunt Mattie soliloquizing in her room this morning, after this manner "At eight o'clock this night I go to meet my destiny! In the deserted garden, under the old pear-tree. How very romantic!" Hark! there she comes!
Jack. Well, of all the absurd things that ever I heard tell of! Who would have believed that our staid old maid aunt would have answered a matrimonial advertisement?
Mary. Hush! Jack, if you make a noise and spoil the fun, I'll never forgive you. Keep still, and don't fidget so.
Aunt M. (slowly walking down the path, soliloquizing.) Eight o'clock! It struck just as I started out. He ought to be here. Why does he tarry? If he aint punctual I'll give him the mitten; I swow I will! Dear gracious! what a sitivation to be in! Me, at my time of life! though, to be sure, I haint so old as—as I might be. The dew's a-fullin', and I shall get the rheumatiz in these thin shoes, if he don't come quick. What if Jack and Mary should git hold of this? I never should hear the last of it! never! I wouldn't have 'em know it for a thousand dollars! Goodness me! What if it should be the deacon? Them children of his'n is dreadful youngsters; but, the Lord helpin' me, I'd try to train 'em up in the way they should go. Hark! is that him a-comin'? No; it's a toad hoppin' through the carrot bed. My soul and body! what if he should want to kiss me? I'll chew a clove for fear he should. I wonder if it would be properous to let him? But then, I s'pose if it's the deacon I couldn't help myself. He's an awful cfotarmined man; and if I couldn't help it I shouldn't be to blame. Deary me; how I trimble! There he comes; I hear his step! What a tall man! Taint the deacon! He's got a shawl on! Must be the new schoolmaster; he wears a shawl! (A man approaches. Hiss Mattie goes up to him cautiously.) Is this Mr. C. G.?
C. G. Yes; it is. Is this Miss M. G.?
Aunt M. It is. Dear sir, I hope you won't think me bold and unmaidenly in coming out here all alone in the dark to meet you?
C. G. Never! Ah, the happiness of this moment! Fot forty years I have been looking for thee! (Puts his arm around her.)
Aunt M. Oh, dear me; don't, don't! my dear sir! I aint used to it! and it aint exactly proper out here in this old garden! It's a dreadful lonely spot, and if people should see us they might talk!
C. G. Let 'em talk! They'll talk still more when you and I are married, I reckon. Lift your veil and let me see your sweet face.
Aunt M. Yes, if you'll remove that hat and let me behold your countenance.
C. G. Oh, certainly. Now, then; both together.
Miss Mattie throws back her veil. C. G. removes his hat. They gaze at each other a moment in utter silence.
Aunt M. Good gracious airth! 'tis Brother Cyrus!
C. G. Jupiter.Ammon! 'tis Sister Martha!
Aunt M. Oh, my soul and body, Cyrus Gordon! Who'd ever a-thought of you, at your time of life, cuttin' up such a caper as this? You old, bald-headed, gray-whiskered man! Forty years old f My gracious! You were fifty-nine last July!
C. G. Well, if I am, you're two year older.
Aunt M. Why I thought sure it was Deacon Goodrich that advertised. C. G. stands for Calvin Goodrich.
C. G. Yes; and it stands for Cyrus Gordon, too. And Deacon Goodrich was married last night to Peggy Jones.
Aunt M. That snub-nosed, red-haired Peggy Jones! He'd ort to be flayed alive! Married agin! and his wife not hardly cold! Oh, the deceitfulness of men! Thank Providence! I hainttied to one of the abominable sect!
C. G. Well, Martha, we're both in the same boat. If you won't tell of me, I won't of you. But it's a terrible disappointment to me, for I sarting thought M. G. meant Marion Giles, the pretty milliner.
Aunt M. Humph! What an old goose! She wouldn't look at you! I heerd her Iaffin' at your swaller-tailed coat, when you come out of meetin' last Sunday. But I'm ready to keep silence if you will. Gracious! if Jack and Mary should get wind of this, shouldn't we have to take it?
C. G. Hark! what's that?
Voice behind the lilac bush sings:
Aunt M. That's Jack's voice! Goodness me! Let us scoot for home! [They start off.
Jack (laughing). Did he kiss you, Aunt Mattie?
Mary. Did you see her sweet face, Uncle Cyrus?
C. G. Confound you both! If I had hold of ye I'd let ye know [Curtain falls.
One liM CMce Selectiens. i, 10
"TEACHER WANTED."*—Frank Crosry, A. M.
•squire Magnus, Examiner appointed by "The Board.*
Caius Crispin, j Member8 of "The Board."
William Dent, 1 A plicanta for a SchooL
'squire Magnus. I am glad to see so many canderdatee here to-day. It shows that you know how to appreciate the advantages of an edecation, which, we all know, is one of the greatest things in this world. For what is a man or a woman without edecation? I don't mean a college edecation—but some kind of a edecation—some kind of—of—of—of somethin' which helps him to git on in the world. I myself never went to school but six months; but for all that I may say that edecation is of the paramountest importance—and I say agin that I am glad to see that you all think so. You are here to try \n <iit our school. Onr Bnnrd has appinted me t<i examine •Fruui "Ezcelaiur Dialogue^" by pcriuittiuu. All right* ruaervML
you; and I want to tell you at the fust go-off that we intend to be putty partic'lar. We have a good right to be. The pay is fust-rate,—thirty dollars a month and no school Saturday arternoons. Hands in this neighborhood are gittin' by the year only ten dollars a month and board. Of course we want our teacher to have book-larnin'. We can't git on without consid'rable of that. But he must have somethin' more to keep a good school. He must have good gumption; and we're a goin' to make up our minds by lookin' at you and a-hearin' on you and any way we can whether or no you come up to our mark. And if you do, we're a goin' to take the one that comes up the nearist and stands the stiddyist. Now you all understand how the land lays. I speak right out just how 'tis without any beatin' round the bush. I think that's the only man-fashion way of dealin' atwixt man and man. Some on you's got to be disappinted, in course, as there ain't no more than one school; but those of you who do very well and don't git the school, we'll testify to in our own hand-writin'—and it may help you to git some other school. Now jest write down on the paper afore you your names and ages—where you were born—how long you've teached—and where you've teached ,—whether you're married, and if you are, how large a family—and whether you're goin' to teach all your live*— fend if you flog in school—and—that'll be enough. We want to know these facts, and have specimens of your hand-writin'. When you git through you may leave tha papers where they are, and we'll perceed with the examernation. (Candidates engage in writing.)
[Enter Mr. Rugby.]
RufiBY. I hope I am not too late, gentlemen, to be considered an applicant for your school. I was unexpectedly detained by the condition of the roads.
Dr. Justice. Certainly not. Please take a seat.
'squire M. It ain't too late, young man; but I'll tell you open and above board, I don't believe there's a bit of use in your bein' examined. You see the Board don't altogether like the way you kop' the school in Egypt Ia*t season. You didn't use no books, did you, but jist taught right out of your head?