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Spell, after all my years of drudgery,"
she declared, and Ezra was silent,
but he mourned in spirit. Three days
of the slatternly new cook had given
him indigestion. Certainly his moth
er had been a model housekeeper.
How he missed the homemade sau
sage and buckwheat cakes, and
neighborhood pure maple sirup, the
nectorlike coffee for breakfast. No
more perfect corn beef and cabbage
for dinner, and watery apple sauce
and soggy biscuits for supper. Three
days later, with mother speeding east
on her grand tour, Ezra felt that he
could stand slops and dirt no longer.
He resolved finally upon the variety
of the visits his mother had outlined.
. "I am lonesome and out l sorts,"
he ruminated, "and it will be an ex
perience, anyhow, and if mother is
going to wander about and break up
the home, why not a wife? Maybe
I'll find one in my travels who can
tell?" and he smiled quaintly.
Ezra was no clod, only homespun.
He knew fully how to conduct him
self in company and made a good im
pression with the Mantells. His ru
mored fortune it was, however, that
made a better one. He was soon
aware of this, judging from the spe
cious inquiries of Mr. and Mrs. Man
tell. Then they threw Helena at his
She was an only daughter, tall,
stately, cold as ice. Amid her state
liness, however, Ezra soon discerned
that she was bent on capturing him.
The family was truly aristocratic,
that was their bent and pose. They
were selfish, skimping, sacrificing
comfort to make a show.
"Three days of these people was all
I could stand," soliloquized Ezra as,
gracefully 'as he could, he took his
departure, feeling that he was lucky
to have escaped still a bachelor and
Then Ezra tried the Moores. .They
had money and lived at a private ho
tel. There were two girls here, one
a blue stocking, the other a languish
ing sehtinienulist. They played their
arts alternately. The flimsy feeding
at the table d'hote did the rest for
Ezra. He raade his adieux and struck
off for a rural jaunt, feeling free once
Then came a crisis in Ezra's life.
He was passing a field hedge when
his quick ear caught a moaning
sound. He brushed aside the osage
orange bushes to locate a man lying
exhausted to faintness. Beside him
lay a scythe. It was dabbled with
blood. Then Ezra saw that he must
have stumbled and one limb had
fallen athwart of the keen blade.
The man's eyes closed as Ezra
sprang to his side. The latter saw
at a glance that the victim of the
accident was bleeding to death. It
was a question of a speedy emergency
service. Within a few minutes Ezra
had stanched the ebbing life tide,
bound up the limb at the cost of his
coat, and had the satisfaction of see
ing the man come back to conscious
ness, though weakly.
"Home," he just whispered, and
pointed to a near rise. Ezra ran to
its top to discover a handsome farm
house a few hundred yards distant.
He took up the man in his arms and
proceeded toward it.
"You saved my life," declared Rob
ert Wadham that evening, as he and
his daughter Elinor and Ezra sat in
the comfortable best room.
The daughter ah! there had come
a revelation to Ezra. Perhaps her
pretty gratitude had stirred him
more deeply than common, or her
tender devotion to her father. At
all events, an invited guest, Ezra
went to sleep that night feeling that
he had seen the bonniest face in
The breakfast next morning set
tled him homemade sausage, real
buckwheat cakes, genuine maple
sirup and Elinor had prepared the
Four months later, a tired-out, dis
appointed woman, Mrs. Tuttle got off
the train to receive a royal welcome
form her waiting son.
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