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Newspaper Page Text
A COURTSHIP STORY
By Lawrence Devine.
Linfield meant to buy the old house
in that remote Mississippi county.
He held the option, and-Colonel Jar
rett had courteously left him in
charge for two weeks while he went
to New Orleans to sell his tobacco.
Linfield was tired of city life; he
wanted a good soil for the crops he
intended to plant, with hunting for
his leisure hours, and enough atmos-
"What Do You Think of This, Mary?"
phere to make his next novel read
able. Besides, his people came from
Then there was the girl a shy,
vondering girl of about twenty
ears, who took her hounds out
alking every day past Linfield's
iate. Linfield had been set upon
once by Tiger, and the girl's apolo
gies opened a way for an introduc
tion. Linfield learned that her name
was Mary Gates, and that her father,
the major, and three brothers, lived
in the big house a mile away, among
the cotton-pickers' cabins.
Once, while they were talking, one
of the brothers rode by, and at the
sight of him the girl turned swiftly
aside, as though she had not spoken
to Linfield; yet, as the man rode by
Linfield could see that he half check
ed his horse, with a frown on his
face. After that the girl only of
fered the least nod.
"Our best -people, the Gates," said
the only other neighbor that Linfield
had the man who brought the milk
and provisions from the town, four
miles away. "Real southern gentry,
"Those brothers don't seem re
markably friendly," said the writer.
"Friendly!" echoed the other. "They
haven't any friendship for strangers.
Why, only last year there was a fel
low down here from Nashville, stay
ing with .Colonel Jarrett. Miss Mary
used to go past his gate, and a sort of
flirtation sprang up. She got talked
about you know country ways. The
brothers came down with guns to
shoot him up, but he got over the
back fence a minute too quick for
'em. Jarrett and Gates haven't
Evidently the Gateses were dan
gerous neighbors. Linfield was con
scious of an increasing interest in
Miss Mary. She was a type he had
never met before, a primitive survival
in these wilds. Next time she passed
he drew her into conversation. In
the midst of it hoofs were heard, and
Instinctively the girl darted into the
shelter of a high privet hedge, leav
ing Linfield staring foolishly into the
face of the rider as he came past.
. Stolen interviews are proverbially
sweet, and not many days bad passed
before both were conscious of their
dawning love. But when Linfield
hinted at an invitation to the house
Mary showed every sign of terror.
"I had a friend last year," she said
tremulously "He was only a friend
he lived here and Jim and Bob