THE "RAWDON'S" LUCK.
BY CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS.
Farther on she saw where the broad ditch, following the inside of the dyke, was crowned with a growth of cat-tail flags, whose blackish spikes thrust themselves up stiffly from their bed of pale blue-green. With a momentary feeling of hostility, which was remorsefully and promptly repressed, she observed on the brink of the ditch an old woman, stout and bent, clad in gray home spun petticoats, and wearing on her head a sunbonnet of coarse blue cotton. This figure was engaged in pulling flag-root, rinsing them in the ditch, tossing them into a half-bushel basket beside her. As Marjorie drew near, the old woman straightened herself with a groaning sigh, turning back the flap of her sun-bonnet and waited, leaning on a substantial staff. Marjory greeted her with—
"How do you do, Katy? Gathering flag-root? Isn't this a rather long walk for the rheumatism?"
"Lord bless yer dear soul, Miss Marjorie, I don't think nothin' o' this!'’ was the old woman's answer, in a grating and wheezy bass.
She essayed to scale the dyke, and Marjorie reached down and relieved her of the heavy basket. Achieving the summit, after many groans and pauses, she continued: "Bless yer dear young face, yer ain't lookin' a mite rugged, I swan! Ain't this a kinder unusual direction for you, Miss Marjorie?" and she jerked out a laborious cackle, as she waddled by the lady's side.
"Yes, Kate, I don't often come this way," answered Marjorie. "But I like it. One doesn't meet people here very often, you see."
"Eh! Heh—heh I ain't so sure o' that nuther, Miss Marjorie! But ef ye're a-goin' down by the rocks ye'll be more 'n an hour ahid o' time. The "C.C.Rawdon’s” anchored a good piece b'low the p'int, an, ef Cap'n Reube's a-comin' up the shore he needn't ondortake no sech thing till the tide’s some higher ‘n this, mind I tell yer! Mud an' the honey'pots ‘ll bender 'im”
Instead of resenting this pretty blunt insinuation, as her capacity for haughty reserve might have led one to expect she would do. Marjorie felt an unreasonable delight at finding their secret an open one. Instead of snubbing old Katy, as the latter had half expected, she only looked at her with wet eyes and the shadow of a smile, saying nothing whatever. The old woman was rather nonplussed for the moment. Then she returned to the charge.
"Eh, Miss Marjorie, these old eyes o' mine sees a deal more 'n folks thinks for. I've seen Cap'n Reube an' yon a-saunterin' round ez happy ez two kings, when yees 'ave thought ez how nobuddv's sot eyes on yees. But I bean't a-goin to blab, don't ye think. I sez to myself, sez I. "My blossin' on their young heads! Let 'em do ez they likes.” Eh, Misa Marj’rie; I likes my little story ez well ez the next one; but 'tain't a-goin' to lie about yees two, nor about nobuddy ez over done me a good turn. Ain't said good-by to Cap'n Reube yit, I s'pose? I seen yees a sittin on the Judge's old win'mill last evenin' ez I was a-travelin' through the back lot, an' I sez, to myself, sez I, ‘Them two's a-makin’ the'r adoos now to last 'em a long spell, poor dears I' sez I. But don't yees go a makin' no adoos twic't, Miss Marj'rie, on no account. It's a mortal bad luck."
"Oh, I'm happy to say I'm not very much frightened by omens, Katy!" answered Marjorie. Don't you think it is just as well? Think of poor Mrs. Bainbridge, and what a state of mind she is in over her signs and dreams!"
"Eh, but there's more'n eddicated folks thinks for in dreams, I'm a-tellin' yer, Miss Marjorie," rejoined the old woman decidedly; an’ when ye're ez old ez I be mebbe yell b'lieve it! Hows'ever, I sees jest how things stands, an’ ‘tain’t no use of argyin’. But, ez I was a-goin’ to say, I seen Miss Bembridge this blessed mornin’; an’ I sez to her, sez I, ‘Miss Bembridge, don’t you let Reube make no second v’yage in that thar ship. That ther ship’s got Jim Barsit’s money in her. He’s got shares in her. An’ where did Jim Barsit git his money, I’d like to know? Sez I. ‘It’s my money,’ sez I. ‘An’ money what’s bin tore from the lone wider an’ orphin bean’t a-goin’ to bring no good luck to a ship, I’m a-tellin’ yer,’ sez I. But then, Miss Marj’rie, she just took on so orful, an’ told me such onlucky signs an’ such ter’ble
(Continued on fourth page.)