Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/156

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to the lyceum. It's sorter social, and everybody can hear just as well." Soon outrang the glorious voice. "Bravo! bravo! bravo!" echoed from all parts of the house. "Hooray!"—"Why, Aunt Tabor! sit down."—"If Peleg were only here! Hip, hip"—"Aunt, in pity's name keep still! Don't get so excited."—"Well, I never! The sweat's just a-rolling off me, and I am as weak as a rag-baby. I wish I had my turkey-tail. This mite of a fan of yours don't give wind enough to cool a mouse."—"Now, aunt, do keep quiet. You'll hear better, and won't get so warm."—"Well, dear, I suppose you are right. But didn't that sound like an angel-choir?"—"'Twas certainly very fine. One thing is sure: you've heard Patti at her best."—"I'm so glad I came; and if Peleg was only along! But, there, I hain't going to speak again till the uproar is over." And so the opera went on, when, suddenly: " Louisa Allen, what are them half-nude statutes a-standing up in the back there? Don't they realize that the whole congregation can see them? and haven't they any modesty?"—"Why, aunt, that's the ballet."—" The what?"—"The ballet, aunt. Look, look! there they come. Isn't that the very poetry of"—"Louisa Sophronia Tabor Allen, just you pick up your regimentals, and follow me; and that quick, too."—"But, auntie"—"You needn't auntie me. Just get your duds together, and we'll travel. Thank goodness your uncle Peleg Josiah Tabor is not here! Don't let me see you give as much as a glance to where those graceless nudities are, or, big as you are, I'll box your ears."—"Why, aunt"—"Louisa, I only wish I had my thickest veil, for I am positively ashamed to be caught in this unchristian scrape. Come, and don't raise your eyes. There, thank goodness, we're in pure air at last!"—"Why, aunt, I thought you were enjoying the opera!"—"The uproar, Louisa? I have nothing to say agin the uproar. Them voices would grace a celestial choir. This I say with all reverence. But that side show! I wouldn't have had my Eliza Ann, nor my Woodman Harrison, 'a' witnessed what we've come near a-witnessing for a thousand-dollar bill. No, not for a ten-thousand bill. And I am so thankful that your uncle Peleg was not here! Somehow, Louisa, I feel as if I'd fallen like the blessed Lucifer out of the moon."