Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/168

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sharp," says I, "but I'd rather be sharp than flat any day; and if we don't begin to stir ourselves, we shall be flat enough before long, and shall deserve to be. It grows on me. It has jest, been 'Board, Board, Board,' for fourteen years, and I'm tired of it. I never did like boardin'," says I; "and even if we were poor, I believe we might do something toward settin' up housekeepin' for ourselves.

"Well, there's not many of us—about a hundred, I believe; and some of these is women-folks, and some is jest-girls and boys. And we all have to work hard, and live close; but," says I, "let us show a disposition, if nothing more. Hezekiah, if there's any spirit left in us, let us show some sort of a disposition."

And Hezekiah had his toothpick in his teeth, and looked down at his boots, and rubbed his chin, as he always does when he's goin' to say somethin'. "I think there's some of us that shows a disposition."

Of course I understood that hit, but I kep' still. I kep' right on with my argument; and I said, "Yes, and a pretty bad disposition it is. It's a disposition to let ourselves be helped when we ought to be helping ourselves. It's a disposition to lie still and let somebody carry us. And we are growing up cripples—only we don't grow.

"'Kiah," says I, "do you hear me?" Sometimes when I want to talk a little he jest shets his eyes, and begins to rock himself back and forth in the old arm-chair; and he was doin' that now. So I said, "'Kiah, do you hear?" And he said, "Some!" and I went on. "I've got a proposition," says I. And he sort o' looked up, and said, "Hev you? Well, between a disposition and a proposition, I guess the proposition might be better."

He's awful sarcrostic, sometimes. But I wasn't goin' to get riled, nor thrown off the track; so I jest said, "Yes; do you and I git two shillin's' worth apiece, a week, out o' that blessed little church of ourn, do you think?" says I. "Cos, if we do, I want to give two shillin's a week to keep it goin'; and I thought maybe you could do as much." So he said he guessed we could stand that; and I said, "That's my proposition, and I mean to see if we can't find somebody else that'll do the same. It'll show disposition, anyway."

"Well, I suppose you'll hev your own way," says he: "you most always do." And I said, "Isn't it most allers a good way?" Then I brought out my subscription paper.