Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/170

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the Lord will forgive me if I took any thing in vain. I did not take my call in vain, I tell you. Mrs. Puffy is good, only she allus wanted to talk so pious; and she put down her two shillin's, and then hove a sigh. Then I found the boys at the cooper-shop, and got seven names there at one lick; and when the list began to grow, people seemed ashamed to say no; and I kept gainin' till I had jest an even hundred, and then I went home.

Well, it was pretty well towards candle-light when I got back, and I was that tired I didn't know much of any thing. I've washed, and I've scrubbed, and I've baked, and I've cleaned house, and I've biled soap, and I've moved; and I 'low that a'most any one of that sort of thing is a little exhaustin'. But put your bakin' and movin' and bilin' soap all together, and it won't work out as much genuine tired soul and body as one day with a subscription paper to support the gospel. So when I sort o' dropped into a chair, and Hezekiah said, "Well?" I was past speakin'; and I put my check apron up to my face as I hadn't done since I was a young, foolish girl, and cried. I don't know what I felt so bad about: I don't know as I did feel bad. But I felt cry, and I cried. And 'Kiah, seein' how it was, felt kind o' sorry for me, and set some tea a-steepin'; and when I had had my drink with weepin', I felt better, I handed him the subscription paper, and he looked it over as if he didn't expect any thing; but soon he began saying, "I never! I never!" And I said, "Of course you didn't: you never tried. How much is it?"—"Why, don't you know?" says he. "No," I said: "I ain't quick in figures, and I hadn't time to foot it up. I hope it will make us out this year three hundred dollars or so."

"Amy," says he, "you're a prodigy—a prodigal, I may say—and you don't know it. A hundred names at two shillin' each gives us twenty-five dollars a Sunday. Some of 'em may fail, but most of 'em is good ; and there is ten, eleven, thirteen, that sign fifty cents. That'll make up what fails. That paper of yourn'll give us thirteen hundred dollars a year!" I jumped up like I was shot. "Yes," he says, "we sha'n't need any thing this year from the Board. This church, for this year at any rate, is self-supporting."

We both sot down and kep' still a minute, when I said kind o' softly, "Hezekiah," says I, "isn't it about time for prayers?" I was just chokin'; but, as he took down the