Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/120

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109
DIVERSIONS OF A WORKINGMAN

asks in anybody. I expect you find this quite a queer crowd, Mr. Halket."

"No, not at all. People are pretty much the same, don't you think, Miss Gorham, wherever you find them?"

"Yes, I suppose they are. At least if you say so; you have had such wide experience. But personally I have no sympathy with those who cannot appreciate the great works of literature. Especially Shakespeare. What a master mind he had, Mr. Halket!"

"Yes."

"I am so glad you love him. Then, if you really want me to, I'll do Constance before the French King—that is, if you feel like asking for it. But here comes the lemonade; I guess we'd better wait till after that."

Floyd had an opportunity to make himself useful in passing the sponge-cake and so to escape from Miss Gorham and sit down with Tibbs and his two daughters. Tibbs was a man of sixty, with small white side-whiskers and apple-red cheeks, broad of face and broad-shouldered; wearing an amiable, silent smile; his daughters, though not pretty, had a sort of buxom, blowsy bloom, and wore frizzed and flaxen hair. Floyd asked him what mill he worked in, and then how long he had been in New Rome; "Twenty years, sir, ever since I left Devonshire with them two—little misses they were then."

"Land, Pa! you ought n't to tell a lady's age," sniggered one daughter, while the other giggled and said, "We was young enough anyway not to pick up that awful English accent, was n't we, Sadie?"

"That troubles them quite a bit, sir," Tibbs explained to Floyd. "But Hi tell them Hi'm glad to 'ave something to remind me of the old 'ome."

"I like the Devonshire accent," Floyd said. "Do you or your sister sing, Miss Tibbs?"

"Oh no, sir, not worth mentionin'. Not in public."

"Yes," observed Mr. Tibbs irrelevantly, and in an absent voice, "twenty year 'ave I worked for your grand-