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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which two New Friends disport themselves

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"'Good-bye, likewise,' says the lady. 'I hope you'll have all you're thinkin' you're havin', an' more too, but less if you'd like it. Farewell.' An' away they goes.

"Well, you may be sure, I stood there amazed enough, an' mad too when I heard her talk about my bein' all I was a-thinkin' I was. I was sure my husband--scarce two weeks old, a husband--had told all. It was too bad. I wished I had jus' said I was the Earl-ess of Random an' brassed it out.

"I rushed back an' foun' him smokin' a pipe on a back porch. I charged him with his perfidy, but he vowed so earnest that he had not told these people of our fancies, or ever had spoke to 'em, that I had to believe him.

"'I expec',' says he, 'that they're jus' makin'-believe--as we are. There aint no patent on make-believes.'

"This didn't satisfy me, an' as he seemed to be so careless about it I walked away, an' left him to his pipe. I determined to go take a walk along some of the country roads an' think this thing over for myself. I went aroun' to the front gate, where the woman of the house was a-standin' talkin' to somebody, an' I jus' bowed to her, for I didn't feel like sayin' anything, an' walked past her.

"'Hello!' said she, jumpin' in front of me an' shuttin' the gate. 'You can't go out here. If you want to walk you can walk about in the grounds. There's lots of shady paths.'

"'Can't go out!' says I. 'Can't go out! What do you mean by that?'

"'I mean jus' what I say,' said she, an' she locked the gate.

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"I was so mad that I could have pushed her over an' broke the gate, but I thought that if there was anything of that kind to do I had a husband whose business it was to attend to it, an' so I runs aroun' to him to tell him. He had gone in, but I met Mrs. Jackson an' her brother.

"'What's the matter?' said she, seein' what a hurry I was in.

"'That woman at the gate,' I said, almost chokin' as I spoke, 'wont let me out.'

"'She wont?' said Mrs. Jackson. 'Well, that's a way she has. Four times the Bank of the United States has closed its doors before I was able to get there, on account of that woman's obstinacy about the gate. Indeed, I have not been to the Bank at all yet, for of course it is of no use to go after banking hours.'

"'An' I believe, too,' said her brother in his heavy voice, 'that she has kept out my team of little oxen. Otherwise it would be here now.'

"I couldn't stand any more of this an' ran into our room where my husband was. When I told him what had happened, he was real sorry.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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