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0105_001E Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Pomona Once More

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"Then I guess I'd better chain him up," remarked Pomona; and advancing to the dog she took him boldly by the collar and pulled him toward the shed. The animal hung back at first, but soon followed her, and she chained him up securely.

"Now you can come down," said Pomona.

I assisted Euphemia to the ground, and Pomona persuaded the hired girl to descend.

"Will he grab me by the leg?" asked the girl.

"No; get down, gump," said Pomona, and down she scrambled.

We took Pomona into the house with us and asked her news of herself.

"Well," said she, "there ain't much to tell. I staid awhile at the institution, but I didn't get much good there, only I learned to read to myself, because if I read out loud they came and took the book away. Then I left there and went to live out, but the woman was awful mean. She throwed away one of my books and I was only half through it. It was a real good book, named 'The Bridal Corpse, or Montregor's Curse,' and I had to pay for it at the circulatin' library. So I left her quick enough, and then I went on the stage."

"On the stage!" cried Euphemia. "What did you do on the stage?"

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"Scrub," replied Pomona. "You see that I thought if I could get anything to do at the theayter, I could work my way up, so I was glad to get scrubbin'. I asked the prompter, one morning, if he thought there was a chance for me to work up, and he said yes, I might scrub the galleries, and then I told him that I didn't want none of his lip, and I pretty soon left that place. I heard you was akeepin' house out here, and so I thought I'd come along and see you, and if you hadn't no girl I'd like to live with you again, and I guess you might as well take me, for that other girl said, when she got down from the shed, that she was goin' away to-morrow; she wouldn't stay in no house where they kept such a dog, though I told her I guessed he was only cuttin' 'round because he was so glad to get loose."

"Cutting around!" exclaimed Euphemia. "It was nothing of the kind. If you had seen him you would have known better. But did you come now to stay? Where are your things?"

"On me," replied Pomona.

When Euphemia found that the Irish girl really intended to leave, we consulted together and concluded to engage Pomona, and I went so far as to agree to carry her books to and from the circulating library to which she subscribed, hoping thereby to be able to exercise some influence on her taste. And thus part of the old family of Rudder Grange had come together again. True, the boarder was away, but, as Pomona remarked, when she heard about him, "You couldn't always expect to ever regain the ties that had always bound everybody."

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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