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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
We Visit Peg Bowen
|Page 5 of 9||
"Well, he's coming home before long," said Peg mysteriously.
"Who told you that?" cried Peter in amazement.
"Better not ask," responded Peg, looking up at the skull.
If she meant to make the flesh creep on our bones she succeeded. But now, much to our relief, the meal was over and Peg invited us to draw our chairs up to the stove again.
"Make yourselves at home," she said, producing her pipe from her pocket. "I ain't one of the kind who thinks their houses too good to live in. Guess I won't bother washing the dishes. They'll do yez for breakfast if yez don't forget your places. I s'pose none of yez smokes."
"No," said Felicity, rather primly.
"Then yez don't know what's good for yez," retorted Peg, rather grumpily. But a few whiffs of her pipe placated her and, observing Cecily sigh, she asked her kindly what was the matter.
"I'm thinking how worried they'll be at home about us," explained Cecily.
"Bless you, dearie, don't be worrying over that. I'll send them word that yez are all snug and safe here."
"But how can you?" cried amazed Cecily.
"Better not ask," said Peg again, with another glance at the skull.
An uncomfortable silence followed, finally broken by Peg, who introduced her pets to us and told how she had come by them. The black cat was her favourite.
"That cat knows more than I do, if yez'll believe it," she said proudly. "I've got a rat too, but he's a bit shy when strangers is round. Your cat got all right again that time, didn't he?"
"Yes," said the Story Girl.
"Thought he would," said Peg, nodding sagely. "I seen to that. Now, don't yez all be staring at the hole in my dress."
"We weren't," was our chorus of protest.
"Looked as if yez were. I tore that yesterday but I didn't mend it. I was brought up to believe that a hole was an accident but a patch was a disgrace. And so your Aunt Olivia is going to be married after all?"
This was news to us. We felt and looked dazed.
"I never heard anything of it," said the Story Girl.
"Oh, it's true enough. She's a great fool. I've no faith in husbands. But one good thing is she ain't going to marry that Henry Jacobs of Markdale. He wants her bad enough. Just like his presumption,--thinking himself good enough for a King. His father is the worst man alive. He chased me off his place with his dog once. But I'll get even with him yet."
Peg looked very savage, and visions of burned barns floated through our minds.
"He'll be punished in hell, you know," said Peter timidly.
"But I won't be there to see that," rejoined Peg. "Some folks say I'll go there because I don't go to church oftener. But I don't believe it."
"Why don't you go?" asked Peter, with a temerity that bordered on rashness.
"Well, I've got so sunburned I'm afraid folks might take me for an Injun," explained Peg, quite seriously. "Besides, your minister makes such awful long prayers. Why does he do it?"
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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