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The Heart's Country
written by "Stephens, Alice Barber, 1858-1932" do about Mr. Dennett.’ ‘About Mr. Dennett?’ said my mother, and she sounded frightened,—she is much more frightened of my Aunt Sarah than I am. ‘Even you can’t be such a ninny,’ said my aunt, ‘as to think he comes here for nothing. A man of his age doesn’t come from Springfield for the purpose of an afternoon’s conversation.’ ‘I hadn’t faced it that way,’ said mamma. ‘Pooh! Pooh!’ said my aunt. ‘There’s a limit to even your folly; I hope you have planned to do the sensible thing and if you have not, you should save him the humiliation of declaring himself, which [Pg 26] he’ll do now very soon, no doubt.’ ‘He pretended business brought him here,’ said my mother. ‘Business, indeed,’ said Aunt Sarah, and she made a noise like a snort, which if I made she would consider very rude. I wish there was one day a year when children could tell their aunts how rude they are at times, just as their aunts tell them every day in the week. ‘The business of courting is what he is about, and with an atom of honesty you must know it, and now I want to know what you are going to do.’ ‘It’s rather hard; I’m going to call Ellen,’ said my mother; and I had to move rather rapidly not to be found too near the door, which showed me that I was listening, which one ought never to do. ‘Ellen,’ said my mother; and my aunt then said a word which I am not allowed to say. ‘Squizzelty Betsey,’ said she, ‘what has Ellen to do with it?’ ‘I’m going to consult with Ellen’; and then, when I was in the room, ‘Ellen,’ she said, ‘your aunt seems to think that Mr. Dennett wishes to become a new father to you. How do you like this idea?’ ‘Would you have to keep house for him,’ I said, ‘the way you...

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