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The Loves of Ambrose
written by "Vandercook, Margaret, 1876-"
...ed trees. Something it is to know when one is beaten. Swearing a trifle and yet grinning, the boy settled himself more comfortably in his gig. "Might as well drive through town now kind of slow, and give folks a treat," he relented. "Mebbe I was shirkin' duty in tryin' to sneak off. Pennyrile ain't to say starvin' for food and clothes, but she certainly is pinin' for excitement, and who says that ain't just as bad? Seems like Christian charity for me to give this town something to talk about at least once a year." And truly these yearly spring migrations of[14] young Ambrose Thompson had aroused more interest and unrest in Pennyroyal than the yearly mystery of the earth's rebirth. Because, for the past five years on a certain May morning (and there never was a way of discovering just which morning he might choose) Ambrose had set out, at first on foot and later with his gig, and been away from his home eight and forty hours. Returning, he had given no clue as to where he had been. Now like the music of a calliope the squeak of his wagon wheels awoke the village. Windows and doors flew open, heads in nightcaps and bald heads and heads with curls were thrust forth, but to their volley of questionings and accusations, Ambrose offered only the morning's greetings. Travelling with praiseworthy slowness, he neglected no street in Pennyroyal, and, by the dozen, girls went fluttering in and out of houses, to wave farewells to the adventurer, while bolder voices called out Peachy Williams's name with every teasing inflection. One girl to whom Ambrose threw the spray of honeysuckle from his buttonhole cast it scornfully back, refusing[15] to accept what she so plainly thought another's spoils. Then the young man drove past Brother Bibbs, the Baptist minister, who, framed in the vestibule of his wooden church, beamed upon him with such heavenly condescension toward earthly affection that his expression of "Bless you, my ch...

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