Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Hezekiah’s Wooing
by [?]


“Walk right in, Mr. Lightus, do,” said the cheery voice of the Widow Partridge, as the portly figure of Mr. Hezekiah Lighthouse appeared in her hospitable doorway.

“Thankee, thankee, I don’t care if I do, Mis’ Patridge,” responded the visitor, heavily bringing himself within the family circle.

“How’s all?” he asked, comfortably establishing himself in the arm-chair.

“Middlin’, thankee,” said the widow. “I’ve been enjoyin’ very poor health till lately. Now I seem to be pickin’ up a little,” as brushing the seat of a rocker with her gingham apron, she sat down at the opposite end of the hearth.

“An’ Cicely Ann–how’s she?”

“Oh, she–why she’s allers the picture o’ health. Here she comes now.”

As she spoke, a fair, rosy-cheeked girl entered the cheerful room, with her arms full of painting materials. These she deposited upon the table, then dutifully greeted the visitor.

“An’ how do you like them new fol-de-rols, Cicely Ann?” inquired Hezekiah, eyeing askance the collection.

The fol-de-rols consisted of some wooden plaques of different sizes, which the new art craze had brought to the widow’s cottage.

“She’s gettin’ along right nice, I think,” replied the widow, looking proudly at her one chick. “You see, she’s a lot o’ darnin’ an’ one thing another to do, but she finds time for her landskips and things.”

“Well, mebbe so,” assented Hezekiah grudgingly. “For my part there’s nothing set’s a gal off like spinnin’ an’ weavin’, an’ it puts more money in her pocket, besides.”

“La, Mr. Lightus,” said the widow deprecatingly, “spinnin’ an’ weavin’s gone out o’ fashion. Gals will be gals, and they mostly go in for fashion, you know.”

Cicely’s red lip curled in scorn as she applied herself vigorously to her plaque, where the inevitable girl with muff and umbrella was stumbling into a snowdrift.

Hezekiah picked up the widow’s daily paper which, by the way, he largely depended on for the news. Silence reigned for a while, save for the rustle of the sheet. The click-clack of the widow’s knitting needles, and the rapid plying of Cicely’s brush, were varied at last by the girl surreptitiously pulling a note out of her jaunty apron pocket.

As she read it a smile broke over the dimpled features, and in a moment more she pushed the table from her and left the room. Swiftly she sped to the big apple tree where her trystings were held with Rufus, her playmate and lover.

Hezekiah slowly raised his head, and laying down the paper, said thoughtfully: “‘Pears like the gal gits skittisher every day. Do you reckon she’ll ever come to like me?”

“Why, I dunno why she wouldn’t,” ventured the widow with an encouraging smirk.

“Well, she don’t seem to, no way.” Then looking suspiciously through the window. “Where’s she gone to?”

“Oh, nowheres I reckon,” said the mother soothingly, “nowheres in partic’ler. She’s allers around.”

Another silence, during which the visitor carefully noted the land, stock and crop items in the paper, then took his leave. But not till he had cast a lingering look behind and said: “This is about the comfortablest place a feller could drop into, in my opinion.”

It was some minutes after when the truant Cicely re-entered the little keeping-room, her cheeks and eyes bright with happiness.

“Oh, mother, wish me joy! Rufus has asked me to be his wife.”

“Mercy on us, Cicely!” exclaimed the widow in a sort of terror, “and you want to marry him?”

“Of course I do,” proudly said the girl; “and I mean to marry him.”

“Oh, Cicely, my child! and what will Mr. Lightus do–him that’s been comin’ here so patient, off an’ on?”

“Mr. Lighthouse!” disdainfully echoed the girl. “Do you suppose I would have that old goose–old enough to be my grandfather!”

“Old goose! Fie, Cicely, to talk so disrespectful of your pa’s best friend. He’s well-to-do an’ has got the finest place in the county. Think how nice we’d be fixed, child. We’d never have to work no more,” and the widow sighed as the girl looked into her face for the congratulations she expected in vain.