Twenty years later, Jennie, the first begotten Chick at the Log House in the Clearing, had matured and married, and was living at the County-Seat with Hiram, Money-Changer and Merchant.
Railroad Trains, Side-Bar Buggies, Coal-Oil Lamps, and the Civil War had come along with a Rush and disarranged primitive Conditions. The Frontier had retreated away over into Kansas.
In the very Township where, of late, the Beaver had toiled without Hindrance and the Red Fox dug his hole unscared, people were now eating Cove Oysters, and going to see “East Lynne.”
Hiram was in rugged Health, having defended the flag by Proxy during the recent outcropping of Acrimony between the devotees of Cold Bread and the slaves of Hot Biscuit. The Substitute had been perforated beyond repair at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, proving that Hiram made no mistake in remaining behind to tend Store.
When Jennie moved in where she could hear the Trains whistle and began to sport a Cameo Brooch, she could barely remember wearing a Slip and having Stone Bruises.
Hiram was Near, but he would Loosen up a trifle for his own Fireside. The fact that Jennie was his wife gave her quite a Standing with him. He admired her for having made such a Success of her Life.
They dwelt in a two-story Frame with countless Dewdads and Thingumbobs tacked along the Eaves and Scalloped around the Bay Windows.
The Country People who came in to see the Eighth Wonder of the World used to stand in silent Awe, breathing through their Noses.
Out on the lawn, surrounded by Geraniums, was a Cast-Iron Deer which seemed to be looking at the Court House in a startled Manner. It was that kind of a Court House.
In her Front Room, the daughter of Rufus and Susan had Wonderful Wax Flowers, sprinkled with Diamond Dust; a What-Not bearing Mineral Specimens, Conch-Shells, and a Star-Fish, also some Hair-Cloth Furniture, very slippery and upholstered with Sand.
After Hiram gave her the Black Silk and paid for the Crayon Enlargements of her Parents, Jennie did not have the Face to bone him for anything more, but she longed in secret and Hiram suspected.
Jennie was a soprano. Not a regular Soprano, but a Country-Town Soprano, of the kind often used for augmenting the Grief at a Funeral. Her voice came from a point about two inches above the Right Eye.
She had assisted a Quartette to do things to “Juanita,” and sometimes tossed out little Hints about wishing she could practice at Home. Jennie was a Nice Woman but she did need Practice.
Although Hiram was tighter than the Bark on a Sycamore, he liked to have other Women envy the Mother of His Children.
When he spread himself from a Shin-Plaster, he expected a Fanfare of Trumpets.
It took him a long time to unwind the String from the Wallet, but he would Dig if he thought he was boosting his own Game.
By stealthy short-weighting of the Country Trade and holding out on the Assessor, he succeeded in salting away numerous Kopecks in one corner of the Safe.
While in Chicago to buy his Winter Stock, he bargained for two days and finally bought a Cottage Melodeon, with the Stool thrown in.
Jennie would sit up and pump for Hours at a time, happy in the knowledge that she had drawn the Capital Prize in the Lottery of Hymen.
In the year 1886 there was some Church Wedding at the County-Seat.
Frances, daughter of Hiram and Jennie, had knocked the Town a Twister when she came home from the Female College wearing Bangs and toting a Tennis Racquet.
All the local Gallants, with Cocoa-Oil in their hair and Rings on their Cravats, backed into the Shubbery.
Hiram had bought her about $1800 worth of Hauteur at the select Institution of Learning. All she had to do was look at a Villager through her Nose-Specs and he would curl up like an Autumn Leaf.
A Cuss from Chicago came to see her every two weeks.