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The Minister’s Wooing
by [?]

“‘Oh, dear me!’ says Huldy,’that’s the well-curb–there ain’t no pig- pen built,’ says she.

“‘Lordy massy!’ says the Parson; ‘then I’ve thrown the pig in the well!’

“Wal, Huldy she worked and worked, and finally she fished piggy out in the bucket, but he was as dead as a doornail; and she got him out o’ the way quietly, and didn’t say much; and the Parson he took to a great Hebrew book in his study.

“After that the Parson set sich store by Huldy that he come to her and asked her about everything, and it was amazin’ how everything she put her hand to prospered. Huldy planted marigolds and larkspurs, pinks and carnations, all up and down the path to the front door; and trained up mornin’-glories and scarlet runners round the windows. And she was always gettin’ a root here, and a sprig there, and a seed from somebody else; for Huldy was one o’ them that has the gift, so that ef you jist give ’em the leastest of anything they make a great bush out of it right away; so that in six months Huldy had roses and geraniums and lilies sich as it would take a gardener to raise.

“Huldy was so sort o’ chipper and fair spoken that she got the hired men all under her thumb: they come to her and took her orders jist as meek as so many calves, and she traded at the store, and kep’ the accounts, and she had her eyes everywhere, and tied up all the ends so tight that there wa’n’t no gettin’ ’round her. She wouldn’t let nobody put nothin’ off on Parson Carryl ’cause he was a minister. Huldy was allers up to anybody that wanted to make a hard bargain, and afore he knew jist what he was about she’d got the best end of it, and everybody said that Huldy was the most capable girl they ever traded with.

“Wal, come to the meetin’ of the Association, Mis’ Deakin Blodgett and Mis’ Pipperidge come callin’ up to the Parson’s all in a stew and offerin’ their services to get the house ready, but the Doctor he jist thanked ’em quite quiet, and turned ’em over to Huldy; and Huldy she told ’em that she’d got everything ready, and showed ’em her pantries, and her cakes, and her pies, and her puddin’s, and took ’em all over the house; and they went peekin’ and pokin’, openin’ cupboard doors, and lookin’ into drawers; and they couldn’t find so much as a thread out o’ the way, from garret to cellar, and so they went off quite discontented. Arter that the women sat a new trouble a-brewin’. They began to talk that it was a year now since Mis’ Carryl died; and it railly wasn’t proper such a young gal to be stayin’ there, who everybody could see was a-settin’ her cap for the minister.

“Mis’ Pipperidge said, that so long as she looked on Huldy as the hired gal she hadn’t thought much about it; but Huldy was railly takin’ on airs as an equal, and appearin’ as mistress o’ the house in a way that would make talk if it went on. And Mis’ Pipperidge she driv ’round up to Deakin Abner Snow’s, and down to Mis ‘Lijah Perry’s, and asked them if they wasn’t afraid that the way the Parson and Huldy was a-goin on might make talk. And they said they hadn’t thought on’t before, but now, come to think on’t it, they was sure it would and they all went and talked with somebody else and asked them if they didn’t think it would make talk. So come Sunday, between meetin’s there warn’t nothin’ else talked about; and Huldy saw folks a-noddin’ and a-winkin’, and a-lookin’ arter her, and she begun to feel drefful sort o’ disagreeable. Finally Mis’ Sawin, she says to her, ‘My dear, didn’t you never think folk would talk about you and the minister?’