"Jest so," assented the old lady. "There's a good deal of iniquity that never comes to light. I once know'd a woman that killed her husband with the tongs, and nobody ever surmised it; though everybody thought it strange that he should disappear so suddint. Well, this woman on her death-bed owned up to the tongs in a crazy fit that she had. But the most cur'us part of it," the old lady added rather illogically, "was, that the man was livin' all the while, and it was all his wife's fancy that she'd struck him with the tongs."
By this time the "express" had rumbled into the main street of Rossville, and the old lady had hardly completed her striking illustration of the truth, that murder will out, before they had drawn up in front of the tavern.
"Ain't you a-goin' to carry me to my darter's house?" she inquired with solicitude. "I can't walk noway."
"Yes, ma'am, ' answered Ajax, "directly, just as soon as this gentleman's got out, and they've taken the mail."
He tossed the mail-bag to a small boy who stood on the piazza in waiting to receive it, and then, whipping up his horses, speedily conveyed Mrs. Payson to her destination.
"He's a very nice, obleeging young man," said the old lady, referring to Henry Morton. "I wonder ef his mother was a Bent. There's old Micajah Bent's third daughter, Roxana Jane, married a Morton, or it might have been a Moulton. Ever see him afore?"
"So I be! and there's Reuben at the gate. How are ye all? Jest take this carpetbag, will ye, and I'll give you a cent some time or 'nother."
Reuben did not appear much elated by this promise. It had been made too many times without fulfilment.
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