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o' kep’ more to his books, and didn't take it on him to advise so much.
“But not long arter he took it into his head that Huldy ought to have a pig to be a fattin' with the buttermilk.
“Mis' Pipperidge set him up to it; and jist then old Tom Bigelow, out to Juniper Hill, told him if he'd call over he'd give him a little pig.
“So he sent for a man, and told him to build a pig-pen right out by the well, and have it all ready when he came home with his pig.
“Huldy said she wished he might put a curb round the well out there, because, in the dark sometimes, a body might stumble into it; and the parson said he might do that.
“Wal, old Aikin, the carpenter, he didn't come till ’most the middle of the arternoon; and then he sort o' idled, so that he didn't get up the well-curb till sundown; and then he went off, and said he'd come and do the pig-pen next day.
“Wal, arter dark, Parson Carryl, he driv into the yard, full chizel, with his pig.
“There, Huldy, I've got you a nice little pig. “Dear me!' says Huldy; 'where have you put him ?'
Why, out there in the pig-pen, to be sure.' "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 door-nail; 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.
“Arter 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 ochipper 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 set a new trouble a-brewin'. They begun to talk that it was a year now since Mis' Carryl died; and it r’ally 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, 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?'
“'No; why should they?' says Huldy, quite innocent.
“Wal, dear,' says she, 'I think it's a shame; but they say you're tryin' to catch him, and that it's so bold and improper for you to be courtin' of him right in his own house,—you know folks will talk,-I thought I'd tell you, 'cause I think so much of you,' says she.
Huldy was a gal of spirit, and she despised the talk, but it made her drefful uncomfortable; and when she got home at night she sat down in the mornin'-glory porch, quite quiet, and didn't sing a word.
“The minister he had heard the same thing from one of his deakins that day; and when he saw Huldy so kind o’ silent, he says to her, “Why don't you sing, my child?'
“He hed a pleasant sort o' way with him, the minister had, and Huldy had got to likin' to be with him; and it all come over her that perhaps she ought to go away; and her
throat kind o' filled up so she couldn't hardly speak; and, says she, 'I can't sing to-night.'
“Says he, You don't know how much good your singin' has done me, nor how much good you have done me in all ways, Huldy. I wish I knew how to show my gratitude.'
"Oh, sir !' says Huldy, 'is it improper for me to be here?'
“No, dear,' says the minister, 'but ill-natured folks will talk; but there is one way we can stop it, Huldy—if you'll marry me.
You'll make me very happy, and I'll do all I can to make you happy. Will you ?'
'Wal, Huldy never told me just what she said to the minister; gals never does give you the particulars of them ’are things jist as you'd like 'em-only I know the upshot, and the hull on't was, that Huldy she did a consid'able lot o'clear starchin' and ironin' the next two days; and the Friday o' next week the minister and she rode over together to Dr. Lothrop's, in Oldtown; and the doctor, he jist made 'em man and wife.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe.