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David Dunne A Romance of the Middle West   By:

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A Romance of the Middle West



With illustrations by John Drew

[Illustration: " He stood as if at bay, his face pale, his eyes riveted on those floating banners " Page 218]

Rand McNally & Company Chicago New York

Copyright, 1912, by Rand, McNally & Company

To Milly and Gardner


" He stood as if at bay, his face pale, his eyes riveted on those floating banners " Frontispiece


"' Dave's little gal! '" 11

" With proudly protective air, David walked beside the stiffly starched little girl " 42

" David's friends were surprised to receive an off hand invitation from him to 'drop in for a little country spread' " 148

" He kept his word. Jud was cleared " 158

" It was a relief to find Carey alone " 224

" 'Carey, will you make the dream a reality?' " 238

[Illustration: "' Dave's little gal! '"]



Across lots to the Brumble farm came the dusty apparition of a boy, a tousle headed, freckle faced, gaunt eyed little fellow, clad in a sort of combination suit fashioned from a pair of overalls and a woman's shirtwaist. In search of "Miss M'ri," he looked into the kitchen, the henhouse, the dairy, and the flower garden. Not finding her in any of these accustomed places, he stood still in perplexity.

"Miss M'ri!" rang out his youthful, vibrant treble.

There was a note of promise in the pleasant voice that came back in subterranean response.

"Here, David, in the cellar."

The lad set down the tin pail he was carrying and eagerly sped to the cellar. His fondest hopes were realized. M'ri Brumble, thirty odd years of age, blue of eye, slightly gray of hair, and sweet of heart, was lifting the cover from the ice cream freezer.

"Well, David Dunne, you came in the nick of time," she said, looking up with kindly eyes. "It's just frozen. I'll dish you up some now, if you will run up to the pantry and fetch two saucers biggest you can find."

Fleetly David footed the stairs and returned with two soup plates.

"These were the handiest," he explained apologetically as he handed them to her.

"Just the thing," promptly reassured M'ri, transferring a heaping ladle of yellow cream to one of the plates. "Easy to eat out of, too."

"My, but you are giving me a whole lot," he said, watching her approvingly and encouragingly. "I hope you ain't robbing yourself."

"Oh, no; I always make plenty," she replied, dishing a smaller portion for herself. "Here's enough for our dinner and some for you to carry home to your mother."

"I haven't had any since last Fourth of July," he observed in plaintive reminiscence as they went upstairs.

"Why, David Dunne, how you talk! You just come over here whenever you feel like eating ice cream, and I'll make you some. It's no trouble."

They sat down on the west, vine clad porch to enjoy their feast in leisure and shade. M'ri had never lost her childish appreciation of the delicacy, and to David the partaking thereof was little short of ecstasy. He lingered longingly over the repast, and when the soup plate would admit of no more scraping he came back with a sigh to sordid cares.

"Mother couldn't get the washing done no ways to day. She ain't feeling well, but you can have the clothes to morrow, sure. She sent you some sorghum," pointing to the pail.

M'ri took the donation into the kitchen. When she brought back the pail it was filled with eggs. Not to send something in return would have been an unpardonable breach of country etiquette.

"Your mother said your hens weren't laying," she said... Continue reading book >>

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