Nearly all the stories in this volume were written at the same time and under the same impulse as those which compose its companion volume, Main-Travelled Roads--and the entire series was the result of a summer-vacation visit to my old home in Iowa, to my father's farm in Dakota, and, last of all, to my birthplace in Wisconsin. This happened in 1887. I was living at the time in Boston, and had not seen the West for several years, and my return to the scenes of my boyhood started me upon a series of stories delineative of farm and village life as I knew it and had lived it.
-what's that!" he stuttered. "Who'd you say? What about Merry Etty?"
"She's agreed to marry me."
"The hell you say!" roared Bacon, as the truth burst upon him. "So that's what you do when I go off to town and leave you to chop wood. So you're goun' to git married, hey?"
He was now where Lime could see him, glaring up into his smiling blue eyes. Lime stood his ground.
"Yes, sir. That's the calculation."
"Well, I guess I'll have somethin' t' say about that," said Bacon, nodding his head violently.
"I rather expected y' would. Blaze away. Your privilege--my bad luck. Sail in ol' man. What's y'r objection to me fer a son-in-law?"
"Don't you worry, young feller. I'll come at it soon enough," went on Bacon, as he turned up another burr in a very awkward corner. In his nervous excitement the wrench slipped, banging his knuckle.
"Ouch! Thunder--m-m-m!" howled and snarled the wounded man.
"What's the matter? Bark y'r knuckle?" queried Lime, feeling a might
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