"I'd take a pull at them bitters, aunty," said Jeff feebly, with his wandering eye still recurring to his page. "They'll do ye a power of good in the way o' calmin' yer narves."
"Ef I was like some folks I wouldn't want bitters--though made outer the simplest yarbs of the yearth, with jest enough sperrit to bring out the vartoos--ez Deacon Stoer's Balm 'er Gilead is--what yer meaning? Ef I was like some folks I could lie thar and smoke in the lap o' idleness--with fourteen beds in the house empty, and nary lodger for one of 'em. Ef I was that indifferent to havin' invested my fortin in the good will o' this house, and not ez much ez a single transient lookin' in, I could lie down and take comfort in profane literatoor. But it ain't in me to do it. And it wasn't your father's way, Jeff, neither!"
As the elder Briggs's way had been to seek surcease from such trouble at the gambling table, and eventually, in suicide, Jeff could not deny it. But he did not say that a full realization