The author of Bunch Grass ventures to hope that this book will not be altogether regarded as mere flotsam and jetsam of English and American magazines. The stories, it will be found, have a certain continuity, and may challenge interest as apart from incident because an attempt has been made to reproduce atmosphere, the atmosphere of a country that has changed almost beyond recognition in three decades.
"These foothill imps will kill her," said Ajax.
Within a week we knew that the big boys were becoming unmanageable, but no such information leaked from Alethea-Belle's lips. Each evening at supper we asked how she had fared during the day. Always she replied primly: "I thank you; I'm getting along nicely, better than I expected."
Mrs. Spafford, a peeper through doors and keyholes, explained the schoolmarm's methods.
"I jest happened to be passin' by," she told me, "and I peeked in through--through the winder. That great big hoodlum of a George Spragg was a-sassin' Miss Buchanan an' makin' faces at her. The crowd was a- whoopin' him up. In the middle o' the uproar she kneels down. 'O Lord,' says she, 'I pray Thee to soften the heart of pore George Spragg, and give me, a weak woman, the strength to prevail against his everlastin' ignorance and foolishness!' George got the colour of a beet, but he quit his foolin'. Yes sir, she prays for 'em, and she coaxes 'em, an' she never knows when s