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ain't likely that, to my own knowledge, I'd be self-interested
under such circumstances. I say it ain't likely, in a man who
knows his wind will go, when it DOES go, as if a pair of bellows
was cut open; and that man a grandfather,' said Mr. Omer.

I said, 'Not at all.'

'It ain't that I complain of my line of business,' said Mr. Omer.
'It ain't that. Some good and some bad goes, no doubt, to all
callings. What I wish is, that parties was brought up

Mr. Omer, with a very complacent and amiable face, took several
puffs in silence; and then said, resuming his first point:

'Accordingly we're obleeged, in ascertaining how Barkis goes on, to
limit ourselves to Em'ly. She knows what our real objects are, and
she don't have any more alarms or suspicions about us, than if we
was so many lambs. Minnie and Joram have just stepped down to the
house, in fact (she's there, after hours, helping her aunt a bit),
to ask her how he is tonight; and if you was to please to wait till
they come back, they'd give you full partic'lers. Will you take
something? A glass of srub and water, now? I smoke on srub and
water, myself,' said Mr. Omer, taking up his glass, 'because it's
considered softening to the passages, by which this troublesome
breath of mine gets into action. But, Lord bless you,' said Mr.
Omer, huskily, 'it ain't the passages that's out of order! "Give
me breath enough," said I to my daughter Minnie, "and I'll find
passages, my dear."'

He really had no breath to spare, and it was very alarming to see
him laugh. When he was again in a condition to be talked to, I
thanked him for the proffered refreshment, which I declined, as I
had just had dinner; and, observing that I would wait, since he was
so good as to invite me, until his daughter and his son-in-law came
back, I inquired how little Emily was?

'Well, sir,' said Mr. Omer, removing his pipe, that he might rub
his chin: 'I tell you truly, I shall be glad when her marriage has
taken place.'

'Why so?' I inquired.

'Well, she's unsettled at present,' said Mr. Omer. 'It ain't that
she's not as pretty as ever, for she's prettier - I do assure you,
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