'Wouldn't wonder 'f the fur flew when they git t' going',' she remarked, and then hurried on, her head erect, her body motionless, her legs flying. Such energy as she gave to the pursuit of mourning I have never seen equalled in any other form of dissipation.
The schoolhouse was nearly full of people when we came in. The big boys were wrestling in the yard; men were lounging on the rude seats, inside, idly discussing crops and cattle and lapsing into silence, frequently, that bore the signs both of expectancy and reflection. Young men and young women sat together on one side of the house whispering and giggling. Alone among them was the big and eccentric granddaughter of Mrs Bisnette, who was always slapping some youngster for impertinence. Jed Feary and Squire Town sat together behind a pile of books, both looking very serious. The long hair and beard of the old poet were now white and his form bent with age. He came over and spoke to us and took a curl of Hope's hair in his stiffened fingers and held it to the lamplight.
'What silky gold!' he whispered.' 'S a skein o' fate, my dear girl!'
Suddenly the schoolteacher rapped on the desk and bade us come to order and Ransom Walker was called to the chair.
'Thet there is talent in Faraway township,' he said, having reluctantly come to the platform, 'and talent of the very highest order, no one can deny who has ever attended a lyceum at the Howard schoolhouse. I see evidences of talent in every face before me. And I wish to ask what are the two great talents of the Yankee - talents that made our forefathers famous the world over? I pause for an answer.'
He had once been a schoolmaster and that accounted for his didactic style.
'What are the two great talents of the Yankee?' he repeated, his hands clasped before him.
'Doughnuts an' pie,' said Uncle Be who sat in a far corner.