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August 17 , 2010

The Drift Fence


Molly Dunn sat waiting on the rickety old porch of Enoch Summers' store
in the village of West Fork. For once she was oblivious to the approach
of the lean-faced, long-legged young backwoodsmen who lounged there with
their elders. Molly was sixteen and on the eve of a great adventure. She
had been invited to ride to Flagerstown with the Sees. She had been there
once some years before and the memory had haunted her. In her pocket she
had money to buy new stockings and shoes, which compensated somewhat for
the fact that she carefully kept her feet and ankles hidden under the
bench. She wore her good dress and bonnet, and though not satisfied with
them she was not ashamed.
Andy Stoneham, a tall youth with sallow face and fuzzy beard, edged over
closer and closer.
"Reckon you're orful stuck up this mawnin'," he drawled.
Molly looked at the bullet holes in the wall of the old store. She had
seen them before, and long ago when she was ten she had stuck her finger
in them and wondered about the battle that had been fought there once.
"Goin' up to Flag, huh?"
"Do you think I'd dress up like this for West Fork?" inquired Molly,
"Wal, you used to, didn't you? You shore look purty. But I can't see
you've any call to get uppish. I've seen you in thet rig before, haven't
"I don't remember, Andy."
"Then you've got a darn short memory," replied Andy, bluntly. "Didn't I
take you to the last dance in thet dress?"
"Did you?"
"Wal, I shore did. An' didn't I hug you in it?"
"Did you?" queried Molly, flippantly.
"You bet I did."
"I've forgotten. But I've heard it said you're so big and awkward you
have to hold on to a girl when you dance. Else you'd fall down."
"Wal, how aboot kissin' you, too? On the way to the dance an' drivin'
"Oh, did you?" retorted Molly, her face hot. Andy's voice carried rather
far. "An' what did I do?"
"Wal, I figger thet you kissed me back an' then slapped my face."
"Andy Stoneham, you're a liar about that first."
"Haw! Haw!...Say, Molly, there's goin' to be a dance next week."
"Where at?"
"Hall's Mill. Come on an' go."

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