CHAPTER XVIII IN WHICH KEZIAH DECIDES TO FIGHT

THE news was flying from house to house along the main road. Breakfasts were interrupted as some neighbor rushed in to tell the story which another neighbor had brought to him or her. Mr. Ellery was very sick and it was feared he had the smallpox, that was what Mrs. Parker, the doctor's wife, told those who lived near her. By the time the Corners heard of it the tale had grown until the minister was said to be dying. And when it reached Gaius Winslow's home at the upper end of the town he was reported dead. This was denied, upon investigation, but soon another rumor grew and spread; Grace Van Horne was with him, had taken him back to the shanty, and insisted upon staying there until the doctor came. Facing that dreadful disease and--It was wonderful-- and queer.

At the Danielses' house the servant girl rushed into the dining room to serve the toast and the story at one swoop. Captain Elkanah's dignity deserted him for an instant and his egg spoon jingled to the floor. Annabel's face turned a dull red. Her eyes flashed sparks.

"Pa!" she cried, "I--I--if you don't do something now I'll never-----"

-305-

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