CHAPTER VII
VILLAGE CHARACTERS

MY FRIEND Mildred Crosby Lindsey, daughter and granddaughter of the famous Crosby doctors, has often told me of the humorous sayings of the real character of the village, Jason Dudley, the driver of the hearse.

'Mildred,' said Jason, 'I never seen your grandmother consarned mad but twice; once when they was rowin' about the bridge and arrested the old doctor and put him in jail over at Woodstock. He sent a man clear over from Woodstock to break it gently to his grass-widder. The man said, "Don't be askin' for your husband, Mum, for they have jailed the old fool in Woodstock, and as far as I am concerned I hope the old New Hampshire idiot will stay there." And the other time was when she got all ready for a big family funeral -- cakes, mince pies, ham, calves'-head soups, and so forth, and I myself had fetched the coffin-stands up, and she met me at the door, mad clear through. "Mr. Dudley," says she, "there will be no funeral; the corpse has rallied."'

And meeting Mildred herself one day, he said cheerily: 'I done some measuring down to your lot today and if we bury you in the north corner of the lot in the curve where we calculated to, your legs will be part in the highway. We was lottin' on your bein' short like your mother, but you got one of these figgers that nothin' stops your waist but your heels.'

Mrs. Edwards, in the cemetery arranging for the interment of her aged aunt, Mrs. Johns, said, 'I think, Mr. Dudley, that by placing auntie's head this way by uncle's feet you could make room for her and a small headstone.' 'Well, Miss Edwards, this ain't no sardine packin' factory, and while I am the head of this cem'tery, heads will match heads or the old woman won't be planted,' replied Jason; and the matter was settled.

And Mrs. Edwards in eulogy of her uncle, the elegant Professor Johns, declared, 'It was a great loss to the college, and the village, when he paid the debt to nature.' 'Well, I swan,' roared Jason, 'if

-53-

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