"Then you ain't going to stop there?"
An expression of repugnance swept over the young man's face, as he hastily answered in the negative.
By this time they had come to a turn in the road. This brought them in view of Chloe's cottage. Little Pomp was on all fours, hunting for nuts among the fallen leaves under the shagbark-tree.
Under the influence of some freakish impulse, Pomp suddenly jumped to his feet and, whirling his arms aloft, uttered a wild whoop. Startled by the unexpected apparition, the horses gave a sudden start, and nearly succeeded in overturning the wagon.
"Massy on us!" exclaimed an old lady on the back seat, suddenly flinging her arms round young Morton's neck, in the height of her consternation.
"All right, marm," said Ajax reassuringly, after a brief but successful conflict with the horses. "We sha'n't go over this time. I should like to give that little black imp a good shaking."
"Oh, I've lost my ban'box, with my best bunnit," hastily exclaimed the old lady. "Le' me get out and find it. It was a present from my darter, Cynthy Ann, and I wouldn't lose it for a kingdom."
In truth, when prompted by her apprehension to cling to the young man in front for protection, Mrs. Payson had inadvertently dropped the bandbox out of the window, where it met with an unhappy disaster. The horse, quite unconscious of the damage he was doing, had backed the wagon in such a manner that one of the wheels passed directly over it.