"And the dust fairly beats me."
Mr. Ramy stretched one of his blunt-fingered hands toward her. "I wisht you'd take me."
Still Ann Eliza did not understand. She rose hesitatingly from her seat, pushing aside the basket of buttons which lay between them; then she perceived that Mr. Ramy was trying to take her hand, and as their fingers met a flood of joy swept over her. Never afterward, though every other word of their interview was stamped on her memory beyond all possible forgetting, could she recall what he said while their hands touched; she only knew that she seemed to be floating on a summer sea, and that all its waves were in her ears.
"I guess so," said her suitor placidly. "You suit me right down to the ground, Miss Bunner. Dat's the truth."
A woman passing along the street paused to look at the shop- window, and Ann Eliza half hoped she would come in; but after a desultory inspection she went on.
"Maybe you don't fancy me?" Mr. Ramy suggested, discountenanced by Ann Eliza's silence.
A word of assent was on her tongue, but her lips refused it. She must find some other way of telling him.
"Well, I always kinder thought we was suited to one another," Mr. Ramy continued, eased of his momentary doubt. "I always liked de quiet style--no fuss and airs, and not afraid of work." He spoke as though dispassionately cataloguing her charms.