"I guess you're healthier than your sister, even if you are less sizeable."
"Oh, I don't know. Evelina's a mite nervous sometimes, but she ain't a bit sickly."
"She eats heartier than you do; but that don't mean nothing," said Mr. Ramy.
Ann Eliza was silent. She could not follow the trend of his thought, and she did not care to commit herself farther about Evelina before she had ascertained if Mr. Ramy considered nervousness interesting or the reverse.
But Mr. Ramy spared her all farther indecision.
"Well, Miss Bunner," he said, drawing his stool closer to the counter, "I guess I might as well tell you fust as last what I come here for to-day. I want to get married."
Ann Eliza, in many a prayerful midnight hour, had sought to strengthen herself for the hearing of this avowal, but now that it had come she felt pitifully frightened and unprepared. Mr. Ramy was leaning with both elbows on the counter, and she noticed that his nails were clean and that he had brushed his hat; yet even these signs had not prepared her!
At last she heard herself say, with a dry throat in which her heart was hammering: "Mercy me, Mr. Ramy!"