THE STRANGER ARTIST. 25
" Perhaps he had not put her in his picture after all; how
she would like to know," and Edith lied on her bonnet, affect¬
ing not lo see the stranger, gathered up her portfolio, and
retreated to the house.
"Wall," said Mrs. Potter, as she made her appearance,
"your pictur' and the pot-pie are done at the same time.
Dinner's just ready; I'll blow the horn for the men, and M'e'll
set right down."
The men! Edith knew of but one man at present belong¬
ing to the premises. She asked no questions, but waited for
the summons lo dinner to gratify her curiosity in due time.
Mr. Potter came in presently, shaking bauds with her,
according to custom, and hoping lo find her flourishing.
" Wliar's the stranger ?" asked the wife, as they drew their
chairs to the table.
" Comin'," replied the host, as he plunged a knife into the
" I forgot to tell you, sis," went on Mrs. Potter, " there was
a stranger staid M'ith us last night—a right good-lookin', well-
spoken young man—a picture-maker, like you. He got belated
from reaching the vfllage, a drawin' this place and things
round here, and asked leave to stop till he was through. We
don't know nothing about him, but we've never turned any¬
body from the door yet, 'less they were drunk. I guess he'll
be around all day."
" Comin'" the stranger was, for at that moment he entered
the door, doflang his straw hat with well-bred ease, and setting
his camp-stool down in a corner.
" Miss Lancaster, I'll make ye acquainted with Mr. Beverly."
Edith made her coldest, most queenly boM'. Nevertheless,
she detected the slightest hint of a mischievous smile in the
eyes of her new acquaintance, which belied the polite gravity
of the rest of his countenance. He sat down to dinner.
"Did you and Miss Lancaster see each other when you
was out ? I reckoned you'd meet."
" I saw the lady; I can not say whether she saw me or
Edith made no reply, being occupied with her plate.
" You've both such a likin' for rambling about and making
pictures, I expect you'll take to each other," continued friendly.