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281 > Page 281 of Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 1)

POLLY The first thing he said after he recovered his breath was, "Where did you get this mint" Polly broke into a peal of rippling, delicious laughter, and tightened the arm about his neck. "Just one more squeeze," said the Colonel; and as she gave it he said, with the light of it all breaking on him, "Damame! if I don't sell you! or, if I can't sell you, I'll give you away -that is, if he'll come over and live with us. " That evening, after the great dinner, at which Polly had sat in her old place at the head of the table, and Bob at the foot, because the Colonel insisted on sitting where Polly could give him one more squeeze, the whole plantation was ablaze with " Christmas, " and Drinkwater Torm, steadying himself against the sideboard, delivered a discourse on peace on earth and good-will to men so powerful and so eloquent that the Colonel, delighted, rose and drank his health, and said, "Damme! if I ever sell him again! " 281