"The longer she postpones the evil day the better for all parties concerned," muttered Rug, who alighted from the waggon to lead the horses over a treacherous place in the road, which was unsafe enough even in daylight. In addition to the deep ruts worn by vehicles, the road was obstructed by boulders too large to be easily removed, while deep ditches bounded it on either side. Here and there the branches of trees swept their hats off or scratched their faces. It was well that the horses knew the road and that they had a careful driver.
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"Ah, well, sir, you see, I am not altogether responsible for my actions, for, as a matter of fact, sir, I fear that my affections have run off with my wits, and I feel impelled to lay before you a very important request. For many months I have been exceedingly desirous of approaching your second daughter with a view to marriage, but hesitated to do so without consulting you, sir. I think the time has come when your daughter would consider the matter favorably, and with your consent I shall lose no time in laying the matter before her."