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Mary-'Gusta by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
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By Joseph C. Lincoln



On the twentieth day of April in the year 19--, the people--that is, a
majority of the grown people of Ostable--were talking of Marcellus Hall
and Mary-'Gusta.

A part of this statement is not surprising. The average person, no
matter how humble or obscure, is pretty certain to be talked about on
the day of his funeral, and Marcellus was to be buried that afternoon.
Moreover, Marcellus had been neither humble nor obscure; also, he had
been talked about a good deal during the fifty-nine years of his sojourn
on this planet. So it is not at all surprising that he should be talked
about now, when that sojourn was ended. But for all Ostable--yes, and a
large part of South Harniss--to be engaged in speculation concerning the
future of Mary-'Gusta was surprising, for, prior to Marcellus's death,
very few outside of the Hall household had given her or her future a