THE SENTIMENTAL WIDOW 227
Maggie heaved a sentimental sigh.
" It was your hair, Bert," she said; " I used to dream of it at nights. I've often thought of it these years. But I little thought to find it the same. Not a grey hair nor nothin'."
He passed his hand over the gleaming curls.
" Oh, my hair ! " he said carelessly. " It's always been a nuisance to me. The times a day I wet it tryin' to take the curl out. I'd give anythin' to have ordin'ry hair. I keep hopin' it'll start comin' out or gettin' grey, but it doesn't."
" Oh Bert! I think it beautiful," said Maggie softly.
" I heard of a man once," said William, " whose hair started growing so quick he couldn't keep it cut fast enough. If he only went to the barbers once a week it'd grown down to his waist. He had to go every day, an' even then it'd sometimes got nearly as far as his waist."
" Lor ! " said Maggie, turning her whole attention to the contemplation of this phenomenon.
" Yes," said William, warming to his subject, " it got so as if he went to church with it cut quite short it'd be over his shoulders by the second lesson an' down to his waist by the last hymn. People used to go to church to sit behind him to watch it grow."
" Lor ! " said Maggie again.
" In the end it got so as he'd gotter have a barber to go about with him to keep it cut short. If you had him to tea you'd gotter ask his barber too, an' the barber d start cuttin' his hair every few minutes. If he didn't it'd get all over the place."
" Lor ! " said Maggie again, gazing at him with wide-open mouth and eyes.
Bert uttered a snort that expressed anger, contempt and ridicule. But it was plain that he had ceased to compete with this young Baron Munchausen for the interest of the beloved. He lit a pipe and smoked in silence for a time, during which William developed at