When Squire Gunn and his wife died, within three months of each other, and Hetty their only child was left alone in the big farmhouse, everybody said, Well, now Hetty Gunn'll have to make up her mind to marry somebody. And it certainly looked as if she must. What could be lonelier than the position of a woman thirty-five years of age sole possessor of a great stone house, half a dozen barns and out-buildings, herds of cattle, and a farm of five hundred acres? The place was known as Gunn's, far and wide. It had been a rich and prosperous farm ever since the days of the first Squire Gunn, Hetty's grandfather. He was one of Massachusetts' earliest militia-men, and had a leg shot off at Lexington. To the old man's dying day he used to grow red in the face whenever he told the story, and bring his fist down hard on the table, with Damn the leg, sir! 'Twasn't the leg I cared for: 'twas the not having another chance at those damned British rascals; and the wooden leg itself would twitch and rap on the floor in his impatient indignation
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