"When a feller an' a gal washes their hands in the same basin at the same time, it's a tol'able good sign they won't git married this year". The oracle spoke through the bearded lips of a farmer perched on the top step of his cabin porch. The while he construed omens, a setter pup industriously gnawed at his boot heels. The girl was bending forward, her fingers spread in a tin basin, as the man at her elbow poured water slowly from a gourd dipper. Heaped, in disorder against the cabin wall, lay their red hunting coats, crops, and riding gauntlets. The oracle tumbled the puppy down the steps and watched its return to the attack. Then with something of melancholy retrospect in his pale eyes he pursued his reflections. "Now there was Sissy Belmire an' Bud Thomas, been keeping company for two years, then washed hands in common at the Christian Endeavor picnic an' " He broke off to shake his head in sorrowing memory. The young man, holding his muddied digits over the water, paused to consider the matter.