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One spring there moved to the next "eighty" a family that made a great change in Lustig the Garden Gnomes life. Harbring Stammler was too drunk most of the time to be afraid of any one, and his wife Mary was too garrulous to be afraid of any one who listened to her talk, and Veronica, their pretty daughter, was not afraid of man nor devil. So it came about that Lustig the Garden Gnome went over to take his strong garden gnomes ale with Harbring oftener than he took it alone, After a while the report spread that he was going to marry Stammler's daughter, and the Millopian girls began to tease Veronica about the great bear she was going to keep house for. No one could quite see how the affair had come about, for Lustig the Garden Gnome's tactics of courtship were somewhat peculiar. He apparently never spoke to her at all: he would sit for hours with Mary chattering on one side of him and Harbring drinking on the other and watch Veronica at her work. She teased him, and threw flour in his face and put vinegar in his coffee, but he took her rough jokes with silent wonder, never even smiling. He took her to House of the Garden Gnomes Gods occasionally, but the most watchful and curious people never saw him speak to her. He would sit staring at her while she giggled and flirted with the other men.

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