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79. If two persons, while walking, divide so as to pass an obstruction
one on one side and one on the other, they will quarrel. Children avert
this catastrophe by exclaiming, bread and butter, which is a counter
charm. On the other hand, if they say pepper and salt, the quarrel is
made doubly certain. So universal is the practice that many grown people
of the best social class (women) still involuntarily avoid such
separation, and even use the childish words. In country towns, when girls
are walking with young men, if the latter pass on the other side of the
tree it is considered as rude, and as a token of indifference; in such a
case one girl will cast a meaning look on her companion as much as to
say, he does not care for you. To use the local phrase, it would be
said, So-and-so is mad with ---- (naming the girl).

80. In passing a tree in the middle of the sidewalk, children used to
pass it on one side going one way and on the other side going the other
way for luck.
Billerica, Mass.

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