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Queechy, Volume I
by Elizabeth Wetherell
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"I hope he will come!" said Hugh.

But this hope was to be disappointed. Mr. Rossitur wrote again about the first of March, saying, that he hoped to make something of his lands in Michigan, and that he had the prospect of being engaged in some land agencies, which would make it worth his while to spend the summer there. He bade his wife let anybody take the farm that could manage it, and would pay; and to remit to Dr. Gregory whatever she should receive, and could spare. He hoped to do something where he was.

It was just then the beginning of the sugar season, and Mrs. Douglass having renewed and urged Earl's offer of help, Fleda sent Philetus down to ask him to come the next day with his team. Seth Plumfield's, which had drawn the wood in the winter, was now busy in his own sugar business. On Earl Douglass's ground there happened to be no maple-trees. His lands were of moderate extent, and almost entirely cultivated as a sheep farm; and Mr. Douglass himself, though in very comfortable circumstances, was in the habit of assisting, on advantageous terms, all. the farmers in the neighbourhood.

Philetus came back again in a remarkably short time; and announced that he had met Dr. Quackenboss in the way, who had offered to come with his team for the desired service.

"Then you have not been to Mr. Douglass's?"

"I have not," said Philetus "I thought likely you wouldn't calculate to want him teu."

"How came the doctor to know what you were going for?"

"I told him."

"But how came you to tell him?''

"Waul, I guess he had a mind to know," said Philetus; "so I didn't keep it no closer than I had teu."

"Well," said Fleda, biting her lips, "you will have to go down to Mr. Douglass's, nevertheless, Philetus, and tell him the doctor is coming to-morrow, but I should be very much obliged to him if he will be here next day. Will you?"

"Yes, marm!"

"Now, dear Hugh, will you make me those little spouts for the trees? of some dry wood : you can get plenty out here. You want to split them, up with a hollow chisel, about a quarter of an inch thick, and a little more than half an inch broad. Have you got a hollow chisel?"

"No, but I can get one up the hill. Why must it be hollow?"

"To make little spouts, you know, for the sap to run in. And then, my dear Hugh, they must be sharpened at one end so as to fit where the chisel goes in. I am afraid I have given you a day's work of it. How sorry I am you must go to-morrow to the mill! and yet I am glad too."

"Why need you go round yourself with these people?" said Hugh. "I don't see the sense of it."

"They don't know where the trees are," said Fleda.

"I am sure I do not. Do you?"

"Perfectly well. And besides," said Fleda, laughing, "I should have great doubts of the discreetness of Philetus's auger if it were left to his simple direction. I have no notion the trees would yield their sap as kindly to him as to me. But I didn't bargain for Dr. Quackenboss."

Dr. Quackenboss arrived punctually the next morning with his oxen and sled; and, by the time it was loaded with the sap- troughs, Fleda, in her black cloak, yarn shawl, and grey little hood, came out of the house to the wood-yard. Earl Douglass was there, too, not with his team, but merely to see how matters stood, and give advice.

"Good day, Mr. Douglass!" said the doctor. "You see I'm so fortunate as to have got the start of you."

"Very good," said Earl, contentedly; "you may have it: the start's one thing, and the pull's another. I'm willin' anybody should have the start, but it takes a pull to know whether a man's got stuff in him or no."

"What do you mean?" said the doctor.

"I don't mean nothin' at all. You make a start to-day, and I'll come ahint and take the pull to-morrow. Ha' you got anythin' to boil down in, Fleda? There's a potash kittle somewheres, aint there? I guess there is. There is in most houses."

"There is a large kettle I suppose large enough," said Fleda.

"That'll do, I guess. Well, what do you calculate to put the syrup in? Ha' you got a good big cask, or plenty o' tubs and that? or will you sugar off the hull lot every night, and fix it that way? You must do one thing or t'other, and it's good to know what you're a-going to do afore you come to do it."

"I don't know, Mr. Douglass," said Fleda. "Whichever is the best way: we have no cask large enough, I am afraid."

"Well, I tell you what I'll do. I know where there's a tub, and where they aint usin' it, nother, and I reckon I can get 'em to let me have it I reckon I can; and I'll go round for't and fetch it here to-morrow mornin' when I come with the team. 'Twont be much out of my way. It's more handier to leave the sugarin' off till the next day; and it had ought to have a settlin' besides. Where'll you have your fire built? in doors or out?"

"Out, I would rather, if we can. But can we?"

"La! 'tain't nothin' easier; it's as easy out as in. All you've got to do is to take and roll a couple of pretty sized billets for your fireplace, and stick a couple o' crotched sticks for to hang the kittle over: I'd as lieve have it out as in, and if anythin', a leetle liever. If you'll lend me Philetus, me and him 'll fix it all ready agin you come back; 'tain't no trouble at all; and if the sticks aint here, we'll go into the woods after 'em, and have it all sot up."

But Fleda represented that the services of Philetus were just then in requisition, and that there would be no sap brought home till to-morrow.

"Very good!" said Earl, amicably "very good! it's just as easy done one day as another it don't make no difference to me: and if it makes any difference to you, of course, we'll leave it to-day, and there'll be time enough to do it to- morrow. Me and him 'll knock it up in a whistle. What's them little shingles for?"

Fleda explained the use and application of Hugh's mimic spouts. He turned one about, whistling, while he listened to her.

"That's some o' Seth Plumfield's new jigs, aint it? I wonder if he thinks now the sap's a-goin' to run any sweeter out o' that 'ere than it would off the end of a chip that wa'n't quite so handsome?"

"No, Mr. Douglass," said Fleda smiling, "he only thinks that this will catch a little more."

"His sugar wont never tell where it come from," remarked Earl, throwing the spout down. "Well, you shall see more o' me to- morrow. Good-bye, Dr. Quackenboss."

"Do you contemplate the refining process?" said the doctor, as they moved off.

"I have often contemplated the want of it," said Fleda; "but it is best not to try to do too much. I should like to make sure of something worth refining in the first place."

"Mr. Douglass and I," said the doctor "I hope a he's a very good-hearted man, Miss Fleda, but, ha! ha! he wouldn't suffer loss from a little refining himself. Haw! you rascal where are you going? Haw! I tell ye"

"I am very sorry, Dr. Quackenboss," said Fleda, when she had the power and the chance to speak again "I am very sorry you should have to take this trouble; but, unfortunately, the art of driving oxen is not among Mr. Skillcorn's accomplishments."

"My dear Miss Ringgan!" said the doctor, "I I nothing, I assure you, could give me greater pleasure than to drive my oxen to any place where you would like to have them go."

Poor Fleda wished she could have despatched them and him in one direction while she took another; the art of driving oxen quietly was certainly not among the doctor's accomplishments. She was almost deafened. She tried to escape from the immediate din by running before to show Philetus about tapping the trees and fixing the little spouts, but it was a longer operation than she had counted upon, and by the time they were ready to leave the tree the doctor was gee-hawing alongside of it; and then if the next maple was not within sight she could not in decent kindness leave him alone. The oxen went slowly, and though Fleda managed to have no delay longer than to throw down a trough as the sled came up with each tree which she and Philetus had tapped, the business promised to make a long day of it. It might have been a pleasant day in pleasant company; but Fleda's spirits were down to set out with, and Doctor Quackenboss was not the person to give them the needed spring; his long-winded complimentary speeches had not interest enough even to divert her. She felt that she was entering upon an untried and most weighty undertaking; charging her time and thoughts with a burden they could well spare. Her energies did not flag, but the spirit that should have sustained them was not strong enough for the task.

It was a blustering day of early March, with that uncompromising brightness of sky and land which has no shadow of sympathy with a heart overcast. The snow still lay a foot thick over the ground, thawing a little in sunny spots; the trees quite bare and brown, the buds even of the early maples hardly showing colour; the blessed evergreens alone doing their utmost to redeem the waste, and speaking of patience and fortitude that can brave the blast and outstand the long waiting, and cheerfully bide the time when "the winter shall be over and gone." Poor Fleda thought they were like her in their circumstances, but she feared she was not like them in their strong endurance. She looked at the pines and hemlocks as she passed, as if they were curious preachers to her; and when she had a chance, she prayed quietly that she might stand faithfully like them to cheer a desolation far worse, and she feared far more abiding than snows could make or melt away. She thought of Hugh, alone in his mill-work that rough chilly day, when the wind stalked through the woods and over the country as if it had been the personification of March just come of age and taking possession of his domains. She thought of her uncle, doing what? in Michigan leaving them to fight with difficulties as they might why? why? and her gentle aunt at home sad and alone, pining for the want of them all, but most of him, and fading with their fortunes. And Fleda's thoughts travelled about from one to the other, and dwelt with them all by turns till she was heart-sick; and tears, tears fell hot on the snow many a time when her eyes had a moment's shield from the doctor and his somewhat more obtuse coadjutor. She felt half superstitiously, as if with her taking the farm were beginning the last stage of their falling prospects, which would leave them with none of hope's colouring. Not that in the least she doubted her own ability and success; but her uncle did not deserve to have his affairs prosper under such a system, and she had no faith that they would.

"It is most grateful," said the doctor, with that sideway twist of his jaw and his head at once, in harmony "it is a most grateful thing to see such a young lady Haw! there now! what are you about? haw haw? then! It is a most grateful thing to see "

But Fleda was not at his side she had bounded away and was standing under a great maple-tree a little a-head, making sure that Philetus screwed his auger up into the tree instead of down, which he had several times shown an unreasonable desire to do. The doctor had steered his oxen by her little grey hood and black cloak all the day. He made for it now.

"Have we arrived at the termination of our a adventure?" said he, as he came up and threw down the last trough.

"Why, no, Sir," said Fleda, "for we have yet to get home again."

" 'Tain't so fur going that way as it were this'n," said Philetus. "My! aint I glad?"

"Glad of what?" said the doctor. "Here's Miss Ringgan's walked the whole way, and she a lady aint you ashamed to speak of being tired?"

"I ha'n't said the first word o' being tired!" said Philetus, in an injured tone of voice "but a man ha'n't no right to kill hisself, if he aint a gal!"

"I'll qualify to your being safe enough," said the doctor. "But, Miss Ringgan, my dear, you are a you have lost something since you came out "

"What?" said Fleda, laughing. "Not my patience?"

"No," said the doctor, "no you're a you're an angel! but your cheeks, my dear Miss Ringgan, show that you have exceeded your a "

"Not my intentions, doctor," said Fleda, lightly. "I am very well satisfied with our day's work, and with my share of it, and a cup of coffee will make me quite up again. Don't look at my cheeks till then."

"I shall disobey you constantly," said the doctor; "but, my dear Miss Fleda, we must give you some felicities for reaching home, or Mrs. Rossitur will be a distressed when she sees them. Might I propose that you should just bear your weight on this wood-sled, and let my oxen and me have the honour The cup of coffee, I am confident, would be at your lips considerably earlier "

"The sun wont be a great haighth by the time we get there," said Philetus, in a cynical manner; "and I ha'n't took the first thing to-day!"

"Well, who has?" said the doctor; "you aint the only one. Follow your nose down hill, Mr. Skillcorn, and it'll smell supper directly. Now, my dear Miss Ringgan, will you?"

Fleda hesitated, but her relaxed energies warned her not to despise a homely mode of relief. The wood-sled was pretty clean, and the road decently good over the snow. So Fleda gathered her cloak about her, and sat down flat on the bottom of her rustic vehicle too grateful for the rest to care if there had been a dozen people to laugh at her but the doctor was only delighted, and Philetus regarded every social phenomenon as coolly, and in the same business light, as he would the butter to his bread, or any other infallible every- day matter.

Fleda was very glad presently that she had taken this plan, for, besides the rest of body, she was happily relieved from all necessity of speaking. The doctor, though but a few paces off, was perfectly given up to the care of his team, in the intense anxiety to show his skill and gallantry in saving her harmless from every ugly place in the road that threatened a jar or a plunge. Why his oxen didn't go distracted was a question; but the very vehemence and iteration of his cries at last drowned itself in Fleda's ear, and she could hear it like the wind's roaring, without thinking of it. She presently subsided to that. With a weary frame, and with that peculiar quietness of spirits that comes upon the ending of a day's work in which mind and body have both been busily engaged, and the sudden ceasing of any call upon either, fancy asked no leave, and dreamily roved hither and thither between the material and the spirit world; the will too subdued to stir. Days gone by came marshalling their scenes and their actors before her; again she saw herself a little child under those same trees that stretched their great black arms over her head, and, swaying their tops in the wind, seemed to beckon her back to the past. They talked of their old owner, whose steps had so often passed beneath them with her own light tread light now, but how dancing then! by his side; and of her father, whose hand perhaps had long ago tapped those very trees where she had noticed the old closed-up scars of the axe. At any rate, his boyhood had rejoiced there, and she could look back to one time at least in his manhood when she had taken a pleasant walk with him in summer weather among those same woods in that very ox-track she believed. Gone two generations that she had known there; hopes and fears and disappointments, akin to her own, at rest, as hers would be; and how sedately the old trees stood telling her of it, and waving their arms in grave and gentle commenting on the folly of anxieties that came and went with the wind. Fleda agreed to it all; she heard all they said; and her own spirit was as sober and quiet as their quaint moralizing. She felt as if it would never dance again.

The wind had greatly abated of its violence; as if satisfied with the show of strength it had given in the morning, it seemed willing to make no more commotion that day. The sun was far on his way to the horizon, and many a broad hill-side slope was in shadow; the snow had blown or melted from off the stones and rocks, leaving all their roughness and bareness unveiled; and the white crust of snow that lay between them looked a cheerless waste in the shade of the wood and the hill. But there were other spots where the sunbeams struck, and bright streams of light ran between the trees, smiling and making them smile. And as Fleda's eye rested there, another voice seemed to say "At evening time it shall be light," and "Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." She could have cried, but spirits were too absolutely at an ebb. She knew this was partly physical, because she was tired and faint, but it could not the better be overcome. Yet those streaks of sunlight were pleasant company, and Fleda watched them, thinking how bright they used to be once; till the oxen and sled came out from the woods, and she could see the evening colours on the hill-tops beyond the village, lighting up the whole landscape with promise of the morrow. She thought her day had seen its brightest; but she thought too that if she must know sorrows, it was a very great blessing to know them at Queechy.

The smoke of the chimney-tops came in sight, and fancy went home a few minutes before her.

"I wonder what you'll take and do to yourself next," said Barby, in extreme vexation, when she saw her come in. "You're as white as the wall, and as cold, aint you? I'd ha' let Philetus cut all the trees, and drink all the sap afterwards. I wonder which you think is the worst, the want o' you, or the want o' sugar."

A day's headache was pretty sure to visit Fleda after any overexertion or exhaustion, and the next day justified Barby's fears. She was the quiet prisoner of pain. But Earl Douglass and Mr. Skillcorn could now do without her in the woods; and her own part of the trouble Fleda always took with speechless patience. She had the mixed comfort that love could bestow Hugh's sorrowful kiss and look before setting off for the mill, Mrs. Rossitur's caressing care, and Barby's softened voice, and sympathizing hand on her brow, and hearty heart- speaking kiss; and poor little King lay all day with his head in her lap, casting grave wistful glances up at his mistress's face, and licking her hand with intense affection when even in her distress it stole to his head to reward and comfort him. He never would budge from her side, or her feet, till she could move herself, and he knew that she was well. As sure as King came trotting into the kitchen, Barby used to look into the other room, and say, "So you're better, aint you, Fleda? I knowed it."

After hours of suffering, the fit was at last over; and in the evening, though looking and feeling racked, Fleda would go out to see the sap-boilers. Earl Douglass and Philetus had had a very good day of it, and now were in full blast with the evening part of the work. The weather was mild, and having the stay of Hugh's arm, Fleda grew too amused to leave them.

It was a very pretty scene. The sap-boilers had planted themselves near the cellar door on the other side of the house from the kitchen door and the woodyard the casks and tubs for syrup being under cover there; and there they had made a most picturesque work-place. Two strong crotched sticks were stuck in the ground some six or eight feet apart, and a pole laid upon them, to which by the help of some very rustic hooks two enormous iron kettles were slung. Under them a fine fire of smallish split sticks was doing duty, kept in order by a couple of huge logs which walled it in on the one side and on the other. It was a dark night, and the fire painted all this in strong lights and. shadows threw a faint, fading, Aurora- like light over the snow, beyond the shade of its log barriers; glimmered by turns upon the paling of the garden fence, whenever the dark figures that were passing and repassing between gave it a chance; and invested the cellar- opening and the outstanding corner of the house with striking and unwonted dignity, in a light that revealed nothing except to the imagination. Nothing was more fancifully dignified, or more quaintly travestied by that light than the figures around it, busy and flitting about, and showing themselves in every novel variety of grouping and colouring. There was Earl Douglass, not a hair different from what he was every day in reality, but with his dark skin and eyes, and a hat that, like its master, had concluded to abjure all fashions; and perhaps, for the same reason, he looked now like any bandit, and now, in a more pacific view, could pass for nothing less than a Spanish shepherd at least, with an iron ladle in lieu of crook. There was Dr. Quackenboss, who had come too, determined, as Earl said, "to keep his eend up," excessively bland, and busy, and important; the fire would throw his one- sidedness of feature into such aspects of gravity or sternness that Fleda could make nothing of him but a poor clergyman or a poor schoolmaster alternately. Philetus, who was kept handing about a bucket of sap, or trudging off for wood, defied all comparison he was Philetus still; but when Barby came once or twice and peered into the kettle, her strong features, with the handkerchief she always wore about her head, were lit up into a very handsome gipsy. Fleda stood some time unseen in the shadow of the house to enjoy the sight, and then went forward on the same principle that a sovereign princess shows herself to her army, to grace and reward the labours of her servants. The doctor was profuse in inquiries after her health, and Earl informed her of the success of the day.

"We've had first-rate weather," he said; "I don't want to see no better weather for sugar-makin'; it's as good kind o' weather as you need to have. It friz everythin' up tight in the night, and it thew in the sun this morning as soon as the sun was anywhere; the trees couldn't do no better than they have done. I guess we ha'n't got much this side o' two hundred gallon I aint sure about it, but that's what I think; there's nigh two hundred gallon we've fetched down; I'll qualify to better than a hundred and fifty, or a hundred and sixty either. We should ha' had more yet if Mr. Skillcorn hadn't managed to spill over one cask of it I reckon he wanted it for sass for his chicken."

"Now, Mr. Douglass!" said Philetus, in a comical tone of deprecation.

"It is an uncommonly fine lot of sugar trees," said the doctor; "and they stand so on the ground as to give great felicities to the oxen."

"Now, Fleda," Earl went on, busy all the while with his iron ladle in dipping the boiling sap from one kettle into the other "you know how this is fixed when we've done all we've got to do with it? it must be strained out o' this biler into a cask or a tub, or somethin' nother anythin' that'll hold it and stand a day or so; you may strain it through a cotton cloth, or through a woollen cloth, or through any kind of a cloth, and let it stand to settle; and then when it's biled down Barby knows about bilin' down you can tell when it's comin' to the sugar when the yellow blobbers rises thick to the top and puffs off; and then it's time to try it in cold water it's best to be a leetle the right side o' the sugar and stop afore it's done too much, for the molasses will dreen off afterwards"

"It must be clarified in the commencement," put in the doctor.

"O' course it must be clarified," said Earl "Barby knows about clarifyin' that's when you first put it on you had ought to throw in a teeny drop o' milk fur to clear it milk's as good as a'most anything or, if you can get it, calf's blood's better"

"Eggs would be a more preferable ingredient on the present occasion, I presume," said the doctor. "Miss Ringgan's delicacy would be a would shrink from a and the albumen of eggs will answer all the same purpose."

"Well, anyhow you like to fix it," said Earl, "eggs or calf's blood I wont quarrel with you about the eggs, though I never heerd o' blue ones afore, 'cept the robin's and bluebird's and I've heerd say the swamp blackbird lays a handsome blue egg, but I never happened to see the nest myself; and there's the chippin' sparrow; but you'd want to rob all the bird's nests in creation to get enough of 'em, and they aint here in sugar time, nother; but, anyhow, any eggs 'll do, I s'pose, if you can get 'em or milk 'll do, if you ha'n't nothin' else and after it is turned out into the barrel, you just let it stand still a spell, till it begins to grain and look clean on top"

"May I suggest an improvement?" said the doctor. "Many persons are of the opinion that if you take and stir it up well from the bottom for a length of time, it will help the coagulation of the particles. I believe that is the practice of Mr. Plumfield and others."

" 'Taint the practice of as good men as him, and as good sugar bilers besides," said Earl; "though I don't mean to say nothin' agin' Seth Plumfield nor agin' his sugar, for the both is as good as you'd need to have; he's a good man and he's a good farmer there aint no better man in town than Seth Plumfield, nor no better farmer, nor no better sugar nother; but I hope there's as good; and I've seen as handsome sugar that wa'n't stirred as I'd want to see or eat either."

"It would lame a man's arms the worst kind," said Philetus.

Fleda stood listening to the discussion and smiling, when Hugh, suddenly wheeling about, brought her face to face with Mr. Olmney.

"I have been sitting some time with Mrs. Rossitur," he said, "and she rewarded me with permission to come and look at you. I mean not that I wanted a reward, for I certainly did not "

"Ah, Mr. Olmney!" said Fleda, laughing, "you are served right. You see how dangerous it is to meddle with such equivocal things as compliments. But we are worth looking at, aren't we? I have been standing here this half hour."

He did not say this time what he thought.

"Pretty, isn't it?" said Fleda. "Stand a little further back, Mr. Olmney; isn't it quite a wild looking scene, in that peculiar light, and with the snowy background? Look at Philetus now, with that bundle of sticks. Hugh, isn't he exactly like some of the figures in the old pictures of the martyrdoms, bringing billets to feed the fire? that old martyrdom of St. Lawrence whose was it Spagnoletto! at Mrs. Decatur's don't you recollect? It is fine, isn't it, Mr. Olmney?"

"I am afraid," said he, shaking his head a little, "my eye wants training. I have not been once in your company, I believe, without your showing me something I could not see."

"That young lady, Sir," said Dr. Quackenboss, from the far side of the fire, where he was busy giving it more wood; "that young lady, Sir, is a patron to her a to all young ladies."

"A patron!" said Mr. Olmney.

"Passively, not actively, the doctor means," said Fleda, softly.

"Well, I wont say but she's a good girl," said Mr. Douglass, in an abstracted manner, busy with his iron ladle: "she means to be a good girl, she's as clever a girl as you need to have."

Nobody's gravity stood this, excepting Philetus, in whom the principle of fun seemed not to be developed.

"Miss Ringgan, Sir," Dr. Quackenboss went on, with a most benign expression of countenance "Miss Ringgan, Sir, Mr. Olmney, sets an example to all ladies who a have had elegant advantages. She gives her patronage to the agricultural interest in society."

"Not exclusively, I hope?" said Mr. Olmney, smiling, and making the question with his eye of Fleda. But she did not meet it.

"You know," she said, rather quickly, and drawing back from the fire, "I am of an agricultural turn, perforce; in uncle Rolf's absence, I am going to be a farmer myself."

"So I have heard so Mrs. Rossitur told me; but I fear, pardon me, you do not look fit to grapple with such a burden of care."

Hugh sighed, and Fleda's eyes gave Mr. Olmney a hint to be silent.

"I am not going to grapple with any thing, Sir; I intend to take things easily."

"I wish I could take an agricultural turn, too," said he, smiling, "and be of some service to you."

"Oh, I shall have no lack of service," said Fleda, gaily; "I am not going unprovided into the business. There is my cousin Seth Plumfield who has engaged himself to be my counsellor and instructor in general; I could not have a better; and Mr. Douglass is to be my right hand, I occupying only the quiet and unassuming post of the will, to convey the orders of the head to the hand. And for the rest, Sir, there is Philetus!"

Mr. Olmney looked, half laughing, at Mr. Skillcorn, who was at that moment standing with his hands on his sides, eyeing with concentrated gravity the movements of Earl Douglass and the doctor.

"Don't shake your head at him!" said Fleda. "I wish you had come an hour earlier, Mr. Olmney."

"Why?"

"I was just thinking of coming out here," said Fleda, her eyes flashing with hidden fun; "and Hugh and I were both standing in the kitchen, when we heard a tremendous shout from the woodyard. Don't laugh, or I can't go on. We all ran out towards the lantern which we saw standing there, and so soon as we got near we heard Philetus singing out, 'Ho, Miss Elster! I'm dreadfully on't!' Why he called upon Barby I don't know, unless from some notion of her general efficiency, though, to be sure, he was nearer her than the sap-boilers, and perhaps thought her aid would come quickest. And he was in a hurry, for the cries came thick, 'Miss Elster! here! I'm dreadfully on't' "

"I don't understand "

"No," said Fleda, whose amusement seemed to be increased by the gentleman's want of understanding, "and neither did we till we came up to him. The silly fellow had been sent up for more wood, and, splitting a log, he had put his hand in to keep the cleft, instead of a wedge, and when he took out the axe the wood pinched him; and he had the fate of Milo before his eyes, I suppose, and could do nothing but roar. You should have seen the supreme indignation with which Barby took the axe and released him, with, 'You're a smart man, Mr. Skillcorn!' "

"What was the fate of Milo?" said Mr. Olmney, presently..

"Don't you remember the famous wrestler that, in his old age, trying to break open a tree, found himself not strong enough? and the wood closing upon his hands held him fast till the wild beasts came and made an end of him. The figure of our unfortunate wood-cutter, though, was hardly so dignified as that of the old athlete in the statue. Dr. Quackenboss, and Mr. Douglass, you will come in and see us when this troublesome business is done?"

"It'll be a pretty spell yet," said Earl; "but the doctor, he can go in, he ha'n't nothin' to do. It don't take more'n half a dozen men to keep one pot a-bilin'."

"Aint there teu on 'em, Mr. Douglass?" said Philetus.



END OF VOL. I.



Typographical errors:

Chapter 1 : go in, grandpa?' silently corrected as go in, grandpa?"

Chapter 2 : read it sometime silently corrected as read it some time

Chapter 3 : Carleton, said at length silently corrected as Carleton said, at length

Chapter 7 : ain't tright well silently corrected as ain't right well

Chapter 7 : trust in him! Silently corrected as trust in him!'

Chapter 8 : hand, aunt Miriam said. silently corrected as hand, aunt Miriam said,

Chapter 9 : If large possessions silently corrected as "If large possessions

Chapter 11 : these places; silently corrected as these places,

Chapter 14 : were to mine. silently corrected as were to mine."

Chapter 14 : said he. smiling silently corrected as said he, smiling

Chapter 15 : Memoires de Sully' in French silently corrected as Mmoires de Sully' in French

Chapter 15 : Newton' 'what's silently corrected as Newton' what's

Chapter 15 : Mem. de Sully silently corrected as Mm. de Sully

Chapter 16 : that Monsieur Emilie silently corrected as that Monsieur Emile

Chapter 19 : other people had. silently corrected as other people had."

Chapter 19 : down to Mis' Douglases silently corrected as down to Mis' Douglass's

Chapter 20 : hull on't; silently corrected as hull on't,

Chapter 21 : nowork particular silently corrected as no work particular

Chapter 21 : well, god-bye silently corrected as well, good- bye

Chapter 22 : came in. folding silently corrected as came in, folding

Cbapter 22 : This is me, Ma'am, said silently corrected as This is me, Ma'am,"

Chapter 22 : in the army. silently corrected as in the army."

Chapter 23 : taking the place. silently corrected as taking the place."

Chapter 23 : house, a believe silently corrected as house, I believe

Chapter 25 : he's took silently corrected as "he's took

Chapter 26 : as a child! silently corrected as as a child!"

Chapter 26 : entremts silently corrected as entremets

Chapter 27 : tired, Fleda. silently corrected as tired, Fleda."

Chapter 27 : =on't' = silently corrected as =on't' "=

THE END

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