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which was seal-skin, and wore tolerable that, when it was reduced to a mere bare, - I havin' wore it, not off and on, shell, it still represented what it wa'n't ; but steady on, from the time I left off a trick that I found to work very slick, my bunnet that was made of the end especially when I imagined Rose a-lookof my cradle-quilt; but I did n't calcu- in' at my shaller plate, and not knowin' late it was too fine then, and I made a how deep it was. pint o'standin' on a chair afore the “«Won't we hev a beautiful surprise, lookin'-glass, or else afore the winder though, for poor father!' my mother towards your 'us, all the whilst I was would say, when my spoon touched a-wearin' on 't. It worried me a good bottom, and it always touched bottom deal, them times, to decide which I'd premature ; and then we would talk of rather do, -look at myself, or hev you what we should buy, and I would be look at me!
carried away like, and forget myself. "I used to tease mother to put A fur hat was talked on in our fust the white shawl round her shoulders. wild enthusiasm, but that idee was gin
Just for a minute,' I would say ; but up arter we 'd gone about among the she always answered, “One of these stores ; and we settled final on 't a days, Johnny ; it's all wrapt up with pair o'square-toed brogans, with nails camp-phire, and I don't want to be get in the heels on 'em. tin' on 't down !' I understood well “. Let 'em be good sewed shoes, and enough that it was to be got out when not peg,' says my mother, when she the great day come.
give the shoemaker his order, and « Suppose, Johnny,' says she, one make 'em up just as soon as possible. day, we cut off some of our luxuries, You see my husband may be here any and save up to buy somethin' nice for day now; and we mean to hev a great poor father agin he comes home!' I surprise for him, - Johnny and me.' was struck favorable with the idee of “The shoemaker, to my surprise, the present, but what luxuries was to for I expected him to enter into it with be cut off I did n't see clear. .
as much enthusiasm as we, — hesitated, “There's the candle, for one thing !' said he was pressed heavy with work says mother. Taller 's taller, at the just then, and that he thought she had best o'times; and the few chores I do best go to some other shop! I did n't at night I can do just as well by the understand the meanin' on 't at all ; light of a pine-knot.'
but my mother did, and told him she “Butter, she said, wa’n't healthy for could pay him aforehand, if he wanted her, nor milk, nor meat, nor sugar, nor it; at which he brightened up, and said, no such things, so it would all be easy come to think on 't, he could make the enough for her. She only hesitated brogans right away. on my account. But I spoke up ever “Sure enough, they was finished at so brave. I don't mind,' says I; 'it 'll the appinted time, and I carried 'em be good fun, in fact, just to see how home, with the money that come back leetle we can live on!' And I think in change inside o' one on 'em. yet my mind was some expanded by “. Why, Johnny,' says mother, when that experience, -it driv me to such she counted it, her face all a-glowin', curus devices. At fust I took leetle here 's enough left to buy a handkerbites off my cake, and leetle sips of my chief for your father !'. porridge; but I found a more effective " Then she counted it agin, and said plan afore long, for looks goes a good there was enough, she was a'most sure ways, and even when we deceive our on 't. It might n't get a silk one, not selves it kind o' helps us. Well, I took pure silk, but if she could only find to hevin' my porridge in a shaller plate, somethin' with a leetle mixter o cotton so that there seemed twice as much in 't, why it would look nearly as well, on 't as there really was, and to holler the difference would never be knowed in' my cake out from the under side, so across the house.
“She wanted a new gingham apron all that day and the next my poor mothfor herself; but that wa' n't bought, and er lay, now a-burnin' and now a-freezin', all the money, as I have guessed sence, but by and by she got better, and sot went into the handkerchief. And a up in bed some, havin' my little chair purty one it was, too, - yaller-colored, agin her back; and so she finished bindwith a red border, and an anchor worked in' o' the shoes, and I carried on 'em in one corner on 't with blue-silk yarn. home, she a-chargin' me twenty times
* So the fine presents was put away afore I sot out to take care and not on the top shelf o' the cupboard, with lose the money I got for bindin' on 'em. the cap and the ring and the shawl, 'And don't forget to stop at the store,' and there they stayed, week in and she said, and buy me a quarter o tea, week out, and still the Dauphin did n't as you come back, Johnny.' come in. I could see that my mother “ But, after all, I went home without was a-growin' uneasy, more and more, the tea, or the money either. though she never said nothin' to me “In the fust place, the shoemaker said that was discouragin'. She'd set my mother had disappinted him in not sometimes for an hour a-lookin' straight sendin' the work home when she prominto the air, and then she went up to ised; and when I said she was sick, the ruf more 'n common to look arter he answered that that wa'n't his lookthe things a-dryin' there.
out; and then he eyed the work sharply, “One day there come on snow and sayin', at last, that he could n't pay for sleet, but for all that she stayed aloft, them sort o' stitches, and he would n't just as though the sun had been a-shin- give out no more bindin' neither, and in'; and at last, when the dusk had that I might go with a hop, skip, and gethered so that she could n't see no jump, and tell my mother so; and he longer, she come down with a gret heap waved his hand, with a big boot-last in o'wet things in her arms, and all of it, as though, if I did n't hop quick, he a shiver.
'd be glad to help me for'a'd himself. “Her hand shook as she sot down “Never mind, Johnny,' says mothto bind shoes, — she had took to bind- er, as I leaned my head on her piller, in of shoes some them times, not bein' a-cryin', and told her what the shoeso strong as she used to be for the maker had said, 'it 'll all be right when washin'; but arter a while she fell of a father comes back.' 'tremble all over. It's no use,' says “She did n't mind about the tea, she she, “ I ain't good for nothin' no more,' said, water would serve just as well; and she put away the bindin' and cow- and then, arter pickin' at the bed-clothes ered close over the ashes.
a leetle, she said she felt sleepy, and “ I wanted to lay on a big stick, but turned her face to the wall. she said no, she'd go to bed, and get “All winter long she was sick, and warm there ; but she did n't get warm, there was heart-breakin' things all the not even when I had piled all the things while comin' to pass; but I 'd rather I could rake and scrape over the bed- not tell on 'em. quilt, for I could see them tremblin “Spring come round at last,- as come together like a heap o' dry leaves. It will, whether them that watch for its
“I went to the lady with the painted comin' are cryin' or laughin', -and the door, and she promised to come in and sun shined in at the south winder and see my mother early in the mornin'; made a patch o'gold on the floor, — all but in the mornin', when I went agin, we had, to be sure, — when one day she said she had so many corsets to fit comes the news we had been a-lookin' that it wa' n't possible, – that I must for so long, the Dauphin was a-comtell my mother she sent a great deal o' in' in ! love, and hoped she'd be better very “And me here in bed !' says my soon.
mother ; 'that'll never do. How good"I did n't go arter her no more, and for-nothin' I be!'
“ Then she told me to run and fetch her that I could only just see the Dauher best gown out of the chest, and she phin a-lyin' out, and that she looked was out o’ bed the next minute; and black and ugly, and that I could n't though she looked as pale as the sheet see nothin' furder. But I did tell it, she managed somehow to dress herself. and then come another o' them little Then she told me to fetch her the look- low moans away down in her heart. in'-glass where she sot by the bedside; Directly, though, she smiled agin, and and when she seen her face the tears told me to go to the chest and open came to her eyes, and one little low the till, and get the table-cloth and the moan, that seemed away down in her pewter platter that I would find there. heart, made me shudder. 'I don't We must have our supper-table shine care for my own sake,' she said, puttin' its best to-night,' she said. her arm across my neck; "but what “Agin and agin I went up to the ruf, will your father think o' me?'
but I did n't see nothin' no time except “ Then she sot the glass up afore the whaler a-lyin' a little out, and lookher, and combed her hair half a dozen in black and ugly, as if there wa'n't different ways, but none on 'em suited. no good a-comin' with her. She did n't look like herself, she said, “At last evenin' fell, and then my nohow ; and then she told me to climb mother crept to the winder, and got her to the upper shelf and git down the fine face agin the pane, and such a look of shawl, and see if that would mend mat- wistfulness come to her eyes as I had ters any.
never seen in 'em afore. " I fetched the ring too; but it would “She did n't say nothin' no more, n't stay on a single finger; and so and I did n't say nothin'; it was an she give it to me, smilin', and sayin' I awful silence, but somethin' appeared might wear it till she got well.
to keep us from breakin' on 't. "I sot the house in order myself, “The shadders had gathered so that with her a-tellin' on me some about the street was all dusky; for there wa' things. The two silver teaspoons was n't no lamps at our end o' the street, burnished up, and stuck for show into when all at once mother was a-standin' the edge of the dresser; the three glass up, and holdin' out her arms. The next tumblers was sot forth in full view; and minute she says, “Run to the door, the tin coffee-pot, so high and so narrer Johnny; I ain't quite sure whether or at the top, was turned sideways on the not it 's him!' And she sunk down, shelf, so as to make the most on 't; tremblin', and all of a heap. and the little brown earthen-ware teapot “I could hear the stairs a creakin' was histed atop o' that. We had a under the tread of heavy steps, and dozen eggs we had been a-savin', for when I got to the door there was two we kep' a hen on the ruf, and them I men a comin' up instead o one. It's took and sot endwise in the sand-bowl, him ! mother! it's him!' I shouted so that, to all appearance, the whole with all my might, for I see a sailor's bowl was full of eggs; and I raly cap and jacket, and took the rest for thought the appintments, one and all, granted. I swung the door wide, and made us look considerable like rich stood a-dancin' in it, and yet I did n't folks.
like the looks o'neither on 'em; only I “Do go up to the ruf, Johnny, my thought I ought to be glad, and so I child,' says my mother, at last, •and danced for pertended joy. “Get out o' see what you will see.'
the way! you sassy lad!' says one o' “She had sot two hours, with her the men, and he led the tother right shawl held just so across her bosom, past me into the house, I follerin' along and was a-growin' impatient and faint behind, but neither on 'em noticin' of like.
me in the least; and there sot my “ She looked at me so eager, when I mother, dead still on her chair, just as come down, I could hardly bear to tell if she was froze into stone. Here he is,' says the man that was leadin' of and four in the afternoon of an Auhim, — 'here's John Chidlaw, what there gust day, we bein' in latitude forty at is left on him!' Then he give me a the time, the man on the look-out at push toward him, and nodded. to my the fore-topmast-head cried out that a mother like, a-drawin' his mouth into whale had broke water in plain view of such queer shapes that I could n't tell our ship, and on her weather bow. whether he was a-laughin' or cryin', “Where away, sir ? and what do and I did n't know which I ought to do you call her ?' shouts the captain, hailneither.
in' the mast-head. “ By this time the man that I partly "Sperm whale, sir, three pints on the took to be my father was a-backin' fur- weather-bow, and about two miles off!' der and furder from us, and at last he “Keep a sharp eye, and sing out got clean agin the jamb o'the chimney, when the ship heads for her!' and then he looked up wild, as if he “Ay, ay, sir.' was a looking at the sky, and directly “The captain went aloft with his spyhe spoke. • This 'll be a stiff blow,' glass. Keep her away!' was his next says he. We 're struck aft, and we 'll order to the man at the helm. be in the trough of the sea in a minute! «« Steady!' sung out the mast-head. God help us all !! And with that he "Steady it is !' answered the wheel. began to climb up the shelves o' the "Square in the after-yards, and call cupboard, as though he was a climbin' all hands! into a ship's riggin'.
** Ay, ay, sir.' “Next thing I seen, mother had got “Forward there! Haul the mainto him, somehow, and was a-holdin' sail up, and square the yards !! round his neck, and talkin' to him in “Steady, steady!' sings out the tones as sweet and coaxin' as though mast-head. he had been a sick baby. “Don't you "* Steady it is !? answers the wheel. know me, John?' she says, — your “Call all hands !' shouts the captain, own Katura, that you left so long ago!' in a voice like a tempest. He did n't answer her at all; he did “The main hatches was off, and the n't seem to see her, but kep’ right on, men mostly in the blubber-room, ena-talkin' about the ship not bein' able gaged, some on 'em, in mincin' and to lift herself, and about the rudder pikin' pieces of blanket and horse from bein' tore away, and a leak som'er's, one tub to another, and some was aand settin' of a gang o' hands at the tendin'fires, and some a-fillin' casks pumps, and gettin' of the cargo up, and with hot ile from the cooler ; but quick the dear knows what all! I did n't as lightnin' all the deck is thronged, understand a word on 't, and, besides like the street of a city when there is a that, I was afeard on him.
cry of fire. ""Tell 'em about the last whale we " There she blows ! O, she 's a ketched, Jack, - that big bull that so beauty, a regular old sog!' sings the nigh upsot us all. Come, that 's a mast-head. story worth while !! It was the man “Slack down the fires! Quick, by that had led him in who said this ; and G-!' shouts the captain in a voice he laughed loud, and slapped him on like thunder. the shoulder as he said it; and then “She peaks her flukes, and goes he looked at my mother and winked, down !' cries the mast-head. and drawed his mouth queer agin.
“A sharp eye, sir! Mind where “My father kind o come to himself she comes up!' like now, and seatin' himself astride a “Ay, ay, sir!' chair, and with his face to the back on 't, “Get your boats ready, lads, and he began :
stand by to lower away! “We was a cruisin' about in the “The men work as for life, - the South Pacific, when, between three boat-bottoms are tallered, the boattackle-falls laid down, so as to run under water, I sent my lance arter her clear, the tub o' line and the harpoons without orders, and by good forten sunk got in, the gripes cast clear, and each it into her very life — full length. boat's crew by the side o' their boat. “She throwed out a great spout o'
66. Hoist and swing! Lower away!' blood, and dashed furiously under.
“ In a moment were off, bendin “God help us! She 'll come up to our oars, every man on us, eager to so as to upset our boat!' cries the see who will be up first. The whale captain. 'Every man here at her, was under half an hour; but at last we when she comes in sight!' get sight o' the signal at the main, "He had hardly done speakin' when which tells us that she 's up agin. I felt a great knock, and at the same
“ Down to your oars, lads! Give time seen somethin' a-flyin' through way hard !' says the captain.
the air. She had just grazed us, shov“I got the palm o' my hand under in' our boat aside as a pig shoves his the abaft oar, so as with each stroke to trough, and was breakin' water not a throw a part of my weight agin it, and stone's throw ahead. our boat leapt for'a'd across the water, “The captain had gone overboard ; spring arter spring, like a tiger, — her but we obeyed his last words before length and twice her length afore the we looked arter him, and had a dozen others in a minute.
irons into her afore you could 'a' said "She 's an eighty-barrel ! right Jack Robinson! Down she went ahead! Give way, my boys !' cries the agin, pullin' the line arter her, coil on captain, encouragin' on us. And all coil ; but the pain would n't allow her our strength was put to the oar. to stay down long, and directly she
"Spring harder, boys! Harder! was out agin, thrashin' the water with If she blows agin, some on you 'll have her flukes till it was all churned up an iron into her afore five minutes !? like blubbers o' blood, — for her side Then to the whale,-a-standin' with was bristlin' with harpoons, and the his legs wide, and bendin' for'a'd like, life pourin' out on her like rain out "O, you 're a beauty! Ahoy! ahoy! and of a thunder-cloud. let us fasten !!
“Meantime the captain had been “We was nearly out of sight of hauled aboard, and as he sunk down our ship now, but we could see the on an oar, - for he could n't stand, smoke of her try-works still standin' all his shirt and hair a-drippin' red, his black above her, though the fires had cold, spiteful eye shot into me like a been slacked so long
bullet, and says I to the mate, ‘I ’m "All at once the whale blowed agin; a doomed man.'" and we could see her plain now, lyin' “ Then my father began ramblin' like a log, not more 'n twenty rods wildly about goin' overboard himself, ahead. A little more hard pullin', and and how he seen a stream o' fire afore
Stand up!' says the Captain, and his eyes as he sunk into the cold and then, Give me the first chance at dark; and how there came an awful her!' I was a-steerin' and I steered pressure on his brain, and a roarin'in him steady, closer, closer, alongside his ears; and how the strength went a’most, and give his iron the best out of his thighs, and was as if the chance possible ; but it grazed off, and marrer was cut, - how he heard a she settled quietly under, all but her gurglin', and felt suffocation, and then head.
clean lost himself!" “That wa' n't quite low enough,' At this point John Chidlaw ceased says he. • Another lance!
to be master of his voice, and all at “ This failed too, and she settled once hid his face in his arms. When clean under. Every man was quiverin' the woman who had been listening so with excitement; but I watched calmly, attentively, getting one of his rough and, as soon as I spied her whitenin' hands upon her knee, stroked it gently,