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and proceeded again to the brook to make a | won't you go over to the pasture to-night measuremeut there from side to side. He thus early enongh to cut those trees for me before found out, by carrying his rule along as well | you drive home the cow ?" as he could from stone to stone, that the dis- Jacob, propitiated by the good-humoured tance across was in the neighbourhood of ten reception of his morning remonstrance, and feet, whereas his logs would only give him perhaps with a latent misgiving that he had six. Here was a puzzle.
been '“a leetle mite cross-grained,” readily On being appealed to for advice, Jacob consented, and at five o'clock John met his suggested that the only way would be to cut father at the train, with his eager request down a couple of trees in the pasture. But kovering upon his lips. this John could not do without his father's “Well, what is it, boy?" asked Mr. Osleave, both for the cutting down of the trees, burn, as he took his seat in the waggon. “I and for Jacob's assistance in accomplishing it. see you've got something to propose.” He was very much disturbed and disappointed. “Yes, father. I want, if you please, that His whole day's plan was overthrown. He you should let me have two trees out of the found it very difficult, as indeed many older pasture to build a bridge.” people do, to turn aside from what he had | “Two trees! And to build a bridge !” already begun with zealous interest, and apply exclaimed Mr. Osburn. “Well, your ideas his energy to something else.
are expanding rapidly.” Consequently, he loitered about for some But John explained his ideas in such a way time, in a very uncertain and dissatisfied that his father saw he had really matured a manner, and beset Jacob with reiterated plan of operations, and would not only be inquiries " if he couldn't possibly think of any disappointed, but discouraged, if denied. So other way to do,” until Jacob, who was in he gave his consent that Jacob should cut reality a very good-natured man, and would | down a couple of small cedars, such as grew willingly have given any help in his power, in the edge of the pasture, and help John in exclaimed at last in self-defence
placing them across the stream. “ Land's sake! boy! Dew jest lemme be! John exercised what to him was very great I declare to man, ye pester me so, I can't self-control for the next half-hour, in not scurcely think o' my own work!”
teasing or hurrying Jacob while he upharJohn stared a little, in sudden surprise, nessed Blackbird and gave him his evening both at the unusual impatience, and at the feed, and finished “ putting to rights" about new development in dialect; for he bad not the stable. But when he took hatchet and yet become well enough accustomed to Jacob's saw, and called out “Naow then! I guess New Eugland country fashions of speech, not we'll go and see 'baout them air trees!” to be somewhat astonished at each fresh sen- Johnnie knew what it was to have a great tence that fell from his lips.
pleasure, long deferred, come at last; and it However, he quite well understood that he was with many a spring and flourish and was not to interfere any further at present antic that he led the way down outside the with Jacob's attention to his immediate duty ; ) garden fence to the stepping-stones across and he could easily translate the word the brook, and up the sloping path into the “pester,” which he had never heard before, High Pasture. into his own familiar “bother.” So he very wisely turned away, and took his unrest and
CHAPTER V. indecision elsewhere.
HINDRANCE. Why didn't he carefully look after his “Naow, Mister Johnnie,” said Jacob, tools, and restore all to their proper places, | deliberating, as he laid his brown, brawny ready for to-morrow?
hand against the trunk of a straight, stal. At noon, when Jacob came up to the house wart young cedar, of perhaps six inches to dinner, John ventured once more to open diameter; "seems to me this 'ere's abaout as the subject of the bridge.
likely a sample of what you want as there is "Jacob,” said he, "if my father is willing, hereabaouts. What d'ye say ?"
John looked up and down the tree with a had wandered quite as far into the pasture as knowing air, his hands in his pockets, and an was at all desirable, considering that the stick expression of great responsibility and autho- of timber, when cut, was to be carried down rity on his face.
to the brookside ; and at length, just as Jacob “Yes, Jacob,” he replied at length, " that'll was “cal’latin'” that “this 'ere was nigh do. Cut away !”
abaout same bigness as t'other," the old cow, Up rose the axe, with slow, threatening, who had begun to feel a little surprised at deliberately-in-earnest poise, and then-crash! not being called for as usual, strayed along down came its keen edge into the wood, and homeward down the hill, and came toward the splinters flew out as if in indignant sur- | them. prise at this onslaught upon the patient growth "There comes old Buttercup,” quoth Jacob, of years,
as he lifted the axe against the second cedar ; Hack! whack! the blows with sure aim “I guess you'll hev to 'tend to her, and see came down, thicker and louder, into the heart her 'long to the barn, now she's got started, of the tree, and faster and faster flew the for fear she should smell aout the gardin, and splinters, until the very centre was cut across, git over the brook in the wrong place. Ef and then Jacob paused, took a look with his you'll jest git her shot inter the yard all safe, head on one side, and passed round to a new I'll stay here an' finish up this part o' the position exactly opposite.
job, an' you c'n come back an' see ter puttin' “Step raound here,” said he to Johnnie. daown the stringers, when I git 'em ready.” “The tree'll fall that way."
John picked up a dry branch wherewith to “How do you know ?" asked John. “And quicken Mooly's footsteps, and took up the why don't you keep cutting on this side ?” line of march in the rear, as she passed along
“Oh, 'cause I guess 'twould be kinder with slow and ponderous movement toward pleasanter to be jest abaont here, when it the brook. goes over,” replied Jacob. “I've made the It had been a very warm day, and Madam biggest cut, yer see; an'a rap or tew naow'll Buttercup, when she felt the cool running bring it daown.”
| water about her legs, was in no apparent Hack! whack! crack! A few blows more, haste to proceed; but stood midway in the and then the top swayed-made a great, stream, whisking her tail at the flies, and shivering sweep through the air-and the lifting up her great horned head in the princely young cedar-tree lay prone and help- sunset. less on the ground.
| Johnnie, too, stood still a moment, on the - Twenty-five or thirty years, perhaps, it biggest stepping-stone, enjoying the pleasurhad stood there, gathering its slow fibres, and able conjunction and harmony of things about knitting itself in might, and now it was hewn him, and waiting to hear the rushing crash of down that a little boy might build a bridge the cedar as it should fall. across the brook!
| The water was singing and flashing over “Wal,” said Jacob, as he paused, and the pebbles, in the golden glow of the twi. swung his hatchet by the middle of the light; there was a warm, spicy, pasture-smell handle, “the thing is naow to git another in the air, and the old cow, going home with jest as near like it as yer can, so'st yer her pailsul of milk in her bag, and stopping bridge'll lay even; an' that's a puzzler, allus. to take in her brute sense of delight in the No tew things ever does grow jest alike, they summer evening, made it all more palpable say. I've hearn people wonder, and make a with a remote sort of sympathy. great marvel of that air; but I guess, myself, The “whish ” of the cedar boughs through sech folks never happened to try to make tew the air roused up Johnnie and the cow, howthings alike. They'd ha' found aout, ef they ever, at the same moment, from their contemhad, that 'twas a pesky sight easier to make plations, and the path over the field to the 'em different ! ”
| barn-yard was soon trodden. Buttercup They walked about from tree to tree, try- walked docilely in, and John hasped the gate ng the girths with their hands, until they behind her, and in three minutes more had
leaped over the stones again, and rejoined | By the time the big bell sounded, he had Jacob in the pasture, just as the latter had made what was really a most prosperous besawed off his tree at the proper length, and ginning. He had nailed four of his boards was shouldering the stick to carry it down to firmly, side by side, across the logs, and he the water.
was able now to calculate how many more he John ran before, and pointed out the spot should require for the work. There were where he intended his bridge should cross, seven in all, that he had sawed the day beand sprang over to the opposite side to help fore, and he thought he must get five or six settle the timber into its place. It rested pieces more; besides, as he added to himself, nicely enough against a hummock of sod at not forgetting to bring the saw with him also one end, and above a big stone at the other. to trim off the edges.
“There !” ejaculated Jacob, “I guess that His slight supper the night before, and his air won't move ag'in, onless the world cap. early morning work, had given him such a sizes!”
| real hungry keepness for his breakfast, that The laying of the second stringer gave he was in nowise inclined this time to shorten them more trouble, both in placiug it at the the meal, and then he had to drive his father even and accurate distance, and in settling it to the station, as Jacob was to be particularly firmly into its position. But Jacob went busy this morning in the garden. back to the nearest fallen tree, and cut from He was as bright and happy a boy as you it a couple of stakes, which he sharpened at might ever see, during that drive to the vilone end with his hatchet, and drove them lage, chatting merrily with his father about into the bank, one on each side, to hold the the success of bis great undertaking, and the timber securely; and there was thus, to use convenience the bridge would prove to be, his own expression when all was done, “abaout when it should be finished. His day was as pooty a beginnin' of a bridge as yer'd want auspiciously enough begun; but-ah, dear ter see.”
me! I am coming to the clouds presently, “Cedar Bridge !” cried Johnnie, with a and I don't half like to go on. bright inspiration. “That's the name of it, Well-it was only a very little matter Jacob !”
that spoiled everything; just a little bit of “Wal,” replied Jacob, in his quaint way, I carelessness, that as yet he wasn't even "seein' the job's over, christenin' an' all, I aware of.
less we'll step along hum as fast as we can “Jacob !” he called out from the tools ---'caount o' gittin' there!”.
room, about fifteen minutes after he had said Johnnie's head was so full of Cedar Bridge his happy good-morning to his father at the that he almost forgot his appetite for supper, train-"where's my saw ?” though there were delicious preserved straw. “Donno," was the reply. “Ha'n't seen it.” herries,-housekeeper's treasure, that might | “But you must have seen it, Jacob! I 1. used more lavishly now that the real had it just here, yesterday, and I didn't use kingly fruit would soon be coming, -and it anywhere else. What's got it, I wonder! Buttercup's cream, that made one think of Here's my two-foot rule, and my knife, and her name, and Ruth's delicious white biscuit, all the rest of my things, just where I left like baked foam,-dainties to which he was them; and my saw's gone! The very thing ordinarily anything but indifferent.
I can't do without. Bother! I wish folks Early in the morning he was awake, and would let my things alone !" when Jacob drove the cow to pasture, he “I guess nobody ha'n't meddled with it," gathered up hammer and nails, and accom- said Jacob. “Yer must ha' tooken it somepanied him down to the brook, to make at where else. There's the big saw hangin' up least a beginning before breakfast.
there. Yer might take that, ef yer'd be “Jacob,” said he, as that personage crossed kerful.” the brook again on his return, “ask Ruth, “Oh dear me! I can't take that, you will you, to ring the big bell when breakfast's | know. I wasn't to tonch any of father's ready?"
tools, no matter what happened. What shall
I do? I can't finish my bridge, nor anything. search of amusement, and half disposed for It's too plaguey bad !”
mischief. “I'll stop an’ saw ye a few boards, ef “What sort of witches are those, Kath?" that's all yer want,” said good-natured Jacob, he asked, in an irritating tone of contempt, " though I donno's I oughter, fact. Every and leaning, as he spoke, an elbow against minute's as good as gold, jest here in June, the table in such a manner as to break down ao' the weeds growin' the hull time's tight's a portion of the outer wall of Kathie's geminary. they c'n put in!”
“I wish you'd go away, John!” cried “No, you mustn't stop, Jacob,” said John, Kathie. “You haven't any business here, in tumbling the boards over, and rattling things
and rattling things my school-room !” impetuously about, as his desperation grew “Why not? Don't you let in visitors ? greater. “Father told me, the last thing, | Oh, I know why. It's because you can't not to hinder you a minute.”
make your scholars mind. How they do be“Wal, I guess 't'll turu up, somehow," have! I declare they're actually juinping out rejoined Jacob, comfortingly, as he departed of the windows :” "Taint got legs, nor yet wings; an’ nothin''s! And with this, by means of one or two I know on 'd be kikely t eat it up.”
dexterous snaps, he sent several of the spools But it didn't turn up. It remained a most spinning over the academic enclosure, and perplexing and aggravating mystery; and they rolled away upon the floor. after wondering and searching ten minutes | Kathie's patience utterly gave way, now, longer, in vain, and then going back to the and she gave John a great push, and began brook to nail on the three bits of board that to cry aloud. John bad a tumble, whether remained, and returning to explore fruitlessly, of necessity or not, and made a snatch at once more, barn, stable, and tool-room, Johnnie the table-cloth as he went down, bringing had to give up his cherished plan for the day, all the books and spools clattering about his altogether; and repaired-heated and tired, | head. and wholly out of humour-to his mother's Mrs. Osburn, of course, åropped her chintz room.
and scissors, at this culmination of the uproar, Mrs. Osburn was standing at the bedside, the threatening of which had, in a sort of cutting out some perplexing work. A quan- half-aware way, been annoying her for several tity of pretty green-striped chintz was thrown minutes. over the foot-board, and pieces already cut “John!” she exclaimed in a tone of great and arranged were piled upon the pillows. A displeasure, "why do you come into my room young woman sat in a corner by the window, to disturb us all ? Is it any pleasure to you sewing upon some of the same material. to destroy Kathie's amusement, and tease her They were making covers for the drawing in this way? Pick up all those things, and room furniture.
then go to your own room, and remain there John's little sister, Kathie, a child of seven until dinner-time. I am excessively displeased years old, was busy at a table, with quite a with you." new amusement. Her mother had given her “I couldn't help it," rejoined Johnnie. a number of empty spools from her work- “Kathie pushed me. I was only making a basket, and some bits of different coloured little fun. But of course," he added, iv a muslins; and with these she had improvised muttering undertone, “it's all my fault-she's a crowd of dolls, which she had now assem- | never to blame. Touchy little thing !”. bled as a school, and disposed in classes. The Mrs. Osburn drew the little invisible valve whole surface of the table was occupied by an over her ears, and turned back to her meaarrangement of books, set up on their edges, suring and catting; but there was a pained, aud thus forming an intricate series of recita. worried expression on her face, that did not tion rooms, in and out of which she was mar-pass away for long after. John had huddled shalling her wooden scholars.
the books and spools back upon the table, and John listlessly sauntered up to her, half in gone sulkily out of the room.
PROPHECY FOR THE MILLION!
DROPHETIC almanacks have now become Aziz and the king of Bavaria are companions
I certainly quite an institution in our in misfortune the following month. "Victor country. There is in all of us an instinctive Emmanuel, the once king of Saxony, and craying after the knowledge of the future, and Charles of Sweden, all will have reason, says to a numerous class of the community this our prophet, to rue the lunar eclipse of craving is satisfied by the matter with which September. As the year goes on the troubles prophetic almanacks are filled. Thus it is that of royalty increase, till in November we find Zadkiel, Tao Sze-as he styles himself-can the French Emperor alone among the potenboast of his almanack obtaining a circulation tates of Europe “has smiling stars ; ” and the of seventy thousand; that old Moore year by / year closes with a gloomy prospect of some year enlarges his circle of readers, and that | hurt to “our favourite prince.” Orion and Raphael and other minor lights of Not only is Zadkiel thus hard on kings and the profession always obtain an audience to princes, but even the fair sex do not escape which to unfold their mysteries. Probably very his impartial prediction. Our Princesses few of the readers of this magazine ever look Helena and Louise, it is to be hoped, are not at an almanack of this kind, and have no idea readers of this almanack, for they have much what is the style of prediction with which their affliction hanging over them, and Princess countrymen are presented every year. We Alice will suffer much in her family. To must ourselves own to an ignorance of the counterbalance these misfortunes the Princess matter but very recently dispelled. Now, Alexandra is to gain in health and wealth; happily for ourselves, we are well coached up and we find amongst the nations and cities in the subject, and hasten to make generally that will gain in peace and profit our little public our newly-acquired information.
country town of “Tiverton." Surely a slip The almanacks which, with a view to the here, Zadkiel, Tao Sze. When the royal preabove end, we have especially studied, are dictions have been eliminated there is really three; which three are without doubt the most not much of note left in this almanack. We largely circulated of their kind. Zadkiel gives are to have, of course, a fire or two, and an the weight of his name to one, and Old Moore earthquake, and a few eminent personages are is the name under which the other two are to die. The ministry is, too, to be troubled and brought before the public. Of the latter, probably overthrown, as indeed we might have which, though bearing the same name, seem gathered from one of our prophet's opening totally distinct, one is published at the modest sentences—“Yes, reform shall rule, in defiance price of one penny, and the other, much of Tory malice and opposition.” severer in appearance and learned in contents, One of Zadkiel's strong points, however, is is sixpence. It is not for us to enter into the this. He gives us prophetic directions for general contents of these almanacks, doubt-nearly every day in the year. For instance, less as one of them rather egotistically pro- he informs us what day to marry, and what claims in black type on the cover they con- day to buy our razors, when it would be well tain all that can be desired or expected in an to call in a surgeon, and
and when to engage our almanack.” We have to do with the part domestics, what time is most fit for sending which certainly we neither desire nor expect in children to school, and so on. such a publication, the predictions for 1867. All this is doubtless useful could it be And in dealing with these we must be general | followed out, but we fear it is hardly practiin our remarks, for so voluminous are the cable. Certainly events may be such as to prophecies that even to hint at them all would render it imperatively necessary to call in a lengthen this paper far too much.
surgeon, even though it is not the 6th, 9th, or · To begin with Zadkiel, whose almanack is 23rd of the mouth; and we are afraid it is as certainly most permeated with prophetic matter. yet Utopian to think of every young couple A casual glance at his almanack shows at consulting their Zadkiel before fixing their once that he is a thorough-going Radical, wedding day. and, indeed, it seems that the stars he inter- Through the rest of this almanack we'find prets go even further, and may be put down it impossible to wade, and the “ Meteorological as Republican, so dead set do they seem against Summary," the article on “Saturn," and the powers that be. Kings, princes, and “ Epidemic Diseases astrologically considered," princesses are to be subjects of much trouble. we were bound to leave. Zadkiel closes with Scarcely a month but what some potentate has a flourish of trumpets concerning “fulfilled an infliction hanging over him. The poor predictions” of the previous year, and here, old Pope, of course, comes in for his share, of course, vague sentences are fixed upon as and we are told in italics that he is truly “thé having foretold specific events. But not a last of the Popes ;” now it is the king of word is said of unfulfilled predictions; the few Wirtemburg who is “to be pushed off his events that can be twisted into anything like a stool;” now the king of Belgium is to“ beware semblance to predicted facts are so twisted ; of personal hurt.” Even the Prince of Wales but we hear nothing of the mass that has is to suffer in health next July, while Aba-ul never come true. Last of all comes the hiero