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fire for you, and we'll have a fine roast when we return," said the boys, and off they started.
Old Bill got mad as “tucker," because the boys left him, and jumped right out of bed, put on his thick coat, went out to the wood-pile, cut a small cart-load of wood, carried it into the house, and raised a roasting fire. He then warmed his feet cleverly, undressed, jumped back into bed, and sent over for 'Squire T. to write his will.
The 'Squire took paper and started, but recollecting a fresh demijohn of the best French brandy, he turned back and filled a quart bottle for his use while writing the will. He found Old Bill in bed, anxiously awaiting him.
“Well, 'Squire, I'm not long for this world; I'm sinking very fast. I want you to write my will,” said the old gentleman.
“Sorry to find you so low, Uncle Billy," said the 'Squire.
“I've been sinking a long time, but I kept it to myself. I don't think I shall live till morning."
The 'Squire put on his “specks," unrolled his paper, and proceeded to his duty, as Old Bill thought. He wrote along, stopping now and then to ask a few questions. He took
down the small articles first, and stopped to take a horn, and set the bottle on the table.
“ What's that, 'Squire ?" asked Old Bill, sorter bracin' himself up.
“Nothin' but ink, Uncle Billy,” said the 'Squire.
A long list of articles was put on paper, and the 'Squire turned up the bottle again. He smacked his lips, and proceeded with due solemnity to finish his task. This done, he wiped his eyes and commenced reading.
“ Draw up your chair a little closter, 'Squire.”
The 'Squire did as requested, and read aloud.
“It's all right, 'Squire; but you've not got all the things down yet.”
"The 'Squire stept to the door, and Old Bill reached over to the table to get the paper, but his fancied weakness prevented him.
“ I'm nearly gone! Oh, them naughty boys! I knew I'd die before they got back; they'll see it now !"
Well, Uncle Billy,” said the 'Squire, " won't you take a glass with me before you go ?”
“ Take a what ?- what's that 2-take a gl " said Old Bill, sharply.
The 'Squire knew where to touch him. He had seen him that way before. He took a notion to go off every year, or every time the boys didn't go the way he wanted them. Old Bill sat up in the bed while the 'Squire handed him a glass of brandy. The old fellow drank it off like he was used to it.
“I'm getting better now, 'Squire. You needn't take down them other articles yet !"
“Suppose you get up, Uncle Bill, and let us talk over things, before you go!"
Old Bill's “ dander riz” at that, and he with it--almost mad enough to whip the 'Squire. Both of them took seats by the fire; the table between them, and liquor and sweetenin' plenty. Glass after glass was laid in the shade, until both got up to the third story. The boys, meanwhile, had returned, and posted an old fiddler at the chimney corner, and then stole into the room.
"I tell you, 'Squire, I've got the best gun in " he stopped short like he heard something. “What's that?” hollered Old Bill, as the sounds came faster. “Darnad if it ain't old Josey with his fiddle. Won't you take a reel, 'Squire ?" The 'Squire took him at his word. The boys joined them,
and about two hours before day, the two old “ hosses” were so mellow that they had to be carried to bed. And that's the way Old Bill went off !”
THE PRAIRIE AND THE SWAMP
AN ADVENTURE IN LOUISIANA.
It was a sultry September afternoon in the year 18%. My friend Carleton and myself had been three days wandering about the prairies, and had nearly filled our tin boxes and other receptacles with specimens of rare and curious plants. But we had not escaped paying the penalty of our zeal as naturalists, in the shape of a perfect roasting from the sun, which had shot down its rays during the whole time of our ramble, with an ardour only to be appreciated by those who have visited the Louisianian prairies. What made matters worse, our little store of wine had been early expended; some taffia, with which we had replenished our flasks, had also disappeared ; and the water we met