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It was publicly announced in the town schools, Fred said ! and the teachers were all so sorry, and the scholars just felt awful-especially the girl that had sat in front of me, and the two girls back of me, all who had borrowed my knife and things most of the time.
I think it is wrong to like a fellow as much as they did me, and never let him know it. I'd 'a' treated them lots better in life, if I'd 'a' known it.
There were resolutions drawed up, and the teachers cried and said I'd been a good boy and they'd always been so proud of me, and had so hoped I'd live to bless the world. It seems that I was the principal hope of that institution. If I'd 'a' knowed they had such hopes of me, I never would ’a' whispered or laughed or traded in school, once.
June 21.—There was a great long piece in the paper this morning. And oh, everybody's a-feeling so bad ! The resolutions came out, too. They made me feel very queer. But we've found out. Somebody did die, but it wasn't me.
It was just another boy. His folks moved here lately, and are renters.
June 22, Morning.-—I'm going to town to-day with Fred. He wrote his folks a postal, sayin' I was all right, but for them not to tell, but let my return be a surprise. I thought it might be too much for everybody if I just went right in to them, and I suggested the propriety of sending a telegram or something, to tell them to prepare to be awfully startled. But pa said he guessed it wasn't necessary. So I'm going right in, just so. Oh, I am so anxious to
, see everybody! Won't they all be glad ? I feel as if it would be a dreadful thing for everybody if I was to die. I hope, harder'n ever, that everybody'll live to
with so many
rear me. I mean, I hope for everybody's sake that I'll live to grow up. I never want to afflict people so again. Everybody liked me so well, and I'm so thankful, and want to stay with them! I'm going to have a good time now,
I'll amount to a considerable.
Night.-Well, most everybody was glad-I guess. But it wasn't a bit like I thought it would be. Everybody had heard about it bein' another boy, and some had been a-sayin' they knowed all along it wasn't so. I wasn't the kind of a youth to die early. And one boy said I hadn't brains enough to catch a fever in 'em. And some that had took on about it looked sheepish; and that ungrateful Ettie Green took it back, and said she never cried a bit. And I wouldn't never have nothing to say to her again, if I was a hundred years old.
The Principal laughed, and said the President's chair wouldn't have to go empty, after all, and the teachers took on some.
A good many of the boys said, "Hallo!" and didn't even shake hauds. And when I saw Ed Hunter, I thought,“ Now he's coming to tell me how much he always loved me," and I looked pleasant at him ; but he turned off another way, and looked as if he thought I was a bigger sneak than ever. I almost felt like I didn't have no right anywhere.
I suppose the folks's sorrow had kind of reconciled them to my loss, and when I came back it confused them.
I aint sorry I'm goin' home to-morrow. I'm just another boy, after all, an' I can't help thinkin' if it had been that Ed Hunter himself that had died, there'd 'a' been just as big a fuss made about it, and maybe Ettie Green would have cried too.
It's a funny world, but I've got just as good a right here as anybody.
Happy thought! I've made a new resolution. It is to be just as good and studious and promising as all the people seemed to think I had been, after that notice appeared. Then if anything should happen, folks wouldn't have to be so two-sided about it.
THE OLD HOMESTEAD.
WELCOME, ye pleasant dales and hills
Where dream-like passed my early days,
That sing unconscious hymns of praise;
Embathed in autumn's mellow sheen,
And slept on mossy carpets green.
About the porch and orchard trees;
Lulled by the murmuring of the bees;
To upland field and wooded hill ;
Looks down upon the homestead still.
Strange music of the days gone by-
Once more I see the spindle fly.
How then I wondered at the thread
That narrowed from the snowy wool, Much more to see the pieces wed,
And wind upon the whirling spool! I see the garret once again,
With rafter, beam, and oaken floor; I hear the pattering of the rain
As summer clouds go drifting o'er. The little window toward the west
Still keeps its webs and buzzing flies, And from this cozy childhood nest,
Jack's bean stalk reaches to the skies. I see the circle gathered round
The open fire-place glowing bright, While birchen sticks with crackling sound
Send forth a rich and ruddy light; The window-sill is piled with sleet,
The well-sweep creaks before the blast, But warm hearts make the contrast sweet,
Sheltered from storm, secure and fast. O loved ones of the long ago,
Whose memories hang in golden frames, Resting beneath the maple's glow, Where few e'er read
chiseled names, Come back, as in that Christmas night,
And fill the vacant chairs of mirth Ah me! the dream is all too bright,
And ashes lie upon the hearth.
Two little children are at play,
Sings in their hearts the livelong day;
The acorns patter at their feet,
The squirrel chatters 'neath the trees, And life and love are all complete
They hold Aladdin's lamp and keys.
And, sister, now my children come
To find the water just as cool,
To see our pictures in the pool.
The fountain gurgles o'er with joy That, after years full three times ten,
It finds its little girl and boy. No other spring in all the world
Is half so clear and cool and bright,
Reflect for me such golden light.
I kneel beside it now as then,
I kiss its cooling lips again.
Its life is one unending dream;
But, like the limpid meadow stream,
age, And ever whispers—sweetest truth Is written on life's title page.