“Fine strings of fish,” remarked the stove-man as they clambered in. “Where’d you catch ’em?”
“Over in one of the lakes.”
“Did ye though? You don’t say! Guess I know the place. You must have had an all-killin’ walk, though. I declare! I’m goin’ to try that pond first day I get away.”
“Want some of these?”
“Wouldn’t rob ye,—but you’ve got a-plenty—that pickerel? Thank ye, now. Oh!—and the bass tew? You’re good fellers.”
He seemed to be another; and Dab warned him at parting, that, “when he wanted to get a string of fish, if he’d come to him he’d tell him just where to go.”
“All right. Glad I had the luck to ketch up with ye.”
“Dab,” said Ford as they reached the outskirts of Grantley, “I know it’s late; but we must walk through the village with these fish, if it’s only to have the whole town ask us where we caught them.”
“That’s so. I’m rested now too. Let’s get right out.”
They were nearly at the southerly end of the village, and there was quite a walk before them.
“Dab,” said Frank, “we’ve more fish than we’ll need at our house, if we have ’em for breakfast and dinner both.”
“I’ve been thinking of that. Let’s vote on it now. What do you say? One string for the minister?”
“Yes,” said Ford, “a bass for Mr. Fallow, a small pickerel for Mrs. Fallow, and a perch or a pumpkin-seed for each of the six little Fallows.”
“All right; and that big pickerel I caught, for Dr. Brandegee, and the biggest bass in the lot to keep it company. Let’s make him up a prime good mess.”
“One that’ll stand an examination,” said Ford.
Fight, and what came of it.
Dick Lee was an unwise boy that afternoon.
He knew how to turn his hand to a great many things, thanks to his home-training; and a woodpile was one of the matters he had learned how to deal with, but he had not taken hold of that of Mrs. Myers with any heart for his work.
It was simply impossible for him to imagine that he was pulling in fish, or having any other kind of fun, while he was sawing wood, or even while splitting it.
There was, however, something almost vicious in the way he came down with his axe upon some of the more obstinate pieces.
“He will be a very useful boy,” remarked Mrs. Myers, as she watched him from the window; “but I fear I shall have some difficulty with the others. They are very much inclined to be uppish.”
Dick toiled faithfully; and he felt it as a kind of relief, late in the day, to be sent to the grocery-store, at the lower end of the village, with a basket that was to bring home the usual Saturday assortment for Mrs. Myers.
He did well enough in going; but on his way home, if the truth must be told, Dick Lee loitered dreadfully. It was so nice a day, and he had been so long at his woodpile, and he had had so little time to call his own that week.