“I intended one string for Deacon Short, and another for Mrs. Sunderland”—
“Don’t work their brains, Mrs. Myers,” said Ford. “Don’t need any fish. But then, if we have as good luck next time, we’ll bear them in mind. We’ve kept enough pan-fish for breakfast, and the big ones’ll be just the thing for dinner.”
That had been the plan of Mrs. Myers herself; for she had already said to Almira,—
“It’ll be a real saving, and the corned beef’ll be just as good on Monday.”
More talk would hardly improve such a case as that; and it was really beginning to dawn upon Mrs. Myers, that her three boy boarders had minds and wills of their own, moreover, that they had not the most distant idea of failing to exercise them on every proper occasion.
OLD FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS OF HIS COME TO VISIT DABNEY.
“Boys,” remarked Dab Kinzer, when they gathered in their own room after supper, “I can’t say we’ve learned a great deal this first week; but we’ve found a tiptop fishing-ground, and we’ve settled the Hart boys.”
“Shouldn’t wonder if Mrs. Myers feels a good deal more settled than she did too,” said Ford. “But I’m thinking what Frank Harley’s going to do with his fingers, when we can give him a chance. We’ve loads of fun ahead, or I’m mistaken.”
“I won’t try it on very often,” said Frank. “Fun’s fun, that’s a fact; but I came here to learn something.”
“My dear young friend,” said Ford, with a sudden imitation of Mr. Fallow, “think of how much you’ve learned in seven days. Dab’s beginning to know so much, he can’t talk.”
“I’m not just comfortable about Dick,” said Dabney.
“Oh! he’ll come out all right: the corn’s mostly shelled, and the woodpile can’t last forever. He doesn’t know how to run a sewing-machine. She tried making him read aloud to her and Almira, last night; but Dick thinks she won’t ask him to do it again. Don’t be troubled about Richard: his future is safe.”
Part of it undoubtedly; and the boys had “settled” more things for themselves and him than those they mentioned.
They had settled their own position among the boys of the academy and the village, old and young; for every soul of them had heard about “the big fight on the green” before he went to bed that night. They had secured Dick Lee’s position for him: not that they had given him a false one, but that he would be safe to enjoy, almost unmolested, whatever position his own conduct might earn for him. That was all any boy ought to have, black or white.
They had done much, as Ford said, to settle their own position at their boarding-house; but that was nothing of importance compared to the impression they had made upon the large heart and brain of the stately academy principal. They had made a firm friend of him, and of others whose friendship was worth having.