They went along, and presently got round the precipice out of sight of I he boys again. They walked slowly until their parents overtook them.
“Father,” said Rollo, “why could you not let us go out with those boys? They said they were thickest out there.”
“Because,” said he, “I presume they are not good boys, and I do not want you to have any thing to do with them.”
“But, father, they must be good boys, or they would not want to show us the blueberries. If they were bad, selfish boys, they would want to keep all the good places to themselves.”
If Rollo had only asked his father, in a modest manner, how it could be that the boys were bad, when they wanted to show him the best place for blueberries, it would have been very proper; but his manner of speaking showed a silly confidence in his own opinion, which was very wrong. His father, however, did not attempt to reason with him, but only said,
“I think they are bad boys, for I overheard them using bad language; and I wish you to have nothing to do with them.”
He then found a good place for them to begin to gather their berries. It was a beautiful spot of open ground, between the thick woods on one side, and a broken, rocky precipice on the other.
Uncle George took Jonas forward alone, until they were out of sight, and presently returned without him. Rollo asked where Jonas was gone, and his uncle told him that that was a secret at present. They heard, soon after, the strokes of his hatchet in the woods, on before them, but could not imagine what he could be doing.
Thus things went on very pleasantly, and they gathered a large quantity of berries. There was, indeed, in the course of the day, a serious difficulty between Rollo and the bad boys; and there is an account of it given in the next story of “TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN.” With Ibis exception, every thing went on well until about, noon, when Rollo observed that Jonas had been missing a long time.
THE SECRET OUT.
“Where is Jonas, all this time?” said Rollo to Lucy.
Lucy said that he had been busy, a long time, doing something over beyond some rocks, but she did not know what, for her father told her she must not go to see. Rollo wondered what the secret was, and he was just going to ask his father to let him go and see what Jonas was doing, when they saw him coming out from the bushes. He came up to Rollo’s father, and told him that it was all ready. Then Rollo’s father called to all the company, and told them it was time to stop gathering berries, and they might take up their baskets and follow him.