“It will give me a great deal of pleasure to see her, Mr. Watson,” replied Mrs. Lee, looking as she felt, very happy at this prospect of not being quite alone in the wilderness; “and as we shall both meet with the wish to be good friends, I think there is no fear of our not being so.”
“You’ll soon have some chickens, and turkeys, and pigs, mother,” said Tom; “Mrs. Watson has such a number, and she says you shall have some of the best. And mother, just look what Jem Watson gave me!”
Tom opened the bag which the day before had carried the provisions for the journey, and to Annie and Georgy’s great delight, pulled out a very pretty little puppy.
“Now, Annie, you shall name him; he’s got no name yet. What shall it be?”
The children went away to consult on this important matter, and Mr. Lee, who had been chopping in the wood, now arriving, welcomed his friendly neighbor, and thanked him warmly for so readily coming to help them.
“Nonsense,” rejoined Mr. Watson; “no need of thanks; you would do the same for me, or you don’t deserve the blessings I see around you. My maxim, Mr. Gale, is a helping hand and a cheering word for every one who needs them.”
A NEW HOME, AND A NARROW ESCAPE.
Six weeks afterwards, our young emigrants felt themselves once more at home. The log-house was finished, and consisted of one large room, which served as kitchen and parlor, and of three smaller ones for sleeping. The roof was covered with large pieces of bark; the chinks of the wall were stopped up with clay; and the chimney and floor were of the same material, beaten hard and smooth. The windows were as yet but square openings with shutters, but before winter came, and it is very severe in Ohio, Mr. Lee meant to put in glazed frames, as glass could be procured at Painted Posts. The building stood upon the highest rise of the prairie, and in front flowed the beautiful river, while the thick forest screened it behind from the cold winds of the north. No trees, however, were near it, except three fine sycamores, which gave a grateful shade when the noon-day sun shone bright and hot. Tom had already contrived seats of twisted branches beneath them, and it was very pleasant to sit there in the evening and watch the glorious colors of the western sky, which Annie compared to the changing hues of a pigeon’s neck, or the glancing of the brilliant fire-flies that night brought forth from their hiding-places under the leaves. A well-fenced yard was at the back of the dwelling, and enclosed the wood-pile, stable, and hen and storehouses. A garden had also been commenced around the other three sides of the house, in which Tom worked, assisted by his sister and brother, whenever he could be spared from more important labors. He was indeed an active, industrious boy, and by his example made even little George useful. Mr. Jones, who had departed as soon as the walls of the house were raised, used often to say of him, and it was intended as great praise, “That Tom is a riglar Yankee—a rael go-a-head!”