John Gale had made the purchase of two eighty-acre lots for them before they sailed, and was to meet them at the town nearest to their destination. They made as short a stay, consequently, as possible, in New York; and by railways, canal-boat, and steamer, in about a week arrived at the beautiful city of Cincinnati. As the vessel neared the wharf, they were gladdened by the sight of a well-known face, which smiled a heartfelt welcome on them from among the busy crowd which awaited the landing of the passengers.
“Hurrah!” cried Uncle John, for the face belonged to him, waving his hat, and quite red with the excitement, and pushing his way; “Hurrah! here you are! Hurrah!”
Then jumping on board, even before the vessel was safely moored, he caught his sister in his arms, kissing her most heartily; and when he at last released her, it was to shake Mr. Lee’s hand as if he meant it to come off.
“And where are the children?” cried he. “This Tom! how he is grown! Give me your hand, my boy! Here is quiet little Annie, I’m sure. Kiss me, dear! Ah! Master Georgy, that’s you, I know, though you did wear petticoats when I last saw you! Is that the young one? Don’t look so cross, sir! But come along. Where’s your baggage? This way, sister—this way. I’m so glad to see you all again!”
* * * * *
“Uncle John,” said Tom, as he and George were walking with their uncle the day after their arrival, “I never saw so many pigs running about a town before. I wonder the people let them wallow in the streets so! Just look at those dirty creatures there.”
“Don’t insult our free-born, independent swine,” cried Uncle John, laughing. “Those dirty creatures, as you call them, are our scavengers while alive, and our food, candles, brushes, and I don’t know what besides, when dead! But look, Georgy! what say you to a ride?”
They turned a corner as he spoke, and beheld half a dozen boys mounted on pigs, which squealed miserably as they trotted along, now in the gutter, and now on the sidewalk, to the great discomfort of the pedestrians. George was so moved by the fun, and encouraged by his uncle’s good-natured looks, that letting go his hand, he rushed after a broad-backed old hog, which, loudly grunting, permitted himself to be chased some short distance, and then, just as George thought he had caught him, flopped over in a dirty hole in the gutter, bringing his pursuer down upon him. The poor little fellow was in a sad condition when Tom helped him up—his face and clothes covered with mud, and his nose bleeding.