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Kate Sanborn
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about Adopting an Abandoned Farm.
to keep his bed for nine weeks, and when he got up and was walking around, he wasn’t himself any more, and the sister says to the mother:  ’Mother, I’m sure that it isn’t Johnny that’s there.  It’s only his shadow, for when I look at him, it isn’t his features or face, but the face of another thing.  He used to be so pleasant and cheerful, but now he looks like quite another man.  Mother,’ said she, ‘we haven’t Johnny at all.’  Soon he got a little stronger and went to the capital town with corn.  Several other men went also to get their corn ground.  They were all coming home together a very cold night, and the men got up and sat on their sacks of corn.  The other horses walked on all right with them, but Johnny’s horses wouldn’t move, not one step while he was on top of the load.  Well, my dear, he called for the rest to come and help him—­to see if the horses would go for them.  But they would not move one step, though they whipped them and shouted at them to start on, for Johnny he was as heavy as lead.  And he had to get down.  Soon as he got down, the horses seemed glad and went off on a gallop after the rest of the train.  So they all went off together, and Johnny wandered away into the bogs.  His friends supposed, of course, he was coming on, thought he was walking beside his load; the snow was falling down, and perhaps they were a little afraid.  He was left behind.  They scoured the country for him next day, and, bedad, they found him, stiff dead, sitting against a fence.  There’s where they found him.  They brought him on a door to his mother.  Oh, it was a sad thing to see—­to see her cry and hear her mourn!”

“And what more?” I asked.

“That’s all.  He was waked and buried, and that’s what he got for playing cards!  And that’s all as true as ever could be true, for it’s myself knew the old mother, and she told me it her very self, and she cried many tears for her son.”

CHAPTER VII.

DAILY DISTRACTIONS.

But the sheep shearing came, and the hay season next, and then the harvest of small corn ... then the sweating of the apples, and the turning of the cider mill and the stacking of the firewood, and netting of the wood-cocks, and the springes to be mended in the garden and by the hedgerows, where the blackbirds hop to the molehills in the white October mornings and gray birds come to look for snails at the time when the sun is rising.  It is wonderful how Time runs away when all these things, and a great many others, come in to load him down the hill, and prevent him from stopping to look about.  And I, for my part, can never conceive how people who live in towns and cities, where neither lambs nor birds are (except in some shop windows), nor growing corn, nor meadow grass, nor even so much as a stick to cut, or a stile to climb and sit down upon—­how these poor folk get through their lives without being utterly weary of them, and dying from pure indolence, is a thing God only knows, if his mercy allows him to think of it.

    LORNA DOONE.

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