“I was uncertain which to call him for some time,” said Jonas; “but finally I concluded to let him keep both names, and so now he is Franco Ney.”
“Well,” said Josey, “I think that is a good plan.”
A short time after this, Jonas turned up off from the pond, and soon reached home.
Jonas found, when he reached home, that it was about dinner-time. The farmer said that the storm was coming on sooner than he had expected, and he believed that they should have to leave the rafters where they were. But Jonas said that he thought he could get them without any difficulty, if the farmer would let him take the oxen and sled.
The farmer, finding that Jonas was very willing to go, notwithstanding the storm, said that he should be very glad to have him try. And Josey, he said, might accompany him or not, just as he pleased.
“I wouldn’t go, Jonas,” said Josey, “if I were you. It is going to be a great storm.”
He, however, walked along with Jonas to the barn, to see him yoke the oxen. The yard was covered with a thin coating of light snow, which made the appearance of it very different from what it had been when they had left it. The cows and oxen stood out still exposed, their backs whitened a little with the fine flakes which had fallen upon them. Jonas went to the shed, and brought out the yoke.
“Jonas,” said Josey, “I wouldn’t go.”
“No, I think it very likely that you wouldn’t. You are not a very efficient boy.”
“What is an efficient boy?” asked Josey.
“One that has energy and resolution enough to go on and accomplish his object, even if there are difficulties in the way.”
“Is that what you mean by being efficient?” said Josey.
“Yes;—a boy that hasn’t some efficiency, isn’t good for much.”
As he said this, Jonas had got one of the oxen yoked. He then went to bring up the other.
When the other ox was up in his place, Jonas raised the end of the yoke, and put it over his neck.
“You see,” continued he, “your uncle wants all those rafters got down. It will be a little harder getting them, in the storm; but I care nothing for that. It will be a great satisfaction to him to have them all safe down here before it drifts. He doesn’t require me to go; but if I go voluntarily and bring them down, don’t you think that, to-morrow morning, when he finds two feet of snow on the ground, he’ll be glad to think that all his rafters are safe in the yard?”
“Why, yes,” said Josey. “I’ve a great mind to go with you.”
“Do just as you please,” said Jonas.
“Well, do you want me to go?”
“Yes, I should like your company very well; and, besides, perhaps you can help me.”
“Well,” said Josey, “I’ll go.”