Up the river they slowly but safely went, the fisherman guiding his party through the fog to the place of landing. A part of the way he had towed them along, throwing them the painter of his boat.
“Whenever John Fisher can do you a favor, marm, let me know it,” said the man.
“Three cheers for John Fisher!” shouted the club. Wort joined in this, and he also said to himself, “I wish I had told him not to mind my seeding him. I will, the next time; see if I don’t.”
Peleg Wherren’s fish-house was a neighbor of the lane, and from the boat the party passed to Aunt Stanshy’s. As Charlie went along, he noticed a woman in the lane.
She wore a rusty black hood, a faded red shawl, and an old calico dress. Her general look was that of poverty. She turned as she heard the sound of steps, and, turning, chanced to face Aunt Stanshy. Thereupon the two women both swung round and looked away, like neighboring vanes struck by opposite currents of wind. Aunt Stanshy started and went ahead rapidly. In a moment Charlie heard some one crying. Looking back he saw it was Pip, who had fallen and hurt himself. The woman in faded clothes was quite nigh, and immediately running to Pip, helped him up, saying, in a pitying, motherly way, “You poor little fellow!”
“She has a pleasant face,” thought Charlie. “Who is it?”
He asked Simes Badger, who came down the lane.
“That? that is Jane.”
“Who is Jane?”
“Tim Tyler’s sister.”
“Yes, and young Tim’s mother.”
“Where does she live?”
“O the Tylers all live in the same nest.”
“Jane and Aunt Stanshy, then, do not speak to
one another,” reflected
THE CLUB IN SPLINTERS.
There is such a thing as a club breaking, going to splinters even. This sad end of a club was experienced by the Up-the-Ladder Club. It was not a strange thing, as all human organizations have their ups and downs, and many have their downs especially.
It happened in this way.
“Boys,” said the president one day, “let’s play school. I’ll be teacher. No; let’s have a public declamation—pieces, you know, and so on. Then we can charge something and perhaps get a little money—nails, I mean.”
The real cash was scarce, and nails became a necessity.
“And not play school?” asked the literary governor. “A school is real interestin’, you know.”
“Yes, we might play that afterward as a sort of rest.”
“Agreed,” was the general sentiment. The old sheet that had done service so many times was once more brought out and strung across one corner of the barn chamber. An audience of three was secured, the governor’s youngest brother, Pip’s little sister, and Sid Waters’s young cousin from the country. The members of the club gathered behind the sheet for action, but the auditors, all of them plump children, were ranged in a row upon a window-blind supported by blocks of wood. The first piece was a song by Sid. He strutted out pompously and began, “How beau—” He stopped. He had forgotten his bow. Executing this, he started once more, “How beautiful the cow—”