“Chare up, me man,” said a good-natured Irishman who happened to be seated near me. “I was jist yer size (only that I was bigger) when I lift me father and mother in ould Ireland, an’ come over to Ameriky.”
This remark drew a burst of laughter from several of the passengers, and, though the tears were not yet dry upon my cheek, I could not help joining in the laugh. The man was not in the least disturbed by the merriment of the others, but again turning to me continued:
“As I was a tellin’ ye, an older brother an’ mesilf crossed the sea to Ameriky, an’ the first year we arned money enough to fetch over the ould folks, and we are now livin’ altogether agin, in the city uv Montreal, where we have a nate little home uv our own as your two eyes could light upon.” The friendly talk of the Irishman both amused and cheered me. How true it is that kind and sympathizing words never fail to cheer the desponding heart.
We had written to Uncle Nathan, informing him of the day on which he might expect my arrival; and at the time appointed he drove over to Fulton, the small village two miles from his farm, where was the railway-station. As I stepped from the car I eagerly scanned each face among the crowd to see if I could find any one whose appearance answered to my ideas of Uncle Nathan, but for some time I could see no one whom I could suppose to be my unknown relative. I at length spied a middle-aged gentleman walking backward and forward in a leisurely manner, upon the platform, whom I thought might possibly be my uncle, and, as the crowd had mostly dispersed, I mustered up courage, and in a low voice accosted him with the question. “Please Sir are you my uncle Nathan?” “Your uncle who?” said the old man, as he elevated his eyebrows and regarded me with a broad stare of astonishment. “No I’m not your Uncle, nor nobody’s else that I know of,” said he, in a sharp crusty voice, then, giving a second look at my downcast face, he seemed suddenly to recollect himself, and said in a much softer tone: “If its Nathan Adams you mean he’s just driven round to the other door. Be you a friend of his’n.” “Yes Sir,” answered I, as I hurried away to the “other door” pointed out by the stranger. From the ideas I had formed of my uncle I was unprepared to meet the kind, hearty looking man whose sunburned face beamed with a smile of welcome, when his eye rested upon me, as I walked with a timid, hesitating manner toward him. He at once held out his hand, saying, “I don’t need to ask if you are my nephew Walter, for if I’d a met you most anywhere I should have known you were Ellen Adams’ son; just the same dark eyes and happy smile which made your mother such a beauty at your age, for your mother was handsome if she was my sister; but I suppose, like all the rest of us she’s beginnin’ to grow old and careworn by this time, ’tis the way of the world, you know, boy, we