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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
was a right smart handy boy, and could help along amazingly” if I would stay from school.  I would have done much more than this for the few words of commendation bestowed upon me by my aunt, who was usually so hard to please.  Neat as was her daily household arrangements, on this day every corner of the old house passed under a most searching review; and dust before unnoticed was brought to light in a most alarming manner, and as my aunt passed through the house on her tour of investigation, the very walls, with their closets and three-cornered cupboards, seemed to shrink back with apprehension, not knowing where she might make the next discovery of hidden dust or litter.  I was so much elated by her encouraging words in the morning that I set to work with a right good will; but before the preparations were all completed I found that an apple-paring bee at Uncle Nathan’s was no trivial matter, and involved a large amount of labour.  The brass knobs on all the doors, as well as the large brass andirons in the parlor, had to be polished till they shone like burnished gold and this with other countless tasks all fell on me; but the longest and most laborious day comes to a close, and so did this sixth of October, and tired enough were we all long before night came.  Poor old grandma really entertained the idea that she was of much assistance, and remained up for an hour or so beyond her usual time of retiring, “to help things along,” as she said.  With all my aunts sharp, crusty ways, one could not but respect her, when they noticed with what forbearance she treated every whim and fancy of her aged mother, and upon this occasion when she advised the old lady to retire to rest, and she replied, “that she must sit up to hurry things along,” she did not press the matter but allowed her to take her own way.  The important evening arrived, and with it a merry company of both old and young who filled the large kitchen and dining-room to overflowing.  All were in the best of spirits, and working and talking progressed about equally.  Each one was furnished with a knife sharpened for the purpose, and a basket of apples allotted to every two or three.  Without in the least interrupting the flow of laughter and lively conversation the baskets grew empty surprisingly fast, but were immediately replenished from the well-stored cellar, till some of the younger portion of the company with an eye to the supper, and fun in the prospective, began to wonder if the work would never be done.  Aunt Lucinda, assisted by some of the company, was laying out the supper in the wide hall ready to be brought into the dining-room, directly work was over.  Grandma had her arm-chair removed into the circle of the workers, and actually pared a dozen apples in the course of the evening.

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