It pleased her to be there and enjoy the scene of innocent mirth, and that was enough. As for Uncle Nathan he was here and there and everywhere else, it seemed almost at one time, replenishing the baskets, sharpening the edge of a knife, and diffusing mirth and good humour through the whole company. Mr. Oswald, the teacher, was invited, bringing with him his wife and Rose. When I first mentioned giving the Oswalds an invitation Uncle Nathan advised me to give the Assistant one also; I was not too well pleased at this, for Mr. Lawrence was far from being a favorite with me, and, like most boys, I did not always pause to consider what was right; but Aunt Lucinda, who was anxious that every thing should be conducted after the most approved style, declared if the Oswalds were invited Mr. Lawrence should be favoured also with an invitation, saying, if any of the youths should make fun of his red hair, or cut up any capers with him she’d make them sorry for their fun. “I know,” said Uncle Nathan, with a sly look, “what makes Lucinda kinda’ stand up for Mr. Lawrence, and be so watchful over his red head; every one who knew Joshua Blake will remember that he had red hair. I thought Lucinda had forgotten the fellow by this time, but it seems I was mistaken after all.” “Who was Joshua Blake?” I ventured to enquire. “If you don’t be off to your work this minnit,” said Aunt Lucinda, “I’ll let you know who Joshua Blake was, in a way that you won’t ask again, I’ll be bound.” I thought it unwise to push my inquiries further, in fact I was glad to beat a hasty retreat from the kitchen; years after I heard the story of Joshua Blake from Aunt Lucinda’s own lips.
While we have been indulging in this digression, work has progressed steadily at Uncle Nathan’s, till the last basket of apples was pared, and deposited in the back-kitchen. Then the rooms were hastily cleared up and the long supper-table set out. I will not attempt a description of that supper, and will only say that it met all my ideas of nicety, added to profusion and plenty. The girls lent a willing hand in assisting to clear away the tables after the supper was over; and then the fun begun in right good earnest. Soon there was a call among the younger part of the company for “Blind Mans’ Buff.” Grandma, who from her quiet corner watched the scene of mirth with as much enjoyment as the youngest present, was disposed to dispute the name, saying that in her young days the game was known by the name of “Blind Harry,” and when the point was finally settled the game began, and was for some time continued with unabated enjoyment. Aunt Lucinda even allowed herself to be blinded and a very efficient blind woman did she prove, as many of the youngsters could testify who endeavoured to escape from her vigorous grasp. When the company became tired of this lively, but somewhat laborious amusement it was quickly succeeded by others of an equally lively character, which was continued for