“But the poor dear girl can’t walk down here to see me,” said Uncle Ike.
“That’s just what I came to see you about,” said Ezekiel. “The greatest favor you can do Alice and me is to come up to the old house and live with us for a while and be company for Alice. You can have the big front room that father and mother used to have, and Alice’s room, you know, is just side of that. In a little while I shall have to be busy on the farm and poor Alice—”
“Don’t talk any more about it, ’Zeke,” said Uncle Ike. “Of course I’ll come. She will do me as much good as I’ll do her. Send down the boys with the team to-morrow noon and I’ll be all settled by the time you get back.”
“I’ll do it,” said Ezekiel. “It is very good of you. Uncle Ike, to give up your little home here that you like so much and come to live with us. I know you wouldn’t do it for anybody but Alice, and I’ll leave her to thank you when she gets down here.”
Uncle Ike and Ezekiel shook hands warmly.
“Don’t you need any money, ’Zeke?” asked Uncle Ike.
“No,” replied Ezekiel. “Alice wouldn’t let me pay out a cent; she had some money saved up in the bank and she insisted on paying for everything herself. She wouldn’t come home till I promised ’her I’d let her pay her board when she got able to work again.”
“She always was independent,” said Uncle Ike, “and that was one reason why I liked her. But more than that, she is the fairest-minded and best-tempered woman I ever met in my life, and I have seen a good many.”
Ezekiel shook hands again with Uncle Ike, and then started off briskly with a much lighter heart than he had before the interview. Reaching home he astonished Mandy Skinner by telling her that he was going to bring his sister down from Boston and that Uncle Ike was coming to live with them for a while.
“My Lord!” cried Mandy, “and do you expect me to do all this extra work?”
“I don’t expect nothing,” said Ezekiel. “You can get old Mrs. Crowley to come and do the heavy work, and I guess you can get along. You allus said you liked her, she was such a nice washer and ironer. She can have the little room over the ell, and I’ll give you a dollar a week extra for your trouble. Do you think you can get along, Mandy?”
Mandy answered, “I know I can with your sister all right, but if your Uncle Ike comes out here in the kitchen and tells me how to roast meat and make pies, as he did once, there will be trouble, and he may have to do all the cooking.”
Ezekiel smiled, but said nothing, and went off upstairs to look at the two rooms that were to be occupied by Uncle Ike and poor Allie.
Looking for A boarding place.