And they wuz took from her dretful sudden. There wuz a sort of a influenza prevailin’ up round their way, and lots of strong healthy folks suckumbed to it, and it struck onto these poor old feeble ones some like simiters, and mowed ’em right down.
The old lady wuz took down first, and her great anxiety wuz—“That Pa shouldn’t know that she wuz so sick.”
But before she died, “Pa” in another room wuz took with it, and passed away a day before she did.
She worried all that mornin’ about “Pa,” and—“How bad he would feel if he knew she wuz so sick!” But along late in the afternoon, when the Winter sun wuz makin’ a pale reflection on the wall through the south winder, she looked up, and sez she—
“Why, there stands Pa right by my bed, and he wants me to git up and go with him. And, Isabelle, I must go.”
And she did.
[Illustration: “Why, there stands Pa, and he wants me to git up and go with him.”]
And Isabelle wuz left alone.
They wuz buried in one grave. And the funeral sermon, they say, wuz enough to melt a stun, if there had been any stuns round where they could hear it.
Isabelle didn’t hear it (don’t git the idee that I am a-wantin’ to compare her to a stun; no, fur from it). She wuz a-layin’ to home on a bed, with her sad eyes bent on nothin’ess and emptiness and utter desolation, so it seemed to her.
But after a time she begun to pick up a little, judgin’ from her letters to her brother Krit. He had to leave her jest after the funeral on account of his business; for, civil as it wuz, it had to be tended to.
Wall, we all enjoyed havin’ Christopher there the best that ever wuz. For he wuz very agreeable, as well as oncommon smart, which two qualities don’t always go together, as has often been observed by others, and I have seen for myself.
Wall, it wuzn’t more than a week or so after Krit arrived and got there, that another relation made his appearance in Jonesville.
It wuz of ’em on his side this time—not like Krit, half hisen and half mine, but clear hisen. Clear Allen, with no Smith at all in the admixture.
Proud enough wuz my pardner of him, and of himself too for bein’ born his cousin. (Though that wuz onbeknown to him at the time, and he ort not to have gloried in it.)
But tickled wuz he when word come that Elnathan Allen, Esquire, of Menlo Park, California, wuz a-comin’ to Jonesville to visit his old friends.
[Illustration: Tickled wuz he when word come.]
That man had begun life poor—poor as a snipe; sometimes I used to handle that very word “Snipe” a-describin’ Elnathan Allen’s former circumstances to Josiah, when he got too overbearin’ about him.
For he had boasted to me about him for years, and years, and a woman can’t stand only jest about so much aggravatin’ and treadin’ on before she will turn like a worm.