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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Eben Holden, a tale of the north country.

‘Consam it all! what be they — plasters?’ said Uncle Eb, quite out of patience.

’Pieces of brown paper, covered with — West India molasses, I should think,’ said I.

‘West Injy molasses!’ he exclaimed.  ’By mighty!  That makes me hotter’n a pancake.  What’s it on the bed fer?’

‘To catch flies,’ I answered.

‘An’ ketched me,’ said Uncle Eb, as he flung the sheet he was examining into a corner.  ‘My extry good suit’ too!’

He took off his trousers, then, holding them up to the light.

‘They’re sp’ilt,’ said he mournfully.  ’Hed ’em fer more’n ten year, too.’

‘That’s long enough,’ I suggested.

‘Got kind o’ ’tached to ’em,’ he said, looking down at them and rubbing his chin thoughtfully.  Then we had a good laugh.

‘You can put on the other suit,’ I suggested, ’and when we get to the city we’ll have these fixed.’

‘Leetle sorry, though,’ said he, ‘cuz that other suit don’ look reel grand.  This here one has been purty — purty scrumptious in its day — if I do say it.’

‘You look good enough in anything that’s respectable,’ I said.

‘Kind o’ wanted to look a leetle extry good, as ye might say,’ said Uncle Eb, groping in his big carpet-bag.  ’Hope, she’s terrible proud, an’ if they should hev a leetle fiddlin’ an’ dancin’ some night we’d want t’ be as stylish as any on em.  B’lieve I’ll go’n git me a spang, bran’ new suit, anyway, ‘fore we go up t’ Fuller’s.’

As we neared the city we both began feeling a bit doubtful as to whether we were quite ready for the ordeal.

‘I ought to,’ I said.  ’Those I’m wearing aren’t quite stylish enough, I’m afraid.’

‘They’re han’some,’ said Uncle Eb, looking up over his spectacles, ’but mebbe they ain’t just as splendid as they’d orter be.  How much money did David give ye?’

‘One hundred and fifty dollars,’ I said, thinking it a very grand sum indeed.

‘’Tain’t enough,’ said Uncle Eb, bolting up at me again.  ’Leastways not if ye’re goin’ t’ hev a new suit.  I want ye t’ be spick an’ span.’

He picked up his trousers then, and took out his fat leather wallet.

‘Lock the door,’ he whispered.

‘Pop goes the weasel!’ he exclaimed, good-naturedly, and then he began counting the bills.

‘I’m not going to take any more of your money, Uncle Eb,’ I said.

‘Tut, tut!’ said he, ‘don’t ye try t’ interfere.  What d’ ye think they’ll charge in the city fer a reel, splendid suit?’

He stopped and looked up at me.

‘Probably as much as fifty dollars,’ I answered.

‘Whew-w-w!’ he whistled.  ‘Patty steep!  It is sartin.’

‘Let me go as I am,’ said I.  ’Time enough to have a new suit when I’ve earned it.’

‘Wall,’ he said, as he continued counting, ’I guess you’ve earnt it already.  Ye’ve studied hard an’ tuk first honours an’ yer goin’ where folks are purty middlin’ proud’n haughty.  I want ye t’ be a reg’lar high stepper, with a nice, slick coat.  There,’ he whispered, as he handed me the money, ‘take thet!  An’ don’t ye never tell ’at I g’in it t’ ye.’

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