Rose's grandfather was called, by the irreverent younger
generation, sometimes "Turrible Wiley" and sometimes "Old
Kennebec," because of the frequency with which these words
appeared in his conversation. There were not wanting those of
late who dubbed him Uncle Ananias, for reasons too obvious to
mention. After a long, indolent, tolerably truthful, and useless
life, he had, at seventy-five, lost sight of the dividing line
between fact and fancy, and drew on his imagination to such an
extent that he almost staggered himself when he began to indulge
in reminiscence. He was a feature of the Edgewood "drive," being
always present during the five or six days that it was in
progress, sometimes sitting on the river-bank, sometimes leaning
over the bridge, sometimes reclining against the butt-end of a
huge log, but always chewing tobacco and expectorating to
incredible distances as he criticized and damned impartially all
the expedients in use at the particular moment.
"I want to stay down by the river this afternoon," said Rose.
"Ever so many of the girls will be there, and all my sewing is
done up. If grandpa will leave the horse for me, I'll take the
drivers' lunch to them at noon, and bring the dishes back in time
to wash them before supper."
"I suppose you can go, if the rest do," said her grandmother,
"though it's an awful lazy way of spendin' an afternoon. When I
was a girl there was no such dawdlin' goin' on, I can tell you.
Nobody thought o' lookin' at the river in them days; there wasn't
"But it's such fun to watch the logs!" Rose exclaimed. "Next to
dancing, the greatest fun in the world."
"'Specially as all the young men in town will be there, watchin',
too," was the grandmother's reply. "Eben Brooks an' Richard Bean
got home yesterday with their doctors' diplomas in their pockets.
Mrs. Brooks says Eben stood forty-nine in a class o' fifty-five,
an' seemed consid'able proud of him; an' I guess it is the first
time he ever stood anywheres but at the foot. I tell you when
these fifty-five new doctors git scattered over the country
there'll be consid'able many folks keepin' house under ground.
Dick Bean's goin' to stop a spell with Rufe an' Steve Waterman.
That'll make one more to play in the river."
"Rufus ain't hardly got his workin' legs on yit," allowed
Mr.Wiley, "but Steve's all right. He's a turrible smart driver,
an' turrible reckless, too. He'll take all the chances there is,
though to a man that's lived on the Kennebec there ain't what can
rightly be called any turrible chances on the Saco."
"He'd better be 'tendin' to his farm," objected Mrs. Wiley.
"His hay is all in," Rose spoke up quickly, "and he only helps
on the river when the farm work isn't pressing. Besides, though
it's all play to him, he earns his two dollars and a half a day."
"He don't keer about the two and a half," said her grandfather.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>