as a Kennebec man an' a Christian, to set him on the right track, though
it's always a turrible risky thing to do."
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
"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 time."
"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.
[Illustration: "HE'S A TURRIBLE SMART DRIVER"]
"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 playDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>