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. "He jest

can't keep away from the logs. There's some that can't. When I first

moved here from Gard'ner, where the climate never suited me"--

"The climate of any place where you hev regular work never did an' never

will suit you," remarked the old man's wife; but the interruption

received no comment: such mistaken views of his character were too

frequent to make any impression.

"As I was sayin', Rose," he continued, "when we first moved here from

Gard'ner, we lived neighbor to the Watermans. Steve an' Rufus was little

boys then, always playin' with a couple o' wild cousins o' theirn,

consid'able older. Steve would scare his mother pretty nigh to death

stealin' away to the mill to ride on the 'carriage,' 'side o' the log

that was bein' sawed, hitchin' clean out over the river an' then jerkin'

back 'most into the jaws o' the machinery."

"He never hed any common sense to spare, even when he was a young one,"

remarked Mrs. Wiley; "and I don't see as all the 'cademy education his

father throwed away on him has changed him much." And with this

observation she rose from the table and went to the sink.

"Steve ain't nobody's fool," dissented the old man; "but he's kind o'

daft about the river. When he was little he was allers buildin' dams in

the brook, an' sailin' chips, an' runnin' on the logs; allers choppin'

up stickins an' raftin' 'em together in the pond. I cal'late Mis'

Waterman died consid'able afore her time, jest from fright, lookin' out

the winders and seein' her boys slippin' between the logs an' gittin'

their daily dousin'. She couldn't understand it, an' there's a heap o'

things women-folks never do an' never can understand,--jest because they

air women-folks."

"One o' the things is men, I s'pose," interrupted Mrs. Wiley.

"Men in general, but more partic'larly husbands," assented Old Kennebec;

"howsomever, there's another thing they don't an' can't never take in,

an' that's sport. Steve does river drivin' as he would horseracin' or

tiger-shootin' or tight-rope dancin'; an' he always did from a boy.

When he was about twelve or fifteen, he used to help the river-drivers

spring and fall, reg'lar. He couldn't do nothin' but shin up an' down

the rocks after hammers an' hatchets an' ropes, but he was turrible

pleased with his job. 'Stepanfetchit,' they used to call him them

days,--Stephanfetchit Waterman."

"Good name for him yet," came in acid tones from the sink. "He's still

steppin' an' fetchin', only it's Rose that's doin' the drivin' now."

"I'm not driving anybody, that I know of," answered Rose, with

heightened color, but with no loss of her habitual self-command.

"Then, when he graduated from errants," went on the crafty old man, who

knew that when breakfast ceased, churning must begin, "Steve used to get

seventy-five cents a day helpin' clear up the river--if you can call

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