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used to hitch his clothes upon every rail. Such a climber! I don't know what that boy 'll be when he grows up.
I send you a good warm comforter, knit in stripes; and all the family are knit into it, especially Tommy. The pink stripes are his good-boy days, and the black ones are his naughty actions. I showed him where I knit 'em in. That clouded gray and black stripe is for my two great girls quarrelling together about whose work 't was to do some little trifle. I told 'em they should be knit in, big as they are, if they could n't behave, and be accommodating. That bright red stripe is for Hannah Jane's school report, all perfect. That blue stripe is for your sister Georgianna when she made a sheet. It matches her eyes as near as I could get the yarn. My blue dye is weak this fall. Indigo is high. Your uncle J. says it's on account of the Rebs feeling so blue. That gray stripe, dotted with yellow, means a funny cryingspell Tommy had at table. I came home, and there he sat in his high chair, with his two hands on the arms of it, his mouth wide open, eyes shut, and the tears streaming down, making the dolefullest noise, –“O-oh, a-ah ; o-oh, a-ah.” Lucy Maria said he'd been going on in that strain almost half an hour, because we did n't have mince-meat for supper. That green stripe is for the day we all took the hay-cart and went to ride in the woods. The orangecolored one is for the box of oranges your uncle J. fetched home. '" A waste of money,” says I. “ Please the children,” says he ; "and the peel will save spice.” Makes me laugh when your uncle J. sets out to save. My girls and Tommy have got the very best of fathets, only they don't realize it. But young folks can't realize. The pale rose-colored stripe is for the travelling doctor's curing your grandmother's rheumatics, and promising she never should have another touch of 'em if she was careful. The dark red stripe is for the red cow's getting choked to death with a turnip. She was a prime butter cow. Any man but your uncle J. would look sober for a month about it. But he says, “O, there 's butter enough in the world, Phebe. And the calf will soon be a cow on its own hook.” That's your uncle J.
The plain dark purple stripe is for my Matilda's speaking disrespectfully to grandmother. She was sorry enough afterwards, but I told her it should go in. That bright yellow stripe is for the day your father went to market and got such a great price for his colt. The bright fringe, mixed colors, is for us all in both houses, when we got news of your coming home, and felt so glad. There 's a stitch dropped in one place. That may go for a teardrop, - a tear of mine, dear, if you please. Do you think we grown-up women, we jolly, busy women, never shed tears ? O, but we do sometimes, in an out-of-the-way corner, or when the children are all gone to school, or everybody is in bed. Bitterer tears they are, Billy, than boys' tears. One more stripe, that plain white one in the centre, is for the little Tommy that died. I could n't bear to leave him out, Billy. He had such little loving ways. You don't remember him.
There's your uncle J.'s whistle. He always whistles when he gets to the bars, to let me know it's time to begin to take up dinner.
From your loving
Dorry's Second Letter. DEAR Şis,
Who's been giving you an inch, that you take so many “l's "? Or is father putting an “L” to his house, or some great“ LL.D.” been dining there, or what is the matter, that about every “l” in your letter comes double ? I would n't spell" painful” with two “ l's” if the pain was ever so bad. But I know. You are thinking about Billy and the good times we are having. Aunt Phebe says you might have come too, just as well as not; for her family is so big, three or four more don't make a mite of difference.
We got here last night. Billy's grandmother 's a brick. She took Billy right in her arms, and I do believe she cried for being glad, behind her spectacles. His sister is full as pretty as you. Billy brought her a round comb. Aunt Phebe's little Tommy's as fat as butter. He sat and sucked his thumb and stared, till Billy held out a whistle to him, and then he walked up and took it, as sober as a judge.
" And I've brought you something, grandmother," says Billy.
He went out, and brought in a bandbox tied up. I wondered, coming in the cars, what he had got tied up in that bandbox. He out with his jackknife, and cut the strings, and took out — have you guessed yet? Of course you have n't, — took out a new cap like grandma's. He stuck his fist in it, and turned it round and round, to let her see it.
“ Now sit down,” says he, “and we 'll try it on.” She would n't, but he made her. “Come here, Dorry," says he," and see which is the front side of this.”
When her old cap was pulled off, there was her gray hair all soft and wavy. He got the cap part way on.
“ You tip it down too much," says I.
But “ Phebe” was coming. There was a great chattering outside, and the door opened, and in came Aunt Phebe, laughing, and her three great girls laughing too, with their red cheeks, and their great braids of hair tied up in red bow-knots of ribbon. And they all went to kissing Billy.
And then says Aunt Phebe, “What in the world are you doing to your grandmother? A regular milliner's cap, if I breathe! Well done, grandmother! Here, let me give it a twist. It's hind side before. What do boys know ? or men either ? What are all these kinds of strings for ?”
“The great ones to hang down, and the little ones to tie up,” says Billy.
The girls stood by to pick the bows apart, and fuzz up the ruffles where they were smashed in ; and Billy's father and Uncle Jacob, they sat and laughed.
Grandmother could n't help herself, but she kept saying, “Now Phebe ! Now girls! Now Billy!”
“ And now grandmother !” says Aunt Phebe. “There ! fold your hands together. Don't lean back hard, 't will jam easy. Now see, girls! Is n't she a beauty?” And, Maggie, I do believe she's the prettiest grandmother there is going. Her face is just as round and smiling!
“Now sit still, grandmother,” said Aunt Phebe. And she winked to the girls, and they whisked two tables up together, spread on the cloth, set on the dishes ; then out into the entry, and brought in great loaves of plumcake, and pies and doughnuts, and set out the table, — all done while you'd be tying your shoe. Then they set a row of lights along the middle, and we all sat round, — grandmother at the head, and Aunt Phebe's little Tommy in his high chair ; and I tell you what, if these are poor mince-pies, I hope I shall never see any good ones.
“Why did n’t you have some fried eggs?" said Uncle Jacob. “ Now did anybody ever hear the like?” said Aunt Phebe.
“ Fried eggs ! when they 're shedding their feathers, and it takes seventy-six fowls to lay a dozen, and every egg is worth its weight in currency! Better ask why we don't have cranberry sauce!”
“ There !” says Uncle J. “I declare, if I did n't forget that errand, after all !"
“When I told you to keep saying over 'Cranberries, cranberries,' all the way going along !” says Aunt Phebe.
“ They would 'a' set my teeth on edge before I got to Ne’miah's corner,” said Uncle J. “ The very thoughts of 'em is enough. Lucy Maria, please to pass that frosted cake. I declare, I 'm sorry I forgot that errand.”
For all we were so hungry, there was a great deal left, and I was glad to see it going into Billy's buttery. Billy says it's just like his aunt Phebe to come to supper, and make that an excuse to bring enough to last a week, to save grandmother steps.
I do like to stay where folks are jolly. They keep me a-laughing; and as for Bubby Short, his little black eyes have settled themselves into a twinkle, and there they stay. I never had such a good time in my life.
From your same old brother,
P. S. We have got good times enough planned out to last a month. Uncle J. says we may have his old horse, and Young Gray, and Dobbin, and the cow too, if we want to ride horseback on, or tackle up into anything we can find, from a hay-cart to a wheelbarrow. I shall want to write, but sha' n't. There 'll be no time. When I get home, I 'll talk a week.
Love to all inquiring friends.
Mrs. A. M. Diaz.
PULL down the bough, Bob! Isn't this fun ?
Now give it a shake, and — there goes one !
I know by the stripe
It must be ripe !
Green, are they? Well, no matter for that.
“ Life,” says he,
“ Is a bountiful tree, Heavily laden with beautiful fruit.
“For the youth there's love, just streaked with red,
Blessings,” said he,
“Of every degree, Ripening early, and ripening late.