he'd come down the river and landed at the other village this morning, and now he was going up a few mile to see an old friend on a farm up there. The young fellow says:
When I first see you I says to myself, 'It's Mr. Wilks, sure, and he come mighty near getting here in time.' But then I says again, 'No, I reckon it ain't him, or else he wouldn't be paddling up the river.' You ain't him, are you?
No, my name's Blodgett Elexander Blodgett Reverend Elexander Blodgett, I s'pose I must say, as I'm one o' the Lord's poor servants. But still I'm jist as able to be sorry for Mr. Wilks for not arriving in time, all the same, if he's missed anything by it which I hope he hasn't.
Well, he don't miss any property by it, because he'll get that all right; but he's missed seeing his brother Peter die which he mayn't mind, nobody can tell as to that but his brother would a give anything in this world to see him before he died; never talked about nothing else all these three weeks; hadn't seen him since they was boys together and hadn't ever seen his brother William at all that's the deef and dumb one William ain't more than thirty or thirty-five. Peter and George were the only ones that come out here; George was the married brother; him and his wife both died last year. Harvey and William's the only ones that's left now; and, as I was saying, they haven't got here in time.
Did anybody send 'em word?
Oh, yes; a month or two ago, when Peter was first took; because Peter said then that he sorter felt like he warn't going to get well this time. You see, he was pretty old, and George's g'yirls was too young to be much company for him, except Mary Jane, the red-headed one; and so he was kinder lonesome after George and his wife died, and didn't seem to care much to live. He most desperately wanted to see Harvey and William, too, for that matter because he was one of them kind that can't bear to make a will. He left a letter behind for Harvey, and said he'd told in it where his money was hid, and how he wanted the rest of the property divided up so George's g'yirls would be all right for George didn't leave nothing. And that letter was all they could get him to put a pen to.
Why do you reckon Harvey don't come? Wher' does he live?
Oh, he lives in England Sheffield preaches there hasn't ever been in this country. He hasn't had any too much time and besides he mightn't a got the letter at all, you know.
Too bad, too bad he couldn't a lived to see his brothers, poor soul. You going to Orleans, you say?
Yes, but that ain't only a part of it. I'm going in a ship, next Wednesday, for Ryo Janeero, where my uncle lives.
It's a pretty long journey. But it'll be lovely; wisht I was a-going. Is Mary Jane the oldest? How old is the others?
Mary Jane's nineteen, Susan's fifteen, and Joanna's about fourteen that's the one that gives herself to good works and has a hare-lip.
Poor things! to be left alone in the cold world so.
Well, they could be worse off. Old Peter had friends, and they ain't going to let them come to no harm. There's Hobson, the Babtis' preacher; and Deacon Lot Hovey, and Ben Rucker, and Abner Shackleford, and Levi Bell, the lawyer; and Dr. Robinson, and their wives, and the widow Bartley, and well, there's a lot of them; but these are the ones that Peter was thickest with, and used to write about sometimes, when he wrote home; so Harvey 'll know where to look for friends when he gets here.
Well, the old man went on asking questions till he just fairly emptied that young fellow. Blamed if he didn't inquire about everybody and everything in that blessed town, and all about the Wilkses; and about
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