Whack comes the thimble, and the child snatches her claws out of the sugar-bowl without fooling around any. Just then the nigger woman steps on to the passage, and says:
Missus, dey's a sheet gone.
A sheet gone! Well, for the land's sake!
I'll stop up them holes to-day, says Uncle Silas, looking sorrowful.
Oh, do shet up! s'pose the rats took the sheet? where's it gone, Lize?
Clah to goodness I hain't no notion, Miss' Sally. She wuz on de clo'sline yistiddy, but she done gone: she ain' dah no mo' now.
I reckon the world is coming to an end. I never see the beat of it in all my born days. A shirt, and a sheet, and a spoon, and six can
Missus, comes a young yaller wench, dey's a brass cannelstick miss'n.
Cler out from here, you hussy, er I'll take a skillet to ye!
Well, she was just a-biling. I begun to lay for a chance; I reckoned I would sneak out and go for the woods till the weather moderated. She kept a-raging right along, running her insurrection all by herself, and everybody else mighty meek and quiet; and at last Uncle Silas, looking kind of foolish, fishes up that spoon out of his pocket. She stopped, with her mouth open and her hands up; and as for me, I wished I was in Jeruslem or somewheres. But not long, because she says:
It's just as I expected. So you had it in your pocket all the time; and like as not you've got the other things there, too. How'd it get there?
I reely don't know, Sally, he says, kind of apologizing, or you know I would tell. I was a-studying over my text in Acts Seventeen before breakfast, and I reckon I put it in there, not noticing, meaning to put my Testament in, and it must be so, because my Testament ain't in; but I'll go and see; and if the Testament is where I had it, I'll know I didn't put it in, and that will show that I laid the Testament down and took up the spoon, and
Oh, for the land's sake! Give a body a rest! Go 'long now, the whole kit and biling of ye; and don't come nigh me again till I've got back my peace of mind.
I'D a heard her if she'd a said it to herself, let alone speaking it out; and I'd a got up and obeyed her if I'd a been dead. As we was passing through the setting-room the old man he took up his hat, and the shingle-nail fell out on the floor, and he just merely picked it up and laid it on the mantel-shelf, and never said nothing, and went out. Tom see him do it, and remembered about the spoon, and says:
Well, it ain't no use to send things by him no more, he ain't reliable. Then he says: But he done us a good turn with the spoon, anyway, without knowing it, and so we'll go and do him one without him knowing it stop up his rat-holes.
There was a noble good lot of them down cellar, and it took us a whole hour, but we done the job tight and good and shipshape. Then we heard steps on the stairs, and blowed out our light and hid; and here comes the old man, with a candle in one hand and a bundle of stuff in t'other, looking as absent-minded as year before last. He went a mooning around, first to one rat-hole and then another, till he'd been to them all. Then he stood about five minutes, picking tallow-drip off of his candle and thinking. Then he turns off slow and dreamy towards the stairs, saying:
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