If he had struck his mother in her face she would not have been more shocked.

“Why, James!” she exclaimed.

“I’ve been thinking about it,” James continued.

“Thinking about it, James! What has got into you? You shock me.”

“I don’t wish to go against your will, mother,” James added.

“You will go against my will if you ever go to sea, James. Be a salter, or anything else, rather than a sailor.”

“Why, mother?”

“You certainly can never be ‘somebody,’ as you say, by going to sea.”

“I can be a commander of a vessel, perhaps, and some day I may own one; who knows?”

“Who knows what you wouldn’t be, James, if you should become a sailor? Say no more about such a step, if you want to make your mother happy.”

The subject was dropped there, and James proceeded to look about the farm. For several days he busied himself in putting things in order, awaiting work elsewhere. At length he heard that his uncle, living at Newburg, near Cleveland, wanted to hire wood-choppers. His uncle was clearing a large tract of forest near the line of Independence township. After conferring with his mother, and seeking the advice of his uncle, Amos Boynton, he decided to go to Newburg. His mother was quite willing that he should go there, because his sister Mehetabel had married, and was living there; and James could board with her. Three days after James presented himself at his uncle’s door in Newburg, making known his errand.

“Glad to see you, James,” was his uncle’s cordial welcome. “How you grow! almost a man now! Yes, I’ve work enough to be done at chopping, if men will only do it.”

“I like to chop,” interrupted James.

“A great many don’t,” replied his uncle; “and chopping wood is pretty hard work—about as hard as any work there is.”

“I don’t think so,” remarked James. “I do not get so tired chopping as I have been sometimes planing boards.”

“Well, let’s see,” continued his uncle; “how much of a job at chopping can you undertake? It’s coming warm weather, and you don’t want to chop wood when it is too hot, do you?”

“Perhaps not; I can chop two months, sure.”

“Suppose you take a job of one hundred cords to cut, James; how will that do?”

“I will agree to that. How much will you pay me a cord?”

“I will pay you fifty cents a cord for one hundred cords; and the fifty dollars shall be ready for you as soon as the work is done. How long will you be cutting it?”

“Fifty days,” James quickly answered.

“A little longer than that, I reckon, unless you are a mighty smart chopper,” suggested his uncle. “There’s a great difference in men, and boys too, in chopping wood.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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