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hopes -of the future, -when better
.times came along.
" Pour times a year Uncle Abner
came home for a week. These com
panionable visits Jed looked forward
to with sincere, longing pleasure.
Such an occasion he was anticipating
one evening when there was a "knock
at the door and a bluff, hearty voice
"Open up there I'm nigh perished
with the chilling blast!"
"Why, Frank Wilder!" greeted Jed,
as he opened the door to welcome
"Yes, I'm down from the city-tor a
week, got lonesome and. thought a
chat with an old friend would do me
good."- ,. " '
Jea made his, visitor fully comfort
able. 'He' piled the wood into the
broad open fireplace, got odt a pitcher
of prime home cider and some wal
nuts 'and maple sugar. "
"I 'say,' finally observed Frank,
"why. don't you come. down to the
house; once In awhile?"
"1-Tve- been pretty busy getting'
things 'shipshape for the winter,"
rather- jamely explaied.Jed, 'flushing
up. 'Especially the last month, for
uncle iscoming on his regular quar
terly visit, you see." ,
"Well Nettie invited :you" to her
birthday party and was quite put out
'because you did not come. Hello!"
Frank gave a start and .a stare at
Bomethlng'he had not noticed before
a figure standing in the dim corner
of the room. Jed was grateful that
the conversation had changed. He
could not very well explain to his
friend -that grinding poverty had not
admitted of his buying a "decent suit
ul uiuuies iui uver iwu jreu.ns, anil
9 the old ones were not resentable for
a social function.
"Why, yes," he hastened to say,
arising- and taking up the 4amp and
illuminating the obscure corner of
the room. "It's uncle's old uniform
' "I declare!" remarked Frapk in
genuine admiration; "It looks fine.
1 Talk about old armor here's the real
thing something timely l and na
tural! With" that old gun and the
flag spread above" the uniform one
might fancy old Uncle Abner was
about to spring out in the full glory
of the battlefield."
"I thought it might please him"
said Jed. ' "I stuffed the coat with
straw and the rest of it with sand.
I'm proud of Uncle Abner, I can tell
you, Frank," continued Jed.
"Who wouldn't be?" replied Frank.
"I hope he'll fiake his visit while I'm
"Oh, yes, he is due to arrive day
after tomorow," declared Jed.
"I'd just love to have him once
more go over that splendidly thrill
ing story of how he saved the day
at Pea Ridge. I say, Jed, III come
Saturday evening, and I'll bring Net
tie. You know your uncle always
made a pet of her." ' ,
Jed fluttered like a timid school
child. To see Nettie again to have
her under the same roof! How he.
polished up. the old tinware the next
day! How he "planned a meal out of
the ordinary for those cherished
guests, and when his uncle arrived
the old fellow was wild with delight
to give his favorite a glad reception.
Frank Wilder was a mining engi
neer In the city and an-agreeable
and Instructive talker. Both Ned and
his uncle were arrayed in their best
and the chouse spfck and span when,
Saturday afternoon, Nettle and her
brother drove up from their home,
five miles distant
Nettle Was ardent In her praises of
the orderliness and system of this
typical bacheloihall. She insisted
on helping Jed prepare the 'meal. It
was the happiest "moment of his life,,
to view her dainty figure flitting
about the kitchen, .keeping up a
string of pretty talk, all charming
nothingness, but the sweetest of mu
sic to his eager ears.
It was after supper that Uncle Ab
ner, in fine -spirits, was Induced to reT
cite the Pea Ridgerincident In his