It was a clear sunny autumn month. Every morning the doctor came up on the mountain, and then there was a delightful excursion farther up. Often he went off with the Aim-Uncle far up into the craggy mountains, where the old weather-beaten fir trees were; the great robber-bird must have had his nest near by, for he often whizzed past, whirring and croaking, close to the heads of the two men.
The doctor took great pleasure in his companion's society, and was more and more amazed to see how familiar the uncle was with all the plants around on his mountain, and how well he knew what they were good for, and how many valuable and good things he discovered everywhere up there, in the pitchy fir trees and the sombre pines with their fragrant needles, in the crinkled moss, sprouting out between the roots of the old trees, and in all the delicate little plants and modest flowers, still growing quite high up in the nourishing mountain soil.
The old man was equally familiar with the life and habits of all the animals up there, both great and small, and he had very amusing things to tell the doctor about the ways of these little creatures living in holes in the rocks, caves, and even the branches of the lofty fir trees.
The doctor did not know where the time went on these excursions, and often at evening when he shook the uncle's hand heartily at parting, he would say : —
" My good friend, I never go away from you without learning something new."