A PRETTY LONG BLESSING.
" Why, no, I—I—well, no, I b'lieve I didn't."
Then he looks on around, the same way, to me—and says :
" Tom, didn't you think Aunt Sally 'd open out her arms and say, ' Sid Sawyer------' "
"My land!" she says, breaking in and jumping for him, "you impudent young rascal, to fool a body so—" and was going to hug him, but he fended her off, and says :
"No, not till you've asked me, first."
So she didn't lose no time, but asked him ; and hugged him and kissed him, over and over again, and then turned him over to the old man, and he took what was left. And after they got a little quiet again, she says :
" Why, dear me, I never see such a surprise. We warn't looking for you> at all, but only Tom. Sis never wrote to me about anybody coming but him."
"It's because it warn't intended for any of us to come but Tom," he says ; "but I begged and begged, and at the last minute she let me come, too; so, coming down the river, me and Tom thought it would be a first-rate surprise for him to come here to the house first, and for me to by-and-by tag along and drop in and let on to be a stranger. But it was a mistake, Aunt Sally. This ain't no healthy place for a stranger to come."
"No—not impudent whelps, Sid. You ought to had your jaws boxed; I hain't been so put out since I don't know when. But I don't care, I don't mind the terms—I'd be willing to stand a thousand such jokes to have you here. Well, to think of that performance ! I don't deny it, I was most putrified with astonishment when you give me that smack."
We had dinner out in that broad open passage betwixt the house and the kitchen ; and there was things enough on that table for seven families—and all hot, too; none of your flabby tough meat that's laid in a cupboard in a damp cellar all night and tastes like a hunk of old cold cannibal in the morning. Uncle Silas he asked a pretty long blessing over it, but it was worth it; and it didn't cool it a bit, neither, the way I've seen them kind of interruptions do, lots of times.
There was a considerable good deal of talk, all the afternoon, and me and Tom
was on the lookout all the time, but it warn't no use, they didn't happen to say 19