MOONING AROUND. 319
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 1 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-----"
i( 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 Mm 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 ship-shape. 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