THE LAST SHIRT.
cracking the handiest child's head with her thimble with the other, and says :
"I've hunted high, and I've hunted low, and it does beat all, what has become of your other shirt."
My heart fell down amongst my lungs and livers and things, and a hard piece of corn-crust started down my throat after it and got met on the road with a cough and was shot across the table and took one of the children in the eye and curled him up like a fishing-worm, and let a cry out of him the size of a war-whoop, and Tom he turned kinder blue around the gills, and it all amounted to a considerable state of things for about a quarter of a minute or as much as that, and I would a sold out for half price if there was a bidder. But after that we was all right again—it was the sudden surprise of it that knocked us so kind of cold. Uncle Silas he says :
" It's most uncommon curious, I can't understand it. I know perfectly well I took it off, because------"
" Because you hain't got but one on. Just listen at the man ! I know you took it off, and know it by a better way than your wool-gethering memory, too, because it was on the clo'es-line yesterday—I see it there myself. But it's gone— that's the long and the short of it, and you'll just have to change to a red flann'l one till I can get time to make a new one. And it'll be the third I've made in two years ; it just keeps a body on the jump to keep you in shirts ; and whatever you do manage to do with 'm all, is more'n I can make out. A body'd think you would learn to take some sort of care of 'em, at your time of life."
" I know it, Sally, and I do try all I can. But it oughtn't to be altogether my fault, because you know I don't see them nor have nothing to do with them except when they're on me ; and I don't believe I've ever lost one of them ojf of me."
" Well, it ain't your fault if you haven't, Silas—you'd a done it if you could, I reckon. And the shirt ain't all that's gone, nuther. Ther's a spoon gone ; and that ain't all. There was ten, and now ther's only nine. The calf got the shirt I reckon, but the calf never took the spoon, that's certain."
"Why, what else is gone, Sally ?"