Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Uncle Jerry coughed and stirred in his chair a good deal during Rebecca's recital, but he
carefully concealed any undue feeling of sympathy, just muttering, "Poor little soul!
We'll see what we can do for her!"
"You will take me to Maplewood, won't you, Mr. Cobb?" begged Rebecca piteously.
"Don't you fret a mite," he answered, with a crafty little notion at the back of his mind;
"I'll see the lady passenger through somehow. Now take a bite o' somethin' to eat, child.
Spread some o' that tomato preserve on your bread; draw up to the table. How'd you like
to set in mother's place an' pour me out another cup o' hot tea?"
Mr. Jeremiah Cobb's mental machinery was simple, and did not move very smoothly save
when propelled by his affection or sympathy. In the present case these were both
employed to his advantage, and mourning his stupidity and praying for some flash of
inspiration to light his path, he blundered along, trusting to Providence.
Rebecca, comforted by the old man's tone, and timidly enjoying the dignity of sitting in
Mrs. Cobb's seat and lifting the blue china teapot, smiled faintly, smoothed her hair, and
dried her eyes.
"I suppose your mother'll be turrible glad to see you back again?" queried Mr. Cobb.
A tiny fear--just a baby thing--in the bottom of Rebecca's heart stirred and grew larger the
moment it was touched with a question.
"She won't like it that I ran away, I s'pose, and she'll be sorry that I couldn't please aunt
Mirandy; but I'll make her understand, just as I did you."
"I s'pose she was thinkin' o' your schoolin', lettin' you come down here; but land! you can
go to school in Temperance, I s'pose?"
"There's only two months' school now in Temperance, and the farm 's too far from all the
"Oh well! there's other things in the world beside edjercation," responded uncle Jerry,
attacking a piece of apple pie.
"Ye--es; though mother thought that was going to be the making of me," returned
Rebecca sadly, giving a dry little sob as she tried to drink her tea.
"It'll be nice for you to be all together again at the farm--such a house full o' children!"
remarked the dear old deceiver, who longed for nothing so much as to cuddle and
comfort the poor little creature.