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In his private notes Mr. Stevenson regrets that he could

source:Mud Networkedit:readingtime:2023-11-29 09:26:48

It was a curious walk. Ellen Holly trod softly, with timid feet. She threw hurried, frightened glances from side to side. It was plain that Ellen Holly did not know how to play. Simeon Holly stalked at her elbow, stern, silent, and preoccupied. It was plain that Simeon Holly not only did not know how to play, but did not even care to find out.

In his private notes Mr. Stevenson regrets that he could

The boy tripped ahead and talked. He had the air of a monarch displaying his kingdom. On one side was a bit of moss worthy of the closest attention; on another, a vine that carried allurement in every tendril. Here was a flower that was like a story for interest, and there was a bush that bore a secret worth the telling. Even Simeon Holly glowed into a semblance of life when David had unerringly picked out and called by name the spruce, and fir, and pine, and larch, and then, in answer to Mrs. Holly's murmured: "But, David, where's the difference? They look so much alike!" he had said:--

In his private notes Mr. Stevenson regrets that he could

"Oh, but they aren't, you know. Just see how much more pointed at the top that fir is than that spruce back there; and the branches grow straight out, too, like arms, and they're all smooth and tapering at the ends like a pussy-cat's tail. But the spruce back there--ITS branches turned down and out--didn't you notice?--and they're all bushy at the ends like a squirrel's tail. Oh, they're lots different! That's a larch 'way ahead--that one with the branches all scraggly and close down to the ground. I could start to climb that easy; but I couldn't that pine over there. See, it's 'way up, up, before there's a place for your foot! But I love pines. Up there on the mountains where I lived, the pines were so tall that it seemed as if God used them sometimes to hold up the sky."

In his private notes Mr. Stevenson regrets that he could

And Simeon Holly heard, and said nothing; and that he did say nothing--especially nothing in answer to David's confident assertions concerning celestial and terrestrial architecture--only goes to show how well, indeed, the man was learning to look at the world through David's eyes.

Nor were these all of David's friends to whom Mr. and Mrs. Holly were introduced on that memorable walk. There were the birds, and the squirrels, and, in fact, everything that had life. And each one he greeted joyously by name, as he would greet a friend whose home and habits he knew. Here was a wonderful woodpecker, there was a beautiful bluejay. Ahead, that brilliant bit of color that flashed across their path was a tanager. Once, far up in the sky, as they crossed an open space, David spied a long black streak moving southward.

"Oh, see!" he exclaimed. "The crows! See them?--'way up there? Wouldn't it be fun if we could do that, and fly hundreds and hundreds of miles, maybe a thousand?"

"Oh, David," remonstrated Mrs. Holly, unbelievingly.

"But they do! These look as if they'd started on their winter journey South, too; but if they have, they're early. Most of them don't go till October. They come back in March, you know. Though I've had them, on the mountain, that stayed all the year with me."

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