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before I went to school to Mr. Stelling, my father said

2023-12-01 11:34:45 [world] source:Headwind and Evil Waves Network

{ "parterre" = ornamental flower garden; "out of Weathersfield" = Wethersfield (the modern spelling), Connecticut, was famous for its onions (there is still a red onion called "Red Weathersfield"), until struck by a blight about 1840; "old Egyptians" = ancient Egypt was proverbial for worshiping the onion}

before I went to school to Mr. Stelling, my father said

With such tastes and partialities, Uncle Dozie was generally to be found in his garden, between the hours of sun-rise and sun-set; gardening having been his sole occupation for nearly forty years. His brother, Mr. Joseph Hubbard, having something to communicate, went there in search of him, on the morning to which we refer. But Uncle Dozie was not to be found. The gardener, however, thought that he could not have gone very far, for he had passed near him not five minutes before; and he suggested that, perhaps Mr. Hubbard was going out somewhere, for "he looked kind o' spruce and drest up." Mr. Hubbard expected his brother to dine at home, and thought the man mistaken. In passing an arbour, however, he caught a glimpse of the individual he was looking for, and on coming nearer, he found Uncle Dozie, dressed in a new summer suit, sitting on the arbour seat taking a nap, while at his feet was a very fine basket of vegetables, arranged with more than usual care. Unwilling to disturb him, his brother, who knew that his naps seldom lasted more than a few minutes at a time, took a turn in the garden, waiting for him to awake. He had hardly left the arbour however, before he heard Uncle Dozie moving; turning in that direction, he was going to join him, when, to his great astonishment, he saw his brother steal from the arbour, with the basket of vegetables on his arm, and disappear between two rows of pea-brush.

before I went to school to Mr. Stelling, my father said

"James!--I say, James!--Where are you going? Stop a minute, I want to speak to you!" cried Mr. Joseph Hubbard.

before I went to school to Mr. Stelling, my father said

"James!--Wait a moment for me! Where are you?" added the merchant; and walking quickly to the pea-rows, he saw his brother leave them and dexterously make for the tall Indian-corn. Now Uncle Dozie was not in the least deaf; and his brother was utterly at a loss to account for his evading him in the first place, and for his not answering in the second. He thought the man had lost his senses: he was mistaken, Uncle Dozie had only lost his heart. Determined not to give up the chase, still calling the retreating Uncle Dozie, he pursued him from the pea-rows into the windings of the corn-hills, across the walk to another growth of peas near the garden paling. Here, strange to say, in a manner quite inexplicable to his brother, Uncle Dozie and his vegetables suddenly disappeared! Mr. Hubbard was completely at fault: he could scarcely believe that he was in his own garden, and that it was his own brother James whom he had been pursuing, and who seemed at that instant to have vanished from before his eyes--through the fence, he should have said, had such a thing been possible. Mr. Hubbard was a resolute man; he determined to sift the matter to the bottom. Still calling upon the fugitive, he made his way to the garden paling through the defile of the peas. No one was there--a broad, open bed lay on either hand, and before him the fence. At last he observed a foot-print in the earth near the paling, and a rustling sound beyond. He advanced and looked over, and to his unspeakable amazement, saw his brother, James Hubbard, busily engaged there, in collecting the scattered vegetables which had fallen from his basket.

"Jem!--I have caught you at last, have I? What in the name of common sense are you about there?"

No reply was made, but Uncle Dozie proceeded to gather up his cauliflowers, peas and tomatoes, to the best of his ability.

"Did you fly over the fence, or through it?" asked his brother, quite surprised.

"Neither one nor the other," replied Uncle Dozie, sulkily. "I came through the gate."

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