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Aunt Jimmy's Will

Joshua’s honest face flushed with pleasure at the implied trust,
yet he could hardly keep the smile from his lips and a mysterious twinkle from
his eyes as he shook the doctor’s hand heartily and answered: “We’re much
obleeged, and we’ll never forget that you and Mis’is Jedd held us well enough
in esteem to make the offer, but I reckon the only way we could come to own the
fruit farm would be by buying it out fair and square. I don’t say but I’d be
downhearted to see it go by me, especially to ’Biram Slocum, for they’ve been
days, doc, when I’ve even kind o’ pictured out the two farms, ourn and it,
joined fast by your sellin’
[216] me that wood bluff
that runs in between from the highway. But you know the sayin’, doc, ‘Man
proposes, woman disposes,’ and all that.”


This time the doctor caught the wink that Joshua’s near eye gave
in spite of itself, but thought that it referred to Aunt Jimmy’s peculiarities.


“Well,” said the doctor, deliberately, a genial smile spreading
over his features, “one thing I’ll do to help out your picturing, as you call
it. If luck should turn so that you buy the fruit farm, I’ll sell you the wood
knoll for what I gave for it, and that’s the first time I ever considered
parting with it, though I’ve had no end of good offers.”


“Here’s the boys jest come home in time to witness that there
remark o’ yourn. Ain’t yer gettin’ kind er rash ’n’ hasty, doc?”


“No, Joshua, the more witnesses, the better,” and the two men went
out the door, toward the fence where the doctor’s chaise was tied, laughing


As to the boys, they were completely bewildered, for not a word
did they know, or would until after the auction, and they had not the remotest
idea that their father even dreamed of bidding on the fruit farm.

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