One of the small but perfectly finished sketches that we have learned to expect from an author who has not yet acquired the fine art of disappointing us.
ones upon them to hold them in place. A rude roof sheltered the bark-mill from the weather, and there was the patient mule, with Birt and a whip to make sure that he did not fall into reflective pauses according to his meditative wont. And there, too, was Tennessee, perched on the lower edge of a great pile of bark, and gravely watching Birt.
He deprecated the attention she attracted. He was sometimes ashamed to have the persistent little sister seen following at his heels like a midday shadow. He could not know that the men who stopped and spoke to him and to her, and laughed at the infirmities of the infant tongue when she replied unintelligibly, thought better of him for his manifestation of strong fraternal affection. They said to each other that he was a "peart boy an' powerful good ter the t'other chill'en, an' holped the fambly along ez well ez a man-- better'n thar dad ever done;" for Birt's father had been characterized always as "slack-twisted an' onlucky."
The shadows dwindled on the