The thought of Bonnerton came back. Yan knew he must return in a year at most; he knew that his dearest ambition of a college course in zoology was never to be realized, for his father had told him he must go as errand boy at the first opening. Again his rebellious spirit was stirred, to what purpose he did not know. He would rather stay here on the farm with the Raftens.
The winning back of the farm, according to Sanger custom must be celebrated in a "sociable" that took the particular form of a grand house-warming, in which the Raftens, Burnses and Boyles were fully represented, as Char-less was Caleb's fast friend. The Injun band was very prominent, for Caleb saw that it was entirely owing to the meetings at the camp that the glad event had come about.
"I allus thought a Mole was a Mouse specie," remarked Hawkeye, not satisfied with Yan's distinction. "Oh, you!" interrupted Sam. "You'll try to make out the Burnses is some kin to the Raftens next." "I bet I won't!" and for once Guy got even. "Well," Yan continued, "it so happened about the first time in about a million years the little Hawks were not hungry just then.
I never did hold with them as says 'There ain't no good in a Raften. I always hold there's some good in every human. I know your Paw did buy the mortgage on our place, but I never did believe your Maw stole our Geese, an' I never will, an' next time I hear them runnin' on the Raftens I'll jest open out an' tell what I know." The Coon Hunt
Bring some more hairbs. Good-boi, an' bless ye. Oi hope it's no sin to say so, fur Oi know yer a Prattison an' ye are all on yez goin' to hell, but yer a foine bhoy. Oi'm tumble sorry yer a Prattison." When Yan got back to the Raftens' he found the dinner table set for one, though it was now three in the afternoon. "Come and get your dinner," said Mrs. Raften in her quiet motherly way.
"What a shame, the old wretch," said Yan, with ready sympathy for the Raftens. "No," replied Sam; "she's only queer. There's lots o' folk takes her side. But she's awful queer. She won't have a tree cut if she can help it, an' when the flowers come in the spring she goes out in the woods and sets down beside 'em for hours an' calls 'em 'Me beauty me little beauty, an' she just loves the birds.
"But I mean now," said Yan, with evident disappointment. "They ain't so easy to get at now, but we can try. Some day when all the work's done I'll ask Da for his gun." "When all the work's done," was a favourite expression of the Raftens for indefinitely shelving a project, it sounded so reasonable and was really so final.