Now yere's an offer, an' you can have either end. You-all can get a hoss an' a hundred dollars of me, an' pull your freight; or you can fix yourse'f with a gun an' have a mighty stirrin' an' eventful time with me right yere. As an outcome of the last, the public will have one of us to plant, an' mebby a vacancy to fill in the post of kettle-tender. Which is it, an' what do you say?
And never is he thrice armed unless his quarrel is just. Laz came back to the window and spoke and the old man started and looked toward him. "Jasper, I have hearn that Lije Peters is about to be app'inted deputy marshal." "Yes, Laz, that's the news a stirrin'." Behind the lout's countenance a light was gradually turned up.
"Wasn't it lots o' fun, Jasie?" "Shore!" was the absent-minded answer, for Jason was looking at the strangeness of the night. It was curious not to see the big bulks of the mountains and to see so many stars. In the mountains he had to look straight up to see stars at all and now they hung almost to the level of his eyes. "How's the folks?" asked Mavis. "Stirrin'. Air ye goin' to school up here?"
'Better let him alone till morning, and tuck in his bedclothes again for to-night, poor fellow. But Arthur had started up to investigate, and must pull the black fleece for his personal satisfaction. 'Oh, throth he's stirrin' now! exclaimed Andy, who had begun to cram the orifice with the former stuffing of dried bough and brush.
It was now about ten o'clock, and pa hadn't come home. There seemed to be a lot stirrin' someway, and ma said, "Your father is very busy, and we'll all go to bed and not wait for him. He has a key of his own." So pretty soon we were all in bed with the lights out.
I could hear him stirrin' 'round up there when I was for'ard just now, and he hollered to the wheel that up to the no'the'ard it looked like planty of fish. 'And I callate we ain't the only vessel got eyes for it, he said." "Yes," said his watch-mate, who had just dropped down, "it's nothing but side-lights all 'round and " Just then came the skipper's voice from aloft.
We had great times at these "stirrin' offs" which usually took place at night. The neighbors would usually come and bring their slaves. We played Sheep-meat and other games. Sheep-meat was a game played with a yarn ball and when one of the players was hit by the ball that counted him out. One song we would always sing was "Who ting-a-long? Who ting-a-long? Who's been here since I've been gone?
"That's th' good rich earth," he answered, digging away. "It's in a good humor makin' ready to grow things. It's glad when plantin' time comes. It's dull in th' winter when it's got nowt to do. In th' flower gardens out there things will be stirrin' down below in th' dark. Th' sun's warmin' 'em. You'll see bits o' green spikes stickin' out o' th' black earth after a bit."
As if he understood, the old ox turned away, and, slowly, with careful searching for the newest and the tenderest of the forage blades which had pushed up to meet the pleasant sunshine, showed he was well fed at all times. "What do I want to learn for?" the girl repeated, returning to Joe's question. "Why why I don't know, exactly. There's a longin' stirrin' in me.
But you're only an innercent little sheep, and they wan't no sense in his tryin' to stomp on you. "Well, I got to be stirrin' up them woolies. Sorry I got to tie you, but you're gittin' such a durned nuisance, with playin' half the night and slidin' down my tepee. I'll give you the big feed when I come down in the mornin', so say your prayers and go to bed like a good lamb orta."