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   Chapter 24 THE STORY ENDS.

A Jolly Fellowship By Frank R. Stockton Characters: 10234

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


Three letters came to me the next morning. I was rather surprised at this, because I did not expect to get letters after I found myself at home; or, at least, with my family. The first of these was handed to me by Rectus. It was from his father. This is the letter:

"My Dear Boy:" (This opening seemed a little curious to me, for I did not suppose the old gentleman thought of me in that way.) "I shall not be able to see you again before you leave for Willisville, so I write this note just to tell you how entirely I am satisfied with the way in which you performed the very difficult business I intrusted to you-that of taking charge of my son in his recent travels. The trip was not a very long one, but I am sure it has been of great service to him; and I also believe that a great deal of the benefit he has received has been due to you." (I stopped here, and tried to think what I had done for the boy. Besides the thrashing I gave him in Nassau, I could not think of anything.) "I have been talking a great deal with Sammy, in the last day or two, about his doings while he was away, and although I cannot exactly fix my mind on any particular action, on your part, which proves what I say" (he was in the same predicament here in which I was myself), "yet I feel positively assured that your companionship and influence have been of the greatest service to him. Among other things, he really wants to go to college. I am delighted at this. It was with much sorrow that I gave up the idea of making him a scholar: but, though he was a good boy, I saw that it was useless to keep him at the academy at Willisville, and so made up my mind to take him into my office. But I know you put this college idea into his head, though how, I cannot say, and I am sure that it does not matter. Sammy tells me that you never understood that he was to be entirely in your charge; but since you brought him out so well without knowing this, it does you more credit. I am very grateful to you. If I find a chance to do you a real service, I will do it.

"Yours very truly,

"Samuel Colbert, Sr."

The second letter was handed to me by Corny, and was from her mother. I shall not copy that here, for it is much worse than Mr. Colbert's. It praised me for doing a lot of things which I never did at all; but I excused Mrs. Chipperton for a good deal she said, for she had passed through so much anxiety and trouble, and was now going to settle down for good, with Corny at school, that I didn't wonder she felt happy enough to write a little wildly. But there was one queer resemblance between her letter and old Mr. Colbert's. She said two or three times-it was an awfully long letter-that there was not any particular thing that she alluded to when she spoke of my actions. That was the funny part of it. They couldn't put their fingers on anything really worth mentioning, after all.

My third letter had come by mail, and was a little old. My mother gave it to me, and told me that it had come to the post-office at Willisville about a week before, and that she had brought it down to give it to me, but had totally forgotten it until that morning. It was from St. Augustine, and this is an exact copy of it:

"My good friend Big Little Man. I love you. My name Maiden's Heart. You much pious. You buy beans. Pay good. Me wants one speckled shirt. Crowded Owl want one speckled shirt, too. You send two speckled shirts. You good Big Little Man. You do that. Good-bye.

"Maiden's Heart, Cheyenne Chief.

"Written by me, James R. Chalott, this seventh day of March, 187-, at the dictation of the above-mentioned Maiden's Heart. He has requested me to add that he wants the speckles to be red, and as large as you can get them."

During the morning, most of our party met to bid each other good-bye. Corny, Rectus and I were standing together, having our little winding-up talk, when Rectus asked Corny if she had kept her gray bean, the insignia of our society.

"To be sure I have," she said, pulling it out from under her cloak. "I have it on this little chain which I wear around my neck. I've worn it ever since I got it. And I see you each have kept yours on your watch-guards."

"Yes," I said, "and they're the only things of the kind we saved from the burning 'Tigris.' Going to keep yours?"

"Yes, indeed," said Corny, warmly.

"So shall I," said I.

"And I, too," said Rectus.

And then we shook hands, and parted.

THE END.

* * *

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* * *

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

The word "won't" is spelled "wont" consistently in the original. This was retained.

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.

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