"Well, that's infernal mean. Odd, too. Say, boy, what's the matter with your father?"
"It's the--a--the--well, it ain't anything much."
They stopped pulling. It warn't but a mighty little ways to the raft now. One says:
"Boy, that's a lie. What IS the matter with your pap? Answer up square now, and it'll be the better for you."
"I will, sir, I will, honest--but don't leave us, please. It's the--the --Gentlemen, if you'll only pull ahead, and let me heave you the headline, you won't have to come a-near the raft--please do."
"Set her back, John, set her back!" says one. They backed water. "Keep away, boy--keep to looard. Confound it, I just expect the wind has blowed it to us. Your pap's got the small-pox, and you know it precious well. Why didn't you come out and say so? Do you want to spread it all over?"
"Well," says I, a-blubbering, "I've told everybody before, and they just went away and left us."