"It was just so with my Joe--always full of his devilment, and up to
every kind of mischief, but he was just as unselfish and kind as he
could be--and laws bless me, to think I went and whipped him for taking
that cream, never once recollecting that I throwed it out myself because
it was sour, and I never to see him again in this world, never, never,
never, poor abused boy!" And Mrs. Harper sobbed as if her heart would
"I hope Tom's better off where he is," said Sid, "but if he'd been
better in some ways--"
"Sid!" Tom felt the glare of the old lady's eye, though he could not
see it. "Not a word against my Tom, now that he's gone! God'll take care
of him--never you trouble yourself, sir! Oh, Mrs. Harper, I don't
know how to give him up! I don't know how to give him up! He was such a
comfort to me, although he tormented my old heart out of me, 'most."
"The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away--Blessed be the name of
the Lord! But it's so hard--Oh, it's so hard! Only last Saturday my Joe
busted a firecracker right under my nose and I knocked him sprawling.
Little did I know then, how soon--Oh, if it was to do over again I'd hug
him and bless him for it."