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What Might Have Been Expected   By: (1834-1902)

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By Frank R. Stockton

New York Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright, 1874, by Dodd & Mead Copyright, 1902, by Marian E. Stockton


CHAPTER PAGE I. Harry Loudon Makes Up His Mind. 9 II. The Adoption. 15 III. Commencing Business. 21 IV. Kate, very naturally, is Anxious. 30 V. The Turkey Hunter. 38 VI. Tony Strikes Out. 47 VII. Aunt Matilda's Christmas. 58 VIII. A Lively Team. 71 IX. Business in Earnest. 85 X. A Meeting on the Road. 97 XI. Rob. 103 XII. Tony on the War path. 112 XIII. Cousin Maria. 118 XIV. Harry's Grand Scheme. 124 XV. The Council. 135 XVI. Company Business. 143 XVII. Principally Concerning Kate. 154 XVIII. The Arrival. 164 XIX. Constructing the Line. 172 XX. An Important Meeting of the Board. 181 XXI. A Last Resort. 189 XXII. A Quandary. 194 XXIII. Crossing the Creek. 202 XXIV. The First Business Telegrams. 210 XXV. Profits and Projects. 225 XXVI. A Grand Proposition. 237 XXVII. How Something Came to an End. 246 XXVIII. A Meeting. 253 XXIX. Once more in the Woods. 257 XXX. A Girl and a Gun. 264 XXXI. A Man in a Boat. 271 XXXII. Aunt Matilda's Letter. 277 XXXIII. Time to Stop. 286




On a wooden bench under a great catalpa tree, in the front yard of a comfortable country house in Virginia, sat Harry and Kate Loudon worrying their minds. It was all about old Aunt Matilda.

Aunt Matilda was no relation of these children. She was an old colored woman, who lived in a cabin about a quarter of a mile from their house, but they considered her one of their best friends. Her old log cabin was their favorite resort, and many a fine time they had there. When they caught some fish, or Harry shot a bird or two, or when they could get some sweet potatoes or apples to roast, and some corn meal for ash cakes, they would take their provisions to Aunt Matilda and she would cook them. Sometimes an ash cake would be baked rather harder than it was convenient to bite, and it had happened that a fish or two had been cooked entirely away, but such mishaps were not common. Aunt Matilda was indeed a most wonderful cook and a cook, too, who liked to have a boy and a girl by her while she was at work; and who would tell them stories as queer old stories as ever were told while the things were cooking. The stories were really the cause of the ash cakes and fish sometimes being forgotten.

And it is no wonder that these children were troubled in their minds. They had just heard that Aunt Matilda was to go to the alms house.

Harry and Kate were silent. They had mourned over the news, and Kate had cried. There was nothing more to be done about it, so far as she could see.

But all of a sudden Harry jumped up. "I tell you what it is Kate," he exclaimed; "I've made up my mind! Aunt Matilda is not going to the alms house. I will support her myself!"

"Oh, that will be splendid!" cried Kate; "but you can never do it!"

"Yes, I can," said Harry... Continue reading book >>

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