Just David PDF Book by Eleanor H. Porter


Click here to Download Just David PDF Book by Eleanor H. Porter English having PDF Size 1.4 MB and No of Pages 125.

Far up on the mountain-side the little shack stood alone in the clearing. It was roughly yet warmly built. Behind it jagged cliffs broke the north wind, and towered gray-white in the sunshine. Before it a tiny expanse of green sloped gently away to a point where the mountain dropped in another sharp descent, wooded with scrubby firs and pines. At the left a footpath led into the cool depths of the forest.

Just David PDF Book by Eleanor H. Porter

Name of Book Just David
Author Eleanor H. Porter
PDF Size 1.4 MB
No of Pages 125
Language  English
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But at the right the mountain fell away again and disclosed to view the picture David loved the best of all: the far-reaching valley; the silver pool of the lake with its ribbon of a river flung far out; and above it the grays and greens and purples of the mountains that climbed one upon another’s shoulders until the topmost thrust their heads into the wide dome of the sky itself.

There was no road, apparently, leading away from the cabin. There was only the footpath that disappeared into the forest. Neither, anywhere, was there a house in sight nearer than the white specks far down in the valley by the river. Within the shack a wide fireplace dominated one side of the main room.

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It was June now, and the ashes lay cold on the hearth; but from the tiny lean-to in the rear came the smell and the sputter of bacon sizzling over a blaze. The furnishings of the room were simple, yet, in a way, out of the common. There were two bunks, a few rude but comfortable chairs, a table, two music-racks, two violins with their cases, and everywhere books, and scattered sheets of music.

Nowhere was there cushion, curtain, or knickknack that told of a woman’s taste or touch. On the other hand, neither was there anywhere gun, pelt, or antlered head that spoke of a man’s strength and skill. For decoration there were a beautiful copy of the Sistine Madonna, several photographs signed with names well known out in the great world beyond the mountains.

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And a festoon of pine cones such as a child might gather and hang. From the little lean-to kitchen the sound of the sputtering suddenly ceased, and at the door appeared a pair of dark, wistful eyes. “Daddy!” called the owner of the eyes. There was no answer. “Father, are you there?” called the voice, more insistently. From one of the bunks came a slight stir and a murmured word.

At the sound the boy at the door leaped softly into the room and hurried to the bunk in the corner. He was a slender lad with short, crisp curls at his ears, and the red of perfect health in his cheeks. His hands, slim, long, and with tapering fingers like a girl’s, reached forward eagerly. “Daddy, come! I’ve done the bacon all myself, and the potatoes and the coffee, too.

Quick, it’s all getting cold!” Slowly, with the aid of the boy’s firm hands, the man pulled himself half to a sitting posture. His cheeks, like the boy’s, were red—but not with health. His eyes were a little wild, but his voice was low and very tender, like a caress. “David—it’s my little son David!” “Of course it’s David! Who else should it be?” laughed the boy. Just David PDF Book

“Come!” And he tugged at the man’s hands. The man rose then, unsteadily, and by sheer will forced himself to stand upright. The wild look left his eyes, and the flush his cheeks. His face looked suddenly old and haggard. Yet with fairly sure steps he crossed the room and entered the little kitchen. Half of the bacon was black; the other half was transparent and like tough jelly.

The potatoes were soggy, and had the unmistakable taste that comes from a dish that has boiled dry. The coffee was lukewarm and muddy. Even the milk was sour. David laughed a little ruefully. “Things aren’t so nice as yours, father,” he apologized. “I’m afraid I’m nothing but a discord in that orchestra to-day!

Somehow, some of the stove was hotter than the rest, and burnt up the bacon in spots; and all the water got out of the potatoes, too,—though THAT didn’t matter, for I just put more cold in. I forgot and left the milk in the sun, and it tastes bad now; but I’m sure next time it’ll be better—all of it.” Just David PDF Book

It was a scarcely perceptible trail, but the man found it, and followed it with evident confidence. There was only the pause now and then to steady his none-too-sure step, or to ease the burden of the bag. Very soon the forest lay all about them, with the birds singing over their heads, and with numberless tiny feet scurrying through the underbrush on all sides.

Just out of sight a brook babbled noisily of its delight in being alive; and away up in the treetops the morning sun played hide-and-seek among the dancing leaves. And David leaped, and laughed, and loved it all, nor was any of it strange to him. The birds, the trees, the sun, the brook, the scurrying little creatures of the forest, all were friends of his.

But the man—the man did not leap or laugh, though he, too, loved it all. The man was afraid. He knew now that he had undertaken more than he could carry out. Step by step the bag had grown heavier, and hour by hour the insistent, teasing pain in his side had increased until now it was a torture. Just David PDF Book

He had forgotten that the way to the valley was so long; he had not realized how nearly spent was his strength before he even started down the trail. Throbbing through his brain was the question, what if, after all, he could not—but even to himself he would not say the words. At noon they paused for luncheon, and at night they camped where the chattering brook had stopped to rest in a still, black pool.

The next morning the man and the boy picked up the trail again, but without the bag. Under some leaves in a little hollow, the man had hidden the bag, and had then said, as if casually:— “I believe, after all, I won’t carry this along. There’s nothing in it that we really need, you know, now that I’ve taken out the luncheon box, and by night we’ll be down in the valley.”

“Of course!” laughed David. “We don’t need that.” And he laughed again, for pure joy. Little use had David for bags or baggage! They were more than halfway down the mountain now, and soon they reached a grassgrown road, little traveled, but yet a road. Still later they came to where four ways crossed, and two of them bore the marks of many wheels. Just David PDF Book Download

By sundown the little brook at their side murmured softly of quiet fields and meadows, and David knew that the valley was reached. David was not laughing now. He was watching his father with startled eyes. David had not known what anxiety was. He was finding out now—though he but vaguely realized that something was not right.

For some time his father had said but little, and that little had been in a voice that was thick and unnatural-sounding. He was walking fast, yet David noticed that every step seemed an effort, and that every breath came in short gasps. His eyes were very bright, and were fixedly bent on the road ahead, as if even the haste he was making was not haste enough.

Twice David spoke to him, but he did not answer; and the boy could only trudge along on his weary little feet and sigh for the dear home on the mountain-top which they had left behind them the morning before. They met few fellow travelers, and those they did meet paid scant attention to the man and the boy carrying the violins. Just David PDF Book Download

As it chanced, there was no one in sight when the man, walking in the grass at the side of the road, stumbled and fell heavily to the ground. “No, I—I wa’n’t here—that is, not at the first,” spoke up the man quickly, still unconsciously backing away. “Me—I’m only Larson, Perry Larson, ye know. ‘T was Mr. Holly you see last night—him that I works for.”

“Then, where is Mr. Holly, please?” faltered the boy, hurrying toward the barn door. “Maybe he would know—about father. Oh, there he is!” And David ran out of the barn and across the yard to the kitchen porch. It was an unhappy ten minutes that David spent then. Besides Mr. Holly, there were Mrs. Holly, and the man, Perry Larson.

And they all talked. But little of what they said could David understand. To none of his questions could he obtain an answer that satisfied. Neither, on his part, could he seem to reply to their questions in a way that pleased them. They went in to breakfast then, Mr. and Mrs. Holly, and the man, Perry Larson. They asked David to go—at least, Mrs. Holly asked him. Just David PDF Book Download

But David shook his head and said “No, no, thank you very much; I’d rather not, if you please—not now.” Then he dropped himself down on the steps to think. As if he could EAT—with that great choking lump in his throat that refused to be swallowed! David was thoroughly dazed, frightened, and dismayed. He knew now that never again in this world would he see his dear father, or hear him speak.

This much had been made very clear to him during the last ten minutes. Why this should be so, or what his father would want him to do, he could not seem to find out. Not until now had he realized at all what this going away of his father was to mean to him. And he told himself frantically that he could not have it so. HE COULD NOT HAVE IT SO!

But even as he said the words, he knew that it was so—irrevocably so. David began then to long for his mountain home. There at least he would have his dear forest all about him, with the birds and the squirrels and the friendly little brooks. There he would have his Silver Lake to look at, too, and all of them would speak to him of his father. Just David PDF Book Download

He believed, indeed, that up there it would almost seem as if his father were really with him. And, anyway, if his father ever should come back, it would be there that he would be sure to seek him—up there in the little mountain home so dear to them both. Back to the cabin he would go now, then. Yes; indeed he would!

With a low word and a passionately intent expression, David got to his feet, picked up his violin, and hurried, firm-footed, down the driveway and out upon the main highway, turning in the direction from whence he had come with his father the night before. The Hollys had just finished breakfast when Higgins.

The coroner, drove into the yard accompanied by William Streeter, the town’s most prominent farmer,—and the most miserly one, if report was to be credited. “Well, could you get anything out of the boy?” demanded Higgins, without ceremony, as Simeon Holly and Larson appeared on the kitchen porch. Just David PDF Book Free

The dead man found in Farmer Holly’s barn created a decided stir in the village of Hinsdale. The case was a peculiar one for many reasons. First, because of the boy— Hinsdale supposed it knew boys, but it felt inclined to change its mind after seeing this one. Second, because of the circumstances.

The boy and his father had entered the town like tramps, yet Higgins, who talked freely of his having given the pair a “lift” on that very evening, did not hesitate to declare that he did not believe them to be ordinary tramps at all. As there had been little found in the dead man’s pockets, save the two notes.

And as nobody could be found who wanted the violins, there seemed to be nothing to do but to turn the body over to the town for burial. Nothing was said of this to David; indeed, as little as possible was said to David about anything after that morning when Higgins had given him his father’s letter. At that time the men had made one more effort to “get track of SOMETHING,” as Higgins had despairingly put it. Just David PDF Book Free

But the boy’s answers to their questions were anything but satisfying, anything but helpful, and were often most disconcerting. The boy was, in fact, regarded by most of the men, after that morning, as being “a little off”; and was hence let severely alone. Who the man was the town authorities certainly did not know, neither could they apparently find out.

His name, as written by himself, was unreadable. His notes told nothing; his son could tell little more—of consequence. A report, to be sure, did come from the village, far up the mountain, that such a man and boy had lived in a hut that was almost inaccessible; but even this did not help solve the mystery.

David was left at the Holly farmhouse, though Simeon Holly mentally declared that he should lose no time in looking about for some one to take the boy away. On that first day Higgins, picking up the reins preparatory to driving from the yard, had said, with a nod of his head toward David:— “Well, how about it, Holly? Just David PDF Book Free

Shall we leave him here till we find somebody that wants him?” “Why, y—yes, I suppose so,” hesitated Simeon Holly, with uncordial accent. But his wife, hovering in the background, hastened forward at once. “Oh, yes; yes, indeed,” she urged. “I’m sure he—he won’t be a mite of trouble, Simeon.” “Perhaps not,” conceded Simeon Holly darkly. “Neither, it is safe to say, will he be anything else—worth anything.”