Added 1975-09-07 02:48:19
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Chuen Yan Yau
Three Young Knights
Post Date:
2016-10-28 02:48:19

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The last wisp of hay was in the Eddy mows. “Come on!” shouted Jot.
“Here she goes—hip, hip, hoo-ray!”

“Hoor-a-ay!” echoed Kent. But of course Old Tilly took it calmly. He planted his brown hands pocket-deep and his bare, brown legs wide apart, and surveyed the splendid, bursting mows with honest pride.

“Yes, sir, that’s the finest lot o’ hay in Hexham county; beat it if you can, sir!” he said approvingly. Then, being ready, he caught off his own hat and cheered, too.

“Hold on, you chaps; give the old man a chance to holler with you!” Father Eddy’s big, hearty voice cried above the din, and there was the flaring, sun-browned “wide-awake” swinging with the other hats.

“Hooray for the best hay in town! Hooray for the smartest team o’ boys!
Hooray for lib-er-tee!”

“Hooray! Hooray!”

They were all of them out of breath and red in the face, but how they cheered! Liberty—that was something to cheer for! After planting-time and haying, hurrah for liberty!

The din softened gradually. With a sweep of his arm, father gathered all the boys in a laughing heap before him.

“Well,” he said, “what next? Who’s going to celebrate? I’m done with you for a fortnight. I’m going to hire Esau Whalley to milk and do the chores, and send you small chaps about your business. You’ve earned your holiday. And I don’t know but it’s as good a time as any to settle up. Pay day’s as good one day as another.”

He drew out a little tight roll of bills and sorted out three five-dollar notes gravely. The boys’ eyes began to shine. Father ‘most always paid them, after haying, but—five dollars apiece! Old Tilly pursed his lips and whistled softly. Kent nudged Jot.

[Illustration: He sorted out three five-dollar notes gravely.]

“There you are! You needn’t mind about giving receipts!” Father Eddy said matter-of-factly, but his gray eyes were a-twinkle under their cliffs of gray brows. He was exulting quietly in the delight he could read in the three round, brown faces. Good boys—yes, sir—all of them! Wasn’t their beat in Hexham county—no, sir! Nor yet in Marylebone county or Winnipeg!

“Now, on with you—scatter!” he laughed. “Mother and I are going to mill to celebrate! When you’ve decided what you’re going to do, send a committee o’ three to let us know. Mind, you can celebrate any way you want to that’s sensible.”

The boys waited till the tall, stoop-shouldered figure had gone back into the dim, hay-scented barn, then with one accord the din began again.

“Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray for father!”

“Father! father! hoo-ray!”




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