Chapter 3

MeanwhileOldWhateleycontinuedtobuycattlewithoutmeasurablyincreasingthesizeofhisherd. Healsocuttimberandbegantorepairtheunusedpartsofhishouseaspacious,peak-roofedaffairwhoserearendwasburiedentirelyintherockyhillside,andwhosethreeleast-ruinedground-floorroomshadalwaysbeensufficientforhimselfandhisdaughter. 

Theremusthavebeenprodigiousreservesofstrengthintheoldmantoenablehimtoaccomplishsomuchhardlabour; andthoughhestillbabbleddementedlyattimes,hiscarpentryseemedtoshowtheeffectsofsoundcalculation. IthadalreadybegunassoonasWilburwasborn,whenoneofthemanytoolshedshadbeenputsuddenlyinorder,clapboarded,andfittedwithastoutfreshlock. Now,inrestoringtheabandonedupperstoreyofthehouse,hewasanolessthoroughcraftsman. Hismaniashoweditselfonlyinhistightboarding-upofallthewindowsinthereclaimedsectionthoughmanydeclaredthatitwasacrazythingtobotherwiththereclamationatall. 

Lessinexplicablewashisfittingupofanotherdownstairsroomforhisnewgrandsonaroomwhichseveralcallerssaw,thoughnoonewaseveradmittedtotheclosely-boardedupperstorey. Thischamberhelinedwithtall,firmshelving,alongwhichhebegangraduallytoarrange,inapparentlycarefulorder,alltherottingancientbooksandpartsofbookswhichduringhisowndayhadbeenheapedpromiscuouslyinoddcornersofthevariousrooms. 

‘Imadesomeuseof’em,’hewouldsayashetriedtomendatornblack-letterpagewithpastepreparedontherustykitchenstove,‘buttheboy’sfittentomakebetteruseof’em. He’dorterhev’emaswellsoashekin,forthey’regoin’tobeallofhislarnin’.’ 

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