Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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The first fifteen minutes or half hour are given to reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or “Kidnapped,” while we all sit about the stove to keep warm. Usually in the middle of a reading the sound of a horse galloping down the frozen road distracts the attention of the boys, until a few moments later six-foot George opens the door, a sack of oats in one hand, his lunch tied up in a dish rag in the other. Cold from his five-mile ride, he sits down on the floor by the stove, unbuckles his spurs, pulls off his leather chaps, drops his hat, unwinds two or three red handkerchiefs from about his neck and ears, takes off one or two coats, according to the temperature, unbuttons his zakelijke energie vergelijken vest and straightens his leather cuffs. At last he is ready for business.
Sandford is the largest scholar, six feet, big, slow in the school room, careful of every move of his big hands and feet. His voice is subdued and full of awe as he calls me “ma’am.” Outside while we play chickens he is another person-there is room for his bigness. Next largest of the boys is Otto Schlicting, thin and dark, a strange combination of shrewdness and stupidity. His problems always prove, whether they are right or not! He is a boaster, too, tries to make a big impression. But there is something very attractive about him. I was showing his little sister how to add and subtract by making little lines and adding or crossing off others. Later I found on the back of Otto’s papers hundreds and hundreds of little lines-trying to add that way as far as a hundred evidently. He is nearly fifteen and studying division. . . . Arithmetic is the zakelijke energie family failing. “How many eights in ninetysix?” I ask him. He thinks for a long time. Finally he says-with such a winsome smile that I wish with all my heart it were true-“Two.” ‘What feeds the cells in your body?” I ask him. He thinks. He says, “I guess it’s vinegar.” He has no idea of form. His maps of North America on the board are all like turnips.

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