This little work, with its companion, _Jonas On A Farm In Summer_,
is intended as the continuation of a series, the first two volumes
of which, _Jonas's Stories_ and _Jonas A Judge_, have already been
published. They are all designed, not merely to interest and amuse
the juvenile reader, but to give him instruction, by exemplifying
the principles of honest integrity, and plain practical good sense,
in their application to the ordinary circumstances of childhood.
Commanding And Obeying
Signs Of A Storm
The Snow Fort, Or Good For Evil
Early one winter morning, while Jonas was living upon the farm, in the
employment of Oliver's father, he came groping down, just before
daylight, into the great room.
The great room was, as its name indicated, quite large, occupying a
considerable portion of the lower floor of the farmer's house. There was
a very spacious fireplace in one side, with a settle, which was a long
seat, with a very high back, near it. The room was used both for kitchen
and parlor, and there was a great variety of furniture in different
parts of it. There were chairs and tables, a bookcase with a desk below,
a loom in one corner by a window, and a spinning-wheel near it. Then,
there were a great many doors. One led out into the back yard, one up
stairs, one into a back room,- -which was used for coarse work, and which
was generally called the kitchen,- -and one into a large store closet
adjoining the great room.
Jonas groped his way down stairs; but as soon as he opened the great
room door, he found the room filled with a flickering light, which came
from the fireplace. There was a log there, which had been buried in the
ashes the night before. It had burned slowly, through the night, and the
fire had broken out at one end, which now glowed like a furnace, and
illuminated the whole room with a faint red light.
Jonas went up towards the fire. The hearth was very large, and formed of
great, flat stones. On one side of it was a large heap of wood, which
Jonas had prepared the night before, to be ready for his fire. On the
other side was a black cat asleep, with her chin upon her paws. When the
cat heard Jonas coming, she rose up, stretched out her fore paws, and
then began to purr, rubbing her cheeks against the bottom of the settle.
"Good morning, Darco," said Jonas. "It is time to get up."
The cat's name was Darco.
Jonas took a pair of heavy iron tongs, which stood by the side of the
fire, and pulled forward the log. He found that it had burned through,
and by three or four strokes with the tongs, he broke it up into large
fragments of coal, of a dark-reddish color. The air being thus admitted,
they soon began to brighten and crackle, until, in a few minutes, there
was before him a large heap of glowing and burning coals. He put a log
on behind, then placed the andirons up to the log, and a great forestick
upon the andirons. He placed the forestick so far out as to leave a
considerable space between it and the backlog, and then he put the coals
up into this space,- -having first put in a slender stick, resting upon
the andirons, to keep the coals from falling through. He then placed on
a great deal more wood, and he soon had a roaring fire, which crackled
loud, and blazed up into the chimney.
"Now for my lantern," said Jonas.
So saying, he took down a lantern, which hung by the side of the fire.
The lantern was made of tin, with holes punched through it on all sides,
so as to allow the light to shine through; and yet the holes were not
large enough to admit the wind, to blow out the light.
Jonas opened the lantern, and took out a short candle from the socket
within. Just as he was lighting it, the door opened, and Amos came in.
"Ah, Jonas," said he, "you are before me, as usual."
"Why, the youngest hand makes the fire, of course," said Jonas.
"Then it ought to be Oliver," said Amos,- -"or else Josey."
"There! I promised to wake Oliver up," said Jonas.
"O, he's awake; and he and Josey are coming down. They have found out
that there is snow on the ground."
"Is there much snow?" asked Jonas.
"I don't know," said Amos; "the ground seems pretty well covered. If
there is enough to make sledding, you are going after wood to-day."
"And what are you going to do?" said Jonas.
"I am going up among the pines to get out the barn frame, I believe."
Here a door opened, and Oliver came in, followed by Josey shivering
with the cold, and in great haste to get to the fire.
"Didn't your father say," said Amos to Oliver, "that he was going with
me to-day, to get out the timber for the barn frame?"
"Yes," said Oliver, "he is going to build a great barn next summer. But
I'm going up into the woods with Jonas, to haul wood. There's plenty of
"I'd go too," said Josey, "if it wasn't so cold."
"It won't be cold in the woods," said Jonas. "There's no wind in the
While they had been talking thus, Jonas had got his lantern ready, and
had gone to the door, and stood there a minute, ready to go out.
"Jonas," said Josey, "are you going out into the barn?"
"Yes," said Jonas.
"Wait a minute, then, for me, just till I put on my other boot."
Jonas waited a minute, according to Josey's request, and then they all
went out together.
They found the snow pretty deep, all over the yard, but they waded
through it to the barn. They had to go through a gate, which led them
into the barn-yard. From the barn-yard they entered the barn itself, by
a small door near one corner.
There were two great doors in the middle of the barn, made so large
that, when they were opened, there was space enough for a large load of
hay to go in. Opposite these doors there was a space floored over with
plank, pretty wide, and extending through the barn to the back side.
This was called the barn floor. On one side was a place divided off for
stables for the horses, and on the other side was the _tie-up_, a place
for the oxen and cows. There was also the bay, and the lofts for hay and
grain; and at the end of the tie-up there was a door leading into a
calf-pen, and thence, by a passage behind the calf-pen, to a work-shop
and shed. The small door where the boys came in, led to a long and
narrow passage, between the tie-up and the bay.
This ebook is in PDF format and is viewable on most computers. All you need is Adobe Reader which is available for free and already on most computers.