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  • Come on, and bring your friend with you. is that Archibald with you? I. saw him come by today. I think he got a new gun too, and wanted to show off. I told him I expected you home any minute, but he said he couldn't stay. You know your supposed be back before supper.
  • Joyce Khafif Chapter. 25
  • My name is Early Auden. I'm on a quest.
  • Usually, Martin brings home stray cats and dogs, and occasionally a stray boy. let's do our introductions, I'm Eustasia Johannsen.
  • She's not my grandma, Early. And I'm not Martin. She's mistaking me for someone else.
  • Then why are his clothes here?
  • At least we can dry off until she figures out we're not who she thinks we are. She's old, and she probably has a great-great-grandson who lives nearby.
  • Is that your grandma? I didn't know your real name is Martin.
  • Early and Jack are in the woods and they hear some old women calling her sons name and she thinks that Jack is her son. She gives them blankets to dry off from the rain. Then they get inside her house.
  • Early?
  • Okay. I have a question, It's like a story problem in math. if Martin Johannsen bought a new 1894 Winchester rifle, wears old-fashioned clothes that fit you and me, and has unfinished homework from an eighth-grade primer, how old would he be?
  • It depends. When he bought the rifle new, it would have been in 1894, and if he was in eighth grade, he'd have to been around 13. So he'd have been born 1881, and if he was still alive today he'd be 64.
  • Yes.
  • They all get inside and they introduce themselves to each other. Mrs. Johannesen tells them to go change and get ready for dinner. They both go get changed in Martin's room.
  • All the neighbors have been so worried. They kept trying to tell me that something must have happened to Martin because he'd been gone so long. But I said no. I knew you'd come back, Martin. I told them.
  • Digging? For what?
  • Early and Jack go to Martin's room and change to dry clothes. They look around the room and find articles and unfinished homework. Everything is very old, but still clean and tidy. While Early was talking about jam, Jack stopped listening and found a picture in the catalog about an 1894 Winchester Short-Barrel Carbine Rifle.
  • Shh.
  • Martin will be coming home soon. I'd better fix his supper. He's always hungry was a bear when he gets back.
  • But she's not dead. You can't just decide one day that you're ready to die and have it happen.
  • Yes. It's digging a grave for a women who's not even dead yet.
  • Early, Early.
  • So, Jack was trying to figure out Martin's age, and he is about 64 today. their still thinking how come he still has their size in clothes and Mrs. Jaohannsen said he'd gone off hunting this morning with his new rifle and there's no rifle in his room. Then Mrs. Johannsen calls them done for dinner while there still thinking deeply.
  • Let's go eat.
  • Early and Jack go to eat and sit by the table with Mrs. Johannsen. Early starts the conversation and Mrs. Johannsen was answering his questions. Then she was telling Jack what she was told by people when Martin was on his quest. She said this with tears. After dinner she tells them they have to dig a grave for her death since "Martin" is back home.
  • Now, finish up your supper, and the two of you can go out snd start digging.
  • You're not digging to find something. I've been ready to let go of this life for a good long while. Neighbors and kin have been telling me , Eustasia, you've got to let go.But I couldn't. Not until my Martin came home. Now that he's back, I'm ready to die.
  • Jack and Early are by the sycamore tree digging a grave for Mrs. Johannsen. The two of them are having a back and forth conversation and Jack is still shocked that Early is still thinking that he's her son, Martin, but Jack is not her son. Mrs. Johannsen thinks that Martin is back , but he is really not and he's keeping her body alive until he comes home for supper. Mrs. Johannsen came to see what the boys were doing and heard their whole conversation.
  • What? Is something wrong with your shovel?
  •  I know she's not dead ye. But she's ready.
  • Mrs. Johannsen, I-
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