“Well,” said Uncle Daniel next day, “we are going to have a very poor crop of apples this year, so I think we had better have some cider made from the early fruit. Harry and Bert, you can help John if you like, and take a load of apples to the cider mill to-day to be ground.”
The boys willingly agreed to help John, for they liked that sort of work, especially Bert, to whom it was new.
“We’ll take the red astrachans and sheepnoses to-day,” John said. “Those trees over there are loaded, you see. Then there are the orange apples in the next row; they make good cider.”
The early apples were very plentiful, and it took scarcely any time to make up a load and start off for the cider mill.
“Old Bennett who runs the mill is a queer chap,” Harry told Bert going over; “he’s a soldier, and he’ll be sure to quiz you on history.”
“I like old soldiers,” Bert declared; “if they do talk a lot, they’ve got a lot to talk about.”
John said that was true, and he agreed that old Ben Bennett was an interesting talker.
“Here we are,” said Harry, as they pulled up before a kind of barn. Old Ben sat outside on his wooden bench.
“Hello, Ben,” they called out together, “we’re bringing you work early this year.”
“So much the better,” said the old soldier; “There’s nothing like work to keep a fellow young.”
“Well, you see,” went on John, “we can’t count on any late apples this year, so, as we must have cider, we thought that we had better make hay while the sun shines.”