Here’s something from a book called “Ishmael” by DEN Southworth-——
As to what brought me back to the neighborhood, Hannah, it was to do some business for the judge, and to buy some stock for the farm. But there, my dear! that boy has slipped out, and is cutting the wood; I’ll go and do it for him,” said Reuben, as the sound of Ishmael’s ax fell upon his ears.
Hannah arose and followed Gray to the door, and there before it stood Ishmael, chopping away at random, upon the pile of wood, his cheeks flushed with fever and his eyes wild with excitement.
“Hannah, he is ill; he is very ill; he doesn’t well know what he is about,” said Reuben, taking the ax from the boy’s hand.
“Ishmael, Ishmael, my lad, come in; you are not well enough to work,” said Hannah anxiously.
He was an English major... that makes some sense, I think.