later on. Stephen had placed it well back from the road, leaving space
in front for what was to be a most wonderful arrangement of flower-beds,
yet keeping a strip at the back, on the river-brink, for a small
vegetable garden. There had been a house there years before--so many
years that the blackened ruins were entirely overgrown; but a few elms
and an old apple-orchard remained to shade the new dwelling and give
welcome to the coming inmates.
Stephen had fifteen hundred dollars in bank, he could turn his hand to
almost anything, and his love was so deep that Rose's plumb-line had
never sounded bottom; accordingly he was able, with the help of two
steady workers, to have the roof on before the first of November. The
weather was clear and fine, and by Thanksgiving clapboards, shingles,
two coats of brown paint, and even the blinds had all been added. This
exhibition of reckless energy on Stephen's part did not wholly commend
itself to the neighborhood.
"Steve's too turrible spry," said Rose's grandfather; "he'll trip
himself up some o' these times."
"You never will," remarked his better half, sagely.
"The resks in life come along fast enough, without runnin' to meet 'em,"
continued the old man. "There's good dough in Rose, but it ain't more'n
half riz. Let somebody come along an' drop in a little more yeast, or
set the dish a little mite nearer the stove, an' you'll see what'll
"Steve's kept house for himself some time, an' I guess he knows more
about bread-makin' than you do."
"There don't nobody know more'n I do about nothin', when my pipe's
drawin' real good an' nobody's thornin' me to go to work," replied Mr.
Wiley; "but nobody's willin' to take the advice of a man that's seen the
world an' lived in large places, an' the risin' generation is in a
turrible hurry. I don' know how 't is: young folks air allers settin'
the clock forrard an' the old ones puttin' it back."
"Did you ketch anything for dinner when you was out this mornin'?" asked
his wife. "No, I fished an' fished, till I was about ready to drop, an'
I did git a few shiners, but land, they wa'n't as big as the worms I was
ketchin' 'em with, so I pitched 'em back in the water an' quit."
During the progress of these remarks Mr. Wiley opened the door under the
sink, and from beneath a huge iron pot drew a round tray loaded with a
glass pitcher and half a dozen tumblers, which he placed carefully on
the kitchen table.
"This is the last day's option I've got on this lemonade-set," he said,
"an' if I'm goin'to Biddeford to-morrer I've got to make up my mind here
With this observation he took off his shoes, climbed in his stocking
feet to the vantage ground of a kitchen chair, and lifted a stone china
pitcher from a corner of the highest cupboard shelf where it had been
"This lemonade's gittin' kind o' dusty," he complained, "I cal'lated toDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>