All that was a great deal to have accomplished in one short week, but there was much more that would require their immediate attention.
Books, fishing, lectures, base-ball, French, pigeon-shooting, elocution, kites, composition, nutting, and the academy debating society; and the list of the future demands upon their time grew as they talked, until Ford exclaimed,—
“Hold on, boys: my brains won’t stand any more till after I’ve eaten a supply of fish.”
They ought all to have been able to think harder, after the next day’s breakfast and dinner; but the “corned beef” came on Monday, and with it, as usual, came corn in other forms. “The farm” had done well that year, with that particular crop; but so had all the other farms, east and west, and Mrs. Myers found her best market for her maize harvest at her own table. It would take a good while to dispose of what Dick had already shelled, and all she could do was to be liberal as to quantity. There was no fault to be found with her on that score, but Dabney did not ask for any more recipes to send home to his mother.
The second week was much longer than the first. Saturday came around very nearly in its own turn this time; but it brought with it such a storm of wind and rain as not only shut Green Pond out of all possible calculations, but kept the village green as well, clear of all boys.
It was a good time to write letters in, and those written were long ones; but they did not contain a solitary complaint of any thing the boys had yet discovered in or about Grantley.
“Hamilton,” said Mrs. Kinzer, after pondering a little over her letter when it came, “Dabney seems to be well satisfied.”
“Mrs. Foster says Ford and Frank are.”
“But I notice he doesn’t say any thing about his appetite. I do hope he isn’t losing it. He seems to be studying hard.”
“Dabney? Lose his appetite in less than two weeks? No, mother Kinzer, it would take him longer than that.”
It was just one week later that he showed her a part of a curious epistle he had himself received from Dab. It had evidently been written in a moment of what is called “confidence.”
“I tell you what, Ham,” he wrote, “mother doesn’t know what can be done with corn. Mrs. Myers does. She raised a heap of it, this year; and the things she turns it into would drive a cook-book crazy. I’ve been giving them Latin names; and Frank, he turns them into Hindustanee. It’s real fun sometimes, but I sha’n’t be the boy I was. I’m getting corned. My hair is silkier, and my voice is husky. My ears are growing. I’d like a few clams and some fish, once in a while, just for a change. A crab would taste wonderfully good. So would some oysters, and they don’t have any up here. We’ve had one good day’s fishing, since we came; but we had to go miles and miles after it. Now, don’t you tell mother we don’t get enough to eat. There’s plenty of it, and