“It’s all corners,” he said, as Felicia caught him to brush him off, “and steps. Two steps down and one up, and just when you aren’t ’specting it.”
“You’d better go easy,” Ken counseled, “until you’ve had a personally conducted tour. You’ll break your neck.”
“I’m being careful. And I know already about this door. There’s a kink in the wall and then a hump in the floor-boards just before you get there. It’s an exciting house.”
“That it is!” said Ken, reaching with a forked stick for the handle of the galvanized iron pail which sat upon the fire. Nobody ever heard of boiling eggs in a galvanized iron pail but that is exactly what the Sturgises did. The pail, in an excellent state of preservation, had been found in the woodshed. The pump yielded, unhesitatingly, any amount of delicious cold water, and though three eggs did look surprisingly small in the bottom of the pail, they boiled quite as well as if they’d been in a saucepan.
“Only think of all the kettles and things I brought!” Felicia mourned. “We’ll have to buy some plates and cups, though, Ken.” Most of the Sturgis china was reposing in a well-packed barrel in a room over Mr. Dodge’s garage, accompanied by many other things for which their owners longed.
“How the dickens do we capture the eggs!” Ken demanded. “Pigs in clover’s not in it. Lend a hand, Phil!”
THE WHEELS BEGIN TO TURN
Ken walked to Asquam almost immediately after breakfast, and Felicia explored their new abode most thoroughly, inside and out. Corners and steps there were in plenty, as Kirk had said; it seemed as if the house had been built in several pieces and patched together. Two biggish rooms downstairs, besides the kitchen; a large, built-in, white-doored closet in the living-room,—quite jolly, Felicia thought,—rusty nails driven in unbelievable quantities in all the walls. She couldn’t imagine how any one could have wanted to hang anything in some of the queer places where nails sprouted, and she longed to get at them with a claw-hammer.
Upstairs there was one big room (for Ken and Kirk, Phil thought), a little one for herself, and what she immediately named “The Poke-Hole” for trunks and such things. When Mother came home, as come she must, the extra downstairs room could be fitted up for her, Felicia decided—or the boys could take it over for themselves. The upstairs rooms were all under the eaves, and, at present, were hot and musty. Felicia pounded open the windows which had small, old-fashioned panes, somewhat lacking in putty. In came the good April air fresh after the murk of yesterday, and smelling of salt, and heathy grass, and spring. It summoned Felicia peremptorily, and she ran downstairs and out to look at the “ten acres of land, peach and apple orchards.”
Kirk went, too, his hand in hers.