“How long shall we have to stay here?” asked Marco.
“Only till to-morrow,” said Forester. “Another stage will come along to-morrow. We can stop just as well as not, as we are in no haste to get home. Besides, I should like to have you see something of the operations of a great grass farm.”
Marco and Forester went into the house, and were ushered into a large room, which seemed to be both sitting-room and kitchen. A large round table was set in the middle of the floor, for supper. A monstrous dog was lying under it, with his chin resting upon his paws. There was a great settle in one corner, by the side of the fire. There were chairs also, with straight backs and seats of basket-work, a spinning-wheel, an open cupboard, and various other similar objects, which, being so different from the articles of furniture which Marco had been accustomed to see in the New York parlors, attracted his attention very strongly. Marco went and took his seat upon the settle, and the dog rose and came to him. The dog gazed into his face with an earnest look of inquiry, which plainly said, “Who are you?” while Marco patted him on the head, thereby answering as plainly, “A friend.” The dog, perfectly understanding the answer, seemed satisfied, and, turning away, went back to his place again under the table.
[Illustration: Who are you?]
One of the farmer’s young men carried the trunks into a little bed-room, which opened from the great room; and then the farmer sat down and began to enter into conversation with Forester and Marco about their accident. Forester told him also about the sailor, who had tumbled off the coach a mile or two back, and been left behind. Forester said that he should like to know whether he was hurt much. Then the farmer said that he would let him take a horse and wagon the next morning and ride back and inquire. This plan was therefore agreed upon. Marco and Forester ate a good supper with the farmer’s family, and then spent the evening in talking, and telling stories about horses, and sagacious dogs, and about catching wild animals in the woods with traps. About nine o’clock the family all assembled for evening prayers. After prayers Marco and Forester went to bed in their little bed-room, where they slept soundly till morning.
In the morning they were both awakened by the crowing of the cocks, at an early hour. They also heard movements in the house and in the yard before sunrise; so they arose and dressed themselves, and after attending to their morning devotions together in their room, a duty which Forester never omitted, they went out. Marco was very much interested in the morning occupations of the farm. There was the milking of the cows, and the feeding of the various animals, and the pitching off a load of corn, which had been got in the evening before and allowed to stand on the cart, on the barn-floor, over night. The cows were then to be driven to