Ury stayed by us a spell, but as the deep hollow noise strengthened to a loud roar, accompanied by a strange rushin’, gurglin’ sound, comin’ nearer and nearer, he seized Philury by the arm and rushed her outdoors through the snow, not stoppin’ till they got to the barn, then he leggo of her and stood in the barn door to reconnoiter. It wuz a awful and skairful seen. I couldn’t blame Ury, but like Sara of old, I felt that I must stay by my stuff, and Rosy and Karen hung to each other, and both hung onto me, all on us tremblin’ like three popple leaves.
Finally, jest as the three men come hurryin’ back into the room to rescue or die with us I spoze, the boilin’ water gin a louder, angrier roar, and riz up out of the tank three feet into the air and poured and steamed and deluged all over the floor. Well wuz it I took up the carpet. But Josiah Allen, to prove he feared no danger, had insisted on leavin’ the dressin’ gown he worshipped hangin’ up in the clothes press where the tank wuz. Alas! alas! as he brung it out drippin’ and steamin’ from the fiery bath, where wuz the once gay colors? Them tossels and red palm leaves on yeller ground that had so lately been the light of his eyes and desire of his heart? Who could tell which wuz palm leaves and which wuz yeller ground? And as for the red tossels, their glory had departed forever. Josiah groaned aloud as he bore it out leavin’ a watery wake of red and yeller all the way to the kitchen, where I follered him and told him, so strong is woman’s love in the hour of trouble, “Dear Josiah, I am sorry for you, but I told you jest how it would be.”
He dashed it onto the floor and hollered out, “You didn’t tell me nothin’ about it! you never said the word dressin’ gown! and I’d like to know what you’re sorry about, it is nothin’, only a valve has bust or sunthin’.”
“Yes,” sez I sadly, “I guess it is a sunthin’.” Here he kicked aginst the suller door so hard one of the panels has been shaky to this day, and run down there, Jabez follerin’ him, while I seized a dipper and a twelve quart pail and hurried up to the flooded deestrick, which we commenced to bail out like a sinkin’ boat, Royal, Karen and Rosy helpin’ me, and Ury havin’ his first fears squenched by the overflow of water (which he expected he said would blow off the hull ruff and top story of the house), he and Philury laid to and helped.
Well, Jabez said it wuz the sudden change from cold to hot water that had caused the overflow, so we put the biler on the kitchen stove and the caldron kettle in the woodhouse, and het water bilin’ hot and filled the empty tank, Josiah groanin’ loud as he lugged it up and sayin’ when he thought I didn’t hear him, “Oh, gracious Heavens! is this two pails a year?”