“Sorry,” I echoed, tearfully; “why, it’s breaking my heart to leave this cozy little collar box of a home and go into a great large country house full of—of—of rooms, and—er—and windows, and—er—and—er—piazzas, and—and—and cows and things like that.”
“Of course we wouldn’t have to keep the cow in the house,” she said, thoughtfully.
“Oh, no,” I said, “that’s the point. There would be a barn, and you haven’t any idea how dangerous barns are. They are the curse of country life, barns are.”
“Well, then, John, why did you buy the cow?” she inquired, and I went up and punched a hole in the plaster.
Why did I buy the cow? Was there a cow? Had Bunch ever mentioned a cow to me? Come to think of it he hadn’t and there I was cooking trouble over a slow fire.
When I came to she was saying quietly, “Besides, I think I’d rather have a milkman than a cow. Milkmen swear a lot and cheat sometimes but as a rule they are more trustworthy than cows, and they very seldom chase anybody. Couldn’t you turn the barn into a gymnasium or something?”
“Dearie,” I said, trying my level best to get a mist over my lamps so as to give her the teardrop gaze, “something keeps whispering to me, ‘Sidestep that cave in the wilderness!’ Something keeps telling me that a month on the farm will put a crimp in our happiness, and that the moment we move into a home in the tall grass ill luck will get up and put the boots to our wedded bliss.”
Then I gave an imitation of a choking sob which sounded for all the world like the last dying shriek of a bathtub when the water is busy leaving it.
“Nonsense, John!” laughed Clara J.; “it’s only natural that you regret leaving our first home, but after one day in the country you’ll be happy as a king.”
“Make it a deuce,” I muttered; “a dirty deuce at that.”
“Now,” she said, joyfully; “I’m going to cook your breakfast. This may be your very last breakfast in a city apartment for months, maybe years, so I’m going to cook it myself. I’ve got every trunk packed—haven’t I worked hard? Get up, you lazy boy!” and with this she danced out of the room.
Every trunk packed! Did she intend taking them with her, and if she did how could I stop her?
Back to the woods!
I began to feel like a street just before they put the asphalt down.
For some time I lay there with my brain huddled up in one corner of my head, fluttering and frightened.
Presently an insistent scratch-r-r-r-r aroused me and I began to sit up and notice things.
The things I noticed consisted chiefly of Tacks and the kitchen carving knife. The former was seated on the floor laboriously engineering the latter in an endeavor to produce a large arrow-pierced heart on the polished panel of the bedroom door.
“What’s the idea?” I inquired.
“I’m farewelling the place,” he answered, mournfully. “They’s only two more doors to farewell after I get this one finished. Ain’t hearts awful hard to drawr just right, ’specially when the knife slips!”