“We has some merlasses now,” one of the women told me, proudly. “Th’ little bye he be allers a puttin’ some on bread an’ leavin’ it on th’ cheers.”
Daddy is calling me, so good by for the present. I am so glad the people of Sweetapple Cove interest you.
From Miss Helen Jelliffe to Miss Jane Van Zandt
Would you believe that the time here flies at least as fast as in New York during Horse-Show week, although one gets to bed earlier. I am beginning actually to enjoy this place, strange as it may seem. Had it not been for poor Daddy’s accident I should have been the most contented thing you ever saw. He sends his love and says I’ve just got to learn stenography and type-writing so that when he breaks more legs he can write to you daily. I believe he’s forgotten the use of a pen except to sign checks with. His patience is wonderful, but he calls it being a good sportsman. I believe there is a great deal in that word.
It is queer that one can make oneself at home in such a little hole, and find people that are quite absorbing; I mean the natives, as well as the others. The whole place is asleep by eight or nine, unless there has been a good catch of fish, when the little houses on the edge of the cove are full of weary men still ripping away at the cod, that are brought in huge piles dwindling very fast after they are spread out to dry. Daddy gets batches of newspapers, by the uncertain mail, but finishes by nine and requests to be permitted to snore in peace. I write hurriedly for an hour or two, and finally succumb to the drowsiness you may find reflected in these pages.
On returning from my visit to Dick Will, Daddy looked at me enquiringly, as I am his chief source of local news and the dear old man is becoming nearly as absorbed in Sweetapple Cove as in Wall Street.
“The parson has gone to pay other visits,” I told him, “but I couldn’t leave you any longer. He is such a nice little man. He asked if he could read a chapter from the Bible, and Dick said he would be very glad. When it was finished the man looked as if he were thinking very hard, and Mr. Barnett asked if anything were puzzling him. Then Dick asked about the ice in the Sea of Galilee, because big floes were often ankle-deep and he had often seen men who looked as if they were walking on the water. Mr. Barnett explained that there was no ice in that country.”
“And what did Dick say?” asked Daddy.
“‘Then how does they do for swiles?’” was what he asked, and when he was informed that there were no seals in Galilee Dick expressed commiseration for the poor people.
“They are a pretty ignorant lot,” commented Dad, laughing heartily.
“Few of them have the slightest chance of obtaining any education,” I replied. “And Mr. Barnett was so nice to him, explaining things. Then he said nothing at all about the chastening effect of suffering. That seems to be something these people know about. The parson just said that we were all so glad to see him getting well again. You know, Daddy, the admonitions of some dominies sound rather like hitting a fellow when he’s down. Mr. Barnett isn’t that kind.”