From Miss Helen Jelliffe to Miss Jane Van Zandt
Dearest Aunt Jennie:
I am writing again so soon because I don’t think I can sleep, to-night. I know that some people can’t possibly slumber off when they are over-tired. That must be the matter with me, though I never realized it.
We had no more hunting after we killed that caribou. That night we camped, and I heard stories, from two poor, humble men, that made my head just whirl, for they were really Odysseys, or sagas, or any of the big tales one ever heard of. It would seem, Aunt Jennie, dear, as if the world is not at all the prosy thing some people take it to be. I suppose that the great knights and warriors are altogether out of it now, but I find that it is running over with men one usually never hears of, who accomplish tremendous things without the slightest accompaniment of drums or clarions.
We started back after a night during which I slept like a dead thing, but naturally I was the most alive girl you ever saw when I awoke. The men went away to where we had left the dead stag and returned with big haunches and other butcher-shop things, which they packed up in huge loads. It appears that my lucky shot has contributed considerably to the provisionment of Sweetapple Cove.
By the way, this place, which I once rather despised, looked most attractive when we came down towards it from the hills. I could see the beautiful, white Snowbird at anchor, looking very small, and the sunlight played on the brass binnacle which shone like a burning light. Near it, very lowly and humble, rode the poor little fishing smacks that are far more important to the world’s welfare than our expensive plaything. The crop of drying cod was spread out on the flakes, as usual, and tiny specks of women and children were bending over them, turning the fish, piling them up, bearing some of them away on hand-barrows, and bringing fresh loads to scatter in the sun.
When we reached the house we found Daddy lying on the steamer chair. He was engaged in deep converse with our skipper, who left at once. The doctor only remained a few minutes, and then Susie appeared, her rubicund face framed in the mighty antlers of my quarry. Daddy laughed heartily.
“The two Dianas of Sweetapple Cove!” he exclaimed. “My dear, you ought to bear the bow and quiver and to sport the crescent on your queenly brow. Now tell me all about it! How are you, and what kind of a time have you had? I need not ask about the sport for you have brought the evidence with you. Isn’t it a wonderful head? I call it rather cruel to be parading such things before a poor cripple.”
“I’m sure glad enough ter get rid o’ he,” quoth Susie, with a sigh of relief. “It lugs fair clumsy. I’ll be goin’ over ter Sammy’s house now. He’ve got the tenderlines in th’ pack of he and ter-morrer ye’s goin’ ter feed on something worth bitin’ inter. Ef yer doesn’t say so I’ll be awful fooled. And yer better shift yer stockin’s right now, ma’am, ’cause walkin’ all day in the mash is bound ter soak yer feet spite o’ good boots. I’ll be back in a minnut.”