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George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Nedra.

“And to-day is Saturday naturally.  We must have clean clothes for Sunday.  Our parlor, kitchen, and laundry are in the same room, it would seem.  Here’s a pile of cocoanuts I collected while you slept, and there are some plums or fruit of some kind.  They grow back there in the wood a short distance.  I saw some gorgeous birds out there, and they were eating the fruit, so it must be wholesome.  And those dear, saucy little monkeys!  I could watch them for hours.”

“Did you run across any boa constrictors or anacondas?” asked he serenely.

“Good Heavens!  I never thought of snakes.  There may be dreadful serpents in that forest, Hugh.”  Her eyes were full of alarm.

“I merely asked your Ladyship in order to keep the cook in her kitchen,” laughed he.

“An afternoon out is not a luxury in this land, even for the most cooped up of cooks.  Snakes!  Ugh!” Hugh thought she shuddered very prettily.

“Breakfast will be cold if I don’t hurry,” he observed.  He made his way around the rocky bend to the point where the rivulet emptied into the cove.  When he returned to the shady spot he was put to work opening cocoanuts and pouring the milk into the shells of others.  She had cleaned the flat surface of a large rock which stood well out from the lower edge of the cliff, and signified her intention to use it as a dining table.  He became enthusiastic and, by the exertion of all the strength he could muster, succeeded in rolling two boulders down the incline, placing them in position as stools beside the queer table.  Then they stood off and laughed at the remarkable set of furniture.

“I wonder what time it is?” she said as they began to eat.  He pulled his forgotten repeater from his watch pocket and opened it with considerable apprehension.  It was not running, nor did it appear as if it would ever be of service again.

“How are we ever to know the time of day?” she cried.

“I’ll try to fix it.  It is only water-clogged.  My little compass on the charm is all right and it will give us our bearings, north and south, so that I can get the time by the sun.  I’ll drive a little stake out there on the level, and when the shadow is precisely north and south, then it is noon.  It’s all very simple, Lady Tennyson.”

“I’m only the cook, Hugh.  Won’t you please call me Tennys?”

“Thank you; it’s such a waste of time to say Lady Tennyson.  Shall I order dinner, cook?”

“We’ll have a ten-course dinner, sir, of cocoanuts and plums, sir, if you please, sir.”

“Breakfast warmed over, I see,” he murmured, gazing resignedly toward the trees.  Later on he managed to get some life into his watch and eventually it gave promise of faithful work.  He set the hands at twelve o’clock.  It was broiling hot by this time, and he was thoughtful enough to construct a poke-bonnet for her, utilizing a huge palm leaf.  Proudly he placed the green protector upon her black hair.  Then, looking into her smiling eyes, he tied the grass cord under her up-tilted chin.

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