The country in the vicinity of Franconia, at the North.
Phonny and Malleville, cousins, residing at the house of Phonny’s mother.
Mrs. Henry, Phonny’s mother.
Antonio BLANCHINETTE, a French boy, residing at Mrs. Henry’s; commonly called Beechnut.
Mrs. Bell, a widow lady, living in the vicinity of Mrs. Henry’s.
Mary bell, her daughter.
Malleville and her cousin Phonny generally played together at Franconia a great part of the day, and at night they slept in two separate recesses which opened out of the same room. These recesses were deep and large, and they were divided from the room by curtains, so that they formed as it were separate chambers: and yet the children could speak to each other from them in the morning before they got up, since the curtains did not intercept the sound of their voices. They might have talked in the same manner at night, after they had gone to bed, but this was against Mrs. Henry’s rules.
One morning Malleville, after lying awake a few minutes, listening to the birds that were singing in the yard, and wishing that the window was open so that she could hear them more distinctly, heard Phonny’s voice calling to her.
“Malleville,” said he, “are you awake?”
“Yes,” said Malleville, “are you?”
“Yes,” said Phonny, “I’m awake—but what a cold morning it is!”
It was indeed a cold morning, or at least a very cool one. This was somewhat remarkable, as it was in the month of June. But the country about Franconia was cold in winter, and cool in summer. Phonny and Malleville rose and dressed themselves, and then went down stairs. They hoped to find a fire in the sitting-room, but there was none.
“How sorry I am,” said Phonny. “But hark, I hear a roaring.”
“Yes,” said Malleville; “it is the oven; they are going to bake.”
The back of the oven was so near to the partition wall which formed one side of the sitting-room, that the sound of the fire could be heard through it. The mouth of the oven however opened into another small room connected with the kitchen, which was called the baking-room. The children went out into the baking-room, to warm themselves by the oven fire.