“Oh, what do you think!” she began when with her hand in Randy’s they trudged along towards home.
“My Tabby’s caught a mouse, and father’s just come back from the Centre and he’s brought the cloth for a new dress for you’n me, ’n I picked holes in the bundles, an’ one’s blue an’ one’s red an’ which do you s’pose is mine? And Aunt Prudence is comin’ to see us next week, an’ there’s goin’ to be a new spout to our rain water barrel, an’ I guess that’s all.”
“Well if all that happened while I’ve been out in the pasture,” said Randy, laughing, “I guess I’ll have to stay in for a while and see what happens next.”
A CHEERFUL GIVER
It was a warm August evening when a farm hand passing the Weston house paused a moment to look admiringly at the picture which the wide open door presented.
A rude frame of home manufacture, covered with netting, kept inquisitive moths from entering, at the same time allowing a flood of light to make its way out into the door-yard, where it lay upon the grass and added glory to the marigolds which grew beside the path.
“Happiest family I know on,” muttered the man, drawing a rough hand across his eyes. “Makes me think of the time when I was a little feller ter hum, and had two sisters jest ’baout the size of Square Weston’s girls.”
Then, with a sigh, the man went on up the road, but the memory of the family group in the brightly lighted room remained in his mind for many a day.
At one side of the table with its bright cloth smoothly spread, sat Mr. Weston perusing the county paper, at times reading aloud a bit of especially interesting news to his wife who was busily at work upon an apron for little Prue. In the centre of the table stood a large lamp, a monument to the enterprise of Silas Barnes, the village storekeeper.
“You folks don’t want ter go pokin’ raound with taller candles when ye kin git er lamp that gives light like all fireation, do ye?” he had said.
And those farmers who could afford the luxury invested in a lamp at once. Others, whose purses were too lean for such expenditure, affected to prefer candles, declaring the lamplight to be too glaring for their taste.
Just where the light shone through the outline of her rippling hair sat Randy, reading aloud to Prue, who stood beside her at the table, insisting upon seeing each picture as Randy turned the page.
As she finished reading the story, Randy turned, and slipping her arm about Prue drew her closer, while the little sister, giving a contented little sigh exclaimed,
“That’s the best story of all, Randy, read it again.”
“Why, Prue, you’ve just heard it twice,” said Randy, “you don’t want to hear it again to-night!”
“Oh, yes, I do!” cried Prue. “I’d like to hear it all over again from the beginning, ‘Once upon a time.’ ’F I hear it this once more it’ll seem ’bout true.”