Your sincere Friend,
P.S. Write soon, and don’t forget to write a long letter.
In uncle Nathan’s household a “bee” for the paring of apples had been the annual custom from time immemorial; and in rural districts, the merry-makings of any kind are a very different affair from the social gatherings in a large city; in the country a social gathering has about it a genuine heartiness of enjoyment, unknown in the city drawing-rooms of wealth and fashion. In the country you come nearer to nature, as it were, untrammelled by the customs and usages of fashionable society. Uncle Nathan was just the one to get up a social gathering of this kind, and enjoy it too; if his hair was growing white, the flowers of social feeling still bloomed in his heart; and the yearly apple-paring bee was never omitted in the household. He used to say “the apple pies would not taste half so good in winter if the apples were not pared by the hands of the merry company who assembled upon the occasion.”
The sun rose bright and clear on the sixth of October; this was an important day at the old homestead, for on the next evening was to be held this annual social gathering. They did not often invite company, and, upon the rare occasions when they did so, Aunt Lucinda made extensive preparations for their entertainment. Some of her neighbours took the liberty of saying she did this partly to show off her unequalled cookery and housekeeping, but most likely these sayings were only maliciously called forth by her superior attainments in this way. Be this as it might, she was certainly very busy on this particular day. The capacious brick oven was heated no less than four times during the day, and the savory odor from the numerous dishes taken therefrom bespoke a plentiful repast for the apple-parers. I was kept from school that day to take part in the grand preparations going forward. Aunt made me quite happy that morning by saying “I