PREPARING FOR THE EXPEDITION.
School closed on the 21st of June that year, just ten days before the expected arrival of Uncle Ed. The first thing we did was to set up our tent in the back yard and camp out so as to become acclimatized. It is good that we did this, for the very first night a heavy summer shower came up which nearly drenched us. The water beat right through the thin canvas roof of our tent. Had we been able to afford the best quality of canvas duck, such an occurrence would probably have been avoided. But we solved the difficulty by using a tent fly; that is, a strip of canvas stretched over the tent and spaced a short distance from it to break the fall of the rain drops.
[Illustration: Fig. 48. The Wall Tent with the Fly fastened on.]
Again we had to visit the village storekeeper; this time we bought out his whole remaining stock, sixteen yards of drill. This was cut into four-yard strips, which were sewed together as before and the ends turned up and hemmed. Tie strings were sewed to the ends of the strips so that the fly could be tied to the wall ropes of the tent. At the ridge the fly was supported about six inches above the tent rope by a second ridge pole held by pegs in the top holes of the tent posts.
[Illustration: Fig. 49. The Fly Ridge Pole.]
Provisions and Supplies.
The ten days before Uncle Ed arrived were busy indeed. We had to gather together the necessary provisions and supplies. Our personal outfits were very simple. Each member supplied himself with a change of underwear, a bathing suit, a blanket and a toothbrush. A single comb and brush served for the entire society, and was used on Sundays, the only day we really dressed up. All the rest of the time we lived in our bathing suits, except, of course, on cold rainy days. Our kitchen outfit consisted of a large cooking pot, two kettles, a frying pan, a coffee pot, a small oil stove, a half-dozen each of plates, cups, saucers, knives and forks, a dozen spoons, two tablespoons, and, in addition, several large plates and bowls for pantry use. We also took with us a dish-pan and several dish-towels. For our larder we collected the following: A bag of flour, ten pounds of sugar, two pounds of salt, three pounds of coffee, four pounds of oatmeal, four pounds of butter, two pounds of lard, six pound of beans, six pounds of rice, three pounds of bacon, six cans of condensed milk, a dozen eggs, box of pepper, and several jars of canned peaches and pears, and also a half dozen glasses of jelly.