A woman can experience no greater sensation of joy than that which she feels when she first realizes that she is the mistress of a lilac bush. Neither her debut dance nor her first proposal of sentiment equals it. It is the same way about the first egg she gathers with her own hands; the sensation is indescribable.
“I’ll do all the things he says do for you and the family, Mr. G. Bird, if it kills me, as it probably will,” I said with resolution as I drove a last wobbly nail into the first nest, and took up the saw to again attack the odds and ends of old plank I had collected on the barn floor. “If I can make one nest in two hours, I can make two more in four more, and then I will have time for the rest of the things,” I assured myself as I again looked at my wrist-watch, and began to saw with my knee holding the tough old plank in place across a rickety box.
It is beautiful how sometimes deserving courage is rewarded if it just goes on deserving long enough. After about an hour’s hand-to-saw bout with the old plank I was just chewing through the last inch of the last of the four sides of nest number two when I suddenly stopped and listened. Far away to the front of the house I heard hot oaths being uttered by the engine in a huge racing-machine with a powerful chug with which I was quite familiar. While I listened, the motor in agony gave a snort as it bounded over some kind of obstruction and in two seconds, as I stood saw in hand, with not enough time to wipe the sweat of toil from my brow, the huge blue machine swept around the corner of the house, brought up beside the family coach, which was still standing in front of the barn, and Matthew flung himself out of it and to my side.
“Holy smokers, Ann, but you look good in that get-up!” he exclaimed as he regarded me with the delight with which a person might greet a friend or relative whom he had long considered dead or lost. “Why, you look just as if you had stepped right out of the ‘Elite Review.’ And the saw, too, makes a good note of human interest.”
“Well, it’s chicken interest and not human, Matthew Berry,” I said, answering his levity with spirit. “And I’m sorry I can’t be at home for your amusement to-day, but my chickens are laying while I wait, and the least I can do is to get these nests ready for ’em. You’ll excuse me, won’t you, and go in to talk with father and Uncle Cradd?”
“They’re not producing dividends already, are they, Ann? Why, you only started the Consolidated Egg Co. yesterday!” exclaimed Matthew, with insulting doubt of my veracity in his voice.
“Look there!” I said, as I pointed to my two large pearls, which I had carefully put in the soft felt hat I had purchased to go with the smocks for fifteen dollars at Goertz’s.
“Well, what do you know about that?” exclaimed Matthew, with real astonishment, as he sat down on his heels and took the two treasures into his highly manicured hands. “Gee, they are right hot off the bat!” he exclaimed, as he detected some of the warmth still left in them, I suppose.