“I thought that there was some reason why Pan and I both chose to wear Roycroft clothes. Mr. and Mrs. Spain are in love after eight children,” I remarked to myself happily. “I am in agony in any shoes Pan doesn’t make. I wonder if any woman ever before was as much in love with a man about whom she knew so little—and so much as I do about Adam.”
“I don’t want to know about him—I want to love him,” I answered myself as I walked up the long elm avenue. Afterwards I recalled those words to myself, and they were bitter instead of sweet.
Friday, the twenty-first of April, I shall always remember as the busiest day of my life, for, as Aunt Mary had said, it takes time to bank fires enough to keep a farm alive a whole half day even if it is not running. I did all my usual work with my small folk, and then I measured and poured out in different receptacles their existence for the last half of the next day. After breakfast on Saturday I finally decided upon Uncle Cradd as the most trustworthy person of the three ancients, one of whom I was obliged to depend upon for substitution. Rufus, I felt sure, would compromise by feeding every ration to the hogs, and I knew that he could persuade father to do likewise, but Uncle Cradd, I felt, would bring moral force to bear upon the situation.
“Now, Uncle Cradd, here are all the different feeds in different buckets, each plainly marked with the time to give it. Please, oh, please, don’t let father lead you off into Egypt or China and forget them,” I said as I led him to the barn and showed him the mobilization of buckets that I had shut up in one of the empty bins.
“Why not just empty it all out on the ground in front of the barn, Nancy, my dear, and let them all feed together in friendly fashion. I am afraid you take these pretty whims of yours too seriously,” he said as he beamed affectionately at me over his large glasses.
“Because Peckerwood Pup would eat up the Leghorn babies, and it would be extermination to some and survival to the most unfit,” I answered in despair. “Oh, won’t you please do it by the directions?”
“I will, my child, I will,” answered Uncle Cradd, as he saw that I was about to become tearful. “I will come and sit right here in the barn with my book.”
“Oh, if you only will, Uncle Cradd, they will remind you when they are hungry. Mr. G. Bird will come and peck at you when it is time to feed his family, and the lambs and Mrs. Ewe will lick you, and Peckerwood Pup will chew you, so you can’t forget them,” I exclaimed in relief.
“That will be the exact plan for action, Nancy. You can always depend upon me for any of the small attentions that please you, my dear.”
“I can depend on the fur and feathers and wool tribes better than I can on you, old dear,” I said to myself, while I beamed on him with a dutiful, “Thank you, sir.”