Kate and Adam followed their usual routine with only the alterations required by the absence of Polly. Kate now prepared breakfast while Adam did the feeding and milking; washed the dishes and made the beds while he hitched up; then went to the field with him. On rainy days he swept and she dusted; always they talked over and planned everything they did, in the house or afield; always they schemed, contrived, economized, and worked to attain the shortest, easiest end to any result they strove for. They were growing in physical force, they were efficient, they attended their own affairs strictly. Their work was always done on time, their place in order, their deposits at the bank frequent. As the cold days came they missed Polly, but scarcely ever mentioned her. They had more books and read and studied together, while every few evenings Adam picked up his hat and disappeared, but soon he and Milly came in together. Then they all read, popped corn, made taffy, knitted, often Kate was called away by some sewing or upstairs work she wanted to do, so that the youngsters had plenty of time alone to revel in the wonder of life’s greatest secret.
To Kate’s ears came the word that Polly would be a mother in the spring, that the Peters family were delighted and anxious for the child to be a girl, as they found six males sufficient for one family. Polly was looking well, feeling fine, was a famous little worker, and seldom sat on a chair because some member of the Peters family usually held her.
“I should think she would get sick of all that mushing,” said Adam when he repeated these things.
“She’s not like us,” said Kate. “She’ll take all she can get, and call for more. She’s a long time coming; but I’m glad she’s well and happy.”
“Buncombe!” said Adam. “She isn’t so very well. She’s white as putty, and there are great big, dark hollows under her eyes, and she’s always panting for breath like she had been running. Nearly every time I pass there I see her out scrubbing the porches, or feeding the chickens, or washing windows, or something. You bet Mrs. Peters has got a fine hired girl now, and she’s smiling all over about it.”
“She really has something to smile about,” said Kate.