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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which we take a Vacation and look for David Dutton

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We admitted that we were also very sorry, and the kind-hearted woman showed a great deal of sympathy.

"You might stay here, but we haint got no fit room where you two could sleep."

At this, Euphemia and I looked very blank. "But you could go up to the house and stay, jist as well as not," Mrs. Carson continued. "There's plenty o' things there, an' I keep the key. For the matter o' that, ye might take the house for as long as ye want to stay; Dave 'd be glad enough to rent it; and, if the lady knows how to keep house, it wouldn't be no trouble at all, jist for you two. We could let ye have all the victuals ye'd want, cheap, and there's plenty o' wood there, cut, and everything handy."

We looked at each other. We agreed. Here was a chance for a rare good time. It might be better, perhaps, than anything we had expected.

The bargain was struck. Mrs. Carson, who seemed vested with all the necessary powers of attorney, appeared to be perfectly satisfied with our trustworthiness, and when I paid on the spot the small sum she thought proper for two weeks' rent, she evidently considered she had done a very good thing for Dave Dutton and herself.

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"I'll jist put some bread, an' eggs, an' coffee, an' pork, an' things in a basket, an' I'll have 'em took up fur ye, with yer trunk, an' I'll go with ye an' take some milk. Here, Danny!" she cried, and directly her husband, a long, thin, sun-burnt, sandy-headed man, appeared, and to him she told, in a few words, our story, and ordered him to hitch up the cart and be ready to take our trunk and the basket up to Dutton's old house.

When all was ready, we walked up the hill, followed by Danny and the cart. We found the house a large, low, old-fashioned farmhouse, standing near the road with a long piazza in front, and a magnificent view of mountain-tops in the rear. Within, the lower rooms were large and low, with quite a good deal of furniture in them. There was no earthly reason why we should not be perfectly jolly and comfortable here. The more we saw, the more delighted we were at the odd experience we were about to have. Mrs. Carson busied herself in getting things in order for our supper and general accommodation. She made Danny carry our trunk to a bedroom in the second story, and then set him to work building a fire in a great fire-place, with a crane for the kettle.

When she had done all she could, it was nearly dark, and after lighting a couple of candles, she left us, to go home and get supper for her own family.

As she and Danny were about to depart in the cart, she ran back to ask us if we would like to borrow a dog.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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