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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which we take a Vacation and look for David Dutton

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"There aint nuthin to be afeard of," she said; "for nobody hardly ever takes the trouble to lock the doors in these parts, but bein' city folks, I thought ye might feel better if ye had a dog."

We made haste to tell her that we were not city folks, but declined the dog. Indeed, Euphemia remarked that she would be much more afraid of a strange dog than of robbers.

After supper, which we enjoyed as much as any meal we ever ate in our lives, we each took a candle, and after arranging our bedroom for the night, we explored the old house. There were lots of curious things everywhere,--things that were apparently so "old timey," as my wife remarked, that David Dutton did not care to take them with him to his new farm, and so left them for his son, who probably cared for them even less than his father did. There was a garret extending over the whole house, and filled with old spinning-wheels, and strings of onions, and all sorts of antiquated bric-a-brac, which was so fascinating to me that I could scarcely tear myself away from it; but Euphemia, who was dreadfully afraid that I would set the whole place on fire, at length prevailed on me to come down.

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We slept soundly that night, in what was probably the best bedroom of the house, and awoke with a feeling that we were about to enter on a period of some uncommon kind of jollity, which we found to be true when we went down to get breakfast. I made the fire, Euphemia made the coffee, and Mrs. Carson came with cream and some fresh eggs. The good woman was in high spirits. She was evidently pleased at the idea of having neighbors, temporary though they were, and it had probably been a long time since she had had such a chance of selling milk, eggs and sundries. It was almost the same as opening a country store. We bought groceries and everything of her.

We had a glorious time that day. We were just starting out for a mountain stroll when our stage-driver came along on his down trip.

"Hello!" he called out. "Want to go back this morning?"

"Not a bit of it," I cried. "We wont go back for a couple of weeks. We've settled here for the present."

The man smiled. He didn't seem to understand it exactly, but he was evidently glad to see us so well satisfied. If he had had time to stop and have the matter explained to him, he would probably have been better satisfied; but as it was, he waved his whip to us and drove on. He was a good fellow.

We strolled all day, having locked up the house and taken our lunch with us; and when we came back, it seemed really like coming home. Mrs. Carson with whom we had left the key, had brought the milk and was making the fire. This woman was too kind. We determined to try and repay her in some way. After a splendid supper we went to bed happy.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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