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0100_005E Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

The Other Baby at Rudder Grange

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"Now they ought to be tied on," I said, "Where are his garters?"

"I don't believe babies have garters," said Jonas, doubtfully, "but I could rig him up a pair."

"No," said I; "we wont take the time for that. I'll hold his legs apart, as I carry him in. It's rubbing his feet together that gets them off."

As I passed the kitchen window, I saw Pomona at work. She looked at me, dropped something, and I heard a crash. I don't know how much that crash cost me. Jonas rushed in to tell Pomona about it, and in a moment I heard a scream of laughter. At this, Euphemia appeared at an upper window, with her hand raised and saying, severely: "Hush-h!" But the moment she saw me, she disappeared from the window and came down-stairs on the run. She met me, just as I entered the dining-room.

"What IN the world!" she breathlessly exclaimed.

"This," said I, taking Pat into a better position in my arms, "is my baby."

"Your--baby!" said Euphemia. "Where did you get it? what are you going to do with it?"

"I got it in New Dublin," I replied, "and I want it to amuse and occupy me while I am at home. I haven't anything else to do, except things that take me away from you."

"Oh!" said Euphemia.

At this moment, little Pat gave his first whimper. Perhaps he felt the searching glance that fell upon him from the lady in the middle of the room.

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I immediately began to walk up and down the floor with him, and to sing to him. I did not know any infant music, but I felt sure that a soothing tune was the great requisite, and that the words were of small importance. So I started on an old Methodist tune, which I remembered very well, and which was used with the hymn containing the lines:

"Weak and wounded, sick and sore,"

and I sang, as soothingly as I could:

    "Lit-tle Pat-sy, Wat-sy, Sat-sy,
    Does he feel a lit-ty bad?
    Me will send and get his bot-tle
    He sha'n't have to cry-wy-wy."

"What an idiot!" said Euphemia, laughing in spite of her vexation.

    "No, we aint no id-i-otses
    What we want's a bot-ty mik."

So I sang as I walked to the kitchen door, and sent Jonas to the barn for the bottle.

Pomona was in spasms of laughter in the kitchen, and Euphemia was trying her best not to laugh at all.

"Who's going to take care of it, I'd like to know?" she said, as soon as she could get herself into a state of severe inquiry.

"Some-times me, and some-times Jonas,"

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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