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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Treating of a Novel Style of Dwelling-house

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Then we went to work. I put up the stove, which was not much trouble, as there was a place all ready in the deck for the stove-pipe to be run through. Euphemia was somewhat surprised at the absence of a chimney, but I assured her that boats were very seldom built with chimneys. My dear little wife bustled about and arranged the pots and kettles on nails that I drove into the kitchen walls. Then she made the bed in the bed-room and I hung up a looking-glass and a few little pictures that we had brought in our trunks.

Before four o'clock our house was in order. Then we began to be very hungry.

"My dear," said Euphemia, "we ought to have thought to bring something to cook."

"That is very true," said I, "but I think perhaps we had better walk up to Ginx's and get our supper to-night. You see we are so tired and hungry."

"What!" cried Euphemia, "go to a hotel the very first day? I think it would be dreadful! Why, I have been looking forward to this first meal with the greatest delight. You can go up to the little store by the hotel and buy some things and I will cook them, and we will have our first dear little meal here all alone by ourselves, at our own table and in our own house."

So this was determined upon and, after a hasty counting of the fund I had reserved for moving and kindred expenses, and which had been sorely depleted during the day, I set out, and in about an hour returned with my first marketing.

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I made a fire, using a lot of chips and blocks the carpenter had left, and Euphemia cooked the supper, and we ate it from our little table, with two large towels for a table-cloth.

It was the most delightful meal I ever ate!

And, when we had finished, Euphemia washed the dishes (the thoughtful creature had put some water on the stove to heat for the purpose, while we were at supper) and then we went on deck, or on the piazza, as Euphemia thought we had better call it, and there we had our smoke. I say WE, for Euphemia always helps me to smoke by sitting by me, and she seems to enjoy it as much as I do.

And when the shades of evening began to gather around us, I hauled in the gang-plank (just like a delightful old draw-bridge, Euphemia said, although I hope for the sake of our ancestors that drawbridges were easier to haul in) and went to bed.

It is lucky we were tired and wanted to go to bed early, for we had forgotten all about lamps or candles.

For the next week we were two busy and happy people. I rose about half-past five and made the fire,--we found so much wood on the shore, that I thought I should not have to add fuel to my expenses,--and Euphemia cooked the breakfast. I then went to a well belonging to a cottage near by where we had arranged for water-privileges, and filled two buckets with delicious water and carried them home for Euphemia's use through the day. Then I hurried off to catch the train, for, as there was a station near Ginx's, I ceased to patronize the steamboat, the hours of which were not convenient. After a day of work and pleasurable anticipation at the office, I hastened back to my home, generally laden with a basket of provisions and various household necessities. Milk was brought to us daily from the above-mentioned cottage by a little toddler who seemed just able to carry the small tin bucket which held a lacteal pint. If the urchin had been the child of rich parents, as Euphemia sometimes observed, he would have been in his nurse's arms--but being poor, he was scarcely weaned before he began to carry milk around to other people.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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