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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

We Camp Out

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My wife and I were both so fond of country life and country pursuits that month after month passed by at our little farm in a succession of delightful days. Time flew like a "limited express" train, and it was September before we knew it.

I had been working very hard at the office that summer, and was glad to think of my two weeks' vacation, which were to begin on the first Monday of the month. I had intended spending these two weeks in rural retirement at home, but an interview in the city with my family physician caused me to change my mind. I told him my plan.

"Now," said he, "if I were you, I'd do nothing of the kind. You have been working too hard; your face shows it. You need rest and change. Nothing will do you so much good as to camp out; that will be fifty times better than going to any summer resort. You can take your wife with you. I know she'll like it. I don't care where you go so that it's a healthy spot. Get a good tent and an outfit, be off to the woods, and forget all about business and domestic matters for a few weeks."

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This sounded splendid, and I propounded the plan to Euphemia that evening. She thought very well of it, and was sure we could do it. Pomona would not be afraid to remain in the house, under the protection of Lord Edward, and she could easily attend to the cow and the chickens. It would be a holiday for her too. Old John, the man who occasionally worked for us, would come up sometimes and see after things. With her customary dexterity Euphemia swept away every obstacle to the plan, and all was settled before we went to bed.

As my wife had presumed, Pomona made no objections to remaining in charge of the house. The scheme pleased her greatly. So far, so good. I called that day on a friend who was in the habit of camping out to talk to him about getting a tent and the necessary "traps" for a life in the woods. He proved perfectly competent to furnish advice and everything else. He offered to lend me all I needed. He had a complete outfit; had done with them for the year, and I was perfectly welcome. Here was rare luck. He gave me a tent, camp-stove, dishes, pots, gun, fishing-tackle, a big canvas coat with dozens of pockets riveted on it, a canvas hat, rods, reels, boots that came up to my hips, and about a wagon-load of things in all. He was a real good fellow.

We laid in a stock of canned and condensed provisions, and I bought a book on camping out so as to be well posted on the subject. On the Saturday before the first Monday in September we would have been entirely ready to start had we decided on the place where we were to go.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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