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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

We Camp Out

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"Yes, if you are awake. But I suppose we ought not to be afraid of burglars here. People in tents never are. So you needn't shut it."

It was awfully quiet and dark and lonely, out there by that creek, when the light had been put out, and we had gone to bed. For some reason I could not go to sleep. After I had been lying awake for an hour or two, Euphemia spoke:

"Are you awake?" said she, in a low voice, as if she were afraid of disturbing the people in the next room.

"Yes," said I. "How long have you been awake?"

"I haven't been asleep."

"Neither have I."

"Suppose we light the lantern," said she. "Don't you think it would be pleasanter?"

"It might be," I replied; "but it would draw myriads of mosquitoes. I wish I had brought a mosquito-net and a clock. It seems so lonesome without the ticking. Good-night! We ought to have a long sleep, if we do much tramping about to-morrow."

In about half an hour more, just as I was beginning to be a little sleepy, she said:

"Where is that gun?"

"Here by me," I answered.

"Well, if a man should come in, try and be sure to put it up close to him before you fire. In a little tent like this, the shot might scatter everywhere, if you're not careful."

"All right," I said. "Good-night!"

"There's one thing we never thought of!" she presently exclaimed.

"What's that," said I.

"Snakes," said she.

"Well, don't let's think of them. We must try and get a little sleep."

"Dear knows! I've been trying hard enough," she said, plaintively, and all was quiet again.

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We succeeded this time in going to sleep, and it was broad daylight before we awoke.

That morning, old John came with our water before breakfast was ready. He also brought us some milk, as he thought we would want it. We considered this a good idea, and agreed with him to bring us a quart a day.

"Don't you want some wegetables?" said he. "I've got some nice corn and some tomatoes, and I could bring you cabbage and peas."

We had hardly expected to have fresh vegetables every day, but there seemed to be no reason why old John should not bring them, as he had to come every day with the water and milk. So we arranged that he should furnish us daily with a few of the products of his garden.

"I could go to the butcher's and get you a steak or some chops, if you'd let me know in the morning," said he, intent on the profits of further commissions.

But this was going too far. We remembered we were camping out, and declined to have meat from the butcher.

John had not been gone more than ten minutes before we saw Mr. Ball approaching.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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