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  Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Wet Blankets

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We certainly enjoyed our second day in camp. All the morning, and a great part of the afternoon, we "explored." We fastened up the tent as well as we could, and then, I with my gun, and Euphemia with the fishing-pole, we started up the creek. We did not go very far, for it would not do to leave the tent too long. I did not shoot anything, but Euphemia caught two or three nice little fish, and we enjoyed the sport exceedingly.

Soon after we returned in the afternoon, and while we were getting things in order for supper, we had a call from two of our neighbors, Captain Atkinson and wife. The captain greeted us hilariously.

"Hello!" he cried. "Why, this is gay. Who would ever have thought of a domestic couple like you going on such a lark as this. We just heard about it from old John, and we came down to see what you are up to. You've got everything very nice. I think I'd like this myself. Why, you might have a rifle-range out here. You could cut down those bushes on the other side of the creek, and put up your target over there on that hill. Then you could lie down here on the grass and bang away all day. If you'll do that, I'll come down and practice with you. How long are you going to keep it up?"

I told him that we expected to spend my two weeks' vacation here.

"Not if it rains, my boy," said he. "I know what it is to camp out in the rain."

Meanwhile, Mrs. Atkinson had been with Euphemia examining the tent, and our equipage generally.

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"It would be very nice for a day's picnic," she said; "but I wouldn't want to stay out-of-doors all night."

And then, addressing me, she asked:

"Do you have to breathe the fresh air all the time, night as well as day? I expect that is a very good prescription, but I would not like to have to follow it myself."

"If the fresh air is what you must have," said the captain, "you might have got all you wanted of that without taking the trouble to come out here. You could have sat out on your back porch night and day for the whole two weeks, and breathed all the fresh air that any man could need."

"Yes," said I, "and I might have gone down cellar and put my head in the cold-air box of the furnace. But there wouldn't have been much fun in that."

"There are a good many things that there's no fun in," said the captain. "Do you cook your own meals, or have them sent from the house?"

"Cook them ourselves, of course," said Euphemia. "We are going to have supper now. Won't you wait and take some?"

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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