was the subjugation of this rebellious province that he sought.
He and Rose had agreed to wait a year for their marriage, in
which time Rose's cousin would finish school and be ready to live
with the old people; meanwhile Stephen had learned that his
maiden aunt would be glad to come and keep house for Rufus. The
work at the River Farm was too hard for a girl, so he had
persuaded himself of late, and the house was so far from the
village that Rose was sure to be lonely. He owned a couple of
acres between his place and the Edgewood bridge, and here, one
afternoon only a month after their engagement, he took Rose to
see the foundations of a little house he was building for her.
It was to be only a story-and-a-half cottage of six small rooms,
the two upper chambers to be finished off later on. Stephen had
placed it well back from the road, leaving space in front for
what was to be a most wonderful arrangement of flower-beds, yet
keeping a strip at the back, on the river-brink, for a small
vegetable garden. There had been a house there years before--
so many years that the blackened ruins were entirely overgrown;
but a few elms and an old apple-orchard remained to shade the new
dwelling and give welcome to the coming inmates.
Stephen had fifteen hundred dollars in bank, he could turn his
hand to almost anything, and his love was so deep that Rose's
plumb-line had never sounded bottom; accordingly he was able,
with the help of two steady workers, to have the roof on before
the first of November. The weather was clear and fine, and by
Thanksgiving clapboards, shingles, two coats of brown paint, and
even the blinds had all been added. This exhibition of reckless
energy on Stephen's part did not wholly commend itself to the
"Steve's too turrible spry," said Rose's grandfather; "he'll trip
himself up some o' these times."
"You never will," remarked his better half, sagely.
"The resks in life come along fast enough, without runnin' to
meet 'em," continued the old man. "There's good dough in Rose,
but it ain't more'n half riz. Let somebody come along an' drop
in a little more yeast, or set the dish a little mite nearer the
stove, an' you'll see what'll happen."
"Steve's kept house for himself some time, an' I guess he knows
more about bread-makin' than you do."
"There don't nobody know more'n I do about nothin', when my
pipe's drawin' real good an' nobody's thornin' me to go to work,"
replied Mr. Wiley; "but nobody's willin' to take the advice of a
man that's seen the world an' lived in large places, an' the
risin' generation is in a turrible hurry. I don' know how 't is:
young folks air allers settin' the clock forrard an' the old ones
puttin' it back."
"Did you ketch anything for dinner when you was out this
mornin'?" asked his wife. "No, I fished an' fished, till I was
about ready to drop, an' I did git a few shiners, but land, theyDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>