By the 16th, our decks were full of live cattle, together with poultry and hams in abundance, and such quantities of wheat, barley, potatoes, and maize, that I was quite satisfied. On a moderate computation, we had added four months provisions to the stock we brought from England, so that I was well pleased with the effects of our stay at Chiloe, and prepared to depart.
"I'm sure I don't know," said his father. "I guess we'll have to go back and get him." Certainly Splash did not seem to want to keep on to the village with Mr. Brown and the children. The dog was running around and around the small house, barking loudly. Mr. Trimble seemed not to hear the dog's barks, but kept right on hoeing potatoes. "We'll go back and get Splash!" decided Mr. Brown.
Later on in the month, a Protestant dignitary, Dean Hoare of Achonry, wrote a letter to the Mansion House Committee, in which, whilst he gave substantially the same views of the potato failure as hundreds of others, he complained in a mild spirit of the people in his locality as being "very slow" to adopt the methods recommended for preserving the potatoes from decay.
'I see that I need not introduce you to my young friends, Miss Blossom, said Merton. 'May I beg you to help Miss Apsley to arrange her tucker? Miss Blossom, almost unbecomingly brilliant in her complexion, did as she was asked. Batsy had cold chicken, new potatoes, green peas, and two helpings of apricot tart. Tommy devoted himself to cutlets.
At first, as I said, I stopped my work, or loitered as I walked, in order to see, or hear, or smell and do so still, for I have entered only the antechamber of the treasure-house; but as I learned better the modest technic of these arts I found that the practice of them went well with the common tasks of the garden or farm, especially with those that were more or less monotonous, like cultivating corn, hoeing potatoes, and the like.
Put the potatoes in the boiling water, cover closely and keep the water at high boiling pitch until you can thrust a sharp sliver through the largest potato. Then drain off the water and set the kettle in a hot place with the lid partly off. Take them out only as they are wanted; lukewarm potatoes are not good, They will be found about as good as potatoes can be, when cooked in their jackets.
"I have always suspected him of affectation. I have no patience with grumblers." "You are right, baron," said his neighbor, nodding and smiling. "The people are idle and wasteful; and if we were to listen to their complaints, we would soon be as poor as they." "And what if a few thousand perish here and there?" interposed another. "They never would be missed, for they multiply like potatoes."
Not so much as an open book proclaimed that the mistress of the place was any better off. However, she had other resources; for even as the minister came in from the snow, and Diana from up-stairs, Mrs. Starling herself made her appearance from the outer kitchen with a pan of potatoes in her hand. Mrs. Starling liked neither to be surprised, nor to seem so.
The people in general were now reduced so low in bodily strength for want of a sufficiency of food, that much work could not be expected; however, it was absolutely necessary that something should be done to get seed into the ground. A considerable portion of the cleared land was planted with potatoes, as the first thing from which we could expect any relief.
Aloud, almost automatically, she said, in a neutral tone, "Paul, I don't think I can do a single thing for you and Henry, but I'll go with you and look at him and see if I can think of anything. Just wait till I get this and the potatoes in the fireless cooker."