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A large and a small camera, resting on tripods, especially puzzled the boy. There were also several chests and a trunk or two. At the other end of the car there was a cot bedstead with mattress and bedding, a chair or two, a small table, an oil cooking stove, together with other household paraphernalia. The whole outfit was simple, yet complete, and did not take up much room.

Then he crept near an' touched me: caught hold o' this yer vest an' tugged at it till he tore a hole in it. Then he went about the room, silent as a cat. He drew my boots away from the stove, where I'd put 'em to dry. He went to the shelf, where that old pipe was lyin'. I dunno what else he did.

They were afraid, evidently, of having their boat stove in by the wreck of the mast. At last they approached us cautiously. "Come, Clem, we will swim to her," I said. "Catch tight hold of my jacket; I have got strength enough left in me for that." We had not far to go, but I found it a tougher job than I expected.

He wondered if anybody would go home with her, and whether she minded the dark "spell o' woods" by the river. No matter! It was of no use. She must get used to her own company. The Widder was almost torpid from her long sojourn by the stove; but the tingling air roused her at last, and she spoke, though mumblingly, remembering her tooth, "Proper nice tunes, wa'n't they? Was most on 'em new?"

As you found your brain considerably affected by the cold, you were very prudent not to turn it to poetry in that situation; and not less judicious in declining the borrowed aid of a stove, whose fumigation, instead of inspiration, would at best have produced what Mr. Pope calls a souterkin of wit.

What a little extra money wouldn't do in my house wasn't worth adding up. In thought I repaired the roof and bought new legs for the kitchen stove. My visitor, mistaking my silence for hesitation, suggested, "First come and see her. Analyze her conduct and grant me decision whether she is a natural, free-born American citizen, as she boasts, or if the gods have cursed her with a bold spirit.

I told Jim of the food which I had brought. "Then we'll stay right here," he said. "It's ten to one that we miss the town if we try to go back to-night. Our tracks are filled in before this." We set to work with an old shovel and a piece of board and cleaned out the snow, and then we built a fire in the stove. We soon had the room fairly comfortable.

"Lives with me," he answered. He was quite as ashamed, for Bob's sake, as if he himself had asked the question, and he went on talking to cover that embarrassment. "It's made some difference, too, sence she come. House looks like a different place. Afore she, come I cooked with a kit, same as I used to in the harness shop. I l'arned it in the army. Cynthy's got a stove."

When shall I forget how soft and light her pretty, neatly dressed feet felt, the first time she used me? For a long while I was her stove alone; but after a time, all sorts of feet were put upon me, and life grew common and tiresome. After my mistress's death, I was much neglected, for wise folks said foot stoves should not be used.

The only sound was the pattering rain, and that had grown monotonous for the past two weeks, and did not disturb the national gravity of my countrymen as they silently sat around the cabin stove. Some on errands of relief to friends and relatives wore anxious faces, and conversed soberly on the one absorbing topic. Others like myself, attracted by curiosity, listened eagerly to newer details.