Eli and his wife sat together on the washing-bench outside the back door, waiting for the milk to cool before it should be strained. She was a large, comfortable woman, with an unlined face, and smooth, fine auburn hair; he was spare and somewhat bent, with curly iron-gray locks, growing thin, and crow's-feet about his deep-set gray eyes.

"Ye-es; we've managed to scrape together a few," said Kalle, running about in vain to get something for his visitors to sit upon; everything was being used as beds. "You'll have to spit on the floor and sit down on that," he said, laughing. His wife came in, however, with a washing-bench and an empty beer-barrel. "Sit you down and rest," she said, placing the seats round the table.

A pair of cheese-tongs, which hung in the back room, a boot-jack, the washing-bench, which was once red, all became green in a very short time: only the red of the bench had a curious effect, peeping out from its light and ragged coat of green. The blue sled which belonged to Susy and Prudy was brought down from the shed-chamber, and looked at for some time.

"Ye-es; we've managed to scrape together a few," said Kalle, running about in vain to get something for his visitors to sit upon; everything was being used as beds. "You'll have to spit on the floor and sit down on that," he said, laughing. His wife came in, however, with a washing-bench and an empty beer-barrel. "Sit you down and rest," she said, placing the seats round the table.

"Bit of bark, or something, dropped nght into my eye," he muttered. "It does n't suit me to have anything wrong with the one I have left." By the bright lamp-light, I soon relieved him of what proved to be a small ant; then he went out to the washing-bench, and I heard the dabbling of water.

She dragged the washing-bench into the back kitchen from its corner in the shed, and on it placed her tubs; and when the water was heated, she put the garments into a tub, and rubbed with the vigor and ease of a woman well accustomed to such work. All the sounds of the night were loud about her, and the song of the whippoorwill came in at the open door. He was very near.