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The Cinder Pond
written by "Rankin, Carroll Watson"
...are they?" "Well, they're in St. Louis." "Oh, no." "I'm afeared they be. You see, Mis' Shannon was no good at housekeepin' with that there rheumatism of hern; so, John up and married a real strong young woman to do the work. When he come here to look after Mollie, he took Sammy and Annie and the little 'un back to St. Louis with him." "And Michael?" "I'll tell you the rest tomorry," promised the Captain, who had stopped patting Jeanne, to wipe large beads of perspiration from his brow. "I'm a hungry man and I got a heap o' work to do after supper. You got to sleep some'eres, you know. My idee is to knock open the doors and windys of the two best rooms in your old shack out there. This here fish car ain't no real proper place for a lady. It was me nailed them doors up after—hum—me nailed 'em up." "After what?" demanded Jeanne. "After—after breakfast, I think it was," dissembled Old Captain, lamely. "I wisht that mean skunk of a Barney—hum, ladies present—that there Barney, I mean, was here to help. Now, girl, I'm goin' up town to get somethin' fitten for a lady's supper—" "I ate all your crackers and all your cheese," confessed Jeanne. "Glad you did. You can put a chip in the fire now and again to keep her going. I'll start it for you and put the kettle on. Anythin' I can do for you up town?" "Yes," said Jeanne, "I checked my suitcase at the station. Don't you carry it. Here's a quarter—get some boy to do it." "Huh!" grunted Old Captain, "thar ain't no boy goin' to carry your suitcase. No, siree, not while I'm here to do it. Just let these here potatoes bile while I'm gone." Jeanne, finding no cloth, spread clean newspapers over the greasy table, scoured two knives and a pair of three-tined forks with clean white sand from the beach, and set out two very thick plates, one cup and a saucer. After that, she washed the teapot and found Old Captain's caddy of strong green ...

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