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A Glimpse of the Past in Lubec, Maine

It was one of those days in July when there was a few picture like clouds in the sky and the temperature was a little too high for comfort, when Rose popped into Eunice’s house and said, “Come and go down to my house for I am alone and I have a very serious question I want you to help me answer and too, it would be nice on the beach this afternoon.” Rose was seventeen, tall and medium stout with light hair which she wore piled high on her head and blue eyes with a complexion inclined to much redness and was always jolly and well liked by everyone. But a stammer in her speech often caused her much embarrassment. Eunice was a few years younger than she and not quite as tall and quite a contrast as to complexion as she had dark hair, brown eyes and was rather pale under the tan. Although she was younger Rose often came to her with her perplexing problems such as girls of that age think they have. They lived a short way apart, Rose in a cottage with an older sister and her father and one brother through the summer months while Eunice lived with her mother and two sisters upon a hill, which gave her a full view of the beach where she used to sit by the windows during a storm and watch the surf break against the rocks and the passing boats sailing in and out of the harbor. Rose’s house was at the foot of the hill and her view was a beach on the other side of the peninsula on which they lived and it was on Rose’s side of the peninsula that they always went to the beach. So they started down the hill together. Eunice full of curiosity as to what this important question was. But Rose said,“I can’t tell you Eunice, until we get down to the house where we will be alone.” On reaching the house we were quite surprised to find that Rose’s father had got home early from work. He was tall and stout with a complexion like Rose’s and he always liked for his family to have all the company they wanted so when Rose said, “How did you happen to get home so early?” he replied, “It didn’t just happen. I had no more work to do so came home but if I am going to be in your and Eunice’s way I will go out again.” Eunice said, “Oh, no, Mr. Owen, we were going to the beach any way. Come, Rose, you know how anxious I am, so let’s go.” Mr. Owen said “Well then, girls, I will take a nap.” He seemed to be very fond of napping when he was around home. His son also looked quite like his father while the older sister, Jessie, was much smaller and had darker hair and complexion. Jessie was really Eunice’s chum, while Eunice’s sister, Leigh and Rose were usually together. But I don’t know what happened on this particular day that Rose and Eunice were alone. So off they went to the beach down a well beaten path about three minutes walk from the cottage, laughing and talking together of as many things as that three minutes would permit. After getting comfortably seated on the sand with a large rock for a back rest Eunice asked, “Have you seen Walter lately?” Now, Walter was a dark haired, freckle-faced young man that was quite attentive to Rose only for the past week Eunice hadn’t seen him around as much as usual. Rose replied, “ That is just what I wanted to talk to you about.” “Why there hasn’t anything gone wrong between you and he, has there?” “No, he is waiting for his answer, he wants me to marry him. And I am not sure that I want to. I like him well enough and think he is a good fellow but I have never thought of him as a husband.” “Well, what am I supposed to do, enlarge upon his good traits and tell you that you must marry him or hunt out all his flaws and try to prove him a scoundrel? You know, Rose, that I am always willing to help when I can.” “Now, Eunice, you know that I don’t want you to do either of those things. What I want to know is, what would you do if you were in my place?” “What a question, Rose. Since he isn’t interested in me or I in him, I think you will just have to settle the question between you and him. But there is one thing that I would make sure of and that is that I really loved him, for you know that marriage vows are made for life. So just be sure, that’s all.” Just then the girls heard footsteps coming along the path and who should it be but Walter himself. “Hallo, girls, I been looking for you. I stopped in at the house and as your father was sleeping I didn’t disturb him to enquire but thought that I might find you here.” So saying, he seated himself on a hollowed out rock not noticing that there was some water left there by the outgoing tide. He hadn’t sat there long before he exclaimed, “Wow! I am all wet.” and he rose to his feet. Rose said, “Shame on you, Walter, I thought you were too old to fall for a trick like that.” And Eunice began to laugh and said, “ We haven’t any large white handkerchiefs, now what shall we do?” After the joking was all over Rose wanted him to go to the cottage and put on a pair of her brother, Frank’s, trousers but Walter said, no, they would soon dry by sitting on some of the rocks the hot sun was shining on. Then the girls suggested that he lay on the sand on his stomach and let the sun shine directly on the wet spot. So this is the plan he accepted and the three sat there on the beach talking of everything except what was nearest to Walter and Rose’s heart and of that question no mention was made. As they parted for home Rose said, “What are you doing tonight, Eunice? I have to go to the Post Office and if you aren’t doing anything come and go, too.” “All right, I will be down as I haven’t anything special in mind.” Walter expected to go to his home in the country about six miles away and as there wasn’t any automobiles then, this was quite a journey to take on foot. So he said, “I won’t be able to be with you, I am sorry to say.” Eunice reached home and helped her mother get the supper and carry the water from a well quite a little distance from the house. As there wasn’t any boys in the family this job usually fell to her. Her little sister, Edna, who was nine years younger than Eunice, always like to go with her and they always saw many things to talk about, much to Edna’s delight for it always seemed as if she like Eunice better than she did Leigh. It might have been the difference in the ages that was the cause of it. For I am sure that both sisters loved this little sister equally as she was a baby when they were all left fatherless. And so it was Eunice who looked after her while her mother and Leigh worked. After supper was cleared away Eunice called up the stairs to her mother, “Mother, Rose and I are going down town now, is there any errands to do?” “What are you going for?” “Oh, Rose has to go to the mail and wanted me to go, too. It’s alright, isn’t it, if I go?” “Yes, but be sure and come home early.” “Yes, Mother” answered Eunice and away she went to join Rose who was ready and waiting for her. “Oh, here you are. I have been waiting for you. What have you been doing to keep you so long?” asked Rose. “Just the usual work. And Mother was a little undecided about me going. Aren’t you glad your mother stays in the country and don’t come down to live with you, Rose?” “Well, I don’t know, Eunice, when I think of the time Jessie and I have doing the cooking I wish sometimes that she was here with us.” “Well, I suppose you are right, Rose. Well, how did you and Walter make out, any decision yet?” “No, Eunice, I have him still waiting for his answer, rather impatient, too. I will have to decide soon.” As this conversation was going on, the two girls were walking on their way and enjoying the cool evening air and meeting and speaking to their many friends. And when near the Post Office saw a group of the Salvation Army who was holding a meeting on one of the street corners and there was quite a crowd gathered there. Rose and Eunice stopped to listen to them and were quite interested in them. While standing there who should come along but Walter. Both girls called out, “Hello, Walter, I thought that you went home. What happened to keep you here?” “Well, I thought that I might just as well stay and I have a chance to ride home later. Aren’t you glad to see me? How long have you been here?” Rose answered, “Why, yes, Walter, we are always glad to see you, aren’t we, Eunice?” “I’m delighted for I wanted someone to join the Salvation Army with me” answered Eunice. “Will you join?” said Eunice, as she started off across the street towards the group and also toward the Post Office. “Come on, Walter.” Walter called as loud as he dared, “Come back here, Eunice. I am not joining” and turning to Rose, asked, “are you, Rose?” Eunice knew that Rose was already a member of the Methodist Church so she said, “well, then, come to the Post Office, for I must be getting back home as I told Mother that I would be home early.” So the three started across the street and as they entered the Post Office was greeted by Mr. Case, the postmaster, “Hello, girls and hello, Walter, I suppose you are looking for some letters. Well, Rose, he didn’t write to you.” To which, Rose replied, “I didn’t expect him to.” “Here Eunice, a letter for you and it must be from that grandfather of yours as it bears a Colorado postmark.” “Well, I also have an uncle there so you might be mistaken.” So the trio left the Post Office laughing and started for home. It was a beautiful night and the stars were twinkling like so many diamonds in the sky. And the full moon was rising in the east like a big round ball of fire. It really was too beautiful a night to go into the house but as the girls knew that they had to be up early they decided to go directly home and to bed and Walter was to return to his home in Boot Cove. When Eunice arrived home she found her family all at home and Leigh’s fiance, Fred Knight was at the house. “Well, Eunice, where have you been?” Fred asked. “Oh, I went to join the Salvation Army but Rose or Walter wouldn’t go with me so here I am.” “No, Eunice, you didn’t really mean to join, did you?” came from the whole family. “It’s hard telling. One never knows what I might do. But now I think I will go and get my beauty sleep. Don’t make a noise to wake me up when you come to bed, will you, Leigh. Good night, Fred and all.” So off to bed. When she got upstairs Edna was awake and wanted to talk as she always had a lot of things to talk of and then begged for a story but Eunice had too many things on her mind to stop long and talk and wanted to be alone to have time to think. Eunice was much troubled that night and she wondered if she should have made the step and joined up with the Army and just what it would have led up to. Would it mean a brighter future for her? As it was now all she could see ahead of her was a life of work and as her education was limited it meant hard work. If she joined and left home would there be a chance to go to school? So with these thoughts she finally went asleep. At seven o’clock the next morning Eunice was in the shop when Rose and Jessie came in. “Oh, hello girls, I’m feeling fine and why shouldn’t I, after the sleep I had last night. You had better get to work for Boss John was just around and something has gone wrong, for all he can say this morning is ‘now I tell you’ ‘now I tell you.’ You know how he is.” “Well, it is a good thing his bark is worse than his bite” said Jessie, tying her apron in place while Rose went to her place beside Leigh. The next thing there was great laughter coming from Leigh. “Well, tell me so I can laugh, too” said Eunice, turning around. “It is one on Jessie. Perhaps I had better not tell. Well, yes, I will.” said Rose. “This morning Billy Budroe was going by on his bicycle and he fell off” said Rose, “just as Jessie was looking out the window and she said, ‘Oh, see Billy, I bet his bud rose that time.’ “Jessie, you didn’t say that, did you?” exclaimed Leigh and Eunice together. “Well, that wasn’t what I intended to say but that is the way I said it so I might as well own up to it.” Just then along came Conrad Joy to the tables where the girls worked. Conrad was nicknamed “Pop” and as he hadn’t been there long Rose thought that Conrad and Pop were brothers and two different people so she called out, “hello, Pop, where is Conrad this morning?” “Oh, he is home sick” was the answer, “he may not be able to come to work any more.” Rose was expressing her sympathy while Eunice and Leigh was laughing at her for they had known Conrad for sometime as he was a friend of their cousin, Silas. After Conrad left Rose asked “what in the world are you two laughing at?” “It sounded so funny, you asking Pop where Conrad was, didn’t you know that they are one?” At this, Rose laughed too. “Well, I always thought that they looked enough alike to be twins” said Rose, “now we must all work fast if we plan on earning anything this week.” So all kept busy at their work for the rest of the day. But as soon as the six o’clock bell struck all the girls were hurrying to find out what each one was doing that night. So Leigh and Eunice suggested that they all come up to their house and spend the evening. The evenings at the home of Eunice and Leigh were greatly enjoyed by all and there were some times a house full of girls. This particular evening, besides Rose and Jessie there was Kate Guptill and Mame Ryerson. The evening was spent in talk and laughter until about ten o’clock and then the girls knew of the next morning how they would hate to get out at six, so all agreed that they better get some sleep. “Well, Leigh, isn’t it good that we have a day at home” said Eunice as they arose one morning. “Oh, I don’t know as there is so much to be done here at home. It’s work anyway and it might as well be in one place as another. I will do the cooking if you will iron” returned Leigh while she was getting prepared to start the cooking. “Why I know there is always a lot to do and mother is always busy sewing. Rose is coming this afternoon to have her dress fitted and after that she and I are going down to the village. So I will hurry the ironing but, my, it is an awful hot job.” So both girls started working with a will and all the while the hum of the sewing machine went merrily on and Edna, flitting to and fro, helping a little with the dishes and doing little errands for all. Later in the day Rose came and had the dress fitted then she and Eunice started out. It was a beautiful afternoon and the two girls walked slowly while they kept up a merry chatter until they reached the lower end of Main Street then Rose suggested that they go up to the Cobscook House, it is always so nice and comfortable in there in the parlor and we can rest while we have a good chat together. So up they went and found the parlor quite deserted at that time of day. They each sat in an armchair although one would have been big enough for the two of them. The hotel was on the side of a hill that overlooked the bay which was a very pleasant view as there were many boats and vessels going to and fro all the time as well as the two ferries which make their regular trips between Lubec, Campobello and Eastport. Also, the Eastern Steamship Company boats, running between Boston, Portland, Eastport, Lubec and St. John’s. And as the girls sank down in their chairs the steamer ‘Cumberland’ was just leaving the dock on her return trip to Boston. This steamer was a large side wheeler and the girls watched it churn the water into foam before either of them spoke. Then Rose said, “do you know, Eunice, that some day I am going away on that boat or some other one for I don’t intend to spend my whole life here working the way I am. And I wanted to tell you that I gave Walter his answer and that is ‘no’ for I can’t see myself married and perhaps tied down to a family of children at my age. I did feel sorry for Walter but he will get over it, they always do.” “Why, Rose, you -you almost take my breath away talking the way you do. It would never do for me even to think of going away for Mother would never agree to it and you know that Leigh still thinks that I am a little child so I would just have to put such ideas out of my mind. I think, too, that you are right on the marriage question and quite agree with you that you are too young to be tied down. But I still say that Walter is a good fellow with no bad habits and you might do worse but let’s hope not. Who knows but what you find some one exceedingly rich after you go away. I hope that you won’t forget me.” By this time the hotel parlor had begun to fill up with the guests returning from an outing party up through the country. There was a stable connected with the hotel and several horses with various kinds of carriages, including a six seat buckboard to be let out for hire. So the girls, not caring to mingle with the crowd, started for home. On their way around Water Street they stopped in Thomas Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor and enjoyed a dish of that ‘ cool, refreshing ice cream’ using Mr. Mitchell’s own words, after which they returned home. That night at about nine o’clock they heard the factory bell ring which meant that all had to go to work. Eunice, Leigh and their mother were sitting alone, each one busy with either sewing or crocheting. At the first dong of the bell Leigh blew out the light quickly and said, “keep quiet” when asked why she did that. “I don’t want to go to work tonight and perhaps if we make believe sleep we won’t have to go.” In a short time there was a rap at the door and then another as we didn’t answer. In a few moments a voice which we recognized as Mr. McCurdy’s, the head owner of the shop, “come, come, wake up girls, lots of work and we need you.” “Oh, Mr. McCurdy, why did you wake me up?” came from Leigh with a sleepy yawn although she was sitting on the stairs and could hardly suppress the mirth which was bubbling inside. “Have we really got to work tonight? It must be midnight now.” “No, it’s just because you went to sleep early and you will only have to work a couple of hours” said Mr. McCurdy as he was walking away. “Now see the extra bother you made by putting the light out, Leigh” said her mother who is nearest the matches. Soon they all was on their way to work. The workers, when they came in were scant and sleepy looking and all grumbling about having to work so late. It was near midnight when they finished their day and as they were leaving, Boss John called out, “ seven sharp in the morning, girls” to which all the girls groaned. But as the work wasn’t steady and only from April until the middle of December they had to make the most of it while it lasted. Going home the girls thought how foolish it was to grumble when work came and to grumble when there wasn’t any. On arriving home they ate a hurried lunch and tumbled into bed. In the fall, Leigh heard that help was wanted in the Cobscook Hotel so she went and got the job of chambermaid. But as she was inexperienced and young the work of waitress was piled on her, too. She found it harder work than working in the factory so soon returned to the factory. Leigh and Eunice’s mother never would let them go out to do housework for anyone as she always said, “I don’t want my girls to pot-wallop for any one.” In December they returned to their home in the country and the winter was spent in sewing their mother’s dressmaking and the girls helping when they could and by making their own clothes. Leigh usually did the pastry cooking while Eunice mad the bread. The bed making was Leigh’s work. Eunice polished the stove in which she took great pride. And as there was no brothers or menfolks in the family Eunice usually looked after keeping the woodbox filled and the water pail filled from a nearby spring. One day an invitation was received to a party up to Rose’s house. Both girls talked it over and decided they would go to it. But Eunice wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. “Oh, come and go, Eunice, you know we always have good times with Rose and Jessie and if the sleighing holds good Fred will take us in the sleigh.” And Leigh was all eager. “Of course you want to go” came from her mother who thought that Eunice stayed at home too much and wanted her to get around with other girls. “W-e-l-l, I suppose I will go but parties always give me a headache and I can’t say that I enjoy them very much. But the sleigh ride will be nice, so I will go.” And that was settled. The night of the party was clear and cold with a beautiful moon which made the trees cast long blue shadows over the snow. The roads were well covered with snow which made the sleighing delightful. The girls spent part of the afternoon in getting ready, for up to this time Eunice had always worn her hair in a braid down her back which hung past her waist. Leigh suggested doing it up. “Oh, Leigh, I don’t want my hair put up. It makes me feel old and I never could do it myself” said Eunice. “I’ll fix it for you.” So Leigh braided Eunice’s hair in tiny braids after dampening it and then they were pressed with a hot iron until dry then unbraided and it came out nice and wavy and was done up in a pysche knot on top of her head. To which Eunice exclaimed “ Oh, Leigh, I never can stand having my hair this way, it feels terrible.” “Oh, it looks beautiful and you look much older and taller so you will have to wear it that way and wait until I fix your face.” So Leigh began with powder and rouge until Eunice was transformed to suit her. “Now look at yourself in the mirror and see how you like it.” “Well, I can’t say that I am very beautiful and I feel all stuck up with all that mess on my face. I think I will go and wash it off.” “Don’t you dare wash your face. Mother, doesn’t Eunice look nice?” “Why, yes, I think she looks very nice and think she had better go that way.” So that settled the question and much to Eunice’s discomfort she left her hair and face as Leigh fixed it. Fred came after them about seven o’clock and calling good-bye to the mother and tucking themselves in with the robes they were on their way. Rose lived about two miles or more from them so it didn’t take very long to get there. As it was a surprise party, when they reached the Owen’s home they found the family all settled down for a quiet winter evening at home. But it didn’t take long to clear away the furniture from the large kitchen, to play games in. And by the way Mr. and Mrs. Owen greeted them, all knew that they were welcome. There was many games played such as ‘Clap in, Clap out’, ‘Choose your wife in the dark’, ‘Post Office’, ‘Tucker’, and as a final ending, ‘Good night on the stairs’. The school teacher, Miss Mullany, of Number Five West School, which was near the Owen’s home was there and although she was much older than those who were there she helped make a good time for every one. But she insisted that she must have the top step in playing ‘Good night on the stairs’ with Will Barsley as a partner. In some of the game where an even number of boys and girls were needed, Mr. Owen became one of the boys. In the middle of the evening, home made candy, which some of those who went, made, was passed around. All sat around and kept up a lively conversation while eating it. And at about eleven o’clock all was tired enough to go home after first helping to put the furniture in place and thanking both Mr. and Mrs. Owen for their hospitality . The ride home was enjoyed as much as going to the party. The air had become colder and the girls had to pull their collars up around their ears to keep warm and teased Fred, whose ears set off from his head and wondered how he was going to keep them from freezing. “Now Leigh, just don’t you and Eunice mind about my ears, you had better look after your own, they are not any too small” said Fred, laughing. And thus they kept up a lively banter from one thing to another until they reached home. Good nights were said, the girls hurried into the house still talking of the evening. “Well, now I suppose i can take down my hair and be normal once more” said Eunice, “and I can’t say that I really like parties, either. I don’t think that I shall bother to go to many more.” The girls were now in their room which they shared and making preparations to retire. “Why not? I don’t see how you can stand it staying in the house all the time. I like getting out with the crowd” came from Leigh. “Well, the parties wouldn’t be so bad if one didn’t have to pay a forfeit and get kissed all the time. As for me, I never pay my forfeit. But I could see how you like it when Fred kissed you.” “Now, Eunice, don’t be silly” said Leigh in a blush, “and I think that we had better get to sleep. You have to go to school tomorrow.” “What! you want to go to sleep before you forget that kiss? Well goodnight, sister, pleasant dreams” said Eunice as she rolled up in the blankets and was soon snoring softly. “Eunice” said her mother one morning, “I am going to the village to do some Christmas shopping today. Do you want to go with me?” The village was four miles away but as Eunice and her mother had walked it so often they didn’t mind the walk. There was plenty of snow on the ground and some places the roads were slippery but it was a nice clear day and not very cold so Eunice said, “Why, yes, I would like to go as I, too, want to do some shopping. Is Leigh coming too?” No, she is staying home to be here when Edna gets home from school. Just you and me, and hurry for we want to get an early start. So Eunice and her mother hurried around the house getting dressed and Leigh said, “Never mind the housework for I will have all day alone and plenty of time to get it done.” She told them some thing to get for her and said, “Have a good time and I won’t look for you too early.” “No,” said her mother, if we get our shopping done early enough I want to go around to your grandmother’s too.” “Why Mother,” exclaimed Leigh, “that will make your walk home six miles. Why don’t you wait and see her another day?” “No, she hasn’t been here for some time and I haven’t heard from her so she may be sick. I think that I had better go today.” So they started out for the village and called on Mrs. Myers on their way and as it was dinner time Mrs. Myers insisted that they have dinner with her. Mrs. Myers was a good friend of Mrs. Collom, Eunice’s mother. After dinner they hurried to do their shopping. They did Leigh’s errands first and then Eunice got things that they thought Edna would like and were quite loaded down with bundles when Eunice spied a china powder jar that she thought very pretty and wanted to get it for Leigh. After the purchase was made they started to Mrs. Scoville’s, Eunice’s grandmother. Mrs. Collom’s fears were groundless as they found Mrs. Scoville well and glad to see them. She greeted them with these words, “Well, where have you been? And what are all the bundles? Aren’t you nearly frozen? It’s grown a lot colder since morning. Take off your coats and get warm while I get some supper ready for you.” And gave Eunice a hug as she left the room. On her return, Mrs. Collom said “Why Mother, you haven’t been up for such a long time I thought you must be sick and we were down town so thought that we would come around this way to see you.” “Well you see I am all well and it is too much of a walk for Eunice, poor child. She must be nearly dead.” Her grandmother still thought of her as a child although she was fourteen years old. “No, I am not tired. I enjoyed the walk and it was fun shopping with so many pretty things to look at and buy. Where is Uncle Fred? I hope he isn’t away for I want to see him.” Just then, in he came. He was a tall man with gray eyes and coal black hair. Although one couldn’t call him pretty he was good looking. He had a deep voice and was coarse in his ways by yet to those who really knew him he was a “diamond in the ruff” and Eunice loved him dearly. “Hello, if here isn’t Eunice and the crows have been calling for you all day. They told me that you were coming. Hello, Lizzie, where have you been, buying the town out? Supper ready yet, Mother? I am almost starved. It’s been a bad day in the woods, that off ox wouldn’t do his share of the work, he is a contrary fellow, think I will have to get rid of these and get a new yoke.” And Fred started to get ready for his supper. “Yes, Fred, as soon as you get washed supper will be ready” said his mother. “Lizzie and Eunice took me by surprise and I have been talking to them.” “I think, Uncle Fred, that you made up that story about the crows for they don’t talk. I am coming down soon so I can listen to them and see if they do.” “Why, you are going to stay tonight, aren’t you?” “No, I must get mother home. She might be afraid in the dark” said Eunice with a laugh. “And then, she could never carry all of these bundles.” Then Fred and Lizzie and their mother talked while they ate their suppers. After which, Eunice and her mother soon started for home. “Why don’t you and Eunice both stay all night” said Fred to his sister. “Oh, no, I told Leigh and Edna that I would be home so they will be looking for us but Eunice can come down after Christmas and stay a week. Now we must be getting our coats on and go. Come, Eunice, it is getting to be later than I thought” said Lizzie turning to her daughter. So the good-byes were said and they started for home. It was dark and much colder but the night was clear with a new moon and plenty of stars shining so it didn’t seem so dark after they were out a while. They walked along talking of one thing and another, planning little surprises for Leigh and Edna until they reached the place where there was woods on both sides of the road and was known as “Thad Sumner’s Woods.” The road was quite slippery and Eunice fell down with a thud. “Oh, Eunice, are you hurt?” cried her mother, “here, let me help you up.” “No, I am not hurt but I am awful mad for I have broken that powder jar and I wanted it so much for Leigh. Now what will I do? Oh, no, it isn’t broken. Well, it’s no use to cry over spilled milk so we might as well go on.” When they reached home about seven o’clock Leigh and Edna was waiting for them. Edna was all excitement, wanting to know if they had seen Santa. And after she was told she must not peek into the bundles, Leigh said, “I have some supper waiting for you” and was disappointed when she found that they had already eaten. She insisted that they have a piece of the cake she had baked. “It’s awful good, Mama” said Edna. “I want more but Leigh said two pieces was enough for me. Can I have more, now?” “No, if you have had that much you must get to bed. How was school today? And did you do your lessons tonight?” “School was all right. I got “A” in spelling. Good night, Eunice.” “Goodnight, and don’t forget to dream about Santa” said Eunice. The whole family made preparations for Christmas and their most enjoyment was to make Edna happy. Their father died when Edna was a baby and they all tried to make up for his love to her. And she seemed to be quite a happy little girl. Christmas morning there was much excitement from her and all had to be as much enthused as she, to make her Santa seem real. While her mother was busy in the kitchen cooking chicken and getting the dinner Leigh had helped the day before to bake pies and cake with little pies for Edna’s dolly’s tea party. In the afternoon everything was cleared away for the girls always had a party on Christmas night when all their schoolmates came and had a merry time playing games such as ‘Cross Questions and Crooked Answers’, ‘Marching down to Old Quebec’, and many more. Their mother often joined in and became one of the girls, to help think up something to keep every one happy. And Ed Hunt looked so funny when he had to pay a forfeit and was told to go and sit beneath the latch. As he looked around he said, “all I see is a knob. So I will have to change the rhyme to: ‘here I sit beneath the knob,twenty kisses make a gob, the more kisses, the less fun, don’t come near me, any one’ which caused a great deal of laughter while some of the girls made a rush to kiss him to see him blush for it was always the bashful ones that received the most kisses. Mrs. Collom always took care to see that there wasn’t any rough talk or acts. So the party was enjoyed by all. The first of April came and they moved back to the cottage. While Eunice and Leigh hated to leave their country home they were glad to be near Rose and Jessie once more. Monday, early in the morning, Mrs. Collom’s brother, Fred was there with the ox team and pretended he was in a great hurry. “Why, Fred, I didn’t look for you so soon. I haven’t got half packed up yet. And the girls have only just crawled out of bed. How is Mother? Come have some breakfast with us” said Lizzie. “What lazybones you are. I had my breakfast at half past four and couldn’t eat any more. Mother is well and was up at four o’clock this morning. Now what do you think of that, Eunice? Well, I will start loading what you have ready while you pack the rest.” So Fred started to work. The girls and their mother hurried around and as they only move a few of their things, soon everything was ready to go. “Come, Leigh and Eunice, are you and Edna going to ride with me?” said Fred as they were ready to start. “Oh, no, I think I will walk” said Eunice, “your team is too slow and then I wouldn’t be riding with you, as you always walk.” At that time there was a team with two seats came along so Mrs. Collom and the girls got a ride and arrived much ahead of the furniture. But as there was a stove in the cottage and a water pail, soon the fire was made and water was heating, getting ready to start the work. The girls were soon washing windows and cleaning woodwork from the spider webs and dust that had accumulated during the winter. As there was a grocery store nearby Eunice was sent to get something that a quick dinner could be ready as soon as Fred unloaded the furniture. Shortly, coming up the hill a voice was heard, together with the grind of cart wheels on the graveled road. It was the voice of Fred, saying, “Whoa, hi-sh! there, Star, gee off there, Bright, you lazy lubbers, get along, then” as he laid the goad stick gently across their backs. And then he started in at a pace ahead of them and always going back to meet them and coax them along. As soon as Eunice and Edna saw him they ran to meet him. “Well, we got here ahead of you. I hope you haven’t let my doll carriage fall off” said Edna. “If you have I don’t know what my poor babies will do.” “Oh, I have been throwing things off all the way along to make the load lighter for Star and Bright. You will have to run up the road to see if you can find them” replied Fred. If Edna hadn’t known her uncle, she might have been disturbed but she followed along with him until the cottage was reached and was soon made happy by having her doll carriage handed to her. The load was soon unloaded and in the cottage while the girls were busy getting the dinner. “Come, Fred” called Lizzie, “and have some dinner before you go home. It is all ready.” “I can’t, I’m in a hurry and Star and Bright are hungry and want to get home.” And no amount of coaxing could make him stay and eat unless his oxen had some dinner, too. They were human to him and he was always very kind to them. So he left. Lizzie and the girls got the cottage in order while different ones of their neighbors came in to tell them that they were glad to have them back. And then in the evening a group of girls came in to talk over the events of the past winter and tell of the news of the shop as work had already started. Rose and Jessie, with their brother and father had moved down and Mr. Owen was starting a new house on a lot he had bought near his cottage and he was selling his home in the country. “It will be nice when you get the new house all done so your family will all be together again, won’t it” Eunice said to Jessie. “Yes, but I like it up in the country and will miss many of our old friends and all the things of the farm but it will make work easier for Mother, for now while Father is away she has everything to attend to and you know that farm life isn’t very easy.” “Is there any kind of life that is easy for the working class of people? I can’t see but every one who has to work for their living has a hard life. But then, I don’t suppose every one could have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. And I am sure that I enjoy working. How about you Jessie?” “Well, Eunice, I can’t say that I do. You know that I always call myself the laziest girl that walks the street. And if it wasn’t for Papa and Rose I don’t see how I ever could cook myself enough to eat. You know that Papa is getting to be quite a cook. You will have to come to dinner with me some day to prove it.” “What are you and Eunice talking so seriously about?” cried Rose. “You look as serious as deacons. And, Jessie, do you see what time it is? I am sure that Mrs. Collom and the girls must be tired after moving today so I think we had better get going before Mrs. Collom tells us to.” “Don’t worry about me telling you to go, as long as your father don’t come after you, I don’t care. You know that you are always welcome here and if we get too sleepy I will put the whole of you to bed” said Mrs. Collom with a laugh. “Well, I think too, that we had better be going” said Jessie. “Come, Rose, and we will see all of you at work in the morning. How I hate to think of it after playing around all winter. I can’t make up my mind that I have got to go to work. Ready, Rose? Good night everybody. Don’t forget that dinner invitation, Eunice.” And away the girls went, down the hill and out into the night. In the shop where the girls worked there was new ones coming and going all the time as many from the cities, on vacation, worked for a week or two just for a change. So one day there were several new boys hired and it happened that some of the machinery had broken down so there was a hold up in the work. While waiting for it to be repaired, and as the girls thought, and was told, it would only be a short time before they started again they sat around near their tables and waited, talking and joking about one thing or another until Rose espied one of the new hands that had been hired. “Oh, Eunice, isn’t he cute? Just see how nice his hair is parted in the middle. I asked someone and they told me his name is George Beck and hi is boarding up to Grasses. I’ll tell you what - I bet I will have him to go home with me before you do.” And Rose began to laugh. Eunice wasn’t much interested in the boys, generally, but she replied, “he is kind of cute and I will take you up on that bet. I will have him first. Have you been introduced to him, yet? I haven’t.” In a short time work began again and the girls learned that they had to work in the evening so the new boy was apparently forgotten. But Rose had a chance to talk to him so Eunice had begun to think that she would lose the bet. When work was finished that night Eunice kept her eyes on George and hurried out just behind him. As soon as they got to the street she walked up beside him and asked him to go home with her as they were going in the same direction. “Sure, I’ll go home with you. Do you live far away?” asked George. “Oh, no, just up over the hill.” So they walked along. As both were rather bashful they didn’t have much to say to each other until they reached Eunice’s house. She was ahead of her mother and sister for the door was locked. “Shall I unlock the door for you?” asked George. “Well, Mother has the key. You needn’t wait. She will be here in a few minutes and I am not afraid to stay here alone and wait.” “Gosh, I don’t want to meet them. Is there any way that I can make a short cut to get home before the rest of the boarders do where I am staying?” “Yes, just jump over that fence and go across the field. Good night and I hope you get home first.” So, thus they parted. But George didn’t get home before the rest of the boarders and the next day they all teased him until he wouldn’t speak to anyone. But no one knew who he went home with so Eunice didn’t come in to share the teasing. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that he went home with Rose and she said, “I knew I would win that bet.” “Why, Rose, George went home with me the day we made the bet” said Eunice. “And you never said a word about it. He never seems to have much to do with you. What is the trouble with him?” “Oh, he is alright but I only wanted to win the bet. And since then I’ve had to shun him to keep him away.” “Well, I don’t want him either. Annie can have him. She likes him.” So the subject was dropped. And poor George went around with Annie Grass, the Methodist minister’s daughter. If asked about one or another, they both would declare that they hated each other but it wasn’t long before Annie was wearing an engagement ring. But as her father got called to a different church we never knew if Annie and George got married or not. It was a wet morning and as the hill over which Mrs. Collom lived was clay-ey in places, on rainy days it became quite slippery. Eunice was hurrying to work as she was a little late and in her hurry down the hill, stepped in one of the clay places and it was nearly like stepping on ice for her foot slipped and down she fell, striking her knee on a rock and hurting it quite a bit. When she went in the factory she was limping and who should she meet, of all the people there, but John P., one of the owners of the factory and a great tease. Now there was a young man working there during vacations who was studying for a Doctor so from John P. came talk - like this: “Why, Eunice, what is the trouble? Why are you limping? Are you hurt?” “Oh, I only fell down and hurt my knee.” “Well, well, come right along with me” taking Eunice by the arm, “and I will take you right in to Dr. Mahlman. He will fix it for you. Now, now, it’s no use to say no. Come right along.” But Eunice put up such a kick that John had to give up and let her go. But for some days he “threatened” to take her to the doctor. “Oh, no” said Eunice, “I will wait a while until he finishes his studying before I try him.” Then Mahlman came along and said, “Well, Eunice, when I get to be a real M.D. I am coming back and doctor all of you.” And he was true to his word for he soon settled in the town, married one of its’ native daughters and became a very busy M.D. “Oh, I am so excited” said Leigh. “You are always excited about something. What is it now? Are you getting married?” asked Eunice. “Well, Leigh, what is it? And Eunice, stop your teasing.” it was a very stormy morning and no work. Mrs. Collom was making Leigh a new waist. It was gray with blue plaid stripes and was being made with a deep shirred yoke which looked very pretty. “Fred has asked me to go to the fair in Machias with him and I have never been there before. I can go, can’t I, Mother? And will you finish my waist for me to wear? We are going to drive up to Machias with the team and he wants me to go up to his house and stay all night as we will start very early in the morning. And by staying at his house it will save the poor old horse about eight miles travelling.” “Well, how exciting. And how do you think that Mother is going to finish that waist when you know that you need some more material and you got it in Eastport. That means a trip to Eastport for someone” said Eunice. “Do you have to have that waist?” “Yes, Leigh, you can go to the fair. I know that you will enjoy it and it is a long drive but very tiring unless you have a good horse. Your father and I used to enjoy going very much. And this afternoon Eunice and I will go to Eastport and get the material you need and it won’t take long to finish your waist. We will have dinner a little early and get an early start. I don’t mind the storm, do you, Eunice?” Turning to her, she said, “now go and get dressed so as to be ready.” It was raining a down pour and the wind had begun to blow nearly a gale but as it was only about a quarter of a mile to the ferry, Eunice said, “no, I don’t mind the storm. I rather like it and it will be fun to be on the ferry when it is so rough. And then, I wouldn’t think of doing anything to keep Leigh away from that fair although she is welcome to the drive, twenty-two miles is too much for me to ride. I should want to walk part of the way. Well, I must get ready and I do believe that the rain is letting up a little.” Yes, the rain was letting up but as the rain decreased the wind increased and there was some doubt on Mrs. Collom’s part if they should start. She said, “what do you think, Eunice, should we go?” “Sure, this storm isn’t much and by the time we eat our dinners and get to the ferry it will be all cleared up.” So dinner was eaten and there was a little lull in the wind and rain so Eunice and her mother started out. “Don’t forget your umbrella” called out Leigh. “And bring me something from Eastport” sang out Edna. “Well, I’ll take the umbrella along but the wind blows so I don’t know as I can carry it.” And kissing Edna, Mrs. Collom called, “ready, Eunice?” “All ready” came the answer. So away they went. They hadn’t half reached the ferry when the rain came pouring down again and the bay was just a mass of white caps. And the waves rolled in to the shore and broke, splashing high in the air, making a very pretty sight. One has really to be out in such a storm to fully enjoy such beauty for no words of mine can express it. “Shall we go back, Eunice?” “No, we’ll keep going. If we get wet we can dry ourselves on the ferry.” So on they went. When they reached the ferry landing the ferry was laying at the wharf and no one around. They stood and waited and watched how the boat tossed from end to end, even at the wharf. As the gangplank was not out Eunice and her mother couldn’t go aboard. Just then the Captain came out of the pilot house and to the wharf. Upon meeting Mrs. Collom he said, “Hello, Mrs. Collom, isn’t this a terrible storm? Why, did you intend to go on the ferry?” “Hello, Captain Leavitt, this sure is a bad storm and we started for Eastport. What is the trouble? Aren’t you going?” “No, the last trip we made across it was so rough that I didn’t think that we would be able to land and as there isn’t anyone to go except you and your daughter, I think we will wait until the wind lets up. Of course, we will have to make the trip for the mail in the late afternoon but I suppose that will be too late for you.” “Yes, and if you are not going I suppose Eunice, that we might as well return home. Good-bye Captain Leavitt. Come, Eunice.” “So now what will we do about Leigh’s waist?” said Eunice. “She will have to go and get the material herself, tomorrow but I have a few errands to do so we will go around Water Street on our way home.” “And I must get some little thing for Edna so she won’t be disappointed. What shall I get, Mother?” “Oh, wait until we get to the stores and you will find something.” “Let’s stop in Lizzie Moses store. I haven’t been in there much but I do remember how she used to come around to the houses with a pack and a little cart” said Eunice. “Why go in there? All her goods is a mess and you know she never had anything that was much good. But if you really want to go in, I will go with you.” “Well, it is the nearest store to us just now and it will take us in out of the rain for a while.” As they opened the door, Lizzie Moses greeted them with “much rain, huh? You must have something important to buy to get you out in a storm like this.” “Well, we just came in to look around, may we?” “Sure, if you see what you want - buy - if not - no buy.” Just then Eunice saw a pretty blouse and asked the price and wanted to know if she could take it home to try it on. “That blouse, she a dollar. And no take it home unless you buy. No change the goods. If you like it and she fits - buy it. If she don’t fit - no buy.” “Well, I won’t take it. I don’t see anything I want, do you Mother? We may as well go.” Then they went into Clark’s store and made a few purchases. Eunice got a picture book for Edna and they hurried home. Their umbrella wasn’t much good to them for it was inside out part of the time. So when they arrived home they were soaking wet.


“Why I didn’t look for you two so soon. You couldn’t have gone to Eastport” cried Leigh as Eunice and her mother came into the house. “Don’t talk Eastport to us, just help us get some dry clothing and find a place to hang these wet ones” replied her mother. “The ferry didn’t go. That is all that kept us from getting drowned” said Eunice. “So you will have to go to the fair with just a skirt on. Won’t you look funny. Mother, do they have a parade of horribles at the fair?” “No, Eunice, no horribles and Leigh will have her waist in time for she can get the material in the morning. Then it won’t take too long to finish it. Now don’t tease Leigh any more.” “Never mind, Mother, I will have a chance to get even with Eunice some day, just you wait until I do. I’ll find something to tease her about” cried Leigh. “I’ll help you Eunice, when Leigh begins, let me know. I’m on your side” called Edna. “There, now you see that I have a defendant. Don’t you wish you had one, too? I think I will crochet until supper.” And Eunice started off to get her work. The afternoon before the fair came and the new waist was finished. Leigh was dressed and was waiting patiently for Fred to come after her. At last he came and as Leigh had curled her hair, and together with the new waist, she looked very pretty. “Why, Leigh, what have you been doing to yourself? I hardly knew you as I came in” said Fred as he went to shake hands with her. “Now, now, none of that, Fred. Don’t you try to hold hands with her that way. She was about ready to cry when you came in thinking that you wasn’t coming after her.” “Eunice, if you don’t stop I don’t know what I will do to you. Fred, never mind her” and Leigh ran to get her hat and coat. “I hope that you and Leigh have a great time to the fair, Fred, but I don’t envy you your drive. I don’t care much for riding.” Eunice was trying to be entertaining while Leigh was out of the room. Just then her mother came and was talking to Fred of his family until Leigh came into the room all ready to go. “Well, are we ready to start, Leigh? We will take you with us next year, Eunice” said Fred as they were getting in the buggy. “So long.” “Don’t forget that! I shall be all anticipation until next year. Don’t forget to bring Leigh home again” called Eunice, as they drove away. It was Sunday afternoon and about four o’clock. It had been quite a hot day. Eunice was walking home from church with her grandmother and her cousin Elena who lived across the street from her grandmother’s house. A new minister had been having meetings in the little Baptist Church on the Ridge and as they were kind of an evangelical nature there was many new converts to be baptized. Elena was one of them and as they walked along Mrs. Scoville said to her granddaughter, “I was in hopes that you, too, Eunice would come forward and be baptized. How is it that you never have? You always have attended church and Sunday school and Leigh was baptized. I can’t see why you have refused to be.” “Well, you see, Grandmother, I wanted to be baptized when Leigh was but I was too young and now I have been to a number of different churches and have decided that when I join a church it will be a “Church of God.” So far I can’t seem to find it. So I go a few Sundays to the Baptist and a few to the Disciple and a few to the Methodist and that is all the Protestant Churches in town. And I can’t see much difference in them. I shall just wait.” “I wish you would come and be baptized with me, Eunice. I am sure that you wouldn’t be sorry” said Elena in a serious tone. “No, Elena, I will come and see you baptized, but not me.” “Elena will have a hard time to live a Christian life for her family are all against her but she will just have to pray to God to help her” said Mrs. Scoville. “Have they consented to your being baptized yet?” “Yes, only they can’t see that it will do me any good. And last night when I was afraid in the thunder shower they only laughed and told me that now is the time to pray.” “Well, Elena, they were right. When you are afraid is a good time to pray. But I understand how it hurts when they say such things to you. Pray for help to overcome your fears,” said Mrs. Scoville. So the three walked along talking on various subjects but baptisms seemed to be the main topic. They talked of different ones they had been to then Mrs. Scoville told them of when her father was baptized. “I was quite a large girl when your great-grandfather, Joseph Matthews was baptized, Eunice. He was a big, stout man and the minister was just a little fellow. Besides him there was quite a number before your great-grandfather and it wasn’t a very good day for the wind had begun to blow making the water rather rough. So when the minister and my father walked in until they were up above their waists and when the minister went to dip him down, he lost his balance and down they both went. If there hadn’t some one gone to their rescue they might have drowned. I was big enough to always feel ashamed of it. And I never have told it to anyone, so don’t repeat it.” “Why, what did you do, Grandmother? Wasn’t you afraid?” cried Eunice. “No, child, I wasn’t afraid. I was too much ashamed and I hurried home as fast as I could. There, don’t talk about it anymore for I am still ashamed.” During the rest of the walk Eunice and Elena didn’t know whether to talk or laugh for to them the story the way it was told did hit a funny spot in them. But when they looked at Mrs. Scoville they knew that they had better not laugh. So the rest of the distance home was continued almost in silence. “Well, Eunice, where have you been?” her uncle Fred exclaimed when she went in the house. “I bet I know. You went to hear that colored preacher. Well, only one of my feet belong to the church and the other is a dancer” and to prove it, Fred began dancing with one foot. “Uncle Fred, didn’t you know that this is Sunday and you’re dancing. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!” cried Eunice. “Well, it is that one foot. I told you it didn’t belong to the church. The divil has got it sure and I can’t make it mind. But now I must go and look up the cow. It will soon be milking time.” “Uncle Fred is the limit. Did he ever belong to the church, Grandmother?” “Yes, he was a member of the Baptist Church and used to go to all the meetings.” “What happened to him, he hardly ever goes to church now?” “It was at a church meeting one night that some of the members got into an argument and it ended up in a fight so Fred came home and said if that is the way church members act, from now on I am not a member. And he had his name taken off the books. And for a long time wouldn’t go to church at all. But now he goes sometimes but not very often. I’ve tried to tell him that he shouldn’t pay any attention to what the others say or do but it is no use, he is all done with the church.” “Well, I am sure, Grandmother, that he is just as good as if he went to church and to me he is the best uncle in the world. If you haven’t anything for me to do I think I will read for a while for I want to finish the books that I borrowed from Elena before I return home. And, we are going to church again tonight, aren’t we? Elena wants us to call for her, too. She is going.” It was nice at the farm in the summer and Eunice always enjoyed it as her grandfather’s brothers’ house was the only one within three quarters of a mile it was always very quiet there. Eunice liked to sit out under the trees in the orchard with her books or crochet work. And, too, at one side of the orchard was a row of cedar trees set so close together that the view was quite hidden from the street. Not that there was much traffic but just the idea of seclusion that Eunice liked that particular place. So it was there that Eunice took her book and was lost to the world until the call for supper was heard, all too soon, as Eunice thought for she dearly loved to read. “Well, it’s about time you were getting in here. Where have you been? Oh, I see, eating another book. Eunice, you don’t read at all, you just eat a book when you get it. I must tell Elena not to let you have any more. I thought you came out here to talk to me and away you go with a load of books. I don’t think I will let you have any supper to pay for it.” “Oh, Uncle Fred, how you do scold. And how dare you say I can’t have any supper when I see raspberries with cream and hot biscuits. There, now, can I have some supper?” and Eunice gave her uncle a big hug and a promise to talk the next time she came out. “Fred, will you stop your teasing. It is a good thing that Eunice is good-natured and don’t pay any attention to you” said her grandmother as they sat down to eat. After the supper was finished Eunice helped her grandmother wash the dishes then she called for Elena and they started early for church as Mrs. Scoville wanted to call on Mrs. John Basley, who was a great friend to her. Mrs. Basley was a dear lady, around Mrs. Scoville’s age. She was born in the northern part of Ireland but was a member of the Baptist Church and a faithful attendant. She was also Eunice’s Sunday School teacher. She talked with a real Irish brogue and often chided her class if she heard any of them say “Oh, my soul” as to her it was sacrilegious. Eunice loved her and many of her teachings I am sure was helpful to her later in life. Mr. Basley had a blacksmith shop and how often Eunice has stood by the door and watched the sparks fly from the anvil as a horse shoe was being hammered out. And then she stood there in pity to see a shoe nailed to the horses’ hoof until she learned that it didn’t hurt. Mr. Basley was a short, stout man and also good-natured and also an active church member. In the living room of their house was a wide mantle shelf and when Eunice was four or five years old Mr. Basley had often told her that he was going to set her upon that shelf for an ornament and keep her all the time. So until she grew old enough to know that he was only fooling she was a little afraid of him. When they entered the Basley home that Sunday night they found Mr. and Mrs. Basley about ready for church. “Well, well, Katie, here is Aunt Fannie” as they always called Mrs. Scoville, “and Eunice, and here, Elena, have seats, all of you. I guess, Eunice, that you are too big to put upon that shelf now” Mr. Basley cried as he saw them. “Well, a little too big, Mr. Basley, and not much of an ornament, either. Good evening, Mrs. Basley.” answered Eunice. “Well, sure and I suppose you are all going to church. And isn’t he a foine minister? He preached a good sermon. Too bad we couldn’t keep him all the time. And, I say, Johnny, how much more time have we got? I wouldn’t want to be late” “There is plenty of time but you better see if Mr. Bigley is ready for you know he can’t hurry.” Mr. Bigley was a very old man, a retired minister, who was partly paralyzed from a shock. He had been living with the Basley’s for a number of years. He always went to the church services when the weather was so that he could. His voice was affected by the shock so it was hard to understand him. He was tall with white hair and had a very dignified look. When Eunice was small he often used to trot her on his knee. “Mr. Bigley is all ready, Johnny, and I think that we had better start. Aunt Fannie and I will walk together so we can talk. And I am glad to hear that Elena is to be baptized. I feel sure that you will be very happy in serving the Lord. Just put your trust in God and pray to him for guidance and you will never go wrong.” “Well, Eunice, you know that I told you some time ago that I wasn’t always going to work in the factory and now I have a chance to go away so I am going.” And Rose was all eager with excitement while she was speaking. “Oh, Rose, when are you going and where? I shall miss you terribly and what will Jessie do without you?” “Don’t worry about Jessie. She will get along without me, somehow. You know since she has Clarkie she doesn’t think much of me. And I am going to Lowell as I have a job there waiting for me. I shall go as soon as I can get my things ready, which will be next week.” “And here you have never been away from Lubec and you are starting off alone like that among strangers. How will you manage to find your way around? “Well, there is a friend of my aunt’s that will meet me. It is someone that I have never seen and I know that every one will be strange but it won’t take long to get acquainted when once I get there. And the work will be steady the year around and I hope, cleaner than here in the factory.” “Now, Rose, how in the world will someone you never saw, know you when you meet them? And I am sure that you won’t know them.” “Oh, yes I will, for they have written and told me just what they will wear and I am to do the same and in that way we will know each other.” “Well, it may be all right, but - I - I’d feel awful timid about it. I hope that you like it there and make a lot of new friends but not so many that you would forget the old ones for you know that “old friends are the best friends.” As I know that you hate to write letters I know now that I shall never hear from you. You will do well if you write to Jessie.” “Oh, I will write. But now I must hurry for this is my last day to work here.” So Rose went to work with Leigh talking of her new plans and all agog with enthusiasm. Jessie and Eunice worked together for a while in silence, Jessie looking rather downcast and it was plain to see that her thoughts were with Rose. They had been keeping house for several summers with their father and brother and Jessie was thinking of how things would go on with Rose away. Presently Eunice broke the silence with “Why, Jessie, don’t look so sad. Rose isn’t dying she is just going away. and you look already as if you had been to her funeral. I think that it will be the best thing ever for her to get away from here. I wouldn’t mind going myself but Mother never would consent to such a thing. We know here that there is no chance for advancement. It is the same year in and year out. Work in the summer and lay around all winter. And the work doesn’t require an intellect, any idiot could do it. and if one worked here a hundred years they wouldn’t know any more than they know now. While in the city, where she is going she will have a chance to advance to something more than common labor. And, then too, there are night schools. If she wants to she can study for something. I think that is a wonderful chance for her.” “Yes, I know, Eunice that all you say is true but Rose and I have been together for so long it is just the idea of her going away. It probably will be the best thing that ever happened to her. But I can’t see how she could make up her mind to go. Here I am, older than she and I wouldn’t think of such a thing as leaving home. You know when I started Normal School in Gorham I got so homesick that they had to send for my father to come and take me home. But I don’t think that homesickness will bother Rose any. She is different and makes friends easier than I. But I do hope that she makes the right kind of friends. You talk of advantages in the city. There are also disadvantages and many of them. But Rose has had good moral training from our parents and she has a strong mind so I won’t let the dark side of life trouble me much. And I shall hope for the best for her. But I know now that I should settle down her, perhaps an old maid.” “Now, Jessie, you know that you will never be an old maid! How about Clarkie? He doesn’t think much of old maids. And then there is William. Which shall it be?” “Well, I have numbered them Number One and Number Two. I suspect that Number Two drinks a little although I can’t tell for I am not quick at finding out those thing. How good is your nose? Could you smell liquor on one’s breath from across the table?” “My nose is very good and I, too, think that he drinks for I have smelled it but didn’t say anything for I thought you knew it.” “Well, now, the next time he comes in here and you smell liquor you say ‘two’ and I will be all done with him for I would never go around with anyone who drank even just a little for one little drink some times grows into a big drink later in life.” So the work and talk went on for the afternoon and when quitting time came Rose bade good-bye to her friends as she was going to her country home to stay the last few days before going away with her mother. On the way home Leigh and Eunice was talking together. “Well, Eunice, I will have to have a new table mate now. I don’t know who it will be but I hate to think of it after Rose and working together so long. We worked alike and knew each others’ ways and everyone isn’t easy to get along with.” “I’m sorry for you. I know I should hate to loose Jessie. But I can’t help but think how I wish that I was going away with Rose but I suppose That I will always have to stay here, tied to an apron string and grow to an old dunce. But then, when you and Fred get married and have half a dozen children I will be their doting old maid aunt. I hope that I don’t get to be an old crab, too.” “Why, Eunice, you know that Mother would never consent to your going away at your age and if she did I would put up a terrible kick. And as for me getting married, I may some day but not this year. Fred wants me to go up to his house and stay with his mother this winter. You know she isn’t well. Fred and his father are away so much it leaves her lonely. So if Mother is willing, I will go. Mrs. Knight is very anxious to have me, too. So you, Edna and Mother will keep house together for the winter and I will learn of life on the farm. Well, here we are, ready for supper. Mother went home early. I hope she has something good, how about you, Eunice?” was Leigh’s last remark as they entered the house. It was a few weeks after Rose went away that Eunice and Jessie was busy working on a rainy afternoon. They had been quite busy for the past few days and this day there was a prospect of getting out early. And as they were very tired some time off would be very welcome. “Well, Jessie, what are you going to do tonight? asked Eunice. “There is a show in town but I am too tired to go. I think I will catch up on some sleep.” “Well, Eunice, I don’t know. Clarkie won’t be in tonight for this is Grange night and he wouldn’t stay away from Grange for anything. He has been wanting me to join but I haven’t decided to yet.” “He has been trying to get me to join too, Jessie, but I am afraid of riding the goat.” Just then, William came in to Jessie’s side of the table and began talking with her, wanting to take her to the show. But Eunice was doing as Jessie had asked her and was using her nose. In a short time she interrupted the conversation by saying “Two, Jessie, two” with a laugh. “Two what?” William enquired. “What is the trouble with you two girls? Why the funny look, Jessie?” “Never mind, two is just our new by-word” said Eunice. “Perhaps Jessie will tell you later.” “Well, Jessie, will you go to the show?” said William. “No, not tonight. But come up to the house this evening. I want to talk to you. I really feel too tired for the show.” So William consented to give up the show and go to Jessie’s house instead. Perhaps he would have been wiser if he had gone to the show for Jessie told Eunice the next day that she talked to him plenty and she didn’t want him to come hanging around her any more. “Surely, Jessie, you didn’t let him know that I had anything to do with it, did you? For he seems to be a good sort other than his drinking and if you really care for him perhaps he will stop that.” “No, your name wasn’t mentioned. I do like him but I feel sure that once he has started to drink he will always keep it up. He tried to tell me that he would give it up and that it was only one little glass but it’s no use. I don’t want him. You know that Papa or Frank never drink and they wouldn’t want me to have anything to do with anyone who did. So that is the end of Number Two.” “Well, that leaves Clarkie a clear field and my nose has never told me any such tales on him yet but if it does I will surely let you know. But Clarkie is so much older than you, he seems quite an old man to me. But then, I suppose that it is better to be ‘an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.’ I hope you don’t become an old man’s slave.” “Eunice, I don’t have thoughts of being anyone’s slave or darling, either, for that matter, for a while. And Clarkie has never said a word that would lead me to think that he even cares for me.” “Well, how could he with William Wells hanging around all the time? If you could see the expression on his face sometimes, while he is talking with you I am sure you would change your mind. He sure is thinking of something besides his dinner” said Eunice, with a laugh. “Without your eyes and nose to help me, Eunice, I don’t know what I should do. You sure are a help to me. Our work will soon be over for the summer and this winter I want you to come up to the country for a visit with me. It will probably be our last year on the farm. In the spring Papa expects to have the new house ready to move into.” “I shall accept that invitation, Jessie, if Mother is willing. But Leigh is going to stay with Mrs. Knight this winter so I expect Mother will need me at home. However, Mother might go for a visit someplace too, and in that case you can look for me.” “When you get ready I will have Papa come after you as he goes to town quite often to see his sister, Aunt Annie Morrison. She and Ethel are going to move to Massachusetts in the spring as she thinks that Ethel will have better schools. And as she herself is a dressmaker she might find more work at better pay than here.” “Well, there goes the whistle” cried both girls at once, “how quick time flies when there is plenty to talk about.” Well, work had ended for the season. And Leigh had been away for some time. Eunice found a lot to keep herself busy. For, after work all summer there was clothes to be fixed that had been put off for a more convenient time and new ones to make, for Eunice had been making most of her clothes since she was about thirteen years old. And, then too, she always helped her mother make quilts and drawn work during the winter. So all around she was quite busy. It was sometime in January that Jessie and her father came after her and she went back up in the country with them and what a delightful time she had. In the evening there was always some extra boys and girls who just dropped in and as the game of “donkey” was very popular at that time, many hours was spent that way. Before the factory had closed Jessie and Clarkie had become engaged, against her father’s wishes. But as she had agreed to wait a year before getting married he gave his consent. Clarkie was a good man but it was his age that her parents objected to. Eunice had been to Jessie’s for a couple of days and as Clarkie lived only a short distance away and he hadn’t been over to the house, Eunice asked “What has become of Clarkie? Doesn’t he come over here any more or does he have a special time to make his calls?” “Oh, Eunice, I have been intending to tell you but we have been so busy all the time or there has been someone in, but Clarkie and I are all done.” “All done! Why, what do you mean? Is it on account of your parents?” “No, I was over to his sister-in-laws where he stays and we had a fight and I never want to see him again. My folks are tickled most to death about it. And, I, too, have begun to think that I didn’t really love him. So now I am free once more. And I mean to stay free until I am really sure the next time.” “Well now you have killed both Number One and Number Two. You had better make up your mind to be an old maid like I am and then we could live together and have Rose and Leigh’s children come to see us.” “But-but- wait - Leigh and Rose hasn’t got any children. They aren’t even married. And Rose hasn’t found anyone to even care for as far as I know. Her letters are short and far between as she is always so busy.” “Well, if she is busy it can’t be all work for she has her evenings free so perhaps there is a flame after all. And Leigh will be married before long, probably next year, so there we are. But I can see you don’t want to be an old maid. Well, good luck to you. I hope he will be good to you, whoever he is.” “Well it won’t be for a long time yet so you won’t have to worry. And it is true that I never liked the idea of being an old maid. I want children of my own. Look at little Jennie here,” turning to her little three year old cousin who was staying there during the sickness of her father and mother, who both had typhoid fever, “who could look at her and not want children?” “It’s true, Jessie, she is a sweet child, so chubby and plump. And such pretty hair and eyes. But all children aren’t like that. And it might just be my luck to get one of the homely ones. Have you seen some that you wondered how the mothers could love them.” “Yes, that’s true, too. But, regardless of how they look their mothers always seem to love them so I suppose that we would be the same way.” And Jessie had a thoughtful look. Presently she said, “but there is one thing, when I do have a family I am always going to keep them clean for I hate dirty children.” “Now, Jessie, don’t tell me that. There is that little Henry Tinker around the factory and he always has the dirtiest face of any child I ever saw and every one down there loves him. If he had a clean face there wouldn’t be any one look at him, and you make as much fuss over him as any one else. Now you will admit that he is cute, dirty face and all.” “Yes, I will admit it, he always has such a sunny smile and such fat, rosy cheeks that there isn’t anyone who could help but love him. But still I shall keep my children clean.” Henry, just mentioned, was one of a large family of children whose parents were poor but hard working people. And Henry, or Henny, as he called himself, was the pet of every one whom he met. Always a smile and a dirty face to go with it, which made him more cute than when clean. And Jessie’s talk of keeping her children clean made Eunice mention him. Then Eunice ended by saying, “I have a little sister of my own and although I love her dearly it don’t make me feel toward children as you seem to feel.” “Eunice, if you keep on talking the way you do I will think that you will really be an old maid. Now I hear Mother calling me. You can read or look over those magazines until I get back.” So Eunice busied herself, idly turning the pages of the magazine which Jessie had handed to her, but her thoughts were still with the things they had been talking about. The more she thought the more she decided to remain single and care for her mother in her old age. If only she could find some different kind of work. But, no, it must be the same old grind. And, too, she thought of helping Edna through school and fit her for something, make up to her what she herself, lacked. A few days later Eunice returned home and had only been home a few days when her mother was taken sick with a “quinsy sore throat” and as Leigh was away, Eunice at once became housekeeper and nurse. Although Mrs. Collom was very sick she wouldn’t consent to having a doctor. She said, “I tell you, Eunice, it isn’t any use to call the doctor for my throat has been sore like this many times and it will just have to take its’ time and gather and break.” “But, Mother, he might give you something to ease the pain. I hate to see you suffer so.” “Never mind the pain, just see that you and Edna get enough cooked to eat and do what you can. I can stand the pain all right.” So Eunice had to give up and let her mother have her way. But one morning Eunice rose early and was very busy and being as quiet as she could when her mother called, “Eunice what are you doing? It seems to me that I smell suds.” “Why, Mother, you have a very good nose so I might as well tell you that I am washing and you smell the clothes boiling. Don’t they smell good?” “How in the world did you get the water? Didn’t I tell you to leave the washing until I got well?” “Well now, there is a whole well full of water just down at the foot of this hill so I took the pails and asked Edna if she would help me carry enough to wash with and believe me, Mother, I don’t know who carried the most water, Edna or me. But I do know that the sleeves of the next dress I have will have to be two inches longer for my arms stretched that much this morning” said Eunice with a laugh. “Now I must go and hang out the clothes.” So Eunice went on with the washing and the work went on day by day. And during the time her mother was sick there was a sleet storm. It started with snow falling heavily until everything was well covered with a mantle of white. And then in the night rain and sleet came so by the time morning came all outside was a glare of ice. The trees, fences and all such things looked very pretty and the ground was like pebbly glass. Eunice managed all day to stay in but towards night there had to be water brought from the well and that meant Eunice had to carry it. “Now Eunice, only take one pail and do be careful” said her mother. “Alright, Mother, I will be careful. I don’t know if I will get up over the hill, it will be easy enough to go down and if I don’t watch my step I will be down in a hurry. But I shall take both pails as I only want to make one trip.” So Eunice took up the water pails and started for the well while her mother and Edna watched her from the window. She cautiously made her way down to the well and got the water. After a time of slipping and sliding about she got almost to the door and there the ice seemed to be more slippery than anywhere else, so out her feet came from under her and down she came, spilling those two precious pails of water which had been such a task to get. In the house she went, only to find Edna crying. “Why Edna, what is the matter? Why are you crying?” “It’s - it’s - you” sobbed Edna, after getting the w-a-ter all the - way - up here and to spill it,” and Edna put her arms around Eunice. “I wish I was big enough to help you get some more.” “There, there, Edna, don’t cry. Eunice isn’t hurt,” as their mother was saying this, Clyde Parker, who had seen Eunice fall, came in. “My, this is great skating if you can stand up. I see you couldn’t stand, Eunice. Give me those pails and watch me spill some water, too.” “Oh! Clyde, I believe that you are an angel in disguise. I was just wondering how I was to get more water and had half a mind to make them eat ice.” And Eunice’s voice was expressive of her feelings. “I don’t see any need of eating ice with me hanging around doing nothing. The place where you fell is the slipperiest spot on the hill. Well, here I go.” And Clyde started out. While he was going down the hill Eunice took some of the rugs up off the floor and spread them out over the ice as far as she could so he would be sure not to fall. When he saw them, he cried out, “Well, Eunice, that is a good idea, now if it had been you that they were spread for one could almost think that Sir Walter Raleigh had come back. Here is your water, landed safely.” “You don’t know, Clyde, how grateful I am to you. I really was about ready to cry when you came.” Then Mrs. Collom thanked him and he promised to come back in the morning to do the chores, of which Eunice and her mother was truly grateful. The sore throat was getting better as it had gathered and broke, as Mrs. Collom said it would and soon she was able to resume the work. And Eunice wasn’t sorry, for being nurse and housekeeper was all a new experience for her. But in the spring she had a new experience and that was keeping house with Edna, alone. Mrs. Collom went to nurse her nephew’s wife with their first child and Eunice was left in full charge of the house at home. As Mrs. Collom was leaving she said, “now, Eunice, you are not afraid to stay alone, are you? You are near Mrs. Parker and if either of you are sick or if anything happens you call her and she will let me know. And I will send Al in to see you whenever he comes up to town. And Edna, you go to school and mind Eunice.” So kissing them both, she went, calling out, “I will only be gone two weeks.” “No, I’m not afraid and May will stay nights with me, so go and don’t worry.” May was Mr. Parker’s niece and she had been living to her uncle’s for the past summer. She was a little younger than Eunice and was still going to school. Her mother was dead and as there was a large family of the Parkers, life there wasn’t any too pleasant for her. So she came and stayed with Eunice for two or three nights and then one day she never came home from school. Mrs. Parker came to see Eunice. “Is May here? She hasn’t been home from school yet and I want her.” “Why, no, Mrs. Parker, May isn’t here. She never comes until after supper. Perhaps she is down town some place. “Well, I don’t know what to make of it. This morning when she went out I thought she looked awful stout. I looked in her room and she has put on two suits of under clothes, two extra petticoats, an extra dress and two pairs of stockings, and her coat and raincoat. How she got them all on is more than I know. And Willie says she hasn’t been to school. She borrowed a quarter from someone and went to Eastport. But then, Mrs. Parker added, if she wants to go, let her go, I won’t worry about her. May had an aunt in Eastport that she had lived with before so that is where she went. And that left Eunice and Edna alone nights for the rest of her mother’s time away. With Edna in school the days were rather long for just the two of them didn’t make house work enough to keep Eunice busy all the time. So a good part of the day was spent with either crochet work or sewing. In the evening she helped Edna with her lessons for the next day and then played games with her until bed time. Saturday morning Al came up to take Edna and Eunice to spend the day at his house with their mother and to see the new son, whom they had named Virgil. The day was cloudy and cold with threatening snow and Eunice didn’t like it very much as she kept thinking that her fire would be out when she got home again. And the thought of going into a cold house wasn’t very pleasant to her. Although Al and Dellie, his wife, raved over the baby Virgil, how cute he was and how much he weighed, he didn’t make much impression on Eunice and Edna was a little jealous of him when her mother held him. So they were glad to get home again. On Sunday Eunice and Edna went to church and Sunday School. Eunice was quite strict in those things and although Eunice usually walked the two miles to the Ridge to church she went with Edna to the Disciple Church which was about a ten minute walk from their house. So the time passed until their mother was home again. Then Leigh came home, Jessie moved back and life began once more.


“Hello, Eunice, Rose is coming home for a vacation” said Jessie as they started to work one morning. “Is she coming home to work?” “No, just for two weeks. So we won’t be able to see much of her with us in here all the time. But she is anxious over the new house and then there is so many relatives for her to see that she won’t be home much.” The Owen family had moved into their new house and the cottage had been changed over to a little store where Mr. Owen now sold groceries with the two younger daughters helping him as clerks. The house was quite a large one with high ceilings, a bay window and a wide veranda out the front and part of one side. And quite different from the little low-roofed farm house where they had been living. Although Mrs. Owen missed her many neighbors in the country she liked her new home and soon made many friends. And the younger girls found it very pleasant with the new friends they made going to high school. Jessie and Eunice still continued to be good friends and worked together. Quite often Eunice spent the night in the new house. On the first one of these nights the girls were saying, “Eunice, don’t forget to name the bed posts when you go to bed.” Eunice looked the bed over and as it was one of the late models the foot was one straight piece and also the head, with no protruding posts so she cried, “How in the world, Jessie, do you expect me to name the posts of a bed like that? And what good will it do, anyway? You know I have told you repeatedly that I am an old maid.” Both girls were laughing when Jessie said, “well, name the legs and who knows, you may find someone. Shall I help you find the names? Let’s see, there is Freddie Ross.” “Jessie, he is all spoken for. Eva Tyler has him.” “Well, how about Guy Gunnison?” “Oh, no, not gabby Guy for me! Why he would talk me to death. I’ll tell you, Jessie, that there isn’t anyone that I care enough about to bother with their names as it sounds childish to me. So let’s just go to sleep.” “Eunice, you are hopeless. Go to sleep and be an old maid if you want to but don’t say that I didn’t try to help you. You will be sorry some day that you turned them all down.” “Jessie, you know in every person’s life the right one has to come along before there is a final decision made. And I am waiting for that one. I have always wanted a brother and have greatly felt the loss of the little one that died in infancy. But, do you know, when I look around the factory and see how some of the young men and boys drink, I feel glad that God has taken him home with him. For if he ever grew up and drank as some of them do, I should be heart- broken. Perhaps he would have, so I shall never mourn for him any more. I have never told Mother of these thoughts. It seems, Jessie, that when we are together that you must be my confessor.” “Well, Eunice, I won’t betray your confidence and I am glad that Frank doesn’t drink. Now, pleasant dreams. Rose will be here tomorrow. I must get up early to meet the boat.” The girls were soon lost to the world in sleep where, too, Rose was, on her way home. It was a pleasant trip home with a full moon sailing over the water above the boat. Rose sat out on deck and enjoyed the sea breeze and thought of those at home and of those left behind. As there was a very important question to be decided while she was at home she thought of the talk she and Eunice had about Walter. So she decided she would again seek her advice. Finally she, too, went in the state room and was lost in sleep, to be awakened the next morning at about six o’clock by the boat being docked at Lubec. Next she was being greeted by her father who had gone to meet the boat. And then as she made the short trip to her home how strange everything seemed to her. Can this be the town she left a year before? Why, she had never noticed the streets being so narrow before. And the sidewalks, too, had grown narrow. And had the buildings got lower or was it the year in the city that had made the difference. She was too eager see her mother and the rest of the family, however, to let these seemly changes bother her much. A few days had passed when she met Eunice and said, “Eunice, lets go down to the beach to our old favorite spot as I have some things to talk about with you. You know that you was always a help to me.” “I shall enjoy going to the beach with you, Rose. It will seem like old times. And I will be glad if I can be a help to you.” The two girls started down their favorite path between the birches that grew near the shore. Rose seemed to Eunice that she had changed in her ways and her speech was different but as they began to talk after sitting on the same old stone Eunice soon found that she was the same old Rose, in love again. And after talking for a PAGE MISSING like him. He is about my age or perhaps a little older, not much, medium tall and just about average build. Before you say anything, Eunice, wait until you hear about John. He is much older than I, short and stout. He has a store and is a good fellow, too. “Rose, I must interrupt. Steve is the one that you really like. Why think more of John? Haven’t I always told you to “turn your b---- where money bewitches and marry for love and work for the riches.” “Eunice, I might as well give up talking to you for I can see that you are all for Steve and I really think it is John.” So the talk between the two girls drifted along and the boyfriends were dropped. And as Rose only had two weeks at home it was the only time they had for a talk on that subject. In a few days Rose returned once more to her work in the city. And as fall came, Jessie went to work in a printing office while Eunice still stuck to the factory. In December Leigh and Fred got married and such activity in getting ready! The sewing machine was moved upstairs so no one would see the wedding dress being made. And from Leigh, “Now, Eunice, don’t you dare tell anyone that I am getting married. I don’t want them to know it until it is over.” “Well, Leigh, why did you even tell me? Of course I wouldn’t have guessed it, with you making all those Mexican worked ruffles and hem stitching and all the blue material for a dress. Say, I saw a little scrap of that material out in the yard. You don’t suppose a little bird will see it and report it, do you? Are you going to have a veil and a regular wedding? You will have to tape Fred’s ears down and keep him from turning up his nose to make him look pretty. Now, Leigh, if I was getting married I would tell everyone and let the world know it. You aren’t ashamed of him, are you?” “No, Eunice, that isn’t it. But I just don’t want to tell and there will be no veil or big wedding. We are just going to the minister and be married by ourselves.” “And not even take me to see you? Why, I thought that I might be a bridesmaid. Well, alright, have it your way. But still, I would tell every one if it was I. But I shall be an old maid.” The wedding dress was a very pretty shade of blue trimmed in white satin and lace. And as the girls who came to the house enquired why we were always upstairs and all seemed to be busy sewing, Eunice replied, “oh, Mother has a big order on her hands and it takes the whole family to fill it.” “But your mother always has sewing and she has always done it down here before. We miss her company when we come in. Can we go see her?” came from one of the girls. “Oh, no, don’t go up to bother her. This is a very special order and she is very fussy about it. Why, she won’t let any of us hardly look at her, will she, Leigh?” And Eunice had a naughty look when she said it. Leigh blushed but looked daggers at Eunice and changed the subject to a safer topic and the truth was not known at that time. At last the dress was finished and all the neighborhood had guessed why there had been so much secret sewing. And Leigh was teased most of the time. On the third of December the house was in a state of much excitement as that was the day the wedding or marriage was to be. Leigh’s clothes were packed and at an early hour in the evening she was curled and powdered and dressed until she looked every bit a bride and teased by Eunice while her mother looked very sober at the thoughts of losing her eldest daughter. Fred arrived with the horse and buggy. He, too, looked rather well in his blue suit with a white tie. Both left in a state of excitement, not knowing or caring what anyone said. But Eunice called to them, “I wish you joy and may all your troubles be little ones. And be sure to come home and see us sometimes.” After the carriage drove away Leigh’s mother began to cry. “Why, mother,” said Eunice, “what are you crying for? Leigh hasn’t died or anything like that and you haven’t lost her. Why, you have gained a son. Remember how you always wanted a son.” “I know, Eunice, but it is a break in the home and I hate to have her go away. I like Fred and I know that he will be good to her. And his mother and father are such good people. They have wanted Leigh ever since their own daughter, Blanch, died. And now they have got her. She will have a good home. I suppose I am foolish to cry. But I suppose it will be you next, Eunice.” “Mother! how could you say such a thing. Haven’t I told you ever since I began to talk that I was an old maid? And who in the world would I marry? Why, I don’t even know any boys except those silly ones around the factory. I do like to tease them and I like to make Eva jealous when I can. Now, Mother, you don’t expect me to marry Will Riley, do you?” At this they both began to laugh for Will Riley lived next door to them and was about the homeliest boy in town and so bashful that he wouldn’t even look at a girl. Now her mother was in a better mood so they sat and played a few games with Edna before she went to bed. But when Eunice crawled in the bed she and Leigh had shared for years she was the one to be lonely at the thought of never to have Leigh to tell secrets to at night or talk and make plans with as had always been their habit. And if her mother could have seen her as she buried her face in the pillow she wouldn’t have thought her so carefree as she was earlier. A few days later Eunice came in where her mother was, saying, “a penny for your thoughts, Mother. Never mind, I can tell what you are thinking of.” “I bet you can’t for my thoughts are far away. And the expression on her mother’s face showed this to be true. “Well, here is a try and I’ll hit it at the first guess. Now tell me if I am right. You wish that you were around to the lead mines to our old home.” “Why Eunice, that is the very thing I was thinking of. How did you know it?” “Well, Mother, I, too, think of that home there - far away from all the noise and dirt of the factory. Wouldn’t it be good if we three could go back there to live?” “No, sir! You can’t take me to any lead mines, away from my school and all my friends. I am staying here.” This came from Edna who had been practicing her music lesson. “Now listen to who is talking, Mother. She has upset all our plans even before they were made. And here I thought that she didn’t like school.” “Well, Edna would be lonesome over there, Eunice. And so would we after we were there for a while. And you know that Edna likes school. And now she will soon be in high school. We must live here where she will be near to go. But it is true that I sometimes have a yearning to go back there.” The home at the lead mines, or near them, was the place where the family lived before the husband and father had died. The mines had long been idle so everything was quiet there. The house where they had lived was a large farm house where the family had spent many happy hours together, except Edna, who was born after they had moved from there. So that home didn’t mean anything to her. “Oh, well, since we must live here” said Eunice in fun, “I think I will go down to the post office. Any letters to mail, Mother?” “No, not today. But bring some home to me, all right?” “Want to come along, Edna?” “No, music first, you can go with Eunice some other time.” “Well, then, I must go alone.” And off she went. As she started, she was still trying to think of something to help her mother be happy for she knew that her mother was often sad and lonely. She was in a state of deep thought when she looked up and found she was in front of the Herald office where Jessie worked and decided to go in to see her. She was shown to the desk where Jessie worked and found her on a high bench with a number of trays of various sized type in front of her. She was greeted with these words, “hello there, Eunice, I am awful glad you came in for us girls are left to get the paper out and we are short of news.” “Hello, and how funny you look with ink spots all over your face. What have you been doing? Picking type with your nose?” “No, but I have been an awful mess. You see these little boxes are for the different letters and I have got them all mixed up and have been trying to get them assorted. Is my face really very dirty?” “W-el-l, not very. But I think it would be easier to print if each box had words instead of letters.” “Well, many of the words that are used often, like, the, and, it, is and some more, are all made up. The rest we have to make. Now come over here and I will show you how the paper looks before it goes to press.” “Oh, how interesting. And what a lot of work it makes to get this paper out.” “Yes, Eunice, it is quite a job. And now how about giving us some news?” “I am sorry but really I don’t know anything to put in print. I have just been sticking around home.” “Well then, I will tell you some, Eunice, only I don’t want it in print, either. I wish that the editor was here, I would like to have you meet him. He is awfully nice.” “So that’s the news, is it, Jessie? How many of these ‘awfully nice’ fellows are you meeting just now? First there was Number One and Two and Three or more. And now there is another one. Well, I am interested. What is he like?” “I am afraid I haven’t time to tell you much now, Eunice but I do want you to meet him. Can I bring him to your house?” “Sure, Jessie, any time. Now I must go to the post office and will be looking for you some night soon.” On arriving home Eunice was in better spirits and exclaimed, “No mail for you, Mother but I got a letter and who do you guess it was from? I know you never will guess so I will tell you - Grandfather. And I know you could never guess where he has gone.” “No, Eunice, he moves so much that I won’t try to guess. Where is he?” “In far away New Zealand, Mother. And he says it is a beautiful country with weather about like our June all the year around. Here is what he writes about it - ‘well, Eunice, this is certainly a land flowing with milk and honey.’ He wanted Uncle Eddie to go there with him but he wouldn’t so he is there alone. We must write to him often.” “Yes, we will. Why do you suppose he went away off there? But then, he was always a rolling stone.” “I was in to see Jessie, too. She is coming up some night and bringing a friend with her. You don’t mind if I asked her, do you, Mother?” “Why, no, Eunice. Who is this friend?” “He is the editor of the Herald. I haven’t seen him yet so don’t ask me anything more about him. Now I will help get supper for I am very hungry. Let’s have a salad and hot rolls. You make the rolls, Mother, and then there is cold meat and how about opening a jar of those pumpkin preserves, they look so pretty and tempting.” “All right, get the fire hot and you, Eunice, make the salad.” So later when Edna came in she found a job waiting for her, too and as she set the table she was told of her grandfather in New Zealand. And while they were talking and working together in came Leigh and Fred. “Why, hello, Leigh. How nice you look and you are just in time for supper. Edna, set two more plates and Eunice, stretch that salad out” said Mrs. Collom as she kissed her daughter. “Well, Leigh, you are beginning to look like an old married woman. Is the honeymoon all over yet? I have been wondering how long it lasted before a couple began to scrap.” “I can answer that one, Eunice. The way Leigh beats me around with the broom and henpecks me is terrible. See how thin I am getting” said Fred, with a laugh. “Well, Fred, I am sure of one thing. She don’t beat your ears, any, for they still stick out.” (Fred’s ears was always a joke with the family and he always took it in good sport. While at supper Leigh seemed to pick at her food and didn’t seem to be well and confessed to her mother that she hadn’t been well for a week or so. And the subject was dropped for they all had so many things to talk of as Leigh didn’t get home very often. And then they had to leave early as on the farm four o’clock was the rising hour. Several days passed then one evening as the family were each one doing their favorite pastime Jessie and the editor came in. He was slim and tall with such a dignified way about him that Eunice hardly knew how to talk to him and Jessie seemed rather quiet. Eunice was really glad when the evening was over. A few days later when Eunice and Jessie met they asked each other, “what was the trouble with you, Jessie, when you were at the house a few nights ago? I thought you must be in love. I never was myself but you were so quiet. I couldn’t seem to talk to you.” “Well, Eunice, I have been trying to think if it was me or you that was quiet. No, I am not in love, yet, but sometimes I think that I arouse his passions. What do you think of him?” “What a question to ask when I only saw him for such a short time and couldn’t seem to talk to him. But one thing be sure of, Jessie, don’t let him arouse your passions. Now, tell me how Rose is these days. Do you hear from her?” “Oh, I intended to tell you that she is going to be married sometime this summer.” “To Steve?” “No, it is John. She is coming home early and he is coming later for the wedding so we will have a chance to get a look at him.” “Oh dear, I was in hopes it would be Steve. I liked him best.” “Why, Eunice, how you do talk. And you have never seen either one of them.” “Well, Rose told me so much about Steve I was sure that I liked him. When you write tell her I send my congratulations. And sympathy to Steve. Of course, if I saw him I might change my mind.” “Eunice, do you see who I see coming along the road?” “Why if it isn’t Uncle Fred. So long, Jessie, I shall ride back with him.” And Eunice left Jessie as her uncle came up to her and playfully poked the goad stick at Jessie while Eunice jumped on the cart. “Where have you been, Uncle Fred? I haven’t seen you for a long time. How is all the folks?” “All sick but me, and I have been doing the work, cooking and all.” “Now I know that isn’t true for you never cook.” “Well, then, they are all well but me and I am sick. Can’t you go home with me and take care of me?” “I will ask Mother if she can spare me for I want to see Grandmother and I know Star and Bright will get you home safely. Although I am very sure that you aren’t sick. I think you look pretty well.” When Eunice’s house was reached Fred went in and said, “Lizzie, Eunice is going home with me. Get your coat and hat on, Edna, you and your mother are going, too. And hurry up for I must get home to put the hens to bed.” Edna began to hurry around and before her mother had time to say anything she was ready to go. “Come on now, Lizzie, or I shall take you just as you are. They are all sick out to the house and need you.” “Now, Fred, why didn’t you tell me they were sick. I don’t believe they are. Put up a few clothes, Eunice, while I get ready.” And aside to Eunice, “Are they really sick?” Eunice, afraid her mother wouldn’t go, said, “well, Mother, that is what he told me.” So in a short time all was ready to start. Edna and Eunice used to like to ride on the ox cart and listen to the creaking wheels as they went over the rough roads. They tried to fit music in with the creaking, connected with their uncle’s “whoa, hi-sh, gee up you lazy lubbers.” But their mother didn’t seem to enjoy such rides and was glad when the house was reached for Fred never made much talk while driving his oxen. “Why, Lizzie, I wasn’t looking for you tonight or you, either, Edna and Eunice. But I am glad that you came. Go and take off your coats,” said Mrs. Scoville, all in one breath. “Well, Mother, I didn’t intend to come but Fred told me all of you were sick and wanted me. I don’t see why he tells such stories,” said Lizzie. “Well, I do, Grandmother, he wants us for company for you. You know it is far from people here that he thinks that you are lonely.” “Now, Eunice, that is a good excuse for him and I will help you out with it. I did say this morning that I had a little toothache,” said Mrs. Scoville, with a laugh. “I still say that he tells awful stories and you just wait until he come in the house.” “Well I am glad he does, for I wouldn’t have got here if he hadn’t” said Edna as she picked up the big black and white cat. “Hello, Jumbo, you are glad to see me, aren’t you?” And Edna began to brush its fur. “We are all glad to see you but you may be sure that Jumbo won’t be any where around in the morning,” said Fred as he came into the house. And, true enough, Jumbo, the next morning was no where to be found and that was always the way when children went to the house and he always stayed away until they left. “You hadn’t better say much to Mother, Uncle Fred, for she says that you got her here by trickery and she is pretty mad.” And Eunice got around beside her uncle as if to protect him. Her mother let the matter drop and she and her mother talked together and planned to go and see some of Lizzie’s old friends the next day while Eunice ran across the street to see her cousins, there. And they were always glad to see each other. The visit to her grandmother’s home lasted for several days. Edna hunted for hens nests in the barn and went with her uncle to milk the cows while Eunice helped to churn and thought it great fun. But her grandmother wouldn’t let her try to make the butter. But Eunice greatly enjoyed the buttermilk even though her uncle did tell her if she drank the buttermilk she would have to sleep with the pig, for only pigs drank buttermilk. A few days after they returned home Fred came down for them to go up and spent the day with Leigh as his mother was away on a visit and he thought that Leigh was lonely. It was a beautiful day and the four mile ride behind a spirited horse was much more enjoyed by Mrs. Collom that the ride to her brother’s on the ox cart. And it was all over too soon to please Edna and Eunice, for Edna said, “Oh, Fred, I wish you would move farther away so we could have a longer ride when you come after us.” “Well, Edna, if we moved too far I might not come after you and too, if it was farther away you wouldn’t have such a long time to spend with Leigh. And here we are at the house, now.” The house was a large, low roofed farm house with two dormer windows on the roof of the main house and a low ell with a door facing the street. The house was painted yellow with white trimmings and as Fred and his father were both handy at carpenter work the house was always kept in good repair. When they arrived, Leigh stood in the door way with a large apron covering her and looked every bit a farmer’s wife. “Well, what a domesticated person you look like, Leigh. What have you been doing this morning?” and Eunice ran and hugged her sister. “Ask me what I haven’t been doing and you will hit it better for there is no end to work here with milk to take care of, milk dishes to wash, butter to make. But I like every bit of it. Edna, you must go see the little calf and the baby ducks, they are so cunning.” As she led the way into the house she said, “I have hurried all the morning and have the work all done so we can have a long day together.” Her mother spied a pile of sewing and asked, “what are you making, Leigh? Oh, I see, sheets and pillow cases. Well, I stuck my thimble in my hand bag and I will help you sew.” “I have mine too, Leigh, so let’s have a sewing bee,” said Eunice. “I shall be glad of the help for I do want to get them finished to surprise Mrs. Knight when she gets home.” So the three sat down and soon Eunice said, “Why all this sewing the sheets by hand? They only rip out. I shall always make mine by machine.” “No, Eunice, I want mine hand made,” said Leigh firmly, “they look so much nicer, don’t they, Mother?” “Yes, Leigh, I think they do and they will wear a long time before they rip out.” “Well, I will help you make these by hand, too. I bet when you make the next ones there will be a family of little ones and they will be stitched up in a hurry on the machine.” “Well,” said Leigh, with a blush, “perhaps there will be a family but I still think I will make them by hand.” The day was spent in sewing and talking of their old friends. Leigh was told of the editor that Jessie had. At noon Jessie proved herself a good cook by preparing a dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, mashed turnip, home made pickles, hot rolls, coffee and a delicious pudding. Leigh always liked cooking and enjoyed it more when she heard the praise from Fred and his father, Mr. Knight. The day ended. Fred took them home again early in the evening with the promise that he would come after them again soon and bring Leigh home for a visit as soon as his mother came home. A few weeks later it was June once more and Rose was home making preparations to be married. Her house was all in a state of great excitement and Rose didn’t have much time to spend with her old friend, Eunice. A few days before the wedding, John came and Eunice was invited in to spend the evening as Rose wanted them to become acquainted. Eunice found him to be older than she had expected him to be. He was short and stout and good natured but as Eunice was always bashful with strangers there wasn’t much conversation between them. When she was leaving she wished them much joy for she knew she wouldn’t see them again. The wedding was just a family affair and they were to leave immediately for their home in the city. John walked home with Eunice. Rose had some last minute things to do so said she could trust him alone as she was taking him away the next day. On the way home Eunice found that John found Lubec to be rather quiet and boring after a life in the city and expressed himself as being glad that Rose was willing to live in the city with him. A few days later, one day Eunice was in Clark’s Store buying dainty muslins and lace and fine worsteds in pink, blue and white when in came Jessie. “Why Eunice, what are you buying such as these for?” pointing to the purchases waiting to be wrapped up. “Oh, hello, Jessie. How are you? You see I am getting ready to be an old maid aunt. Isn’t it wonderful. I can hardly wait.” “Oh, Eunice, I’ll say it is wonderful. I wish it was Rose.” “Give her time. She has only been married a few weeks, just wait. Now, tell me of yourself and that editor.” “Oh, he is like the rest of them and we haven’t been going around together for a long time. But now I have a really steady and we are engaged. I haven’t named the day yet but it will be sometime this fall.” “Jessie, do you really mean that and I counted on you to be an old maid with me. What ‘s his name this time?” “I like the way you say this time. But you are forgiven. He is Horace and I like him very much. Have you ever met him?” “Why, yes, and I also know his sister and at one time lived next door to her. She is very nice. I am not so well acquainted with her.” So the girls parted, each thinking of their own family affairs. Eunice, at the post office received a photograph of her grandfather’s house in New Zealand and also a letter from him. On reaching home she read it to her mother. “Oh, Mother, isn’t this a beautiful home. And does this look like Grandfather? I hardly remember him as I was so young when he went to Colorado.” “Yes, Eunice, it looks just as he did when he went away. But who are these other people?” “In the letter he said he felt lonely and borrowed the family from across the street to have their picture taken with him. The poor dear, away down there alone. Now see all the things I bought. You make some little dresses of this and I am going to crochet a jacket and some booties. You don’t know how old I feel. I met Jessie today and she is getting married this fall.” “Well I don’t see why you should feel so old, Eunice. You are the youngest of the group. And by and by the right one will come along and then I will lose you but I hope not for a long time, yet.” “Don’t worry, Mother, I am absolutely marriage proof and a confirmed old maid. How about you, Edna?” “Eunice, Edna is only in the fourth grade yet. What does she know about such things?” “Well, I know that I like Charlie and I will get married some day.” “There now, Mother, what do you think of that? But wait, Edna, for a year or two, “ said Eunice with a laugh. Time went on. Eunice was busy in the factory and didn’t see much of Jessie during the summer. Early in the fall she and Horace had a quiet home wedding and went to his home up in the country to live. Then Eunice felt lonely for she, Rose, Jessie and Leigh had all been chums for so many years. Her spare time was spent in making little things for the expected “niece.” But one day in January her grandmother had come out to spend the day and they were all busy talking when Fred drove up to the door and hurrying in the house, said, “well, well, well, I am glad that you are all here and what do you think? I am the father of a nine pound boy. I shall have to kiss his great- grandmother for him.” Well, so that is my “niece.” Just another disappointment added to my life. Written by Fannie C. Myers Illiterate Dedicated to my mother, Elizabeth H. Collom


The above article was written by Fannie (Collum) Myers in her old age. It offers a rare insight to the everyday happenings in the late 1890s in a rural village in Maine. The text has been left essentially as Fannie wrote it. I have added some punctuation to make the story flow more smoothly.


Patricia McCurdy Townsend

lubecpat@maine.rr.com


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