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Chapter 7
The Adventure of the Tramper; and what Happens on Long and on Short Days

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  Today was a fall-time-is-here day. I heard the men say so that were talking at the meeting of the roads . From the meeting of the roads I did hurry on. I so did in a quick way because, when I was come to the meeting of the roads, I did have remembers as how the mamma did say at morningtime there was much work to be done before even-time. 98 }
  When I was come to the house we live in , the mamma and the little girl and the baby -- they were all gone to the house of Elsie . I made a start at the works. I did feed the chickens, and there was much wood to bring in, and baby clothes to wash, and ashes to empty from the stove . These four things I did. I looked looks about to see what other works did have needs to be done. I had remembers that when the papa went away to work this morning he said he did not have time to cut the ham before he went. I have knows if he is too busy in the morning to get a thing done, it mostly don't get done when he comes home from work at night. It so does not, because he has so tired feels. 99 }
  Today I had thinks the time was come when I better help about that ham. I went out to the woodshed . I went out to the woodshed to 'tend to that ham. I had thinks I better make an early start or that ham wouldn't be cut up by evening. I piled wood high enough so I could stand on tiptoes and reach to the flour-sack the ham was tied in. But I could not get that sack down. I pulled and pulled, but it wouldn't come down. I didn't have knows what I was going to do. Pretty soon, by having concentration of my thinks, I thought of a way. I got the scissors and cut the bottom out of that sack. That ham came down right quick. It landed on its back on the woodpile. My foot slipped and I landed on top of it. 100 }
  I got up and dragged it up on the chopping block. Then I got the butcher knife from its place in the cook-table drawer. I went to work. That knife didn't seem to make moves like the moves it does make when it is in the hands of the papa . I tried to make it go down in a quick way. It went not so. I looked close looks at it. Its appears did have looks like it did have needs of a sharp pennying . I have seen the papa sharp pen it on the grindstone by the singing brook. So did I. I poured a goodly amount of water on that stone wheel. Most of the water splashed off The rest did trickle away. Then I did hold that knife to the stone wheel. And I did make tries to turn it in a quick way like I have seen the papa do. But I could not make that wheel go in quick turns. It would not so go. I made big tries for a long time. 101 }
  When I had thinks the knife did look some better, I did go again to my work. I walked three times around that ham there on the chopping-block. I so did to take looks at it to see where I better make begins. I did have thinks in under its outside where it is most big would be the proper place. I made begins. I did make the knife to go a little way. Then I made a stop to rest. Then I made the knife go some more. I made another stop to rest. I went on. Pretty soon a slice of ham landed. It fell off the chopping-block onto a stick of wood. I picked it up. I held it up to take a look at it. My, I did feel such proud feels from my toes to my curls. I had it cut in such a nice way. It had frills around it and holes in between—just like Elsie's crochet doily that she keeps on her best stand-table. I have knows the papa never did cut a slice of ham that way. The slices of ham he cuts - - they never do have frilly looks with holes in between. After I did hang that slice of ham on a nail by the door, I did cut another slice. It was not so wide but it had more longness and some strings on it like the little short strings on the nightcap of Jenny Strong . I had not decides yet where to hang it. It was when I was having thinks about it - - it was then I did hear a heavy step. 102 }
  I turned me all about, and there was a tramper by the woodshed door. He had not gentle looks like some trampers have. His beard did grow in the hobo way. And his appears did look like he knew not knowings of neatness. He stood there looking looks at that ham. He kept his looks on it, and he did walk right into the woodshed. He had asking if the mamma was at home. I said, "No, she is not. She is at the house of Elsie ." Then he says, "I guess I'll take this ham along with me." 103 }
  I almost lost my breathings , because I did have remembers of all the days the papa has plans to have that ham for breakfast and dinner and supper. So I just sat down on the chopping-block. I sat on the ham and I spread my blue calicoe apron out over it. I put my hand on its handle that it hangs in the woodshed by. Me and my apron covered that ham so he couldn't have seeing of it. And while I sat on the ham, I did pray God to keep it safe for the breakfasts and dinners and suppers of the papa and the mamma . 104 }
  The tramper looked queer looks at me. He came a little more near. I did pray on. And God in his goodness sent answers to my prayer in a quick way. Brave Horatius came on a run from somewhere. He made a stop at the woodshed door. He looked a look in. He gave a growl. Then he went at that tramper. He did grab him by his ragged pants. I have thinks may be his teeth did touch the ankle of the tramper, because he gave a little pain squeal and shook his leg. Then he did go in a hurry away. Brave Horatius followed after. 105 }
  I was just going to start work again on that ham, when the mamma was come home from her visit. She did soon give me a whipping and put me here under the bed. Now I have wonders what that whipping was for. I did feed the chickens and carry in the wood and do the baby's washing and empty the ashes. And more I did beside -- I cut two slices of ham with frills on them. 106 }
  Now I have thinks about trampers -- how they do differ. Many of them follow the railroad track . They make goes to the upper camps beyond the rivière . They do carry a roll on their backs. They so carry their blankets. They go that way and some of them come down the track very soon again. Some stay nowhere long. Some of the trampers that go the way that goes to the upper camps do have stops when they go by here. They stop to get a bite to eat. And some come to the front door, and some do come to the back door. They knock on the door. Some rap their knuckles hard and some tap in a gentle way. 107 }
Follow One Character There was one who so did one week ago. Sleeps was just come upon the baby after I did sing it "Le chanson de Saint Firmin" and I did go to the door to see who it was. The man that it was, he said he was on his way to get work at the upper camps. He was a man with a clean sad face and a kind look in his eyes. And the roll upon his back was a heavy roll. I straightway did go and get my bowl of bread and milk that I was going to have for dinner. I gave it to him. He ate it in a hungry way, like Brave Horatius does eat his supper when we are come back from a long explore trip. Then, when the man did eat all the bread and milk, he did split some wood out in the woodshed . He did pile it up in a nice way. Then he went. He went on to the upper camps. When he did go he said, "The Lord's blessing be with you, child." I said, "It is." And I did tell him, "We have a cathedral in the woods. And this eventime , when we have prayers there, we will pray that you may get work at the upper camps." And at coming of eventime we did. And Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in between times. Now every day we do pray for the man that was hungry and had a kind look in his eyes. 108 }
Follow One Character Some days are long. Some days are short. The days that I have to stay in the house are the most long days of all. In the morningtime of now, I had thinks to go on explores . I was going to Saint Firmin and adown the Nonette. I was going to listen to its singings. And Peter Paul Rubens and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus - - we were all going together. When I did have the wood in the woodbox, the mamma hollered at me. She said when she got back from Elsie's she was going to make me stay in the house all the rest of the day. 109 }
  While she was gone to the house of Elsie , I did make prepares. I took all the safety-pins out of the machine drawer . I took all the patch-pieces out of the mamma's work-basket . I made patches all over my underskirt except where I do sit down. I put Louis II, le Grand Condé , in one of the pockets I did so make. I put Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil in another one. In one more pocket I put Felix Mendelssohn . He peeked out. Then he settled down. He so does like to take naps in the pockets I pin on my underskirts. I put Nannerl Mozart in another pocket. Then, when the mamma was come, I did walk into the house in a quiet way. 110 }
  Before she did go she told me do's to do while she was gone. She told me to keep the fire going and to tend the baby -- to fix its bottle for it and to mind it all the time. Then she shut the door and locked it and went in the way that does go to the house of the grandma by the meeting of the roads . I did watch her out the window. Then I did put some more wood in the fire. After that I did look looks about. There are no rows and rows and rows of books in this house, like Angel Mother and Angel Father had. There is only three books here. One is a cookbook and one is a doctor-book and one is a almanac. They all are on top of the cupboard most against the top of the house. They have not interest names on their backs. 111 }
  The alarm-clock does set on the shelf where it always sets all day long. At night-time it sets on a chair by the bed that the mamma and the papa sleep in. It sets on the chair all night with its alarm set. It is so the papa will be made awake early in the morning. That clock has interest looks. Some day when there is not a fire in the stove , I have thinks I will take that clock apart to see what its looks are inside. On a day when there is no fire in the stove, I will climb upon it. I can reach that shelf when I stand on tiptoe on top of the stove. 112 }
  After I did look looks at the clock, I did look looks out the front window. There are calf-tracks by our front door. These tracks are there because when I went walking with Elizabeth Barrett Browning on yesterday, I had her wait at the front step while I did go into the kitchen to get her some sugar-lumps. She has a fondness for sweet things. I think she will grow up to be a lovely cow. Her mooings now are very musical, and there is poetry in her tracks . She does make such dainty ones. When they dry up in the lane , I dig up her tracks, and I save them. There is much poetry in them; and when I take her track out that I keep in the back part of the cook-table drawer, I look at it and think, this way passed Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 113 }
Follow One Character After I did look looks out the front window, I did look looks out the back window. William Shakespeare and the others -- they were pulling in logs. That Rob Ryder was trying to make them go more fast. All the horses do have to pull so hard when they pull logs in. Sometimes they look tired looks, and when they are come in from work I go to the barn. I rub their heads; for when the mamma is tired she does like rubs on her head. 114 }

Chapter Day Scene Paragraph
7 11 17 98


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