Sunday, May 25, 2014

JUNE'S VENTURE; January 1907; A Serial Story by "Gay;" Part 3 of 4

"I shall be so glad to have you," confessed Mrs. Gresham, "John, my husband, is so busy, it's hard for him to do it all. And then, housework belongs to women," with a little laugh, "and I can lie here and boss and watch you work. Would you mind getting supper for a surprise for John, when he comes?"

"No indeed, I'd like to if you can tell me how," responded June.

"That will be easy," was the answer, "and may I call you June? it's such a sweet, bright name."

"Oh, I'd love to have you," responded the girl, quickly, "and now, what shall I do?"

"First, you must have an apron, you will find one hanging behind the door, in that little closet. Dear, dear, how queer it seems to be unable to step to my own closet," exclaimed Mrs. Gresham, cheerily.

June found the apron and put it on. "How funny I look," she cried, "all lost in this thing. I never had an apron in all my life."

"We must make you one soon," declared Mrs. Gresham, "but now you can wear one of mine, I am only a little taller than you. Now the first thing is a fire; there are chips in the basket by the stove."

"I never made a fire in a stove," said June, "but I guess I can."

She followed the directions carefully, and after one or two failures, was delighted to hear the wood sputtering and crackling.

"Now, for some potatoes," said Mrs. Gresham. We don't have warm suppers, as a rule, but, the bread is gone, and I know John will enjoy a nice warm supper.

So, carefully following directions, June cooked potatoes, made some nice puffy biscuits and gravy, and brought in from the garden lettuce, radishes and onion. And by the time Mr. Gresham came in everything was in the nicest trim for supper. June liked him at once. He was so kind and bright and took such good care of his wife. Supper was a success and passed off gaily. The table was drawn close to Mrs. Gresham's bed so they could all be together, and roses nodded in from the open window and lent their sweet perfumes to fill the room.

After supper, Mr. Gresham insisted on washing the dishes, for he said June must be tired and they couldn't afford to lose her now they had just found what a treasure she was. June was amazed to see how handily he did the work.

"I think we must bake tomorrow," said Mrs. Gresham, when the supper dishes were put away, "and the bread ought to be set tonight."

"You may proceed with directions," laughed June. "I am ready for them."

"I suppose every housewife prefers her own bread; I know I do," said Mrs. Gresham. "I always use soft yeast that I make myself, you will find it in a glass jar in the spring-house; bring about half a cupful of it, then take three pints of warm water (not too warm or it will scald the yeast), put it in the bread pail that hangs there in the pantry, put in a teaspoonful of salt, stir in all the flour you can and set the pail on the stove pipe shelf until morning."

After this was done Mr. Gresham came in with a glass of new milk. "Here's our best country beverage," he said.

"Oh, how good it is," cried June, "I didn't know milk was so good. The country's the place, isn't it?

"It is, indeed," declared the husband and wife delightedly.