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Peter Carter pnshed his cbair back from the table and surveyed the faded little face on the opposite side of the tea tray. Faded enough now, thotucb. she was barely 27. Yon would hardly havs beIieved how fresh and pretty Carry Carver had been on her wedding day. Her huaband saw the change, but somehow he snppoaed all women faded just so. "There is so ranch to do, Peter, and the children demand so much of time," pleaded the meek wife. "If I were manager in tbis household. things would happen very differently." "I have no doubt of it," said Carry quietly. "There is no earthly reason." went on Mr. Carver, ignoring the sarcastic meaning of her tone, "why the work shouldn't be done and you dressed and enjoying yourself , cultivating your mind or something, at 11 o'clock every morning that you live. Washing np a few dishes, sweeping a rooin or two- what does it all amount to? Why, my dear, don?t ypu see the folly of asking for a servant to help you do nothing at all?" The morning sunshine crept down the pale green wall paper, sprinkling drops of gold on the few little geranium planta that Peter called a "waste of time" and lay in noon splendors on the carpet, and etill Carry Carver stood there, thinking- thinking. "Carry! Aren't you going to get up this morning:? It is half past 7. and" "I cannot, Peter," groaned Carry, turning her face away f rom the light. "lam suffering sucli dreadful pains in that f oot I sprained last night." "Well, what shall I do?" "You must take charge of the housekeepmg yourself. Peter," said Carry, hidiug a smile in the folda of her pillow. "It's only for a day or two, and I don't know of any help you can obtain. It won't be much, you know." "That's true," said Peter, somewhat encouraged. "Please dar ken the room, and keep the children away, and don't speak to me if you can help it. I have such a racking headache, and the least exciteraent drives me wild." Peter shut the door with distracting caution and went down stairs on creaking tiptoe. As he passed the nursery door a duet of voices chimed on his ears. "Papa, papa, we are not dressed." "Drees yourselves, then, can't you?" said Mr. Carver, pausing. "Pet is too little to dress herself," said Tommy loftily, "and mamma always dressed me!" "Where are your shoes?" "I don't know," said Tommy, with his finger in his mouth. "I know," said Pet, aptly revenging herself for the hit at her diminutivo proportions; "Tomniy dropped them out of the window." Crash! went a f ancy bottle of cologne off the table as Tommy groped for his garters. Bang! feil Mrs. Carvers rosewood writing desk to the floor, bursting off the f rail hinges and scattering pens, envelope and postage stamps far and wide. Mr. Peter Carver was an affectionato father in a general way, but human nature could not have endured this. And he bundled the two little creatures miscellaneously into whatever artiles came uppermost, rending off strings and fractui-ing buttonholes in frantic desperation. The fire obstinately declined to burn, although Mr. Carver opened the over. doors alternately and drew out all the dampers he could spy. , "Confound the fire!" saffl. Mr. Carver, mopping his wet f orehead with the stove cloth. "It won't go. I'll have a blaze of kindling and try the breakfast on that." He eeized the tum and carved several thick slices, which he transferred deftly to a gridiron, and then, elated with his succees, broke several eggs over the ham. "Bless me, how they run!" he ejaculated, rathar puzzled. "But I know I'm right. I wonder why this coffee doesn't boü. I'll stick in a few more kindlings - that's the idea. There are the children crying - hungry, I suppose. I do believe they do nothing but eat and cry." Mr. Carver rushed to attend the peremptory Bummons of the milkman. And then ae sat down, tiredand spiritless, to a repast of half cooked meat andliquid raud, by courtesy termed coffee. He looked ïespairingly around at tho chaos that reigned in the kitchen. "Nine o'cJ'wk, as I live- and nothing done. Well, I see very plainly there's no office for me fcKlay. Now, then, what'8 wanting?" "The clothíís for the wash, piense, sir,'" said a little girl, courtseymg humbly ;.t the door. "Up stairs and down stairs" went Pe ter Carver, laying hands on whatever htconsidered proper prey for the waslitub rummaging in bureau drawers, upheaving the contents of trunks and turning wardrobes inside out for a mortal hour before he had completed the requisita search. The kitchen was empty when he ' turned. "Where are the children?" washisfirst alai'tued thought, expressing itself. tinconsciously in words. "I saw 'em go out of the door, please, sir," said the washerwoman's little girl. i ThO July sun was beginning to glow i intensely in the heavens. The pavements ! reflected the ardent Bhine with tenfold ' heat, and poor Peter Carver was nearly ' melted ere he eapied his hopeful son and heir, with Pet following. Neither of them would walk - in fact, the little wanderers were f ar too weary - so Mr. Carver mounted one on each arm and carried them, limp and I sisting, through the streets. 'ril have a uurse for yon,uy young friends, before the worlÜ is aday older," j he said, grmding his teeth with impotent wrath as he deposited Pet and Tommy ! on the fioor and vent wearily to his j household duties. "How are yon now, Carry?"' he said about an hour aftofward, throwing him self into a chair by her bedside and ' ning hiinself with the uewspaper he had I laid there that morning. 'About the same, dear. How does the housekeeping get along?" "It don't get along at all." "Ia dinner ready?" "Dinner?" echoed Peter in a eort of dismayed tone. "Why, I haven't got through with breakfast yet!" "But it is 12 o'clock." "I don't care if it's 25 o'clock- a rnan can't do 40 thiugs at once." "Where are the chüdren?" asked his wife. "In bed. They were too uiuchfor me, so I undressed 'em and put 'em to bed to get them out of the way." "Poor things," fcaid Carry. "Poor me, I should think," said j ver irately. I had quite enough to do without 'em. I've broken the platos, and melted off the nose of the teapot, and lost my diamond ring in the ash barrel, and cut my fingers with th( carving kuif e." "Have you looked af ter the pickles ! and baked fresh pies?" "Nol" "Nor blackened the range, nor clean ed the knives, nor scrnbbed the ldtchen floor?" , "No." "Nor made the beds, nor swept the chamber, nor duated the parlors, nor polished the windows, nor heard the children's lessons, nor taken care of the canary birds, nor" "Stop - stop!" ejaculated Mr. Peter Carver, tearing wildly at his hair. "You don't mean to say that you do all these things every day?" -"I do, most certainly - and long before 12 o'clock. And yet you wonder that I am not dressed and cultivating ïny mind before 11 o'clock." 'My dear Carry," said Peter penitently. "I have been a brute. I'll have a co.ik and a nurse and a chambermaid h;n-a just as soon as I can possibly obtain them. You shall be a drudge no longer." A few minutes af terward the unskilled cook was scorching his whiskers over a gridiron covered with hissing mutton chops, which would alarm him by suddenly blazing up into his face without the least premonitory symptom, when a light step crossed the kitchen floor and a little hand took the handle of the gridiron f rom his grasp. "Carry!" "I release you from duty," smiled the wife. "My ankle is better now." "I say, Carry T "Well?" "Teil the truth, now. Wasn't that ankle business a little exaggerated?"-


Ann Arbor Argus
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