The Oklahoma State Capital. (Guthrie, Okla.), Vol. 21, No. 26, Ed. 1 Saturday, May 22, 1909 Page: 3 of 8
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♦why don't they come'"
an expression of relief as she watched and guided
him, and the rlan began to look feasible.
"But it won't last. Our Biddy will strike after
a few weeks of it," Frank prophesied one day. "And
won't the crockery suffer 1"
"Wait and see," Edgar replied.
Day after day he tramped about the kitchen .<e
a warrior, conquering the difficulties that arose, with
a persistent patience and a comforting cheerfulness.
His mother often smiled to hear his merry whistle
or boyish roundelay, to the accompaniment of rat-
tling pans and kettles. He developed a deft quick-
ness, and the crockery si'ffcred no more than the us-
From the first he was not at all ashamed of his
"job," and answered the door-bell, if his mother
was not in the house, in his apron if necessary.
Once, so garbed, he conducted the minister into the
parlor, blushing under the good man's warmly ex-
Of course when the boys got hold of it they set
upon him. unit
"Gone into the Biddy business, I hear, Ralph
"Yep," Edward smiled on the crowd of boys. ^
"Ho, ho! sloshing in the dish-water like a girl,'
"No, I slosh like a boy, and I'm having more
fun than you could shake a stick at." Kdgar laughed,
and lie thought of "Tom Sawyer."
"Fun!" That was news.
"Yep. You just ought to see me knock the spots
out of the bread-dough. It's great! Beats the
punching-bag all to pieces. You sec, 1 bake a whole
lot at once, and have a pile of dough; 1 roll up ray
sleeves, scrub ray fists till you wouldn't know them,
and play I'm a prize-fighter, and cuff, and maul, and
pound that dough in a way to make your eyes
pop. It's soft and doesn't hurt your hands, and the
more you beat it the better bread it makes. It's
It sounded like it, the way he told of it. Some of
the boys doubled their fists and thumped an imag-
inary dough-pile, wishing they could try the real
"But it's women's work, all the same, and noth-
ing in it. You wouldn't catch me at it!" Tom Smith
"Now look1 hera." Edgar took from his vest-
pocked a double sheet of letter-paper on which he
had pasted a clipping from a newspaper, which he
had ready for such an occasion. "Just listen to what
sonic men get for doing this kind of 'women's
work.'" He read them a clipping of an account
of the salaries paid to some of the great chefs.
"Wh-e c-w!" whistled Ralph. "Thousands of dol-
lars! What a lot for just cooking!"
"'Just for cooking,"' quoted Edgar. "Did you
never think, son, how important cooking is, and
eating, too? Tom has, I know," and they all
laughed, for Tom could do wonders in the matter of
"I don't know as I'm so much more given to eat-
ing than the rest of you," Tom protested, "unless
it's doughnuts. Say, do they let you make 'em, Ed?"
"1 should say so!—by the peck! I can make
dandy ones, too! Going to make a lot Saturday;
Edgar Helps at Home.
older brother, Frank, talked it over that night in
their room 1>cfore going to bed. Frank had found
Edgar reading when he came up to bed, and lie
tried to bring his brother to his way of thinking—
that one of the younger boys should help their
mother more. Edgar listened to liini for a while,
and then replied: "No, Frank, I have made up ray
anind. We can't go on like this, as father says;
there's a job right here, waiting for somebody, and
somebody's got to do it. You are father's right-
hand man in the store; Archie's too young, and,
besides, he hates it like poison; Willie and Ted
don't count for much, only at the table. That set-
tles it! I am the one to do it."
«;;tnuy ones, too! Going to make a lot Saturday,
if you fellows 'll come round about ten, I'll let you
sample 'em. But you've got to stay on the back
porch, for I scrub Saturday mornings, and I won't
have you tracking the floor."
They were there, and watched enviously as he
flourished about, magnifying his importance, and
patronizing? aisffikUtirtf! two MltCS Mfh, crisp and
brown and fragrant, just from the kettle. They lett
■with the impression that his was an enviable posi-
tion, and spread abroad his skill as a cook; and his
fame grew. ,
He kept at it all winter, learning readily because
he put his mind to it, and doing the cooking to
the satisfaction and content of the family, and with
considerable pride in his own dexterity. His moth-
er often declared that she wjuld never get such
"I don't know that I'd care to go into it as a
life business, but while I'm getting ready for some-
thing else, this is good enough," he said at times.
Early one morning in June, soon after school had
closed, a young man called at the Pearson home.
"1 hear that you have a young fellow here who
can cook. May 1 sec him, please?" he asked.
Edgar came forward, aproned from chin to shoes.
"I do a little in that line," he said.
"How much of a little? And are you open to an
offer of a situation?" ,
"To go out cooking?" Edgar exclaimed, and his
brothers at the table could not refrain from laugh-
ing. Even his mother smiled.
The .stranger smiled, too, explaining: "A lot of
our club fellows go up to the Lakes every summer;
we have a camp there and a good outfit, but we
find it difficult to get a reliable cook and caretaker.
We come and go, and want some one trustworthy
there all the time. You're younger than I expected,
but you look dependable. What kind of cooking can
you do?" , , , ...
"Most of the plain and some of the frills, like pie
and gingercake, doughnuts and rice-pudding" Ed-
gar hastily ran over the list of his accomplish-
ments. , , .
"You'll do; we never had a man who could cook
as much. We give , fifty dollars a month and ex-
penses. We would want you next week, and prob-
ably until the last of September. What do you
"I'll go, and cook my prettiest,' Edgar replied ex-
citedly. . ,
"We'll call it settled, then, replied the visitor.
"My name is Thompson, and I will be at the sta-
tion to-morrow in time for the 12.30 afternoon
train. Meet me there."
It was a hot June midday when Edgar arrived
at the station. He was there ahead of time; no one
was about the building but a cab man removing
some baggage from the box-seat, and a perspiring
iceman lazily crossing the street with the daily
charge for the waiting-room ice-cooler. As Edgar
drew nearer, however, Mr. Thompson came down
the steps with his grip-sack and rods, and hailed
"his new cook. Together they went across the street
and bought a few things at the hardware-store.
As the time approached for the departure of the
train, Edgar's friends began to arrive, and soon
it seemed that every boy he ever knew was there.
Edgar boarded the train, to an accompaniment
of cheers from ti c boys. T't he was saying to him-
self- "Three months at fifty dollars a month! Ill
get rich! Mother shall have a good Bridget in my
place. I see my way through college! 111 cook my-
self through! Hurrah! Hurrah!"
The boys saw him off with considerable envy.
"Just think of all the fun you're going to have,
and get paid for it, too!" Ralph said.
"Why, boy," Edgar chaffed, "it's nothing but
women's work—just a sissy dish-water job," and he
waved his hat from the car window."
The Fine Princess.
|RS. rEARSON came down with pale face
tnd tired eyes. Raby Rex was teething,
and restless and fretful, and her sleep
had been broken and unrefreshing. She
glanced anxiously at the clock and about
the untidy kitchen. The table was not set;
a skillet of potatoes scorched on the stove, sending
up a cloud of unsavorv smoke; Frank was slicing bread;
Edgar was putting the dry oatmeal in the dry boiler,
and the dry tea-kettle snapped on a hot lid; l-athcr
I'earson fidgeted about, clumsily attempting sev-
eral things. „ .... .,
"I asked you to fill the tea-kettle, Frank, he said,
as Mrs. Pearson, having set off the skillet, took the
tea-kettle, and hastened to the sink.
"1 forgot; and now there's 110 water for coffee
again, or oatmeal either!" Frank exclaimed. "Edgar,
1 thought you—" t
"And I thought you would; I don t see what you
want to cut bread the first thing for, anyway," Ed-
"Don't wrangle, boys," Mr. Pearson interposed
mildly adding. "Just give us anything, mother, so
we can be off."
"I'll do the best I can, but the boys have burned
the potatoes, and there'> no time for coffee and oat-
meal" she replied unsteadily, with discouragement 111
her voice. After a 'brisk quarter of an hour she re-
duced the chaos to a semblance of order, and pro-
duced something that passed for breaktast, which
was eaten hurriedly, in a gloomy silence. ^
"You've got to have help, some way, mother,
Mr. Pearson said as he arose from the unsatisfac-
tory meal. "I don't see how we can go on like this;
and yet, until the outlook is better
"No," she interrupted, "you know we ve gone
Dver it and over it! There's not a cent to spare
from absolute necessities; you can't risk a failure
When times are so hard. We'll get on better when
baby is well." She tried to speak bravely, but was
stifling a nervous sob.
"We cannot sacrifice you; we must find some oth-
er way." He hurried away, with anxiety added to
his already heavy burden.
The younger boys, late now for school, clattered
about getting read, with Edgar's assistance.
"Mother," he said, when they were off, "I might
stay at home and help you."
"No. dear, you must not miss your lessons, she
replied, thanking him with a kiss
There were six boys in the Pearson family—or
five boys and the baby, as they put it.
"All wood-choppers; not a dish-washer among
them." Father Pearson remarked sometimes, a little
regretfully it must be admitted
With the care of baby, and looking after the cloth-
ing and comfort of the entire family, Mrs. Pearson
had enough to do when the kitchen work and conk-
ing were done for her; but now—Edgar the thought-
ful shook his head
Me had noticed how worn the dear mother was
growing, and understood his father's anxiety;
tie pondered the situation earnestly, and he and his
lies 11: 1 am uic one 10 uu 11.
When he came home at noon the next day lie
brought a bundle of gingham bought from his pri-
vate savings. "Couldn't you cut me a couple of
long-sleeved aprons, mother, and run them up on
the machine this evening?" he said, as he displayed
"Aprons!" cried Ted. "Are you goin' into a
"Yes; the home -bakery," Edgar replied. "You
see," he explained, seating himself at the table,
"mother's got to have regular help. What's every-
body's business is nobody's business; we've proved
that. Under the present system we all do a little,
and none of us does much. Now I'm going to make
the kitchen work ray own particular business, moth-
er being my gencral-in-chicf. I'll do all the cook-
ing as fast as I learn how, and all the dish-washing."
"Hired girl! Sissy!" exclaimed Ted and Willie
"That's it,'' Edgar said go'od-humoredly. "We
certainly need a sissy bad enough in this family."
"So we do. But it isn't an easy place to fill, and
I'm afraid you'll make a poor substitute," comment-
ed his father.
"Wait a while and you'll change your mind, fath-
er. I'm in earnest, and I mean to study cooking as
I hope to study law some day."
"But you mustn't leave school, my dear," his
mother said. *
"No, mother. I don't intend to. You'll all have
to be ready for breakfast a half-four earlier, so I
can get my work done. Some giftls do lots of work
and go to school. Mary Beach works for her board,
and I asked her all about it. She accomplishes a
great deal, but I think I can do as well, or better,
when I learn how. A boy past sixteen ought to
be as smart as a girl the same age."
"The boys '11 make sport of you for doing girls'
work." Archie reminded him.
"Of course! I expect that! Guc-.s 1 can stand
it. We've all got to eat yet awhile, whatever we do
in the future, and it's a good thing for a fellow
to know how to cook, sometimes. Don't you re-
member how Uncle Joe said he wished he could
cook when he was in the army? Now. then, I'll wash
these dishes in a jiffy, while mother puts Rexy to
He took up the work with a cheerful, willing
earnestness, and his mother's face brightened with
THE Princess sat in ti chair of state,
A lady of high degree:
Her garments sheet, and her stately mien
Were a goodly sight to see;
The children cried as they gazed with pride,
Then ran to their games away—■
"We must leave her there—she is far too faic
And line for every day!"
THE Princess mourned licr lonely fate
As she sat in her chair apart;
"How 1 long for the bliss of a child's swe*t kis
And the love of a child's true heart!
One fond caress might spoil my dress,
So I never may join their play.
Unhappy me! It is sad to be
Too fine for every day!"
THE Princess fell from her chair of state
(Was it chance, or a bold design?)
As the dog passed by, and she caught his eye—.
And she never more was fine!
The children came from their joyous game
To soothe her pain away,
And she smiled to know, as they kissed her so,
She was Jit for every day!
HANNAH G. FERNALD.
When pnnsies came, a trifle late,
The garden looked so gay,
They feared there were no colors left.
Their hearts shook with dismay.
But sunshine kissed them comforted.
And little threads of rain
Came down, with many colors,
And made them grave again.
So one was crowned with purple,
And one with sunshine's gold;
Another blossomed like a flame,
And warmed the Spring from cold.
"The pansies are the dearest,"
The children gaily said;
"They're like a broken rainbow,
Caught in a garden bed."
—CHARLOTTE E. CHITTENDEN.
LITTLE Mabel, while she's sitting—
Or, it may 'be, when she's flitting
Through the house—is always knitting.
What a busy girl you say.
Sure, a noble work she's doing—
Some sweet charity pursuing—
Knitting thus from day to day.
And I think I hear a babel
Of young voices, praising Mabel;
Wishing, too, that they were abls
To be so industrious.
And perhaps another feeling
Into their warm hearts is stealing
Which we might call envious.
Yet while weeks and days are goings
And the knitting, too, is growing,
What good work is Mabel showing?
What sweet charity begun?
For there's not a friend or neighbor
Who knows aught of Mabel's labor,
Or one good deed she has done.
'Ah, you little folks are guessing,
I d3re say, the fact disiressing,
Which I must be now confessing;
A fact that everyone admits—
Parents, teachers, playmates—flouting,
Frowning, fretting, scolding, pouting—
'lis her jyebiaws Mabel knits l
What Children Like Best.
By MARY f. K. HUTCHINSON.
OW s'pose you're five or six years Aid,
Or scb 11 or eight or nine,
An' have a ma thet's awiiul good
(Ermost ez good ez mine);
An' s'pose yer brithday comes eround.
What's goin' ter happen then?
Say! I don't think you're very smart
To have ter guess again!
You'll have a birthday party I
An' you'll invite— Oh, everyone
You know, onless you're mean!
All' all the boys 'II git there fust,
All lookin slick an' clean,
An' all the girls, 111 dress-up duds.
Will act ez if they're -dumb
Except Nell Jones, who giggles so
Folks wish she hadn't come.
When there's a birthday party.
Big sister'U try to start srnne games,
But that won't help a bit;
Yer can't play even blind-man's bull
When 110 one will be "it J"
An' ev'ry grime that she thinks up
Those kids "do'wanter play";
They jest stan' round, look at the rest
In an expectin' way.
When there's a birthday party I
Hut when yer ma sez jest five words!
"Now. children, cnme this wav."
'An' lead 'em towards the dt'nin'-room.
Things change 'h. t then, and—say I
Them boys an' girls all talk at once
\n' never think of nches.
While they jest stuff with lolly-popj
Ice cream, an' nuts an' cakes—.
An' that's the -birthday party!
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Greer, Frank H. The Oklahoma State Capital. (Guthrie, Okla.), Vol. 21, No. 26, Ed. 1 Saturday, May 22, 1909, newspaper, May 22, 1909; Guthrie, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc127218/m1/3/: accessed October 23, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.