Ransom of Mercy Carter

The Little Brown House on The Albany Road

So the "pot was biled" every day in the week. But the marvel and the mystery of it all — the leaping flame, the solid iron, the hissing steam! David was no philosopher — the shoemaker should stick to his last. He was no Watt, to note the tilting lid. He was no chemist, to analyze effects. He had a good appetite, engendered by healthy toil and a clear conscience. He could do ample justice to the contents of the pot, when piled upon the pewter platter, as the style on the sun dial lined with the meridian. But he never stopped — why should he — or we either for that matter — to speculate upon the daily miracle wrought by the loving fire spirit of the household. David saw Bathsheba put into the mouth of that pot cold water, and then beef, pork, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, turnips, all cold and indigestible; later he had stopped with upraised hammer, while pegging a sole, to see her swing out the crane and souse into the seething mass a bag of Indian pudding, resuming his labor when this was safely accomplished. And daily he had seen these crude materials come out smoking, luscious food, fit to "set before the king." Therefore the oven got the worst of it in the rivalry for the affections of David.

If the oven had thought about it, if the fireplace had thought about it, if David had thought about it, which none of them did, — they might have drawn this moral: Be faithful and useful not only one day in seven, but every day of the week.

So by the great east window, where the morning sun shone full upon him, David hammered and pegged and stitched, and pegged and stitched and hammered, to secure the understanding of his customers and bread for his wife and children; while Goodwife Bathsheba baked and brewed and ironed and carded and spun, the hum of the wheel in harmony with the sound of the hammer. From flax taken in barter for the products of David's labor, she spun and twisted the honest thread with which his seams were closed; and while her foot pressed the treadle, and her busy fingers gauged and guided the slender

God's Acre
God's Acre.

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This page was last updated on 11 Feb 2006