Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
The Banquet Lamp
There had been company at the brick house to the bountiful Thanksgiving dinner which
had been provided at one o'clock,--the Burnham sisters, who lived between North
Riverboro and Shaker Village, and who for more than a quarter of a century had come to
pass the holiday with the Sawyers every year. Rebecca sat silent with a book after the
dinner dishes were washed, and when it was nearly five asked if she might go to the
"What do you want to run after those Simpson children for on a Thanksgiving Day?"
queried Miss Miranda. "Can't you set still for once and listen to the improvin'
conversation of your elders? You never can let well enough alone, but want to be forever
on the move."
"The Simpsons have a new lamp, and Emma Jane and I promised to go up and see it
lighted, and make it a kind of a party."
"What under the canopy did they want of a lamp, and where did they get the money to
pay for it? If Abner was at home, I should think he'd been swappin' again," said Miss
"The children got it as a prize for selling soap," replied Rebecca; "they've been working
for a year, and you know I told you that Emma Jane and I helped them the Saturday
afternoon you were in Portland."
"I didn't take notice, I s'pose, for it's the first time I ever heard the lamp mentioned. Well,
you can go for an hour, and no more. Remember it's as dark at six as it is at midnight
Would you like to take along some Baldwin apples? What have you got in the pocket of
that new dress that makes it sag down so?"
"It's my nuts and raisins from dinner," replied Rebecca, who never succeeded in keeping
the most innocent action a secret from her aunt Miranda; "they're just what you gave me
on my plate."
"Why didn't you eat them?"
"Because I'd had enough dinner, and I thought if I saved these, it would make the
Simpsons' party better," stammered Rebecca, who hated to be scolded and examined
"They were your own, Rebecca," interposed aunt Jane, "and if you chose to save them to
give away, it is all right. We ought never to let this day pass without giving our neighbors
something to be thankful for, instead of taking all the time to think of our own mercies."