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Rilla of Ingleside

IX. Doc Has A Misadventure
"The war will not be over before next spring now," said Dr. Blythe, when it became
apparent that the long battle of the Aisne had resulted in a stalemate.
Rilla was murmuring "knit four, purl one" under her breath, and rocking the baby's cradle
with one foot. Morgan disapproved of cradles for babies but Susan did not, and it was
worth while to make some slight sacrifice of principle to keep Susan in good humour.
She laid down her knitting for a moment and said, "Oh, how can we bear it so long?"--
then picked up her sock and went on. The Rilla of two months before would have
rushed off to Rainbow Valley and cried.
Miss Oliver sighed and Mrs. Blythe clasped her hands for a moment. Then Susan said
briskly, "Well, we must just gird up our loins and pitch in. Business as usual is England's
motto, they tell me, Mrs. Dr. dear, and I have taken it for mine, not thinking I could easily
find a better. I shall make the same kind of pudding today I always make on Saturday. It
is a good deal of trouble to make, and that is well, for it will employ my thoughts. I will
remember that Kitchener is at the helm and Joffer is doing very well for a Frenchman. I
shall get that box of cake off to little Jem and finish that pair of socks today likewise. A
sock a day is my allowance. Old Mrs. Albert Mead of Harbour Head manages a pair and
a half a day but she has nothing to do but knit. You know, Mrs. Dr. dear, she has been
bed-rid for years and she has been worrying terrible because she was no good to
anybody and a dreadful expense, and yet could not die and be out of the way. And now
they tell me she is quite chirked up and resigned to living because there is something
she can do, and she knits for the soldiers from daylight to dark. Even Cousin Sophia
has taken to knitting, Mrs. Dr. dear, and it is a good thing, for she cannot think of quite
so many doleful speeches to make when her hands are busy with her needles instead
of being folded on her stomach. She thinks we will all be Germans this time next year
but I tell her it will take more than a year to make a German out of me. Do you know that
Rick MacAllister has enlisted, Mrs. Dr. dear? And they say Joe Milgrave would too, only
he is afraid that if he does that Whiskers-on-the-moon will not let him have Miranda.
Whiskers says that he will believe the stories of German atrocities when he sees them,
and that it is a good thing that Rangs Cathedral has been destroyed because it was a
Roman Catholic church. Now, I am not a Roman Catholic, Mrs. Dr. dear, being born and
bred a good Presbyterian and meaning to live and die one, but I maintain that the
Catholics have as good a right to their churches as we have to ours and that the Huns
had no kind of business to destroy them. Just think, Mrs. Dr. dear," concluded Susan
pathetically, "how we would feel if a German shell knocked down the spire of our church
 
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