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Song of the Lark

Chapter I.14
"Mother," said Peter Kronborg to his wife one morning about two weeks after
Wunsch's departure, "how would you like to drive out to Copper Hole with me to-
day?"
Mrs. Kronborg said she thought she would enjoy the drive. She put on her
gray cashmere dress and gold watch and chain, as befitted a minister's wife, and
while her husband was dressing she packed a black oilcloth satchel with such
clothing as she and Thor would need overnight.
Copper Hole was a settlement fifteen miles northwest of Moonstone where
Mr. Kronborg preached every Friday evening. There was a big spring there and a
creek and a few irrigating ditches. It was a community of discouraged
agriculturists who had disastrously experimented with dry farming. Mr. Kronborg
always drove out one day and back the next, spending the night with one of his
parishioners. Often, when the weather was fine, his wife accompanied him. To-
day they set out from home after the midday meal, leaving Tillie in charge of the
house. Mrs. Kronborg's maternal feeling was always garnered up in the baby,
whoever the baby happened to be. If she had the baby with her, the others could
look out for themselves. Thor, of course, was not, accurately speaking, a baby
any longer. In the matter of nourishment he was quite independent of his mother,
though this independence had not been won without a struggle. Thor was
conservative in all things, and the whole family had anguished with him when he
was being weaned. Being the youngest, he was still the baby for Mrs. Kronborg,
though he was nearly four years old and sat up boldly on her lap this afternoon,
holding on to the ends of the lines and shouting "`mup, 'mup, horsey." His father
watched him affectionately and hummed hymn tunes in the jovial way that was
sometimes such a trial to Thea.
Mrs. Kronborg was enjoying the sunshine and the brilliant sky and all the
faintly marked features of the dazzling, monotonous landscape. She had a rather
unusual capacity for getting the flavor of places and of people. Although she was
so enmeshed in family cares most of the time, she could emerge serene when
she was away from them. For a mother of seven, she had a singularly
unprejudiced point of view. She was, moreover, a fatalist, and as she did not
attempt to direct things beyond her control, she found a good deal of time to
enjoy the ways of man and nature.
When they were well upon their road, out where the first lean pasture lands
began and the sand grass made a faint showing between the sagebushes, Mr.
Kronborg dropped his tune and turned to his wife. "Mother, I've been thinking
about something."
"I guessed you had. What is it?" She shifted Thor to her left knee, where he
would be more out of the way.
"Well, it's about Thea. Mr. Follansbee came to my study at the church the
other day and said they would like to have their two girls take lessons of Thea.
Then I sounded Miss Meyers" (Miss Meyers was the organist in Mr. Kronborg's
 
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