The Story Girl
The Blue Chest Of Rachel Ward
"It's utterly out of the question," said Aunt Janet seriously. When Aunt Janet said
seriously that anything was out of the question it meant that she was thinking about it,
and would probably end up by doing it. If a thing really was out of the question she
merely laughed and refused to discuss it at all.
The particular matter in or out of the question that opening day of August was a project
which Uncle Edward had recently mooted. Uncle Edward's youngest daughter was to be
married; and Uncle Edward had written over, urging Uncle Alec, Aunt Janet and Aunt
Olivia to go down to Halifax for the wedding and spend a week there.
Uncle Alec and Aunt Olivia were eager to go; but Aunt Janet at first declared it was
"How could we go away and leave the place to the mercy of all those young ones?" she
demanded. "We'd come home and find them all sick, and the house burned down."
"Not a bit of fear of it," scoffed Uncle Roger. "Felicity is as good a housekeeper as you
are; and I shall be here to look after them all, and keep them from burning the house
down. You've been promising Edward for years to visit him, and you'll never have a
better chance. The haying is over and harvest isn't on, and Alec needs a change. He isn't
looking well at all."
I think it was Uncle Roger's last argument which convinced Aunt Janet. In the end she
decided to go. Uncle Roger's house was to be closed, and he and Peter and the Story Girl
were to take up their abode with us.
We were all delighted. Felicity, in especial, seemed to be in seventh heaven. To be left in
sole charge of a big house, with three meals a day to plan and prepare, with poultry and
cows and dairy and garden to superintend, apparently furnished forth Felicity's
conception of Paradise. Of course, we were all to help; but Felicity was to "run things,"
and she gloried in it.
The Story Girl was pleased, too.
"Felicity is going to give me cooking lessons," she confided to me, as we walked in the
orchard. "Isn't that fine? It will be easier when there are no grown-ups around to make me
nervous, and laugh if I make mistakes."
Uncle Alec and aunts left on Monday morning. Poor Aunt Janet was full of dismal
forebodings, and gave us so many charges and warnings that we did not try to remember
any of them; Uncle Alec merely told us to be good and mind what Uncle Roger said.
Aunt Olivia laughed at us out of her pansy-blue eyes, and told us she knew exactly what
we felt like and hoped we'd have a gorgeous time.