NATURALLY, summer was the time when Maude's visits to us could be longest: sometimes ten days, sometimes ten weeks. The things we could do together in the city were limited, but what fun it was when summer came to go off to the country. As usual a telegram heralded the visit.
I SHALL HAVE TO STAY OVER MONDAY IN NEW YORK, CHIEFLY TO SEE ABOUT THOSE CHICKENS. WILL TAKE MIDNIGHT TRAIN AND BE AT TOURAINE HOTEL TUESDAY MORNING.
Though her present was to a farm, she was not intending to arrive with a crate of barnyard fowls. These chickens, a set of four silver hens and four roosters, for salt and pepper, were being copied for us from a pair she had picked up at an antique shop in Boston. The hens are still steady and do not spill the salt, because they are sitting down. The cocks, with time, and so much waiting around, won't stand up any more.
That visit was a happy round of what one does in the country, when there is a river, a canoe, a horse, and a dog. We went swimming before breakfast, which was courageous, not because the water was too cold but because a giant turtle liked his morning swim, too. We took three-hour drives with a horse named 'Op o' Me Thumb, in her honor. We would get utterly lost, have tea from a thermos by the roadside, and finally take pity on our lumbering dog, David, who, starting all expeditions as an escort, was always hauled into the wagon