Vol. Lxxr. No. 40
IN Two Pnkrs. PART I
“ KNOW exactly how
Jack and the bean
stalk felt," declared
Bertha, sitting down in a picturesque
blue-gingham-and-pink-sunbonnet heap on
the edge of the nearest cucumber frame".
rom where she sat on that particular
cucumber frame, one could see the spire
of the village church, two miles away.
and the towers of the Shermont High
School, just beyond the spire. When
Bertha was graduated from Crombie Col-
lege, only a few months before, she had
had some hope of teaching history in
that very high school. ‘Audit almost
hurt her now to see those two towers, and
realize that she would not be going in
and out at the great arched doorway un-
derneath them when the fall term opened.
She took off the sunbonnct and fanned
herself briskly with its rutifled edges.
Every separate curl of her soft brown
hair danced about her forehead as she
did so. She looked. altogether, quite too
sunny and contented for a young person
who had that very morning come to a
courageous decision, which had sent her
from the little house to the shelter of
the garden almost in tears.
For that very morning Bertha had re-
fused the offer from the really famous
school far up North. - That was the
trouble; the school was too far nort
and mother and Uncle Roger needed her
at home. It was a clear case of home
duties against one's own especial career,
and duties won, as they usually did with
Bertha. If only that high-school teacher
who had not meant to come back this
year had not changed her mind, and re-
turned a few days ago, in robust health
and the best of spirits, Bertha would
not now have been sitting on the cucum-
ber frame and speculatin upon the very
ordinary subject of green string beans.
She would, instead, have been polishing
up her history notes and spending, in an-
ticipation, the neat sum that her teaching
would bring in-spending it upon mother
and Uncle Roger, too. It would have
been such fun.
Bertha stopped fanning. drew the sun-
bonnet over her curls and, standing tip,
once more gave her mind to the problem
of the beans. In truth it was -a-sight
for amusement, or perhaps for grave per-
plexity-that big, rambling half acre of
garden behind the cottage, planted broad-
cast with beans of Uncle Roger's finding.
lima beans, green beans, string beans,
wax beans, shell beans, butter beans, pole
beans, dwarf beans-every sort and con-
dition of bean that Uncle Roger's friends
had cordially proffered him on his return
to the old homestead a year ago. And
all these beans had taken root and grown
and flourished and yielded an extraordi-
nary crop before the very eyes of the
dislmayed and inexperienced owners of the
“We can‘t live on beans, Uncle Roger,"
said Bertha plaintively. “and we've given
them away till the neighbors fairly shut
their doors and run when they see me
coming. And no one on this earth wants to
buy them. And yet, in a few weeks, when
they're all gone. they'd taste so good":
Uncle Roger, carefully hocing away in
the tiny tomato patch, straightened up
Drrut-Ina-r by L'lmrln Oovuvon,
the Dllgrlm.Dress. Iiostcn. new park anc Chicago
and regarded her blink-
ingly from behind his
trouble with his eyes
that had sent Uncle
Roger back to the farm, and Bertha, see-
ing him so patient at his unaccustomed
work. felt a sudden wish that so much
of that good work need not be wasted.
If only those terrible beans could be
canned, and appear fresh and delicious,
on the winter dinner table, and one could
hear uncle say, “How tine our beans are,
Molly!" as he had been in the habit of
saying early in the summer before the
beans had become so rampant.
“Uncle Roger!" she said, “don't you
believe we could can some of these beans?
Couldn't I try it, anyhow? They're just
running away from us,"
“It would be nice to try it," said Uncle
Roger. “It does seem a pity-all these
good beans.” V
Bertha thought fast. She had taken
some of the domestic-science courses, so
new and so popular, at Crombie College,
and in the library she had often consulted
those thin, shiny, clearly printed pam-
phlets that have the seal of the United
States Department of Agriculture on the
cover. Brimful of information they had
been, from the sterling qualities of nuts
to the proper preservation of eggs. And
somewhere, in the back of Bertha’s mind,
there was a vague recollection of some
such wise pamphlet, that had pictures of
glass jars, and wash boilers with fitted
racks made of galvanized wire netting,
and rows of cans packed with vegetables
standing upon the racks within the boilers
during a treatmcnt that lasted three days,
and took one hour a day. And a single
sentence rose somewhere out from this
past, “Any housewife can do equally well."
“Any housewife can do equally well !"
repeated Bertha, charmed with the state-
ment. “Well, then, why can't I?
wouldn't be earning money, which I want
to do most; but it would be saving money,
and it certainly would be saving a ton
or two of good green beans for next win-
ter. And perhaps I could sell same, then.
VVhy, I might do anything-if only I
lzad that bulletin I saw at college."
The sound of wheels at the white gate
made Bertha turn, and the next minute
she was flying across the yard,. Uncle
Roger followcd more slowly. A fat
white pony stood sleepily at the gate, at-
tached to but not at all concerned about
an ancient top buggy, in which sat a
portly old gentleman and a slender and
handsome young girl. This girl, in her
trim traveling suit and hat, leaned far
out from the buggy to catch Bertha‘:
hands in her own.
“O Bertha dcarl What are we going
to do without you, this year? rombie
won't seem one hit the same. Tell me,
did you accept that place?"
Bertha shook her head.
“You didn't! O Bert! And you're
going to stay on here? You, the bright-
est girl in our sorority, and just wild
to teachl But, of course I-I now-I
“The need me here," said Bertha
simply. “Uncle‘s eyes are no better, and
mother doesn’t get stronger, I did want
that high-school chance here, but that's
gone now, Louise,” she added, laughing,
“I've sct my heart on just knowing beans.
I want you to do me a favor, will you.’
When you get back to Crombie, just as
soon ‘as you can, send me a list of those
‘Farmers’ Bulletins’ they have in the
library, will you, please? Yes, a I, if you
ca . want to send for some myself.
There's one on canning vegetables, you
Squire Lamont waved his whip toward
his old friend, Rogcr Carey.
"Does this girl of yours know how to
can beans, Roger?" he asked. “Have her
do it, if she does, by all means. There's
nothing so good in the winter as some-
thing we've raised ourselves. To my
mind there's no dish so fine for supper.
on a cold winter night, as a saucer of
sweet corn, with cream in it,
yet that's just the one thing that all the
women folks declare they've stopped can-
ing. Corn just wasting in the garden,
and they say they won't even try it; it
"Well. it doesn’t keep, grandfather," put
in Louise. “You get mother to try it
every fall, and every fall she has her
work for nothing, and I told her not to
do it again, It's no use. You can’t can
corn at home so that it will keep. Beans
are easier, I know. I'll get that list for
you, Bert, of course, But don't, oh, don't
try any corn; it's hopeless."
“You're getting me excited,” cried
“I shall want to try some corn
myself if you say any more. If that
bulletin of Uncle Sam‘ gives a rule for
corn. I just will try it."
“That's right," nodded the squire.
“That's right, Stick to that. And mind
you this, young lady, if you put up corn
that actually keeps from now I -
ary, I'll give you a twenty-dollar bill.
That‘s a promise. Don't you forget
a long way to the sta-
tion, and Jessie's getting so fast asleep
I may not be able to wake her up at all
if you don't hurry."
The girls said their hearty good-bys.
B e r t h a
“Mothcr," cried the girl, “do you real-
ize that you are the most wonderful per-
son? You see something pretty and in-
teresting in the dullest and most stupid
things. I was just dreading those beans.
and here you cal them pre ”
"Yes, I think they are pretty," said
the mother. “Then they are so cool and
fresh to the touch, and make such a
pretty, musical sound when you break
them! I always liked to prepare vege-
tables, just because they are so fascinat-
“Fascinating!" echoed the girl. “Well,
you are fascinating, mother. anyway.
Mother, listen to me, May I turn the
cellar into a canning factory and steril-
ize quarts and quarts of your ‘pretty
green beans’ down there; or wouldn't
you care to have me risk it?”
“Risk it !" cried Mrs, Cary. “O Bertha,
I've been longing to some can-
ning. I could help string the beans. I
didn't like to suggest it, you have so
much to do. But it would be such a
satisfaction to feel we were getting ahead
for the winter that way, and have all
brother's work really saved, too. I think
a great deal about that-about saving
his work, Of course we might not be
able to keep corn, but the beans and car-
rots and beets could be canned, and the
tomatoes, of course.”
"But why not the corn, mother? Is
corn so particularly dihicult?" said
Bertha, “Somehow I don't like to let
that com go. Let’s try corn.
“I used to have poor results with
corn," explained her mother. “But per-
haps, with what you learned in your do-
mestic-scicnce course, you will have some
way that might succeed. VVe can try it,
if you like."
Three days later the list of ‘‘Farmers'
Bulletins" came from Louise with a note
that still further aroused the determina-
tion of the venturesome Bertha:
Here's your list, Bert. And be sure you
don't bother with the corn. The bulletin
m the library says it's the hardest thing
c h a r g e d
one of her
ters, and the
fat w h it e
slowly o u t
to the house.
and Un c l e
back to the
g a r d e n.
B e r t h a
w a I k e d
s l o w l y,
t h i nk i n g
i a st. Her
m o t h e r
s tn i I e d at
her as she
up to her
kissed her, “cncu; kocen ,.
her a long time. Nothing was so good
as bcing able to stay and help mother,
Yet-every dollar was needed, and the
girl understood it well.
“I'm almost through with these towels,
Bertha," said the mother. “I was think-
ing I could string the beans for dinner
if uncle has brought them in. I like to
string beans. It's such pretty work,"
. cannon 1-nu jnts To run cums."
That kills: the whole tribe, and ou co
keeps like magic. Trouble is, the bacteria
seems to )e much more cann and pa-
tient than human follts. You have to wait
day etween the lloilings, or you don't
Miss Shorty says it‘: hard,
but you can do It all right. t wouldnt
tins, so you needn't wait for Uncle Sam.
[CONTINUED on PAGE 314]
Ocronuz 3, I914