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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1879-06-07
Page Number3
Word Count1220
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)
Trove TitleThe Patient Husband: A Tale for the Younger Members of the Family
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CHAPTER 11I "Very well then Agnes dear," said Pierre arousing himself, "we will do our best to catch the old rascal. So make haste and get some bread and some butter and some cheese, that we may have something to eat on the road when we feel hungry, for I expect we will have a long journey before us." So Agnes willingly obeyed her hus band, and putting a big loaf of bread, a long roll of fresh butter, and two good sized round cheeses into a basket, which she slung on her arm, away they started at once. Now Pierre walked much faster than his wife and as she could not keep up with him, she lagged behind him at some distance. "It does not matter a great deal that he is so far in front ofme," she muttered to herself, "indeed it is as well that it should be so, for when we turn back, I shall be ever so much nearer our home than he will be, and of course shall be first to reach it, while he will still be as far behind me as I am now behind him, and he will have many miles farther to walk home than I shall have." And this thought quite reconciled her to the fact that she was not at Pierre's side and she went trudging along quite cheerfully. And so they went on, and on, and ever on, he always far in advance, until at last at a turn in the road, he got completely out of sight. But Agnes, though now very tired, kept bravely on her way following her husband's track, until at length she found herself on the top of a hill down which, on the other side to the one that she had walked up, she saw a steep path so narrow, that the cart -wheels always rubbed against the trees on the right and the left, as they passed between them, and chafed them, and tore the bark away, so that it hung down in strips. "See now," she said, stopping to look at them "how badly the cruel wheels have bruised and wounded these poor. dear trees. Why in places the bark is all rubbed off them. They will never get well again, unless I do something to heal their wounds." So feeling great pity for the poor bruised trees, because Agnes was a very kind-hearted little woman, she took the roll of butter out of her basket, and putting some of it on the palm of her hand, she greased them all thoroughly so that the ugly hurts might be cured, and that the,wheels of the carts and waggons, should not do them so much injury for the future, when they rubbed up against them as they rolled by. And in this kind office she never stopped until she had used up all the roll of butter. Now while she was doing this charit able service to the ungrateful trees, for they never even so much as thanked her for her trouble, one of the stupid cheeses took it into its head, to jump out of the basket, and to set off rolling down the steep path at an ever increas ing speed, as if he liked the fun of being at liberty, asd was determined to make the most.that he could of his newly acquired freedom. - .. Hearing the noise that the cheese made in scuffling away in this unhand some manner, Agnes opened her eyes wide, and looked after it for some minutes to see where it was going to. But in a very short time it disappeared altogether, so she said: "I remember that my mother used to tell me, if you lose a penny always throw another away for luck; so I dare say, if I send the second cheese after the first, it will travel the same way and soon find out where his brother has stopped. Besides he is much younger than I am, for he was only made last month, and therefore he must be much fleeter, and as he has been • carried in the basket all the time, he cannot be as tired as I am, and a little run will freshen him up and do him good." Then she pitched the second cheese away after the first, and so it went quickly offrollingfromi tide tosideofthe path, andtumbling over the stones, and

bumping its sides against the trees, and scudding away, oh ! so rapidly and oh! so merrily, down the hill in search 'of its companion; and at lehgth it got nobody knows where, though many people think that it is still busy looking for its truant friend. And Agnes, when it was quite out of sight, thought to herself : "I am sure the cheeses know the road better than I do, as anyone would say, who should have seen them travel ling down the hill so fast, without once stopping to ask their way. But I can't stay here all night, waiting for them to come back to me. Besides they will have a great deal to say to each other when theymeet, and the one Isent away, will have to give the first a good scold ing for scampering off so foolishly, and giving it so much trouble to find it. And my mother often used to say, that runaways never get any good, and are always glad at last, to come home again." So without any further delay Agnes stepped off down the hill at a brisk pace, and at the end of an hour she came up with Pierre. She would never have overtaken him though, if he had not seated himself on the stump of a tree, and there patiently waited until she should get up to him. "Pray give me something to eat quickly!" said Pierre, as soon as he saw his little wife. "I have had but a bad dinner, and I left home without any supper, as you well know, and I am ready to die with hunger!" Then Agnes, taking from her basket the loaf of bread, gave it to him to eat. "Where is the butter,'and:what has become of the cheeses?" said Pierre, first looking into the basket and then at Agnes very anxiously. "Oh! its all right," she replied to him, with one of' the most winning smiles you have ever seen. "I have used up all the butter, as I had no ointment, to grease those poor trees at the top of the hill that were in such sad plight, and had been so badly hurt by the nasty cruel wheels, that had rubbed up against them, and had scraped away the bark and chafed them so, that my heart quite bled for them, I was so sorry to see that they were in such pain. Then one of the cheeses, was so badly-behaved, that it leaped right out of my basket and ran away down the hill. So I sent the other after it to find out where it had gone to, and I suppose they are now some where together loitering on the road, the lazy things, and making fine jokes about the trick they have played me." (To be continued in our next.)