chicken inside and, no doubt, a rather
offensive odor. Poor Cutting's received quite a dressing down, but after
a little investi-gation the blame finally got back to where it belonged.
When I first went to Pigeon
Hill — a very small private school for little girls and boys run
by a Miss Bridge, there were only four pupils in my class — Erlund
Field, the great man about town (or, as Aunt Manie later dubbed
him, "The czar of all the rushers"), Helen Paine who later became my
wife, Thaddeus Nichols who came down from Wayland and myself. By the
time we had reached the fourth grade the class had increased to
eight or ten, but in the next three years the numbers
dwindled as boys went off to boarding school and
girls to finishing academies. Towards the end of my career Miss
Bridge retired and was succeeded by Miss Eldredge who had two or three
great hats all lavishly de-corated with bows and plumes, and she loaned
the fanciest of these to Erlund, who was taking the part of Prince
Charming in a school play. The young lady
who was to become my wife recognized the hat at once, pointed jeeringly
at him and laughed, "That's Miss Eldredge's hat you've got on !" His
feelings were so badly hurt that he could hardly muster up enough
courage to go on stage.
In the same play, I was a kitchen boy and Virginia Hardy the cook.
The stage directions called for her to box my ears, and she did — which
put a temporary halt to the action.
One day during my first year at school, Erlund invited me to
his house for lunch and the afternoon. Now, in our house we had an
old set of plated silver for every day use. The plating had worn off the
backs of the forks and spoons at their points of contact