Cloudy Jewel (Chapter 8, page 1 of 9)

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Chapter 8

They all slept very late the next morning, being utterly worn out from the unaccustomed work; and, when they finally got down-stairs, they took a sort of a lunch-breakfast off the pantry shelves again. It was strange how good even shredded-wheat biscuit and milk can taste when one has been working hard and has a young appetite, although Leslie and Allison had been known to scorn all cereals. Still, there were cookies and wonderful apples from the big tree in the back yard for dessert.

"When are those men coming back to finish up?" suddenly demanded Leslie, poising a glass of milk and a cooky in one hand and taking a great bite from her apple.

"Not till to-morrow," said Julia Cloud, looking around the empty kitchen speculatively, and wondering how in the world she was going to cook with all the cooking-utensils packed in the attic.

"We ought to have left the kitchen till last," she added with a troubled look. "You crazy children! Didn't you know we had to eat? I told that man not to take any of those things on the kitchen-table, that they were to stay down until the very last thing, and now he has taken the table even! I went up-stairs to see if I could get at things, and I find he has put them away at the back, and piled all the chairs and some bed-springs in front of them. I'm afraid we shall have to get some things out again. I don't see how we can get along."

"Not a bit of it, Cloudy!" said Leslie, giving a spring and perching herself on the drain-board of the sink, where she sat swinging her dainty little pumps as nonchalantly as if she were sitting on a velvet sofa. "See! Here's my plan. I woke up early, and thought it all out. Let's see," consulting her wee wrist-watch, "it's nine o'clock. That isn't bad. Now we'll work till twelve; that's long enough for to-day, because you got too tired yesterday; and, besides, we've got some other things to attend to. Then we'll hustle into the car, and get to town, and do some shopping ready for our trip. That will rest you. We'll get lunch at a tea-room, and shop all the afternoon. We'll go to a hotel for dinner, and stay all night. Then in the morning we can get up early, have our breakfast, and drive back here in time before the men come. Now isn't that perfectly spick-and-span for a plan?"

"Leslie! But, dear, that would cost a lot! And, besides, it isn't in the least necessary."

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