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Janice Day the Young Homemaker   By:

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Janice Day, The Young Homemaker

by Helen Beecher Long


"Why, that is Arlo Junior. What can he be doing out of doors so early? And look at those cats following him. Did you ever!" Janice Day stared wonderingly from her front bedroom window at the boy crossing the street in the dim pre dawn light, with a cat and three half grown kittens gamboling about him. Occasionally Arlo Junior would shake something out of a paper to the ground and the cats would immediately roll and frolic and slap playfully at one another, acting as the girl had never seen cats act before.

The pleasantly situated cottage belonging to Mr. Broxton Day stood almost directly across the way from the Arlo Weeks' place on Knight Street. Therefore Janice often said that, "the days and nights and weeks are very close together!"

Knight Street, as level as the palm of one's hand, led straight into Greensboro, where it crossed Market and Hammond Streets, making the Six Corners actually the heart of the business district of this thriving mid western town.

The Day cottage was a mile and a half from the Six Corners and the Farmers & Merchants Bank in which Mr. Broxton Day held an important salaried position. Besides his house and his situation in the bank, Mr. Day considered another of his possessions very important indeed, although he did not list it when he made out his tax return.

This that he so highly valued possessed the very brightest hazel eyes in the world, wore a wealth of free brown hair in two plaits over her shoulders, and was of a slender figure without bordering upon that unfortunate "skinniness" which nature abhors as she does a vacuum.

Janice possessed, also, even teeth that flashed when she smiled (and she smiled often), a pink and white complexion that the sun was bound to freckle if she was not careful, and a cheerful, demure expression of countenance that went a long way toward making her good to look upon, if not actually good looking.

In a spick and span blue checked bungalow apron, she stood at her window just as Dawn swept a brush of partially hued color across the eastern horizon. Having had it in her mind when she went to bed the night before to arise early, she had of course awakened long before it was really time to get up to make sure that daddy, for once, got a proper breakfast.

For the Days, father and daughter, were dependent on hired service, and such service in the form of Olga Cedarstrom was about as incapable and stupid as fate had yet produced.

Having caught the first glimpse of that mischievous youngster, Arlo Weeks, Junior, with the cats, Janice raised her window softly as far as the lower sash would go, to peer out at the strange procession. The boy and the cats entered the Day's side gate and disappeared around the comer of the kitchen ell.

"Now! what can that rascal be about? If he does anything to bother Olga there will be trouble. And everything here goes crossways enough now, without Arlo Junior adding to it, I declare!"

Janice could very clearly remember when the cottage had been a real home instead of "just a place to stay"; for her mother had been dead only a year. The experiences of that year had been trying, both for the sorrowing widower and the girl who had been her mother's close companion and confidant.

Janice was old enough and well trained enough in domestic affairs to have kept house very nicely for her father. But she had to go to school, of course; an education was the most important thing in the world for her. And the kind of help that came into the Days' kitchen often balked at being "bossed by a slip of a gur r rl," as one recent incumbent of the position had said.

Olga Cedarstrom was stupid and often cross in the morning; and she was careless and slatternly in her ways. But she did not object when Janice came down early to get her father's breakfast, and serve it daintily, as her mother had taught her... Continue reading book >>

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