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Strawberry Acres   By: (1866-1959)

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Strawberry Acres







I. Five Miles Out

II. Everybody Explores

III. The Apartment Overflows

IV. Arguments and Answers

V. Telephones and Tents

VI. In the Pine Grove

VII. Everybody is Satisfied

VIII. Problems and Hearts

IX. Max Compromises

X. Jack O' Lantern


I. What's in a Name

II. In the Old Garden

III. Afternoon Tea

IV. Two and Two

V. On an August Evening

VI. Time Tables

VII. The Southbound Limited

VIII. From April North

IX. Round the Corner

X. Green Leaves

Strawberry Acres




The four Lanes Max, Sally, Alec and Robert climbed the five flights of stairs to their small flat with the agility of youth and the impetus of high but subdued excitement. Uncle Timothy Rudd, following more slowly, reached the outer door of the little suite of rooms in time to hear what seemed to be the first outburst.

"Well, what do you think now?"

"Forty two acres and the house! Open the windows and give us air!"

"Acres run to seed, and the house tumbling down about its own ears! A magnificent inheritance that!" Max cast his hat upon a chair as if he flung it away with the inheritance.

"But who ever thought Uncle Maxwell Lane would ever leave his poor relations anything?" This was Sally.

"Five miles out by road a bit less by trolley. Let's go and see it to morrow afternoon. Thank goodness a half holiday is so near."

"Anybody been by the place lately?"

"I was, just the other day, on my wheel. I didn't think it looked so awfully bad." This was Robert, the sixteen year old.

As Uncle Timothy entered the tiny sitting room Sally was speaking. She had thrown her black veil back over her hat, revealing masses of flaxen hair, and deep blue eyes glowing with interest. Her delicate cheeks were warmly flushed, partly with excitement, and partly because for two hours now during the journey from the flat to the lawyer's office, the period spent therein listening to the reading of Uncle Maxwell Lane's will and the business appertaining thereto, and the return trip home she had worn the veil closely drawn. Her simple mourning was to her a screen behind which to shield herself from curious eyes, always attracted by those masses of singularly fair hair and the unusual contours of the young face beneath.

"I think it's a godsend, if ever anything was," she was saying. "Here's Max, killing himself in the bank, and Alec growing pale and grouchy in the office, and even Bob " She was interrupted by a chorus of protests against her terms of description.

"I'm not killing myself!"

"Pale and grouchy! I'm not a patch on "

"What's the matter with Bob, Sally Lunn?"

"And Uncle Timmy," continued Sally, undisturbed by interpolations to which she was quite accustomed, "pining for fresh air ."

"I walk in the park every day, my dear," Uncle Timothy felt obliged to remind her.

"Yes, I know. But you've lived in a little city flat just as long as it's good for you, and you need to be turned outdoors. So do we all. Oh, boys, and Uncle Timmy! I just sat there, crying and smiling under my veil in that dreadful office crying to think that I couldn't cry for Uncle Maxwell, because he was so cold and queer to us always, and yet he had given us this property, after all ."

"And a mighty small fraction of the estate it is, I hope you understand!" growled Max.

But Sally went on without minding. Everybody was used to Max's growls. "And smiling because I couldn't help it just to think we had a chance at last to get out of the city... Continue reading book >>

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