Lucy Fitch Perkins

One~Sunday

Part 2 of 2

[105] When church was over and they were out on the street again, Grandmother said,

"Now you are coming home with me to stay all night."

"Really and truly?" said the Twins. "And may we go with Grandfather to carry the milk in the morning?"

"Yes," said Grandfather, "and Kit may drive the dogs."

Kit jumped right up and down, he was so happy even if it was Sunday.

"May I too?—May I too?" asked Kat.

"You are a girl," said Grandfather. "You may ride in the wagon."

"Oh, I wish to-morrow would come right away," said Kat.

Then Kit and Kat said good-bye to Father Vedder and went home with Grandmother and Grandfather.

They lived on a little street in the town, where the houses stood in a row close together. The houses were built of brick and had wooden shutters at the windows, and they were so clean they shone in the sun.


[Illustration]

[106] This is a picture of Grandmother's house and of Grandmother and Kit and Kat going in. The door opened right into the kitchen.

Grandmother put away her shawl and psalm book and scent bottle as soon as she was home. Then she put on a big apron and drew out the round table.

She boiled the kettle and made coffee; [107] and, when it was done, she set the coffee-pot on a pretty little porcelain stove on the table to keep hot. She got out bread and cheese and smoked beef and, best of all, a plate of little cakes.

Then they all four sat down to eat. I will not tell you how many cakes Kit and Kat ate, but it was a good many.

After dinner, Grandmother put away the things, and Kat helped her.

Kit sat beside Grandfather in the doorway while he smoked. Pretty soon Grandfather said,

"Bring me my accordeon, Kit."

Kit ran to the press in the corner. He knew where the accordeon was kept.

Then Grandfather took the accordeon, tipped his head back, shut his eyes and began to play, beating time with one foot. Kat heard the music and came out too.

She and Kit sat down on the doorstep, one on each side of Grandfather, to listen.


[Illustration]

Grandfather played six tunes.

Then Grandmother said,

[108] "Why don't we go to the woods to hear the band play?"

"No reason at all," said Grandfather. So very soon they were on their way to a grove on the edge of the town.

In the grove a band was playing; and just as the Twins and Grandfather and Grandmother came up, it began to play the national hymn of Holland. All the people [109] began to sing. There were a great many people in the grove, and they all sang as loud as they could; so there was a great sound. Grandfather and Grandmother and Kit and Kat all sang too; for they all knew every word of the hymn.

This is what they sang:—

Let him in whom old Dutch blood flows,

Untainted, free and strong;

Whose heart for Prince and Country glows,

Now join us in our song;

Let him with us lift up his voice,

And sing in patriot band,

The song at which all hearts rejoice,

For Prince and Fatherland,

For Prince and Fatherland.

We brothers, true unto a man,

Will sing the old song yet;

Away with him who ever can

His Prince or Land forget!

A human heart glowed in him ne'er,

We turn from him our hand,

Who callous hears the song and prayer,

For Prince and Fatherland,

For Prince and Fatherland.

[110]

Preserve, O God, the dear old ground

Thou to our fathers gave;

The land where we a cradle found,

And where we'll find a grave!

We call, O Lord, to Thee on high,

As near death's door we stand,

Oh! Safety, blessing to our cry

For Prince and Fatherland,

For Prince and Fatherland.

Loud ring thro' all rejoicings here,

Our prayer, O Lord, to Thee;

Preserve our Prince, his house so dear

To Holland great and free!

From youth thro' life, be this our song,

Till near to death we stand:

O God, preserve our sov'reign long,

Our Prince and Fatherland,

Our Prince and Fatherland.

Now, while the people were singing with all their might, and the band was playing, and Kit and Kat were having the most beautiful time they had ever had in their whole lives, what do you think happened?


[Illustration]

Down the long drive through the trees came a great, splendid carriage, drawn by [111] a pair of beautiful white horses with wavy white tails and manes. There were two soldiers on horseback riding in front of the carriage, and the driver of the carriage was dressed in blue and orange livery.

The carriage was open, and in it sat a beautiful, smiling young lady. Beside her sat her husband; and a nurse, in the other seat, held a baby in her arms.

[112] When the people saw the carriage and the lady, they waved their caps and shouted, "Long live the Queen!"

"Look! Look! Kit and Kat," said Grandfather. "It is your dear Queen Wilhelmina, and Prince Henry and the little Princess! Wave your hands!"


[Illustration]

Kit and Kat waved with all their might, but they were so short, and the people [113] crowded beside the driveway so, that neither of them could see. Then Grandfather caught Kit and lifted him up high, and Grandmother did the same with Kat.

It was fine to be up so high. Kit and Kat could see everything better than anyone else there. And when the carriage came by, the queen saw Kit and Kat! She smiled at them, and the nurse held the little Princess up high for them to see! Kit and Kat threw kisses to the little Princess; and the Princess waved her baby hand to Kit and Kat; and then they were all gone—like a bright dream.

But the soldiers were better to see even than queens, Kit thought. Kat thought the baby—any baby—was nicer than either.

When the carriage was out of sight, Grandfather and Grandmother set the Twins down on the ground. Everyone began to talk about the Queen, about how sweet she was, and how good; and the band played, and everybody was as happy as they could possibly be.

[114] By and by it was time to go home; for, Grandfather said, "Dutch girls and boys must learn to get up early in the morning, especially Twins that are going out with the milk cart."

So they went back to Grandfather Winkle's house; and Grandmother put them to bed in a little cupboard like their own at home, after they had had some supper. And the last thing Kat said that night was,

"O Kit, just to think that to-day we saw the Queen and the soldiers, and the Queen's baby, and to-morrow we are going to drive in the milk cart! What a beautiful world it is!"


[Illustration]

Just as they were dropping off to sleep, they heard a great noise in the street.

"Clap, clap, clap," it sounded, eight times.

"There goes the Klapper-man," said Grandmother Winkle. "Eight o'clock, and time all honest folk were abed."