t we're the Fernald family--every man-Jack of us--not one missing."
"Oh, Marietta--you dear old thing!"
"Hurry up--this is their side of the house."
"Carol, your sh-h-ishes would wake the dead!"
[Illustration: "STUMBLING OVER THEIR OWN FEET AND BUNDLES ... THE CREW POURED INTO THE WARM KITCHEN"]
Stumbling over their own feet and bundles in the endeavour to be preternaturally quiet, the crew poured into the warm kitchen. Bearded Oliver, oldest of the clan; stout Edson, big Ralph, tall and slender Guy--and the two daughters of the house, Carolyn, growing plump and rosy at thirty; Nan, slim and girlish at twenty-four--they were all there. Marietta heaved a sigh of content as she looked them over.
"Well, I didn't really think you'd get here--all of you. Thank the Lord, you have. I s'pose you're tearin' hungry, bein' past 'leven. If you think you can eat quiet as cats, I'll feed you up, but if you're goin' to make as much rumpus as you d