The chill November days drew to a close. The shrill winds whistled through the branches of the trees, and stirred the leaves which lay in brown heaps upon the ground. But at the end of the month came Thanksgiving--the farmer's Harvest Home. The fruits of the field were in abundance but in many a home there were vacant chairs, never more, alas! to be filled. But he who dies in a noble cause leaves sweet and fragrant memories behind, which shall ever after make it pleasant to think of him.
Thanksgiving morning dawned foggy and cold. Yet there is something in the name that warms the heart and makes the dullest day seem bright. The sunshine of the heart more than compensates for the absence of sunshine without.
The night before he helped Jacob kill a turkey and a pair of chickens, and seated on a box in the barn they had picked them clean in preparation for the morrow,
Within the house, too, might be heard the notes of busy preparation. Alice, sitting in a low chair, was busily engaged in chopping meat for mince pies. Maggie sat near her paring pumpkins, for a genuine New England Thanksgiving cannot be properly celebrated without pumpkin pies. Even little Charlie found work to do in slicing apples.
By evening a long row of pies might be seen upon the kitchen dresser. Brown and flaky they looked, fit for the table of a prince. So the children thought as they surveyed the attractive array, and felt that Thanksgiving, come as often as it might, could never be unwelcome.
Through the forenoon of Thanksgiving day the preparations continued. Frank and Mr. Morton went to the village church, where an appropriate service was held by Reverend Mr. Apthorp. There were but few of the village matrons present. They were mostly detained at home by housewifely cares, which on that day could not well be delegated to other hands.
"Mr. Morton," said Frank, as they walked leisurely home, "did you notice how Squire Haynes stared at you this morning?"
Mr. Morton looked interested. "Did he?" he asked. "I did not notice."
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