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True," said Phonny, "if I should light the fire and so set it to burning. But I can build it, you know, and get it all ready, but not light it until the sap is here."

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Well," said Malleville, "and while you are doing that, I will sit on this stone and rest."

"Yes," said Phonny, "and you can be putting the harnesses on the dogs."

So Phonny began to make preparations for building the fire, while Malleville took the harnesses up from the drag, and called Franco to come to her that she might put on his harness. But Franco, who saw the harness in her hand, and meant, would not come.

knew very well what it Malleville then went to

ward him to catch him, but he bounded away from her and ran out upon the river.

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Oh, dear me!" said Malleville, mournfully, "what shall I do? Franco won't be dressed!

"Never mind," said Phonny; "I'll catch him for you by and by."

So Malleville sat down upon the bench again, and began to watch Phonny's arrangements for the fire.

Phonny selected a smooth spot on the beach, in such a place that the wind should carry the smoke away from the seat. Taking the three poles, he

placed them in an upright position on the sand, with the ends which had been tied together upward. He then separated the lower ends from each other, spreading them out upon the sand. Thus the whole formed a sort of tripod, the poles crossing each other near the top, at the place where they were tied. He then fastened the chain to these poles at the place where they were tied together. The other end of the chain, which was the one to which the hook was attached, then hung halfway to the ground.

"There!" said he to Malleville, "when I hang the kettle on the hook, it will be just about far enough from the fire."

He then began to arrange the wood for the fire. He selected the two largest sticks, and placed them parallel to each other on the beach under the tripod.

"There!" said he, speaking half to himself and half to Malleville, "there are my andirons."

He then placed his birch bark and kindling sticks between these andirons, and laid his other sticks of wood across them, taking care to put the smallest in the middle. He next hung the kettle upon the hook, and then got down upon his hands and knees to look under and see if the bottom of the kettle was near enough to the wood.

"It does not touch," said he, "but the blaze will come up to it; and now we will go and get the sap."

Phonny had considerable difficulty in catching the dogs. They both preferred running about such a pleasant morning, to being harnessed to a drag and compelled to draw a heavy load. Phonny succeeded, however, in catching them at last, and in harnessing them to the drag. He then took out the articles which had been put into the pail, and placed them on the box, which he had previously turned bottom upward for a table.

"I think we had better put them under the box till we come back," said Malleville, "for fear that somebody will come along and carry off all our luncheon."

"Oh, no," said Phonny, "there is no danger."

So Phonny and Malleville set out on their excursion after the sap. They very soon came to the trees which Beechnut had tapped for them. They knew them immediately by their having spouts of elder wood inserted in the trunks, and bottles hanging at the ends of the spouts to catch the sap.

Beechnut had no buckets, such as regular sugar makers use, and so he had used some bottles which he had found in the cellar. He had tied a string around the neck of each bottle, and had suspended

one by that means to the end of each of the spouts, in such a manner that the drops of sap coming down through the spout would fall into the bottle.

Phonny and Malleville went to the bottles, one after another, and to their great delight found them almost full of sap. They took the bottles off carefully, and poured the sap into the pail. Then they put on the cover of the pail, and set out on their return. The dogs pulled well, and took the load along in a very satisfactory manner.

As soon as they had arrived at the camp, Malleville was disposed to get her teaspoon and taste of the sap the first thing. Phonny, however, told her that he thought it would be best to pour it all into the kettle first, and light the fire, so as to get the boiling begun. So they poured the sap carefully into the kettle, and then Phonny kindled a match by rubbing it upon the side of the box which formed the table.

"Let me light the fire, Phonny," said Malleville. "Well," said Phonny, "here's the match.

be very careful not to set your clothes on fire."

But

So Malleville took the match and applied it very carefully to the birch bark which was under the wood, and very soon the bark began to blaze. She

was very much pleased to see a fire burning which she herself had kindled.

Malleville and Phonny next took their spoons and began tasting of the sap, dipping a little out of the

[graphic]

kettle for this purpose.

Malleville said that it did

not taste sweet at all. It was nothing but water. Phonny said there was a little sweetness in it, but he did not expect that it would be very sweet until it was boiled. The boiling would make it sweet.

They kept their fire burning finely for some hours, until almost all the water of the sap had boiled away.

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