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The Peterkins’ Summer Journey
by [?]

In fact, it was their last summer’s journey,–for it had been planned then; but there had been so many difficulties it had been delayed.

The first trouble had been about trunks. The family did not own a trunk suitable for travelling.

Agamemnon had his valise, that he had used when he stayed a week at a time at the academy; and a trunk had been bought for Elizabeth Eliza when she went to the seminary. Solomon John and Mr. Peterkin, each had his patent-leather hand-bag. But all these were too small for the family. And the little boys wanted to carry their kite.

Mrs. Peterkin suggested her grandmother’s trunk. This was a hair-trunk, very large and capacious. It would hold everything they would want to carry except what would go in Elizabeth Eliza’s trunk, or the valise and bags.

Everybody was delighted at this idea. It was agreed that the next day the things should be brought into Mrs. Peterkin’s room for her to see if they could all be packed.

“If we can get along,” said Elizabeth Eliza, “without having to ask advice I shall be glad!”

“Yes,” said Mr. Peterkin, “it is time now for people to be coming to ask advice of us.”

The next morning Mrs. Peterkin began by taking out the things that were already in the trunk. Here were last year’s winter things, and not only these, but old clothes that had been put away,–Mrs. Peterkin’s wedding-dress; the skirts the little boys used to wear before they put on jackets and trousers.

All day Mrs. Peterkin worked over the trunk, putting away the old things, putting in the new. She packed up all the clothes she could think of, both summer and winter ones, because you never can tell what sort of weather you will have.

Agamemnon fetched his books, and Solomon John his spy-glass. There were her own and Elizabeth Eliza’s best bonnets in a bandbox; also Solomon John’s hats, for he had an old one and a new one. He bought a new hat for fishing, with a very wide brim and deep crown; all of heavy straw.

Agamemnon brought down a large heavy dictionary, and an atlas still larger. This contained maps of all the countries in the world.

“I have never had a chance to look at them,” he said; “but when one travels, then is the time to study geography.”

Mr. Peterkin wanted to take his turning-lathe. So Mrs. Peterkin packed his tool-chest. It gave her some trouble, for it came to her just as she had packed her summer dresses. At first she thought it would help to smooth the dresses, and placed it on top; but she was forced to take all out, and set it at the bottom. This was not so much matter, as she had not yet the right dresses to put in. Both Mrs. Peterkin and Elizabeth Eliza would need new dresses for this occasion. The little boys’ hoops went in; so did their india-rubber boots, in case it should not rain when they started. They each had a hoe and shovel, and some baskets, that were packed.

Mrs. Peterkin called in all the family on the evening of the second day to see how she had succeeded. Everything was packed, even the little boys’ kite lay smoothly on the top.

“I like to see a thing so nicely done,” said Mr. Peterkin.

The next thing was to cord up the trunk, and Mr. Peterkin tried to move it. But neither he, nor Agamemnon, nor Solomon John could lift it alone, or all together.

Here was a serious difficulty. Solomon John tried to make light of it.

“Expressmen could lift it. Expressmen were used to such things.”

“But we did not plan expressing it,” said Mrs. Peterkin, in a discouraged tone.

“We can take a carriage,” said Solomon John.

“I am afraid the trunk would not go on the back of a carriage,” said Mrs. Peterkin.