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Going to Market
Her First Visit to the City, Chapter VI
GOING TO MARKETThe next day Honey Bunch was wide awake and dressed and out in the living room before anyone else.
"Stay right there, dear, till I come," said Mrs. Morton, who was brushing her own hair. "Don't go into any other room, because we're up early and you might disturb someone."
Honey Bunch trotted out into the large, square room and found that someone else was up. This someone was the maid, in her blue dress and white apron.
"Good morning," she said, smiling. "You're up early."
"I woke up," said Honey Bunch. "Do you live in New York?"
"Yes, I do—always have," said the maid, picking up some tiny scraps of paper and throwing them in the fireplace. "You come from Barham, don't you? Miss Tess and Master Bobby told me you are their cousin."
"I'm Honey Bunch," said the little girl. "What is your name?"
"I'm Teresa," the maid answered. "Now, Miss Honey Bunch, if I light this fire, will you promise to stand back, away from the fire screen?"
"Of course she will, Teresa," said a hearty voice. "I'll watch the fire. Hello there, Honey Bunch, what do you think of New York?"
Honey Bunch knew that the smiling-faced, twinkling-eyed gentleman holding out both hands to her must be Uncle Paul, Bobby and Tess's daddy. Honey Bunch had never seen him before, though Aunt Julia had visited them in Barham several times. Teresa put a match to the neat fire she had laid on the hearth and the crackling flames shot up the chimney.
"You must be an early riser," said Uncle Paul, giving Honey Bunch a kiss. "Tess has just opened one eye and Bobby hasn't his shoes on yet. All right, Teresa, I'll look after it."
Teresa emptied the brass coal scuttle filled with coal on the fire and went away. Uncle Paul sat down before the fire and patted the broad arm of his chair.
"Suppose you come and sit here and we'll get acquainted," he said.
Honey Bunch scrambled up beside him and he put an arm around her and they began to talk. Honey Bunch told him all about Lady Clare and how she was going to stay with Mrs. Farriday till her little mistress came home. She told Uncle Paul about her doll, Eleanor, and about Daddy and how much she loved him. She told him about the bad boy on the train who had made faces at her.
"Bobby wouldn't do that, would he, Uncle Paul?" said Honey Bunch.
"I hope not," answered Uncle Paul.
"Wouldn't do what?" cried Bobby, bursting into the room like a small cyclone. "Oh, Daddy, how long have you been here?"
"Long enough to get acquainted with Honey Bunch," replied his daddy. "And long enough to hear about a bad boy who made faces on the train, Bobby."
"Well, I don't make faces—much," said Bobby comfortably. "Here's Aunt Edith!"
Mrs. Morton and Bobby's mother came in together and Tess dashed through the door a few minutes later. Tess was in such a hurry to see her aunt and cousin that her hair-ribbon wasn't tied and one of her shoes was not laced.
"You can't come to the breakfast table like that, Tess," said her mother firmly. "Go back and finish dressing, dear." Tess looked as though she would much rather stay where she was, but she went back to her room and when Teresa came to say that breakfast was ready, Tess came in with her hair-ribbon nicely tied and both shoes laced. Honey Bunch thought she looked much better.
"Daddy," said Bobby, as they sat down at the table, "can't we stay home from school while Honey Bunch is here? She doesn't have to go to school, and I think it's mean if we have to go all the time."
"Yes, Daddy," said Tess earnestly, "couldn't we stay home?"
"Certainly not," said Mr. Turner. "How would you ever be able to pass this June? Honey Bunch, when she starts school, will have to go every day. She won't be able to stay at home when you go to visit her."
"But we won't go, only in vacation," argued Bobby.
"Oh, well, I suppose we can play in the afternoons," said Tess. "We get home at two o'clock, and then we can play with Honey Bunch. Only I do hate to miss such a lot of fun."
"Never mind, Tess," said Honey Bunch's mother. "You might get tired going around with us. All the things that are old to you will be new to us, you know, and it isn't much fun seeing the old things over and over."
Still when Mrs. Turner said that Bobby and Tess must start for school, if they were not to be late, both children said they didn't see what anyone ever invented school for!
"Oh, my, don't tell me I have two Grumbles in my family!" cried Mr. Turner, pretending to be frightened. "Mother, we haven't two Grumbles in the house, have we?"
"What's a Grumble?" asked Honey Bunch.
"A Grumble is a girl or a boy who doesn't like anything," explained her uncle. "He or she doesn't like the weather or school or what there is for breakfast. There is nothing I dislike more than a Grumble."
"I'm not a Grumble!" shouted Bobby.
"Neither am I!" cried Tess.
"Perhaps I've made a mistake," said Mr. Turner. "Honey Bunch, does Tess look like a Grumble to you?"
"No, she doesn't," said Honey Bunch quickly.
"Well, what about Bobby?" asked Mr. Turner. "Does he look like a Grumble to you?"
"Oh, no," said kind little Honey Bunch.
"He doesn't look like a Grumble, Uncle Paul."
"All right then, that's fine," said her uncle.
"I always dread a day if the Grumbles start it."
Tess and Bobby kissed every one good-bye—right around the table—and started off to school looking much more contented. Perhaps the thought that their daddy was afraid they were Grumbles frightened them, too.
"Run to the window, Honey Bunch, and you can wave to them," said Mrs. Turner.
Honey Bunch ran to the dining-room window—the apartment house was on a corner— and looked down into the street. She could see Tess's red coat and Bobby's plaid cap far down in the street.
"I'll lift you up," said her uncle, and he raised the window and held Honey Bunch tightly while she waved her handkerchief to Tess and Bobby.
Then Uncle Paul had to go to the office and Aunt Julia said she must go to market.
"I wonder if Honey Bunch would like to go with me?" said her aunt.
Now, of course, Honey Bunch would like to go and she said so. Mrs. Morton said she would rather stay at home and write a letter to Honey Bunch's daddy.
"What shall I say to Daddy for you, Honey Bunch?" she asked.
"Tell him I'm going to market with Aunt Julia and that I love him very much," said Honey Bunch, and Mother promised to put that in her letter.
"Good morning," said Dorry, when Honey Bunch and her aunt stepped into the elevator.
Aunt Julia had told Honey Bunch she might ring the bell that brought the elevator up. Honey Bunch thought it was much more exciting to ride than to walk downstairs.
"Good morning," said Honey Bunch to Dorry. "We're going to market."
"Don't let the crabs bite you," answered Dorry, showing all his white teeth in a smile.
Out in the street Honey Bunch pranced along beside Aunt Julia. There were no yards to be seen anywhere, just rows and rows of houses. The sun was not shining and it was cold, though the wind did not blow.
"Where is the market?" asked Honey Bunch. "Sometimes my mother takes a basket when we go to market and I help her bring things home."
"Well, you see, dear," said Aunt Julia, "I don't go to any one market. There are many small stores on the street where we are going and I look at the food and have them send what I buy."
"Will the crabs bite me?" asked Honey Bunch, remembering what Dorry had said.
Aunt Julia laughed as she looked up and down for automobiles before crossing the street.
"I think Dorry was teasing you," she said, taking Honey Bunch's hand and running across the car tracks as fast as Tess could have run.
While her aunt was marketing, Honey Bunch watched the people. There were no car tracks on the street where Tess and Bobby lived, but here, where the stores were, they had trolley cars and automobiles and busses and—baby carriages. Honey Bunch liked the baby carriages very much. She tried to peep under the hoods and now and then she saw a nice, round, fat baby fast asleep on a pillow.
On one corner they saw a man playing a banjo and a little dog holding out a tin cup.
"Look at the dog!" cried Honey Bunch. "Look, Aunt Julia, he can stand on his hind legs."
"He wants you to put a penny in his cup," said Aunt Julia. "Go and drop these in the cup for him, dear."
Honey Bunch went up to the little dog and dropped the five pennies her aunt had given her one by one into the cup the dog held. Every time he heard a penny drop, he barked, and Honey Bunch wanted to hug him. But before she could even pat him, the man with the banjo began to sing and Honey Bunch turned and ran.
"Why, dear, what is the matter?" asked Aunt Julia. "Did the dog frighten you?"
There was a girl standing on the pavement, shoving a baby carriage back and forth. She laughed.
"I guess the singing scared her," she said. Honey Bunch did not say anything. The singing had frightened her, but she did not think it would be polite to say so.
"He thinks he sings almost nice, I s'spect," she told her mother that night. "It would hurt his feelings if I said I ran because I didn't know he meant to sing."
When Honey Bunch and Aunt Julia were through buying good things to eat, they went home. Honey Bunch didn't see how her aunt knew the way home, for they had turned several corners and crossed different streets, but Aunt Julia said no one could lose her in her own city.
Bobby and Tess had lunch at their school, but they came bouncing in at two o'clock and when they asked if they could take Honey Bunch out to play, the two mothers said "yes."
"I think it will snow before night," said Aunt Julia, sitting down comfortably with her knitting by the fire, which was now a lovely bed of green and blue coals.
"Don't stay out too long," said Honey Bunch's mother, who sat in a big chair on the other side of the fire.