As Rosie and I brought out leftovers from the refrigerator, that Grandda had called an icebox, I wondered what he had been talking about when he called it that. It was another question I had for him when he was in a receptive mood to answer it. Anyway, we took several things out of it, and placed them on the table.
Rosie was going to put some of them in different kettles and placed them on the cook stove to heat, but the fire was out in the kitchen stove. We didn't know how to make the fire, so I went in to ask Grandda to build it for us.
"Okay, I'll be right in, just serve it on the table cold. I don't have time to build a fire. I'll show you later.... never mind, I'll come in right now and show you."
It seemed he was having trouble focusing with Grandma sick. Wonder what he would do if she couldn't get up out of bed for awhile?
He came in and showed both me and Rosie how to crumple up the newspaper and put it in, then to lay the sticks of kindling in on top of it. Then he showed us how to strike the kitchen match and light the paper. "You always have to be extra careful with fire," he cautioned us. "It is not to play with."
Then he showed us how to carefully place more wood on it, once it was burning good. "I don't want either of you gettin' burned. It hurts. After it gets to burning good and you've placed some firewood on it, put the stove eye back on the stove. Don't put too much wood in at one time, and don't let it go out. You might have to build a fire in here by yourself sometime."
"Yes, Grandda," I replied. "We'll be careful."
Rosie put the left-overs into kettles and soon was heating up the food. As we were heating the food, Marie and Les came in to help set the table.
"Marie has something to tell you, Zeb. Take your finger out of your mouth, Marie, and tell them what you told me."
Turning to her, I said, "Marie? You had something to tell me? About what?"
"It's about Grandma, Les! Tell him!"
"You tell him, Marie... it's your secret."
"Well, somebody tell me!" I exclaimed in suspense.
She looked around to make sure we were alone in the room. Apparently, she was very much afraid to tell us. She came over to me and whispered in my ear.
I felt my eyebrows go up about three inches (it seemed) in surprise.
"Are you sure? Really?
She slowly nodded her head.
"What was it? Do you know?"
"I can't read, but I know it was bad. When she saw me, she threatened to throw me in the cellar again if I told, but I wanted to tell you, anyway. I knew you would protect me, Zebbie."
(To be continued)