CHAPTER I. THE HOME OF ESTHER COX.
Amherst, Nova Scotia, is a beautiful little village on the famous Bay of Fundy; has a population of about three thousand souls, and contains four churches, an academy, a music hall, a large iron foundry, a large shoe factory, and more stores of various kinds than any village of its size in the Province.
The private residences of the more wealthy inhabitants are very picturesque in their appearance, being surrounded by beautifully laid out lawns, containing ornamental trees of various kinds and numerous beds of flowers of choice and sometimes very rare varieties.
The residences of Parson Townsend, Mr. Robb, Doctor Nathan Tupper, and Mr. G.G. Bird, proprietor of the Amherst book store; also that of Mr. Amos Purdy, the village Post Master, and others too numerous to mention, are sure to attract the visitor's attention and command his admiration.
On Princess street, near Church, there stands a neat two story cottage, painted yellow. It has in front a small yard, which extends back to the stable. The tidy appearance of the cottage and its pleasant situation are sure to attract a stranger's attention. Upon entering the house everything is found to be so tastefully arranged, so scrupulously clean, and so comfortable, that the visitor feels at home in a moment, being confident that everything is looked after by a thrifty housewife.
The first floor consists of four rooms, a parlor containing a large bay window, filled with beautiful geraniums of every imaginable color and variety, is the first to attract attention; then the dining room, with its old fashioned clock, its numerous home made rugs, easy chairs, and commodious table, makes one feel like dining, especially if the hour is near twelve; for about that time of day savory odors are sure to issue from the adjoining kitchen. The kitchen is all that a room of the kind in a village cottage should be, is not very large, and contains an ordinary wood stove, a large pine table, and a small washstand, has a door opening into the side yard near the stable, and another into the wash shed, besides the one connecting it with the dining room, making three doors in all, and one window. The fourth room is very small, and is used as a sewing room; it adjoins the dining room, and the parlor, and has a door opening into each. Besides the four rooms on the first floor, there is a large pantry, having a small window about four feet from the floor, the door of this pantry opens into the dining room. Such is the arrangement of the first floor.
Upon ascending a short flight of stairs, and turning to the left, you find yourself in the second story of the cottage, which consists of an entry and four small bed rooms, all opening into the entry. Each one of the rooms has one window, and only one door. Two of these little bed rooms face towards the street, and the other two towards the back of the cottage. They, like the rest of the house, are conspicuous for their neat, cosy aspect, being papered and painted, and furnished with ordinary cottage furniture. In fact everything about the little cottage will impress a casual observer with the fact that its inmates are happy, and evidently at peace with God and man.
This humble cottage is the home of Daniel Teed, shoemaker. Everybody knows and respects honest hard working Dan, who never owes a dollar if he can help it, and never allows his family to want for any comfort that can be procured, with his hard earned salary as foreman of the Amherst Shoe Factory.
Dan's family consists of his wife Olive, as good a soul as ever lived, always hard at work. From early morning until dusky eve she is on her feet. It has always been a matter of gossip and astonishment, among the neighbors, as to how little Mrs. Teed, for she is by no means what you would call a large woman, could work so incessantly without becoming weary and resting for an hour or so after dinner. But she works on all the same, never rests, and they still look on her with astonishment. Dan and Olive have two little boys. Willie, the eldest, is five years old; he is a strong, healthy looking lad, with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes, and brown curly hair; his principal amusements are throwing stones, chasing the chickens, and hurting his little brother. George, the youngest of Dan's boys, is the finest boy of his age in the village and is only a little over a year old; his merry little laugh, winning ways, and cunning actions to attract attention have made him a favorite with all who visit at the cottage....