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FIVE LITTLE STARRS IN AN ISLAND CABIN
PLANS AND PREPARATIONS
"MUMZIE, there is no use in talking about distance and danger. Maine isn't very far away, and the danger would be no greater than on Grandpa's ranch. I for one, feel it would be almost a crime to keep the children from the pleasure they will have in the cabin placed at our disposal. And you,— why the coolness of the salt breezes that sweep over those shores, will make you wonder if the city could possibly be as warm as the daily papers say." So spake Daddum Starr.
"That's all right, Daddum, but think of the worry of watching the children all the time, for fear they might fall into the ocean, or float away in a boat," returned Mrs. Starr, while a troubled frown puckered her forehead.
"Now, Mumzie, you know Jim is equal to anything the Twinks can think of, while Mete and Vene are too well-behaved to cause you any extra worry. Besides, Vene will help Jenny look after Babs. Then you will have nothing to do but to keep cool and be happy, and look after things in general."
"Your way of explaining away r
my doubts always convinces me that my fears are groundless, and that everything will turn out just as you say," laughed Mrs. Starr, as she glanced across the table at her husband.
' "Then you will consent to go?" asked Mr. Starr, eagerly.
"Wait a moment," begged Mrs. Starr, smiling. "There are other things to think about before we decide. What about the furniture, and how will we get supplies?"
"Mr. Latimer told me he had left beds in the cabin, and a chest of drawers, a few chairs, tables and nearly everything we should need. He says one lives in a bathing suit most of the time, and that there is little need of bureaus, mirrors and such things. Linen and silver we must take, and the few pieces of furniture we would need to make ourselves comfortable we can buy in Portland and have sent to us. The same with supplies. I can order what we need from time to time when I pass through Portland, and I can send other things as needed, from the city," explained Mr. Starr.
"Oh, well, with the children so eager to go and you so strong in favor of the plan, I suppose I must consent, and it might as well be now as later," sighed Mrs. Starr.
"Now, Mumzie, you know you are just as eager to be on that Island as we are. You just want to be coaxed a little," said Mr. Starr, nodding at his wife.
Mrs. Starr disdained to reply to this remark, but going to the desk she took a sheet of paper and pencil and brought them over to Mr. Starr.
"We will live on the island this summer, Daddum, but you will have to take the responsibility," she said. "You must see that we are supplied with household needs. So, you had better make a list of the items I will call off to you, and write to someone in Portland to ship the things over to Mr. Latimer's Island."
And so it was decided that the summer should be spent in the island cabin.
The chance to spend the vacation time in this delightful spot came about through Mr. Starr's connection with the lumber trade.
It happened that just about the time school closed Mr. Starr was trying to purchase a large tract of Maine timber from a Mr. Latimer, who lived in Portland. Mr. Latimer owned a cottage, or bungalow, on a lovely little island in Casco Bay, and it was his custom to spend the summers there with his family.
The cottage had not been built for show, as the Latimer family liked to "camp out," as they called it. It was, however, a roomy, comfortable cabin, and, being on a knoll, commanded a view of the sea and rock-bound coast for miles and miles. Being but a half mile from the shore, it was easy to row to the main-land whenever necessary, if the sea were not too rough.
Mr. Latimer's children were quite grown up when Mr. Starr met him, and Mrs. Latimer was planning to take them to Europe that summer. As the cabin would be vacant, Mr. Latimer offered it to the Starrs for the summer. Mr. Starr could arrange to spend weekends with his family every two or three weeks, and while working in the Maine woods, would be able to see them every week.
The moment the Starr children heard of the invitation, they were eager for the trip. Many things had to be considered, but Mrs. Starr was won over, and gave her consent to the plan.