PART IV. The White Mulberry Tree
4. CHAPTER IV
The next morning Angelique, Amedee's wife, was in the kitchen baking
pies, assisted by old Mrs. Chevalier. Between the mixing-board
and the stove stood the old cradle that had been Amedee's, and in
it was his black-eyed son. As Angelique, flushed and excited, with
flour on her hands, stopped to smile at the baby, Emil Bergson rode
up to the kitchen door on his mare and dismounted.
"'Medee is out in the field, Emil," Angelique called as she ran
across the kitchen to the oven. "He begins to cut his wheat to-day;
the first wheat ready to cut anywhere about here. He bought a new
header, you know, because all the wheat's so short this year. I
hope he can rent it to the neighbors, it cost so much. He and his
cousins bought a steam thresher on shares. You ought to go out and
see that header work. I watched it an hour this morning, busy as
I am with all the men to feed. He has a lot of hands, but he's
the only one that knows how to drive the header or how to run the
engine, so he has to be everywhere at once. He's sick, too, and
ought to be in his bed."
Emil bent over Hector Baptiste, trying to make him blink his round,
bead-like black eyes. "Sick? What's the matter with your daddy,
kid? Been making him walk the floor with you?"
Angelique sniffed. "Not much! We don't have that kind of babies.
It was his father that kept Baptiste awake. All night I had to be
getting up and making mustard plasters to put on his stomach. He
had an awful colic. He said he felt better this morning, but I
don't think he ought to be out in the field, overheating himself."
Angelique did not speak with much anxiety, not because she was
indifferent, but because she felt so secure in their good fortune.
Only good things could happen to a rich, energetic, handsome young
man like Amedee, with a new baby in the cradle and a new header in
Emil stroked the black fuzz on Baptiste's head. "I say, Angelique,
one of 'Medee's grandmothers, 'way back, must have been a squaw.
This kid looks exactly like the Indian babies."