Thursday, May 13, 2010

By the Shores of Silver Lake Book Discussion - The Surveyors' House

There was no need to pack anything because the surveyors' house stood about a half mile from the shanty. Laura could hardly wait to see it and Pa allowed her to run ahead of the loaded wagon. On the stillness of the empty prairie Laura could hear everything. She followed a smooth path warn down by the surveyors' boots. It felt soft on her bare feet. Suddenly the house stood before her.

Laura opened the door and peeked inside. The first thing she noticed was the wooden floors. She tiptoed across the lean-to and opened the door on the far side gazing into a very large room. The surveyors had left their stove behind and it was a big one, with six lids and two oven doors. Beyond it were three doors and all of them were shut. Laura once again tiptoed across the room to open the first door. It was a small room with one bedstead. She then opened the middle door which reavealed a staircase. She went up a few steps and in the big attic was a room twice as big as the one downstairs.

She squealed with excitement as she raced back down the stairs to see what was behind the third door. There before her eyes was a little store, it's walls and shelves stocked with pots and pans and boxes and cans. On the floor were barrels stocked with flour, cornmeal and slabs of salted fish and salt pork. There was dried apples, sacks of potatoes and a near full sack of beans.

Laura ran out to the wagon very excited. Ma looked at everything and, she too, was pleased. Pa built a fire while the rest arranged the house. Ma put Mary's rocking chair near the open oven door. She then made up the bedstead in the bedroom and hung her and Pa's clothes on nails that were aleady in the wall. Laura and Mary carried their clothes and boxes upstairs and made up the two bedsteads that were up there. One was for Carrie and the other was for she and Mary. Laura and Carrie then made up a little bed for Grace in a packing box that Pa had saved. It would slide nicely under Ma's and Pa's bed during the day it was just like a trundle bed.

That evening supper was a feast and Pa's fiddle sang their favorite songs. When at last Pa laid the fiddle in its box, a long, mournful howl caused Grace to wake up screaming and Carrie sat frozen white. It was the howl of a lonely wolf.

Synopsis provided by Lorrie

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