She came home tired and satisfied. It was late; she washed, and got ready for bed. In her night clothes she tip-toed over to the china cabinet; reaching carefully behind the broken pickle dish and her father's old spectacle case filled with remedies...she caught herself. There was no one home this dim, cloudy night; it was not necessary for her to be careful. She was alone, and could do and write as she pleased. So, she added to her previous entry that day.
February 29, 1887...My foolish husband and cousin have met with a terrible accident. The hired man, Jotham was supposed to be picking up our new hired girl for me; and seeing Mattie off on the train. But Ethan went against me, in a rare show of defiance, and decided to take Mattie himself. It seems that again, another of Ethan's quick decisions has gone wrong. You would think by now, he wouldn't be so impulsive.
In their folly, they chose to throw off all common sense and take a slide down the coasting hill in the village. Their enthusiasm for each other must have blinded them; for they must not have noticed the giant elm looming ahead of their coasting flight of fancy.
The sorrel's whinnying seemed to draw the attention of the Varnums who were at dinner. The minister said that they went to see what the problem was and found Ethan and Mattie in a heap at the base of the tree. Ruth was the first to see 'em after they were carried up. They were both very lucky that they were found soon; or they could have been taken by the cold.
The minister sent right quick for me, and I went to Ethan's side. The doctor must have gave them both something for...