putterings       303   <   304   >   305       index

what she called her puttering, searching mainly for dust

      The trip to Boston seemed all too short to Mary Parks. She enjoyed every moment of the sea-days, from the lifting of the sun over the horizon,
      “Edge-wise, blade-wise, half-wise, whole-wise,”
to the last crimson flush of sunset. She loved her cooking, and delighted in surprising Calvin and Si with new dishes; she loved “puttering” about the cabin, searching vainly for dust, and polishing the brass and pewter, already rubbed to mirror-like perfection by the twin seamen; but best of all she loved to sit on deck and watch the lovely play of sun and cloud and wave, and see the distant shore slip past in soft blurs of black and brown and green.
      There were new things for her to learn, too. Her fingers, deft and quick at all kinds of handiwork, must learn the mysteries of knots...
      “Some of them knots is real old and ancient!” he said, after congratulating Mary on the perfection of her clove hitch...

ex Chapter viii “Concerning Knots,” in Laura T. Richards, On Board the Mary Sands, Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill (Boston: Dana Estes & Company, 1911) : 125 : link
same (Harvard) copy) via hathitrust : link

...Miss Jimmy had time to do what she called her puttering. Like a humming-bird she darted in and out of one house after another.
p16 : link (Harvard copy)
(NYPL copy, via hathitrust) : link


“...And we went to meeting together. What a sermon that was! Monday, Dr. Wiseman took me out to West Tupham on a case, and I spent the night. Tuesday, Finney had a spell, and I stayed with her mostly, and let Persis do my puttering for me.
p192 : link
(NYPL copy, via hathitrust) : link

in Laura E. Richards, Miss Jimmy (Boston: Dana Estes & Company, 1913)

      “She’s mad with me!” he lamented. “Green grass! She’s mad with me, and I don’t know no more than the dead what I done. Why, don’t you rec’lect, Elder, she was puttyin’ around there [Pippin meant “puttering”] while we was talkin’, smilin’ and — and lookin’ pleasant, the way she does — why, you said I was welcome, wouldn’t you? Sure you would! Why, sir, we was friends! There’s things I’ve told that young lady — and she ’peared to understand, too, and to — what I mean — not be opposed to hearin’ ’em — and then all of a sudden — I tell you, Elder, I don’t know what I’ll do if she stays mad with me, honest I don’t.” Pippin’s voice broke, and he brushed his hand across his eyes. “Have you any idea why she’s mad with me, Elder?” he asked simply.

ex Laura E. Richards, Chapter xx, “The Perplexities of Pippin,” in Pippin, A Wandering Flame (D. Appleton and Company, 1917) : 239 : link
same (Harvard) copy via hathitrust : link

BPL copy (with interesting rear endpaper, redeployed here), via archive.org : link

frontispiece illustration, artist not identified.

Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards (1850-1943)
wikipedia : link

2 June 2023