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 :
same (Harvard) 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.
frontispiece illustration, artist not identified.
Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards (1850-1943)
wikipedia : link