Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/141

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"Can any of you make a hoe cake?" demanded Mark.

"No, indeed! I can make caramels and cocoanut-cakes," said Ruth, proudly.

"I can make good toast and tea," added Alice.

"I can't cook anything," confessed Gwen, who was unusually accomplished in French, German, and music.

"Girls aren't worth much in the hour of need. Take hold, Tony, you are the chap for me." And Mark disrespectfully turned his back on the young ladies, who could only sit and watch the lads work.

"He can't do it without water," whispered Ruth.

"Or salt," answered Alice.

"Or a pan to bake it in," added Gwen; and then all smiled at the dilemma they foresaw.

But Tony was equal to the occasion, and calmly went on with his task, while Mark arranged the fire and Bob opened the pickles. First the new cook filled the pail with snow till enough was melted to wet the meal; this mixture was stirred with a pine stick till thick enough, then spread on the board and set up before the bed of coals to brown.