The girls were good at housework as well, but definitely preferred their hobbies to their housekeeping chores. So, every time Aunt Susanna came to their house, they hid the paints, the musical instrument, and the books and started sewing or reading a thick cookery book. Aunt Susanna, in turn, never missed a chance to make a sarcastic remark about the dust on the violin or paint on Laura’s nose. She made it quite obvious that she would prefer her nieces to do something useful about the house instead of their silly hobbies.
One day, Aunt Susanna read a newspaper article that promoted the idea of higher education for women. The article impressed her and even made her consider the opportunity of college education for Maggie. During one of her visits to the girls, she announced she could send Maggie to college.
Then she mentioned that she had to leave the town for a while and she would not be home until Thanksgiving. The problem was that she expected some guests for Thanksgiving dinner. She asked the girls for help and the sisters enthusiastically agreed to help her cook dinner for the guests.
With a determined look Aunt Susanna gave them all the instructions. She had made a list of dishes and told the girls to stick to it. She left the girls the key to the kitchen door in her house where they would find the turkey and ready-made meat pies. The girls had to warm up the pies and cook the turkey by twelve sharp the day she arrived.
When aunt Susanna left, the girls sighed sadly. They had another plan for Thanksgiving day – they wanted to have their dinner at home. But they realized that if they upset their aunt, she could easily change her mind about the college for Margaret, and Maggie would never have a second chance.
It was Kate who saved the situation: “Let me and Agnes go to Aunt Susanna’s house and cook dinner there. Maggie and Laura stay here cooking dinner for us. This way we won’t miss our own Thanksgiving.”
So, in the morning on Thanksgiving Day Agnes and Kate got up early and headed to Aunt Susanna’s house to have enough time to cook.
They weighed the turkey to find out the cooking time, and put the pies in the oven in advance. When the dinner was done, they carefully set and decorated the dining-room table. Suddenly there was a loud cry from the yard. Tony, the neighbours’ little boy, had fallen into the well. The girls rushed to help him out and forgot to lock the door. When they were back, they found out that the dinner had been ruined by the neighbours’ dog.
‘What shall we do?” Agnes cried desperately. Unlike her sister, resourceful Kate never lost control. She decided to borrow the girls’ dinner from home. Agnes and Kate had to run all the way because they had only twenty minutes left before the aunt’s train arrived. They burst into the kitchen, where Maggie and Laura had just served the dinner, grabbed it and ran away.
Just as the train’s whistle blew, Thanksgiving dinner in Aunt Susanna’s house was arranged so that she would not notice any change. When she came in, the dinner was on the table. Aunt Susanna was satisfied that everything was cooked and served the way she wanted it to be.
Two days later, Maggie was sent to college.