|The 1924 edition (on Kindle) is |
“It was a rapturous moment when Jess poured the yellow milk into four cups or bowls, and each child proceeded to crumble the brown bread into it with a liberal scattering of blueberries.” (p.15. Kindle Edition of 1924 version)
The oldest boy, Henry, is 13 years old, and he finds a job mowing the grass and doing odd jobs for a doctor in the not-at-all faraway town. A boy working this way probably wasn't unrealistic 100 years ago. Helping with his new employer's vegetable garden, he thins the carrots and onions, and brings the small discards home to the box-car, where his 12-year-old sister, Jess, is boiling some meat in a kettle that was found in the dump, over a fire-pit that the children have built. Meat and vegetables are ready:
“And when she ladled out four portions on four plates of all sizes, some of them tin, and laid a spoon in each, the children felt that the world held no greater riches. The tiny onions floated around like pearls; the carrots melted in your mouth; and the shreds of meat were as tender as possible from long boiling. A bit of bread in one hand helped the feast along wonderfully. The little wanderers ate until they could eat no more.” (p. 19)
"It was a 'cherry year,' certainly. There were two varieties in the orchard, the pale yellow kind with a red cheek, and the deep crimson ones which were just as red in the center as they were on the outside." (p. 24).
Mary, the maid of the doctor's household has even made "cherry slump" which she gives them -- and it's delicious... "they never will forget that cherry slump made by Irish Mary." The stereotype of the Irish maid: another point for the adult reader. (p. 25)