Farmer Hiram Applegate had just finished breakfast. For this reason, perhaps, he felt exceptionally good-humored. Even the news he had read in his morning paper (of the day before) to the effect that his pet abomination and aversion, The Boy Scouts, had held a successful and popular review in New York and received personal commendation from the President failed to shake his equanimity. Outside the farmhouse the spring sun shone bright and warm. The air was crisp, and odorous with the scent of apple blossoms. Robins twittered cheerily, hens clucked and now and then a blue bird flashed among the orchard trees.
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