Geary Times-Journal (Geary, Okla.), Vol. 19, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 29, 1919 Page: 2 of 16
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THE GEARY TIIIIS-JOURNAL
IN THE CLEARING"
A TALE OF THE NORTH COUNTRY
IN THE TIME OF SILAS WIGHT
KN MOtDCN. DIM AMO I. tHAtUL Of THE DUMED Bil\
fJLftNQ Uf WITH UUIt ETC. ETC
1 count this one of the great events
m my youth. But there was a greater
one, although It seemed not so at tbs
time of It. A traveler on the road to
Ballybeen had dropped his pocketbook
containing a large amount of money—
12,700 was the aum, If I remember
rightly. He was a mnn who, being
Justly suspicious of the bunks, bad
withdrawn Ills money. Posters an-
nounced the loss and the offer of a
large rewurd. The village wus pro-
foundly stirred tty them. Searching
parties went up the road stirring Its
dust and groping In Its grass and bri-
ers for the grent prize which wus sup-
posed to be lying there. It was said,
however, tliat the quest hud been un-
successful. Ho the lost pocketbook
became a treasured mystery of tba
village and of ull the hills and val-
leys toward Ballybeen—a topic of old
wives und gabbling husbands at tba
fireside for unnumbered years.
By and by the fall term of school
•tided. Uncle Peabody came down to
get me the duy before Christmas. I
bud euJoyed my work und my life at
the Buckets', on the whole, but I was
glnd to be going home again. My
uncle was In high spirits und there
were many packages In the sleigh.
“A merry Chrlstmus to ye both an’
iray the Lord love ye!” said Mr.
Hacket as he bade us goodby. "Every
day our thoughts will be going up the
bills to your house."
The bells rang merrily as we hur-
ried through the swump In the hard
“We’re goln’ to move," said my
uncle presently. “We’ve agreed to get
out by the middle o’ May,”
"How does that happen?" I asked.
"I settled with Grlmshuw and agreed
to go. If It hadn't ’a’ been for Wright
and Baldwin we wouldn't 'a' got a
cent. They threatened to bid ugalnst
him at the sale. So he settled. We’re
goln* to have u new home. We’ve
bought a hundred an’ fifty acres from
Abe Leonard. Goln' to build a new
house In the spring. It will be nearer
He playfully nudged my ribs with
“We’ve had n little good luck, Bart,"
he went on. "I’ll toll ye what It Is If
you won’t say anything about It.”
“1 dunno us It would matter much."
he continued, “but I don’t want to do
any braggln*. It ain’t anybody's busi-
ness. anyway. An old uncle over In
Vermont died three weeks ago and
left us thirty-eight hundred dollars.
It was old Uncle Ezra Baynes o’
Hinesburg. Died without a chick or
child. Your aunt and me slipped down
to Potsdam an’ took the stage an*
went over an got the money. It was
more money than I ever see before
In my life. We put It In the bnnk In
Potsdam to keep It out o’ Grim ska w'a
hands. I wouldn’t trust that man as
fur ns you could throw a bull by the
It was a cold, clear night, and when
we reached home the new stove was
snapping with the heat In Its firebox
and the pudding puffing In the pot
and old Rliep dreaming In the chimney
comer. Aunt Deel pave me a hug at
the door. Shop barked and leaped to
“Why. Bart! You’re growtn* like a
weed—ain’t ye?—ayes ye he," my
aunt said as she stood and looked at
tr.e. “Set right down here an’ warm
ye—ayes !—I've done nil the chorea—
How warm and comfortnblo was the
dear old room with those beloved faces
In It. I wonder If paradise Itself enn
seem more pleasant to me. I have had
the best food this world can provide,
In my time, but never anything that
1 ate with a keener relish than the
pudding and milk and bread and but-
ter and cheese and pumpkin pie which
Aunt Deel gave us that night.
Supper over. 1 wiped the dishes for
nty aunt while Uncle Peabody went
out to feed and water the horses. Then
we snt down in the genial wnrmth
Vhlle I told the atory of my life In
"the busy town." as they called It
What pride and attention they gave
Die then 1
My fine clothes and the story of how
I had mine by them taxed my Inge-
nuity somewhat, although not Improp-
erly. 1 hnd to be careful not to let
them know that I had been ashamed
of the homemade suit. They somehow
felt the truth alxnit It and a little
•flencr- followed the story. Then Aunt
Deel drew her chair uear me
touched my hair very gently
looked Into my face without speaking.
“Ayes I I know,” she said presently.
In u kind of caressing tone, with a
touch of sudness In It. "They ain’t
used to coarse homespun stuff down
there In the village. They mad* fun
o’ ye—didn’t they, Bart?"
"I don't enre about that," I assured
them. “ ‘The mind’s the measure of
the man,'" 1 quoted, remembering the
lines the Senator had repeated to ma.
"That’s sound I” Uncle Peabody ex
cl a lined with enthusiasm.
Aunt Deel took my bund In here and
surveyed It thoughtfully for a moment
“You ain't goln’ to have to suffer
that way no more," she said In a low
tone. We're goln' to be more comfta<
ble—ayes. Yer uncle thought we better
go West, but 1 couldn’t bear to go off
so fur an’ leave mother nn' father an’
sister Susan an’ all the folks we loved
In yin’ here lu the ground alone—I
wuut to luy down with 'em by an’ by
an' wait for the sound o' the trum-
pet—ayes 1—mebbe It’ll be for thou-
sands o’ years—ayes I"
To our astonishment the clock
••Hurrah 1 It’s merry Christmas I"
said Uncle Peabody as he Jumped to
his feet and began to sing of the little
We Joined him while he stood beat-
ing time with his right hand after the
fashion of a singing master.
“Off with yer boots, friend 1" he ex-
claimed when the stanza was finished.
“We don't have to set up and watch
like the shepherds."
We drew our boots on the chair
round with bunds clasped over the
knee—how familiar Is the process, and
yet I haven’t seen It In more than half
u century 1 1 lighted a candle and
scampered upstairs In my stocking
feet. Uncle Peabody following close
and slapping my thigh as If my pace
were not fast enough for him. In the
midst of our skylurklng the candle
tumbled to the lloor and I had to go
buck to the stove and relight It.
How good It seemed to be back In
the old room under the shingles I The
heat of the stovepipe bad warmed Its
"It’s been kind o’ lonesome here,'
said Uncle Peabody as he opened the
window. "I always let the wind come
In to keep mo company—it gits eo
“Ye can’t look ut yer stockin' ylt,"
said Aunt Deel when I came down-
stulrs about eight o’clock, huvlng slept
through chore time. I remember It
was the delicious aroma of frying bam
aud buckwheat cakes which awoke me;
ami who wouldn't rise and shake off
the cloak of slumber on a bright,
cold winter morning with such provo-
“This nln’t no common Chrls'maa—
I tell ye,” Aunt Deel went on. “Santa
Claus won't git here short o’ noon I
wouhlu't wonder—ayes I"
About eleven o’clock Uncle Hiram
and Aunt Eliza and their five children
arrived with loud und merry greetings
Then came other uunts and uncles and
cousins. With whut noisy good cheer
the men entered the house after they
bad put up their horses 1 1 remember
bow they laid their hard, heavy hands
on my beud and shook It a little os
they spoke of my ’’stretchln’ up" or
gave me u playful slap on the shoulder
—an aucleut tokeu of good will—the
first form of the accolade, I fancy.
What Joyful good humor there was In
those simple men and women—enough
to temper the woes of u city If It could
have been applied to their relief. They
stood thick around the stove warming
themselves und taking off Its griddles
«*ml opening Its doors and surveying It
Inside and out with much curiosity.
"Now for the Christmas tree," said
Uncle Peabody ns he led the way Into
our best room, where n fire was burn-
ing In the old Franklin grate. “Come
on. boys an’ girls."
What a wouderful sight was the
Christmas tree—the first wt had bad
In our house a fine spreading balsam
loaded with presents I Uncle Hiram
Jumped Into the air and clapped bte
feet together and shouted: "Hold me,
somebody, or I’ll grab the hull tree
nn’ run nwsy with It."
Uncle Jahes held one foot In both
hand* before him and Joyfully hopped
around the tree.
caught my eye wee ■ big silver watch
banging by a long golden chain to one
of the boughs. Uncle Peabody took It
down and held It aloft by the chain,
so that none should miss the sight, say-
"From Rants Clnus for Bart 1"
A murmur of admiration ran through
the company which gnthered around
me as I held the treasure In my trem-
"This Is for Bart, too," Uncle Pea-
body shouted as he took down a bolt
of soft blue cloth nnd laid It In my
arms. “Now there’s somethin’ that's
Jest about us slick ns n kitten's ear.
Feel of It. It’s for a suit o' clothes.
Come all the way from Burlington.
Now get-ap there. You’ve got your
I moved out of the way Id a hurri-
cane of merriment. It was his one
great day of pride and vanity. He did
not try to conceul them.
The other presents floated for a mo-
ment In this Irresistible tide of laugh-
ing good will and found their owners.
I have never forgotten how Uncle Ja-
bex chaaed Aunt Minerva around the
house with a wooden snake cunningly
carved and colored. I observed there
were many things on the tree which
bad not been taken down when we
younger ones gnthered up our wealth
and repaired to Aunt Deel'e room to
feast our eyes upon It and compare
our good fortune.
The women und the big girls rolled
up their sleeves und went to work with
Aunt Deel preparing the dinner. The
great turkey and the chicken pie were
made ready and put la the oven and
the potatoes and the onions and the
winter squash were soon boiling In
their pots on the stovetop. Mean-
while the children were playing In my
aunt's bedroom and Uncle Hiram and
Uncle Jubez were pulling sticks In a
corner while the other men sat tipped
against the wull watching and making
playful comments—all save my Uncle
Peabody, who was trying to touch bis
head to the floor and theu straighten
up with the old of the broomstick.
In the midst of It Aunt Deel opened
the front door and old Kate, the Silent
Woman, entered. To my surprise, she
wore a decent-looking dress of gray
homespun cloth and a white cloud
looped over her head and earrf and tied
around her neck and u good pair of
“Merry Chrls’masl" we all shouted.
She smiled and nodded her head und
sat down In the chair which Uncle Pea-
body bad placed for her at the stove
side. Aunt Deel took the cloud off
her head while Kate drew her mittens
—newly knitted of the best yarn. Then
my aunt brought some stockings and a
shuwl from the tree aud laid them on
the lap of old Kute. Wliat a silence
fell upon us as we saw tears coursing
down the cheeks of this lonely old
woman of the countryside—tears of
Joy, doubtless, for God knows how long
It had been since the poor, abandoned
soul had seen a merry Christmas and
shared Its kindness. I did not fall to
observe how clean her face and hands
looked! She was greatly changed'.
Sbe took my hand as I went to her
side and tenderly caressed It. A gen-
tler smile came to her fuce than ever
1 had seen upon It. The old stern look
returned for a moment as she held one
finger aloft In a gesture which only 1
and my Aunt Deel understood. We
knew it signalized a peril and a mys-
tery. That 1 should have to meet .t,
srmewhere up the hidden puthwuy, I
had no doubt whatever.
“Dinner’s ready I" exclaimed the
cheerful voice of Aunt Deel.
Then what a stirring of chairs nnd
feet as we sat down at the table. Old
Kate sat by the side of my aunt and
w« were all surprised at her good mnn-
We Jested and Inughed and drank
older and reviewed the year’s history
nnd ate as only they may eat who have
big bones and muscles and the vitality
of oxen. I never taste the flavor of
sage and currant Jelly or hear a hearty
laugh without thinking of those holi-
day dinners In the old log house on
That Christmas brought me nothing
better thnn those words, the memory
of which Is one of the tallest towers In
that long avenue of my past down
which I have been looking these many
days. About all you can do for a boy.
worth while, is to give him something
good to remember.
The day had turned dark. The tem-
perature had risen and the air was
dank nnd chilly. The meu began to
hitch up their horses.
So. one by one, the sleighloads left
us with cheery good-bys and a grind-
ing of runners nnd a Jingling of belle.
When the last hnd gone Uncle Pea-
body nnd I went Into the house. Aunt
Deel sat by the stove, old Knte by the
window looking out ot the falling dusk.
How still the house seemed I
"There’s one thing I forgot,” I said
ns I proudly took out of my wallet the
six oue-dollar bills which I hnd earned
by working Saturdays aud banded
three of them to my aunt and three to
my uncle, aaylug:
“That la my Christmas present to
you. I earned It myself."
I remember so well their astonish-
ment and the trembling of their bends
end the look of their faces.
“It’a grand—ayes I" Aunt Deel eeld
In a low tone.
She rose In a moment and beckoned
througn the open
"I’ll tell ye what rd do," she whis-
pered. “I’d give ’em to ol’ Kate—
ayes! 8he’s goln’ to stay with us Ull
“Good idee 1” said Uncle Peabody.
8o I took the money out of their
hands and went In und guve It to the
“That’s your present from me," I
How can 1 forget how she held my
arm against her with that loving, fa-
miliar, rocking motion of a woman
who Is soothing a baby at her breast
and kissed my coat sleeve? She re-
leased my arm and, turning to the win-
dow, leaued her head upon Its sill and
shook with sobs. The dusk bad thick-
ened. ' As I returned to my sent by the
stove I could dimly see her form
against the light of the window. We
sat In silence for a little while.
Then Uncle Peabody rose aud got a
candle and lighted tt nt the hearth.
I held the lantern while Uncle Pea-
body fed the sheep and the two cows
and milked—a alight chore these win-
"You and I are to go off to bed purty
early,” he said us we were going back
to the house. "Yer Aunt Deel wanta
to see Kate alone and git her to talk
If she can.
“I dunno but she’ll swing back Into
this world ag’ln," said Uncle Peabody
when we had gone up to our little
room. “I guess all she needs Is to be
treated like a human bein’. Yer Aunt
Deel an’ I couldn’t git over thlnkln’ o’
what she done for you that night In
the ol’ barn. So 1 took some o yer
auut’a good clothes to her an’ a pair
o’ boots an’ asked her to come to
Chrls’maa. She lives In a little room
over the blacksmith shop down to But-
terfield’s mill. 1 told her I’d come
after her with the cutter but she shook
hei head. I knew she’d rather walk.”
He was yawning as he spoke anti
soon we were both asleep under the
MOT QUITE TO HIS TASTE
Hunter Liked Bear, All RlgM, but
That Particular One Was Net
Blenklns once Joined a bear-hunting
expedition. During the hunt, as he
was resting by the side of a rock
and talking with another hunter he
began swanking heavily.
“If there’s anything I dote on It’e
bear. A slice of bear steak nicely
done Is Just perfect 1" he said.
“Well,” said his companion look-
ing up. *Tm hanged If there hra’t e
The mun who “doted on bear"
looked up, saw an Immense grizzly
on the top of the rock, gave a yell
and leaped Into the woods and dis-
appeared. His companion soon over-
took him and said to the fugitive as
he came up:
"I thought you liked bear?"
“Well, 1 do," said the runaway;
"but that one wasn’t done enough."
Snowy linens are the pride of every
housewife. Keep them in that eondl-
tlon by using Red Croea Ball Blue fig
your laundry. 5 cents at grocer*
Hubby Knew Wifey.
“The mistress says she will be ready
In five minutes.”
“All right; I’m going to lie down for
a while. Call me In an hour and a
Whet Is “Spring Fever"
It Is simply low Vitality, a lack of Bosrsr
caused by Impurities In the h!oo4. GROVVg
TASTELESS chill TONIC restore* VUoltty
and Energy by Purifying and Enriching tee
Blood. Tou can soon feel Ite StrengtheSlng^
Invigorating Effect. Price tOc.
A Valuabla Deg.
“Is he a pedigreed dog?”
"He must be We’ve lost him four
times In three weeks."
The Thing and Other Things.
I returned to Mr. Hacket’s house
late in the afternoon of New Year’s
day. The schoolmaster was lying on a
big lounge In o corner of their front
room with the children about him. The
dusk was falling.
“Welcome, my laddie buck I” he ex-
claimed as I entered. "We’re telling
stories o’ the old year an’ you’re Just
In time for the Inst o’ them. Sit down,
lad, and .God give ye patience I It’ll
soon be over.”
After supper he got out his boxing
gloves and gave me a lesson In the art
of self-defense, In which, I wus soon
to learn, he wan highly accomplished
for we had a few rounds together
every day after that. He keenly en-
oyed this form of exercise nnd I soon
began to. My capacity for taking pun-
ishment without flinching grew apace
nnd before long I got the knack of
countering and that pleased him more
eveu than my work In school, I have
"God bless ye, boy!" he exclaimed
one day after I hnd landed heavily on
his cheek, "ye’ve a nice way o’ sneakin’
In with yer right. I’ve a notion ye
mny find It useful some day.”
I wondered a little why he should
say that, and while I was wondering
he felled me with a stinging blow on
Ah, my lad—there’s the best thing
I Lave seen ye do—get up nn’ come
bnck with no mad In ye.” he snld as he
gave me his hand.
One day the schoolmaster called the
older boys to the front seats In his
room and I among them.
"Now, boys, I’m going te ask ye
what ye want to do in the world," he
said. “Don’t be afraid to tell me what
ye may never have told before and I’ll
do what I can to help ye.”
For some months I hnd been study-
ing a book Just published, entitled.
‘Stenographic Sound-Hand," and had
learned Its alphabet and practiced the
use of It. That evening I took down
the remarks of Mr. Hacket In sound-
The academy chapel was crowded
with the older boys and girls and the
tcwnfolk. The master never clipped
his words In school as he was wont to
do when talking familiarly with the
"Since the leaves fell our little vil-
lage has occupied the center of the
ptnge before an audience of millions
In the grent theater of congress. Our
leading citizen—the chief actor—has
been crowned with Immortal fame. We
Mho watched the play were thrilled by
the query: Will Uncle Sam yield to
temptntlon or cling to honor? He has
chosen the latter course nnd we may
still hear the applause in distant gal-
leries beyond the «en. He has decided
that the public revenues must be paid
In honest money.
"My friend and classmate, George
Bancroft, the historian, has written
this letter to me out of a full heart.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
Proof of IL
“Your sensible friend may have no
superstition, but she Is an old hen."
"Maybe she la. but she laid a ghost.
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These relatives had brought their
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He/ps Araifissarl*. fl
WEAK SORE EYES P
Only whet we heve wrought late
character during life can we take away
DAISY FLY KILLER BtSMJZEK!
- ALU PLIEa Nut.
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W. N. U* Oklahoma CRy, Ne. 'M-191L
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Seger, Neatha H. Geary Times-Journal (Geary, Okla.), Vol. 19, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 29, 1919, newspaper, May 29, 1919; Geary, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1075402/m1/2/: accessed February 19, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.