The Davenport New Era (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 9, No. 41, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 22, 1917 Page: 11 of 14
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THE DAVENPORT NEW ERA
By George Elmer Cobb
(Copyright, 1917, Wegtern Newspaper Union.)
"Where's the sunshine gone to, little
ft'oman?" cried Bruce Manton, us he
entered the house, home on the minute,
as usual, from work.
The room was full of it, outside all
nature was bathed in it. Lettie Man-
ton responded to the query in a half-
puzzled manner. Then she understood
that It was the seriousness in her
thoughtful face that her husband had
referred to. She arose and greeted
him with an enforced smile, but her
kiss was as fervent as ever.
"I was Just thinking, dear," she ex-
plained, "I received a letter from my
mother's half-brother an hour ago. He
is in New York city."
"Good—grand I" sincerely Jubilated
Bruce. "Then he has escaped from
"He writes so," responded Lettie,
"but his property there has been de-
stroyed and he is still suffering from a
wound he received. He writes that he is
too old and feeble for army work and
has come back to his native country to
"Have you answered the letter?"
"Oh, no. I wished to consult you
about that first, of course."
"I don't see any need of consulting,"
declared Bruce. "He is your only rela-
tive. He is a victim of the war, help-
less, probably robbed of everything lie
once owned. Write him at once, Let-
tie. This Is his natural haven, with
us. Tell lilm to come on and be sure
of a glad welcome."
"Bruce," said Lettie, in broken
tones quivering with emotion, "I think
you are truly and grandly God's good
Bruce kissed and kissed the lovely
face upturned to his own. lie under-
stood fully that Lettie had been worry-
ing at the thought of saddling him with
the care of a relative. He -never did
things half way. He set all details of
the present situation completely at
"I'm glad your Uncle Vance Is com-
ing," he said. "In the first place it's
our duty to look after htm, under the
circumstances. In the next, he will be
company, yes, and maybe some help
to you. I am always worrying while at
work about your being alone way out
here all day. Your uncle will be com
pany for you. He can potter around
the garden and do little errands for
you, and what a lot that Is interesting
he can tell us about the war!"
Lettie wrote a heartsome letter to
the refugee in the East forthwith. She
took pleasure In fixing up their spare
room and each succeeding day looked
for the arrival of their expected guest.
A week passed by.
"I hope Mr. Vance has not met with
delay or accident," said Bruce, and
Lettie was growing anxious: She
would go outside ami look across the
half-mile expunse between their hum-
ble little home nnd the city's limits
half a dozen times a day. Their place
was quite Isolated, except for several
houses in the same remote group as
themselves. They formed the nucleus
of a new subdivision of slow develop-
ment. The roads were as yet unpaved
and they had to use well water, but the
house and lot had been offered to them
cheap on long payments, so they had
decided to pioneer and made the task
more hopeful, then certain, for Bruce
had a position that brought in a very
One iiKimlnc Bruce uout out, as wa«
his let the chickens out for
the day's foraging, when he came to a
dead stop with a stare. A man was
just stepping from the shed. He was
old and bent, poorly clad, unshaven,
and the loose straws clinging to his
hair and clothing indicated that he had
been sleeping in'tlie shed all night.
"Sort of late for your breakfast,
aren't you, friend?" bantered Bruce in
his natural jolly way.
"It's got to seem so good to sleep
without a lot of shells exploding all
about you," responded the Intruder,
whom Bruce had at once put down as
a tramp, "that I could sleep anywhere
and enjoy it. I got here late and the
house was all dark and I didn't want
to disturb you, so I bunked in among
the fresh straw."
"Why 1" shouted Bruce, enlightened,
grabbing the old man and giving him
a friendly hug, "you're Hubert Vance 1"
"What's left of me," asserted his vis-
itor, grimly, swinging a bandaged arm
and pointing to a lacerated ear. "You
act as if you were really glad to see
"Don't you ever doubt it 1" said
Bruce briskly. "Lettie 1" he called to-
wards the house, "Here's the good old
friend wfe've been expecting for over a
Lettie came tripping from the house,
welcome arms extended. Bruce could
note the wrinkled, wearied face of the
old man thaw out under the influence
of genuine delight at his truly hearten-
Uncle Hubert Vance slipped Into
harmony with the domestic economy
of the family readily and comfortably.
He had been for ten years a commer-
cial agent in Belgium, had acquired
quite some property, had shared In the
frightful descent of the enemy upon
that country, and had narrowly es-
caped with his life. The lads of the
neighborhood learned all this, and
many a breathless juvenile audience
ho entertained with stories of the con-
flict that had robbed him of his wealth.
One thrilling incident In Ills adven-
turous career he loved to dwell over.
It was where a shell came through a
window in a room where he was sit-
ting. Just in time he sprang at the
messenger of death rolling across the
floor, seized Its spluttering fuse and
snipped off and extinguished Its burn-
ing end. *
"I've kept that shell as a memento,"
the old man would continue loqua-
ciously. And then be would take them
to the old shed and show them, high
up on a special shelf, the round black
object, the sight of which aroused
their fertile fancies, later dwelling
upon the frightful havoc an accidental
explosion would create In the peaceful
The old man was falling fast. Bruce
and Lettie noticed It, and he himself
was aware of the fact.
"I'm not going to stay long with
you, children," he told them one eve-
ning, "and I hope when I'm gone there
will be something left to repay you for
all your great kindness to me. You
see, there's a big indemnity covering
my destroyed property in Belgium, If
it is ever paid. I'm going to have a
talk with you all about It In a day or
two," but the next day the old man
was found seated in Ills favorite porch
chair, dead, but with a peaceful'smile
on his old, furrowed face.
Never 11 word did Bruce utter as to
(he expense the old man had been to
him, and Lettie loved him all the more
dearly for it. Their little one had
come along the first month of Mr.
Vance's stay with them. They had
named the child after him, and raptur-
ously he had hinted at the provisions
he should make for his namesake,
"when he got his business affairs in
One morning, a few weeks later, Let-
tie was at a neighbor's with the baby.
She had placed the little one asleep
on a cushion, when her hostess came
hurrying Into the room where she was.
"Oh. Mrs. Manton!" she cried, eirrlt-
edly, "the high grass of your lot Is all
on fire. Some of those mischievous
boys, I fear—and your shed Is ablaze!"
Lettie ran out to the door to share
the agitation of her Informant. She
could see, half a mils away, the flames
sweeping about the shed and darting
over it toward the house.
"Mind the baby!" she cried sharply,
and started across the prairie In the
direction of home. Half the distance
accomplished, Lettie halted with a
vivid shock. Of a sudden, a frightful
detonation rent the air. She saw the
shed scattered in fragments in every
direction and some of the burning de-
bris hurled to the roof of the house.
"The bomb!" she fluttered. "The
bomb that Uncle Hubert stored In the
shed ! Oh,, the house is doomed, too 1"
An hour later no trace of the cher-
ished little home was visible. Lettie
wept bitterly and Bruce looked grave
and worried, as they stood regarding
the ruin about them.
"Don't despair," Bruce tried to tell
her cheerlngly. "You know 'through
heart-wreck and home-wreck, the hap-
py sparrows build—' "
"Oh, Mr. Manton I here's a funny
little iron box Ned Devon Just poked
out of the ashes of the old shed," an-
nounced Lettle's small brother, who
was one of the crowd of curious young-
sters attracted to the scene.
"H. V.," traced Bruce, Inspecting
the box. "Why, those are your uncle's
initials, Lettie. He must have hidden
It in the shed. It's strong and solid
and can't be opened without the key."
"I wonder what is in it?" murmured
They took it to the house of a neigh-
bor where they were to pass the nlglit,
and Bruce made an attack on the box
with chisel and hammer. At length he
succeeded in battering off the cover.
A card showed first. "For my niece
and her baby," It read.
Bonds, bank notes, some diamonds
and a bag of gold pieces, an old watcli,
in turn amazed Bruce as he examined
the contents of the box—a timely leg-
acy that meant that Uncle Hubert had
not boasted vainly when he had hint-
ed at repayment for their unselfish
MAY CHANGE KiiU I i
Engineer Has Plan to Stop Floods
on Mississippi River.
Would Provide Shorter Outlet to Sea
by Using Atchafalaya to Carry
The levee system on the Mississippi
river from Cairo to the Gulf of Mexico
was Intended to protect the cultivated
lands adjacent to the river. This sys-
tem has resulted in building up the bed
of the river from year to year by rea-
son of the fact that all of the tribu-
tary streams running into the Missis-
sippi river have greater velocity, and
consequently sediment brought Into the
main river, whose current is slower, is
deposited in the river between Cairo
and the Gulf. Tills is the main
cause of the flood line going higher
ench year with a given rainfall.
Now, the most practical and cheapest
remedy for this is to make a shorter
outlet to the sea for this vast volume
of silt-bearing water, and tills outlet
Is via the Atchafalaya river, the
source of which is near the mouth of
the Red river, where it empties Into
the Mississippi, writes M. F. Jefferdo
In Popular Mechanics Magazine. The
Atchafalaya river runs strnight to the
tidewater of the Gulf, a distance of
about 100 miles, whereas, via the Mis-
sissippi river the distance from the
mouth of the Red river to the Gulf is
200 miles. The fall of the Mississippi
river from the mouth of the Bed river
to the Gulf is about one-tenth of a
foot per mile; of the Atchafalnya
about three-tenths of a foot to the
The increase in velocity from the
mouth of the Red river to the Gulf via
the Atchafalaya would probably lower
the grade line of high water to two-
tenths of a foot per mile, which would
reduce the high-water line for that
Cyclist Good Driver.
An English automobile publication,
in discussing the qualifications of a
driver, for either pleasure cars or P*lnt (mouth of Red river), 20 feet or
trucks, quotes the experience of a m°re. This reduction in high-water
large employer who said that, other mark would probably extend as far
things being equal, he always gave north as Memphis, or even Cairo; thus
the preference to the man who had It can be seen that the levee as now
owned a motorcycle. Among Ills rea- built from Memphis to the Gulf would
sons for this were that a motorcycle ; be of ample height and strength to
owner understood something about, give safety to the adjacent country for
the need for economy In gasoline and probably 100 years or more.
tires. Moreover, he had experience In ! Would this Improvement leave New
driving an engine that requires more' Orleans an inland city? No. For the
careful operation than the water- flowing down of the velocity of the
cooled auto engine, and consequently J water In the Mississippi from the
was more sensitive to any bad run- mouth of the Red river to the Gulf via
nlng of the engine; besides having a j the old channels would result In nil
good idea of adjustments and repairs, the sediment being carried to sea via
the Atchafalaya, leaving the old clian-
Old North English Dialect. « clear-water channel, which could
A strange set of numerals was use. *>e maintained at all times by a little
bv the elder generation of farmers In hedging such as Is necessary now at
oL of our northern dales, especially | the Jetties. The railroads entering
for counting sheep, says the London! New Orleans could then bridge the
Chronicle, and the procedure was as Mississippi river there and would profit
In the long rgn by ovlnting the flood-
ing of their tracks.
The Jetties at the inouth of the Mis-
sissippi could be dredged to a depth of
40 to 50 feet and remain so, for no sedi-
ment would be going out that way to
Chronicle, and the proc
follows: A gap was made In the wall
Just wide enough to admit one sheep at
a time, and as the sheep were driven
through the farmer counted them,
making a notch In his stick at every
15. Phonetically the numerals sound
like "yann, tane, tether, mether, pip,
sax, sane, catterer, wheeler, dick, yann-
er-dick, tane-er-dlck, teth-er-dlek, meth-
er-er-dick, boomflt." "Boomfit" was
fifteen, nnd so a notch was made In
| the stick, and the strange chant began
all over again.
Walking the Channel.
Men walked from Dublin to Pari*
! once. This was, It Is figured out, I11 '
Neolithic times, when, geologically,
Ireland was connected by land with
Britain just as Britain was connected 1
with Europe. And today the depres-
sion of the channel coasts is again and j
rapidly going on.—Ladles' Home Jour
fill them up. The high-water line at
New Orleans would hardly exceed ten
feet above low water.
The low-water line nt New Orleans
being only one foot above sen level,
with a depth of 50 to 00 feet of water,
Is can be seen that not only would
New Orleans be secure from floods In
the future, but that the largest vessels
In the world could enter Its harbor.
The Mississippi river, from the jet-
ties to the mouth of the Red river,
would be a crtnal, navigable at all
times, with a little dredging, perhaps,
between Baton Rouge and the Red
river, and all that rich couutry on
either side of (lie river from the inouth
of the Bed river to the Gulf would be
absolutely secure from floods.
Burn Gas Jet Under Water.
In a new European method for pro-
due-leg steam a high-pressure as Jet
is burned under the surface of the wa-
ter In a steel boiler.
Love sometimes flies out of the win-
dow when the cooking school gradual#
enters the d^or. ,
Here’s what’s next.
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Tryon, W. M. The Davenport New Era (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 9, No. 41, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 22, 1917, newspaper, November 22, 1917; Davenport, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc109454/m1/11/: accessed September 17, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.