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GREENSBORO, N. C., TEIURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1875.
Always Made Home
In an old chureliyjird stood a stone,
Weather-niarkod and staiiunl,
The hand of thiii' had crambled it,
So only part remaiiiod.
Upon one side 1 could ju'^t trace,
“III m>*mory of our mothei-I”
An epitaph which spoke of
Was chissided on tlie other.
I’d gazed on monument^ of fame
High towering to the
rd«ecn the scui])tiirc-d mnidde stone
Wiiere a great hero lits ;
But by this epitaph I paused,
And read it o'er an 1 o'er,
,For r liad never seen inscribed
Such words as t'lese before.
*‘Shc always made home happy !” What
A noble record left;
A legacy of memory sweet
d’o those she left beriift;
And what a testimony given
By those who knew her best,
Engraven on tliis plain, rude '^tnne
Tliat marked their mother’s rest
It was an humble resting place,
I know that they were poor.
But th(‘y had seen their mother sink
And patiently endure;
They had marked her cheerful spirit,
Wlicn bearing, one by one,
Her many burdens up the hill.
Till all her work was done.
So when was stilled her weary head,
Folded her hands so white,
And she was carried from the home
She’d always m..de so bright,
Her cliildrea raised a monument
That money could not buy.
As witness of a noble life
Whose record is on high.
A noble life but written not
In any book of fame :
Among the list of noted ones
None ever saw ner name ;
For only her own household knew
The victories she had won—
And none but they could testify
How well her work was done.
The prettiest girl in Kent Corners was
Clara Tabor. She had the most bewil
dering blue eye.s, and knew how to use
them to the best advantage in ensnaring
’the hearts of susceptible young men.
There wasn’t a youth for miles around
who wouldn't have given all he was worth
■for the sake of winning her.
But Miss Clara had nai rowed her fas-
■oinations down in much the same way
our grandmothers used to narrow a stock
ing. Among the young men who besieg-
-ed her, like moths who singe their wings
in the light of the candle, there were only
two upon whom, she seemed to look with
John Croft was a well-to-do young
farmer, with a good, sturdy heart and
hands brown with toil. He had always
had a strong liking for Clara, and of late
..that liking had developed into most mark
ed attention on his part,—Clara was all
smiles and fascination when he was with
her, and he believed he could win her ;
and such was the opinion of those who
knew the young lady best. But she was
rather inclined to play the coquette, and
John was not .quite as sure about the
state of her affections as he would have
liked to be. But he resolved to take his
own time to carry on the courtship, and
not be hurried into a premature proposal
by any jealous fear of his rival.
Tom Roberts wa.s clerk in the little
store at the village and had some money
in his own right. He was a dapper sort
of a fellow, and made much more show in
society than John Croft did ; but John
was not at all ambitious to show off, and
hts man.y niodt^sL way was vastly more
to his credit than Tom’s forwardness.
But some young ladies like a showy fel
low, and many people thought Clara
would prefer Tom to John, because he
was fond of parties and gayeties of that
sort, and would be apt to take her into
a more brilliant circle, in time than she
could ever hope to shine iii as t'ne wife of
a farmer. There were others who thought
Clara really oared only for John, and
kept Tom dancing attendance to give her
lover the idea^hat he had a dangerous
rival, and in that way hurry up his rath
er slow courtship, of which she was be
ginning to t'.re. Be that as it may, John
did not hurry in the matter until he
thought it was imperatively necessary for
him to do so.
He began to thirk it time for him to
find out how matters stood between him
and Clara one Sunday afternoon, when he
and a friend of his overheard a conversa
tion between Tom and a friend of his.
John and his friend had been strolling
about in the woods, and had sat down un
der a tree to rest, completely hidden from
any passers-by by the drooping branches-
Pretty soon Tom and his companion came
walking up the road slowly, and they
were talking about Clara.
"Fm going up to see her this evening,”
said Tom; ‘‘and I'm going to ask her to
marry me. I don't know whether she
cares more for me than she does for John
Croft or not, but I think if I ask her nrst
I’ll get her.”
Til tell you what it is,’ said John; to
his friend, Tm going to see Clara and
ask her the very same question.—I’ll gel
the start of him.’
Tom was visiting at his cousin’s that
day, and this cousin lived opposite John’s
farm. John thought he would start quite
early, and get the start of his rival by
getting there before he did ; but a friend
came in and John could not get away
from him; and when he announced his
intention of staying to tea, matters began
to look dubious.
‘I’ll tell you how I’ll fix it,’ said George
Lee, who had been with him that after
noon, and overheard Tom’s announcement
‘I’m going home now, and I'll stay and
see him, and tell him you are going up
there, and advise him to cut aoros s lots.
if he wanted to get there first.—Now
Brown has turned his sheep out in that
lot of his, and you know he’ll knock over
anybody that comes along. He’ll be sure
to see Tom, and if he does see him, he'll
tree him, sure as fate, and you’ll have a
chance to get ahead of him.’
‘Do it, and I’ll give you a new hat,’
cried John enthusiastically.
‘Agreed,’ and George was off.
He was as good as his word. He stop
ped and saw Tom, ind in the most natu-
lal way in the world let out that John
was going over to see Clara, and he guess
ed going to propose. Of course Tom was
on the alert then, and George, much in
terested in Tom’s welfare and success, in
nocently advised him to take the path
over the hill through the field, or he
would be too late, as he was sure John
Tom set off, and reached the field. He
clambered over the fence unsuspectingly.
It Was quite dusky. He had almost
reached the road when he heard a hoarse
bleat behind him, and turned to see a
sheep with ferocious looking horns, bear
ing down upon him like a gunboat.
Pie looked wildly around. Sis -only
refuge was a stump close by, and he
clambered on it just as the sheep came
thundering up, giving the stump a blow
that must have made it tremble to the
end of its roots.
‘Go along, vou old brute,’ said poor
Tom, flourishing his hat in the face of hi.s
wool" majesty, ‘fchool’
But the sheep didn't choose to ‘shoo.'
He evidently had made up his mind to
keep his prisoner there till he capit lated.
Tom heard steps coming down the road,
and pretty soon the steps were accompa
nied by a whistle that be knew belonged
to John Croft. The sound of it made
Tom desperate. He flung bis hat in the
wooly monster’s face, and then gave an
awful leap in the opposite direction. But
the sheep wasn’t to ue fooled so easily.
Before Tom had gone two rods the horns
of the watchful animal struck him forci-
blv in the rear,.and sent him sprawling
down the hill at least ten feet. He saw
stars in all directions. Ho lay for a min
ute or two fully believing his back was
broke. Then he tried to get up, but at
I the first indication of getting up on the
1 part of his victim the sheep drew back,
shaking his head, and giving vent to
threatening sounds that warned Tom
that it was safer to lay still.
And lay there he did for six or seven
of the longest hours he ever knew.—
More than once he made desperate ef
forts to get on bis feet, but the sheep
never le.R his post. "When Tom stirred
he was up and ready to renew the rather
To Tom that one side was a rather
bruised and sore one.
The moon came up by and by and ev
erything was light as day, when he heard
John Croft coming back, and he knew by
his jubilant whistle that it was all right
between him and Clara. He lay still hop
ing his rival would pass by without see
But John had seen him ‘up a stump'
as he went by on bis way to the mansioii
of his beloved, and hadn’t the least idea
of going by now.
‘Hulloa !’ he called out, stopping by the
fence and looking over. ‘Who s that ?
‘It’s me,’ answered Tom, sheepishly.
‘This confounded old nrute has nearly
killed me ; I’ll swear I’ll kill him, if I
hang for it.’
‘Let me help you out of your trouble,’
And he climbed on the fence to attract
the attention of the sheep, who charged
valiently at him, thus giving Tom a
chance to make his escape.
‘I want you to come to my wedding in
about a month. Glara’ll send you an in
vitation, too,’ said John, when Tom was
safely in the road. ‘I hope you won’t
feel sore to-moirow. Good-night.'
Tom felt sore in more ways than one
already. He said good-night in a not
very gracious mood, and waited until his
lucky rival was out of sight, then, with
stern determination in his eyes, be began
to carry stones together in a corner of the
fence, while the sheep, who had been so
much trouble stood on the other side
When he had accumulated quite a col
lection of geological specimens, he began
operations. He climbed on the fence
with as big a stone as he could handle,
and waited for a good opportunity. The
sheep evidently thought he was delying
him, for he charged into the fence, down
dropped the stone on the back of his head,
stunning him. Tom fairly shouted in
exultation. He jumped down and pound
ed the poor sheep with that stone until
he was half dead, calling him an old brute
and other expressive names. When the
animal was nearly exhausted by this new
style of warfare, Tom got a rail and man
aged to get it fastened in the fence like a
lever, and then dragged the bewildered
sheep up to it and inserted his neck be
tween it and another rail.
T ve got you now ’ chuckled Tom, bear
ing down on the death-dealing instru
ment he had devised. 'I’ll bet you won’t
knock anybody else down, you old fool.'
For fifteen minutes he kept it in the
same position. At the end of that time
the sheep was very near gone to the spir
it world and Tom had his revenge.
When temptation appears, and we are
almost persuaded to do wrong, how often
a mother’s word of warning will call to
mind vows that are rarely broken. Yes,
the memory of a mother has saved many
a poor wretch from going astray. Tall
grass may be growing over the hallowed
spot where -all her earthly remains repose;
the dying leaves of autumn may be whirl
ed over it, or t!ie white mantel of winter
may cover it from sight; yet. the spirit of
her, when she walks in the right path,
appears, and gently, softly and mournful
ly calls to him, when wandering off in
the ways of erroi.