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POLK COUNTY NEWS, TRYON, N. 0.
. . i " ' "' " a
tor- : r : - .
TMeXigMt ; : to- tlie
A TALE of the NORTH COUNTRY in the TIME of SILAS WRIGHT;
: By IRVING BACHELLER. I ; : - . :
.x - Author Of EBEN HOLDEN. D'RI AND I, BARREL OrVTHB BLESSED,
. ISLES. KEEPING UP WITH LIZZIE. Etc Etc.
. ,f . .
A Party andMy Fourth Peril?
It was a rainy Sunday. In the
middle of the afternoon Uncle Pea
body and I had set out in our spring
buggy with the family umbrella a
faded but sacred 'implement, always
carefully dried, after using, and hung
in the clothes press. We were drenched
to the skin in spite of the umbrella.
It was still raining when we arrived
at the familiar door in Ashery lane.
Uncle Peabody wouldn't stop.
He hurried away. We pioneers rare
ly stopped or even turned out for the
"Come in,' said the voice of the
schoolmaster at the door. "There's
good weather under this roof."
He saw my plight as I entered.
"I'm like a shaggy dog that's been
in swimming," I saidi
"Upon my word, boy, we're in luck,"
remarked the schoolmaster.
I looked up at him.
"Michael Henry's clothes ! -sure,
they're just the thing for you!"
I followed him upstairs, wondering
kow it had happened that Michael
Henry had clothes.
He took me into his room and
brought some handsome, soft clothes
out of a press with shirt, socks and
boots to match.
"There, my laddie buck," said he,
, "put . them on."
"These will soon dry on me," I said.
"Put them on ye laggard ! Michael
Henry told me to give them to you.
It's the birthday, night oMittle Ruth,
my boy. There's a big cake with can
dles and chicken pie and jellied cook
ies and all the like 0' that. Put them
" on. A wet boy at the- feast would
dampen the whole proceedings."
I put them on and with a great
sense of relief and comfort. They
were an admirable fit too perfect for
an accident, although at the time I
thought .only of their grandeur as I
stoodvsurveying myself in the looking
glass. They were of blue cloth and I
saw that they went well with, my
-blond hair and light skin. I wasput
; ting on my collar and necktie when
i Mr. Hacket returned.
We went below and the table was
very grand with Its great frosted cake
and its candles, in shiny brass sticks,
and its jellies and preserves with the
gleam of polished pewter among them.
Mrs. Hacket and all the children, save
Ruth, were waiting for us in the din
"Now sit down here, all oV ye, with
Michael ' Henry,1? said the schoolmas-.
vtw. -"The little lady will be impatient
Til go and get her and God help us to
make her remember the day.1
-. He was erone a moment, only, when
he came ' back with Ruth in lovely
white dress and slippers and gay with
ribbons, and the silver beads of Mary
on her neck. We clapped our hands
and cheered and, in the excitement of
the moment, John tipped over his
, drinking glass and shattered it on
"Never mind, my brave lad no glass
ever perished in a better cause. God
bless you!" .
We ate .and jested and talked, and
the sound of our laughter drowned
the cry of the wind in the chimney
and the drumming of the rain upon
- the windows.
Next morning my clothes, which had
been hung by the kitchen stove, were
damp and wrinkled. Mr. Hacket Came
to my room . before I had risen.
"Michael Henry would rather see
his clothes hanging on a good boy
than on a nail in the closet," said he.
"feure they give no comfort to the
nail at all."
"I guess mine are dry. now I an-
. swered. -
"They're wet and heavy, boy. No
son o' Baldur could keep a lifelit heart
in them. Sure ye'd be as much out
V place as a sunbeam in a cave o
bats. If ye care not for your own
comfort think o' the poor lad in the
green chair. He's that proud and
pleased to see them on ye it would be
a shame to reject his offer. Sure, if
they were dry yer own garments
would be good enough, God knows,
but Michael Henry loves the look o
ye in these togs, and then the presi
. dent is in town.V
mat evening he discovered a big
stain, black as ink, on my coat and
trousers. Mr. Hacket expressed the
pinion that it. might have come from
the umbrella, but I am quite sure that
he had spotted them to save me from
the last homemade suit I ever wore,
save in rough work, and keep Michael
Henry's on my back, ' In any event I
wore, them no more save at chore time.
Sally came and went, with the Wills
boy, and gave no heed to me. In her
eyes I had no more substance than
a, ghost, it seemed to me, although I
caught her. often, looking t me.
Judged that her father had given her
ft bad report of us and had some re
grets, in spite of my knowledge that
we were right, although they related
mostly to Amos, .
Net afternoon I saw Mr. Wright
and the, president walking back and
' forth on the bridge as they talked
together. , A number of men stood inH
iront of the blacksmith shop, by the
river shore, watching them, as I
pwwed, on my wuy .to the mW oa ta
Copyright by InringBacbeller
errand. The two statesmen were in
broadcloth and white linen and beaver
hats. They stopped as I approached
"Well, partner, we shall be leaving
n an hour or so,?' said Mr. Wright as
he gave me his hand. "You may look
for me here soon after the close of the
session. ' Take care of yourself and go
often to see Mrs. Wright amKobey
your captain and remember me to your
aunt and uncle."
"See that you keep coming, my good
boy," said the president as he gave me
his hand, with playful reference, no
doubt, to Mr. Wright's remark that I
was a coming man.
"Bart, I've some wheat to be
thrashed in the barn on the back lot,"
said the senator as I was leaving
them. "You can do it Saturdays, if
you care to, at a shilling an hour.
Stack the straw out of doors until
you've finished, then put it back In the
bay. Winnow the wheat carefully and
sack it and bring it down to the gran
ary and I'll settle with you when I
I remember that a number of men
who worked in Grimshaw's sawmill
were passing as he spoke.
"Yes, sir," I answered, much elated
by the prospect of earning money.
The examination of Amos was set
down for Monday and the people of
the village were stirred (and shaken
by wildest rumors regarding the evi
dence to be adduced. Every day men
and women stopped me In the street
to ask what I knew of the murder. I
followed the advice of Bishop Per
kins and kept my knowledge to myself.
Saturday came, and when the chores
were done I went alone to the grain
barn In the back lot of the senator's
farm with flail and measure and broom
and fork and shovel and sacks and my
luncheon, in a pushcart, with all of
which Mrs. Wright had provided me.
It was a lonely place with woods
on three sides of the field and a road
on the other. I kept laying down
beds of wheat on the barn floor and
beating them out with the flail until
the sun was well over the roof, when
I sat down to eat my luncheon. Then
I swept ud the erain and winnowed
out the chaff and filled one of my
sacks. That done, I covered the floor
again and the thump of the flail eased
my loneliness until In the middle of
the afternoon two of my schoolmates
came and asked me to go swimming
with them. The river was not forty
rods away and a good trail led to the
swimming hole. It was a warm, bright
day and I was hot and thirsty. The
thought of cool waters and friendly
companionship was too much for me.
I went with them and stayed with
them longer than I intended. I re
member saying as I dressed that
should have to work late and go with
out my supper in order to finish my
stint.- . .j" ;! f. V; T
It was almost dark when I was put
ting the last sack of wheat into my
cart, in the gloomy barn and getting
ready to go.
A rustling in the straw , where
stood stopped me suddenly. I heard
stealthy footsteps in the darkness,
stood my ground and demanded: '
I saw a form approaching in the
gloom with feet as noiseless as a cat's.
I Had Time to Raise My Flail and
Bring It Down Upon the Head of
I took - a step backward and, seeing
that it was a woman, stopped.
"It's Kate," came in a hoarse whis
per as I recognized her form and staff.
"Run, boy they have Just come out
o the woods. I saw them; They will
take you away. Run. 1
She had picked up the flail, and now
she put it In my hands and gave me
a push toward the door. I ran and
none too quickly, for I had not gone
fifty feet from the barn In the stubble
when I heard them coming after me,
whoever they; were. ; I saw that ' they
were gaining and turned quickly. 1
had time to . raise my flail and bring Jt
down upon the head f the leader
who fell as I had seen a beef fall un
der the ax. Another man stopped be
yond the reach of my flail and, after
a second's hesitation, turned and ran
away in the darkness. ' 3
I could hear or see no other motion
In the field. I turned ana ran on
down the slope toward the village. In
a moment I saw someone coming out
pt the maple grove at the field's end,
Just ahead, with a lantern.
Then I heard the voice of the school
master saying : , . ..
"Is it you, my lad?"
"Yes" I answered, as I came up to
him and Mary, in a condition 01
I told them of the curious adventure
I had had.
"Come quick," said the schoolmas
ter. "Let's go back and nna the man
In the stubble."
I remembered that I had struck the
path in my flight just before stopping
to swing the flail. The man must have
fallen very near It. Soon we found
where he had been lying and drops of
fresh blood on the stubble.
"Hush,", said the schoolmaster.
We listened and heard a wagon rat
tling at a wild pace down the road
toward the river.
"There he goes," said Mr. Hacket.
"His companions have carried him
away. Ye'd be riding In that wagon
now, yerself. my brave lad, if ye hadn't
a' made a lucky hit with the flail
God bless ye!"
"What would they a' done with
me?" I asked.
?Oh, I reckon they'd 'a took ye off.
lad, and kep' ye for a year or so until
Amos was out o' danger," said Mr.
Hacket "Maybe they'd drowned ye in
the river down there an left yer
clothes on the bank to make it look
like an honest drowning. The devil
knows what they'd 'a' done with ye,
laddie buck. We'll have to keep an
eye on ye now every day until the
trial is over sure we will. Come, we'll
go up to the barn and see if Kate is
Just then we heard the receding
wagon go roaring over the bridge on
Little river. Mary shuddered with
fright. The schoolmaster reassured us
"Don't be afraid. I brought roy gun
in case we'd meet a painter. But the
danger Is past"
He drew a long pistol from his coat
pocket and held it in the light of the
The loaded cart stood in the1 middle
of the barn floor, where I had left It,
but old Kate had gone. We closed
the .barn, drawing the cart along with
us. When we came Into the edge of
the village I began to reflect upon the
strange "peril out of which I had so
luckily escaped. It gave me a Tieavy
sense of responsibility and of the
wickedness of men. f -
I thought of old Kate and her broken
silence. For once I had heard her
speak. I could feel my flesh tingle
when I thought of her qulcc words
and her hoarse, passionate whisper.
I knew, or thought I knew,, why, she
took such care of me. She was in
league with the gallows and could not
bear to see it cheated of Its prey. For
some reason she hated the Grimshaws.
I had seen the hate in her eyes the
day she dogged along behind the old
money lender through the streets of
the village when her pointing finger
had seemed to say to me: "There,
there is the man who has brought me
to this. He has put these rags upon
my back, this fire in my heart, this
wild look In my eyes. Wait and you
will see,, what I will put upon him."
I knew that old Kate was not the
Irresponsible, witless creature that
people thought her to be. I had begun
to think of her with a liind of awe as
one gifted above all others. One by
one the things she had said of the
future seemed to be coming true. ,
As we were going Into the house the
"Now, Mary, you take this lantern
and go across the street to the house
o' Deacon Binks, the constable. You'll
find him asleep by the kitchen stove.
Arrest his slumbers, but not rudely,
and, when he has come to, tell him
that I have news o the devil. '
Deacon Binks arrived, a ,fat man
with a big, round body and a very
wise and serious countenance between
side whiskers' bendingfroin his temple
to his neck and suggesting parentheses
of hair, ns if his head and its acces
sories were in the nature of a side
issue. He and the schoolmaster went
out of doors and must have talked to
gether while I was eating a bowl of
bread and milk which Mrs. Hacket had
brought to me. ;
When I went to bed. by and by. I
heard somebody snoring on the little
porch under my window .The first
sound that reached , my ear at the
break of dawn was the snoring of
some sleeper. I dressed and went be
low and found the constable In his
coonskln overcoat asleep on the porch
with a long-barreled gun. at his side.
While I stoo4 there the schoolmaster
came around the corner of the house
from the garden. He put his hand on
the deacon's shoulder ' and kave him
a little shake.' . ,..
"Awake, ye llmb V 'the law," he de
manded. . "Prayer la better than
hhuserf and cleared lite throat End as
sumed an'alrof alertness and said It,
was a fine morning, which It was not,
the sky being overcast and ,the air
dark and chilly. Mr. Hacket removed
his greatcoat and threw it on the stoop
saying: ' ' '
, - "Deacon, you lay there, From now
on I'm constable and ready for any act
that may be necessary to maintain the
law. I can be as severe as, Napoleon
Bonaparte and as cunning as Satan, If
I have to be. ,
. While I was milking the deacon sat
on a bucket in the doorway of the
stable and snored until I had finished.
He awoke when I loosed the cow and
the constable went back to the pasture
with me, yawning; with his hand over
his mouth much of the way. The dea
con leaned his elbow on the top of
the pen and snored again, lightly,
wnile I mixed the feed for the pigs.
Mr. Hacket met us at me juicueu
door, where Deacon Binks said to him ;.
"If you'll look after the boy today
ril go , home and get a little rest"
"God bless yer soul, ya had a busy
night," said the uchoolmaster with a
He added as he tfen$ into the house:
"I never knew a man ,to rest with
more energy and persistence. It was
a perfect flood o' rest. It kept me
awake until long after midnight"
The Spirit of . Michael Henry and
At the examination of Amos Grim
shaw my knowledge was committed to
the records and ceased to be a rource
of danger to me. . Grimshaw came to
the village that day. On my way to
the courtroom I saw him walking
"Awake. Ye Limb the Law."
slowly, with bent head as I had seefl
him before, followed by old Kate. She
carried her staff in her left hand while
the forefinger of her right hand was
pointing him out
Silent as a ghost
and as unheeded one would say she
followed his steps.
I observed that old Kate sat on a
front seat with her hand to her ear
and Grimshaw beside his lawyer at a
big table and that when she looked at
him her lips moved in a strange un
uttered whisper of her spirit Hei
face filled with Joy as one damning
detail after another came out in the
The facts herett-bef ore alleged, and
others, were prove!, for the tracks fit
ted the shoes of Amos. The young
man was held and presently indicted
The time of his trial was not deter
mined. I wrote a good hand those days and
the leading merchant of the village
engaged me to post his books every
ouiuraay at ten cents an hour. Thence
forward until Christmas 1 1 gave my 1
free days to that task. I estimated
the sum that I should earn and
planned to divide it in equal parts and
proudly present it to my aunt and
uncie on Christmas day.
One Saturday while I was at work
on the big ledger of the merchant 1
ran upon this item:
A " v ... . . . , ;
October S.-S. Wrlght-To . one suit
of clothes for Michael Henry from
measures furnished by S. Robin
Shirts to iflatch 1.78
I knew then the history of the suit
of clothes which I had worn since that
rainy October night for I remembered
that Sam Robinson, the tailor, had
measured me at our house and made
up the cloth of Aunt Deel's weaving.
I observed, also, that numerous ar
ticlesa load of wood, two sacks of
flour, three pairs of boots, one coatv
ten pounds of salt .pork and foui
bushels of potatoes all for "Michael
Henry" had been charged to Silas
So by the merest chance I learned
that the invisible "Michael Henry was
the almoner of the modest statesman
and really the spirit of Silas Wright
feeding the hungry "and : clothing the
nasea and warning the cold .house,
in tne absence of its owner. It was
the heart of Wright joined to that of
the schoolmaster which sat in the
I fear that my work suffered a mo
ment'a Interruption, i'pr just then I
began to know the great heart of the.
senator. ; its warmth, was In the cloth
lng that covered my back, its delicacy
in the ignorance of those, who had
shared Its benefactions. ' V "
( : (TO BE CON TIN UJlti
v ' ; : r its Effcst Ky
They say 2e American dotcghnxa
is matin s big tit wtth the French,"
"XG, it's Just cia fcr thxa." -
V ' , fTr j
Hints for House Cleaning Time.
Having cleaned floors, woodwork
and furniture, the attention turns natu
rally to floor, coverings which need
frequent cleaning. Waxed floors
should rarely be ; washed except
before rewaxing, and . a wood floor
can be kept from scratches . If
the legs of the chairs and tables have
a bit of felt pasted on the bottom.
For this purpose old felt hats may
be used. . .
Care of Rugs.
Good rugs can be safely scrubbed,
and professional rug cleaners do this
work very successfully. It Is a good
idea to stipulate that they are to be
simply scrubbed with suds when
turning them over to the cleaner, for
sometimes a bleach is used on them.
Scrubbing ' is perhaps the most satis
factory method of cleaning a first
class rug, but might prove fatal to
one made of poor material or dyed
with Inferior colors. Nearly all rugs
redye well, but this Is work for a
professional, and not for the house
keeper. Ordinarily all that is needed Is
a vacuum cleaner to keep rugs
thoroughly clean. If you have none,
take your rugs into the yard
and sweep them thoroughly r with a
broom. This will keep the wall-paper
and hangings clean, and you won't
have to breathe the dust which you
are sweeping. A good sweeping with
the carpet sweeper will do in the
To Keep a Rug Flat. 4
When the edge of a rug persists in
curling up, lay over It, on the wrong
side, a damp cloth, and on this place
a moderately hot Iron. Let it stand
for a few minutes and the steam will
make the rug lie perfectly flat.
'An old corset steel dress-stay, or
piece of stiff wire cat-stitched diag
onally at the corners, on the wrong
side of a much used tapestry rug, will
keep it from curl' op- up. J
It seems that we cannot say "wrap"
this season without meaning "cape" or
dolmaa. Yes, the dolman is with
us again, along with the cape and with
wraps in which the two are combined
Into one. There Is reajly a"furore
In favor of -these loose hanging,
graceful garments and no end to
the - variations by . which , designers
make them Interesting. Two of them
are shown here, one of cloth and one
of satin, the first a utility wrap and
the second a dressy-but very generally
useful wrap combination of cape and
Tins wrap at the left, of heavy cloth
may be made of any good coating. It
is almost a cape pure and simple, with
slits for the v arms to which deep cuffs
are set on. It is cut wlfh a -deep
yoke, with buttons decorating it at
each side in rows. It has an ample
collar of the material " and Is , recom
mended by being comfortable as well
as stylish. It is very, simply designed,
as these wraps go, and looks the part
of a smart and serylceabie' belonging
in the springy wardrobe. :'7r:jJy.
- The satin wrap is one of tne many
handsome models . in black, some of
them haying.- collars and linings , In
silks of contrasting colors, always in
quiet tones. This particular garment
fc all black, with silk embroidery on
v.. i,j J1MII1 ,,lfl ,
corners of men i to t rne
some cheap materia ,1 mkH
of each corner: th L mM
fin xVlV l'Ati . . . . 1
o r.i- cra nf 1 1 l"S
corners cannot curl. '
The Care of Matting.
The broom, pvpn the ,
t tiro., n.
' ",v '"fieu ona l!
..vt. iwi luaimif;, iiixi neither
me irequeiii use or the wet cloth Ty
taijjci-owccn, uNeii itordss the
9 . i . m
is uetier; anu tne vacuvuu-deaner i
of course, best of all. p)Ut in
tween the latter two mines the heart
brush, which is a life-preserver to
matting and a labor-saver to J
nouseworKer. 10 go over a mattlm
or mese orusnes is a matter of
a rew minutes. These
brushes, tnus used, raise little dw
they -keep the matting and the c
ners in proper condition, and thej j'
not roughen and Injure the matting
surface. Another merit is that tip
may be washed without injury if t
are quickly dried.
To Lay Straw Matting Smoothly.
' This is a hard thing to do as ft!
cheaper grades are likelv tv J
wrinkled and to wear in !
When you put the matting down, jf!
It as smooth as possible ; then, wlflH
pall of hot water, to which a enpfe.
of common salt has been added, nug
and . wash the matting as If it w
dirty. , Use the salt water freely, reneiJ
lncr oftpn pnoush to keen it hot.
with the grain ' of the matting, c
laoira rrnlf a Homn Tn flpvinn ft
matting will .shrink into place, k
salt toughens ftie straw and preved
it from breaking.
The warmest of colors are In fas!
Ion for spring. All the shades of nf
are Included and most of those
browns and yellows. Tomato re
color and flame are mentioned.
the oollnr and in a simple pattef
e . i. ..., full. WW1
.i i 1 n nr,i n sash w
nuiyie miuni wiini on "
satin, that loops over at the fi
is finished with flat silk ta
A little excursion throusrh the-
In search of wraps,
that the end of these
menus is nowiiere m
neany no nmic to u.-
teresnng moaeis wun" . .
j i . ti.i.v are uu
out, auu cnauccs uic ti
ai least, uuuuici
A cape Is never
iri-f;.shionei 1 j
nnrl t Vi r HomnnH Is nfW fr
viu , ,1
tie-like wraps, grace
fui u .:
that designers can vary t
. '; Flimc and Cloud CM
. . .....I thnt.LolM10"
jrm. UK t i tunv...
flame gown," Is a wonders - i
crene de chine. The io
gown is oi uecy the r
lanes in coiui iu ,n,v.
t. f. tha softest PIU
almost white. Just like a u
rfoud-and it might be exp
gown of flame and cloud eu .
U 11 11 1 Ik 0 itflft