The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, October 03, 1935, Image 3
THE^i ALWAYS I ANOTHER. YEAR. I MARTHA OSTENSO i IW.N.U. SERVICE _COPYRIGHT fMRTW WUNWJ SYNOPSIS The little town of Heron River Is eagerly awaiting the arrival of An na ("Silver") Grenoble, daughter of “Gentleman Jim," formerly of the community, but known as a gam bler, news of whose recent murder In Chicago has reached the town Bophronla Willard, Jim Grenoble's •later, with whom the girl Is to live, Is at the depot to meet her. So * phronia's household consists of her husband, and stepsons, Roderick and Jason. The Willards own only half of the farm on which they live, the other half being Anna Gren oble's. On Silver's arrival Duke Mel bank, shiftless youth, makes him self obnoxious. Roderick is on the eve of marriage to Corlnne Meader, daughter of a failed banker. Silver declares her eagerness to live on the farm, and says she has no intention of selling her half, which the Wil lards had feared. CHAPTER III—Continued 4— Rapidly he took stock of him self. It was three years now since he had been graduated from col lege, and although he still clung Jealously to what he had learned there, the soil had taken him back to Itself again. He had worked the Grenoble land since he was fif teen, and had vowed that some day It would be his own in fact. And now— Roddy brought his car to a stop In the little garage beside the barn, and climbed out of it. He walked slowdy through the starlit darkness up the path to the house. He let himself in through the back door and struck a match, found the lamp and lit It Odd, he thought, hut he could have sworn he had heard a footstep In the front hall, ne moved through the house and saw a white-faced giri standing in the hall with one foot on the first step of the stairway. She had a flowered, thick robe wrapped tight ly about her, and she carried a flashlight and a pair of slippers. Her hair hung to her shoulders, and was soft and pale and wavy, and her eyes were. In that startling mo ment, enormous. Silver was the first to speak. "I suppose you are Roddy Wil lard,” she sold almost breathlessly. “Yes.” he said, and came forward with his hand outstretched. “And you are Anna Grenoble, of course.” He tried to relax his mouth into a smile, to check his agitation. “Yes.” she said, smiling faintly. "I only Just heard—in Heron River—about what happened to your father." he said haltingly. Tm terribly sorry.” Slver stood with one hand on the balustrade and gave him a shadowy look. “Thank you. I—” Her voice trailed away. “I couldn’t sleep—so I went for a walk—down to the old house. I—I didn’t expect to be caught prowling.’’ She gave him an odd look, half apology, half defi ance. “Good night,” she said. “Good night.” Sleep was out of the question. Roddy went back to the kitchen, turned the lamp low and stepped out the back door. The delicate bitterness of coming harvest filled his nostrils when he drew a deep breath. In a few days he would be a married man—and Corinne Head er established in the house of a farmer who looked into the future with blind eyes. He found it difficult to believe that Jim Grenoble’s death had co incided so nearly with his asking Corinne to marry him. It was al most like rust coming on the eve of reaping. CHAPTER IV '"T'OWAItD noon of the next day, 1 Sophronia and Silver stood to gether on a crest of the gentle ridge which supported the new farmstead. The girl had her hands In the pockets of her white linen dress, and her eyes, which Phronle had ascertained were a very dark blue, were fixed upon the old house down below, Phronie followed her glance, and saw that old Roderick had placed a ladder against the north wall, and with an armful of shingles and tools had begun the ascent of the roof. “Tell me, Phronie,” Silver asked suddenly, “are you moving into the old house because Roddy is get ting married, or because I am here?” “Because you are here?" Phronle was indignant. ‘‘I never heard the like! Roderick and I always said that as soon as either of the boys gets married, back we go to the old place. Young people have a right to start out by themselves, I always hold.” Silver was silent for a moment as she thought over what her aunt had said. “I’m glad,” she mur mured at last. "1 was afraid—per haps—” “Afraid of what?” “I thought mayhe Roddy’s wife might not approve of me—because of dad.” The angry red sprang Into So phronia’s cheeks. “She won’t ap prove of me, neither, then—I’m Jim’s sister. Corlnne Mender ought to be glad she’s got a home to come to. If I know anything. And I don't think she'll be fool enough to listen to every Tom-DIck-and Harry's yarns. And if she does— let her! Jason’ll stay with them in the new house, ’cause he fixed up his own room in the attic there Just the way he likes it—with a skylight an’ all for his funny oil paintin’. Jason's a queer one—but he won’t bother Corinne, unless she can’t stand him and his mouth organ.” “You said something about ‘yarns,’ Phronle,” Silver said. “Do you mean things that fellow at the station last night has said about me?” Sophronia hesitated for a mo ment. “Well, there's no use tr.vin’ to hide from you what you’ll find out for yourself anyhow, sooner or later. You know what people are, Just as well as I do. When they’ve got nothing to do, they’ll talk. Did you see that Duke Melhank when he was in Chicago this summer?” “Dad said he came into our place one night, but I don’t remember seeing him. So many people used to come and go.” “Well, he ain’t worth remember in’. But he has been talkin’ since he came back.” silver laugnen ruefully, "was ne talking about dad?” “Well—mostly about you.” Color rushed Into Silver’s cheeks. "About me? What does that crea ture know about me?” Sophronla smiled reassuringly. “Some people talk most when they know least. As far as I can make out—the boys have been tellin’ me —Duke don’t say so much, but he hints plenty. There was a friend of Jim’s, wasn’t there? A fellow by the name of Lucas, I think.” “Gerald Lucas,” Silver said, with her eyes fixed upon the downward slope of the hill. “I met him six months ago—two months ago—I thought I wanted to marry him." “What manner of fellow was he?” Phronie asked, conversationally. “Gerald used to practice law out West, but he got into some sort of trouble and was disbarred. Now he’s against the world—and the world is against him.” Sophronia nodded sagely. “I guess I understand. Them outcasts appeal to women. Pm glad you got away from him without anything worse happenin’.” Sliver’s eyes darted to her aunt’s face. Her heart sank. Sophronla was of another world, a good wom an, placidly taking it for granted that her niece was still virtuous. Over the bleak loneliness that welled up within her. Sliver re solved that It was better not to dis illusion Phronie. After all, she need never know. “Yes," Silver said breathlessly, looking away, “I might have mar ried him. That would have been worse. But I told dad how I felt about him—and I knew as soon as I had told him that I’d rather die than marry Gerald. I can’t explain It to you, Fhronie. When I was away from him, I almost hated him. But as soon as he came back I was —well, I just can’t explain It. I—1 was sort of hypnotized.” “So thnt was why Jim decided to leave It all, eh?" Fhronie asked with surprising shrewdness. “Duke Melbank has been tellin’ It around that he seen you with him that night in Chicago, and you seemed kind o’ stuck on him. I thought maybe Jim would have the sense to get you out of a mess like that.” “Yes.” Silver said In a dull voice. “He wanted to get away because of me—partly. Yon see—he never seemed to realize that I was grow ing up." “That would tie like Jim!” Fhrotde explained and wiped h«r eyes. “Land sakes—let’s not talk about it any more. You’re here— safe with me, you poor child! Everything’s all right from now on.” She brought her tremendous long arm down about Silver's shoulders, drew her awkwardly toward her for an Instant, then got mightily to her feet. “Well,” she blurted out, "you take a walk around and get ac quainted with the place. I’ll go down and tlx dinner.” Silver watched the tall, gaunt woman stride awny toward the house, then she walked to the east ern slope of the hillside nnd seated henself. In the field below the great black horses were being unhitched from the binder and led toward the barn. She saw Roddy ran bis hand down one shining black shoulder, and observed that In the act there was compassion, affection. In his attitude toward herself, last night, she thought unhappily, there had been little more than chilly formal ity. He had been polite enough, it was true, but far from cordial. Well, she would not bother him. This was her place. In a deeper sense that It could ever be his. It was too soon for her to make any plan, any pattern, for her Ufe from now on. But for the time being she would remain here, let Roddy Willard bring home a hundred wives who disapproved of her. Whatever had been beautiful and unmarred in the spirit of .Tim Gren oble was still here—the pure and Inviolable ghost of the boy who had known this earth. She needed this land that held the very roots of her being—she needed It to ob literate forever the dread and In security and violence of that other life, and the memory of Gerald Lu cas. Roddy had brought the horses to the watering tank, and as he glanced up at her on the slope, she looke 1 quickly away. Presently he came up the slope toward her with long, swinging strides. In the suddenness of their enconn ter last night, she had not really seen Roddy, she thought. Now she observed him with a cool sense of detachment and Indifference. His face was blunt-hewn, his cheek bones and brows prominent; al though his gray eyes were deep-set and unsmiling, they were widely spaced so that the upper part of his face had a surprised, boyish look; his nose was high-bridged, and seemed almost square with Its well-defined nostrils; his mouth above the obstinate jaw was un expectedly mobile. He was darkly burned, and beads of perspiration margined his forehead. He gave her an odd smile. “I came up here to apologize for the way I acted last night. Sil ver,” he said, and seemed to hesl “Two Months Ago—I Thought I Wanted to Marry Him.” tate on her name. “If It isn’t too late, I want to tell you how glad I am that you came straight here— to Sophronia. He flushed a little, and Silver looked at him wonderingly. “Thank you,” she said simply. His mouth drew to a straight line. "You are very polite,” he remarked. “I didn’t feel exactly polite toward you—last night I—well, I had other things on my mind.” “Of course,” she said. “Phronle told me about it this morning. I hope you will be happy.” “Thanks.” He looked away for a moment. “That was part of it, I admit. The rest can wait.” “You mean—about the land?” “I don’t want to trouble you with that business right away,” he re plied heavily, “nut you’ll prob ably want* to sell and get your money out of it as soon as you can. The rent we’ve been paying isn’t much. Phronle told me you said you want to stay here with her. but I don’t believe you will for long. I don’t think this sort of life will appeal to you." She regarded him with darkly brooding eyes. “You may as well be honest with me, Roddy,” she said slowly, “even If you don’t know me very well. You don't want me here, do you? I know you mean to be kind—and— and you feel sorry for me, and that sort of thing. But deep down— you resent my owning half this land. You r sent my right to be here. And you are afraid of what your wife will think of me.” ' Roddy looked at her curiously, and strove to speak as he would to a child who was in error. “I’ll confess to your first charge,” he said gravely, “up to a point. I’ve worked your father's land since I was a kid. I’ve always looked for ward to the day when It W’ould be my own property. 1 was afraid last night that I was going to lose It. But as for resenting your right to be tiere—I'm not quite as mean as that, Silver." He paused and looked away with misgiving as he sought for the right words In de fense of Corinne. All morning the question of how she would accept Silver Grenoble had plagued him. to bis shame. His doubts implied a lack of trust in Gorlnne’s gener osity that was mortifying. “And as for the girl I am going to marry,” be resumed resolutely, “you wait until you meet her be fore you Jump at any unfair conclu sions. You are probably over-sensi tive—” He halted, hating to put Into words what was In his mind. But Silver leaned back on her palms, threw back her head and ut tered a dry little laugh. “I know what I’m talking about, Roddy, never fear,” she said softly. “I had one friend after another In boarding schools, until their moth ers looked up my background. But for all that—” Her eyes widened brilliantly, and her full, sweet lips parted In a serene smile. “—I wouldn’t have given up one single day with my father.” “Everybody who knew him round here thought highly of him,” Roddy said. "I’m sorry I never met him. Of course, I was only a boy then, and our farm was miles away from here.” Silver turned abruptly toward him. A change had come over her face, a guarded, secret look. “I'm sorry,” she said. “I didn't mean to spenk of—of my life be fore I came here. I don’t want you —any of you—to think that I’ve had a hard time of It. I—I really haven’t. It was all splendid. In a way—but you w’ould never under stand that. But this—” She moved her hand lightly before her and gazed down on the land below. “—this Is what I want now. I want to be here, where my father was happy. I don’t think he ever really was—nfterward. So you see you are quite wrong If you believe I won’t want to stay.’’ Roddy thought of Duke Melbank and his mouth twisted In wry si lence. “Phronle," Silver went on, mus ingly, “probably didn’t tell you what hnppened at the depot last night In Heron ltlver, did she?" He gave her a startled glance. “No. She didn’t mention anything out of the ordinary." "Well, you’ll probably hear about It. I suppose It's the kind of thing that keeps a small town talking for a long time. But 1*11 tell you to prove to you that I'm not going to be scared away." With Ironical brevity she related the occurrence at the depot the eve nlng before,"while Itoddy, under his tan, turned livid with wrath. He gave vent to an oath that shook his voice. Then he got abruptly to his feet and extended his hand to silver. “Come," he said harshly. “Let’s go down to the house.” She stood for a moment looking coolly up Into his eyes. “I know now,” she said, “why Phronle didn’t tell you. I don’t think there's any use In your getting Into a rage about that person, iou see—people will Just have to get used to me, Roddy. They can get used to anything.” "I’ll use my own Judgment about Duke Melbank,” he replied blackly, nnd taking her arm he led her In silence down the slope to the house. Jason, meeting them In the yard, looked at his brother with a whim sical smile. “Old Shad Finney Just called up," he reported In his soft voice. "He thought maybe we’d like to know that Duke Melbank left town last night." • • • • • • • It was Jason, unfathomable and dark and silent, who drove Silver and Sophronla two days later on that last quiet errand for Gentle man Jim Grenoble. Without ritual or dirge, Jim’s ashes were scattered Into the open soil above Anna Grenoble’s grave, and when the dark earth wound was closed again a single yellow poplar leaf drifted down upon It and lay as though sealing what was done. Jason said, "Trees know.” • • • • • • • On the day before Roddy was to leave for Rallantyne to marry Corlnne Meader, Sophronla and Sil ver put up the last crisp curtain In the old house. The pine floors and moldings had been scrubbed white, the rag rugs wnshed, the horsehair sofa and settee In the sit ting room treated with gasoline. Reds and bedding had been moved down from the big house, and other essentials had been bought In Heron River. Sophronla went to the narrow stairwell that rose almost verti cally from the kitchen and called to Sliver. ‘Tome down and have a bite of supper, Silver.” When Silver appeared, Sophronla glanced out the back door. ‘‘There’s Roddy,” ghe remarked, “goin’ Into that old shop of his. Wonder if he don’t know It's supper time. He’s been actin’ awful funny today.” Silver was standing beside her at the open door. ‘‘I’d like to see the Inside of Roddy’s workshop," she said. ‘‘Do you suppose he’d mind if I went up now and called him to supper?” “Like as riot,” Phronle replied with a tolerant smile. “He prob ably thought you weren’t Interested In it. He’s got everything In saucers and little bags and glass Jnrs—with tags and labels and Aggers—till It would make you dizzy to look at 'em." ‘‘His corn hns won a number of prizes, though, hasn’t If?” (TO BE CONTINUED) Man Likea to Make Trouble "When a man gits de trouble makln’ habit,” said Uncle Kben, "he don’t care so much about de pay so long as he can have de fuo of work in’ overtime.” CHongthb tS'Mrth/ru 'JBMjghfv-s. _ Jl 8cene on the Severn River. Prepared by National Orographic Society, Washington. D. C.—WNU Service. □OWN after town, each with an Interesting history, Is threaded along the Severn river, which disputes with the Thames the title of England's long est stream. The tlrst town on the Infant river is Llanidloes, and here one sees the tlrst and one of the quaintest of the old market halls which will be en countered In a pilgrimage along the Severn, and one, moreover, which still treasures Its curfew bell. Although the market hall Is sadly In the way of modern traffic, mak ing the approach from the upper Severn bridge to the main street narrow and dangerous, the adjacent Btreets are of ample width and pleasant avenues of trees. On mar ket days, no doubt, the traffic Is congested enough, for Llanidloes cattle and sheep murkets are still important local events. Farther down the valley, on the outskirts of Newtown, a large wooll en hall by the roadside attracts at tention. It Is too large for the needs of a town of some .r>,000 Inhabitants and too far from the center of the town for everyday use. There Is only one notice board to be seen, and that says, "Choirs only this way." Obviously, for choral fes tivals. Even a small town like this can hope for the honor of staging the national festival, the Eisteddfod. Sometimes, as In this lnstnnce, It means providing a hall capable of accommodating an audience larger than tlie entire population of the town which built It; but It Is done. The ceremony of the crown ing of the bard takes place on an open hillside, for no building could accommodate the Immense con course of patriots who gather for that event Robert Owen Wae Born in Newtown. The most fnmous son of Newtown was Itobert Owen, pioneer of co-op erative stores. Born In 1771, he was also a pioneer, from the musters’ side, of more humane fncfory legis lation, at a time when the Indus trial revolution was nt Its most ruthless stage. He spent some time in the United States and worked to promote Anglo-American friend ship. IBs birthplace has hecn pulled down, but the bank which now oc cupies the site, provided compensa tion by forming a memorial mu seum and library, Including a repro duction of the room in which Owen was born. Montgomery, the capital of the county of the same name, through which the Severn flows In Wales, lies a short distnnce away from the river, almost forgotten by the rush of modern life, dreaming peace fully of its troubled history. Its neighbor, Welshpool, tnkes the busy current of the present-day trnfllc. Where Old Parr Lived. On the hillside near Middletown Is Old I’arr’s cottage, where Thomas Parr lived In the reign of ten kings and queens of England. At the age of 152 he was taken to Ivondon to be exhibited to the king, Charles I, but died a few months later. The doctors, after a post-mortem exam ination, attributed his untimely death to this removal, for they re ported: “In short, his Inward parts appeared so healthy that If he had not changed his diet and air, he might perhaps have lived a good while longer." He continued his work ns a farmer till he was 130 years old. A few coracles, of a type famil iar since the days of the ancient Hritons, are still used by local fish ermen. These oval boats are very light to carry, hut clumsy to handle In the water. They are composed of a frame of wickerwork covered with skins or, nowadays, with oil cloth. The Severn still yields salmon to Its fishermen, hut not In such abun dance as In days gone by, when an apprentice’s Indentures often con tnined a clause to prevent his mus ter economizing by feeding him on fresh salmon more often than twice a week ! Front Welshpool to Shrewsbury the country Is very tint, so the Sev ern Is here remarkable for nothing except its windings. Its first Impor tant tributary, the Vyrnwy. Joins It as It enters England, In Shropshire Near the Junction Is a village so subject to floods that It was called locally “Melverely, God help ’em" Since the Liverpool corporation turned Lake Vyrnwy Into a reser voir for part of their water supply, the floods have been to some slight extent under control. Shrewsbury Is Very Ancient. In one of the loops made by the Severn several miles farther down stands Shrewsbury, a town full of varied Interest. There has been a settlement here at least since the sacking of the Itomnn city of Url conlum, six miles to the southeast In 584. Pengwern, as It was cal’ed, was for some time the capital of the kings of Fowls, before the castle at Welshpool was built The Sax ons called the town Scrohbesbyrlg, which time has mellowed Into the present Shrewsbury. When the Normans enme they recognized what an Ideal spot It was for defense, surrounded on all sides by the river except where a steep rock closed the gap. The Conqueror entrusted the building of the castle to his kinsman, Roger de Montgomery, nnd this building has been restored recently and present ed to the town out of the profits made by Shrewsbury’s famous flow er show—the arts of peace thus rescuing a relic of war. Shrewsbury, like Banbury, Is also noted for Its cakes, and one shop owes Its fame to the mention of Its name by a minor poet In “The In goldshy Legends” the story Is told of a local bluebeard. The heroine gets past the ferocious dog who guards the chamber of horrors by feeding him on the contents of her basket. “She has given him a Shrewsbury cake of Pallln’s own make," and the successor of that worthy confectioner still finds that line Ills own best advertisement. In the stirring days of border warfare, Shrewsbury held the re sponsible office of the northern war den of the marches, with Ludlow, on the tributary Teme, taking equal responsibility at the southern end. Resides Its border warfare, Shrewsbury witnessed one critical fight In English history, the battle which Is familiar to all lovers from Shakespeare's description of It In “Henry IV." The turning point In this conflict was the death of Hot spur, which FalstafT himself claimed to have encompassed after a duel lasting “a long hour by Shrewsbury clock." Shakespeare permits himself al most ns much poetical license as he allows his mock-valiant knight In giving the glory to Prince Hal. The prince was hut fifteen at the time, nnd although he came fresh from helping to defend his title of Prince of Wales, and not from tavern rev elry, and although he fought brave ly In this, his first pitched battle, he would hove been no match for his doughty opponent, a tough vet eran of thirty-nine. Sober history records that Percy Hotspur was not slain until he was completely sur rounded by his foes. As the rebels proposed to divide the kingdom Into three parts, their victory would probably have put back the clock of Kngllsh history for nt least a century. Home of Two Famous Men. Shrewsbury’s most famous son, Darwin, began another kind of bat tle—a battle of ideas—with his theory of evolution; and. although the buttle ground Is changing, the fight he commenced still goes on. A statue to his memory stands In front of the old grammar school, now the public library. Near the Old Market hall stands a statue to another famous son of Shropshire, Is>rd Clive, who helped to lay the foundations of British rule over India. The old Roman road, Watling street, crossed the Severn a few miles lower down, near Wroxeter, and turned southward, toward South Wales, another branch run ning northward toward Chester. Just behind Wroxeter nre the ruins of the Important Homan city, Url conlum, or Vlroconlum. The exca vations prove If to have heen of considerable size, larger than Pom pell. though not as rich In treasures. South arid west of Wroxeter rises the long slope of Wenlock Kdge, celebrated In song, with the delight ful ruins of Wenlock Abbey nestling beneath it. To the east of Wroxe ter, the Wrekln, 1,335 feet high, gains by its solitude a dignity to which Its height alone would not entitle It. Remains of a British camp cun he clearly traced on Its summit, and the panoruma it com mands Is a fine one. --—— - — Make Jabot Solve “Weighty” Problems pattern 9:i:ta Our stylist bad leisure hours In mind when she designed this grace ful afternoon frock for the woman of lurger proportions. The soft Jabot cascades down the bodice In grace ful folds, concealing those extra pounds and curves 1 The bodice gathers lu front to a double-pointed yoke, another slenderizing feature with Its diagonal lines. Medium length sleeves puff, then hug the fore arm below the elbow. Crepe Is a perfect medium for this pattern, but lu satin you’d have an all-season ‘best dress.'* Do choose sparkling novel buttons and buckle. Pattern 9839 may be ordered only In sizes, 16. 18, 20, 34. 36. 38, 40, 42, 44 and 46. Size 36 requires 4 yards 39 inch fabric. Complete dia grammed sew chart Included. Send FIFTEEN CENTS In coins or stamps (coins preferred) for this pattern. He sure to write plainly your NAME. ADDRESS, STYLE NUMBER and SIZE. Send your order to The Sewing Circle Pattern Dept., 232 Wes) Eighteenth St., New York. N. Y. AS SHE IS SPOKE Teacher—1 aai very disappointed fn the way your son, Jimmy, talks. Only today he said: “I ain't never went nowhere.” Father—He did? Why, the young whelp has done traveled twice as far as most kids his age.—Success ful Farming. A Friendly Suggestion “I want to speak to you as one of the plain people." “Don't do It." replied Farmer Corn tossel. “You want to realize that times have changed and a prosper ous agriculturist looks on himself os somebody rather special.” No Doubt About It BJscz—Bragley says his house la heated with hot air. Bjorn—Then It’s well heated. I know Bragley.—Pathfinder Maga zine. Putting on tho Look* ' “Why do you always look so gloomy?” “A gloomy man avoids many g hard luck tale.