The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, October 03, 1935, Image 3

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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.
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.
'"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
“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
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
“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’
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
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
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
“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
“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
• • • • • • •
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
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
“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
‘‘His corn hns won a number of
prizes, though, hasn’t If?”
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.”
'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
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
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.
--—— - —
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“Weighty” Problems
pattern 9:i:ta
Our stylist bad leisure hours In
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pounds and curves 1 The bodice
gathers lu front to a double-pointed
yoke, another slenderizing feature
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Pattern 9839 may be ordered only
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44 and 46. Size 36 requires 4 yards
39 inch fabric. Complete dia
grammed sew chart Included.
or stamps (coins preferred) for this
pattern. He sure to write plainly
Send your order to The Sewing
Circle Pattern Dept., 232 Wes)
Eighteenth St., New York. N. Y.
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
Putting on tho Look* '
“Why do you always look so
“A gloomy man avoids many g
hard luck tale.