The frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, July 30, 1936, Image 7

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    PATTERNS
WOLFPEN
r*r"tw *, Mr 0r*Ar. Merrill <*■ W* 1/ 31/1 r/ct
BMonasasssMBaia
SYNOPSIS
In the year 1785 Saul Pattern of
Virginia came into the beautiful vir
gin country of the Big Sandy valley
In Kentucky. Chief of the perils were
the Shawnees, who sought to hold
their lands from the ever-encroach
ing whites. From a huge pinnacle
Saul gazed upon the fat bottoms and
the endless acres of forest in its pri
meval quietude at the mouth of the
Wolfpen, and felt an eagerness to
possess it, declaring it a place fit
for a man to LIVE In! Five years
later he returned with Barton, his
fifteen-year-old son, and built a rude
cabin. In Saul's absence the In
dians attacked Barton and wounded
him so badly Saul was forced to re
turn with him to Virginia. In 1796,
when it was reasonably safe, Saul
returned with his family and a pat
ent for 4,000 acres, this time to
stay. He added to the cabin, planted
crops and fattened his stock on the
rich meadows. Soon other settlers
arrived. A century later, in the
spring of 1885, we find Cynthia Pat
tern, of the fifth generation follow
ing Saul, perched on the pinnacle
from which her great-great-grand
father had first viewed Wolfpen Bot
toms. The valleys, heretofore un
touched by the waves of change
sweeping the Republic, are at last
beginning to feel that restless surge.
Her dad, Sparfel, and her brothers,
Jesse, Jasper and Abral, have been
busy converting the old water
wheeled mill to steam power. Spar
rel’s triumph is complete when the
golden stream of meal pours forth
at the turning on of the steam.
Cynthia feels that something out of
the past has been burled with Saul.
Cynthia Is a pretty and Imaginative
miss in her late teens, who often
re-created Saul and her other fore
bears, and fancied them still living.
Sparrel proudly brings home the
first meal out of the steam mill, and
Julia, his *rife, is pleased. Genera
tion has added comforts and con
veniences to Saul's homestead, and
Sparrel has not shirked.
I_
7
CHAPTER II—Continued
Much of Cynthia’s dream-life cen
tered about Sparrel and those two
volumes. Long before she could
read for herself, she had sat on his
knees while he read the pictures to
her, or she had laid propped on her
elbows on the tloor before the light
of the log fire making stories of her
own from the illustrations.
, Through the long winter evenings
of the years, these associations had
built themselves into her concept
of her father, and as he sat at the
desk, while Julia sewed, and the
boys ended the chores and life pro
ceeded in its old established pat
tern, Cynthia’s thoughts would play
over these things.
"And there are his medicine books
he doesn’t like for me to bother,
but he likes for me to gather up the
green peach-tree leaves and pipper
in and oil of sassafras and get the
apple brandy and the brown sugar
for him to make up his flux medi
cine with when people on the creek
get sick with bioody-flux; and the
yellow dock for the itch; and get
the salt and turpentine ready when
he pulls a tooth for a neighbor. I
like to hear them say, ‘Sparrel Pat
tern’s the easiest hand in the world
to take a feller’s tooth out.’ And
it’s a good thing he can make med
icine and doctor people because no
body else on the creek knows how
like he does.”
She hung the dishpan on its nail
in the wall over the stove. Julia
came in from the milk-house. Then
the boys came in.
*‘A family is a funny thing when
it sits around the fire. There’s
Mother in her corner finishing up a
new shirt for Daddy and her fingers
flying about and she looks content
and doesn’t say anything. You have
three brothers, they’re all Patterns,
but they’re all different and you
like them all but you like Jesse the
best somehow. He sits and rends;
when he talks, his voice is good and
he may be right serious or he may
say a funny thing. Jasper will sit
with something on his mind and
Abral will go to sleep before he
knows it. And Daddy writes things
in his book and reads or cobbles
or studies up something, always in
good humor, silent, never speaking
hard of anybody. And then we’ll
all be a little sleepy and somebody
will yawn and Daddy will wind up
the weights on the clock. ..."
After Sparrel had hatlied his feet
and felt the gentle friction of his
nightshirt against his bare flesh, he
lay by the window in their down
stairs room on the soft feather-bed
Julia had brought with her to Wolf
pen after her wedding. Now that
the new mill which he had planned
during the winter was completed,
and everything on Wolfpen orderly
and in its place, and his children
content with their life, he could rest
in peace as he waited the coming
of Julia and sleep.
"Things are about the way I want
them around the place now. Ev
erything is handy and we’ve got
Just about all we need to run a
place on. We’ve been getting it
brought up every year now since
Saul’s time. My boys won’t have
much more to do to it only keep It
up and enjoy it. It’s about as good
a place us there Is around here. It
looks good and feels good. This
house here, this Pattern house that
took four beginnings of us to get
built, it doesn’t cower under the
mountains nor cringe up a narrow
hollow like lots of them do; it
stands up and looks around at
things coming into order out of the
wilderness, the way a man's bouse
ought to stand, like himself.
"April again, hurrying by as usu
al on wet feet. Getting time to put
seed In the ground again. Fifty
three Aprils I’ve seen come and go,
and forty-eight I remember. Kaeh
one is better, the good of all the
past ones recollect in the new one.
There are my sons going upstairs:
they have many springs ahead of
them on this place, and then their
sons nnd grandsons. We old ones
die but the feeling Is passed on to
the new ones. Jasper’ll be marry
ing Jane Burden, 1 reckon, though
he doesn’t say much. Quiet boy,
good about the work but takes
things about as they come. Jesse,
he must be twenty-one now. He
reminds me of his Grnndfather Ti
vis, only there Isn’t much more to
do like building a siding house or
a mill-wheel. He ought to take the
Marebone farm and build it up like
Wolfpen. He’s a good hand to do
It. And there’s Abral with enough
fidgety energy to do two boys
They’ll get along, my boys will. And
next week we must all buckle in to
work and get the crops down."
Julia came into the room after a
little while, nnd lay beside him un
der the soft warmth of the sea
star, blue-nnd-white coverlet
“You’re not asleep, Sparrel?"
“No, Julia. It’s quiet this time
of night. I’ve been listening to it.
I used to wonder if we’d be any bet
ter off to have stayed in Virginia. I
don’t any more. Sometimes It ’pears
to me like this is what everything
before it has been aiming at nnd
now it’s here and I’m looking at it
and listening to it. That don’t
hardly sounds sensible, does it?"
“We’ve got about all a body could
want here.”
“It ain’t things, exactly, Julia, It’s
. . . it’s . . . well, something in
side, like the drum on a banjo . . .
it’s like going around the hill in the
evening to bunt up the cows and
when you think yon won’t find them
before dark you hear a bell and
there they come out of a hollow
along the path around the hill at
the edge of the cleared line, one be
hind the other, and not a bit of
hurry in them.”
They went on again without
words. They could hear Cynthia
in the next room.
“Sparrel.”
"Yes.”
"I was thinking about C.vnthla.
She’s eighteen. I’d just turned sev
enteen when you rode up to the
gate and stared at me with my
dress full of chips.”
“You were taller than Cynthln.”
“I didn’t know much about books.
Sparrel, like you do.”
“There are better things for a
woman than books, Julia. You know
the way of a house and a family.”
“A body can know both, Sparrel;
and not be hurt by It. Cynthia’s
done all the books at the school and
yours lots of times, and I reckon
she knows as much about a house
and family as I do myself. She
ought to have a winter at books
over at Pikeville Institute."
"The Plkeville Institute. Julia!"
"Yes, Sparrel. She ought to go
over there a winter. It'd do n sight
for her.”
“I don’t know if I favor that much.
Julia. It might take her away from
the place here and spoil her con
tent with tilings. They look to town
ways and make young folks want to
go off some place instead of living
better at home. Cynthia's getting
the learning she needs right here
with you, Julia; it takes that kind
of schooling to make a good woman
on a big place like this and she’s
going to be a good one, like her
mother. Anyway, it takes ready
money, and how’d you be able to
spare her?”
“It don’t take much pioney, Spar
rel. And one of the Wooton girls
could come over and help along if I
needed anybody. She ought to go.”
“I don’t favor it much.”
Julia’s head touched Sparrel’s
shoulder, and he touched her face
with his hand.
“She’s a fine girl, Julia. She takes
a right smart after her mother.”
Julia lay by his side feeling the
old Joy In his way of speaking to
her and seeing in Cynthia herself
projected into the books she had
missed. They did not communicate
any more in words but in a bar
monious silence which united their
separate bodies. Before the late
moon could get through ihe window,
they and all their household were
fallen asleep In the night quiet of
Wolfpen.
CHAPTER III
THE simple pattern of life de
signed so long ago on Wolfpen
was again carrying the family easi
ly Into the work of the new season.
There was a sense of peace and
certainty which came from this
yearly repetition of an old routine
established by successive genera
tions of men.
Cynthia sat in the sun - flooded
weaving-room by the wooden loom
which Ttvis had made and Sparrel
had Improved, weaving her unword
ed thoughts into the blue cashmere
twill growing into dress goods un
der her fingers as she tossed the
shuttle and worked the treadle and
the beating sley.
“Shed, pick, beat; step two
threads right; shed, pick, beat. Yel
low in the harness, blue iu tbe shut
tle. Shed, pick, beat. I’ling to tlie
left, piling to the right. . . . Plant
ing time is a good time, even when
a body sits at a loom. You can
look out over the long porch where
the honeysuckle awning will arch
above the steps, and across the
gray palings at the corner of the
wood-lot and Mother’s garden, and
over the roof of the corn-crib and
the cider mill and tan-bark shed,
above tlie sea of peach tree buds,
and tlie spring-tangled green of the
willows. Daddy and the boys out
in the bottoms and on tbe cleared
edges of the hills with the mules
turning over the rich soli, getting
ready for me to drop the thick wax
beans into the hills of corn nnd
watch them lie there, pink anil la
vender and purple striped beads by
the side of the yellow grains of
corn. Covering them over with a
brown blanket of parth and saying
to them: ‘Shut your eyes and go
to sleep for a short spell, but don’t
fail to wake up witli the sun when
it Is morning.’
“There’ll be sugar-cane growing
up like henrtti brooms for thick
brown sorghum, and big potatoes in
Barn Hollow, and long yellow sweet
“You Are the Purtieet Sight I Ever
Saw In My Born Days."
potatoes in House Field, and
peaches and apples for drying and
to make butter of, and pears for
preserves in Mother'9 spiced earth
enware jars.”
Outside, the hollow was full of
life and sound as it always was, as
it always had been in the spring:
the chickens in the barnyard, the
scream of the hawks darting across
the hollow, the liquid notes of nest
ing cardinals, the dolorous cooing
of doves in the tulip trees.
"There’s Mother going into her
garden. How she loves to pull a
hoe through the ground and rake
it alive into beds of parsnips and
radishes and beets and lettuce, and
build up little moutids exactly a hoe
handle apart for rnuskmelons, and
arranging everything according to
its height In the sun and its shad
ow’s length and decorating all the
edges with flowers. It’s like weav
ing a patterned blanket.”
Passing slowly along a row, Julia
framed herself in the window be
fore Cynthia. She stooped In a
graceful arc, bending to the hoe.
Cynthia waved to her out of the
bubble of joy that was within her.
“She keeps breaking up the clods
and pounding at them until she lias
out every one that’s bigger than a
swallow’s egg. She is pretty Motli
er is.
“She was a whole lot purtler when
she was eighteen than I am. She
was taller and straighter and her
tiair was brown and her teeth whit
er. Will I lie standing in the wood
lot with a dress full of pine chips
when a man comes riding up Wolf
pen? I’ll know him the minute I
set eyes on him, Just like Mother
knew Daddy. ‘I just stood there,
Cynthia, and gawked right at him
with my mouth gaping open, I reck
on. lie had ridden all the way
from Wolfpen down to Scioto to
see ills sister, your Aunt Itachei.
He was tall and straight, and his
beard was silky and (lax-colored. I
Just stared like an owl surprised by
a light. He pulled up ids horse
right in front of the gate and his
blue eyes looked agape at me. Then
he said, “You’re the purtiest sight
I ever saw In my born days." Then
| I looked down, reddening to the
roots of my hair, and saw me hold
ing my dress up full of chips. I
was so plagued I could have crawled
In a pin-hole. I dropped the chips
and ran like a scared rabbit bnck
to the kitchen and looked back
from the curtained window. He sat
there on his big bay horse In a
trance, and then rode on at a gal
lop to your Aunt Rachel’s. And
that’s the first time I ever saw
Sparrel Pattern.’
“Some day he’ll come riding up
Wolfpen here on a bay mare that’s
fifteen bands or better, and I’ll be
there by the pear tree In my blue
cashmere dress with one hand lift
ed to a branch of blossoms like
this, and he’ll stop Ids mare and
look and look at me, and then say,
‘Lady, you're the prettiest sight 1
ever saw In my life.”’
While her fingers tossed delicate
ly the shuttle of blue wool between
the shed of golden thread in the
harness, and the bolt of twill grew
by the width of each strand, the
smell of the pines on Crauesnest
Mountninwus gathered up and blown
lightly on the wind Into her thoughts
through the open window by the
loom.
“People ought to have been trees;
they live quiet and don’t make trou
ble for other people. They say folks
are like dogs and chickens and foxes
and such, but they're like trees.
Mother is a spray of April redbud
looking at herself In clear pool.
I>addy Is n good hickory, not tough
but straight and honest. I'll he a
pear tree by the well with pink
edged blossoms and gold In the
heart. . .
The days were growing longer ov
er Wolfpen Hollows. Cynthia spoke
about It, watching the long shad
ows going before the blaze of sun
Into the timber earlier in the morn
ing, and coming out later In the aft
ernoon. She was In the Helds for
the planting. She loved to sense
the changing moods of a day from
the cool vigor of the early morning,
through the slowed pace under the
hot sun of noon, then the ebb and
drowsiness of the first hour after
dinner, the dreamy relaxation and
fatigue In the afternoon, the tired
joy of the end of day.
She Ukea best the long silence
of the afternoon when the teams
were scattered with her menfolk
among the fields, near enough to
he seen, far enough not to affect
the moment around her. Then there
was a whispering In the timber
on one slope of the hollow, and an
answering rustle from the opposite
hillside. She thought of what the
trees were saying and saw that
the shadows which came silently
out of the woods and hurried
across the bottoms were the fingers
of tulip trees which would soon be
scattering honey-sweet brown dust
from their bursting hearts’ core.
The mood was different when she
worked with some one, and at Its
best when she helped Jesse set out
the sweet-potato plants.
They went to the hotbeds near
the patch. They carefully pulled off
the sturdy sprouts for planting and
laid them roots down In a shallow
basket. Then Cynthia dropped them
at ten-inch Intervals on the top of
the ridge, and poured a gourd of
water on their roots In the hole
Jesse had made with bis long fin
gers.
Cynthia filled the process with a
delicate mystery, imagining that
she was taking live people from
dark beds where they were crowd
ing one another to death, In the
great cities she had read about, and
giving them space to breathe In the
sunlight and a place for their roots
in the ground.
When they had done with the
last row, and the sun had been be
hind the mountain so long a time
that the dark was coming again,
Jesse remnlned on his knees at the
last plant, rubbing his hands and
picking idly at the dirt on his nails.
“Cynthia."
“What Is It, Jesse?”
“Do you like this, Cynthia?"
“Do I like what?"
"Just being here ail the time this
way, planting, and tending, and
looking after stock, and laying In
grub and wood for the winter, over
and over the same thing?”
“Why, yes, Jesse; whatever else
could a body do, anyway? I could
live here forever and ever. It’s
about the best place In the world.
I reckon, to live in."
“1 know it’s a good place, and it
ain’t that I don’t like It exactly.
But I’d like to he something."
“Be something?"
“Yes. Be something. Live in a
town and have a profession. I don't
want to Just goon on a place where
everything is done and fixed up by
Dad and Granddad and the rest of
them. I don’t see why Jasper nnd
Ahral can't go on with tlie place if
they like, and I’d he something
else.”
"A doctor like Daddy?"
(TO 111. CONTINUED)
Famous Indian Queen
Esther Montour, an Indian chief
tainess, usually known ns Queen Es
ther, was reputed to have been the
granddaughter of Count de Fron
tenac. She became the wife of
Eghobund, a chief of the Senecas,
and gained great influence among
her people. She visited Philadel
phia with the delegates of the Six
Nations on several occasions. De
spite some good qualities, she was a
savage at heart, and In the Wyoming
massacre of July, 1778, toma
hawked more than a dozen prison
ers in revenge for the death of her
son.
Uncommon john blake
Spri cp ♦ ^
KJ V/ 11 O !_/ ^ e Bell Syndicate—WNU Serrtca.
There are few village smithy
shops today under the chestnut
trees. One reason
A Village is that there aren’t
Blacksmith any more chestnut
trees. Another is
that the motor car is rapidly
driving horses and vehicles drawn
by horses out of business.
I used to think that in fifty
years or more practically all the
village smithies would disappear.
But lately I have learned better.
Here in a little coast town in
Maine is a village blacksmith who
has more work than he can do.
though he has probably not shod
a horse or repaired an agricul
tural implement in twenty years
or more.
• • •
For a time after the “devil wa
gons’’ began crowding horses and
horse drawn vehicles off the road,
he had little to do.
Then one day he saw some or
namental grill work that had been
sent to his town to be used as an
adornment on a new building.
He examined it carefully, then
went home and thought a little.
“There is no reason in the world
why 1 cannot do that kind of
work,” he said to himself. “I will
do it, by Gosh.”
* * *
Today the children still "love to
see his flaming forge and hear the
bellows blow."
Over the anvil on which he used
to fashion horse shoes he makes
beautiful things of steel and iron.
Visitors seeing him at work have
come in to inquire if his handi
work was on sale.
He assured them that it cer
tainly was, and that more of the
same kind of work would be in
evidence as soon as there was a
demand for it.
He is known today all over the
state, and in many other states,
whose residents have bought his
work.
And if he had the advertising
gift that some people have he
would have a wide reputation.
But not, I am sorry to say, a
great business.
For his work is artistry, and
cannot be done in quantity over a
single anvil.
• • «
It cannot be said of him that he
is another Benvenuto Cellini. He
works in iron, not in silver and
gold.
But he is a master craftsman,
which he never might have be
come had he not been forced by
changing conditions to become
something besides the village
blacksmith.
I saw him at work the other
morning on a pair of beautiful
andirons.
I asked him what they cost.
"A lot of time,” he said.
“Yes, but how much money?”
‘‘Oh, not so much. But the fel
low I’m making them for isn’t
rich so I wouldn’t like to charge
him too much.”
And there was proof that he
really had the soul of an artist.
Look Outward
On Your Vacation
There is no other rejuvenator
equal to a vacation taken in the
right spirit. If you go away with
your mind filled with your busi
ness, your profession, your house
hold cares, your studies, or your
plans for the future, and if you
keep thinking of those things, you
might as well stay at home. If
your eyes look inward instead of
outward; if your ears still hear
the hum of the factory and the
noise of the busy streets; if you
carry with you the burdens and
perplexities which have been
pinning you down and robbing
you of sleep and comfort, you
will gain nothing from your outing.
Unique Strike
Recently in Damascus, Syria,
the police displeased the guild of
thieves and robbers, which, in re
taliation, called a strike in the
hope that the subsequent inactivi
ty of the police force would re
sult in numerous dismissals. For
many weeks the burglars and
bandits of the city refused to
steal a single thing.—Collier’s
Weekly.
Trifles
ALL the relations of life are
interwoven with trifles,
and unless the shuttle is plied
with a skillful hand, the tex
ture of the web will be full of
knots, and of many discordant
colors. Let us fully appreci
ate trifles; look at them close
ly, but let them be reflected
by the sunbeams of charity,
arranged and woven together
by sound discretion, that an
even beautiful fabric may be
presented before the gazing
millions, at the great day of
final examination.—L. C. Jud
son.
Sublime living stamps beau
ty upon the face.
mYim ^ ^ 'Hm*
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I enclose_Post's Brin Flakes package- i
tops. Please send me the items checked below. |
( ) Official Wing-Badge (send l package-top) |
( ) Capt. Hawks' Photo (send l package-top) j
(Put correct postage on letter) ,
Name-—Age J
Street J
City_State—__ , . |
(Offer good only in V.S. A. and expires Dee. 51,1956) I
L._______—_<4