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About The Plattsmouth journal. (Plattsmouth, Nebraska) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 11, 1912)
This romance of Freckles and
the Angel of the Limberloat is
one of the most novel, entertain
ing, wholesome and fascinating
stories that have come from the
pen of an American author in
many years. The characters in
this sylvan tale are-:
Freckles, a plucky waif who
guards the Limberloat timber
leases and dreams of angels.
The Swamp Angel, in whom
Freckles' sweetest dream ma
terializes. McLean, a member of a lumber
company, who befriends Freckles.
Mrs. Duncan, who gives moth
er love and a home to Freckles.
Duncan, head teamster of Mc
Lean's timber gang.
The Bird Woman, who is cot
tecting camera studies of birds
for a book.
Lord and Lady O'More, who
come from It eland in quest of a
The Man of Affairs, brusque
of manner, but big of heart.
Wessner, a timber thief who
wants rascality made easy.
Black Jack, a villain to whom
thought of repentance comes too
WITH HIS 4WAUP AKOIL.
A RATI DUNCAN had not fol
lowed the trail many rods
when her trouble began. She
was not Freckles, and not a
bird of the line was going to be fooled
into thinking she wns. They kept
whizzing from their nests and darting
from all sorts of unexpected places
about her head and feet wltn quick
whirrs that kept her starting and
Jumping. Before Freckles was half
way to the, town poor Mr. Duncan
was hysterical and the Llmberlost had
neither sung nor performed for her.
"I wouldun Htay In this place for a
million a mouth." she had said, nud
Ibe sound of her voice brought no com
tort, for It wns so little like Khe bad
thought it that she glanced hastily
about to see If it had really been she
Her chin wan quivering like a terrl
fled child's. Almost Into her face went
a nlghthawk stretched ulong a limb
for Its daytime nap. Mrs. Duncan
sprang down, the trail, lighting on :i
frog. The croak It gave as she crush
ed it sickened her. She screamed wild
ly and Jumped to one side. Tliut car
ried her into the swale, where the
grasses reached almost to her waist,
aud her horror of snakes returning she
made a flying leap for an old log lying
along the Hue. She lit on it squarely,
but It was so damp and rotten that
she flank straight through it to her
knees. Slio cnught at the wire as
she went down and, missing, rakeil nor
wrist over u barb until she laid it
open in a bleeding gash. Her fingers
closed convulsively around the second
st id ud.
She was too frightened to scream
Low. Her tongue stlDTenrd. She clung
frantically to (he saving wlie i.nd
finally manured to gr;;s, it with tue
uther hand. Tli.'ii she could re:: eh th
top wire, ami so site drew lii'is;lf u;,
nnd found k lid foo.lng. She plikcd
up the cluii I lir.t sh.' h.id dro;pul in
order to extricate herself. Leaning
heavily on it. who got back to Hu
The wind rose higher, the changes
from light to darkness were more
abrupt, and the thunder rame nearer
and louder. In swarms the bind -birds
rose from the swale and came t'..-klng
to the Interior with a clamoring cry,
'TYbeck, tVlieck." tirmkles mar
shaled to their tribal call. "Trull-n-hee.
trnll-ahec." .Ked winged blackbirds
swept low, calling to belated mates,
"I'ol low-me, fo! low-me." Huge jetty
crows gathered about her, crying, as
if warning her to tlee before it was
everlastingly too late. A heron, fish
ing the nearby pool for Freckles' "Und
out" Jrog, fell into trouble with a
nn-ltrat aud let out a rnsnlug jiot
COPYRICHT. I9C4. BY DOUBLEDAY. PACE
Several beta Cimek her aud were nn
giily buzzing about before she noticed
them. Then the humming swelled to
a roar on all sides. A great, convul
sive sob shook her, and she ran Into
the bushes, now into the swale, any
where to avoid the swarming bees,
ducking, dodging, fighting for her very
life. Presently the humming seemed
to grow a little fainter. She found the
trail again aud ran with ull her might
from a few of her angry pursuers.
And as she ran, straining every mus
cle, she suddenly became aware that
crossing the trail before her was a
great, round, black body with brown
markings on Its back, like painted geo
metrical patterns. She tried to stop,
but the louder buzzing behind warned
her she dared not. Gathering her
skirts st 111 higher, with hair flying
about her face and her eyes almost
bursting from their sockets, she ran
straight toward it. The sound of her
feet and the humming of the bees
alarmed the rattler, aud it stopped
squarely across the trail, lifting Its
head above the grasses of the swale
and rattling Inquiringly rattled until
the bees were outdone.
Straight at It went the panic stricken
woman, runulng wildly and uncontrol
lably. She took one great leap, clearing
its body on the path, and then flew on
with winged feet. The snake, colling
to strike, missed Mrs. Duncan and
landed among the bees instead. They
settled over and about it, and, realiz
ing that it had found trouble, It sank
IT K A 10 HT AT IT WENT THB PA 10 STRICK
EN WOM AH.
among the grasses and went thrashing
toward the deep willow fringed low
ground where Its den wns until the
swale looked as if a mighty reaper
were cutting a wide swath. The mass
of enraged bees darted angrily about,
searching for It, and, colliding with
the scrub thorn, began a temporary
settling there to discover whether It
was n suitable place. Mr. Duncan
staggered on a few steps farther, fell
face down on the path, where Freckles
found her, and lay still.
Freckles worked with her until she
drew n long, quivering breath and
opened her eyes.
When Mia saw him bending over her
she closed them tightly and, gripping
him, struggled to her feet. He help
ed her up, and. with his arm about
and half cnrrylng her, they made their
wny to the clearing. Then, brawny
Scotswoman though she wns, she keel
ed over again. The children added
their wailing to Freckles' panic.
This time he was bo near the cabin
that he could carry her Into the house
and lay her on the bed. He sent the
oldest boy scudding down the corduroy
for the nearest neighbor, and between
them they undressed her nnd discover
ed that she was not bitten. They bath
ed and bound up tho bleeding wrist
and coaxed her back to consciousness.
She lay sobbing nnd shuddering. The
first intelligent word she said was,
"Freckles, look at that Jar on tho
kitchen table and see If my yeast is no
Several days went by before she
could give Duncan and Freckles any
detailed account of what had hap
pened to her. She could not rest uutll
she sent for McLean nnd begged him
to save Freckles from further risk
about that place of horrors. The boss
went down to the swamp with his
mind fully made up to do so.
Freckles laughed. "Why, Mr. Me
Lean, don't f ou let a woman's nervous
system set you worrying over mo," he
aid. "I'm not denying how she felt,
because I've In.-en through It meself,
but that's all over aud gone. It's the
helghLpL jne glorjrJojHght Jl out with
the old swamp and all that's In it or
will tie coming to It and then to tur.i
it over to yon. us I promised you and
meself I'd do, sir. You couldn't break
the heart of me entire quicker tha.i
to be taking It from me uow when
I'm just on the home stretch. You
mustn't let a woman get mixed up
with business, for I've always hen"d
about how it's bringing trouble."
The I?trd Woman and the angel ar
rived on time for the third of the
series and found McLean on the line
talking to Freckles. The boss was fill
ed with enthusiasm over a marsh arti
cle of the I'.ird Woman's that he had
just rend. He begged to be allowed
to accompany her Into the swamp nud
watch the method by which she se
cured an illustration in such a loca
The liird Woman explained to hfm
that it was an easy matter with the
subject she then had In hand, and as
Little Chicken was too small to be
frightened by him and large enough
to be getting troublesome, she wmi
glad of his company. They went to
the chicken log together, leaving to
the happy Freckles the care of the
angel, who had brought her banjo and
a roll of songs. The Bird W oman
told them that they might go to Freck
les' room nnd practice until she fin
ished with Little Chicken, and then
she and McLean would come to the
It was almost three hours before
they finished and came down the west
trail. As they reached the bushes ut
the entrance the voice of the angel
stopped them, for It was commanding
and filled with much Impatience.
"Freckles James Ross McLean," she
was saying, "you fill me with dark
blue despair! You're singing as if
your voice was glass and liable to
break at any minute. Why don't you
sing as you did u week ago? You
are a fraud! You led me to think that
there was the making of a great sing
er in you, nnd now you are singing
do you know bow badly you are sing
ing?" "Yla," said Freckles meekly. "I'm
thinking I'm too happy to be singing
well today.' The music don't come
right only when I'm lonesome nnd sad.
The world's for being all sunshine nt
prlslnt, for among you nnd Mr. Mc
Lean nnd the Bird Woman I'm after
being that happy that I can't keep me
thoughts ou me notes. It's more than
sorry I am to be disappointing you.
Play it over, and I'll be beginning
again, nnd this time I'll bold bard."
"Well," said the angel, "It seems to
me that If I had all the things to be
proud of that you have I'd lift up my
head and sing!"
"And what Is It I've to be proud of
ma'am?" politely Inquired Freckles.
"Why, a whole worldful of things,"
cried the angel explosively. "For one
thing, you can be good and proud over
the wny you've kept the timber thieve
out of this lease and the trust your
father baa In you. You can be proud
over the way every one speaks of you.
I heard a man say a few days ago that
the Llmberlost was full of disagreeable
things- positive dangers, unhealthy os
It could be, and that since the memory
of the first "set'lers It -has been a rn-.
dezvous for runaways, thieves bod
murderers. This swamp Is named for
a man that got here nnd wnndcted
around 'till he starved. That man 1
wns talking with said he wouldn't take
your Job for 1,non a month In fact,
lie said he wouldn't have it for any
money, and you've never missed n day
or lost a tree. Proud! Why, I should
think you would Just parade around
nbout proper over that!
"And you can always be proud that
you are bom an Irishman. My father
Is Irish, and If you want to see him
Just get up and strut give him n teeny
opening to enlarge on his race. He
says that If the Irish had decent terri
tory they'd lead the world. He says
they've always been handicapped by
lack of space and of fertile soil. He
says If Ireland had been as big nnd fer
tile ns Indiana, why, England wouldn't
ever have had the upper hnnd. She'd
Just be n little appendage. Fancy Eng
land nn appendage! He says Ireland
has the finest orators and the keenest
statesmen In Europe today, and when
England wants to fight with whom
does she fill her trenches? Irishmen,
of course! Ireland has the greenest
grass and trees, the finest stones and
lakes, nnd they've Jaunting cars. I
don't know just exactly what they are,
but Ireland has all there are anyway.
They've n lot of great actors and ft
few singers, and there never was a
sweeter poet thnn one of theirs. You
should hear my father recite 'Dear
ITarp of My Country.' He does It this
The angel rose, made an elaborate
Id time bow nnd, holding up the ban
Jo, recited in clipping feet and meter,
with rhythmic swing and a touch cf
"Dear harp of my country" (the an
gel ardently clnsncd the banjo), "In
darkness I found thee" (she held it up
to the light); "The cold chain of silence
had hung o'er thee long" (she muted
the strings with her rosy pnlm); "Then
proudly, my own Irish hnrp, I un
bound thee" (she threw up her head
nnd swept a ringing harmony), "And
gave all thy chords to light, freedom
and song" (she crashed into the notes
of the accompaniment she had been
playing for Freckles).
"That's what you want to bo think
ing of!" she cried. "Not darkness and
lonrsomenoss and sndness, but 'light,
freedom nnd song.' I can't begin to
think off hand of all the big, splendid
things an Irishman has to be proud of.
but whatever they are they are all
yours nnd you are a part of tncm. 1
Just despise that 'saddest when I sing'
business. You can sing! Now you go
over there nnd do it! I'm going to
come down the aisle playing that ae-
- v it j
rip A a-nA hfif
If you've got a great-grandfather in your family, ask him what it
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companlhicut. and whe"h 1 slop In front
of you you sing!"
The angel's face wore an unusual
flush. Her eyes were flashing, and
she wns palpitating with earnestness.
She parted the bushes nnd disap
peared. Freckles, straight as a young
pine and with the tenseness of a war
horse scenting battle, stood waiting.
Presently, before he saw she was
there, she was coming down the nlsle
toward blm, playing compelling!)', nnd
rifts of light were touching her with
golden glory. Freckles stood as if
The blood rioted In his veins.
The cathedral was majestically beau
tiful, from arched dome of frescoed
gold, green and blue in never ending
lihndes and hnrmonies to the mosal
iilslo she trod, richly Inlaid In choicest
colors and gigantic pillars that were
God's handiwork fashioned and ier
fe.ted down through ages of sunshine
and rain. But the fair young face
and divinely molded form of the angel
were his most perfert work of all.
Never had she looked so surpassingly
i The was smiling encouragingly now,
and ns she came toward him she struck
ihc chords full and strong.
The heart of poor Freckles almost
burst with dull pain and hi great
love for her. In his desire to fulfill
her expectations he forgot everything
else, and when she reached his Initial
chord he was ready. He literally burst
"Three little leave of Irish rreen
United on one stem.
Love, truth and vnlor do they mfnn.
They form a innglc gem."
The angel's eyes widened curiously,
and her lips fell apart. A heavier col
or swept Into her cheeks. She had
intended to arouse him. She had suc
ceeded with a vengeance. She was
too young to know that In the effort
to rouse a man women frequently kin
dle Ores that lhcy can neither quench
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WM. HOLLY sr-
nor control. Freckles was looking out
over her head now and singing that
song ns It had never leen sung before
for her alone, and instead of her help
ing him, ns she had intended, he was
carrying her with him ou the waves
of his voice awny, uway Into a world
she knew not of. When he struck Into
the chorus, wide eyed and panting,
she was swaying toward him and
playing for dear life to keep up.
"Oil, do you love? Oh, say you love,
You lovo the shamrock greea!"
At the last note Freckles' voice died
away aud It's eyes fastened on the
angel's. He had given his best and
his nil. He fell on bis knees aud fold
ed his arms across his brenst. Tho
angel, as If magnet l.ed, walked straight
down the aisle to him and, running her
fingers Into the crisp masses of his red
hair, tilted his head back and laid her
lips on his forehead.
Then she stepped back and fared
him. "Good boy!" she said in a voice
that wavered from the throbbing of
her shaken heart. "Hear boy I I
knew yon could do It! I knew it wns
In you! Freckles, when you go out
Into the world, Jf you can face a grent
audience and sing like that. Just once,
you will be immortal, and anything
you want will be yours.".
"Anything?" gasped Freckles.
"Anything," said the angel.
Freckles found his feet, muttered
something nnd. catching up his old
bucket, plunged Into the swamp blind
ly on a pretense) of getting water. The
angel walked slowly across the study
and sat down on the rustle bench and
through narrowed lids Intently studied
the tip of her shoe.
(To He Continued.)
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