Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- Old Caravan Days - 1/29 -


OLD CARAVAN DAYS

BY

MARY HARTWELL CATHERWOOD

CONTENTS.

I. THE START

II. THE LITTLE OLD MAN WITH A BAG ON HIS BACK

III. THE TAVERN

IV. THE SUSAN HOUSE

V. THE SUSAN HOUSE CELLAR

VI. MR. MATTHEWS

VII. ZENE'S MAN AND WOMAN

VIII. LITTLE ANT RED AND BIG ANT BLACK

IX. THE GREAT CAMP MEETING

X. THE CRY OF A CHILD IN THE NIGHT

XI. THE DARKENED WAGON

XII. JONATHAN AND THRUSTY ELLEN

XIII. FAIRY CARRIE AND THE PIG-HEADED MAN

XIV. SEARCHING

XV. THE SPROUTING

XVI. THE MINSTREL

XVII. THE HOUSE WITH LOG STEPS

XVIII. "COME TO MAMMA!"

XIX. FAIRY CARRIE DEPARTS

XX. SUNDAY ON THE ROAD

XXI. HER MOTHER ARRIVES

XXII. A COUNTRY SUNDAY-SCHOOL

XXIII. FORWARD

XXIV. THE TOLL-WOMAN

XXV. THE ROBBERS

XXVI. THE FAIR AND THE FIERCE BANDIT

XXVII. A NIGHT PICTURE OF HOME

OLD CARAVAN DAYS.

CHAPTER I.

THE START.

In the year eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, on the fifth day of June, the Padgett carriage-horses faced the west, and their mistress gathered the lines into her mitted hands.

The moving-wagon was ready in front of the carriage. It was to be driven by Zene, the lame hired man. Zene was taking a last drink from that well at the edge of the garden, which lay so deep that your face looked like a star in it. Robert Day Padgett, Mrs. Padgett's grandson, who sat on the back seat of the carriage, decided that he must have one more drink, and his aunt Corinne who sat beside him, was made thirsty by his decision. So the two children let down the carriage steps and ran to the well.

It was like Sunday all over the farm, only the cattle were not straying over the fields. The house was shut up, its new inhabitants not having arrived. Some neighbor women had come to bid the family good-bye again, though it was so early that the garden lay in heavy dew. These good friends stood around the carriage; one of them held the front-door key in trust for the new purchaser. They all called the straight old lady who held the lines grandma Padgett. She was grandma Padgett to the entire neighborhood, and they shook their heads sorrowfully in remembering that her blue spectacles, her ancient Leghorn bonnet, her Quaker shoulder cape and decided face might be vanishing from them forever.

"You'll come back to Ohio," said one neighbor. "The wild Western prairie country won't suit you at all."

"I'm not denying," returned grandma Padgett, "that I could end my days in peace on the farm here; but son Tip can do very little here, and he can do well out there. I've lost my entire family except son Tip and the baby of all, you know. And it's not my wish to be separated from son Tip in my declining years."

The neighbors murmured that they knew, and one of them inquired as she had often inquired before, at what precise point grandma Padgett's son was to meet the party; and she replied as if giving new information, that it was at the Illinois State line.

"You'll have pretty weather," said another woman, squinting-in the early sun.

"Grandma Padgett won't care for weather," observed the neighbor with the key. "She moved out from Virginia in the dead o' winter."

"Yes; I was but a child," said grandma Padgett, "and this country one unbroken wilderness. We came down the Ohio River by flatboat, and moved into this section when the snow was so deep you could ride across stake-and-rider fences on the drifts."

"Folks can get around easier now, though," said the squinting neighbor, "since they got to going on these railroads."

"I shipped part of my goods on the railroad," remarked grandma Padgett with--a laugh. "But I don't know; I ain't used to the things, and I don't know whether I'd resk my bones for a long distance or not. Son Tip went out on the cars."

"The railroads charge so high," murmured a woman near the back wheels. "But they do say you can ride as far West as you're a goin' on the cars."

"How long will you be gettin' through?" inquired another.

"Not more than two or three weeks," replied grandma Padgett resolutely. "It's a little better than three hundred and fifty miles, I believe."

"That's a long distance," sighed the neighbor at the wheels.

But aunt Corinne and her nephew, untroubled by the length of pilgrimage before them, ran from the well into the garden.

"I wish the kerns were ripe," said aunt Corinne. "Look out, Bobaday! You're drabblin' the bottoms of your good pants."

"'Twouldn't do any good if the kerns were ripe," said Bobaday, turning his pepper-and-salt trousers up until the linings showed. "This farm ain't ours now, and we couldn't pull them."

Aunt Corinne paused at the fennel bed: then she impulsively stretched forth her hand and gathered it full.

"I set out these things," said aunt Corinne, "and I ain't countin' them sold till the wagon starts." So she gathered sweetbrier, and a leaf of sage and two or three pinks.

"O Bobaday," said aunt Corinne--this name being a childish corruption of Robert Day: for aunt Corinne two years younger than her nephew, and had talked baby talk when he prided himself on distinct English--"you s'pose brother Tip's got a garden like this at the new place? Oh, the pretty little primroses! Who'll watch them pop open to-night? How you and me have sat on the primrose bed and watched the t-e-e-nty buds swell and swell till finally--pop! they smack their lips and burst wide open!"

"We'll have a primrose bed out West," said Bobaday. "We'll plant sweet anise too, and have caraway seeds to put in the cakes. Aunt Krin, did you know grandma's goin' to have green kern pie when we stop for dinner to-day?"

"I knew there was kern pie made," said aunt Krin. "I guess we better get into the carriage."

She held her short dress away from the bushes, and scampered with Bobaday into the yard. Here they could not help stopping on the warped floor of the porch to look into the empty house. It looked lonesome already. A mouse had ventured out of the closet by the tall sitting-room mantel; and a faint outline of the clock's shape remained on the wall.

The house with its trees was soon fading into the past. The neighbors were going home by the road or across fields. Zene's wagon, drawn by the old white and gray, moved ahead at a good pace. It was covered with white canvas drawn tight over hoops which were held by iron clamps to the wagon-sides. At the front opening sat Zene, resting his feet on the tongue. The rear opening was puckered to a


Old Caravan Days - 1/29

    Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6   10   20   29 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything