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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 23, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-06-23/ed-1/seq-18/

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I
OLD MICHAEL
By HarolJCarter.
After Elizabeth and I were mar
ried we did not abandon our habit of
making country excursions on Satur
day afternoons. We always looked
forward to the day when we should
have a country home of our own.
When we set forth we took the trolley
car into the least urban part of the
ji A )
There Was No House Here, Nor Ever
Has Been Only the Wall.
country, and then struck out across
the fields.
It is strange how long one can re
peat such journeys without ever re
peating one's route. It must have
been a year after we were married
that we found ourselves in a little
unknown village, looking at an ivy
clad wall.
Walls wreathed in ivy are plentiful
enough, but not like this one. For
ivy is usually planted at the side of a
house. But there was no house here,
nor ever had been-onlyyie.-' wall,.
rising from its foundation in the mid
dle of a field.
"Looking at old Michael's Folly,
eh?" asked a voice behind us.
We started, Elizabeth and I, for we
had not seen the speaker approach
ing us. He stood still, looking medi
tatively at us. He was a typical
country man, shrewd, somewhat un
couth, evidently gossipy.
"You didn't notice that brick cot
tage as you comealong the pike, did
you?" he inquired. "That's old
Michael's place. Born there, he was,
and I reckon he'll die there. Old, we
call him, though he can't be more
than forty-two or three. But he's
Old Michael to us ever since Pansy
Strother run off with that worthless
Luke Buffum.
"You see, Michael and Pansy had
known each other since they was
kids together, and folks around here
allowed that they'd get married some
time. Michael worked powerful hard
on his farm, and had saved a tidy bit
of money by the time he was twenty
five. Pansy was twenty then, the
sweetest, prettiest girl in the village.
They were to have been married that
fall.
"Pansy wasn't like us. Had a sort
of hankering after flowers and things.
She always wanted an old house to
live in the sort of house that has
old-fashioned clapboards and dormer
windows, y' know."
Elizabeth stole a glance at me and
I felt her hand tighten in mine. For
we had always wanted a house like
that, and, some day, we meant to get
one.
"Well, Michael didn't rightly un
derstand her point of view, but he'd
have done anything Pansy told him
to. So, as she was particularly set
on an old house, he determined to
make the oldness before he built the
house. So he dug a foundation
trench and set up that wall there, and
planted English ivy against it
" 'We'll have four walls up anyway,
Pansy,' he told her, 'and then when
we" can afford to- build, Ahe ivy wiU
fti
A &j&$J3bt'v$&" l&
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