Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
THE SPITE FENCE.
By Hubert Roscoe.
(Copyright by W. G, Chapman.)
It certainly was a "desirable
property from every point of
view, but one point of view was
permanently excluded, and that
was the outlook upon old Mr.
Smith's garden, almost big
enough for the grounds of an in-
"If s Really You, Adelina?"
stitution, and from Mr. Smith's
front gate Mrs. Harnack could
see rows of magnificent elms and
locust trees and flower bedswhich
always seemed to blossom with
seasonable flowers. But from her
side windows she could see noth
ing "It's the spite fence," explained
'the agent "That's why the prop
erty's so cheap. Mr. Smith re
sented the late owner's building
next to him and so he put it up."
It was a formidable fence,
twenty feet high, and built of
lumber, painted green on Mr.
Smith's side and bearing a luxur
iant growth of ivy, but on the QUt
side just plain, unpainted boards.
"I think he is a horrid old man,"
said Adelina Harnack angrily.
"And you may tell him so "
"I haven't seen him for two
years," answered the agent. "He
never stirs outside his grounds.
He's an old hermit and has a
grudge against the world. They
say he was crossed in love."
"How old is he?" asked Mrs.
"Oh, about fifty," answered the
So Mrs. Harnack bought the
property. It was just the place,
she told herself, for a widowed
lady to settle down, and there
was an excellent finishing school
near by for Miriam, her only
child. And days passed and weeks
passed, but neither saw Mr.
One day the agent stopped her
in the street.
"I hear you're going to have a
neighbor," he said, grinning.
"What, somebody else going to
build on the other side?" asked
Adelina Harnack apprehensively.
She was afraid of another spite
fence, and she loved the view
from her windows, for Cosset
Town was a jretty place with
shade trees and gardens.
"No, Mrs. Harnack," the agent
answered. "Old Mr. Smith's
nephew John is coming to live