The Light in the Clearing |
A TALE of the NORTH COUNTRY in the TIME of SILAS WRIGHT «I
Author of Eben Holden, D'rl and I, Darrel of the
Bleated Iule», Keeping Up With Lizzie, Etc., Etc.
By IRVING BACHELLER
Co|>yrijrht by IrWtVj*' >>ach«ller
The Light In the Clearing »hone upon
things and mostly upon tho«e
which, above all other», have Impassioned
and perpetunted the Spirit of America
and which, Ju»t now, seem to mo to lx
worthy of attention. 1 believe that »plrlt
to bo tho very candi» of tho Lord which.
In this dark and windy night of time, hu«
lllckcrod uo that the souls of the faithful
But let us be of good
It Is shining brighter a» I write
have been afraid,
and, under Uod, 1 believe It shell, by and
by, be seen and loved of all men.
One self-oonlalned, Homeric figure, of
the remote eounlry-slde In whleh
born, had the true Spirit of iJemneracy
and shed Its light abroad In the minute of
tho United States and thu eapltol at Al
bany. He carried the Candle of the laird.
It led him to a height of self-forgetful
achieved by only two others—-Wash.
Ington and Istnroln. Yet I Iiuvh boon niir
prlood by the profound and irnrrul 1K
noianae of thl» gcnoratlon regarding the
career of Silas Wright.
The distinguished senator who nerved
at Ills side for many yenrs, Thomas H.
Ilenton of Mlasourl, has this to say of
Sllnn Wright In Ids Thirty Years' View:
"He refused cabinet appointment» tin
der his faat friend Van Bui'en and under
I'olk, whom he may he said to have
elected. He refused a seal on tho beneh
of the Supreme court of the United
Slates; ho rejected Instantly the nomina
tion In 1844 for vice president; he refused
to bo pul In nomination for the prt-sl
dency. He spent that time In declining
office which others did In winning It. Tho
nrfteus ho did accept, It might well he
said, were thrust upon him.
great and above office and unwillingly de
a -ended to It."
So tnnoh by way of preparing the reader
to moot the great commoner In these
H«l w*u» born
Then* were those Who
Wright of being a «pollstnan, tl
warrant for which claim would scum to
be his remark In a letter ;
enemies accuse us of feeding our frle
Instead of them never lot them llo In tell
ing the story."
Ho was. In fact, a human being, through
and through, but ho upright thnt they
used to say of him that he was "os hon
est as any man under heaven or In It."
For my knowledge of the color and
spirit of the time I am Indebted to a long
course of reading In Its books, newspn
purs and periodicals, notably the North
American Itovlow, the United Btates Mag
asins and Democratic Ravlew, the New
York Mirror, the Knickerbocker, the Bt.
Years' View. Ha
Van Huron, histories of Wright ami hl»
time by Hammond and Janklns,
many manuscript letters of tin
KUlnhod commoner In the New York pub
lie library and In Urn possession of Mr
Hamuel Wright of Wcybrtdgo. Vermont.
To any who may think that they die
portraits In these pages 1 desire ti
that all the characters—save on 1
cm * - i
Ht Ins Wright and President Va
and llnrton Rayne* ure purely Imugtn
ary However, there
anil Purvises nnd Dinks»» anil Aunt Peels
and Uncle Peabody» In almost every rus
tlo neighborhood those days, ami I regret
to add that Roving Kata was on many
roads The caae nr A mo» Orlmshaw bears
a striking resemblance to thut of young
ritckford, executed long ago In Malone,
for the jmrtlculnrH of
Indebted to tny frleml, Mr. II. L.
Whioh Is the Story of the Candle
and the Compass.
The Melon Harvest.
Once upon a time 1 owned a water
melon. I say once because 1 never did
It again. When I got through owning
that melon l never wauled another.
The time was 1831 ; I was a hoy of
and tho iiielou was tho first of
all my harvests.
1 didn't know much about myself
those days en ept the fact that my
that I wuh an orphan who owned a
watermelon and u little »potted hell
and lived »n Uuttlerond In a neighbor
hood called Llckllyspllt. I lived with
my Aunt Deel mid my Uncle Penliody
Baynes on a farm. They were brother
and sister—he about Uilrty-elght and
she a little beyond the far-distant goal
Bart llnynes und, further,
My father and mother died In a
scourge of diphtheria that swept the
neighborhood when I was a hoy of
A few days after I arrived In the
home of my aunt mid uncle I slyly en
tered the parlor and climbed the what
not to examine some white flowers bn
Its top shelf «ml Upped the whole
thing over, scattering Its burden of
albums, wax flowers mid aeashells
on the floor,
on her tiptoes hiuI exclaimed : "Mercy !
Come right out o' here this minute—
My aunt eante running
you pest !"
1 took some rather long steps going
out, which were due to the tact that
Aunt Deel had hold of my hand. While j
1 sat weeping site went back into the
I arlor mid began to pick up things.
"My wreath! my wreath!" I heard
How well 1 remember that little as
semblage of flower ghosts In wax 1
Tluny h»*l no mort* right to nsKMlute
with human being» than the gliosis of |
fable. Uncle Peabody used to call
them the "Mlnervy flowers" because
they were u present from iii« Aunt
Minerva. When Aunt Deel returned
to the kitchen where I sat—a sorrow
ing little refugee hunched up In a cor
ner-—«he said: "I'll have to tell your
Uncle Peabody—»yes I"
"Oh please don't tell my Uncle Pea
body," I walled.
"Ayes 1 I'll have to tell him," ehe
For the first time I looked for him
Ith dread lit the window and when
lie ctime I hid In a close
that solemn and pen .rating note In
her voice us she said :
"I guess you'll have to take that boy
"What now?" he asked.
"My stars! he sneaked Into the par
lor and tipped over the what-not and
smashed that beautiful wax wreath !"
four-corners!"' he ex
claimed. "I'll have t<
He Stopped os he was wont to do on
the threshold of strong opinions and
The rest of the conversation was
drowned In my own cries and Uncle
Peabody rame and lifted me tenderly
and carried me upstairs.
He sot down with me on his lap and
hushed my cries. Then he suid very
"Now, 'tub, you and me have got to
lie coreful. What-nots and alliums
und wax dowers ami haircloth sofys
are tho most dung'rous critters in Ht.
Lawrence county. They're purty sav
age. Keep your eye peeled. You cun't
tell wlmt minute they'll Jump on ye.
More boys have been dragged away
and tore to pieces by 'em than by nil
Hie hears and panthers In the woods.
Keep out o' that old parlor. Ye might
as well go Into a euge o' wolves, IIow
be I gain' to make ye remember It?"
"I don't know," I whimpered and be
gan to cry out In fearful anticipation.
lie set. me In n ehntr, picked up one
of'his old carpet slippers and began to
thump the lied witli it.
the bed with tremendous vigor. Mean
while la- looked nl me anil exclaimed:
"You dreadful child I"
I knew that my sins were responsi
ble for this violence. It frightened mo
and my cries Increased.
The door at the bottom of the stairs
If lie were very tired und then 1 caught
it look In his face that reassured me.
Aunt Deel called :
"Don't lose your temper, Peabody. I
think you've gone fur 'nough—ayes !"
Uncle Peabody stopped and blew ns
Ho called hack In her:
'a' cared so much If It hadn't 'u' been
Uxii — •*
He Belabored the Bed With Tremen
dous Vigor, Exclaiming "You Dread
tim what-not mid them Mlnervy dow
ers. When n hoy tips over u what-not
lie's goln' It party strong."
better come now anil git me a pall o'
water—ayes, I think ye hml."
Uncle Peabody did a lot of sneezing
und coughing with his big, red hand
kerchief over tils face und 1 was not
old enough then to understand it. He
kissed me and took my little hand In
his Mg laird one und lud me down the
"Well, don't he too Severe.
1 dreamed that night that a long-leg
ged what-not. with a wax wreath In Its j
■based me around the house
mid caught and lilt me on the mvk.
c alled for help und unole came und
found me on the floor mid put me hack j
in lied ugnln.
For a long time I thought that the ]
man punished n hoy was hy
thumping his bed. 1 knew that women
j had a différant and less satisfactory
method, for I remembered that niy
mother hml spunked me and Aunt Deel
hml a way of giving m.v hands and (
la nd a kind of watermelon thump with ;
the middle Unger of her right hand and
with a curious look In her eyes. Uncle
Peabody used to call It a "snuptlous !
Almost always he whacked tho |
bed with his slipper. Thera were ex
ceptions, however, and, hy and hy, 1
came i» know iu *•
nation of the slipper, for If I had done
anything whleh really afflicted my
science that strip of leather seemed to
know the truth, and found Its way to
of | look."
•U Cilse the lleStl
Aunt Deel tolled Incessantly,
washed and scrubbed and polished and
dusted and sewed and knit from morn
ing until night She lived in mortal
fear that company would come and
find her unprepared—Alma Jones or
Juhez Lincoln and his wile, or Ben and
Mary Humphries, or ''Mr. and Mrs.
Horace Dunkelberg." These were the
people of whom she talked when the
neighbors came In and when she was
not talking of the Bayneses. I observed
that she always said "Mr. and Mrs.
Horace Dunkelberg." They were the
conversational ornaments of our homo.
"As Mrs. Horace Dunkelberg says," or,
"as I said to Mr. Horace Dunkelberg,"
were phrases calculated to establish
our social standing. I supposed that
the world was peopled by Joneses, Lin
colns, Humphries ami Dunkelberg».
but mostly by Dunkelbergs. These lat
ter were very rich people who lived in
I know, now, how dearly Aunt Drei
loved her brother anil me. I must huve
been a great trial to that woman of
forty unused to the pranks of chil
dren and the tender offices of a moth
er. Naturally I turned from her to
my Uncle Beubody us u refuge and a
help it, time of trouble, with Increasing
fondness. He had no knitting or sew
ing to dtf and when Uncle Peabody sat
in the house he gave all Ills time to
me and we weathered many a storm
together as we sat silently In his fu
voritu corner, of an evening, when J.
always went to sleep la his arms.
I was seven years old when Uncle
I'oubody gave me the watermelon
seeds. 1 put one of them In my mouth
and bit it.
"It appears to me there's an awful
draft blowln' down your throat," said
Uncle Peabody. ''You ain't no busi
ness eutln' a melon seed."
"Why?" was my query.
"'Cause It was made to put In tho
ground. Didn't you know It was ullve?"
"Alive I" I exclaimed.
"Alive," saltl he. "I'll show ye."
He put a number of the seeds In
the ground and covered them, nnd
said that pnrt of the garden should
he mine. I watched It every duy and
hy and by two vines came up. One
sickened and tiled in dry weather. Un
do Peabody said that I must water
tlul other every day.
fully and the vine throve.
It was hard work, I thought, to go
down Into the garden, night and morn
ing, with my little pall full of water,
hut uncle said that I should get my
pay when tho melon was rljie. I, lay l
also (a keep tho wood-box full nnd
feed the chickens. They were odious
tasks. When 1 asked Aunt Deel what
I dill It fulth
I should get for doing them she an
"Nospnnks and breud und butter—
When I asked what wore "nospanks"
she told me that they were part of
the wages of a good child. I was
butter paid for my cure of the water
melon vine, for Ils growth was mea
sured with a siring every day und kept
me Interested. One morning I found
live blossoms on It. I picked one and
carried It to Aunt Deel. Another I
destroyed In tho tragedy of catching
a bumblebee which had crawled Into
In dfte time three small niel
When they were as
Mg ns a hasehall 1 picked two of them.
Uno I tasted and threw away as I
ran to the pump for relief. Tho other
I hurled at a dog on my way to
So that last melon on the vine had
It grew In
my undivided affection,
size und repututlou,
leu rued thut a reputation Is about tho
worst thing that a watermelon can
Acquire while It Is on the vine. I in
vited everybody thut came to the
house to go and see tuy watermelon.
They looked It over und suid pleas
ant things about It. When 1 was a
hoy people uaed to treat children nnd
watermelons with u like solicitude.
Both were a subject for jests and
produced similar reactions In the hu
At last Uncle Peabody agreed with
me that It was about time to pick the
melon. 1 decided to pick It immediate
ly nftvr meeting on Sunday, so that
1 could give It to my mint, and uncle
When we got home
My feet nnd
l ran for the garden.
those of our friends mid neighbors
lind literally worn a path to ttie mol
j cm. In eager haste 1 got my little
wheelbarrow nnd ran with It to the
There I found
] end of thnt path.
nothing hut broken vines! The melon
hml vanished. 1 ran back to tho
house almost overcome by
of alarm, for 1 had thought long of
that hour of pride when 1 slmu . ,
( bring the melon and present it to my j
; aunt and uncle,
melon Is gone."
! "Well, 1 van!" said he. "somebody
| must V stole It."
There were tears In my eyes when
l «ski'd :
"They'll bring It hack, won't they?"
"Never 1" satd Uncle Peabody, "I'm
afraid they've et It up."
"Uncle Peabody," I shouted, "my ;
"But tt was my melon," I said with
a trembling voice.
Burt, you ain't learned ytt that there
are wicked people in the world who
come and take what don't belong to
' Yes, and I vuni U*» t
He had no soonqr said it than A
cry broke from my lips, and I sunk
down upon the grass moaning and
sobbing. I lay amidst the ruin» of
the simple faith of childhood,
as if the world and alt Its Joys had
come to an end.
Aunt Deel spoke In a low, kindly
tone and came and lifted me to my
feet very tenderly.
"Come. Bart, don't »feel so about
that old melon," said she,
worth it. Como with me.
to give you u present—ayes I be!"
I was still crying when she took
me to her trunk, and offered the
grateful assuugement of candy and
a belt, all embroidered with blue and
"Now you see, Bart, how low and
mean anybody Is that takes what
don't belong to 'em—ayes 1 They're
snakes ! Everybody hates 'em an'
stamps on 'em when they come in
Tho abomination of the Lord was
He who had taken
In her look and manner,
shook my soul !
the watermelon hud also taken from
me something I was never to have
again, and a very wonderful thing It
was—faith In the goodness of men.
My eyes had seen evil,
had committed Its first offense against
me and my spirit was no longer the
white and beautiful thing It had been.
Still, therein Is the beginning of wis
dom und, looking down the long vista
of the yeurs, I thank God for the
great harvest of the lost watermelon.
Better things had come in Its place—
understanding and what more, often
I have vainly tried to estimate,
one thing that sudden revelation of
the heart of childhood had lifted my
mint's out of the cold storage of a
puritanic spirit, and warmed It into
life and opened Its door for me.
In the afternoon she sent me over
to Wills' to borrow a little tea.
stopped for a few minutes to play
with Henry Wills—a hoy not quite
a year older than I. While playing
there I discovered a piece of the
rind of my melon In the dooryard. On
that piece of rind I saw the cross
which I had made one day with my
thumb-nail. It was Intended to In
dicate that the melon was solely and
wholly mine. I felt a flush of anger.
"I hate you," I said as I approached
"I hate you," he answered.
"I hate you," he answered.
"You're a snake!" I suid
We now stood, fuee to face nnd
breast to breust, like a-pair of young
He gave me a shove and
told mo to go home. I gave him a
shove nnd told hlm I wouldn't,
pushed tip closo to him again and
we glared Into each other's eyes.
Suddenly he spat In my face,
gave him a scratch on tlio forehead
with my finger-nails. Then we fell
each other and rolled on the
ground and hit and scratched with
Mrs. Wilis ran out of the house and
parted us. Our blood was hot, and
leaking through the skin of our faces
"He pitched on me," Henry ex
I couldn't speak.
"Go right home—this minute—you
brat !" said Mrs, Willis in anger.
"Here's your ten. Don't you ever come
I took the ten and started down the
What a bitter day
I dreaded to face
that was for me!
my aunt nnd uncle,
the grove down by our gute I met
Sight of the father of the prodigal son
he had seen me coming "a loug way
With the kecu in
off" mid shouted:
"Well, here ye be—I was kind o't
Then his eye caught the look of de
jection in my gnlt and figure,
rled toward me.
came sobbing to his feet.
"Why, wliat's the matter?'' he asked
gently, ns he took the ten cap Loin
my hand, and »at down upon his heels.
lie stopped as I
Barton meets the
golden-haired Sally, whose pret
ty face and fine clothes fascinate
the boy, whose few years have
been »pent in quite another
tells of some other Interesting
with whom Barton be
(.TO BB CONTINUED.)
Merely a Superstition.
There Is no kind or a rod, or instru
ment, which will locate minerals In the
earth with nnv decree of certainty.
Sometimes a bed of Iran ore will affect
the magnetic noodle of a compass,
of a surveying instrument, but^ there
Is nothing Unit Will locate the precious
The Wave* of Mich!g«n.
When I see the waves of Lake Mich
igan toss In the bleak snowstorm,
how small nnd Inadequate the
But Tennyson, with
common poet Is.
Ins eagle over the sea, has shown his
$ in the
Girl Gob Goes to Have Her P-p-pic-cher Taken
C HICAGO.—"A Kiri got»! Well, 111 be-" quoth Patrolman Harold Foss.
He cocked his head on one side and then he cocked it on the other to see it
Vision good, mentally noted Patrolman Foss,
ever see a copper run down a girl gob?
Big flat feet went clump, clump, clump.
Li'l bitty feet went tumpetty, turapet
t.v, tump. Big copper wheezed like an
undent fllv. Gobbess' hair came down
and waved in the air.
and squawked like a frightened bird.
Then the hand of the law descended.
wept at the station and
he saw aright.
Miss Lydia Grelger,
"I'll t-t-take these o-o-off If you'll
lemme g-g-go h-h-home." she sobbed.
And then, as she wiped away tears
and her chin trembled some more, she
the street t-t-two blocks to get my p-p-pic-cher
"I only w-w-went d-d-down
token In 'em." ,,
Well, a policewoman started out with the girl gob and the trail led to the
home of Louis Berger, 636 Blackhawlc street. Louis, bluejacket, was also in
Louis had lent 'em to her for the picture and gobs can't go out wlth
The little brown head of the girl gob went Instinctively to his manly
bosom and his arm closed about her. Tears trickled into the blanket that he
held Indian fashion.
"We're going to got married," came In muffled words from where Lydia
hid her head.
"Sure are, lamb," said Bluejacket Berger to the little girl gob.
they lock you up they'll have to lock me up in the same cell !"
"He said he'd been at sea for 17 months and had come home to marry
her," explained the policewoman to, the lieutenant. And then the police
sighed and cell door opened for the gobbess.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
Not Yet, Old Scout, but Soon—and Darn Soon!
r% lULADELPHIA.—Time: The day of the fake news of Germany's surrender.
T Scene : The great bunking office of Drexçl & Co. In the midst of subdued
and decorous rejoicing the office boy was heard to exclaim : "Gee ! Here comes
old Duval." Entered a little old man,
limping and with
from the thrust of a German bayonet
at Sedan 48 yeurs ago.
erlshed, he sharpens knives nnd razors
for the office force.
"Observe, m'sleur ; but
franc and she Is as good us new," he
began, but his patron Intern; pted him
=. to tell the good news.
Contrary to expectations, old Du
o-V" val did not toss his hat skywnrd, nelth
did he shout for joy. He stood as if
dazed ; then n look of purest, most radiant joy Illumined his features. His
Is fell unheeded at his feet, he snatched the worn hat from his head und
dropped on his knees upon the marble Hoot*,
stretched to heaven, the tears streaming from his upraised eyes, in a voice
quivering with emotion, old Duval began to sing aloud in his native tongue
the strains of the Marseillaise. Ills voice, quavering at first, gained in
strength; all conversation stopped; the typewriters ceased their busy clatter;
removed their hats, and clients writing at desks rose quickly to the!:
With trembling hands out
The shaking old voice arose to a triumphant climax with the final line;
there followed a tense silence for a moment, then came a deep-toned, hearty
"Amen" from, a clerical-looking gentleman near the door,
blew his nose vigorously severnl times; the telephone clanged shrilly nnd the
spell was broken.
But many a column of figures seemed strangely blurred ns heads were
again bent over ledgers, and more than one eyeglass required a brisk polish
ing. It Is not pleasant to speculate upon old Duval's feelings when he later
realized that the glorious tidings were only a hoax, but the kind-hearted office
boy proved to be n true prophet when he comforted the old soldier next dom
ing with these words:
"Not yet, old scout, but soon—and darn soonl"
A portly broker
Mother's Grief Softens Runaway Girl's Heart
T. JOSEPH, MICH.—In these days of opportunity it Is evident that the
_ quiet home life lias lost its charm for many young women. If they cannot
go forth into the world with their parents' blessing—why, they go just the
The police of all cities are be
sieged by distracted parents looking
for daughters who huve disappeared
from sight as If the earth had swal
lowed them. /
Mrs. Paulina Keswick, St. Joseph, -gäsf / t-vj
Mich., appealed to the Chicago police —"
to find her daughter Marjory, seven- —il
The only light on her
teen years old.
disappearance was the following let
ter she left for her mother:
"Dearest Little Mother:
going to he terribly surprised when
y CU g,.t this; maybe you will feel terrible, but try and look at It the best way,
which is the only way.
"I've gene to Chicago to he a companion to an old lady we met this sum
I am going with her for company and to
mer and who does charity work,
amuse her when we are at home.
"It Is all fixed 1 up, and she met me today and we are going to New York,
I'll he perfectly all right, and will write you often and tell
Don't worry, because It will be just like being
where she lives.
you how I mu getting along.
I'll send you some money the very first I get.
"I will send you money every month.
The distracted mother appealed to the Chicago police.
told of her grief and anxiety. Marjory read the newspapers.
She communicated with her mother, who found her in the Y. W. C. A. hotel.
Woman Raises Patriotic Spuds in Her War Garden
ENVER.—Many thousands of patriotic women the country over had success
And doubtless* many of them raised u
But Denver boasts ti woman gardener who hab
apparently established a record for
patriotic success in the line of spuds.
Tills amateur gardener is Mrs.
Grace Sears of 15 Federal boulevard,
Barnaul. And she certainly has a
right to feel proud over her achieve
ful city-lot gardens last summer,
crop of first-class potatoes.
/ftED, WHITE KNOT
! BLUE— ISKT «
l IT JIIJT CRNNO -y'
For she has grown potatoes in the
three colors of the American flag—1
red, white and blue. This is not a
figure of speech, either, written for the
purpose of stirring some other garden
er to emulate or attempt to surpass
the accomplishment. It is an actual growing of potatoes In the three colors.
Mrs. Sears has exhibited 'the potatoes to a number of friends, who have ex
pressed the proper amount of surprise and gratification at the result of her
The red Is the Early Rose, familiar to every grower of spuds within the
last half century.
The white is what Is known as the Burbank potato, and is a clean
skinned. very light variety that fully bears out the designation of white.
l'.ut for the blue potato Mrs. Sears does not have any name. She says tha
It was called "Just blue" to her when she got the tubers which she planted,
and that is all the name she knows for It. But it Is a decided blue In color.
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