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ADDIE McGRATH LEE. PART I. The pine needles rustled with that cadence peculiar to them under'Nervy Dixon's feet as she made her way slowly up the hill. Haste had no place in her vocabulary, for there had been no occasion for hurrying in all her life. She had been in search of an adventurous hen, who had disdain ed the hay nests in the shed in the shed loft, and "went-a-settin"' in a hollow log down in the woods on her own account. 'Nervy's brown apron held nine fluffy chicks, while the mother hen with outstretched wings, fluttered here and there, .squaking distractedly, taking sudden fright and scurrying into the woods, then return ing with defiant air and the proud cluck of proprietorship. "Seems like yer could sense that I wasn't goin' to hurt 'eh," she remark dd to the distressed hen, "I'd let 'em raise out if the varmint's wouldn't pester 'em, but it ain't no use to think yer could do better by 'em than me." The girl stepped lightly over the mounds formed by Titan groves of forest trees, going straight through the aisles of pine trees to the arch of light beyond what looked like the golden gateway of a brighter world, bat was only her father's clearing after all, where the sunlight fell un broken at noonday, and threw length ened shadows daily from the woods from east to west anf from west to east. A forty-acre clearing that gave evidence of its shiftless proprietor by its unburnt logs and brush heaps, and by the briars and weeds that grew apace with the straggling corn. I A plowshare lay rusting in the ground where Jerry's son Lode had turned his last furrow in the spring. It seemed a pity to have mutilated the heart of the forest for such re sults. Jerry and Lode were averse to labor of any kind, particularly to that heroic sort called "deadening timber" and "log rollin'," and had not extended their clearing further than was actually necessary for a bare sustenance. The great beech trees standing just outside a straggling rail fence, of the antiquated "stake and rider" order and ceased to whis per its alarms to the pines and oaks that stood in straight limbed loveli ness all over the hills down to the bayou. The blackberry, leading a host of riotous vines and brambles, had clamored down the fence and was in undisputed possession of its corners. In the early spring of every year there were tremors of fear among woodland things lest Jerry Dixon should extend the unsightly clearing, but the fears were unfound ed, for the Dixons had each, rather sit upon the banks of the bayou and cast a line for the elusive "goggle eyed" than open new fields for labor. No thought of her father's shiftless ness crossed 'Nervy's mind, for she had always lived in an atmosphere of poverty and neglect, and it had no surprising phases for her. What did surprise her was the sight of a horse and rider coming through the woods from the direction from which she had come. "Who kin it be anyhow!" she ejaculated, trying to trace some points of recognition at a distance. As is usual in rural districts, the horse came in for first consideration. "The creeter do look powerfully like the one Jim Johnson rid to meetin', but it ain't gaited like it were, as I kin see." But she had no idea of leaving her curiosity ungratified, and waited for the approach of the rider. "He ain't from these parts," she concluded, and the discovery seemed to overwhelm her with confusion, for she stood gazing at the ground, dig ging her bare toes into the mellow surface, and with her disengaged hand she twitched nervously at the strings of her sun bonnet, that hung limp over her back, not doing duty as a headgear on this occasion. John Morrison was too tired, dusty and thirsty, and withal too practical to be susceptible to artistic impres sions, else the "study in browns" would have been deemed worthy of more than the glance that interrogat ed, not the girl in meagre brown cot ton dress, sun-bonnet, whose shapely feet, sunburnt face took on the same warm, brown color, but a living crea ture who only meant to him a source from which to derive the information he desired in regard to the timbered lands through which he had just pass ed. "Good morning," he said removing his hat. "Howdye!" returned the girl, still looking down, and it was not until his gaze went beyond her over toward the log house that stood on the oppo site side of the clearing in the shadow of the pines that 'Nervy dared look up. One swift wondering glance told her he was unlike the men she was accustomed to see around the settle ment anid placed him under that com prehensive and exalted category known as "town folks." "Can you tell me who lives here?" he asked. "Over yonder?" she indicated the direction of the house with her head, "Jerry Dixon," steadily looking down. "Is he at home?" asked Morrison. '"Not as I knows on, 'less he's got hack since I left ther." "Could you tell me where I'd be likely to find him?" "Ther ain't no tellin'; like ez 'not he'll come ter dinrer, and like ez not he won't. Yer ain't er wantin' ter see him ar' yer?" 'Nervy looked sus piciously at the stranger, and her wander grew that any man should desire to see her father "on business," as the stranged explained; she had never known the like to occur before. "You could go to ther house an' light, an' wait fer him if yer hav' a mind to," said 'Nervy, her hospitality banishing shyness, an' put yer critter under the shed--ther's corn in the shuck pen," she added. "Thank you," the young man re turned, and dismounting, prepraed to lead his jaded horse to the point des ignated. The girl walked ahead in her characteristic indolent way, paus ing to utter a fierce "shoo e, shoo e!" at the adventurous hen whose chicks she held in her apron, and once she stopped to watch a squirrel scamper up the trunk of a tree. "Is game plentiful hereabout?" asked Morrison, with an effort at I conversation. "Them ar' and ther's a big chance of varmints," she answered without looking at him. The house when reached was not unlike the majority of those in that section, a two-room structure of pine logs, notched and fitted together, the crevices filled in with a mixture of mud and moss, the chimney of this same compound reared its ungainly proportions against one end and seemed a pillar to support the cabin that possessed an oblipue slant in that direction. A long handled gourd, sere and brown, hung near the door, a sample of last year's product of a vine that raged rampant over the fene a*t shed in the rear of the house. A clambering tyrannical vine "'that wouldner growed so fine ef gourds were fitten to eat," as 'Nervy often declared. She deposited her chicks in a coop by the shed while John Morrison put up his horse. "I'll fetch some cool water from the spring fer yer," said she, in a cordial though smileless way, "an' yer make yerself at home," bringing out a chair on the rickety porch, but Morrison picked up the bucket from the shelf near the steps before she could reach it, saying: "Tell ale the direction of the spring and I'll bring the water myself." This unexpected move caused 'Nervy to remonstrate, "I ain't never called on company to tote water yit" --but Morrison only laughed and started off on a footpath that led back into the woods, surmising that the spring was in that direction. Jeary Dixon's world was narrow, but he never grew restless because of its close drawn limits. He knew nothing of the glorious arena stretch ing away beyond his boundaries, he knew nothing of the world, for the throbbing of its great heart had never stirred the pulses of this remote set tlement that was hemmed in on one side by the D'Arbonne bayou, with its margin of swamp, a stream that at unexpected times swelled above its channel, spreading over the swamps and impeding travel. Jerry's world focussed into three points-the bayou, Hudson's store, and the cabin in the clearing. He reached the latter point that August day as John Morrison laved his face, bravely contending with the disadvantage of scooping up the cool water in his hands from a shallow pewter basin on the water shelf. Whatever surprise he felt on seeing a stranger domiciled in his abode he gave no sign. probably he felt none, for that emotion was too 'rapid to stir his sluggish pulse. "Hyar yer?" he said gravely, then turning to Nervy who was washing sweet potatoes, making ready for the noonday meal. "Whar's Lode?" "Dunno; down at the ferry like az not." Young Morrison, having finished his ablutions, turned to Jerry and shook hands in a friendly manner, saying: "MIr. Dixon, my name is Morrison, John Morrison. I was prospecting through this section, have been buy ing up white oaks, and have learned at the settlement that you had a well there and came to find out of you timbered strip of land on the bayou cared to sell any of your white oak timber." Jerry Dixon's equanamity was not to be disturbed by this rapid way of coming to business, and he answered in his usual deliberate way: "All of them trees ar' mine down 'twixt here and the bayou, and ther's a sight of white oalks 'mongst 'em. IWhat do ycr want white oaks fur more'n red oak or water or pin oak? I'm got 'em all kinds on that strip." "I have only been buying white oak timber; it suits my purpose better ithan any other, and if you care to sell I'd like to know your figures." Jerry had no idea of transacting business in a standing position nor of showing an undue haste lest the stranger might fancy him anxious to sell. He motionedkl his guest to the chair 'Nervy had placed on the porch, seated himself on a wooden settle, drawing from his pocket his cob pipe. "Minervy," he called, "bring me a chunk of fire," he always called her by her full name when laboring under strong emotions. The girl appeared carrying a glowing ember between two sticks, flourishing it appallingly near her father's immovable coun tenance, while placing it on his pipe. After several moments of smoke enveloped reflections, Jerry said: "I never knowed as white oak trees were enny better'n other sort ov trees." "Perhaps their general utility is not greater than other timber, but I am getting them for a special pur pose. They are worked up into staves for making wine casks. I have a great deal of timber floated down the bayou andl I am anxious to get all out before a low stage of water. I have my men a few miles above here (Continued on page twelve) Ccount 1YVE THE KIDDIES A SAYINGS ACCOUNT It is a Gift that they will appre elate more and more as the years go by and they come to realize the great benefit and help it will prove to them in later life. Come in and let us explain how to start such an account, and how we aid its growth by adding in terest regularly at- r 4% 7/ LOUISIANA NATIONAL BAHI NK Baton Rouge, La. MOP" two TOBIAS-GASS CO., LTD. THE RELIABLE GROCERS ' Headquarters for the famous P urina F eed in Checkerboard Sacks. Recognized as the best poultry and stock feed in the world. fý All Kinds of Groceries, Farm Implements, Wire Roofing, Paints and Everything Used on the Farm or in the Home. Fresh Vegetables and Fruits always on hand. Corner North and Gaine Streets. AGENTS FOR POPE'S BICYCLES Phones 18 and 947 Ex fbe BATTERIES are in all 'adillacs, Packards, Buicks, Hudsons, Essexs, Dodges and Fords. 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