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gers the unfinished gingham apron, dis- frightened and wondering children were closing a tireless mother's life, woven sent away. Many willing hands worked in the stitches of the baby garment. out her tasks, while her own lay folded
Before an open window stood the sew- across her pulseless heart. ing machine. A little sleeve held fast by The western sky mirrored the flaming the needle fluttered as the cool breeze of tints of the setting sun, that changed the evening crept in, a kitten tangled a to opalescent hues, while the silent spool of thread,round and round her chair. dusk thickened over the landscape. The bread in the oven had burned black, Behind the house the moon rose. Her and the kettle had boiled itself out. In beams found their way through the the cellar, under the fig trees, pans of branches of the fig, and fell in lacy trathick, leathery cream were ready to be cings on the group of men beneath, as skimmed, and up by the bench of sun- they conversed in monotone, awed by ning, shiny rows of milk-pans, impatient the sudden going ; for death comes in pigs turned over and rolled about the slower forms to most country lives. empty swill-pail.
One was whittling a stick, as they A lagging bee flew about the room, talked of crops and stock. Others then out to the few border-flowers she watched curiously, yet sympathetically, had planted in response to an inborn love the husband, sitting apart. for the beautiful, the common homely The realization that she was gone from little flowers, that had struggled on and him awoke a tender chord in the depth bloomed in spite of heat and chickens. of his nature, and broke the calm monotThe voices of passing neighbors home- ony of his existence. It roused the ward bound mingled with the dying memory of an early romance that had sounds of evening,-still she slept. Far faded years ago, in the necessary strife down the road, bordered with the tall for daily gain. Each dawning year had bunch of grass, came the rumble of found them renewing the old round of empty wagons, nearer and nearer, till duties, as links in an unbroken chain, to the songs of drivers and shouts of child- sow the grain, to watch the varying ren were shaped and blended into dis- weather and market, to meet the taxes. tinctive melody.
Hard continuous toil had leveled all A sudden halt at the gate, the creak- barriers of sex: she had planted the long ing of rusty hinges, the rattling of har- rows of peach trees, now bending under ness chains, the welcoming bark of dogs, the weight of their fuzzy pink-skinned filled the tranquil air. Then a sound of fruit, and in the height of haying season bare, pattering feet, of books thrown by had pumped for the thirsty cattle, as careless, childish hands, eager calls for they stood licking the damp boards of the mother's ever willing servitude. the empty trough.
What was begun Through the low-roofed kitchen to the through pity, became an almost daily sitting and bed room, they trooped,- and custom. What cravings for sympathy started back, their clamorous voices in- or unuttered dreams filled her hungry stantly hushed --- to find her lying on heart were stifled in the continued effort the company quilt. Astonishment merged to meet the stern tax imposed by pressing into fear, as she made no sign, and from needs. Self-interest binds most country that silence, action was born, and the lives, isolation creates a personal dependlesson of life learned.
ence, and so bound by the ties of a The neighbors came in softly and the mutual interest, he had learned to look
to her as a helpmate, a partner who ness of girlhood had returned, and softthrough the thrift and faithful service of ened the pathetic droop about the lips her nature, supplied his life and home he had long forgotten to kiss. In the with the daily needs, and in the busy effort to replace the sheet, his trembling, absorption of the life about them, he had rough, clumsy fingers became entangled lost sight of the finer, tenderer claims she in her hair. had as a woman.
Oppressed by the close room, the The air smelt damp and fragrant with nearness of people, and the emotions that the spicy odor from the dew-moistened seemed to suffocate him, he passed out, fig leaves. He looked out to the shim around to the back of the barn, and sat mering moonlight, and the old familiar down on the tongue of the headerlandscape seemed changed and somber; wagon, while against his knee the old far across the cornfields he saw the house house-dog pressed his nose in dumb where she was born and where they sympathy. were married, standing out sharp, and Too late he read her nature and undersquare, and ugly, from all the softened stood the woman who without complaint beauty of the scene. The tall Lombardy
The tall Lombardy had shared his burdens, borne his childpoplar threw its elongated shadow across ren, and given to them and to him, all the grave of their first-born, the little the patient, unselfish service of her life, grave he had dug in the corner of the till wearied and spent, she had sunk rail-fence, now so plainly outlined by the under the strain. Great beads of mois. glistening row of shells, and over-run by ture stood upon his face, and with a the white verbenas.
hoarse inarticulate cry, he tore at the A cool breeze came down the valley, fastenings of his shirt, while labored sobs starting the canvas fans of the old wind of agony rent his frame, and choked mill, awakening the soft, mysterious the words of remorse he would have sounds of night, to sigh among the trees uttered. and grasses, and bearing the fragrance Inside the house the flickering tallow of peaches still warm from the afternoon candle threw fantastic lights on the bent sun.
The air reverberated with the heads of the women as they sewed upon hoarse croaking of frogs, on the ditch the shroud, and conversed in low whisdown in the alfalfa field.
pers of the dead woman, advancing Touched and pained by the crowding many theories as to how, and why she memories, a feeling of utter loneliness died, and with the freedom of friendship swept over him. Moved by a sudden discussed her faults, and so drifted into impulse, he arose and went in to where personal matters that absorbed their she lay, and lifting the cloth from off her lives. face, stood looking down upon her. The hours wore on, and teams were Death's relaxation stamped on every coming and going far into the night as feature, had smoothed out the deeper the news traveled around the neighborlines, and in the half dusk, the sweet hood.
A. Morgan Hays.
Beneath this mellow sun no field of corn
Shredding the windy and complaining skies;
IT IS an interest
IN the October 1894 numing and pleasing
ber of the OVERLAND there
The fact that in almost
appeared an article by a well every instance the
known English horseman on schools of the State,
the then “Coming Horse and there are 3,100
Show." of them, have re- While the article contained the pictures of newed their sub- most of the noted blooded horses of this Coast scription to the it was written principally with the object in view OVERLAND. t of outlining the classes of horses and turn-outs was said, and i
ould properly appear at such an exhibition was feared that it and the most approved methods for controlling might be true, that the OVERLAND or any and judging all such exhibits. other magazine would be unable to win and During the last days of November and the hold the respect and affection of so vast and first of December the initial Horse-Show took varied an audience as the trustees, teachers, and place at the Mechanics' Pavilion and proved a scholars, of this great State. We have simply tremendous commercial, financial, and social sucdone our best not to truckle but to make the cess. It called the attention of the entire world OVERLAND so valuable an historical and educa- to the blooded horses of this Coast and stimutional work that no school after once becoming lated the demand for California stock. acquainted with it would ever leave it out of its President Henry J. Crocker demonstrated library. We long ago realized that it was im- what he has maintained for years, that San Franpossible to please everybody. One school refused cisco was capable of as great a showing as New to renew their subscription because they found a York. He made the Horse-Show a permanent, champagne “ad” in its columns, another be- yearly festival and the program of the show for cause of two articles, one criticising and the next December promises an exhibition even more other eulogizing the dear old Mission fathers. brilliant and broader than the one of last year. It was a free open discussion, but there were un- The prize list is doubled and State pride will fortunately two sides; another school dropped it be aroused by the participation of Eastern horsebecause of the tender age of its pupils.
men and owners. There is little question of Of course the OVERLAND must plead guilty California's supremacy in the horse line and it to these heinous charges. On the other hand only remains for all horse owners on this Coast almost every County Superintendent of Schools ably to second Mr. Crocker's work. in the State has written unsolicited letters of commendation and encouragement, several of
lately asserted which will be found in the Publisher's Column
by Senator Perkins that
А this month. When it is remembered that the
the Unio Iron works had coming generation of this State are readers of
brought ten million dollars this magazine it will be easily seen what a power
of Easter gold to this Coast for good the OVERLAND will become as the
in paymest for the war-ships years go by.
it has built for the United States Government. four score, And you 're not far away, John,- a few months,
Now this same concern is reaching out for a like amount of Japanese gold, which if it is successful in obtaining will likewise go into the pockets of the citizens of this Coast. Mr. Irving M. Scott has left for Japan to figure with that government for the building of one or more of the great warships that country is soon to build with the money received from the Chinese indemnity. It is a subject of profound congratulation and pride that this city possesses ship yards equal to the great yards of the East and Europe and one that is capable of bidding for such vast contracts. All the influence of this Coast, commercial and political, ought to be brought to bear the Japanese government in Mr. Scott's benefit. A few more industries like the Union Iron Works on this Coast, and the object of the Half Million Club would be accomplished.
To John W. Mackay.
But when the waving grain, John, stood rank
among the pines, And reaching from the plain, John, grew golden
in the mines, We bade goodby for aye, John, to everything
but hope, And took our wintry way, John, adown the
Eastern slope. Years came and sped away, John,- each year a
virile life ; They streaked our beards with gray, John,
brows with lines of strife. Some pressed the grapes of sin, John, while
others played the fox ; You wisely gathered in, John, the vintage of
the rocks. Now silent are the mills, John, and faint their
morning blast That echoes through the hills, John, – the
Washoe of the past. Wild, fateful years! They seem, John, a fairy
tale, half told, A weird, fantastic dream, John, of palaces of
gold. Though prizes were but few, John, (the wheel
was not to blame,) And largely fell to you, John, we all enjoyed
the game. But gold was only part, John, of Fortune's gifts
devout; You drew a sunny heart, John, to keep wealth's
mildew out. Our life-paths now diverge, John, but, looking
up, I hope That somewhere they will merge, John, beyond the Sunset Slope.
R. M. Daggett. February 22, 1895.
I'M sixty-four today, John,- well entered on
less or more. Could Time be coaxed to wait, John, by blarney
or with gold, Who would not baffle fate, John, by never
growing old ? On some life's cares sit light, John; they
toughen as they grow, Like pines that brave the height, John, rock
anchored in the snow. Years should not chill our hearts, John, nor
tears bedim our eye; If sunshine with us starts, John, 't will tarry
till we die. In youth, with muscles strong, John, flushed
with Aladdin dreams, With laughter and with song, John, we dredged
the golden streams. Our fare was bread and beans, John, and flap
jacks fried in fat Of bacon in its 'teens, John, and strong - but
what of that? Our appetites were plain, John, and hunger,
over-ripe, Felt genuine disdain, John, for terrapin and
snipe. We tunneled through the snow, John; unroofed
beneath the stars We slept, and felt the glow, John, of August
New Trail up Mt. Shasta.
OAKLAND, Cal., Aug. 13th, 1895. EDITOR OVERLAND MONTHLY:-
When the OVERLAND has been in any way instrumental in accomplishing a desired object, I presume you desire to be informed of it. In this instance a work has been done which will be gladly remembered in coming years by all mountain climbers.
Referring to my article, “Path-finding up Shasta," in the May number of your magazine, it pleases me to say that the trail therein advocated to be built up the east side of Mud