Puslapio vaizdai

an eloquent delineation of conditions which were a distinct menace to the country. He referred to condtions attending the fall of great empires of history, and compared those conditions with conditions in America today.

The State Commissioner of Agriculture, Andrew L. Felker, decried the depopulation and decline of rural New Hampshire in favor of the industrial centers. He branded this policy as short-sighted and unwise. He expressed the desire that he might some day see the farmer and all agricultural pur


suits flourish as they did formerly. He praised the "old red schoolhouse" and spoke of the great men who were products of these insti


Professor Frank W. Preston of New Hampton spoke of the value of the practical side of education. He made particular mention of the old "Rough and Ready Debating Society" which SO many years flourished at Pond Hill. He noted that four of the men on the platform with him were attendants of that old society. He recited a poem which he had composed many years before.

During the interval between

speeches, selections were rendered by Mrs. Caverly and Miss Graham. Also the Scotch song sung by Master Robert Caverly in costume was enthusiastically received.

In announcing the ball game which followed the exercise, Mr. George S. Ham of Durham exhibited the Old Garrison Bat which was won by the Old Garrison Nine, when Barrington was county champion, in 1868. He mentioned those who played on the old nine and recounted many of the anecdotes concerning them. Mr. Ham expressed the wish that the Barrington nine might win


that day. Mr. A. B. Locke was the only member of the old nine present at the exercises.

The ball game at 3:30 p. m. was at Oak Hill Field between Barrington and Strafford. From the beginning it proved to be a pitchers' battle between Fisher of Barrington and Miller of Strafford. Fisher had the edge on Miller, striking out twentytwo of the batsmen facing him. His team, however, failed to bat and field properly, so Barrington lost by the score of 5-3. It was hotly contested throughout and much enjoyed by a particularly noisy group of rooters.

The anniversary ball, in the evening, was scheduled for Calef's Hall,

[blocks in formation]

By Wililam M. Stuart

"He didn't want to go, 'n' that's all there's to it. If he wanted to go, he'd go, wouldn't he?"

William Channing Lawrence spoke not as one having authority, but as one having a grouch. Nor was his caustic remark addressed to anyone in particular. As Miss Fleming would have said, he was solitary and alone-if we expect the presence of one Pete, a dog of no particular race, color or previous condition of aptitude.

It was the twelfth anniversary of William's birth and in honor of the day he had been relieved from the customary labor about the farm. But he had hoped for more-a great deal more. At the county-seat, ten miles distant, a circus was scheduled to function on this beautiful spring day and he had futilely thought to beguile his father into taking him there.

"Nothing doing, Willie," Lawrence, Sr., had said. "I'm too infernal busy to waste a whole day looking at clowns and monkeys. But I'll make you an offer. If you'll walk the straight and narrow path for the entire forenoon and stick around within hearing distance so's to help me if I need you, I'll fix it up with Brown's folks so you can go with them to the circus in the afternoon. They're going to drive the car. You won't be able to hear the calliope nor see the parade, but you'll be in at the big show."

"I'll walk that path all right, Dad. Leave it to me. Where is it? And can I take Pete with me?"

"You and Pete are a bad combination to walk any path except the one that leads to destruction. What I meant was, you must cut out all your usual stunts-behave yourself all the forenoon, if you want

to go to the circus in the after



"Oh!" breathed Willie with relief, "that's easy. Don't I always behave, Dad?"

Lawrence coughed behind his hand. "Well, holidays-too much liberty-sometimes have a bad effect on you," he answered. "You want to watch your step. Mindno tricks or funny stunts. The penaty is-stay at home."

Although the lure of the calliope and the red-coated bandsmen was strong, Willie Willie reflected, in substance if not in the exact words, that "half a loaf is better than no bread," and accordingly tried to resign himself to the hard fate of a forenoon of inactivity.

Hence it came to pass that the joy of the lad was not unmixed with sorrow and regret as he strolled about the paternal acres seeking the wherewithal to amuse himself until such time as neighbor Brown should fare forth with his noisy four-cylindered convey


But where is the red-blooded boy of twelve who would fail to respond to the call of out-ofdoors and the satisfying sense of sweet liberty? Therefore, into a face where intelligence and freckles were mingled, there gradually came a look of quasi-content.

As he passed the granary on his way to nowhere in particular, his eyes were attracted by a beautiful red window-casing that had recently been placed in the building. He was strangely fascinated by it and an irresistable urge moved him to hit it with a stone. There no special reason why he should hit it-other than its proximity to the window. But this fact


added the zest of hazard that his soul craved. He had no desire to break the window, but thoughts of the probable attitude of his fond parent in case he unfortunately did so gave to it the lure of adventure. He felt that he must hit that casing.

Searching out a nice pebble, he drew back his arm. A thrill probably akin to that experienced by William Tell on a certain legendary occasion coursed up his spine. He fairly tingled with excitement.

The stone rebounded from the building one foot from the right of the window.

"I kin do better'n that, can't I, Pete, old stockin'?" observed Willie anxiously as he reached for more ammunition.

All further hazy plans for the forenoon's entertainment were now subordinated to the absolute necessity of hitting that casing as soon as possible. He knew the

could hit it. He must.

Pete wagged the remnant of a once glorious tail and beamed with all the sympathy that a single good eye could convey. His moist, excited panting lent strength to his companion's arm.

The next stone did not rebound from the side of the building.

It crashed through the window. A startled shout resounded from the depths of the structure and the cause of the boy's earthly pilgrimage emerged, his face flushed with passion.

"Willie!" he bellowed, "did you throw that stone?"

"Yes," replied the lad fearfully and George Washingtonally.

"At your old tricks again, eh? Don't you remember what I told you? Well, just for that you will take thirty cents out of your bank to pay for the window. It's too bad you can't have a holiday without trying to tear everything up by the roots. I'd tan your hide

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

in other than honeyed tones.

"The calf got the bail over his horn and it scairt him," answered. Willie truthfully.

"Willie, didn't you put the bail over his horn on purpose?"


"Fifty cents more out of your bank to pay for the pail," thundered the elder Lawrence. "It's mighty queer you can't have a little liberty without abusing it. Just one more sculip and instead of spending the afternoon at the circus, you'll spend it sprouting potatoes in the cellar. Now come and help me tag the sheep."

"If we'd a gone to the cirkiss when we ought to, all this trouble wouldn't of happened," grumbled the disconsolate lad as he reluctantly followed his angry parent.

With abbreviated tail drooping in sympathy with his masters's mood, the ubiquitous Pete acted as rear guard to the procession of discontent which wended its way toward the sheep-fold.

"Your job is to catch the sheep in that pen and lead them to me as I need 'em," the father announced. "See that you hold 'em fast and don't let any get away. I don't feel like chasing sheep all over the farm."

The first sheep was promptly caught and thrown to the ground. The farmer bent over her, sheepshears in hand and hat on the ground. His bald head glistened with perspiration. It was very hot.

A consuming curiosity to know just what the sultan of the flock in an adjoining pen would do, if released, swept over Willie. He felt that he must know. But thoughts of his rapid devolution from the heights of liberty to the depths of servitude gave him pause and somewhat cooled his ardor. The threat of the potato-bin was not pleasant, either. Then curiosity got the upper hand again. At all hazards it

must be satisfied--come what might, He glanced at his father. That person was absorbed with his task. Willie opened the gate of the sultan's pen and the doughty animal stalked majestically forth.

For a time the lord of the flock considered the crouching attitude of Mr. Lawrence in silence. He seemed to commune with himself. Was this posture a challenge to combat? Apparently it was even so, for the man's head was thrust out belligerently and it glistened in the sunlight.

The spirit of the ram was troubled within him. Yea, as he considered, he waxed exceeding wroth. His lower lip began to twitch, he shook his head, baaed softly, stamped his feet and backed up as far as the limits of the barnyard would permit.

Then before the excited eyes of William Channing Lawrence the sheep launched himself full upon the poll of the reverend parent. Confusion, worse confounded, reigned for a space.

A life replete with battles lost had tended to render Pete a pacifist. But now the din of conflict caused his old time spirit to flame. With fine abandon he hurled himself into the fray and was speedily engulfed in the vortex of man and beast.

Then to the fascinated eyes of Willie there appeared in rapid succession the pugnacious head of the ram, the determined face of the faithful dog and the bald head of the father. Over the the swirling mass a cloud of dust mercifully settled and, though he was fain to tell how the battle fared, he could not. Torn by conflicting emotions, he could but wait and hope for the best.

There came a sudden gleam ofpolished steel. The warlike sultan, smitten amidship by the sheepshears wielded by a muscular arm,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »