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employment, but that was uncertain, and it was also uncertain whether the mincepie would be good. The vague prospect served in no smallest particular to mitigate her desire for the sweet toothsomeness of one of those pies she had baked for Sam.

She reached home. She turned the buttermilk out into a pitcher and pried the cover from the other pail.

Deb, who seldom moved quickly, started back. Was it one of her ancient memories, or was it a real mince-turnover that she smelled and saw, resting on a plate in the bottom of the pail? She lifted it out, and pressed the flaky crust with an inquiring finger. It was real. She sat down to contemplate that epitome of deliciousness, from which brown juices had broken forth here and there. Her jaws and tongue moved in anticipatory tastings. This was one of Mrs. Sanders's jokes, like the time she said she was giving Deb a pail of soft soap, which turned out to be pork sparerib. Deb drew in a breath of admiration for the turnover and gratitude toward her who had given it.

Then, as a cloud moves before the sun, came the gray-white face of Petey Griggs between Deb and her pie. She was stunned. The meaning of that swift picture, flung up by her memory, was unmistakable. She thought the idea over for a long time with increasing bitterness.

"He's as good as dead, anyway," she argued. "I ain't. Not yet."

It was a good argument; good until she remembered that Sam had wanted icecream all the last week of his life. He had wanted it the day he died. Icecream! Who ever heard of such a fool idea for a dying man! Yet she remembered, also, that she had walked to the village and borrowed a freezer, only to learn, upon her return home, that the Sanderses' supply of ice had been used, to the last cake. Sam had died without his ice-cream.

Sam had been her own folks; the Griggs brat was nothing to her. Well she remembered how, five years ago come summer, he had stoned her hen and chick

ens.out of the Griggs garden. His mother had put him up to it, of course. Martha Griggs was as mean then as she was now. Only enough oil for Petey's lamp! Some folks might believe that, maybe.

"He 'll be in heaven or the other place in a day or two, and he won't care a sour apple about pie. Me-I got to live."

Deb got up and busied herself about unnecessary work. The waste of giving him that pie would be wicked. If mincepie could cure him, it would be another matter. But neither mince-pies nor doctors nor any other earthly thing could change the number of his hours now. Gray death was marching.

Suddenly she walked fiercely up to the kitchen table and seized the turnover.

"Take the dam' pie!" she growled, and went out of doors.

Martha Griggs was doing her neverfinished housework when Deb entered the Griggs kitchen for the second time that dav.

"What you got?" she asked suspiciously. In silence the old woman opened Petey's door and walked into his room. She saw his features twitch; light shone from his half-opened eyes. His hands rose from the comfortable and fell quickly back.

"Mince-pie!" he whispered.

Deb nodded as she put the turnover on a chair beside him.

"There it is," she barked; "now eat it!" "Ma! Ma!" The boy raised his whisper to a hoarse cry. "Get me a knife quick!"

Mrs. Griggs peered into the room, withdrew, and entered, bearing a steel knife.

"Mince-turnover!" She sniffed at it. "Where did you get mince-turnover?"

"Found it growin' on a fence-post," answered Deb, reaching out to take the knife from Petey's strengthless grasp. She cut the turnover into small squares of a size to fit the human mouth. The odors of the luscious, brown mince-meat filled her Her eyes filmed. She turned away and moved toward the door, unable to see another eat that pie.

nose.

"You're awful good to me, Mis' out her pipe, and paused with arm in midWoodruff!"

air. Somebody was screaming. Was it His whisper followed her, but she did the Jenkins boys' sister, running out of old not go back. Her path led straight to Pete Abare's kitchen to try to stop the her own kitchen, where she could sit down fight? No; it sounded as though it might and smoke. She had n't been good to come from the Griggs house. Deb got him; he had nagged her into it. She filled

up,

and went leisurely out to the back her pipe and lighted it, drawing in drafts steps. of bitterness. It was unlikely that VIrs. Martha Griggs stood in the doorway of Sanders would ever think to give her an- her own kitchen, frantically pumping her other mince-turnover. Little dainty, de- arms up and down. lightful wisps of its smell lingered in the "He's gone!" she shrieked. "Petey 's kitchen.

So Deb sat through the hours, her corn- “Aw right,” called Deb. “I 'll be over meal mush forgotten thinking only to there in a minute." refill the stove and her pipe at intervals, She had answered many cries of that and this mechanically. She was far back kind, more than she could remember, and in that year when Sam Woodruff, with there was nothing to get excited about. no more possessions than a muzzle-loading She went into the house and carefully rifle and a handful of bullets, had come closed the drafts in the stove. down from the mountains. He licked "I 'm darned glad I give him that pie,” both the Jenkins boys, bullies of the val- she muml;led, but with the trembling of ley, at a dance, and the next day he mar- sincerity in her old voice. “Them that 's ried her.

dead is almighty dead; you can't do She reached toward the stove to knock nothin' for 'em no more.

gone!"

Pedometer

By CHRISTOPHER MORLEY

MY

a

Y thoughts beat out in sonnets while I walk,
And every evening on the homeward street
I find the rhythm of my marching feet

Throbs into verses (though the rhyme may balk).
I think the sonneteers were walking men.

The form is dour and rigid, like a clamp;
But with the swing of legs the tramp, tramp, tramp

Of syllables begins to thud, and then,
Lo! while you seek a rhyme for hook or crook,

Vanished your shabby coat, and you are kithi

To all great walk-and-singers-- Meredith,
And Shakspere, Wordsworth, Keats, and Rupert Brooke.

Free verse is poor for walking, but a sonnet,
Oh, marvelous to stride and brood upon it!

[graphic]

A ridge made in a Tunisian olive orchard to keep water from flowing to the

right from the left-hand row of trees

The New Farmer and his

New Water-supply

By J. RUSSELL SMITH

Author of "Two-story Farming," " The Dry Farmers of Rome," etc.

SWEH

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A great

WEET are the rains of heaven, a the sufferers for a week or two; but the

great blessing, and quite indispensable; river rolls on. yet they have ever harassed us. In the The episode has passed, but the probtime of Noah they came too thick and lem remains quite untouched, increased, fast, and in the time of Joseph they were indeed, by the works of man. too few and far between ; nor have they river in flood is the most appalling probchanged their habits one jota since those lem that man has yet essayed to conquer, ancient days. In an age of science they and thus far he has not conquered it; at obey none of our laws, and the would be best he has made only poor and temporary rain-maker is a jest. Always at some place truce. We are failing at flood control bearise the lament of drought and the prayer cause of our almost complete dependence for rain, while in some other place poor upon mere structures, engineering conman bewails the wetness of the soil and structions. This is a great oversight, for the Aood.

flood control is in large part an agriculSome sunshiny morning the man in tural question. Fortunately, some yet Boston or San Francisco gives a moment's little-known discoveries in agriculture attention to the head-line narrative of give an easy and at the same time a water in city streets and the drowning of profitable solution. a dozen men or more in a distant State, The engineers offer only two devices along with the loss of millions of property. and two serious recommendations: one, In times of stunning calamity such as the building of levees to hold the water in befell Johnstown in 1889 and Dayton in bank, and the other the building of reser1913 we think about the matter for sev- voirs on head-water streams to hold the eral days, and give some money to relieve water back for a time. Both are most discouraging, for both contain the essence of walled prison and spreads itself over the failure, and at times display the fact of rich plain, thick with the homes of men failure convincingly.

[graphic][merged small]

whom it drowns by hundreds of thousands The levee is the most tempting, yet the and even by millions. This has occurred worse of these two devices. It is doubly nine times during the Christian era. Somebad in that the longer it succeeds, the times the river Hows far to the northward worse it fails. Man builds up the bank of the Shan-tung Peninsula into the Gulf of the river to keep it from overflowing of Petchili, near Peking. Sometimes it the wide, rich lowlands. The river ac- reaches the ocean level on the shore of the cepts the challenge, and as the banks rise Yellow Sea, hundreds of miles to the it builds up its bottom by dropping mud south. and sand. The race is on. Man builds. Our great Mississippi Aood plain, unThe river builds. The river-bottom.piles like that of the Hwang-ho, is mostly un

up naturally as the river-bank is built up drained and unsettled, but drainage and by sweat and toil. If man lasts a century, settlement are beginning. With this inthe river lasts one hundred and one years. cipient empire at stake, and with the ChiIf man lasts a millennium, the river is nese object-lesson before us, the United certainly good for two. There is little States Government and various States are that is new about this device of man. calmly spending millions every year in Julius Cæsar was familiar with it, and on building levees from Illinois to the Gulf some of the rivers of Lombardy it has of Mexico, and on many of the branch been kept up since his time, with the re- streams. This action is probably in response sult that the beds of the streams are higher to that impulse which makes us, when than the tops of the houses alongside. we are in pain, do something, regardless These inverted rivers can be seen from of whether the thing done helps or hinafar as mysterious low ridges stretching ders. Certainly the Mississippi does flood; across a fat food plain. China, too, has certainly we must do something; certainly tried it, with results that are crystallized the levee will hold the water back for a in the name "China's Sorrow," applied

So we go with our thousands of to the great river Hwang-ho. At intervals men and our millions of money to build a this muddy river breaks out of its high levee, although we know that the ever

[graphic]

The gullied lower part of this hill surnishes tons of material for the stream below to carry off

recom

winding river will sooner or later eat under the levee, causing it to fall into the river. Even though we have the second levee already prepared, like the second trench of an army, we know that if foods keep coming down, in the future, as in the past, they will break through at times and flood arcas bigger than many American States. The more this plain along the Mississippi is settled, the greater becomes the food menace, and levee-building man is only a calamity-preparer. Levee-building, as a sole dependence, is quite irrational, a kind of frenzy, a peculiar dependence in an age of science.

Meanwhile Pittsburgh calls for reservoirs to hold back the waters. Upon the occasion of a recent hard llarch rain a Pittsburgh flood reached the unprecedented height of thirty-five feet above danger-line, destroying lives and millions of property. The citizens felt that something must be done, for the foods are increasing both in frequency and height, owing chiefly to deforestation and bad farming. A food commission was appointed, money was given, and engineers went to work seeking knowledge. After many months of work they reported that the floods could be so tamed as to be made harmless -as harmless as steam in a bojler. There are defiles in the Appa

lachians along the head-waters of the streams that pass Pittsburgh. Some of these defiles are in West Virginia, some in Maryland, some in New York, some in Pennsylvania. The engineers reported that the building of dams across fortythree of these defiles, and turning the forty-three valleys above these forty-three dams into forty-three reservoirs, would create storage space sufficient to hold the surplus water until the hour of danger had passed and the flood menace was over.

These forty-three reservoirs mended by the flood commission are estimated to cost $34,000,000, and since every city and farm along the whole river system clear down to the Gulf of Mexico would also benefit, Pittsburgh hesitates about building the reservoirs even if she had an enabling act from Congress that will permit her to bury farms, villages, towns, highways, and railroads beneath the waters of a series of artificial lakes scattered over several States. Plainly it is a national enterprise; but will it succeed? As now planned, it will not be a permanent cure. The engineers forget the little rills. The reservoirs will fill up with mud, and things will be as they are

now.

Nearly all of us have taken a walk along some Eastern stream and noted the

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