Thursday, September 20, 1928

Continued from last week…

It seems to me that I did not have a normal youth, having taken charge of a helpless and indignant family at the age of fourteen years. But there was plenty of amusement. It took the form of hunting and fishing and horses and reading. There were no cards, no theaters, no automobiles, no travel, no games. It was a pleasure and an intellectual treat to go to Sunday school and church.

The boy scout had not been invented. Camping took on a sterner aspect in those days. There was a definite goal to be acquired. It was to be able to sleep under a tree in the rain the whole night through without any covering of any kind, oblivious to the rain on the face and soaking through the clothes. It seems almost incredible, but the old timers could do it.

The first real expedition for trout that I ever made was in 1886, when three of us undertook to go to Williams River to fish for them in a primitive style. Three brothers. The plan was to travel light, follow the stream from its head fountain to the Dead Water, spending three days and two nights, and to bring home for the family a load of mountain trout, the greatest table delicacy in the world. None of us had ever been there.

We got our instructions as to distance and direction from our Uncle Jesse. We were to take to the mountain that rose from our home on the Greenbrier river and walk west over the crests until we came to the waters of Gauley River. Then we were to fish down from the headwaters of Williams River, one of the four forks of the Gauley River, until we arrived at a clearing in the woods known as the Dutch Bottom. This was a deserted bit of blue grass sod. The next day we were to fish down the river to the Penick Meadows in the prehistoric lake bottom above the Dead Water or Watering Ponds, where we were to sleep out the second night. The third day we would fish in the meadows and in the dead water for a while and then fish up Big Laurel creek until we came to the Stony Creek gap and walk home. In this kind of a trip, we would make a circle of about thirty miles in circumference, one half of which would be the beds of trout streams.

With ordinary luck, we would not only take enough trout to sustain us in the way of food, but should have a substantial load of fish to bring home to insure a welcome change in the menu. None of us had fished for trout, but each of us belonged to a day when every boy in this county was raised to fish and to hunt and to ride a horse.

The expedition was in June and was set by a heavy rain that rendered the fields too damp to work corn. The mountains were at their best. The green of summer time had arrived. In these confines, our mountains have three sets of clothes. The somber hue of winter; the verdure of summer; and the many colored covering of the fall. The brilliant sight that caused the French voyaguers to call them the Montegnes aux Acres or the mountains of the rainbow, which has clung to a range of mountains known now as the Ozarks.

In preparing for this trip, we took matches, some biscuits baked in the big flat cake style, some salt and a frying pan. The only fishing tackle we had were hooks and lines. The bait was the fishing worm, the annelid of a Paleozole world.

We were impressed with the fact that we were to cut poles and start fishing as soon as we came to the head of Williams River called Beaver Dam creek and to keep on fishing and easing down the river until we came to an opening in the forest formed by the Dutch Bottom. There would be a good place to build a comforting fire and to cook a trout supper and breakfast and to sleep on the sod…

To be continued…

CHURCH DEDICATION

An immense throng assembled at the dedication of the M. E. Church on Droop Mountain last Sunday… Rev. Mr. Ward preached an eloquent sermon to the audience assembled under the fine old trees in the church yard. Enough money was subscribed to dedicate the church free of debt. Several thousand people were present. The church is the restored building of an old log church which had been abandoned. The result is pleasing to the eye and it is one of the neatest and most artistic church buildings in the county. The old name for this part of the Droop country was Mount Murphy. It is known as the church of the old Camp Meeting Grounds.

TANNERY SIGN

The Greenbrier Tannery at this place has erected an illuminated sign that is a work of art and which deserves inspection by those interested in beautiful things. It is erected on the top of the main building and is visible from the railroad on one side of the works and from the Seneca Trail on the other side. Each face presents a surface ten by fifty feet… The brilliant colors attract a great deal of attention at night when the bright electric lighting brings out the sign at its best. The sign has the well known trade mark of the steer looking through a circle which has become familiar with every household in the country.

The tannery is busy and is turning out leather at a great rate.

The light is furnished by fourteen 150 watt lights.

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Who can judge this woman?

– married to a brute, in love with a man

SOMETIMES, Laura thought herself gripped by some terrible nightmare. But the steaming, fever-laden jungle with its brooding loneliness and that tattered, whiskey-soaked beast, who was her husband, were only too real. How could she have ever dreamed that she loved him – the scientist she thought a man.

True, she had been very young when she had married him, and had come to Brazil. But fever, that white man’s curse, had got into his blood – and she had seen him slowly degenerate into a booze-sodden beast.

Then Townley, young, clean, wholesome, came adventuring up the river, to find a girl of twenty, with the body of a youthful Venus – glistening hair, creamy skin and star-like eyes – eyes clouded with silent misery.

Amazement, anger and pity were but the prelude to love. And when, one day, an answering light illumined her soft, dark eyes, flashing him a wonderful message –

Thus it began – this strange drama of the jungle – a drama of maddening love on Townley’s part – a tragedy of renunciation, of desperate battling with conscience on the part of Laura.

Don’t miss this startling true-life story, “Flower of the Jungle,” in True Story Magazine.

Partial contents:
The Marriage Wrecker
I Pawned my Very Soul
The Wife Who Had to Have Romance
My Mysterious Inheritance
First in a Woman’s Life
– and eight other stories
TRUE STORY
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