1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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as we come running up to him, and
telling us that we must stay right
there by the oxen and sled ; that
Trudger must stay there with us ;
that it is getting late, close on to
sun down ; that he has to work fast,
and we would only be in his way
and hinder him this time, if we
follow and try to help. . . .We don't
like this — don't like it a bit; Why,
we brought our pails on purpose to
help ! And it's just horrid nasty of
grandpa not to let us go with him.
so there! It isn't any fun at all,
sticking around the old oxen and
sled — waiting !

But gr-mHpa is very firm; he
means exactly what he says — we
must mind him. . . .Stay right there.

But say — ! watching grandpa's
hurrying steps down the long wood
road ahead of us, his .sap pails
dangling from the sap yoke and

swinging with every step Didn't

we remember, right around here,
somewhere, there was a little path
that led off towards a clump of
evergreens? — a place we always
called the "Little Woods," because
it was so thick and dense. Oh, here
it is — right over here — see? And
it leads right straight to our "Little
Woods," where we always come



with mother to hunt for the earliest
"] Mayflowers."

It was, indeed, a most beautiful
spot — a sort of secluded ampi-
theatre, "all curtained about" with
lordly, wide-spread beeches and a
dense undergrowth of spruce and

hemlock A spot

"Just hid with trees and sparkling

with a brook,"
where the earliest arbutus peeped
out from their soft beds of moss,
and where mother always allowed
us to play all kinds of "make be-
lieves" as long as we liked, when we
came with her in quest of these
beautiful flowers Often fancy-
ing, as we played, the many strange,
eventful things as likely to happen
to us here in this real Fairyland !
That's what it always seemed to
us — a real Fairyland!

Why, we guess we do remember
that place ! And how surprised
mother would be if we could find
a little bunch of flowers to take
home to her, wouldn't she? — even
though we couldn't find more than
two or three — or just a few buds?

And grandpa wouldn't mind our
going just that little way off, would
he? Why, we'd be close in sight
of the oxen and sled all the time,
and that wasn't anything but "stay-
ing right there" — just like he told
us to ' — was it? And we'd take

Trudger along with us Come,

Trudger."

And away we sped along the
little path that led to our "Little
Woods," throwing a look around
every few steps so as to be sure
we kept the oxen and sled in sight —
as a kind of sop for our disobedi-
ence, probably, and because we
were — in spite of our vaunted cour-
age—just a wee bit afraid.

You see we had never been there,
except when mother had been with
us, and when it was bright sun-
light, while now it was nearing
sun down, and the shadows were
beginning to fall all about us. It



166



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



was something to give heed. Still,
we just had to look. It wouldn't
take us but a second, then we'd run
right back and stay there by the
sled till grandpa returned ; yes ; we
would — we promised ourselves.

"Oh, Alsie, hurry up — quick!"
cried Leila,, getting ahead of me
while I had stopped to tie up my
shoe string and pull my tippet out
of a tangle of cedar branches, "I've
found one — see — right down here in
this big bunch of moss."

"Wait— wait, Leila, let me break
it off," I called, hurrying along as
fast as I could run.

"Yes, Alsie, 'cause I found one
first ; then, if you find the next one
you must let me break it off, will
you? An' maybe, if we hunt real
hard — oh, ever'n ever so hard — we
can find a big, big bunch."

And away we run to pull away
the moss and peep into every pro-
mising hummock, and deep green
beds of ground pine. Every bud
and half open blossom we found
was proclaimed by Wild cries of
surprise and admiration, as we sped
from place to place — all unconscious
of how quickly the shadows of
night-fall had closed in ; of our
promised, "just one look and we'd
go right straight back," or of a
tawny-gray shape — back there in
the black depths of the spruce un-
dergrowth—that had been warily
gazing at us out of its round, glar-
ing eyes, watching our every step.

And now, emboldened by the
deepening shadows, it is stealthily
padding around a clump of ever-
greens, slipping noiselessly as a
thread under their low spreading
branches, to the trunk of a fallen
tree, crouching behind it, with its
tufted ears and the gleam of its pale
yellow-green eyes showing over the
top of the log — as it watched us.

We had just spied another mossy
knoll, and were running towards it,
when Leila suddenly caught hold
of my arm, pointed at a log, and



excitedly, in a half whisper, said :

"Oh ! Alsie, .see the pretty, big-
wood's kitty ; see — right over there
by that log; the one where the tree
bends down over it. Can't you see
him? Look — look, there he is!
See? He's crawlin' up on top o'
the log. Oh, ain't he a big kitty?
Let's us tiptoe up an' try to catch
him. Sh — ," laying her finger on
my lips, "we mustn't make any
noise, we'll scare him away, if we
do. Step just as easy as you can,"
she whispered, moving cautiously
forward, holding me tight by the
hand and calling:

"Kitty— kitty— pretty kitty-

come — ," reaching out her hand
towards it as we draw nearer and
nearer, till we were up to within
a few feet of it.

And so intent had we been on
capturing it — so watchful in fear
it would escape — that we had not
noticed how, as we had cautiously
crept towards it, the tawny bulk
had been quite as cautiously creep-
ing towards us. And its sudden
nearness now — it was almost right
on us, and, oh, what a monster it
looked ! — fairly stunned us.

At that instant it looked anything
but a "pretty kitty." Holding us
stock-still — we scarcely breathed,
we were so terrified by the intense
fixity of its glaring eyes — it slowly
flattened its body, laid its ears close
back against its head, opened wide
its jaws — so red and big and full of
sharp white teeth — and gave a spit-
ting snarl ! A snarl so avid, so un-
expectedly frightful that it sent us
backward like a blow.

In a flash the huge gray bulk
sprang out at us — stunning us into
voiceless terror as it hissed and
snarled and struck, with wicked,
stinging blow.s.

The frightening shape on every
side of us — a mass of teeth and
claws and terrific muscle that ripped
and tore wherever it clutched.

It struck at me first, sending me



AN ADVENTURESOME SAP GATHERING



167



to the ground with one blow of its
paw that tore, as it struck, through
my hood and into my scalp, so deep
that the scar plainly shows, even
now. That I was saved from more,
and still wickeder blows, was due
to Leila's screams, her frantic blows
with her tin pail over the creature's
head, and the worryings of valiant
old Trudger. But it was beaten
away from me, only to fall upon
Leila with doubled fury, striking
Trudger out of its way with one
rake of its tearing claws that sent
the poor dog howling.

I tried to scream, but I was so
scared I couldn't open my mouth.
I tried to get up, but I trembled so
from fright and the hurt of that
awful bleeding scratch, that I
couldn't stand. And there was
Leila — screaming and crying out to
me, only a few feet away — trying
to beat off that awful wild cat. . . .
Alone !

Oh, I must get there, somehow —
I must — I must ! I began crawling
on my hands and knees, and had
managed to get almost up to her,
when her foot caught in the tangl-
ed vines of ground-pine, and she
fell head-long. But the instant she
went down, Trudger leapt out at
the cat with a force and fury that
sent both dog and cat to the ground.
Over and over they rolled, in a
clutch that filled the air with yelps
and spitting snarls and flying fur as
they bit and scratched and tore. . . .

Trudger would be killed He

would be eaten up alive. . . .Oh, he
would — he would — ! Why didn't
grandpa come — Oh, why didn't he
come — ? "Grandpa, grandpa!" I
scream, at the top of my voice,
"Why don't you come — ?"

He is coming, for just then the
most terrible yells I ever heard in
all my life — and hope never to hear
again — rang out, and made the
woods echo and re-echo with their
awful intensity.



Our screams and cries had reach-
him, and had crazed him with
fright. He knew some dreadful
thing had happened to us. And his
first thought was: "It's a wild cat!"
Hence those blood-curdling yells,
all the time he was running up to
us, to scare the thing away.

They did scare the thing away !

And as silently as it had come
upon us, it slipt out of sight, and
was gone, leaving only the sway-
ing of branches to mark the spot
where it had fled into the thicket.

IX.

And there on the ground, insensi-
ble to all that had happened, lay
Leila. The trampled moss, her
clothing in shreds, the little tin
pail — with which she had so vainly
tried to beat off the blows — still
gasped, battered and crushed, in
her little red-mittened hands, tells,
in unspeakable anguish to grandpa,
as he comes crashing up, the story
of her awful struggle.

For a second he stood leaning
against a tree, breathless — from his
run — and too crushed and dazed to
move; his lips trembling, as he tried
to speak her name

Stooping over her, he arranged,
as well as his trembling old hands
would let him, the tattered cloth-
ing; picked up her little hood — that
had been flung to the ground with
one tear of a wicked paw — put it
on and tied it under her chin. Then,
tenderly gathered her up in his arms
and lifted her up on his shoulder,
tucking the little limp hand, so
terribly bitten and torn, into the
breast of his frock for warmth and
protection.

Bidding me walk in front of him,
we started back to the wood road,
where stand the waiting oxen.
Poor whining Trudger follows limp-
ingly along, to curl up close to me
in the space in front of the partly-
filled sap barrels — where there's just



168



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



room enough for us to squeeze in
and to hold us from pitching out.
Then we begin the slow, sad
journey out of the woods, and up
the long stretches of hills and hard-
going — home. The oxen moving
along, with only the motion of
grandpa's free hand laid on their
yoke to guide them, all the way
home. It seemed almost as if they
understood we were in trouble, and
they must do their part in helping
us — so evenly and steadily do they
move along up the .steep hills.

X.

Now a strong, healthy child of
nine years, lying limp and uncon-
scious in one's arms, is no light
burden ; and many a stouter heart
than that of the dear old grand-
father's would have quailed at the
undertaking, and waited for help,
knowing that our unusual absence
would arouse fears, and mother
would be sending Spooner to look
for us. But his one thought was —
to get away — out of this deep, dark
wood. Stout of heart, though he
was, the terror of our struggles
with the wild cat, and the thought
of "what might have happened,"
was breaking him — he was terror-
stricken !

With every step, he could feel
against his arm the helpless swing
of Leila's little red-mittened hand.

"I shouldn't have let them come,"
he kept saying to himself, over and
over again. "But Leila had teas-
ed .so hard. . . .He might never hear

her teasings again" And the

thought of how bad her hurt might
prove, unnerved him, and made him
realize, as never before, how dear —
how unspeakably dear — she was to
him ; how he had, unconsciously,
held her as something nearer and
dearer than anything else in life.

"Yes, it had been going against
his better judgement — letting them
come, for all day long there had



been moments," he reflected, "when
he had felt something 'hangin over
him ;' some vague foreshadowing
that had seemed like a 'warning'. . . .
He should have heeded it."

"Even when he left them there
by the sled, cautioning them not to
go away, he hadn't been able to
shake off that 'dread of something,'
but had gone on with his work," he
remembered, "in an uneasiness of
mind that had hurried him from tree
to tree, and made him stop, every
time he emptied a bucket, to look
uneasily around, as if expecting to
hear, or see, some unusual thing. . .

Hark Listen What was

that? P'shaw ! How like a nervous
old woman, he was getting! Why,
its just the children — laughing and
playing games around the sled ;
chasing squirrels, maybe ; he could
hear Trudger barking, too ; why,
they are all right," he had tried to
assure himself. "Still

"Hark — what was that? They're

not laughing now Why, it's

Leila, screaming out in terrible
fright !"

Flinging the pails of sap to the
ground, and catching up his sap
yoke, the next thing he was con-
scious of was tearing through the
woods, fear-crazed, and yelling at
the top of his voice as he races
along, only to find Leila — when he
reaches their Little Woods — as she
now lies in his arms.

XL

How still and shivery everything
seemed all. about us, as we slowly
emerge from the woods into the
moonlit fields. The only sounds to
break the penetrating silence were
the creaking sled, the scrunch of
its runners over the stones, the
panting oxen, the splot — splot of
grandpa's sad, heavily burdened
footsteps, as he moves slowly along
beside them, and Trudger's little
whimpers of pain as he cuddles



AN ADVENTURESOME SAP GATHERING



169



close up beside me. While farther
away — comes the whispering trickle
of the .snow patches, still lingering
in the hollows, and occasionally
breaking with so startling a sound,
as they shrank and settled, as to
make the after-stillness even more
deep and awesome. And to make
me snuggle down beside Trudger
even more closer — startled and
shivering with fright.

And as we passed slowly on up
by them, how every rock and
weather beaten stump — along the
whole way — seemed, to my over-
wrought nerves, to outline some
lurking, moving shape!

XII.

But we were being missed up at
the house. It was long, long past
the time for us to be back — even
allowing for the longest of rounds
and any reasonable delay. Supper
had been a long time ready. They
were all waiting — waiting — and
still no sign of us coming. Mother
was getting very anxious. Spooner
had finished his "chores."' and comes
in to ask mother if he hadn't "bet-
ter be a-mosey-in' along down a
piece, an' find out what the trouble
is - ; what'n timenation's a hinder-
?"
No, they'll be along pretty soon,"
she tells him, "You are tired. We'll
wait a little while longer."

Grandmother, worried and nerv-
ous, was going from window, peer-
ing intently out and trying to vis-
ualize us in the different objects
scattered along her line of vision.

At last she called out :

"I can see them, Sarah; they're
just rising the little hill down be-
low the orchard, but they are com-
ing very .slow — the oxen barely
crawl Sarah, something's hap-
pened Father's — yes, father's

holdin' something over his should-
er — it's — why, it's one of the chil-



in' of 'em

""NT



dren ! Go — somebody ; go — quick,
an' help him !"

And somebody did go quick. It
was Spooner. And if anybody ever
hit the high places on a keener
jump than dear old "Miss" Spoon-
er, as he lit out down the fields,
they certainly would have had to
"run some."

I shall never forget how he came
tearing around the little clump of
trees on one side of the road that
quite hid us from him, and was
right on us before he could "come
off his gait" — how funny he look-
ed — and how glad — oh, how glad —
I was to see him !

Bare-headed, in his shirt sleeves
and "stocking feet," waving an old
carpet-slipper in each hand (he was
pulling off his boots and had his
old slippers in his hand ready to
put on, when grandmother's — -"Go —
somebody!" rang out), he tore
past us, stammering — "stutterin',"
he called it, and when excited could-
n't help it to save his life — .so that
nobody on earth could have told
what he said, or meant.

As soon as he could slow up
enough to turn around, he rushed
up to grandpa and held out his arms
for Leila, "stutterin' " away like a
house afire. It was so dark he
couldn't see how badly .she was
hurt, else there would have been no
help from him. He would have
"stuttered" himself to death then
and there — likely.

But grandpa motioned him away,
barely indicating, with a wave of
his hand towards the oxen, that he
would leave the load for him to
drive up the rest of the way, and
said :

"No, no, Spooner, I — I can't give
her up." And sped on up to the
house



Well, the dear old grandfather



A FEW PAGES OF POETRY

Through the kindness of Mr. John H. Bartlett. A gratifying

Brookes More a prize of $50 is of- number of entries for the contest

fered for the best poem published already have been received, some of

in the Granite Monthly during the which are printed herewith, while

year 1921. The judges are Prof, others may be found elsewhere in

Katharine Lee Bates, Mr. W. S. the magazine.
Braithwaite and former Governor



NATURE

By Emily W. Matthews.

Ye Artists!

Come unto me and humbly kneel before me,
For I am Nature, the great mother of Artists;
Your mother and your only true school mistress.
This Flower :

Its tints are .something to wake dreams
And morning fancies in your hearts,
xAnd every curve of leaf and petal, crisp
With dainty grace, wakes innocent delight.
And .see !

My sweeps of wooded slopes,
That, undulating, sinuous and strong,
Are clothed in changing colors as the seasons and the
hours come and go.

Observe !

How well my tender hand

Has covered with a thousand graceful vines

Trailing and looping, shedding fragrant scent,

The scars you leave upon my lovely hills.

See sparkling rivers and my mirroring lakes;

Flashes of light that dazzle your poor eyes

And make you rend your brushes —

I confound you

With curves and hues and filmy traceries,

Perspectives, vistas, contrasts, each one new

And never twice the same —

Some times there are

When in a melting mood

I'm painted beauty all day long —

(Such pictures as no one of you can ape) ;

When day is done.

In ecstasy of inspiration

I fling across the sky

My palette — full of paints.



170 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

didn't have to give her up, although And all her life she bore dec,

it was many weeks — many long, ragged scars made by the teariil

weary, tearful-watching days and teeth and the ripping claws of .

nights — before we were told Leila blood-thirsty wild cat.

would get well



THE HARBINGER OF SPRING.

A "Spring Song."
By Jennie E. Hussey.

There's a dear little flower, — I know of none fairer —

That follows the soft April showers ;
To me it is dearer and sweeter and rarer

Than even the queen of all flowers.

Refrain

■J
O trailing arbutus ! fair harbinger, thou,

Of .spring-time and blossom-time sweet.

What hope and what cheer, after skies dark and drear;

How gladly thy blossoms I greet.

There's a hint of the snowdrifts with sunrise above
them,

Among the green leaves where you shine.
Fair Puritan blossoms, I cherish and love them;

They bring me a new hope divine.

For I know that each winter is followed by spring-time,

As midnight to morning gives place;
And sweet April showers and breezes and sunshine

Will make the earth blossom in grace.






172 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

See, brilliant royal reds and flaming gold ;

A wilderness of color, shot with light ;

Dazzling, changeful, delirious, intense- —

Which fades, through varying tints, to stars and night.

Musicians !

Hear my music ;

Whose bass is beat by sombre waves on all my shores

And answered through my continents,

Full-throated, vibrant, strong,

By countless rivers striving toward the sea.

The treble's played by brooks.

My pastoral

Is fluted by the birds. My violins,

The rustling of a thousand million leaves

From South to North in answering melodies.

And all unite to make, a song —

Ah, what a song! And it is nothing but

Hie throb of my large heart.

Oh sinner!

Come to my pine cathedrals,

For there is nothing there — no stifling cants — indiffer-
ence —
No creakings of the pews — no clink of coins
In contribution plates;
Nothing to hide from you
The face of my great beauty.
Lie down and turn your eyes to my blue sky
Which you believe is only there
To hide my secrets.
Find there in sky and trees
That interlace and swing in rythmic grace
The secrets that you crave.
Put down your ear —
Yes — here among the needles
At the foot of these great trees.
Listen — you hear?

The beating of my ever throbbing heart !
Well, now, dear one, you are a part of me ;
Bound to me close, as close as now you lie
Among the brown pine-needles.
"Being" I give, and then anon, reclaim you.
Perhaps when time has passed
"Being" I'll give again;
But oh, ask not my dear, my little one —
That's not for you to know !



VALENTINE

By Elaine Stem.

When you look into your heart

And find me there

Are you surprised?

Just covered with amazement

At seeing me

So snugly curled up

And smiling at you sleepily?

You wonder how I came there,

Who let me in.

You, who guarded the portal so closely,

(I know you did, my own,

You are just as much afraid as I

Of being hurt.)

But all the time there I was

Taking complete possession of every corner
And choosing the warmest spot for my own
For ever and ever

I'll tell you how I did it;

T sneaked in ;

Yes, I did,

One day when you weren't looking,

Until I found the tiny door,

And found its key.

The key was that I loved you so entirely

I did not mind your knowing it at all,

I, who have always kept my heart intact,

I, who have said I'd play at loving!

Well, that was the key.

I fitted it in, and turned the lock

And fell back gasping!

Your heart is .so beautiful inside



Just large enough for me — and me alone
(You see how selfish I've become!)
And so, I'm now at home. Sir,
My hours twelve to twelve.

And you need not be lonely any more,

Ever,

Because when you walk, or golf,

Or talk, or write, or read,

You'll know I'm there,

Tust buttoned snugly up beneath your vest.



APRIL

By Mary E. Hough.

Some big wet drops fall slowly one by one,
Then suddenly descend a sheeted stream.

Starting a deluge just for fun

To see the lazy eaves spouts run, —
When lo ! there flutters down a gay sunbeam.

Again, more wind than rain, they beat and pound
As if somehow a threatening cloud decreed
That they should storm the soggy ground,
Blow up what new seed can be found, —
And satisfy an elemental need.

Now timidly it rains or darkly lowers.

The rain-drops and the fog-sprites keep their tryst,
Making out programs for their April showers
And choosing what they'll have for flowers, —

Then once .again the sun peeps through the mist.



IN VIOLET TIME

By L. Adelaide Sherman.

One rare spring day she gathered violets;

Then life was young and all her days were May.
She knew no haunting past, no vain regrets, —

She gathered violets ; and down the way
Where trillium bloomed, hepatica and sweet
Pink lady's slipper, strayed her loitering feet.

He brought her violets when stars less bright
Than her clear eyes, love-lit, adown the sky

Moved to slow music, trailing veils of light.
She lost the world — she knew that he was nigh ;

And her white soul, swept by a flood of song,

Was borne on visioned wings of joy along.'

We laid blue violets upon her breast ;

Poor wounded heart, so long inured to pain !
We left with her the flower she loved the best,

For months had passed and it was spring again.
Then, while we stood with blinded, tear-wet eyes,
She bore her violets to Paradise.



EDITORIALS



In its issue of August, 1920, the
Granite Monthly advised Presiden-
tial Candidate Harding to tell the
people that if elected he would in-
vite into his cabinet, Elihu Root,
Herbert C. Hoover, John W. Weeks,
and other men of like calibre. A
little later in the campaign the
same suggestion was made by the
Saturday Evening Post, a publica-
tion of somewhat larger circulation
than the Granite Monthly. Mr.
Harding did not see fit to take this
course of action and the result in
November showed that he did not
need the additional number of votes
which it would have brought him.
But without making the pledge he
has carried it out and Mr. Hoover
and Mr. Weeks today have seats



Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 19 of 57)