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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is under the direction of the State
Board of Education. Our school
is graded from the kindergarten
through the grammar school grades
in conformity with the state re-
quirements. We have a staff of
five efficient teachers and the en-
tire expense of running the school
is paid out of our income. Our in-
come is derived from our invested
funds and the charge we make per
capita for the children in the Home,



An average day in the life of the
Home is as follows : Rising bell at
6:30. The officers have breakfast
at seven o'clock ; the children at
7 :2G. After breakfast the children
file into the chapel for a brief ser-
vice of responsive reading in the
Gospels, prayer, concluding with
the Lord's Prayer, and singing.
Upon leaving the chapel most of
children have some work to do be-
fore school begins at nine o'clock.
They make the beds — in their own
departments — sweep the dormi-
tories and halls, work in the kit-
chen, dining rooms and the store




Eartlett Cottage



but this with the high cost of living
is not sufficient to pay all our bills
and so we are dependent on the
generosity of friends.

Those who visit the Home cannot
fail to be impressed with its ideal
location and the bright happy chil-
dren living here. Most of the
children have some duties outside
of their school work that help to
teach them to be industrious, or-
derly and neat. They do their
work heartily and well and are
pleased when asked to do some-
thing which gives them an oppor-
tunity to do you a favor.



room, and the boys who live in the
John Taylor Cottage take care of
the horses, cows, pigs and hens.
The school sessions are from 9 to
11:50 and 1:30 to 3:40. The chil-
dren have considerable time for re-
creation and due regard is had to
their health. We have very little
sickness and our children are well
nourished and healthy. As in all
institutions of this kind some of the
older boys and girls do consider-
able work and we could not run
the Home without their assist-
ance. Our older boys do most of
the farm work and our older girls



THE N. H. ORPHANS' HOME



235




a

O

Si



-






U



236



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



work in the steam laundry, the
children's dining room and kitchen,
and assist the matrons in the first
and second nurseries. The chil-
dren have supper at 5 :20, and with
the exception of the boys in the
John Taylor Cottage are all in bed
by eight o'clock. It is sometimes
thought best to keep a boy or girl
in the Home when they are really
old enough to go out and make
their own living. We then make
them self-supporting and give them
a small salary.

Great care is taken in providing
the children with good wholesome
food, which consists of, for break-
fast, cooked or prepared cereals,
bread or corn cake, butter, milk
and mocho (cereal coffee) ; dinners,
baked beans, potato and meat, beef
stew, salmon and rice, fish chowd-
er, macaroni and tomato, vegetables
from the garden and various kinds
of puddings ; suppers, bread and
butter, syrup, apple sauce, peanut
butter, cake or gingerbread, cocoa
and milk.

It is no small job to provide for
all the needs of 160 boys, girls and
little children, but with a loyal
staff of officers the life of the Home
moves along harmoniously and no
pains are spared to promote the
best welfare of the Home.

Ex-Governor Smyth in his last
message as President of the Board
of Trustees said, "We have, gath-
ered here, the fragments of many
families, every one of which start-
ed out in life with fair prospects
and high hopes of .success. Some
uncontrolled influence, some hid-
den rock, some storm of passion, or
sickness ending in death, shattered
the home, and these little, children,
innocent of all, have been gathered
up by these servants of the Lord
and sheltered from the storm."
And well does our late President,
Dr. Douglas, say : "One of the great
needs of this institution is a deep-
er personal interest of people in its



grand work." We solicit the full-
est investigation into the working
of the Home and visitors are wel-
come any day but Saturday, Sunday
and holidays. This is a good place
to visit if you are interested in
children.

For almost fifty years this Home
has been caring for orphan and
needy children, caring for their
social, educational, moral, and re-
ligious needs, rendering a service
to the State beyond any money
value. Over two thousand chil-
dren have found a home here, and
when we think of what many of
them have been saved from and
what the Home has done for all
these boys and girls we cannot but
be profoundly thankful to Him who
put a new value on childhood when
He took a litle child and said, "Of
such is the kingdom of heaven."

Interest in the W T ebster Oak is
enhanced by the fact that it has re-
cently been given a place in the
Hall of Fame for trees with a his-
tory.

Daniel Webster, like many an-
other growing boy, when about
fourteen years of age, had little
love for farm work. He would
much rather lie under the shade of
a leafy tree, or roam the hills in
search of berries, than buckle down
to hard work. And so it came
about on a hot day in July, when
the men were cutting the grass
with scythe, and raking it by hand,
that Ebenezer Webster fitted
scythe to snath and handing them
to Daniel, sent him into the field
with the mowers. They were
working between the Home build-
ings and the cemetery. In those
days the grass grew tall and heavy.
The land had not been deprived of
its virgin fertility. The sun came
down hot, and the scythe and snath
were heavy. After "going around"
for a few times, the young lad hung
his scythe in the branches of an oak
tree that grew beside the highway,



THE N. H. ORPHANS' HOME



237




Rev. Walter J. Malvern, Superintendent.



238



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



and stretched himself upon the
newmown hay. Noon came and he
went up to the house with a boy's
appetite for food. His father had
been away during the forenoon,
and in course of time asked, "Well,
Daniel, how does your scythe
hang?" Mindful of where the
scythe was, Daniel answered quick-
ly, "It hangs just right to suit me."
'The haymakers, who were with
the family at dinner, heard the re-
ply and told the story. Later when



the tree on which Daniel Webster
hung his scythe."

From the remainder of the
trunk, and the large branches, Mr.
Mack had a quantity of pen hold-
ers manufactured. These he took
to Boston consigning them to a
leading stationer. They were
marked to show from whence the
wood came, and sold readily at a
good price and Mr. Mack used the
money obtained for the benefit of
the Home. When the stock was




The Webster Oak



Daniel became a public idol the
oak became a tree of interest.

The tree was blown down in a
storm several years ago. The next
day Mrs. Mack had the children
gather up all the available parts of
the tree. From the trunk Mr. Mack
had a few canes made. Only one
of these canes can now be account-
ed for. Mr. Mack had occasion to
go to Washington, and called up-
on the President. It was while
Rutherford B. Hayes was in office,
and Mr. Mack presented him with
a cane, marked, "Made of part of



sold out the stationer sent up for
more. Mr. Mack told him there
were no more, all the wood from
the tree had been used. "Are there
no more oaks in New Hampshire?"
asked the stationer. Very indig-
nantly Mr. Mack replied, "There
are plenty of oaks in New Hamp-
shire, but there was only one on
which Daniel Webster hung his
scythe, and from no other will pen
holders be made and marked with
the name of the great statesman, if
I know, or can prevent it."



ALL ALONE IN THE COUNTRY



A PLAY IN ONE ACT



Rx Henry Bailey Stevens



Dramatis Personae :

Susan Reynolds
Aunt Polly Walker
Dick Van Dcittcn

(Scene: The living room of a
New Hampshire farm house. The
furnishings are simple but of a mod-
ern type. At the center rear is a
long, comfortable and well-uphol-
stered sofa. A dress-form, or
"Betty," as it is popularly called
(made of gummed paper at a 'home
demonstration' meeting) sits on a
stand at its left. At the left front
are a wicker lounge-chair and table,
on which is an electric lamp with
art-glass panels. There are papers
and magazines on the table. In a
corner is a victrola. A door at the
left front opens to the front hall
and one at the left rear to cup-
board ; on the opposite side a door
at the rear opens to the side porch
and at the front to the kitchen.
There is a telephone between the
two doors at the right. At the
rear a window looks out toward
the mountains. Into the room from
the front hall at left comes Susan
carrying a traveling bag, followed
by Aunt Polly, who is veiled, glov-
ed and arrayed in a traveling cos-
tume.)

Susan (putting down the bag) :
Oh, I say. Aunt Polly, it's just great
that you've come. Mother will be
delighted. It's too good to be true.

Aunt Polly: So this is little
Susan, is it? It's too bad for them
to call you Susie.

Susan: Why, but they don't,
Aunt Polly ! Nobody does.

Aunt Polly: It must be they do



behind your back. (Sitting down)
Well, the old place looks awfully
natural. I thought I'd never get
here — changing at the Junction and
stopping, the way the trains do in
this part of the country, at every
pair of bar.s. (She struggles with
her veil.)

Susan: Let me help you, Aunt
Polly. (She helps her with her
veil.) I'll take your veil, and I'll
take your gloves — and your hat.
Now are you comfortable? Oh, but
mother'll be so sorry she's been
away. She and Dad have just gone
over to the Field Day at the four-
corners.

Aunt Polly: Well, the poor soul,
I'm glad she's got away for one day.
Up in the morning at four o'clock
to get breakfast, feed the chickens,
carry in water from the well, wash
the milk pail, bake and stew all
morning over a hot kitchen fire —

Susan: Why, Aunt Polly, you
ought to see our pressure cooker!

Aunt Polly: I'm sure I don't
know what that is, but I know
what it is living on a farm,
Susan. I was brought up here, and
when I left twenty-six years ago,
I vowed I'd never come back. And
I don't know as I would, Susan, if
it hadn't been as I said to John,
"There's that girl up there that's
still young. There may be no
hopes' for Nell, but there is some
hopes for her. I'll bet they call her
Susie, and that she ain't been any-
wheres except to Rockingham
Academy, and can't go to no
movies, nor meet any likely young
men, and ain't been fitted to move
in cultivated society. She can't



240



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



have the advantages, John, that
we could give her. And it's my
duty, as I .see it, to go up there and
offer her a chance to make a change
now while she's still young." Of
course I know it would be awfully
hard on your mother ; but as I says
to John, anybody's a fool to waste
themselves. If there's one thing
I've always been thankful for, it's
that I didn't waste myself.

Susan: Aren't you funny, Aunt
Polly !

Aunt Polly: Well, as I say,
everything looks natural. The
same old house fifty miles from
nowhere, and the same old room.
I declare, it smells • natural too.
(She sniffs) I always did hate the
smell of a kerosene lamp.

Susan: But Aunt Polly —

Aunt Polly: Oh, I guess you
can't tell me. It's very serious,
Susan, very serious. Of course
you don't realize, as I do, all the
"hardships of living like this, and
i 1 he disadvantages. Just for one
thin, for instance, take anybody's
pernunciation.

Susan: Their what?

Aunt Polly: Their pernuncia-
tion, their language. Of course it
ain't your fault, Susan, but I could
tell, the minute I heard you speak
that you didn't talk the way other
people do.

Susan: (blushing) Oh, you
noticed that, did you?

Aunt Polly: Yes, you know
people in the country always say
"caf" when they ought to say
"carf"—

Susan: Why, I don't do that,
Aunt Polly. You see, I've been
practising pronunciation and all that
sort of thing. I thought that was
what you meant.

Aunt Polly: You have, have you?
(somewhat taken aback) Who's
been teaching you?

Susan: There's a young man
staying up at the Jefferson's who's



quite an artist. He's lived abroad,
you know, and —

Aunt Polly: You be careful about
these artists and young men like
that, Susan.

Susan: Why, do you know any



o



f th



em



Aunt Polly: No, but I've read
about 'em in the papers. A girl
lots of times in the country don't
understand about some things and
don't realize what a terrible lot of
immorality there is in the city,
Susan.

Susan: Why, Aunt Polly, I
thought you wanted me to go to
the city.

Aunt Polly: (gasping for a min-
ute) I want you to be brought up
right, Susan, and to be a comfort
to your parents.

Susan: Oh, you're just an
dear, Aunt Polly. (She goes up and
kisses her, and then stands off and
looks at her) but you are funny!
(She laughs roguishly.) Now please
excuse me for a minute while I look
at the dinner. (She goes out at
front right.)

(Aunt Polly picks up a news-
paper and sighs. Suddenly the
telephone bell rings.)

Aunt Polly: (calling) Susan!
Susan, there's somebody at the
front door. (The bell rings again)

Susan: (coming in laughing, her
hands covered with flour) It's the
telephone, Aunt Polly/ Would
you mind answering it? My hands
are full of dough, (goes out)

Aunt Polly: Mercy, I didn't real-
ize you had a telephone. (At tele-
phone) Hello! Yes, well no, this
isn't Mrs. Reynolds. This is Mrs.
Walker speaking. I'm visiting
Mrs. Reynolds. Yes, you say a man
has escaped — has escaped — you
don't mean it! Last night? Youi
don't .say? And you say he's been
traced in this direction? Wait a
minute. Let me get it all straight
now. You say he wears a striped



ALL ALONE IN THE COUNTRY



241



shirt and trousers — without a hat —
yes, I got that. And what did you
say? Shoes with nails in 'em.
Most shoes do, don't they? Nails,
yes, I got it. Well, what can we
do Central? (blankly.) Yes, yes,
we'll call you. (hangs up) Susan!
Susan !

(Susan appears in doorway.)

Aunt Polly: Susan, have you got
any gun in the house besides that
old flintlock?

Susan: Why, we haven't even
got that, Aunt Polly.

Aunt Polly: (triumphantly) I
knew it ! Imagine living in the
country fifty miles from nowhere
without a gun. But I knew it.
(She opens up her traveling bag.)
I was just going to leave when I
says to John, "I'm goin' into a
lonesome country, and there's no
tellin' what'll happen. And I'll bet
they haven't got a gun in the
house." So I come forearmed. I
guess I know the country. You
can't tell me. (After diving about
in the bag she produces a small
revolver.)

Susan: Look out, Aunt Polly!
Please don't point it this way.

Aunt Polly: Oh, you needn't be
afraid. I know how to handle a
gun. I was just lookin' to see if
it was loaded right.

Susan: But what are you going
to do with it ?

Aunt Polly: I'm just going to
put it right here on this window-
sill in case of any emergency.
Susan (dramatically) we have just
been informed by the operator that
at half past ten o'clock last night
a man escaped from the state in-
sane asylum.

Susan: They always are escap-
ing. I wouldn't have thought
there'd be any left by now to es-
cape.

Aunt Polly: And when last seen
he was headed in this direction !



Susan: Did the operator say he
was on this road?

Aunt Polly: He was headed, she
said, in the general direction of
Salisbury.

Susan: Oh, that's quite differ-
ent.

Aunt Polly: We can't take any
chances, Susan. She said he was
wearing a .striped costume without
a hat, and his shoes had nails that
show in the bottom. Hog-nails,
the operator called them ; but
there's so many kinds of nails — ten
penny and shingle and clapboard
and wire and everything — I never
did pay much attention to 'em. I
guess it would be clear what they
were all right.

Susan:- (mischievously) I do
hope vou'll earn a reward, Aunt
Polly. '

Aunt Polly: It's no joking mat-
ter, I can tell you. The man is
criminally insane, and they say a
desperate character. They say he
killed a man once.

Susan: Supposing he should
come in now, Aunt Polly, through
that door there (pointing to the
hall door opposite) do you know
what I would do? I would take
this biscuit — (she moulds up a lump
of dough that is in her hands and
holds it up) — and throw it at him
just like this! (To the horror of
Aunt Polly she throws the lump
with considerable dexterity plump
against the hall door. Then hasti-
ly picking up the bulk of it she runs
laughing back into the kitchen.)

Aunt Polly: (aghast). And to
think I've just invited her to my
house !

Susan: (reappearing) Never
fear, Aunt Polly! (She brings in
a damp cloth and wipes the re-
mains of the dough from the door
and floor. I didn't put it in the
oven ! There ! It's all clean again.
I'm sorry, Aunt Polly (she runs up



242



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



and kisses her impulsively), but you
know we all have to waste more
or less on practice shots. I'll wag-
er you've wasted several boxes of
cartridges on your revolver.

Aunt Polly: I'm afraid the lone-
someness of the country isn't good
for your nerves, my dear.

Susan (soberly, beginning to play
a part) : That's quite true, I sup-
pose. Do you know, Aunt Polly,
I often sit here in the twilight,
looking out at the mountains, as
they grow shaggy with the darken-
ing purple of the descending night
upon their forests, and cry out my
bitter heart at the loneliness of it
all. And then, as if "in answer to
me, I hear the call of a whip-poor-
will or the hoot of an owl. And I
sit there inconsolable, until sud-
denly a little star pops out above
the mountain. Oh, life is often
cruel in the country, Aunt Polly.
I am sure it isn't in the city.

Aunt Polly: (very much affected) :
Poor child !

Susan : And then there are the
long winter evenings with (stutter-
ing for time) - with - as you say -
with the smelly kerosene lamps.
And the cold raw mornings when
one shivers at the pump in the
yard. Ugh ! (Shivering) but it's
cold! I'll wager you haven't wash-
ed at the pump since you left here,
Aunt Polly!

Aunt Polly: Why, I never did
such a thing in my life, Susan.
We always lugged the water into
the house.

Susan: (Gasping for time) : Well,
of course, you can do that if you
want to ; but as for me, I - I - I
always preferred the pump !

Aunt Polly: Susan Reynolds, you
don't mean to tell me that you
wash at the pump in that yard?
In that yard, in the plain sight of
everybody !

Susan : Well, as you say. Aunt
Polly, there's hardly ever anybody
going by!



Aunt Polly: Well, if that isn't the
countryfiedest thing ever heard of !
I'm going right out there now and
look.

Susan (Hurriedly and confused-
ly) : Oh, no - no - o! Er- you
•see, the pump has - er - the pump
is out of order just now. We had
to take it up. We - we - I'll get
you some water, Aunt Polly. I'll
take you right up to the ba - the -
the - spare room with it. You can
wash and wash there to your
heart's content. I should have
given you the water before. You
must be cpiite dusty. Sit right
down, Aunt Polly. I'll be right
back. Please sit still. (She fair-
ly forces her into her chair, runs
out to the kitchen, and in a minute
comes back with a pitcher of
water.) It was quite unforgive-
able of me. (With the pitcher in
one hand and the traveling bag in
the other she goes into the front
hall, following Aunt Polly). There
now, let's go right up-stair.s. The
trains are very dirty, I know. They
must be. This is the way up, you
remember. I do hope everything
seems quite natural. (The quick-
ened tones of her voice die away,
and in an instant are heard again.)
There now, I hope you will be com-
fortable. (She appears in door-
way, calling back) Aunt Polly!
If there's anything more you want,
let me know. (She closes the hall
door and stands for a moment pon-
dering.) I wonder what they will
do to me when they find out. But I
simply couldn't have shown her to
the bathroom. Some way it didn't
seem fair. And the poor kerosene
lamps! (She laughs and skips
suddenly across the room to the
switch.) The poor long winter
evenings with the smell of kero-
sene! (She switches on and off the
electric light.) It must have been
the oil-stove that bothered her.
That makes me think — (She goes
out at right to kitchen.)



ALL ALONE IN THE COUNTRY



243



(In a moment the door from the
side porch opens, and Van Deuten
enters. He is a young man, bare-
headed, and is wearing- an athletic
costume — a coat sweater that re-
veals underneath a jersey with
broad blue and white bands, short
running pants that have a black
stripe on the side, and running
shoes with half-inch spikes on the
soles. The shoes force him to
walk on his heels indoors.)

Van Deuten: Susan! O Susan-
girl! (He hobbles across the floor
and looks out toward kitchen. Sees
nobody and closes door.) Won-
der if they've gone to the Field
Day. Confound these shoes.
They're not the thing for cross-
country. (Kicks them off in mid-
dle of floor and stands in socks.
Hesitates, then starts victrola, and
as the music catches his fancy, be-
gins to dance. Suddenly notices
"Betty" and going up to it. kneels
in mock-heroics, then picks it up
and dances with it. Suddenly Aunt
Polly appears in doorway and sees
him, darts back with muffled ex-
clamation without being seen. Van
Deuten finishes dance, returns
"Betty" to its position, stops vic-
trola. and sits down with sigh to
read the paper. His back is to the
hall door, and Aunt Polly reappears
cautiously and surveys him.)

Aunt Polly (to herself): Striped
costume ! Bareheaded ! And shoes
with nails in 'em ! (She hesitates
for a moment and then slips across
to window, seizes the revolver and
levels it at Van Deuten's head. Her
coolness and self-mastery are evi-
dent as she stands waiting. A-
ware of something unusual in the
room, Van Deuten looks around
and sees her. He overturns chair
in his excitement and falls to floor.)

Van Deuten: My God!

Aunt Polly: Sit right where you
are, young man, without swearing!
I know all about you. (Van
Deuten attempts to speak.) Not a



word ! Put your hands above your
head. (Van Deuten obeys quick-
ly.) Have you a hat?

] T an Deuten (amazed): No, but my
dear woman —

Aunt Polly (threatening with the
revolver) : Not a word ! I thought
not! You have no hat! You ad-
mit that. You wear a striped cos-
tume ; anybody can see it's a crazy
costume. You cannot deny that.
Your shoes have nails in them.
Crazy sort of nails. And you have
the face of a criminally insane per-
son if I ever saw one in my life !

Van Deuten: There is some mis —

Aunt Polly: (Towering and threat-
ening with the revolver) Not an-
other word. I won't stand for it.
I will shoot at the slightest provo-
cation. I wll shoot unless you obey
me instantly. Do you understand
that, young man? Answer me,
yes or no. Do you understand
that?

Van Deuten (aghast): Yes, I un-
derstand.

Aunt Polly: You will — (She hesi-
tates, then moves around room with
revolver kept pointed at Van
Deuten's head until she reaches
the door of the cupboard at left
rear. Opens door dramatically)
You will please to go in there at
once. Hurry. (Van Heuten obeys
hobbling.) Now if I hear a yip
from you, young man, or the slight-
est noise, I will shoot through the
door. Do you understand? (Van
Deuten is silent.) Answer me,
yes or no. Do you understand
that I will shoot?

Van Deuten (Hopelessly): Yes.
(She closes the door with a bang
and locks it.)

Aunt Polly: I must telephone to
the authorities. (Accent on the it)
(She hurries to the telephone, takes
down the receiver and waits ex-
pecting* the operator to answer.)
Hello! Hello! I never saw such
a place. I suppose the Central is
out feeding the chickens ! Hello, I



244



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



say! (She jigs the receiver-hook
up and down.) Hello!

Van Deuten (From the cupboard):
You'd better ring the bell, madam.

Aunt Polly: Don't let me hear
another word from you, do you
hear? (Sees bells on box and tries
to hit them together.) I never
heard of such an arrangement.
How do you ring this bell anyway?
Imagine having a telephone like
this ! (Addressing the cupboard)
How do you ring the bell? (No
answer) (Louder) I say, how do
you ring the bell? Are you deaf?

Van Deuten: You requested me
to be ' silent, madam,, and I shall
steadfastly refrain from answering.

Aunt Polly: Answer me at once,
or I will shoot. Do you hear?

Van Deuten: You will have to



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 25 of 57)