Mabell S. C. (Mabell Shippie Clarke) Smith.

Ethel Morton at Chautauqua online

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IT was a large and heavily laden family party that left the train at
Westfield, New York. There was Grandfather Emerson carrying Grandmother
Emerson's hat-box and valise; and there was their daughter, Lieutenant
Roger Morton's wife, with a tall boy and girl, and a short girl and boy
of her own, and a niece, Ethel, all burdened with the bags and bundles
necessary for a night's comfort on the cars and a summer's stay at

"The trunks are checked through, Roger," said Mrs. Morton to her older
son, "so you won't have to bother about them here."

"Good enough," replied Roger, who was making his first trip, in entire
charge of the party and who was eager that every arrangement should run
smoothly. After a consultation with his grandmother who had been to
Chautauqua before, he announced,

"The trolley is waiting behind the station. We can get on board at

Roger was a merry-faced boy of seventeen and his mother smiled at the
look of responsibility that gave him an expression like his father. Mrs.
Morton sighed a little, too, for although she was accustomed to the long
absences required of a naval officer yet she never went upon one of
these summer migrations without missing the assistance of the father of
the family.

Lieutenant Morton had been with the fleet at Vera Cruz for several
months, but although there had been rumors that our ships would be
withdrawn and sent north, which might mean a short leave for the
Lieutenant, it had not come to pass, and it looked as if he would have
to spend the summer under the Mexican sun. His wife drew a little
comfort from the fact that his brother, Ethel's father, Captain Richard
Morton, was with the land forces under General Funston, so that the two
men could see each other occasionally.

"How far do we have to go on the trolley, Mother?" asked Dicky, the
six-year-old, who had already announced his intention of being a
motorman when he grew up, and who always chose a front seat where he
could watch the operations that made the car go.

"I forget, dear. Ask Grandmother."

"Twelve miles, son, and over a road that is full of history for Helen.
Grandfather will tell her all about it. We are turning into it now. Do
you see the name on the tree?"

"'Portage Street,'" read Helen.

The party made a brave showing in the car. Helen, who was almost as tall
as Roger and who was in the high school, sat on the front seat with
Dicky so that he could superintend the motorman's activities. Mrs.
Morton and Roger sat behind them, he with his hands full of the long
tickets which were to take them all to Chautauqua and home again. Back
of them were the two girl cousins of nearly the same age, about
thirteen, both named Ethel Morton and strikingly alike in appearance.
Their schoolmates had nicknamed them from the color of their eyes,
"Ethel Brown" and "Ethel Blue." "Ethel Brown" was Lieutenant Morton's
daughter, and sister of Roger and Helen and Dicky. "Ethel Blue" was
Captain Morton's daughter and she had lived almost all her life with her
cousins, because her mother had died when she was a tiny baby.

Grandfather and Grandmother Emerson, Mrs. Morton's father and mother,
were in the last seat of the four, Grandmother eagerly looking out of
the window to recall the sights that she had seen on her previous trip
to Chautauqua, ten years before.

"Why is it called 'Portage Street'?" asked Helen, when everybody was
comfortably settled. Helen was fond of history and had just taken a
prize offered to the first year class of the high school for the best
account of the Indians in the colonial days of that part of New Jersey
where the Mortons lived.

"'Portage' comes from the French word 'carry,' as you high school people
know," answered grandfather. "A portage is a place where you have to
carry your boat around some obstruction. For instance, suppose you were
an Indian traveling in a canoe from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, you
would have to carry your canoe around the rapids of the Niagara River
because your little craft could not live in that tremendous current, and
around Niagara Falls because - "

"Because it couldn't climb a tree," laughed Roger.

"Just about that," accepted grandfather.

"Are there any waterfalls around here?" asked Ethel Brown.

"Not any waterfalls, but the very land we are on was an obstacle to the
Indians who wanted to travel from Canada southward."

"Oh, I begin to see," said Helen. "They paddled across Lake Erie - "

"That was Lake Erie we were riding side of this morning," interrupted
Ethel Blue.

"Yes, that was Lake Erie and the gray cloud that we could see way over
the water was Canada."

"O-oh," cried both Ethels at once; "we've seen Canada!"

"When they reached the American shore," went on grandfather, "they had
to carry their canoes over the twelve miles of country that we are
passing over now until they reached the head of Chautauqua Lake."

"Where we are going!"

"Just beyond the village of Mayville we shall see the very spot where
they put their canoes into the water again and tumbled in themselves to
paddle southward."

"Weren't their feet tired?" asked practical Dicky.

"I guess they were, old man," returned Roger, leaning forward to tweak
his ear affectionately.

"If they were," went on grandfather, "they had plenty of time to rest
them, for they didn't have to leave their boats again unless they wanted
to until they got to the Gulf of Mexico."

"The Gulf of Mexico!" rose a chorus that included every member of the
party except Dicky whose knowledge of geography was limited to a very
small section of Rosemont, the New Jersey town he lived in.

"It's a fact," insisted Mr. Emerson. "The outlet of Lake Chautauqua is
the little stream called the Chadakoin River. It flows into Conewango
Creek, and that loses itself in the Allegheny River."

"I know what happens then," cried Ethel Brown; "the Allegheny and the
Monongahela join to form the Ohio and the Ohio empties into the
Mississippi - "

"And the Mississippi empties into the Gulf of Mexico!" concluded Ethel
Blue triumphantly.

"Good children," commented Roger patronizingly as he turned around to
give a condescending pat on the two girls' heads. Finding that their
hats prevented this brotherly and cousinly attention he contented
himself with tweaking each one's hair before he turned back as if he had
accomplished a serious duty.

"Can't you see the picture in your mind!" murmured Helen, looking out of
the window. "Just imagine all those tall brown men carrying their canoes
on their shoulders and tramping through the forest that must have
covered all this region then."

"More interesting men than Indians went over this stretch of country in
the olden days," said Mrs. Emerson.

"Who? Who?" cried the Ethels, and Dicky asked, "Was it the President?"
Mr. Wilson, the former Governor of his own state, having been the most
interesting personage he had ever seen.

"In a minute Grandfather will tell you about the Frenchmen who came
here, but I want you to notice the farms we are going through now before
we climb the hill and leave them behind."

"I never saw so many grape vines in all my life," said Roger.

"No wonder," commented his grandmother. "This is one of the greatest
grape-growing districts of the whole United States."

"You don't say so!" cried Roger. "Why is it? Is the soil especially good
for them?"

"Do you remember how flat it was in the village of Westfield? We are
only just now beginning to climb a little, and you see we are some
distance from the station and the station is some distance from the

"That must mean that there's a strip of flat land lying along the lake,"
guessed Roger.

"That's it exactly," said his grandmother. "It's a strip about a hundred
miles long and from two to four miles wide, and it is called the Grape

"I saw a man in the train this morning reading a newspaper called that,"
said grandfather.

"I suppose it is published in one of the towns in the Belt," suggested
Mrs. Morton. "I've been told that some of the very best grapes in the
country were grown here."

"I've read in our geology that sometimes the soil is peculiarly rich in
places where there had been water long ages ago," said Roger. "Perhaps
this flat strip used to be a part of Lake Erie."

"I dare say," agreed grandfather. "At any rate the soil seems to be just
what the grapes like best, and you can see for yourself as we climb up
that these vines look less and less thrifty."

"How queerly they train them," commented Ethel Blue. "I've only seen
grapes on arbors before."

"You've only seen them where they were wanted for ornament as well as
use," said Mr. Emerson. "Along the Rhine and in the French vineyards the
vines are trained on posts."

"Letting them run along those wires that connect the posts must give a
better chance to every part of the plant, it seems to me," said Mrs.

"Do you notice that the rows are wide enough apart for a wagon to drive
between them? When they are picking, that arrangement saves the work of
carrying the baskets to the cart. These are the days when you have to
make your head save your heels if you want to compete successfully in
the business world."

"That's a good stunt in scientific management, isn't it?" commented
Roger, who had almost made up his mind to enter the factory of one of
his grandfather's friends and who read carefully everything he came
across about labor-saving machines and time-saving devices.

"I wonder if Westfield isn't the place where Secretary Bryan gets his
grape juice," said Mrs. Morton. "I noticed a big establishment of some
kind after we left the station."

"There are two or three grape juice factories there," said her mother,
"so I shouldn't be a bit surprised."

"It's good stuff," and Roger's lips moved as if he were remembering the
grape juice lemonade that was a pleasant part of the refreshments at the
high school graduation reception.

"I've never been here in picking time," went on Mrs. Emerson, "but I've
been told that it is something like the hop picking in Kent in England."

"I've read about that," said Helen. "People who aren't well go down
there and live out of doors and the fresh air and the fragrance of the
hops does them a lot of good."

"It's much the same here. People come from Buffalo and Cleveland to
'work in grapes' as they call it."

"I should think it would be pretty hard work."

"It must be, for the picker has to be on his feet all day, but he is
paid according to the amount he picks, so his employer does not lose if
he sits down to rest occasionally or stops to look over at the lake."

Mrs. Emerson made a gesture that caused them all to turn their heads in
the direction they were leaving.

"What is it, Grandmother? A cloud?" asked Helen.

Grandmother smiled and shook her head.

"Look again," she insisted.

"I see, I see," cried Ethel Brown. "The front part is water, blue water,
and that's Canada way, way off beyond."

Sure enough it was, for the car had climbed so high that they could look
right over Westfield to the vineyards that lay between the railroad
track and the lake, and then on across the water to the dim coast line
of another country.

"There's a steamer! Oh, see, Mother," cried Roger, pointing to a feather
of black smoke that hung against the sky.

"And I believe that's a sail boat with the sun on it quite near the
shore on this side," returned Mrs. Morton.

"We must make an excursion some day this summer to Barcelona," said Mrs.
Emerson. "When I was here before we had a delightful picnic there."

"Where is it?" asked her husband.

"That sail is just off it, I should say," she replied. "It is a tiny
fishing village, with nets hung up picturesquely to dry and cliffs on
one side and a beach on the other."

"I wonder how it got its name," questioned Roger, who always gathered
bits of stray information as he went along and never lost anything
because of shyness in asking questions.

"They say," replied his grandmother, "that Barcelona was the very spot
at which the Indians from Canada used to land when they came over to
make a visit on this side of the great lake."

"The place was known long ago, then."

"Apparently. So it wasn't strange that when some Spanish and Portuguese
fishermen a long time afterwards wanted to establish a fishing business
somewhere along the shore they chose this locality."

"Can we fish when we go there?" asked Ethel Blue.

"If Grandfather and Roger will take you out. Or we can all go in a motor

"Wow, wow, wow!"

This was an expression of joy from Dicky who was happy if he could go
anywhere with Roger, happier if his grandfather went, too, and happiest
if the excursion was in a boat. His father's love of the water had
become his, also.

"Right on the top of this hill," said grandmother, whose memory was
serving her well after ten years, "there used to be an inn in the old
stagecoach days. A man named Button kept it."

"Button's Inn," murmured Mrs. Morton. "Why does that sound familiar to

"Probably you've read Judge Tourgée's novel of that name. The scene was
laid hereabouts, and the drawing is all good because the author lived in

"Where's that?" asked Ethel Blue.

"We're coming to it in a few minutes."

"Don't you remember Grandfather said the Indians used to put their
canoes in Lake Chautauqua just after they passed Mayville?" said Ethel
Brown severely.

Roger roared.

"He did," insisted Ethel, flushing.

"As if Mayville was built then," chortled Roger, and all the rest of
them laughed unsympathetically except Mrs. Morton who leaned back and
nodded to her daughter.

"Never mind," she said. "We can't be expected to know every date in the
history book, can we?"

The town of Mayville, perched on its ridge with distant views visible
between the houses, and fields and low hills rolling away from its
elevation, seemed bright and attractive to the travellers. The new
courthouse stood resplendent in the heart of the village, and just
beyond it the road fell to the head of Chautauqua Lake.

"Here's where your Indian friends got in their fine work," called Roger
who had been going from one side of the car to the other so that nothing
might escape his eyes.

Ethel would have liked to stick out her tongue at him, but she knew that
her mother had a strong objection to that expression of disapproval so
she contented herself with scowling terribly at her brother.

"What is the story about the Frenchmen, Grandfather?" asked Helen. "You
forgot to tell us."

"So I did, but Grandmother says that we are so near to Chautauqua now,
so I shall have to postpone it until we have a rainy evening."

"Are we really almost there?" cried the two Ethels, rushing to the other
side of the car. "See, how near the lake is. See, there's a high fence
with buildings behind it - a funny old fence!"

"That's _the_ famous Chautauqua fence, I suspect," said Mrs. Morton,

"Why famous? How long is it? What's that little tent on the other side?
Oh, what funny, tiny houses!"

Everybody chattered and nobody paid much attention to grandmother
although she answered patiently every question.

"It's famous because there isn't another town in the United States that
is surrounded by a fence. It's a mile along the road and about a half
mile at each end from the road to the lake. That's a fence guard's tent.
What's a fence guard? A man to show the nearest way to the gate to
people who want to take a short cut through the fence. That's
Piano-town. The people who are studying music practice in those little
houses where they won't annoy their neighbors in the living cottages."

"Here we are," cried grandfather. "Have you all got your bundles? Don't
forget your hat, Dicky."

"'All ashore that's going ashore,'" quoted Roger who had seen many
steamers sail, and then he suddenly grew quiet and assisted his mother
with his best manner, for on the platform were several young men who
looked as if they might be good friends if they were impressed at the
start that he was worth while and not just a kid; and there were also
some girls of Helen's age and a little older whose appearance he liked



GETTING the Emerson-Morton party inside the grounds of Chautauqua
Institution was no mean undertaking. Roger was still acting as courier
and he asked his mother to wait until the other passengers from the car
had gone through the turnstile so that the gateman might give them his
undivided attention. They all had to have season tickets and when these
had been made out then one after another the family pushed the stile and
the gateman punched number one from the numerals on their tickets as
they passed.

"If only you were eighty or over you would have your ticket given you by
the Institution, Father," said Mrs. Morton.

"Thank you, I'm a long way outside of that class," retorted Mr. Emerson
with some tartness.

"What's the idea of the punching?" asked Helen, of her grandmother.

"You have to show your ticket every time you go outside of the fence or
out on the lake," explained Mrs. Emerson. "The odd numbers are punched
when you come in - as we do now - and the even numbers when you go out. It
circumvents several little tricks that people more smart than honest
have tried to play on the administration at one time or another."

"Why do we have to pay, anyway?" asked Roger. "I never went to a summer
resort before where you had to pay to go in."

"That's because you never went to one that gave you amusement of all
sorts. Here you can go to lectures and concerts all day long and you
don't have to pay a cent for them. This entrance fee covers everything
of that sort. Where else on the planet can you go to something like
twenty or more events in the course of the day for the sum of twelve and
a half cents which is about what the grown-up season ticket holder pays
for his fun."

"Nowhere, I'll bet," responded Roger promptly. "Are there really as many
as that?"

"There are a great many more if you count in all the things that are
going on at the various clubs and all the classes in the Summer

"Don't you have to pay for those?"

"There's a small fee for all instruction because classes require
teachers, and teachers must be paid; and the clubs call for a small fee
because they have expenses which they must meet. But all the public
entertainments are free."

"This is just the place I've been looking for ever since Father gave me
an allowance," grinned Roger, whose struggles with his account book were
a family joke.

"Mother," drawled Dicky in a voice that seemed on the verge of tears,
"why don't we ride? I'm so tired I can hardly walk."

"Poor lamb, there aren't any trolleys here or any station carriages,"
explained Mrs. Morton. "Roger, can't you get another porter to take
your bags while you carry Dicky?"

Thus reinforced the New Jersey army marched down the hill from the Road
Gate to the square.

Mrs. Morton had taken a cottage, and the porters said that they knew
exactly where it was situated. Roger, bearing Dicky perched upon his
shoulder, walked between them soaking up information all the way. He
noticed that both young men wore letters on their sweaters, and he
discovered after a brief examination that they were both college men who
were athletes at their respective institutions.

"There are lots of fellows here doing this," one of them said.

"Working, you mean?"

"I sure do. Jo and I think you really have more fun if you're working
than if you don't. There are college boys rustling baggage at the
trolley station where you came in, and at the steamer landing, and lots
of the boarding houses have them doing all sorts of things. Jo and I
wait on table for our meals at the Bismarck cottage."

"Do you get your room, too?"

"We get our rooms by being janitors at two of the halls where they hold
classes. We get up early and sweep them out every day and we set the
chairs in order after every class. Then we do this porter act at certain

"So your summer really isn't costing you anything."

"I shall come out a little bit ahead, railroad ticket and all. Jo lives
farther away and he won't quite cover his expenses unless something new
and lucrative turns up - like tutoring."

"Or running a power boat, Henry," smiled silent Jo.

"Did you get that job at the Springers?" asked Henry eagerly.

"I did, and it's more profitable than toting bags."

"Good for you," exclaimed the genial Henry, and Roger added his
congratulations, for the young men were so frank about their business
undertakings that he was deeply interested.

The Ethels, walking at the end of the procession, held each other's
hands tightly so that they might look about without straying off the

"It's queer for a country place, isn't it?" commented Ethel Brown. "I
haven't seen a cow or a chicken since we came in the gate."

"The houses are so close together there isn't any room for them,"
suggested Ethel Blue. "I haven't seen a cat either."

"I know why. Mother told me she read in a booklet they sent her that
there was a Bird Club and you know bird people are always down on cats.
They must have sent them all out of town."

"Oh, here's quite a large square. See, there are stores in that big
brick building with the columns and the place opposite says Post
Office - "

"And there's a soda fountain under that pergola."

"Dicky's hollering for soda right now."

"Mother won't let him have any so early in the morning but we'll
remember where the place is."

Yet the procession seemed to be slowing up at the head and, Oh, joy,
there was Grandfather making a distribution of ice-cream cones to
grown-ups and children alike. Even the porters ate theirs with evident
pleasure, consuming the very last scrap of the cone itself.

Then they led the way down a very steep hill and along a pleasant path
to a cottage that faced the blue water of the lake.

"Here you are," they said to Mrs. Morton.

"And this must be our landlord's son waiting to open the house for us,"
said Mrs. Morton as a boy of Roger's age came forward to meet them.

Her guess was right and James Hancock instantly proved himself an
agreeable and useful friend. The Hancocks lived in New Jersey in a town
not far from the Mortons, but they never had happened to meet at home.

"How many people are there here now?" asked Roger as James helped him
carry the bags into the house.

"Oh, I don't know just how many to-day, but there are usually about
twelve or fifteen thousand at a time when the season gets started."

"There must be awful crowds."

"The people do bunch up at lectures and concerts but if you don't like
crowds you don't have to go, you know."

"What do the fellows our age do?"

"Swim and row and sail. Do you like the water?"

"My father is in the Navy," replied Roger as if that was a sufficient

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