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8 saffron da fodil amber and gold a thick D UMB FOXG LOVE A LL the golden October day we had been driving leisurely along through the Green Mountain country. Everything was golden that fall. It h ad been a very dry season and the leaves u pon the maples and other forest trees instead of ripening into brilliant hues of crimson and scarlet had all taken o n tints o f yellow. Then when the autumn winds arose s ud d enl y the whole earth was carpeted w ith soft rustling carpet and for days o u r horses trod upon it and o u r wagon - wheels rolled over and through it. Somehow it had the effect of sunshine and even in cloudy weather we were in the light. But the s u n sho ne that day and the air was soft an d warm. There had been as yet no heavy frost and the late

9 color an d asters contrasted o r harmonized D U M B F O X G L O V E flowers were still bright while berry seed vessel and nut were gay with red blue rus s et and gold. Goldenrod was massed by the road side in tints to match every shade of o u r leafy car pet makin g for it a gorgeous border of gold with their hues of mauve blue purple lav ender and white. The twisted orchid o r lady s - tresses with its spike of frosted white bells smelling of bitter almonds clustered thickly in damp spots along the road - Side ; Joe Pye weed o r pink boneset stood s tifll y erect with flat topped clusters of dull - pink feathery blos soms and sometimes a belated -] St Ohn. s wort - added its yellow to the prevailing brightness. The witch hazel bore - on leafless brown boughs its strange flowers of straw color with their Sl l sweet Odor and most abundant y ; of all grew all along o u way the dark blue r - closed gentian. There were so many berries! The short thick spike which j ack - i h -the - pulpit wears ; the sapphire - blue bear - plums ; those of trans lucent garnet growing like a bunch of ripe

10 behind it in the soft air and warm sunshin e. D U M B F O X G L O V E O currants o n the little smilacina ; the crim s o n fruit of twisted-stalk hanging singly o n slender stems ; the mou ntain-holly s rosy red ; moose - berries ; bunch - berries ; the red cohosh and the white the last like beads of white enamel strung upon red coral stalks all these we s aw an d gathered ere the day ended. We were climbing the steep turnpike road wh ich crosses the mountains from Manches ter to Landgrove and Chester and w e oft en left the wagon to walk by its side o r linger We gathered armfuls Of maidenhair and ostrich - ferns wild flowers berries moss and lichen. And many other things we brought back to the wagon unknowingly ; fo r hun dreds of seed vessels - of varied forms prick l bristly sticky barbed thorned clung y o r to garments as we scrambled through o u r the tangle of plants and Shrubs at the road - side or strayed into the forests on either hand. The long Slender Spanish needles ; the two - thorned fru it ; of the yellow bur marigold ; the agrimony seed - holders look ing like tiny green feather-dusters ; the Odd flat thin joints of the tick - trefoil pods

11 D U M B F O X G L O V E the small green burs of enchanter s night shade all these and scores of other fast - hold ing close-clinging little hindering things cov ered o u r clothing and pricked our fingers in o u r journey that day. We were to Spend the night at Peru that quiet mountain village we knew s o well and among whose pleasant people we had many friends. The bouquet we had gathered along the way was not a satisfactory one and there was little of beauty about it when we reached o u r destination. The golden leaves full of sunshine as they hung o n the branches or lay in o u r pathway were dried and shrivelled now ;th e berries were crushed or had fallen from their stems ; the asters looked forlorn with their rays twisted and drooping. But the closed gentians were unchanged and w e carried into the house with us a big bunch o f the strange undeveloped bud - like flo wers o f dark purple - blue. And it was th e sight of these blossoms as they stood in the old cream ware pitcher on the Sideboard that evening that made Aunt Eunice every one in Peru called her by that name tell the story. 6

12 D U M B F O X G L O V E Yes I know it isn t its real name but that s what I always call it myself. Ma used to call it that and s o I do. And it s a real good name come to think of it dumb fox glove. For it s a good deal like the foxglove that grows in the garden y o u know and it s the dumbest flower for a real full - growed on e that I know. Never opens o u t into real blowth you s ee and nothing can make it. Water or sunshine or rich soil loosening the dirt round it o r transplanting o r anything don t make any difference ; it won t open out. But pick it open and there tis j ust like the prettiest posy in th e world streaked and painted and all an d nobody ever seeing it. It s dreadful queer why it s that way ain t it? If the pretty part s all inside and hid and shut up and isn ever to do any t body mite a of good why what s it made that way for? Why t didn they leave the inside j ust plain not finished off any sort o f skimped that part you know that wasn t to Show? But there it isn t half so queer and puzzling about posies as tis about folks is it now? For y o u know as well as I do don t you there s lots of folks j ust that same way.

13 a good while before they had a n y children healthy nice little thing rugged as any child D U M B F O X G L O V E They re all shut up tight all in the dark and cold and lonesomeness and never Showing the pretty part inside that most of them s got after all. I never see that dumb foxglove that I don t thi nk of Colos s y Bragg. She lived j ust down the road there in the house with s o much o f that wild- cucumber vine running over it and the marigold bed in front. David and Lucy Ann Bragg were married and they were dreadful pleased when this one came. She was a nice big baby and they thought sh e was goi ng to take after Grandma West and be tall and fleshy and fin e -looking. SO they named her out of a book C olossa but we called it you know how they do with such names about here C olos s y. Poor child it didn t turn o ut a very suitable name for her. She was a till s he was about four years old. Then something took her the doctors n ever seemed to know what exactly and She stopped growing. Her legs and arms were helpless like and Sh e couldn t walk or use 8

14 D U M B F O X G L O V E her hands much. Twas the p i tifu l e s t Sight to s e e her. Her mind w as all right ; it was only the poor pi nched- u p pi ndling body that was wrong. He r face was real pretty sort of thin and white but with such big dark purple - blue eyes almost black by Spells they made me think lots of times o f the color of those dumb foxgloves and long ing up at the ends. black eye - winkers curl And her hair was long and soft and such a pretty yellow and it curled all round her head. She used to s it all d a y in a big chair with pillows by the southwest window there and every o ne for miles round Peru knew t h at pretty white Twas terrible hard o n her pa and ma face. they d s et mu ch by her and lotted s o s o o n what she d be when grew They she up. learnt her to read but that was about all. For she couldnt use h er hands s o there wasn t a n y cipheri ng o r drawing pictu res on her slate o r sewing patch-work or any of the things girls did in those days. She never seemed to care much about story-books. To be sure th ere wa n t many in those times ; not what young ones call story - 9 books n ow

15 D U M B F O X G L O V E adays with red - and - gold covers and paint ed pictures and all. But there was a few in the place and folks was glad enough to lend them to poor little Colos s y. The B ra gg s es owned Pil g r im s Pr o g r ess and E venin g s a t Ho me themselves and I had A and nna Ross D a i r y i na n s D a n g / den And here and in Landgrove and a bout there was L ittle Henr y a nd His B and ea r er Tli e S/ze p lzer a of Sa l is bur y P la in and some numbers o f the j uvenile M iscella n and there was y some books about missionaries and some travels. She had them all on e after another and as long as she wanted them but they didn t interest her much. And there wasn t many thi ngs she could play. Puss - in - the corner and tag and blind - man s - bu ff and t risk et - a - trask et and all such running - about plays was o u t of the question course and even checkers and tit tat-toe and fox-and - geese and s et -down games like those she couldn t play at on accou nt of her poor help Why couldn less hands. s he t even put down her mite of a forefinger with the other children s and s a Hi nt minty y cut y corn y to s e e who was it as the youngsters used to I O

16 thing youd ever expect would a got there D U M B F O X G L O V E s a y. She had a kind of weak whis p r y voice s o s he couldn ' t even sing ; and she didn t appear to care much about hearing tunes n either. So you see She was nigh as much Shut u p and blind and dumb a little cr e atu r as that flower there. You wouldn t have thought when y ou saw her Sitting in her high - chair bolstered up with pillows her little d raw ed -u p hands all helpless in her lap an d a shawl wrapped round her poor feet and legs y ou wouldn t have thought th ere was anything in the world to interest her or make her forget her troubles. But there was. There was just one thing that kept her up occupied her mind amused her all day long and made her willi ng to live and be s o different from the other children. How it came first into her head I don t know for twas the very last con sidering what she was poor rickety little mite. It was cooking! N ow 0 course y ou know she couldn t cook with her own hands little limp crooked things that they was but some ways o r other she d g ot the greatest I I

17 D U M B F O X G L O V E faculty fo r making up dishes. Twas all She really cared about the only thing that made her little bleached - out face lighten up and those queer pretty purply eyes shine a speck. She was all the everlasting time composing as y o u might s a y. But it wasn t verses o r stories she made up but things to eat vic t u als. Where She got it all as I said before I never could see. There wasn t anything like it in the family either side Bra gg s e s or Wests. Her folks liked good plain filli ng food and plenty of it and Col oss y hadn t ever seen anythi ng di ferent. But from the time s he was a mite of a young on e she was always making up the most beautiful r e cei p ts and laying o ut the most fi x ed - u p company-looking dishes. To this day I often think over some of the victuals s he talked about and I can t help wishing they could be tried ; they d make your mouth water they sounded s o good and tasty. But somehow you couldn t make them ; there was always something or other to be put in that you couldn t get even if y o u could afford And they were generally it. pretty expensive victuals Real receipt too. 1 2


19 D U M B F O X G L O V E voice saying over those things. Take a teacupful o ' anise an cummi n she d croak o ut - a n ' mind i t s a blue chiny teacup not a plain white ; put it into a y alle r bakin dish an ' pour on a pint 0 ' milk an honey. Beat it all up till its white an bubbly and soapsudsy an ' then add ten clusters 0 rais i ns. Stir for an hour an ' twelve n a half minutes by the settin -room clock. Then you chop up the peel o n ineteen ro ran g e rs She always called them that an mix into the hull mess. An then - now listen Aunt Eunice She d s a y so solemn an ' old -fash ioned for this is the most p arti c ' le res t thing in it bile five an a half turtle - dove s eggs kind 0 hard take off t he shell an ' lay em over the p u ddin ' for i t s goin to be a pud din this time Aunt Eunice a n bake half an hour in a quick oven. And what' s the name o f that? I used to ask j ust to please her and Show I was lis te ning. she says slow and stopping to think a little well that ' s called j est a Plain Fam l y Puddin. But here s o ne for comp n y says she. I made it up last night 1 4

20 dish up hot. Oh Aunt Eunice! sh e d s a y D U M B F O X G L O V E when I couldn t get sleep my back hurt to and it s o s the very n icest p uddin this is a p uddin too you never eat an never ; i t ' s Sightly to look at an s o sets off the table SO. Now listen Aunt Eunice She says. I t s called Com p n y Puddi n. Take two pomy granites and crack 'em an pick out th e meats careful. Chop em fine an Sprinkle over em a pinch o ' frankincense and a teen t y teenty speck o ' myrrh. Wet it up with a little maple s u rru p. Then take some fresh bread - fruit an toast a few slices brown ; lay em on a green - s p ri gg l ed chiny meat - dish an ' spread your p om yg ranit e sass all over em Then beat the whites of ten ostrich s eggs for an hour n a half an lay over the hull ; spri nkle with light - brown sugar an with her little th in face working and such a pitiful look i n her big eyes I wish I could try it my o w n I know I could do it an self. Oh how I d like beat up them ostrich's to eggs an ' spread em over all sudsy an nice an then sprinkle that light - brown sugar on! What s p om y g r anite s Colos s y? I d ask her to divert her mind a little. I S

21 kept her amused and occupied. Well it did bake and mix up things to be over the fire D U M B F O X G L O V E Why it tells about em in the Bible she says a n ' Mr. Interpreter give some to Chris tiana i n Pil g r i m s Pr o g r e ss. Y ou know I said ' twas this cooking o r making up dishes that helped her along and o n e way ; but another it made her u ncom fo rt able for s he did want SO bad to cook and stirring and basting and baking and boili ng. She ached to s et the table and dish up th e victuals and make thi ngs look as they did in her mind when she compo sed them. She never fretted because she couldn t play about w ith the boys and girls or hoppity - skip along the road o r Slide or run o r j ump rope. But s he did worry a good deal because She couldnt carry o u t the things She had in her head n or mix a single o ne of the Sightly and tasty di shes s he was always maki ng up. Cours e I like to think about ' em she'd s a y in her husky voice but lots 0 times I think What s the good of it anyway? Wh at s the u s e 0 settin here an maki n up receipts fo r pud din s an cake a n j ells an all an never try em nor s ee em nor taste the teentiest speck 1 6

22 Peavy that lived next door Mother Peavy D U M B F O X G L O V E on em? I m tired settin' here an Im tired achin' an keepin still an Oh I do j est want to have a bakin -day of my own some 0 them thi ngs! an ' try Twas pretty hard to know what to s a y to her for comfort. She was a good little thing and she d been trained right for the Br a gg s were pious church going folks and e s - I really believe was a she Christian before was ten year But that t s he did n make Old. much difference as to the thing s he was fret ting about j ust then. T was n t heaven and singing and all the glorious things we know there ll be there that the poor little thing was achin fo r those times but j ust a mite of fussing and messing and cooking before She went away from this earth that was such a lonesome place for SO I used to be at her. my wits end to know what to tell her to s comfort her up when went she o n that way ; and her pa and ma they were j ust as bothered as But there was person that hadnt one me. any such scruples as we had and sometimes I w as kind of glad there w as. Twas old Mrs. a s everybody called her. She was real old B 1 7

23 D U M B F O X G L O V E a good deal over seventy anyway in those days and I don t know but s he was a mite childish. But she was smart and Spry for her age. and her eyesight and hearing were as good as And was a dreadful com s he ever. fo rt to Colos s that s as I said y Fo r certain. before She hadn t any scruples that i s the kind the rest of Maybe you u s ll think had. was a heathen a heretic something s he o r o r of that sort wh en I tell you what she sed to u s a to th e child but I am sure She meant y ; well and it did seem to help C olos s y lots. Oh Mother Peavy the young on e would s a y won t I never never have no chance to try em? If I m real good an patient an s a y my prayers an my cat e chis an ' my hymns an do s I d be don e by an all won t I Oh won t I never be let to try a Single o n e o them recei pts? Jest n ot even the biled dish with coriander seeds fo r fla v rin an thickened up with fine flour mingled with ile? Oh won t I Mother Peavy Yes yes y o u poor little cosset Mother Peavy d s a y ; don t y o u worry an fret over If you want to mess a n ' cook a n try that. receipts when you get up there youll be let 1 8

24 Mebbe it s bad to want em Mother Peavy D U M B F O X G L O V E to do it. An you ll be able to then y o u know for you ll be strong an well an rug ged ; for there ain t a single inhabitant up there that ever says I m sick an there won t be any more pain. An your poor little draw ed - u p fingers will be straight an sou nd an your legs strong and limber. An you ll lift up th e hands that s a -hangin down now and the feebl e knees as the Bible says an then if you re s et o n c o ok in an d ishi n up they ll let you try y o u s e e if they do n t. But Mother Peavy Col o s s y d whisper in her hoarse Short-breathing way be you certain sure they ve got thi ngs to do with up there? There s harps an crowns an books to sing o ut o n an a s e a 0 glass an golden streets a n all them pretty pretty things but mebbe they don t have the ki nd 0 things you d oughter have for c o okin ' an dishin U p. but Oh I j est do sometimes! No tain t bad you poor young one ;they understand u p there an ' they mak e low ance s. That s what they re great at in that place y o u k now makin low an ce s ;m u st be the principal thi ng they do these times any I 9

25 D U M B F O X G L O V E An if they th ey ain s e e t no other way. means 0 settin your poor little mind easy an s how i n y o u s more there s ati s f y i n fillin thi ngs than victuals why they ll give you your way an let y o u try. A n as for there not bein an y eatable thi ngs there why the Bible tells about twelve kinds 0 fruit an about olive-trees an oil an wine. An there s that hymn y o u like SO much about The re cinnamon ah ' s u g ar g row T here nard an ' b alm abou nd. Take my word for it C ol os s y there won t be no lack 0 things to do with if you want cm bad. A h ' the child would take a dreadful l ot of comfort o u t of all her talk and always stop fretting at least fo r a Spell. Now I know it wasn t right we all knew it. The way was to Show her how much better thi ngs there were than what s he was s et on spiritual food that s he didn t dream of poor stunted shut -u p little soul. But Mother Peavy always made out that there wasn t any harm i n it ; that she didn t really s a y there would be cooking and dishing up 2 0


27 pannag. We thought she d made that u p D U M B F O X G L O V E we d look them up and fi nd they were really there. And t o this day I recollect them and time and again as I come across them in reading a chapter los sy and h er talk I think of poor little Co fish and summer fruit and wheat and barley and millet and apples and butter and broth and nuts an d vinegar and parched corn and grapes and raisins and fi g s and why I can t tell half of them now. Why once I know she told about some dish o r other and there was to be a pound of sure. But come to look it up there twas in Ezekiel and there tis to this day though I haven t the least idea what tis or where it comes from. Poor little creatu r she looked for that kind of thing and of course she found it. There s everything folks want in that book. And s he got a good deal of a real different sort of comfort o u t of it t oo. She d be turn ing over the leaves of the big Bible o n the table as well as could with her little she twisted bony fingers looking new ingre for j u n ts you d s ee as She called them for her dishes and ' s u ch a pretty look come o n her 2 2

28 getting rest o r casting your burdens o ff when s he got o n that favorite topic of hers D U M B F O X G L O V E white face. An She d draw a long breath as if she was resting after a hard j ob an d look up with her big purply eyes all soft and wet and s a y over somethi ng She d foun d there. Twas somethi ng generally about or being carried o r comforted as a mother comforteth o r having tears wiped away o r something like that. N O it was n ot all vict u als she found there But it s the victuals part of the story I m telling you now. The minister that time was Mr. Robbins. He was a real good man and terribly sorry fo r Colos s y. He used to go and see her a good deal and try to help her and teach her and raise her thoughts higher. But why he did n t know j ust what to s a y. Twas a Sight to s e e his face after he d been reading and talking and praying with her a spell and She d been so sweet and good and seemed i n such a promising state of mind when she d look up s o pitiful j ust before he went away and croak out Oh Mr. Robbins won t you j est listen to one single one o ' my receipts now? 2 3

29 natured man and had children of his o w n she w as i n a hurry to go on with her receipt Or she d tell Off a receipt for raising u n D U M B F O X G L O V E He generally did for he was a good but he d try to put on a moral at th e e nd a nd draw some kind of a lesson from it all. Now hear this Mr. Robbins she s ays o ne time speaking Slow and plain as if She was read i n g from a receipt - book. Di - rec - tions for ma-ki ng a mess of pottage. Y e s yes my little girl he says I ll hear i t ; but be careful lest you part with your own heavenly birthright for a mess o f pot tage he says. Yes si r says Coloss y ver y quick for I ll be careful. Take one fatted calf and o n she d go till Mr. Robb i ns s face was ju st a picture kind of puzzled and sort of amused too. leavened bread poor little co sset and the mi nister ' d remind her that man shall n o t live by bread alone. Agai n ' twould be some sort o f a savory meat stew and h e d counsel her to labor not fo r the meat that perish eth. But he was always good and kind to the child and She was real fond of him to the last. 2 4

30 good it took away her taste for commo n feel better if I could only walk round a mite D U M B F O X G L O V E Poor little thi ng She took it all o u t in maki ng u p a nd telli ng about victuals for She hardly eat a nything herself. Whether it w as her made - u p make - believe dishes w as so every-day food I don t know but she didn t eat enough to keep a robin alive and s o of course she didn ' t get very strong or rugged. Fact is you couldn ' t want her to stay o n here su ffering and Shut u p and helpless as she w as and as Shed got to be all her days. And we all s aw pretty soon that she wasn t going to be here much lo nger. Her little scrap of a face got thinner and whiter and the purple eyes bigger and the little hands more than ever like bird s claws ; and her poor little body was wa sted away and weak. Sh e was real patient but the ach e in her back was pretty bad and she seemed to be tired the whole living time. I m terrible tired she d s a y in her croupy voice tired when I lay dow n an tired when I s et up a n nothin don t s eem to re st me a n S if I'd y. Seems an get o u t the dishes an s as s p ans an grease the bakin -plates an ' stone some raisins an 2 5

31 D U M B F O X G L O V E chop some citron ah Oh Aunt Eunice I do want s o bad j est to dish up a dinner once O nly o nce Aunt Eunice. I didn t quite dare to do as M rs. Peavy did and tell her she d have her chan ce some day but I did g o so far sometimes as to r e fer her over to Mother Peavy. What does She tell you C olos s y when y o u talk SO? I said. Her face brightened up a little an d she answers Oh Mother Peavy says wh en I get u p there if I m set on messin an mi x in an co okin things why they ll let me try my hand at it. They ll know I ain t had no chance down in Peru cause 0 my hands an my legs an my back you know an they ll make lowan ces. That s what they re allers a -doin up there Mother Peavy says makin low ances for folks. She says she don t think I ll want to do an y dishin an baki n up there there s such splendid things to do that I don t know nothin about now. She says nobody ain t never heerd nor seed an it ain t come into nobody s head to guess at sech things as they ve g ot up there fo r folks that s good an patient an lovin But I don t 2 6

32 to Mother Peavy. But if that can t be done D U M B F O X G L O V E know ; I d like j est to try my hand a little if they don t mind seems s if. An if I do try why I m goin t o see if they won t let m e send down some 0 my very fust co oki n I mean to let her know t an y rate that she was right an they ve l et me try my handf She d take some of the commonest plain est kinds of food to experiment on and shed have a receipt for it with something i n it y ou n ever dreamed of putting in before. Dough nuts I know she d always s a y there was to be the third part of a b in of olive-oil in them. What s a hin I d ask her ; an d She d s a y Well about a co fee-cup full I guess more nor le ss. An d there was to be honey from the honey-comb in her dough-nuts too. And i n her apple-dumplings there d always got to be j est the teentiest pinch of aloes. And all these victual s were to be fixed up in th e tastiest way and o n the queerest kind of dishes. T o hear the solemn little old -fash i on ed young o n e tell about butter in a lordly dish and meat cooked in a caldron o r in a flesh - pot o r sodden in iron pans and 2 7

33 D U M B F O X G L O V E about brazen pots and earthen pitchers was dreadful odd. She gre w weak very fast n ear the e nd. She didn t go to bed fo r it hurt her more to lie down an d they bolstered her up in her chair with the pillows and made her as com fo rtabl e as they could. Her voice got more and more husky and low down to a whisper most but she d talk a little by spells up to the very last. She d make up receipts still but they were pretty Short and we couldn t always understand what s he said. I stayed there all I could and Mr. Robbins came a good deal and old Mrs. Peavy hardly left her for days. She liked to hear ver ses about re sting and being carried and made to lie down in green pastures and having her tears wiped away and about how the weary are at res t and the sick made well. But by Spells she d think about what she d always s et her little heart on and she d turn towards Mother Peavy and whisper An mebbe I ll be let to try makin some of them things? Cause you know I ve n ever had an y chance down here an they ll make low an ces for that. And Mrs. Peavy d s a y stroking her yellow 2 8


35 verses about how they shall hunger no more mis s ed her lots and I said s o. D U M B F O X G L O V E s a that day mostly verses from Scripture y o r a line o r two of a I can hear him hymn. now speaking in his soft pleasant way about the bread that came down from heaven meat to eat that ye k now n ot of whoso ever drinketh Of the water that I Shall give him shall never thirst ;and those comforting neither thirs t any more and how blessed are those that are called to the marriage And then he led Off in his nice supper. clear voice Fo od t o which th is world' s a s t ran g er He re m y h u n gry sou l e njoy s ; Of e x ces s t here is no d an g er ; T ho it fill s it never clo y S. Well twas about a week after we put the little girl to rest in the graveyard over there I met Mrs. Peavy o ne day. We stopped and naturally we fell to talking about C olos s y Glad as I was to have the child at rest I You were real good to her Mother Peavy I said I often think how you used to comfort her and tell her that maybe she d 3 0

36 Sh e aint found o u t th e better things yet D U M B F O X G L O V E have a chance to try her receipts up there if s he wanted to. Dear little thing she under stands better now and don t trouble her head about those earthly things. Now Id always thought that M rs. Peavy told the child that about having her chance up there j ust to chirk her up and please her and not because She ever dreamt such a thing could really be. SO I must s a y I was took aback when she shook her head now and a n s w e r e d in a queer knowing sort of way that s certain. Shes got her chance an d she s a - makin use of it right along ; least ways u to ye sterday She p was. Why what do mean y ou? you makes s a that y? I says. What And then s he went o n an d told me the oddest story. She said she d been thinking a nd thinking about C olos s and trying y to picture her all well and rested and happy in heaven but for the life ; of her she couldn t see her in her mind as S i ngi ng and praising and doing all the things the sai nts and angel s are said to do. The poor you ng o ne s talk about her wanting to dish up and mess kept 3 1

37 smell. I couldn t think where it come from D U M B F O X G L O V E coming into her head to spoil everything. One day s he was Sitting at her di nner. She lived all alone and did her o w n work. And that day s he had what every o n e in these parts calls b iled dish. You know what I mean beef and potatoes and carrots and turnips and all. And she says I d j est helped myself and was going to taste of it when I smelt a queer kind of spicy o r re c l e ct j est what twas like. Then I took up a little of the meat and put it i n my mouth and I did n t know what to make of it. I ' d made that b iled dish that day with my o wn hands j ust as I d made it all my life an my mother before But this me. p a rtic l e r on wasn e t any more like mi ne o r ma s o r an Vermont b iled dish I ever y s e e than anything. It was tastier more fl a vo r y somehow and above all there was that cu r us spicy kind 0 physicky smell and taste. What can it be? thinks I to myself. I S it cloves o r saxifrax? Did I Spill an y nutmeg o r ginger i nto the p ot while twas bilin? N O tain t like any of them. It s more like that rhubarb j ell u p I used to make after old 3 2

38 D U M B F O X G L O V E Dr. Phelps s receipt. Lemme s ee what did I put in? Rhubarb root ah why it s cori ander seed ; that s what it tast e s of! An d in a j iffy I r e c l ected C ol os s y and ' how s he used to always s a y in her receipt for b iled dish Add a little coriander seed brayed in a mortar. Well I didn t know what to think she went o n. It seemed most t oo sing lar t o believe in. But to save my life I couldn t help s u rmisin that maybe j est maybe they d let her try to Show her how u ns atis f y i n it was compared to other things u p there. An d she d always said if they did she d try to send some of the victuals down to me the blessed young one! I tried to get it ou t of my head and swallow my dinner ; but deary me every mouthful choked me and I salted the gravy with my cr y i into it thinking of that poor n little Well the next day w Saturday soul. as and I fried some dough The taste - 0 nuts. coriander seed bein all o u t of my mouth now I begun to think I d conceited the whole th ing and twas all foolishness. But when I s e t down to suppe r and took a dough - nut I C 3 3

39 D U M B F O X G L O V E hadn t more n bit into it than I s e e twas n t o ne o my dough-nuts Aunt Maria s receipt sech as I d made for more n forty year. These was rich an light and sort 0 ile y and there was a strong taste 0 honey about em a thing I never use in cookin. Oh Aunt Eunice then I knowed I knowed they was lettin that poor child have her way for a spell j est to learn her a lesson. Fine olive ile an honey from the honey - comb! she used to s a y in her receipt for dough - nuts. And when the gingerbread tasted o spikenard and the apple - dumpli ngs was j est a little b itt e r y like aloes and everything I made o r thought I made was different from any Peavy cooking ever done in the family then I s ee plain I was right. And it s only yes t e rda y I made o r thought I made some one -two-three four cake the old plain receipt - ; and it came the most eur o u t us spicy milk an -hon e y ish balmy minty thing oh y ou never did! I tell you as Mother Peavy went o n I began to think she was really crazy. She d always been a little peculiar and she was growing Old and Colos s y ' s death had weighed 3 4

40 ments. I couldn t bear to think of it. M rs. making. But I took a bad cold that night D U M B F O X G L O V E o n her mind and I thought it had fairly u p s et her now. I tried to reason with her and show her how such a thing as she thought of could n ever be. But I couldn t make any impression. I told her it was dreadful to think of heaven in that way and that dear little girl losing all the light and glory and all for such earthly gross kind of employ Peavy looked sort of mournful and says she T is dreadful I I did hope C oloss y d know. put it all out of her little head once got she But there can t be any If there. mistake. I am Old I ain t lost my faculties leastways my taste and I know what I ve been eating all this week. They ' ve g ot some good reason for it up there take my word for that ; but oh I do wish she d learn about the better things there is. Well I meant to go over and s e e the Old lady n ext day and taste some of her victuals myself to show her what a m istake she was and didn t go outside the door for most a week. The first day I was well enough I started but I met Mrs. Peavy coming over 3 5

41 fi tches in my j ohnny - cake ; and oh deary she be thinking of! It j est breaks my h eart D U M B F O X G L O V E house. It upset me to s ee her s o terrible white and changed Oh Aunt Eunice she says it s dread ful dreadful. That poor little thing s at it still. She s turning my sody biscuits into unleavened bread and my pies into pottage there s lentils in my corn - beef hash and deary me there s m int anise and cummin in every bit of victuals that comes on the table. Poor ignorant little soul what can Au rit Eunice for oh twas I done it I done it and she just wrung her hands. It seemed she d got it into her head that her tellin Colos s y she d have a chance and they d let her try things had made the poor child beg fo r it ; and now s he liked it s o well after n ever having had anything of the sort all her days that s he couldn t give it up. It seems a crazy idea I know but twas terrible real to her and as she said herself it most broke her heart. I thought twould be sech a comfort she went on to think of that child among 3 6


43 D U M B F O X G L O V E good. She had got SO upset and shaky that s he couldn t do anything but cry and bewail her having put thi ngs into little Col oss y s head and spoiled her heaven for her. At last Mr. Robbins said Well Mrs. Peavy suppose we lay this before the Lord and ask His aid and then h e prayed. I n ever shall forget that prayer. You see no body but Catholics ever prayed for dead and - gon e folks then and I suppose they don t now ; and ou r church was always stro ng against it of course. And I d h eard Mr. Robbins himself preach a powerful discourse about it from the text Where the tree fall eth there it shall be. But I suppose he s aw now it was a time for strong measures and scruples no scruples he must quiet this o r good Old So he prayed for C ol os s y! soul. I can t help thinking he meant that prayer more to help Mother Peavy than to do Co lossy any good but twas beautiful t any ; rate. Of course I can t remember j ust the very words. might rest But h e asked that the child in peace and have light given unto her that s he might with the other little ones always behold the face of her Father. 3 8

44 n ervous. The queerer the ideas y o u know D U M B F O X G L O V E A nd he asked that she might drink of th e water of life clear as crystal and eat of the heavenly manna and be And he satisfied. ended up by asking that her friends here b e low might be given the full assurance of the little one s peace and rest. In all the years he was settled in Peru I n ever heard him pray s o earnest and I was certain sure in my o w n heart hed be heard. Then he asked Mrs. Peavy if he and I could com e over next day and eat dinner with her. And y o u must have o ne of your good old - fashioned dinners for u S M rs. Peavy he says and we'll tell you j ust what w e think of it. SO we She d made b iled dish and went. it looked real tempting and j ust like her old way of making it for was a real good she cook. But she was all shaky and trembly her face looked dra wn up and old and s he could hardly s i t up to the table without help. Mr. Robbins asked a blessing and then th e dinn er was helped. I ll ow n up I was a little the more catching they are. A nd I d thought so much of what the Old lady had said of the tastes and smells in her cooking lately that 3 9

45 away. It was the same good well - seasoned D U M B F O X G L O V E I felt almost creepy with being afraid I should fi nd it that way myself. Oh dear I says to myself if there should be a cori ander - seed flavor! But there wasn t. Mr. Robbins began first and I followed right Peru b iled dish I d eat dozens of times b e fore at that Peavy didn t taste table. Mrs. of hers at I really don t think could s he first. raise her spoon to her mouth She Shook s o. But s he fixed her eyes on o u r faces first one then the other leaning way over and looki ng and looking as if she was hoping but s cared. speaks up Mr. Robbins this is good indeed. On e of your best Old -fashioned dishes Mrs. Peavy. I should know that this was a Peru biled dish if I was a hu ndred miles away and he went on eating it. I says following his example I always liked Mrs. Peavy s way of making it just the pepper -and - salt seasoning and no flavors as some folks use. She looked real earnest at us and then she says low and quivery Don t y ou take notice of a leetle coriander- seed taste j ust a. leetle 4 0

46 them up and I followed on. D U M B F O X G L O V E And we both hurried up to say there wasn t one bit of that n ot a suspicion Mr. Robbins said. She didn t look quite satisfied though j ust a mite more comfortable. Then s he took some of the gravy in a spoon with her shaki ng hand and put it to her mouth. She spilt some an d She could hardly swallow any but I s e e her face clear up a little and s he sort of whispered to herself She s let that alone anyway. Then we had some apple - dumplings an d twas the same way. Mother Peavy waited and watched half hopi ng half frightened till Mr. Robb i ns led Off eat some and praised A n there don t appear to b e any thing a speck b itte r y? s he says leaning across to us and asking so solemn n ot enough to spile em but something like aloes And again we hurried on to tell her there wasn t a taste Of such a thing not a taste. Then she managed to swallow a little herself and again I s aw her features light up a mite and Sh e wh ispers to her 4 1

47 D U M B F O X G L O V E self again An she ain t meddled with them. After that came dough-nuts and cheese with our cup of tea and that w as j ust the same. After Mr. Robbins had praised them up and I had done it after him and she d asked us in the same scared nervy way if we was sure we couldn t taste a flavor o olive - ile o r honey we told her decided there wasn t anything at all like that ; they were j ust good old -fash io ned Peavy dough-nuts. They were the last thing on the table shed tried ; all the rest and I s aw was more scared she now than any time before when took she in her trembling fi ngers and tried lift one to it up to her mouth. I thought for a minute I Should have to do it for her but She man aged i t somehow and got a piece between her poor shaking twitching lips. I thought I was prepared for anything worked up as I was over this. But I did break down like a baby when the good old soul burst out th e tears running down her wrinkled face in a shower a nd the heavenliest smile Shi ni ng through them like a rainbow She s found it o ut oh bless the Lord she s found it o u t at 4 2

48 meant more to help the living than the dead D U M B F O X G L O V E last! N O more messin an fu s sin with earthly thi ngs for Col os s y Bragg. She s looked up higher and seen the light at last. Oh thank the Lord thank the Lord We both went over to her. Seems to me now as I look back we was both crying but I disremember 'all about that. We g ot her quiet after a spell but for a long time She! kept sobbing out I m s o glad I m s o glad. Your praying done it Mr. Robbins. They ve took the blessed child up higher now and they ve sent me word. Well there was a story went around the whole county after that that Mr. Robbins was on the road to Rome as they said. Maybe you ve heard it. It all came from that prayer he made at Mrs. Peavy s in b e half of little C olos s y Bragg s soul. But as I said before it s my opinion that prayer was an d somehow some ways it answered its purpose.




52 APPLE JON ATHA N N O one who knew the Ston ington of thirty years ago can fail to remember Old Jonathan Tripp the His quaint figure apple-dealer. and wagon with its spicy load were as fa miliar to all who lived in o r visited the village as was the Road Meeti ng - house the old light house on Windmill Point o r Roderick Na than s store. But although I recall with won d erful distinctness the face form words and actions of the Old man I find m y memory failing me upon certain points of detail. I am n o t quite sure where his house and orchard were situated but I have a strong impression that they were in North Stoning ton. I know that I often met him drivi ng h is wagon into the borough from that di re c tion. N o r do I know if he himself raised all the fruit he sold or whether he brought into 47

53 A P P L E J O N A T H A N market the produce of his neighbors together with his own. But I feel well assured that never before nor since did I s ee o r taste such apples as those old Jonathan Tripp s wagon bore. He was not often called by his whole nam e. The Stonington boy of that day had a rare faculty for bestowing appropriate nicknames and to the old vender of the fruit s o dear to all New - E nglanders they gave the name of Apple Jo nathan. If y o u who read this Sketch are of Con n e cticu t origin especially if you have ever lived in dear salty rocky old Stonington you will not need that I should tell you of the toothsome dish that bears this name. Does n ot your mouth water do not your eyes grow moist as you recall it taken smok ing - hot from the brick oven and sending o u t the spicy aromatic odors nothing else can quite equal? Thi nk of the golden - brown crisply ten der paste the rich flow of sweet but piquant j uice redolent of cinnamon cloves and I k now not what else ; the deli cate slices of apple cooked thoroughly but never too soft ; the Oh y ou know it all. If 48

54 i n the borough in Milltown Flanders Mystic A P P L E J O N A T H A N n ot no words of min e can make you under stand. And s o old Jonathan Tripp was known Pawcatuck Voluntown and for miles around a s Apple Jonathan. Day after day the black wagon drawn by the old gray mare rattled along the road loaded with baskets and bags of th e homely fragrant fruit. There were g ill y flow e rs of dark purple - red and pear - like shape ; golden sweets big and yellow the little Denison reddings all crimson and shining outside and with the white crisp meat streaked and veined with red Prentice russets of bronzy brown the larger and green er Chee s eb rin russets spicy red Spitzenbergs Rhode Isla nd greenings seek - n O furthers scarlet Astra - khans pumpkin sweets Roxbury russets the - Northern s the N p y ew town pippin pear mains red streaks sheep s - noses Ba ldwins Peck s pleasants. Then ther e were rare and choice varieties (With mysterious names of whose origin Apple Jo nathan would never speak. Such was the L an g o rth y fa v rit e a large sweet very j uicy fruit its yellow skin th ickly dotted with black. D 4 9

55 sweeter than in old times replied doubtfully A P P L E J O N A T H A N Of this kind he was very choice bringing but a dozen o r s o at a time in a covered tin pail with a cloth tied down tightly over the lid. Then there was the Tripp tart to bake for invalids. These were s o very rare as to be brought by twos o r threes in the pocket of the old man s coat. I well remember th e smell and the taste of o ne of those brought me when recovering from some childish ail ment. It was cooked in a delightful way suspended by a string from the wooden man tel and revolving slowly in front of the hard coal fire in the grate of the keepin -room. A saucer was placed below j ust inside the fender to catch and hold the dripping juice. What matter if a little a shes fell down and mingled with that syrupy stu ff half sweet half sour? I ate it all that Tripp tart juice and longed fo r more. It was currently s u p posed that no perfectly sound and well person had ever tasted a Tripp tart apple. Even old Jo nathan himself when asked once upon a time if he did not think this variety a little that he wa n t certain sure about it for he d had a long spell 0 good health. A nd I doubt 5 0

56 A P P L E J O N A T H A N not that many a man and woman of to-day fi nds the very name of Tripp tart a potent charm calling up a far away childhood a - restless night an aching head small burni ng hands a Shivery little Somehow o r body. those childish pains and aches do n ot s eem s o bitter in memory and w e think now a good deal more of the cool soft hands which touched the head and cheek so gently turned the hot pillow and held the restless little fingers. Apple Jonathan himself was a tall spare awkward man with rounded stooping shoul ders thi n gray hair and a lean brown weather - beaten face. I can s e e him plainly i n recollection with his shabby brown over coat the gray-and-red woollen comforter tied about his neck the blue - yarn mittens th e faded cloth cap drawn down over his ears as he drove day after day alo ng the roads and lanes. Now he would stop at Nabby Lord s with some pie-apples fo r her Saturday bak ing again at Uncle Sim Lewis s to leave a bushel of the old man s favorite green i ngs then down the lane by the Old Trim ble place to take a Tripp tart to little S I

57 he knew thoroughly in all i ts forms stages A P P L E J O N A T H A N Billy Merritt j ust getting up from scarlet fever. Again and again as he passed along he was hailed sometimes by a woman with her shawl over her head who would run o u t with a milk - p a n for some golden sweets for the - children pippins for apple sauce some o r - ; times by a boy or girl with a big copper cent to spend for j uicy Again it fruit. might be a man with an order for a barrel Of o r two g ill y flo w seek-no-furthers for er s o r the winter Large small the o r evenings. order was promptly filled and the stock seemed inexhaustible. But Apple Jonathan was n ot merely a deal er in apples ; he was a lover of the fruit which developments. I do not mean simply that he understood its cultivation preservatio n and uses though these he did understand well. But all his thoughts and his words were Of his favorite fruit ; he found in it something for every emergency ; he used it for illustra tion for suggestion for moral lesson every thi ng. Tell me I set too much by apples the 5 2


59 flower y an that s what you want j est now A P P L E J O N A T H A N delusion given that there ain t nothin what it s made o u t to be that each pleasure hath i t p s ison too an every sweet its snare wh y you j est go to your appl e barrel for a gilly flower s a if that s th e kind You y y o u like. take a apple an o u t there It s a gilly tis. flower an it s g ill y fl ow color dark an e r pur ply red like them holl y hawks by the fence there. It don t come out yeller like a golden sweet nor brownish like a Prentice russet nor streaky like a Spitzenberg ; it s j ust what it allus was as to color. Then i t s g il l y fl owe r shape t oo. Tain t big round an squatty like a g re eni n nor little like a Denison reddin but it s kinder long an slo p in as g ill y fl owe rs allus was an allus will be. Then you come to the proof 0 the p u ddin s they s a y th e e atin. You bite into it. Tain t s o tasty an fl high- avo red on way as a seek no further e - - nor n ice an s o sweet as a sweetin n or sech a pleasant tart as the Davis sour mebbe tain t ; good s o r e el as any y 0 them kinds but it s itself anyway an j est what you knowed twould be mashy an half an half sorter not very decided t as tin anyway but it s gilly 5 4

60 A P P L E J O N A T H A N an you says to yourself Here s s uthi n cert in s u thin I can lot on an never be dis a p p i nt e d. Tell me that don t help ye? It can t miss 0 doin it. Or S pose ag in you re sick an nothin seems to do you any good doctors stu ff n or y a rb s nor nothing. Why you have to come to apples. If you re run down an p in dlin an need s tre n th nin an s timerl atin why there s n ew cider or old apple-j ack to build ye up. Or ag in if it s t other way an you re too hot blooded an filled up an p ul s y why there s nothin so coolin an down - pullin ' as a froze an -thawed apple on a empty stomach. If it s nettle - rash or e r y s i p le r o r any outside skin n y thi ng like th at a poultice O sour apples spread o n is the best thing in the world lots better n cr amb r y. For a hackin cough y ou take apple s u rr u p with a leetle bit 0 flax s e ed o r sli pp r For bitters when don y ellum. y o u t relish your victuals why you stick a Rhode Island g r e eni n full 0 an cloves roast it fore the fire an when it s done through pour some New England rum over i t as much as it 11 soak up ; sprinkle some dried tansy an worm wood leaves with a pinch or two 0 camamile 5 5

61 A P P L E J O N A T H A N flowers over it an take it afore eatin. Ther e ain t nothin apples can t cure take it in time. But s ' pose you ain t sick but kinder tired o meat an p ot at e rs fish an clams an an lobster why live on There s apple apples. sass an apple butter an dried-apple pie an - green -apple pie an apple - dum p lin s an apple turnovers an apple There s steamed Slump. appl e p u ddin an bread - an apple - p uddi n. There s baked apples an stewed apples an preserved apples an fried There s apples. apple j ell an apple m arm l ade an why you could live o n nothin but apples fo r a year an n ever have the same dish two days t umnin And SO the old man would run on as long as any o ne woul d listen to his talk. On topics of general interest he had nothing to say. He knew little of public affairs poli tics wars or even the local village go s sip. He was accordi ng to most standards a very ignorant man. He could read s lowly and with difficulty spelling laboriously the o u t larger He wrote a little and knew words. enough of figures to tot u his accounts p 5 6