A Walk from London to John O'Groat's eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 293 pages of information about A Walk from London to John O'Groat's.
and the stalk and leaves were oat!  Here, certainly, is a mystery.  The barley sown on this field was the first-born offspring of oats.  And the whole process by which this wonderful transformation is wrought, is simply this, and nothing more:—­The oats are sown about the last week in June; and, before coming into ear, they are cut down within one inch and a half of the ground.  This operation is repeated a second time.  They are then allowed to stand through the winter, and the following season the produce is barley.  This is the plain statement of the case in the very words of the originator of this process, and of this strange transmutation.  The only practical result of it which he claims is this:  that the straw of the barley thus produced is stouter, and stands more erect, and, therefore, less liable to be beaten down by heavy wind or rain.  Then, perhaps, it may be added, this oat straw headed with barley is more valuable as fodder for live stock than the natural barley straw.  But the value of this result is nothing compared with the issue of the experiment as proving the existence of a principle or law hitherto undiscovered, which may be applied to all kinds of plants for the use of man and beast.  If any English reader of these notes is disposed to inquire more fully into this subject, I am sure he may apply without hesitation to Mr. John Ekins, of Bruntisham, near St. Ives, who will supply any additional information needed.  He presented me with a little sample bag of this oat-born barley, which I hope to show my agricultural neighbors on returning to America.

CHAPTER XI.

THE MILLER OF HOUGHTON—­AN HOUR IN HUNTINGDON—­OLD HOUSES—­
WHITEWASHED TAPESTRY AND WORKS OF ART—­“THE OLD MERMAID” AND “THE
GREEN MAN”—­TALK WITH AGRICULTURAL LABORERS—­THOUGHTS ON THEIR
CONDITION, PROSPECTS, AND POSSIBILITIES.

After a little more than a week’s visit in St. Ives and neighboring villages, I again resumed my staff and set out in a westerly direction, in order to avoid the flat country which lay immediately northward for a hundred miles and more.  Followed the north bank of the Ouse to Huntingdon.  On the way, I stopped and dined with a gentleman in Houghton whose hospitality and good works are well known to many Americans.  The locality mentioned is so identified with his name, that they will understand whom I mean.  There was a good and tender-hearted man who lived in our Boston, called Deacon Grant; and I hope he is living still.  He was so kind to everybody in trouble, and everybody in trouble went to him so spontaneously for sympathy and relief, that no one ever thought of him as belonging to a single religious congregation, but regarded him as Deacon of the whole of Boston—­a kind of universal father, whose only children were the orphans and the poor men’s sons and daughters of the city.  The Miller of Houghton, as some of my readers will know, is just

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A Walk from London to John O'Groat's from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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