“There are publishers,” she said, “who do actually print such things. Maybe a real publisher will want this. I know a publisher who may be glad to get it. And, anyhow, it is a shame for all your experiences to be lost to the world. It’s very interesting as far as you’ve got. Go on with it; and if no publisher wants to print it now, we’ll give the manuscript to the Public Library in Monterey Centre, and maybe, long after both of us are dead and gone, some historian will find it and have it printed. Some time it will be found precious. Write it, grandpa, for my sake! We can make a wonderful story of it.”
“We?” I said.
“You, I mean, of course,” she replied; “but, if you really want me to do it, I will type it for you, and maybe do a little editing. Maybe you’ll let me do a little footnote once in a while, so my name will go into it with yours. I’d be awfully proud, grandpa.”
“It’ll take a lot of time,” I said.
“And you can spare the time as well as not,” she answered.
“You all think because I don’t go into the field with a team any more,” I objected, “that I don’t amount to anything on the farm; but I tell you that what I do in the way of chores and planning, practically amounts to a man’s work.”
“Of course it does,” she admitted, though between you and me it wasn’t so. “But any man can do the chores, and the planning you can do still—and nobody can write the History of Vandemark Township but Jacobus Teunis Vandemark. You owe it to the West, and to the world.”
So, here I begin the second time. I have been bothered up to now by feeling that I have not been making much progress; but now there will be no need for me to skip anything. I begin, just as that canvassing rascal said, a long way from Vandemark Township, and many years ago in point of time; but I am afloat with my prow toward the setting sun on that wonderful ribbon of water which led to the West. I was caught in the current. Nobody could live along the Erie Canal in those days without feeling the suck of the forests, and catching a breath now and then of the prairie winds. So all this really belongs in the history.
A FLAT DUTCH TURNIP BEGINS ITS CAREER
My name is Jacobus Teunis Vandemark. I usually sign J.T. Vandemark; and up to a few years ago I thought as much as could be that my first name was Jacob; but my granddaughter Gertrude, who is strong on family histories, looked up my baptismal record in an old Dutch Reformed church in Ulster County, New York, came home and began teasing me to change to Jacobus. At first I would not give up to what I thought just her silly taste for a name she thought more stylish than plain old Jacob; but she sent back to New York and got a certified copy of the record.