The Fat of the Land eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The Fat of the Land.

Opening the sewer trenches cost a little more, for they were as deep as those for the water, and a little wider.  Eight hundred feet of main sewer, a three-hundred-foot branch to the house, and short branches from barns, pens, and farm-houses, made in all about fourteen hundred feet, which cost $83 to open.  The sewer ended in the stable yard back of the horse barn, in a ten-foot catch-basin near the manure pit.  A few feet from this catch-basin was a second, and beyond this a third, all of the same size, with drain-pipes connecting them about two feet below the ground.  These basins were closely covered at all times, and in winter they were protected from frost by a thick layer of coarse manure.  They were placed near the site of the manure pit for convenience in cleaning, which had to be done every three months for the first one, once in six months for the second and rarely for the third; indeed, the water flowing from the third was always clear.  This waste water was run through a drain-pipe diagonally across the northwest corner of the big orchard to an open ditch in the north lane.  Opening this drain of forty rods cost $30.  Later I carried this closed drain to the creek, at an additional expense of $67.  The connecting of the water pipes and the laying of the sewer was done by a local plumber for $50; the drain-pipe and sewer-pipe cost $112; and the three catch-basins, bricked up and covered with two-inch plank, cost $63.  The filling in of all these trenches was done by my own men with teams and scrapers, and should not be figured into this expense account.  It must be borne in mind that while this elaborate water system was being installed, no buildings were completed and but few were even begun; the big house was not finished for more than a year.  The sites of all the buildings had been decided on, and the farm-house and the cottage had been moved and remodelled, by the middle of October, at which date the water plant was completed.  An abundant supply of good water is essential to the comfort of man and beast, and the money invested in securing it will pay a good interest in the long run.  My water plant cost me a lot of money, $2758; but it hasn’t cost me $10 a year since it was finished.

CHAPTER VI

WE TAKE POSSESSION

My barn was full of horses, but none of them was fit for farm work; so I engaged a veterinary surgeon to find three suitable teams.  By the 25th of the month he had succeeded, and I inspected the animals and found them satisfactory, though not so smooth and smart-looking as I had pictured them.  When I compared them, somewhat unfavorably, with the teams used for city trucks and delivery wagons, he retorted by saying:  “I did not know that you wanted to pay $1200 a pair for your horses.  These six horses will cost you $750, and they are worth it.”  They were a sturdy lot, young, well matched, not so large as to be unwieldy, but heavy enough for almost any work.  The lightest was said to weigh 1375 pounds, and the heaviest not more than a hundred pounds more.  Two of the teams were bay with a sprinkling of white feet, while the other pair was red roan, and, to my mind, the best looking.

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The Fat of the Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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