“I want to put a fence along our line which nothing can get over or under,” I said. “I am willing to bear the expense of the new fence if you will take away the old one and plough eight furrows,—four on your land and four on mine,—to be seeded to grass before the wires are stretched. We ought to get rid of the weeds and brush.”
“That is a liberal proposition, Dr. Williams, and of course I accept,” said Jackson; “but I ought to do more. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. You are planning to put a ring fence around your land,—three miles in all. I’ll plough the whole business and fit it for the seed. I’ll take one of my men, four horses, and a grub plough, and do it whenever you are ready.”
This settled the fence matter between Jackson and me. The men who cut the posts took the job of setting them, stretching the wire, and hanging the gates, for $400. This included the staples and also the stretching of three strands of barbed wire above the woven wire; two at six-inch intervals on the outside, and one inside, level with the top of the post. Thus my ring fence was six feet high and hard to climb. I have a serious dislike for trespass, from either man or beast, and my boundary fence was made to discourage trespassers. I like to have those who enter my property do so by the ways provided, for “whoso climbeth up any other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”
The ring fence was finished by the middle of October. The interior fences were built by my own men during soft weather in winter and spring; and, as I had already paid for the wire and posts, nothing more should be charged to the fence account. In round numbers these seven miles of excellent fence cost me $2100. A lot of money! But the fence is there to-day as serviceable as when it was set, and it will stand for twice seven years more. One hundred dollars a year is not a great price to pay for the security and seclusion which a good fence furnishes. There was no need of putting up so much interior fence. I would save a mile or two if I had it to do again; however, I do not dislike my straight lanes and tightly fenced fields.
THE BUILDING LINE
Before leaving Four Oaks that day I had a long conversation with Nelson, the carpenter. I had taken his measure, by inquiry and observation, and was willing to put work into his hands as fast as he could attend to it. The first thing was to put him in possession of my plan of a building line.