Plans for these structures were submitted in due time, and the work was pushed forward as rapidly as possible. The horse barn made a comfortable home for ten horses, if we should need so many, with food and water close at hand and every convenience for the care of the animals and their harness. The forage barn was not expensive,—it was simply to shelter a large quantity of forage to be drawn upon when needed. The woodhouse was also inexpensive, though large. Wood was to be the principal fuel at Four Oaks, since it would cost nothing, and there must be ample shelter for a large amount. The granary would have to be built well and substantially, but it was not large. The power-house also was a small affair. The whole cost of these five buildings was $8550. The itemized amount is, horse barn, $2000, forage barn, $3400, granary, $2200, woodhouse, $400, power-house, $550.
CARPENTERS QUIT WORK
On Friday, August 30, I was obliged to go to a western city on business that would keep me from four to ten days. I turned my face away from the farm with regret. I could hardly realize that I had spent but one month in my new life, the old interests had slipped so far behind. I was reluctant to lose sight, even for a week, of the intensely interesting things that were doing at Four Oaks. Polly said she would go to Four Oaks every day, and keep so watchful an eye on the farm that it could not possibly get away.
“You’re getting a little bit maudlin about that farm, Mr. Headman, and it will do you good to get away for a few days. There are some other things in life, though I admit they are few, and we are not to forget them. I am up to my ears in plans for the house and the home lot; but I can’t quite see what you find so interesting in tearing down old barns and fences and turning over old sods.”
“Every heart knoweth its own sorrow, Polly, and I have my troubles.”
Friday evening, September 6, I returned from the west. My first greeting was,—
“How’s the farm, Polly?”
“It’s there, or was yesterday; I think you’ll find things running smoothly.”
“Have they sowed the alfalfa and cut the oats?”
“Finished the farm-house?”
“No, not quite, but the painters are there, and Nelson has commenced work on two other buildings.”
“What time can I breakfast? I must catch the 8.10 train, and spend a long day where things are doing.”
Things were humming at Four Oaks when I arrived. Ten carpenters besides Nelson and his son were pounding, sawing, and making confusion in all sorts of ways peculiar to their kind. The ploughmen were busy. Thompson and the other two men were shocking oats. I spent the day roaming around the place, watching the work and building castles. I went to the alfalfa field to see if the seed had sprouted. Disappointed