“When they had come down out of the tree-tops not one of them could stand on his legs for a little while.”
* * * * *
The gentleman of the sorrowful voice and the broken spirit said:
“‘Pears like I’ll have to be tuk down an’ put together again.”
They were meek and sore when they limped to the cabin and washed on the stand by the doorside and went in to breakfast. After they had eaten the minister prayed some more and rode away with them.
It is recorded later in the diary that the rude Shepherd of the prairies worked with these men on their farms for weeks until he had them wonted to the fold.
IN WHICH ABE, ELECTED TO THE LEGISLATURE, GIVES WHAT COMFORT HE CAN TO ANN RUTLEDGE IN THE BEGINNING OF HER SORROWS. ALSO HE GOES TO SPRINGFIELD FOR NEW CLOTHES AND IS ASTONISHED BY ITS POMP AND THE CHANGE IN ELI.
Radford’s grocery had been so wrecked by the raiders that its owner was disheartened. Reenforced by John Cameron and James Rutledge he had succeeded in drawing them away before they could steal whisky enough to get drunk. But they had thrown many of his goods into the street. Radford mended his windows and offered his stock for sale. After a time Berry and Lincoln bought it, giving notes in payment, and applied for a license to sell the liquors they had thus acquired.
The Traylors had harvested a handsome crop of corn and oats and wheat only to find that its value would be mostly consumed by threshing and transportation to a market. Samson was rather discouraged.
“It’s the land of plenty but it’s an awful ways from the land of money,” he said. “We’ve got to hurry up and get Abe into the Legislature or this community can’t last. We’ve got to have some way to move things.”
None of their friends had come out to them and only one letter from home had reached the cabin since April.
Late that autumn a boy baby arrived in their home. Mrs. Onstott, Mrs. Waddell and Mrs. Kelso came to help and one or the other of them did the nursing and cooking while Sarah was in bed and for a little time thereafter. The coming of the baby was a comfort to this lonely mother of the prairies. Joe and Betsey asked their father in whispers while Sarah was lying sick where the baby had come from.
“I don’t know,” he answered.
“Don’t you know?” Joe asked with a look of wonder.
“No, sir, I don’t—that’s honest,” said Samson. “But there’s some that say they come on the back of a big crane and at the right home the ol’ crane lights an’ pecks on the door and dumps ’em off, just as gentle as he can.”
Joe examined the door carefully to find where the crane had pecked on it.
That day he confided to Betsey that in his opinion the baby didn’t amount to much.
“Why?” Betsey asked.