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Aunt Jane of Kentucky   By: (1856-1935)

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[Illustration:]

AUNT JANE

OF KENTUCKY

BY ELIZA CALVERT HALL

Author of "The Land of Long Ago."

WITH FRONTISPIECE AND PAGE DECORATIONS

BY BEULAH STRONG

A. L. BURT COMPANY

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT, 1898, 1899, 1900,

BY JOHN BRISBANE WALKER.

COPYRIGHT, 1904,

BY COSMOPOLITAN PUBLISHING COMPANY.

COPYRIGHT, 1907,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

TO

MY MOTHER AND FATHER

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK

CHAPTERS

PAGE I. SALLY ANN'S EXPERIENCE 1

II. THE NEW ORGAN 29

III. AUNT JANE'S ALBUM 53

IV. "SWEET DAY OF REST" 83

V. MILLY BAKER'S BOY 105

VI. THE BAPTIZING AT KITTLE CREEK 141

VII. HOW SAM AMOS RODE IN THE TOURNAMENT 169

VIII. MARY ANDREWS' DINNER PARTY 193

IX. THE GARDENS OF MEMORY 247

"There is not an existence about us but at first seems colorless, dreary, lethargic: what can our soul have in common with that of an elderly spinster, a slow witted plowman, a miser who worships his gold?... But ... the emotion that lived and died in an old fashioned country parlor shall as mightily stir our heart, shall as unerringly find its way to the deepest sources of life as the majestic passion that ruled the life of a king and shed its triumphant luster from the dazzling height of a throne." Maeterlinck .

I

SALLY ANN'S EXPERIENCE

[Illustration: ]

"Come right in and set down. I was jest wishin' I had somebody to talk to. Take that chair right by the door so's you can get the breeze."

And Aunt Jane beamed at me over her silver rimmed spectacles and hitched her own chair a little to one side, in order to give me the full benefit of the wind that was blowing softly through the white curtained window, and carrying into the room the heavenliest odors from a field of clover that lay in full bloom just across the road. For it was June in Kentucky, and clover and blue grass were running sweet riot over the face of the earth.

Aunt Jane and her room together always carried me back to a dead and gone generation. There was a rag carpet on the floor, of the "hit or miss" pattern; the chairs were ancient Shaker rockers, some with homely "shuck" bottoms, and each had a tidy of snowy thread or crochet cotton fastened primly over the back. The high bed and bureau and a shining mahogany table suggested an era of "plain living" far, far remote from the day of Turkish rugs and Japanese bric a brac, and Aunt Jane was in perfect correspondence with her environment. She wore a purple calico dress, rather short and scant; a gingham apron, with a capacious pocket, in which she always carried knitting or some other "handy work"; a white handkerchief was laid primly around the wrinkled throat and fastened with a pin containing a lock of gray hair; her cap was of black lace and lutestring ribbon, not one of the butterfly affairs that perch on the top of the puffs and frizzes of the modern old lady, but a substantial structure that covered her whole head and was tied securely under her chin. She talked in a sweet old treble with a little lisp, caused by the absence of teeth, and her laugh was as clear and joyous as a young girl's... Continue reading book >>




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