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Back Home   By: (1860-1923)

Book cover

First Page:

BACK HOME

By Eugene Wood

TO THE SAINTED MEMORY OF HER WHOM, IN THE DAYS BACK HOME, I KNEW AS "MY MA MAG" AND WHO WAS MORE TO ME THAN I CAN TELL, EVEN IF MY TARDY WORDS COULD REACH HER THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED

"That she who is an angel now Might sometimes think of me"

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION THE OLD RED SCHOOL HOUSE THE SABBATH SCHOOL THE REVOLVING YEAR THE SWIMMING HOLE THE FIREMEN'S TOURNAMENT THE DEVOURING ELEMENT CIRCUS DAY THE COUNTY FAIR CHRISTMAS BACK HOME

INTRODUCTION

GENTLE READER: Let me make you acquainted with my book, "Back Home." (Your right hand, Book, your right hand. Pity's sakes! How many times have I got to tell you that? Chest up and forward, shoulders back and down, and turn your toes out more.)

It is a little book, Gentle Reader, but please don't let that prejudice you against it. The General Public, I know, likes to feel heft in its hand when it buys a book, but I had hoped that you were a peg or two above the General Public. That mythical being goes on a reading spree about every so often, and it selects a book which will probably last out the craving, a book which "it will be impossible to lay down, after it is once begun, until it is finished." (I quote from the standard book notice). A few hours later the following dialogue ensues:

"Henry!"

"Yes, dear."

"Aren't you 'most done reading?"

"Just as soon as I finish this chapter." A sigh and a long wait.

"Henry!"

"Yes, dear."

"Did you lock the side door?" No answer.

"Henry! Did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Did you lock the side door?"

"In a minute now."

"Yes, but did you?"

"M hm. I guess so."

"'Guess so!' Did you lock that side door? They got in at Hilliard's night before last and stole a bag of clothes pins."

"M."

"Oh, put down that book, and go and lock the side door. I'll not get a wink of sleep this blessed night unless you do."

"In a minute now. Just wait till I finish this..."

"Go do it now."

Mr. General Public has a card on his desk that says, "Do it Now," and so he lays down his book with a patient sigh, and comes back to it with a patent grouch.

"Oh, so it is," says the voice from the bedroom. "I remember now, I locked it myself when I put the milk bottles out.... I'm going to stop taking of that man unless there's more cream on the top than there has been here lately."

"M."

"Henry!"

"Oh, what is it?"

"Aren't you 'most done reading?"

"In a minute, just as soon as I finish this chapter."

"How long is that chapter, for mercy's sakes?"

"I began another."

"Henry!"

"What?"

"Aren't you coming to bed pretty soon? You know I can't go to sleep when you are sitting up."

"Oh, hush up for one minute, can't ye? It's a funny thing if I can't read a little once in a while."

"It's a funny thing if I've got to be broke of my rest this way. As much as I have to look after. I'd hate to be so selfish.... Henry! Won't you please put the book down and come to bed?"

"Oh, for goodness sake! Turn over and go to sleep. You make me tired."

Every two or three hours Mrs. General Public wakes up and announces that she can't get a wink of sleep, not a wink; she wishes he hadn't brought the plagued old book home; he hasn't the least bit of consideration for her; please, please, won't he put the book away and come to bed?

He reaches "THE END" at 2:30A.M., turns off the gas, and creeps into bed, his stomach all upset from smoking so much without eating anything, his eyes feeling like two burnt holes in a blanket, and wishing that he had the sense he was born with. He'll have to be up at 6:05, and he knows how he will feel. He also knows how he will feel along about three o'clock in the afternoon... Continue reading book >>




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