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Friendship Village   By: (1874-1938)

Book cover

First Page:

FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE

BY ZONA GALE

AUTHOR OF "THE LOVES OF PELLEAS AND ETTARRE"

NEW YORK THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1908

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1908, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1908.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

To EDITH, HARRIET, AND MUSA AND THE TWO FOR WHOM IT COMES TOO LATE GEORGIA AND HELEN THIS BOOK IS LOVINGLY INSCRIBED

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Friendship Village is not known to me, nor are any of its people, save in the comradeship which I offer here. But I commend for occupancy a sweeter place. For us here the long Caledonia hills, the four rhythmic spans of the bridge, the nearer river, the island where the first birds build these teach our windows the quiet and the opportunity of the "home town," among the "home people." To those who have such a bond to cherish I commend the little real home towns, their kindly, brooding companionship, their doors to an efficiency as intimate as that of fairy fingers. If there were shrines to these things, we would seek them. The urgency is to recognize shrines.

Portage, Wisconsin, September, 1908.

Certain of the following chapters have appeared in The Outlook, The Broadway Magazine, The Delineator, Everybody's, and Harper's Monthly Magazine . Thanks are due to the editors for their courteous permission to reprint these chapters.

CONTENTS

I. The Side Door

II. The Début

III. Nobody Sick, Nobody Poor

IV. Covers for Seven

V. The Shadow of Good Things to Come

VI. Stock

VII. The Big Wind

VIII. The Grandma Ladies

IX. Not as the World Giveth

X. Lonesome I

XI. Lonesome II

XII. Of the Sky and Some Rosemary

XIII. Top Floor Back

XIV. An Epilogue

XV. The Tea Party

XVI. What is That in thine Hand?

XVII. Put on thy Beautiful Garments

XVIII. In the Wilderness a Cedar

XIX. Herself

XX. The Hidings of Power

Friendship Village

I

THE SIDE DOOR

It is as if Friendship Village were to say:

"There is no help for it. A telephone line, antique oak chairs, kitchen cabinets, a new doctor, and the like are upon us. But we shall be mediæval directly we and our improvements. Really, we are so now, if you know how to look."

And are we not so? We are one long street, rambling from sun to sun, inheriting traits of the parent country roads which we unite. And we are cross streets, members of the same family, properly imitative, proving our ancestorship in a primeval genius for trees, or bursting out in inexplicable weaknesses of Court House, Engine House, Town Hall, and Telephone Office. Ultimately our stock dwindles out in a slaughter yard and a few detached houses of milkmen. The cemetery is delicately put behind us, under a hill. There is nothing mediæval in all this, one would say. But then see how we wear our rue:

When one of us telephones, she will scrupulously ask for the number, not the name, for it says so at the top of every page. "Give me one one," she will put it, with an impersonality as fine as if she were calling for four figures. And Central will answer:

"Well, I just saw Mis' Holcomb go 'crost the street. I'll call you, if you want, when she comes back."

Or, "I don't think you better ring the Helmans' just now. They were awake 'most all night with one o' Mis' Helman's attacks."

Or, "Doctor June's invited to Mis' Sykes's for tea. Shall I give him to you there?"

The telephone is modern enough. But in our use of it is there not a flavour as of an Elder Time, to be caught by Them of Many Years from Now? And already we may catch this flavour, as our Britain great great lady grandmothers, and more, may have been conscious of the old fashion of sitting in bowers. If only they were conscious like that! To be sure of it would be to touch their hands in the margins of the ballad books... Continue reading book >>




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