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In Happy Valley   By: (1863-1919)

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First Page:

IN HAPPY VALLEY

by

John Fox, Jr.

Illustrated By F. C. Yohn

New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1917 Copyright, 1916, 1917, by Charles Scribner's Sons Published October, 1917 Copyright, 1905, 1906, By P. F. Collier & Son, Incorporated

To Hope, Little Daughter of Richard Harding Davis.

CONTENTS

The Courtship of Allaphair

The Compact of Christopher

The Lord's Own Level

The Marquise of Queensberry

His Last Christmas Gift

The Angel from Viper

The Pope of the Big Sandy

The Goddess of Happy Valley

The Battle Prayer of Parson Small

The Christmas Tree on Pigeon

ILLUSTRATIONS

"You stay hyeh with the baby," he said quietly, "an' I'll take yo' meal home."

"You got him down!" she cried. "Jump on him an' stomp him!"

"Mammy," he said abruptly, "I'll stop drinkin' if you will."

"Let 'em loose!" he yelled. "Git at it, boys! Go fer him, Ham whoop ee ee!"

"Miss Hildy, Jeems Henery is the bigges' liar on Viper."

"I'm a goin' to give it back to 'em. Churches, schools, libraries, hospitals, good roads."

Night and day, and through wind and storm, she had travelled the hills, healing the sick.

"O Lawd ... hyeh's another who meddles with thy servant and profanes thy day."

THE COURTSHIP OF ALLAPHAIR

Preaching at the open air meeting house was just over and the citizens of Happy Valley were pouring out of the benched enclosure within living walls of rhododendron. Men, women, children, babes in arms mounted horse or mule or strolled in family groups homeward up or down the dusty road. Youths and maids paired off, dallying behind. Emerged last one rich, dark, buxom girl alone. Twenty yards down the road two young mountaineers were squatted in the shade whittling, and to one she nodded. The other was a stranger one Jay Dawn and the stare he gave her was not only bold but impudent.

"Who's goin' home with that gal?" she heard him ask.

"Nobody," was the answer; " that gal al'ays goes home alone ." She heard his snort of incredulity.

"Well, I'm goin' with her right now." The other man caught his arm.

"No, you ain't" and she heard no more.

Athwart the wooded spur she strode like a man. Her full cheeks and lips were red and her black, straight hair showed Indian blood, of which she was not ashamed. On top of the spur a lank youth with yellow hair stood in the path.

"How dye, Allaphair!" he called uneasily, while she was yet some yards away.

"How dye!" she said unsmiling and striding on toward him with level eyes.

"Allaphair," he pleaded quickly, "lemme "

"Git out o' my way, Jim Spurgill." The boy stepped quickly from the path and she swept past him.

"Allaphair, lemme walk home with ye." The girl neither answered nor turned her head, though she heard his footsteps behind her.

"Allaphair, uh, Allaphair, please lemme " He broke off abruptly and sprang behind a tree, for Allaphair's ungentle ways were widely known. The girl had stooped for a stone and was wheeling with it in her hand. Gingerly the boy poked his head out from behind the tree, prepared to dodge.

"You're wuss'n a she wolf in sucklin' time," he grumbled, and the girl did not seem displeased. Indeed, there was a grim smile on her scarlet lips when she dropped the stone and stalked on. It was almost an hour before she crossed a foot log and took the level sandy curve about a little bluff, whence she could see the two roomed log cabin that was home. There were flowers in the little yard and morning glories covered the small porch, for, boyish as she was, she loved flowers and growing things. A shrill cry of welcome greeted her at the gate, and she swept the baby sister toddling toward her high above her head, fondled her in her arms, and stopped on the threshold. Within was another man, slight and pale and a stranger.

"This is the new school teacher, Allaphair," said her mother. "He calls hisself Iry Combs."

"How dye!" said the girl, but the slight man rose and came forward to shake hands. She flashed a frown at her mother a moment later, behind the stranger's back; teachers boarded around and he might be there for a week and perhaps more... Continue reading book >>




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