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Rough-Hewn   By: (1879-1958)

Rough-Hewn by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

First Page:

ROUGH HEWN

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE SQUIRREL CAGE A MONTESSORI MOTHER MOTHERS AND CHILDREN THE BENT TWIG THE REAL MOTIVE FELLOW CAPTAINS (With SARAH N. CLEGHORN) UNDERSTOOD BETSY HOME FIRES IN FRANCE THE DAY OF GLORY THE BRIMMING CUP

ROUGH HEWN

BY DOROTHY CANFIELD

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough hew them how we will."

[Illustration]

NEW YORK HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY, INC.

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

CONTENTS

PAGE

ANY LITTLE BOY 1

CULTURE IN THE AIR 29

NEALE BEGINS TO BE NEALE 85

"TO DAY SHALL BE THE SAME AS YESTERDAY" 129

AN EDUCATION IN THE HUMANITIES AND THE LIBERAL ARTS 209

BIRTHDAYS IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES 317

THE END OF ALL ROADS 379

ANY LITTLE BOY

CHAPTER I

In the spring of 1893 Strindberg had just published "A Fool's Confession," D'Annunzio was employing all the multicolored glory of his style to prove "The Triumph of Death"; Hardy was somberly mixing on his palette the twilight grays and blacks and mourning purples of "Jude the Obscure"; Nordau, gnashing his teeth, was bellowing "Decadent" at his contemporaries who smirked a complacent acceptance of the epithet ... and, all unconscious of the futility and sordidness of the world, Neale Crittenden swaggered along Central Avenue, brandishing his shinny stick.

It was a new yellow shinny stick, broad and heavy and almost as long as the boy who carried it. Ever since he had seen it in the window of Schwartz's Bazar, his soul had yearned for it. For days he had hoarded his pennies, foregoing ice cream sodas, shutting his ears to the seductive ding dong of the waffle man's cart, and this very afternoon the immense sum of twenty five cents had been completed and now he owned a genuine boughten stick, varnished and shiny. What couldn't he do with such a club! He beat it on the sidewalk till the flag stones rang; he swung it around his head. What stupendous long distance goals he was going to make! How he would dribble the ball through the enemy!

Spring had turned the vacant lots into sticky red mud, but Central Avenue was hard if somewhat undulating macadam. It had stone curbs too, that bounced the ball back as if specially designed for side boundaries by a philanthropic Board of Supervisors. Somewhere along it he was sure to find a game in progress. Yes, there they were in front of Number Two School. Neale broke into a run and coming up breathless plunged into the scrimmage.

Shinny as played on Union Hill in the nineties had none of the refinements of its dignified cousin, field hockey. Roughly divided into two sides, an indeterminate number of players tried with their sticks to knock a hard rubber ball to opposite ends of a block. Team work was elementary: the slowest runner on each side lay back to "tend gool"; the rest, following the fortunes of the ball, pelted to and fro in a seething mêlée of scuffling feet and clashing sticks. After each goal the ball was brought to the middle of the block, the two captains took their stand with sticks on either side of it. "One," they rapped their sticks on the pavement; "two," they rapped them together; "one, two, one, two." Then pandemonium broke out shrilly, sticks rapping against each other or against opposing shins, yells of "shinny on your own side," a welter of little boys battling around the ball as it shot up and down, sometimes advancing rapidly, sometimes stationary among a vortex of locked sticks until finally a lucky knock drove it past one or the other side street.

Once as they were walking back after a goal, Fatty Schmidt noticed Neale's new weapon... Continue reading book >>




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