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In the Border Country   By: (1876-1961)

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First Page:

{Transcriber's Note: Obvious typographical and printing errors have been corrected. Any other inconsistencies are as in the original. List of books by the same author has been moved to the end of the book to enhance readability.}

In the Border Country


[Illustration: On a low stool there sat an old woman....]


In the Border Country.


Josephine Daskam Bacon.

Clara Elsene Peck, Decorator.

New York Doubleday, Page & Company, 1909

THE HUT IN THE WOODS Copyright, 1908, by P.F. Collier & Son.

THE FARM BY THE FOREST Copyright, 1908, by P.F. Collier & Son.

THE CASTLE ON THE DUNES Copyright, 1909, by Harper & Brothers.

IN THE BORDER COUNTRY Copyright, 1909, by Josephine D. Bacon.


Contents page

I. The Hut in the woods 3

II. The Farm by the Forest 39

III. The Castle on the Dunes 89



On a low stool there sat an old woman.... Frontispiece

Facing page The glass of that window has strange properties. 28

There were no lights but the great moon. 54

The Dame stood high on wooden clogs and hummed a ballad. 62

Here they sat down to tapestry work, green and blue and russet weavings. 116

The First Lesson

In the Border Country


The woman who told me this, and other strange tales which I may one day try to put together, had no gift of writing, but only a pathetic regard for those who had. I say pathetic, because to me her extraordinary experiences so far outvalue the tinkling art of recording them as to make her simple admiration for the artist little short of absurd. She had herself a pretty talent for painting, of which I knew her to have made much in the years before we met. It was, indeed, because I remembered what hopes she had encouraged in her teachers in this and older countries, and how eagerly she had laboured at her craft, finding no trick of technique too slight, no repetition too arduous, no sacrifice too great, if only they might justify their faith in her, that I asked her one day, when I had come to know her well, why it was that she had stopped so suddenly in the work that many of us had learned to know before we knew her. For now she paints only quaint toys for her many lovely children, or designs beautiful gardens for her husband, himself an able artist and her first teacher, or works at the wonderful robes in which he paints her, burning in the autumn woods or mist like through spring boughs.

We sat, that morning, I remember, on the edge of the wood that finishes their wide estate among the hills, looking down its green mazy aisles, listening to the droning of the June air, lapped in the delicious peace of early summer. "Why did you?" I asked, "what happened?"

She gave me a long look.

"I have often thought I would tell you," she said, "for you can tell the others. When I hear this warm, droning noise, this time of the year, it always reminds me "

She looked at me, but I knew that she saw something or someone else. After a long pause her lips began to form a word, when suddenly she drew a short, frightened breath.

"What do you smell it, too? Am I going away again what is that odour?"

I sniffed the air. A dull, sweet taste flavoured it, unpleasant, vaguely terrifying. I looked about carefully and caught sight of a wide mouthed bottle lying on its side, the cork half loosened. A brown moth fluttered feebly in the bottle.

"It is only chloroform," I assured her, remembering that the two oldest children were collecting butterflies, and I tightened the cork... Continue reading book >>

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