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The girl, in turn, may have been not unpleased at the appearance of the young foundryman, for Matthias was strong-featured and very good to look upon. one of the several Lutheran families scattered about." Even now "up Plum Creek way," Amalia and her father in the high wagon were lumbering along toward their farm which was the first one just out of the Big Woods on the timber road. But thoughts are acrobats, agile and quite often untrustworthy. I shall be eighteen soon." But the hand of Amalia which had been promised for nearly two years still lay trembling in the hand of Matthias Meier. "Gone with the men to the Nebraska Territory to find suitable holdings for some of our church people. It is said that sometime before many years it may be a state, too, even as Illinois." "Yes, I suppose so." He felt definitely disappointed, vaguely sad that this lovely girl of whom he had thought all week was betrothed. Old Grandpa Schaffer, taken with summer complaint, had died and been buried in eastern Iowa.But so intent was he just now upon the loveliness of the girl that he found himself staring a little stupidly at the man coming toward him. The journey had taken much of the afternoon, for it lay over prairie and creek-beds, through muddy roads and timber-land, and the horses which they drove were heavy brood mares, their legs large and clumsy and shaggy with hair. Sometimes the father made a gruff comment on the stickiness of the mud, the amount of the last rainfall, or the slowness of the horses. he was pleasant." Her father grunted and said gruffly: "You will do well not to let your thoughts linger on strange young men." Immediately after which he turned toward her so abruptly that she jumped from the sheer fright that, having done this very thing, her thoughts were betraying her. So now, with impish disregard of the command, they hopped about quite easily. As though just now discovering that member's perfidy, she withdrew it suddenly. A door that had so recently opened a bit seemed suddenly shut in his face. But now the endless journey lay behind them,--with the worried forebodings of young Mrs.At once Matthias sprang to the wagon and gave her his hand. Stoltz looked them all over again, craftily, suspiciously, thumping their sides for the answering sound of the metal, and then said suddenly and loudly, as though Matthias might discover his mistake: "This one I take." Matthias looked quickly at the girl and she gave him the ghost of a swiftly mischievous and understanding smile, so that he felt the same headiness of spirit and body which he had experienced before. like a bit of music." And when she smiled up at that, he asked quickly while there was time: "Where do you live? That the fence of the chicken yard was now putting forth faint green shoots did not detract from its utility. There it said river crafts come up from the towns to the south and unload their goods." He unwittingly gave her renewed hope, against which she strove to turn, fearful that it might buoy her up too much and make her suffering more keen when it should come to naught. They were down on the platform-like boat now, Amalia and her father and the one covered wagon with the shaggy-haired team.
He even walked over to the opened door, although it went through his mind at the time that it was rather an undignified procedure to hurry out as though customers were so few and far between that they needed a committee of welcome. They'll be slowed up fit fer goin' crazy, any the time there comes a rain." It drew the two young men together,--Matthias' confidences and worry, and Charlie Briggs' sympathy and encouragement because he had nothing more practical to offer. And now near the Iowa bluffs the overland travelers had broken camp for the last time before they were to sight the Missouri River.
A large and sandy-bearded man was swinging himself over the lumber-wagon's wheel preparatory to entering. For who, indeed, would look elsewhere with such a flower-like face before one as that of the girl in the green silk bonnet? Although they were unaware of it at the time, it was, in truth, the beginning of a long friendship interrupted only by death,--a friendship which was rather unexplainable to the casual observer in the later years of their lives when they appeared to have so little in common. The delay was not so long this time, and the second day they were out of the treacherous sucking sands and into deep water, passing a large Indian encampment on the Nebraska side almost at once. Slowly the eleven wagons had crawled up and down the last of the unending Iowa trail.
If Matthias Meier, too, vaguely felt the call and the push of the springtime, he was quite unaware of it, and merely checked and figured in the thumb-blackened and well-worn pages of the yellow book. "I have thought of you every moment." His voice shook with emotion. The afternoon slipped away as they talked of this new-old thing that had come to them. It seems that this spring belongs just to us, and to no other," Amalia said once. Charlie Briggs dissuaded him from this, pointing out his lack of knowledge of his surroundings, called to his distracted mind that when they pulled off, which might be any time now, their progress would be better than Matthias' blind ride through an unknown country.
Up to this time, the room had been quiet save for the bumbling of a single advance guard of bottle-green flies and the sound of some one cutting timber far away. "And I of you." "You must break your betrothal, Amalia." "At this moment it is broken, Matthias." "This . ." said Matthias after a time, "is what love is." "Yes," said Amalia, "I know now. It took all the weight of his argument to make Matthias realize the folly of the plan.
"Good-morning to you, sir." "Guten Morgen." When he heard the German tongue, Matthias, too, turned to the language of his ancestors for, although English schooled, he could speak it readily. Say it now before you have taken away with you that which you should not accept. Always it pertained to the material world and especially that part of it which lay close at hand. For adverse opinions from his daughter or any other human were not welcomed. They asked Amalia innocently why the nice young man wanted to know where she lived. ." "I should not be here talking to you," she said, when he seemed not intending to finish his thought. Henry Gebhardt, with the childhood of Anna Rhodenbach and Adolph Kratz, with the unbroken sleep of old Grandpa Schaffer beside the trail in eastern Iowa. And although several days' journey lay beyond it, still it was the gateway to the new home.
So in the German he asked politely: "What can I do for you? Or have left behind you that which you should not give. And when Matthias turned back into the dullness of the room magic gifts had been exchanged. So, riding beside the bulky form of her father, Amalia lived in her own world, not always the material one and most definitely not that part of it which was close at hand. They suggested with subtle art the possibility that he would try to find out. Fritz was continually straining his eyes toward the west hoping to catch the first sight of the river.
Matthias Meier was twenty-one in that year of 1866, tall and stalwart of form, with only a healed red furrow across his upper left arm to show for the last day's fighting of his Illinois regiment. If he would give her but another week, she would prepare him for the announcement which would so anger him. So it seemed that he must translate into English as he read. No more Indian troubles had been known in the eastern third of the territory for a half-dozen years, but the men said no one could ever tell when it might break out again. It is, as I have said, like an army under orders,--the army of the Lord. With every available means the crew and some of the passengers, including Matthias and Charlie Briggs, attempted to get her off.
We find him, now, sitting on a high stool before a sloping desk in the office of his uncle. Of one thing she was certain, it must come first from her own lips. In his agitation some peculiar instinctive knowledge of what had happened helped him to make the translation. On beyond there were tribes of them always ready to steal cattle and to commit various offenses, but it was scarcely to be supposed that they would attack so large a group. Men in small boats put out to shore and drove stakes into the bank, around which they would wrap the rope attached to the vessel, and pulling this with mighty tugs attempt to entice the vessel from her sandy bed.
A Project Gutenberg of Australia e Book Title: Spring Came on Forever (1935) Author: Bess Streeter Aldrich e Book No.: 0500651Edition: 1 Language: English Character set encoding: HTML--Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bit Date first posted: June 2005 Date most recently updated: June 2005 This e Book was produced by: Don Lainson [email protected] Gutenberg of Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. Matthias would have gone immediately to the house but Amalia would not hear of it. No, Matthias, give me my perfect day." And because she would have it so, he did not go in to confront her father, but left her there in the clearing until he should come again. just happiness and right." And when Matthias said nothing could come between them now, she confessed: "Of that I am sure . This was the day he was to confront Amalia's father, possibly the day he was to bring her home with him. Sometimes Trixie sank in mud so deep she nearly floundered. At that, in his sick imaginings, he felt himself snatching her away bodily from the outstretched arms of this strange man-- Suddenly a thought struck him with lightning-like effect. To the Lutheran homesteaders the journey out of Illinois and into the plains of Iowa had been a tedious and apparently endless trip. It was the morning of the ninth day out before they could proceed. There was no more promenading on the wind-swept deck by the giggling girls. A doctor was called hurriedly from the passengers to attend a woman in childbirth in one of the stuffy state-rooms.
We do NOT keep any e Books in compliance with a particular paper edition. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. On the next Sunday there came a dash of warm rain as he rode into the clearing, and at once he saw her in the doorway of the sheep-shelter, a hooded gossamer about her shoulders. but when morning comes I know that it is not wicked at all . He had a feeling that there would be a scene, ending, no doubt, in his taking Amalia away without baggage. Sometimes he had to dismount to clear fallen branches away from the wet timber road. With that disquieting thought he started walking over toward the road that led to the house. There was no kettle hanging there in the clearing,--only the tipped-over tripod of hickory sticks and the sodden black ashes of the last fire. Immediately he sat up and brushed a hand across his eyes, a dozen things crowding his mind at once. The town lay hundreds of miles across the Illinois and Iowa plains on the Missouri River, a long, long journey. For weeks now they had lurched over trails which took them through prairie grass and sunflowers, down creek-beds and across gulleys, into tangled clumps of wild growth and past an occasional settlement. There were various rumbles of dissatisfaction from the passengers, too, for eatables were getting low and fare was very poor. One side of the river bank was sheer steep bluffs, the other vast stretches of prairie, dotted with patches of timber. A young bride came aboard on her way to California, happy and blithesome, thinking that all California was a paradise.
Her full lips were rosy pink, and in their velvet blueness her wide eyes were like cornflowers. we made the soap, using all of our grease from the butchering so we will have a plentiful supply for the long journey and a whole year after." But the words recalled this disquieting thing he had heard of her betrothal and going away, and he frowned as he seated himself beside her on a log near the kettle. Ploddingly men had walked beside the oxen and cracked the long bull whips which circled over the stolid beasts' backs but never touched them.