The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

rhe /dleue Zorado of April 26, 1906
CATHERINE YOUNG CLACK
THE MORNING of April 26, 19o6, came out of the Western
Cross Timbers and across the prairiedom that surrounded
Bellevue, Texas, like any day in spring with a dew-washed
morning, sweet with the fragrance of moist warm loam and of
wild plums blooming extravagantly along the creek bottoms and
of acrid tang of smoke spiralling up from lively oakwood fires in
every kitchen. On such a day as this, a good housewife had her
white clothes boiling in the washpot before the treetops touched
the rising sun, and happy farmers were already following their
teams up and down the corn rows. The little town of Bellevue
that served this rural community, slowly unfolded like a fan to
begin the day as usual.
But by midmorning, there was a change in the tempo of the
spring song: serried clouds scuttled across a quickening sky; smoke
from the washpot fires lay low against the ground; and afterwards
Granny Hunter said she knew something was going to happen
because she could hardly get a breath: the air was so heavy on
her chest.
"Be a thunderstorm," thought the farmers who slapped reins
across the rumps of their teams. (Hill up the corn shoots afore
they're shoetop high or you'll get no roastin' ears from the bot-
tom-everybody knew that old rule; a good heavy shower would
wash the corn sprouts down the creek.)
Housewives, seeing the gathering clouds and sensing a change
in the weather, called reluctant daughters to bring the extra
rub board and get the clothes on the line.
And the sky kept hurrying and changing and trying to warn
Bellevue folks that this day was going to be different, this was
going to be the day they would always remember. Subtly the
color changed from blue to gray, then to an amber glow that
spread and suffused the sky till it looked like a brass kettle cov-
ering all Bellevue and the rolling countryside about. By noon a
cool brisk wind had come up out of nowhere, more noise than

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed December 29, 2014.