Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 6
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
a young man making his first trip, life could hold no more
thrilling moment than that last flashing glimpse of home, his
mother standing in the light streaming from the front door, two
children clinging to her apron at knee height; Aunt Mandy
standing in the back door, wiping at a pot with a dingy dish
cloth, thick black lips pursed in general disapproval of what
went on in the outside night; the excited barking of the con-
voying dogs; then that last commanding call from his mother:
"Now remember, it's two spools of white thread, size forty. Size
forty! Don't forget!"
Daylight, and the family train, four wagons bearing three
bales each, two lengthwise and the third, edge-up, crossways in
the middle, was winding along a pair of ruts through timber
land. The leading wagon was driven by an older son, sitting
high on the up-tilted end of a cotton bale. A younger brother
sat on the edge of the middle bale. He held the brake rope.
His was a weighty task, when judged by his expression of
supreme importance. The other three wagons were driven by
reliable Negro men, each carrying one supercargo at the brake
rope, each such supercargo flashing a slice of white teeth,
supremely happy over the triumph of the moment at hand.
The woods echoed with the steady chuckle of wagon wheels
over protruding roots. As the sun came up, the brilliant yellow
of turning hickory leaves burned like a flame against the date-
green background of pines, and red sumac leaves glowed like
embers along the glades. The sweetgum in full autumn regalia
was as royal in its purple as any robe that ever draped an
emperor. There was beauty along the Jefferson Road, when a
man was young.
There was a certain eager expectancy, a looking forward to
the first intersecting road, the one leading up to Uncle Joe Hardy's
place. The boy driving the lead wagon passed the lines to his
brother and leaped off to study the ground. "We are first!" he
proudly boasted. He would wait until all four wagons had
passed the forks; then he would draw the sole of his boot across
the road from rut to rut, making a broad line. Then would come
four lines at right angle to it and parallel to the ruts. When his
cousins arrived and read the signs, they would know that he was
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/14/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.