The Archer County News (Archer City, Tex.), Vol. 30, No. 1, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 26, 1940 Page: 3 of 8
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THE ARCHER COUNTY NEWS
IJ1 Hawked 1
When Vliyie Morgan, widow, and owner
of the Morgan paper mill in the Carolina
mountain district, turns down a marriage
propo'al from Wallace Withers, he leaves
her house in a rage Virgie tumshy^^^i
because snc . nr ’'■•aAy.p
in possession of her mill than lr^SHMI^r
a wife. After he has gone, Branford Wills, a
young stranger, who has been lost on the
mountain-side for three days, finds his way
to the Morgan home. Taken in, he is fed and
warmed and allowed to remain overnight.
“Not even when they’re on the
opposite side of the feud?” Wills
“Well, I don’t dignify any argu-
ment I get into with the title of feud,”
said Virgie. “Though the Govern-
ment is hen-fussy—sticking its bill
into every little mess that the rain
would cover up charitably in a cou-
ple of days! But I’m like this—if
I’ve got a spoonful of meal, I’ll
share it. You get some rest tonight.
It’s a wonder you aren’t half dead.
You must be as tough as a bal-
sam knot. Tomorrow' I’ll put chains
on a car and send you wherever you
want to go.”
“You’re very generous.” He stood
up, wavering a little and grinning
sadly at his weakness. She saw his
well-knit, lean young body, the un-
conscious grace of youth, with silken
muscles and leaping blood—youth
that knows exactly where it is go-
ing and has not learfled yet the
grudging welcome of the world. “I
was fortunate,” he went on, “in hav-
ing tumbled on your door-step.”
“You can pay me back some time.
I’m merely circulating some propa-
ganda to the effect that there are
one or two decpnt pulp people in
the world. You can carry that word
back to Washington.”
“I’ll do it gladly. I’ll add some
personal indorsements. In fact, I
think I’ll launch a campaign—”
He stopped. A tinny horn blared.
The dogs set up an excited yelping
outside and a car door smacked
shut. Then the front door crashed
open, letting in a blast of wind, a
swish of icy rain, and a girl in a
green rubber coat and beret.
A slim, small girl, with reddish-
chestnut hair tumbled damply on
her collar, with a small, tanned face
and very big browm eyes.
“Oh—” she stopped, surprised,
“Shut the door,” directed Virgie
calmly. "This is my daughter, Mari-
an Morgan. This is Mr. Branford
Wills—from Washington. He’s stay-
ing with us tonight. He’s been lost.”
“Oh—I—1” Wills was confused. A
alow, unhafcpy red crept over his
"We’ve met before,” announced
"Good gracious,” her mother ex-
<‘He”—Marian’s pansy-warm eyes
had turned flat and unfriendly, her
small red mouth hardened—“he
doesn’t like piilp people!”
"So I’ve heard,” said Virgie, un-
perturbed, thinking how like her fa-
ther Marian was. Shrewd and small
and implacable, like David Morgan,
* hanging in his gold frame above the
mantel fire. "But we’ve declared a
truce on that. It's too darned cold
tonight to keep up any kind of a
But Marian was scarcely listen-
ing. She was looking at Branford
Wills with hostile eyes.
“So you got lost?”
“So it appears. Your mother was
charitable enough to take me in and
“Nothing much happens to moth-
er. He thinks”—Marian turned to
her mother, her voice crackling a
little—"that all pulp people should
be burned at the stake—slowly he
told me so. At the dance the other
“That’s unfair,” declared young
Mr. Wills. “I didn’t know you. I
was spouting to hear my own voice.
“Don’t bother. It doesn’t matter
to me in the least.” Marian pulled
off the damp beret, shook rain from
it. “The road is dreadful, Mother—
you’ll need chains in the morning.
I’ll go up, I think. Did Lossie make
a fire in my room?”
“Please,” interposed young Mr.
Wills, anxiously, “don’t go away
without letting me explain—I’ll eat
any amount of crow—I’ll even pick
the bones if you wish—”
Marian’s head went up. She
pushed back her damp, fruit-tinted
hair with a palm, regarded him
“I see no reason to discuss it,
thank you. This is mother’s house.
She is free to entertain whomever
she likes in it. Good night.’’
She walked past them, her head
held rigidly. Virgie Morgan’s mouth
drew in at one comer.
“Don’t worry about her, son,” she
advised. “She’ll be all over it in
the morning. She’s a loyal little
trick—and all the Morgans are fight-
ers. What did you say to her at
He shook his head ruefully. I
can’t even remember!” he admitted.
The mill of the Morgan Pulp Com-
pany had never been an imposing
David Morgan had built it early in
the century, and David Morgan had
inherited from a Highland root of his
family a preponderant caution, a
carefulness that erected slowly, with
due regard for foundations and a
keen eye out for credit, but no par-
ticular anxiety as to appearance*.
No artist had ever etched the
steaming ugliness of the plant, dome
and stack, snatching cable and roar-
ing chute. There was no chilled,
mode*-* music of steel and glass,
no riw ix. white, no ranked battery
of shining stacks and retorts. But
there was good pulp. Through the
defeating lag of the depression, since
David’s death, Virgie’s market had
held. When a finishing mill got an
order for extra quality paper they
wired for Morgan pulp to mill it
from. There had been half-time
work, half-week lay-offs, but always
the pay-roll ready on the fifth and
the twentieth, whether Virgie’s
rusty old leather handbag had a
nickel of spending money in it or
Tom Pruitt knew how it had run
on. And Virgie Morgan knew.
Tom Pruitt had been David Mor-
gan's friend. Once Tom Pruitt’s tim-
ber land had covered three coun-
ties. Little rivers that he ovjfled
had shuttled with trout; coves and
ridges to which he held title' had
sheltered pronged buck and snuffling
bear, and the frantic industry of
beavers slowed mountain creeks
that began and ended on Tom’s do-
Then had come the incredible hys-
teria of ’25.
Men, their blood carbonated by a
virus bred of the madnesses of Flor-
ida, came prowling into the moun-
tains, a wild, acquisitive light in
their eyes. They bought land, op-
tioned it, leased and contracted for
Men came—gray men with the air
of affairs, who spoke slowly and lit-
tle. Men to inspire confidence. They
wanted to buy Tom Pruitt’s land.
Tom thought things out slowly. He
was a meditative, heavy, slow-mov-
ing man. His great body was slow,
but terrible with strength.
Tom sold his land finally. There
was considerable pressure before
they got him up to the point, two
concerns bidding for it, and when he
at last gave in, there was a tre-
mendous down payment made —
more money than Tom Pruitt had
ever seen in his life. Too much mon-
ey. Not a check—Tom was suspi-
cious of checks—but cash in green
sheafs, with heavy paper bands
around it. Fifty thousand dollars.
And more in five, seven, and ten
years, according to the contract.
Tom was dazed. The sum total of
his former possession diminished in
his mind, became subordinate to the
cash. He forgot the great stand of
virgin poplar up the Hazel Fork,
forgot the mellow bottom land with
night he rode the rusty old truck
up the mountain road to Morgan’s
house, where he shaved helpless Da-
vid, cut his toe-nails, trimmed the
white dry locks of hair, rubbed his
weary, wasting back.
la the land on
Little Fork and Hazel Fork became
one of a hundred tracts lost in a
fog of indefinite involvement; owf|ed
and not owned.
Tom igaited, worried, dubious,
and unhappy. Then David Morgan
died. And after that there was no
chance of selling Morgan pulp
stock enough to finance a suit to
foreclose and clear title, even if
Tom had known how to begin it.
Tom locked the old safe on his
beautiful yellow papers, with the gilt
seals upon them, pulled his belt
tighter, hunched his shoulders, and
set to work to help Virgie Morgan
save the mill.
It was still partly his and the
stacks were still scrawling their
bleared autograph of hopefulness
upon the Carolina sky.
Afterwards Virgie Morgan looked
back on those three years, trying to
separate phases, distinguish definite
epochs of despair, as a person who
has emerged alive from an inun-
dation or a frightful wreck tries to
recall incidents of that catastrophe,
decide what came first and what
, “I can’t pat fifty
Morgan argued, l
thousand dollars in this
Meanwhile in her kitchen Virgie
Morgan held a hot-water bottle oyer
the sink, filled it gingerly, ducking
her head as the kettle steamed.
Lossie spooned coffee % tw
colator. Her brassy waves were
cushioned in a heavy net.
“Think it’s pneumonia?” she
asked, taking the kettle from her
“A chill doesn’t have to be pneu-
monia,” Virgie said, “but his voice
sounds funny and I heard him
coughing a lot in the night. That
bed was damp probably. Nobody
has slept up there in a time. He
should have had a fire—worn out
the way he was.”
“If this house just had a furnace
“Now, don’t go harping on that,
Lossie Wilson,” Virgie snapped.
“Carry up some coal before the
Lossie picked up the coal bucket,
stepped into the back hall to re-
move her hairnet and dab some
grayish-lavender powder on her
nose. The young man coughing in
the bed upstairs had romantic dark
eyes and a mouth cut wide for
But all these devoted pains were
wasted after all. Branford Wills was
asleep. Red-hot coins of color
burned in his cheeks, his hair was
disordered and dry looking, his
hands twitched, thrusting out of the
blue sleeves of a pair of David Mor-
gan’s old pajamas.
'‘He’s sure enough got some-
thing,” Lossie decided, as she laid
coal softly on the fire.
Virgie came up presently, tucked
the hot-water botUe under the young
stranger’s feet, looked at him with
“He’s sick, all right,” she said.
'And I feel responsible. Putting him
in this cold tomb of a room—after
two nights out on that mountain.”
'Well, you took him in,” Lossie
comforted her in a whisper. “A lot
of people would have set the dog on
a trampy looking thing like him.”
.... “I can let his people know—and
we can take good care of him, any-
way,” Virgie said.
Something appealing about this
dark young head on the pillow. She
had wanted three sons of her own—
three boys, tall, dark, and auda-
cious. And Heaven had given her
only Marian who was small and slim
and peppery—but audacious enough,
Wills birred as the hot bottle
warmed hifcn, lifted his head, looked
By ROGER B. WHITMAN ^s
Jacket and Skirt
For School Miss
JUST as necessary as a sharp
“ pencil and a notebook, for a
smart start in school, this tailored
jacket-and-skirt duo is one thing
that every 8-to-16 student should
have! Wear it with tailored blouses
or sweaters, as a suit; wear it
with scarfs, beads or lapel gadg-
ets, as a frock. Either way, de-
sign No. """ “ ’ - i
turkeys had fed. All he thought
about was. this money. Enough mon-
ey to last as long as he lived, if
he spent it. But he would not spend
it. He would hold onto it. It numbed
and thrilled and frightened him.
He took it to David Morgan, his
friend. “You keep it for me,” he
begged. “Put it some place.”
“I’ll put it in the bank for you,”
David, the cautious, said.
But Tom Pruitt had little faith in
banks. They got robbed every now
and then. You read in the paper
where a bank had busted and some
fellow gone off to South America
with all the money belonging to oth-
“No, you keep it, Dave, Tom
begged. "Then if I want it I can
get it back again. If a banker gets
it he’ll lend it to some of these real-
estate fellers over to Asheville, and
then when the concern goes bust
my money will be sunk in one of
them subdivisions with fancy gates
and red-white-and-blue flags stuck
in the ground. And I don’t want
none of them.”
Morgan argued. “I can’t put fifty
thousand dollars in this old safe,
“You put it somewheres, Dave.
Put it in something so I’ll know
you’ve got it. Anywhere’s is all
right—just so I know you got it.”
“I can sell you a share of the
mill,” Morgan said abruptly.
“Would you want that? I can use
your money to buy that spruce up
Cheota and to put in a new drier.
And you’ll own part of the mill.
Old and taciturn as he was, Tom
Pruitt trembled, with sudden exalta-
tion. To own even a fragment of a
thing as splendid to his eyes as the
Morgan mill—to touch a brick of it
or a pet-cock from an acid tank and
think, “Mine!” He wanted nothing
more from life.
He surrendered the sheaf of lush
green bills to David Morgan.
Tom was glad of his heartening
part of Morgan’s work. The fifth
and the seventh year saw the pay-
ments on his land defaulted. The
title was almost inextricably tan-
gled in a snarl of holding compa-
nies, stock companies, second and
third mortgages, judgments, and
“Foreclose,” David Morgan told
Tom, just before David lay down at
night to wake in the morning with
a crooked, drooling mouth, a help-
less arm and leg, and a fogged
brain that would never clear again.
But Tom, lost in the frantic trou-
ble of helping Virgie to keep the
mill running while David lay help-
less in the white house on the moun-
tain. had no time to think of himself
or his problems.
Stocks had crashed, orders were
few, men were frightened, restive,
alert for bad news from any quar-
ter. Tom held his peace and kept
pulp wood coming into the mill. At
ly «»e thi
after. But only line thing ~q0d out
clear—Tom Pruitt's unvarying loy-
alty, his quiet and unfailing support.
There was ice' on every branch
and dead leaf, every blade of grass
and jointed weed, when Tom came
through the gate of the mill in that
raw November dawn. The wind *as
still frigid with little promise of a
thaw. Smoke was snatched from
the stack, torn to pieces, strung
along the ground in rags. The st tel
padlock, with which for twenty
years the plank door of the office
building had been locked, was like
something dipped in melted glass..
Tom beat it against the dopr- frame,
twisted the key, pushed the door in-
ward on a musty cuddy smelling
of mildewed paper and raw chemi-
The stove was still faintly warm
and Tom raked out the ashes into a
bucket and kindled a new fire, fan-
ning it encouragingly with his hat.
Then with two buckets he plodded
toward the engine room, head down,
big hat flapping. He had carefully
drained both trucks at sunset last
night; hot water would make them
start quicker. He took care of all
the equipment, he liked to do it.
No alcohol in radiators. That made
the cars heat on the mountain
grades. And today things had to
be entirely right because Virgie
Morgan was going up to look over
her reforestation project.
Tom’s old watch, hitched to a
braided strip of snakeskin, showed
seven o’clock when he went back to
the office. Steam was hissing from
the boiler-room cocks, two oilers
were getting their equipment out of
the tool shed. In thirty minutes the
whistle would bellow. In twenty-five
minutes Virgie’s old coupe should
enter the mill gate. Tom took an
old rag and dabbed dust from Vir-
gie’s desk. There was a votive air
about what he did, but this devotion
was not for Virgie Morgan, the
woman. To Tom, Virgie was part
of David, part of the mill. She was
Then the telephone rang. Tom
shouted intq it.
“Hello, Tom.” It was Virgie’s
voice. “I won’t be going up to the
hill with the boys today. Send them
out as soon as they are ready.'
“Hey!” Tom whooped his arg
ments, always dubious of the effi-
ciency of the instrument. “Hey—
this ice ain’t going to last. It’ll be
gone by nine o’clock. I’ll put chains
on. You needn’t worry.”
“I’m not worried, Tom.” Virgie’s
voice came evenly. “Not about any-
thing down there. Ice wouldn’t scare
me. The trouble’s up here, at the
house. Something’s come up. I
can’t leave right away."
’Tnm Hitna tin crptmitt
QUESTION: What is the best
'•J method of recementing and
mending breakoffs and cracks in ce-
ment sidewalks and driveways?
Patching cement soon cracks out.
Answer: A crack should be cut out
with a cold chisel to make room
for the patch. The cut should be
made wider at the bottom than
an the surface, so that in hardening
the patch will lock itself in. The
patching material should be one
part portland cement and three
parts sand, with only enough water
to be workable. Before patching, the
old concrete should be soaked with
water. The patch should be kept
wet for several days for thorough
curing. Where appearance is not
important, cracks can be filled with
roofing cement, which is most easily
applied by melting and pouring in.
Noisy Water Pipes.
Question: There is always air in
our water pipes, which are under
city pressure. It does no harm, but
I wonder if it has something to do
with the loud noise we always get
when drawing water. The noise can
be heard through the house and is
Answer: If the air is from high
pressure or from pumping, your
neighbors are having the same trou-
ble, and the local plumbers are so
familiar with it that any one of them
could put in a reducing valve or an
air separator that will stop the
noise. If your neighbors are not
having the trouble, the reason is in
your own house, and jp likely to be
from loose and worn washers in the
faucets. This should be looked into.
Question: In removing rockers
from a chair should they be knocked
off or sawed off? Should the legs be
all the same length from the bottom
of the seat at the corner*? Would
the chair then be too low for a
Answer: Knocking the rockers off
may damage the legs of the chair.
inq off is safer. After
’ licked — —,
ould have called me—1
getting up just yet,"
osed. “You’ve got a
xnd.s odd.” He groped confused-
ly with his long, facile hands. "I’m
never sick. I’ll be all right in an
hour or two. I was pretty tired—
and wet, too.”
Lie down,” ordered Virgie. terse-
ly, “and don’t talk too much. I’ll
let your outfit know where you are.
But for the present you stay here.”
“Please, Mrs. Morgan—I can’t be
a nuisance to you—’’ He broke off
with a racking cough and pain
snatched at him. He looked per-
plexed and in anguish. He wiped
his lips with a corner of the sheet.
“I—guess—I am sick!” he muttered,
lying back again.
Virgie shifted the counterpane,
straightened the shades, poked the
fire, went downstairs again. In the
breakfast-room Marian was sugar-
ing her fruit. Her hair was brushed
flat, the sleeves of her orange pa-
jamas flapped, she looked reproach-
Lossie says that hobo is sick.”
she said. “Have we got him on our
Virgie sat down, poured her cof-
fee, fingered the toast, raised her
voice. “Lossie! I can’t eat this cold
stuff. Make some hot. Yes, he’s
sick—it looks like pneumonia. And
hFs no hobo. I’ve telephoned for
the doctor and you’ll have to stay
here till he comes. I’ve got to get
down to the mill.”
“But I don’t know a thing about
“You aren’t expected to know.
That’s what we have the doctor for.
You see that Lossie keeps the fire
up. I’ll send Ada Clark out if I
can get hold of her.”
“Oh, my heavens. Mother! She
snuffles ,ind her nose is always red,
and she thinks that she’s going to be
kidnaped or something every Rme
she sticks her silly head outside.
"Well, you don’t have to look at
her. She can take care of this boy
till he’s well enough to be moved
somewhere—home, if he has any
“I wouldn’t call him a boy. He s
over twenty-five, if he’s a minute!
‘Well, I’m over fifty and that en-
titles me to call most any man a
Virgie went out through the kitch-
en collecting a hot kettle on the
way. Every year winter came to
ie mountains with a wretched,
eezing storm Ijke this. Her little
ir would be hsrd to start.
She drove slowly down the icy
road, gripping the steering-wheel,
hating the treacherous going. Her
hat felt insecure on her head. Her
an i leave ngiu away.v s gray hair was thick a"d
Tom hung up, grunting, went out I these cocky little hats had no crow
!h„ radiator a! ». a.cpiij TOW- Jg M
in-day-out stand-by. It’s easy to
make, and when home-sewn, costs
Flannel, wool crepe, homespun
and thin tweed are grand for this
style. . It looks especially pretty
in pastels or plaid and plain com-
binations. With nipped-in waist,
flared skirt and a trio of pockets,
it’s just as becoming as it is smart
• • •
rockers are OIL runner cutting
may be necessary to get the legs
of the chair to set squarely on the
floor. Make your measurements
carefully. The front legs of the av-
erage chair are a trifle longer than
those in the back (one-quarter to
one-half inch.) Whether or not the
chair will be too low will depend oa
the present height.
Question: How can I build a rock
retaining wall through which soil
will not wash away? Our ground is
on two levels with about a two-foot
drop. Is a dry wall practical?
Answer: A rock wall laid up dry is
entirely practical, and has the ad-
vantage of allowing the seepage of
water through it; without seepage
dammed-up water will make trou-
ble. The wall must go deep enough
into the ground to be below the frost
level and have sufficient strength to
resist the pressure of the earth be-
hind it. Do not skimp on dimen-
Vacuum Cleaner on Wasps.
A correspondent describes his
method for disposing of his attic
wasps with his vacuum cleaner. “On
a day when they were out of their
nests and congregated in the sun-
shine, a wide-mouthed tool was
applied, and the wasps were instant-
ly drawn in. This was easy, and
after they were all picked up, moth
gas was drawn into the cleaner
until the noise subsided. The dust
chamber was then emptied into a
bucket of boiling water.”
Question: Please advise the cause
of dark spots like oil or grease on
shingles. They were finished with a
fine quality stain; the same quality
as the original stain. The spots ap-
pear on the side walls subjected to
the hot summer sun’s rays.
Answer: It is possible the spots
are caused by excess of oil in the
wood being drawn to the surface.
Try wiping the spots with turpentine.
This may remove the grease or oi*
Question: Where can I get the
dimensions for a portable round ta-
ble, to seat 10 persons, the kind of
table used in hotels?
Answer: A space of 2 feet is al-
lowed per person, which would make
the diameter of such a table about
6Y4 feet. Height of the table top is
2 feet 6 inches, while the height oi
the knee space is 2 feet 1 inch.
Question: How can spots and dirt
be removed from overstuffed furni-
Answer: If the color of the uphol-
stery material is fast, you can do
the job with a shampoo prepara-
tion to be had at a department store.
Directions for use are on the label.
If the material is not fast, dry clean-
ing will be needed.
Barbara Bell Pattern No.
tefial without nap. Send order to:
SEWING CMtCUE PATTERN BSPS.
III W. Waefcer Dr. CWeago
Enclose IS cents la coins for
Pattern No............. Site.........
HANDY Venue. lUe*
WHITE PETROLEUM JEU.Y
Happiness in Little
Remember this—that very little
is needed to make a happy life.—
DASH IN FCATMKRS . v
OR SPREAD ONI ROOSTS
Of all the paths of life but one—
the path of duty—leads to happi-
in 7 days end rellewn
Liquid - TAJt-BTf- symptom* fleet day
m.VB-NOSS Dsors ’
Try "Rnk-Ey-TtsaT’-a WoaderM ttaflmet
Obligation Is Slavery
Obligation is thraldom, and
thraldom is hateful.
$1.50 and «p
Joe Hallaman, Mgr, Dallas
• TEACHING A CHILD •
l VALUE OF PENNIES •
• A child of a wise mother will be •
n taught from early childhood to be- e
n come a regular reader of Hie adver- e
• t»emente.In that waybeller perhaps e
• nan in any other can the child be •
• ta i^Vir rh-preat value of pennies and e
e thi- benefit which comes •
• Roan making every P«»r <»«“*• •
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Martin, Charles. The Archer County News (Archer City, Tex.), Vol. 30, No. 1, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 26, 1940, newspaper, September 26, 1940; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth708979/m1/3/: accessed January 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Archer Public Library.