xt783b5w6z3n https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt783b5w6z3n/data/mets.xml Daviess, Maria Thompson, 1872-1924. 1918  books b92-35-26571299 English The Century Co., : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Chase, Edward L., 1884- Golden bird / by Maria Thompson Daviess ; illustrated by Edward L. Chase. text Golden bird / by Maria Thompson Daviess ; illustrated by Edward L. Chase. 1918 2002 true xt783b5w6z3n section xt783b5w6z3n 



"Oh, how beautiful!" exclaimed Polly, all restraint leaving her young face and body
                  as she fell on her knees before the sultan

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    Author of "The Melting of Molly," "Phyllis,"
      "Sue Jane," "The Tinder Box," etc.




   Copyright, 1918, by
   THE CrsNeuy Co.

   Copyright, 1918, by

Publisihd, kicptember, 1918



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"Oh, how beautiful!" exclaimed Polly, all re-
  straint leaving her young face and body as
  she fell on her knees before the sultan
A poor old sheep was lying flat with pathetic
  inertia while Adam stood over her with
  something in his arms .   .  .  .   .  . 106

I put his babykins in a big feed-basket and
  the lamb twins came and welcomed him  . 118

And Bud was beautiful in the " custom-
  made" fifteen-dollar gray cheviot with his
  violet eyes and yellow shock, in spite of his
  red ears    .  .  .   .  .   .  .   .  . 192

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            CHAPTER I
THE primary need of a woman's nature
Xis always supposed to be love, but very
suddenly I discovered that in my case it was
money, a lot of it and quick. That is, I
thought I needed a lot and in a very great
hurry; but if I had known what I know now,
I might have been contented feeding upon
the bread of some kind of charity, for in-
stance, like being married to Matthew Berry
the very next day after I discovered my pov-
erty. But at that period of my life I was a
very ignorant girl, and in the most noble
spirit of a desperate adventure I embarked
upon the quest of the Golden Bird, which in
one short year has landed me- I am now the
richest woman in the world.
  "But, Ann Craddock, you know nothing

at all about a chicken in any more natural
state than in a croquette," stormed Matthew
at me as he savagely speared one of those
inoffensive articles of banquet diet with a
sharp silver fork while he squared himself
with equal determination between mne and
any possible partner for the delicious one-
step that the band in the ball-room was be-
ginning to send out in inviting waves of
sound to round the dancers in from loitering
over their midnight food.
  "The little I do not know about the
chicken business, after one week spent in
pursuit of that knowledge through every
weird magazine and state agTicultural bulle-
tin in the public library, even you could
learn, Matthew Berry, with your lack of
sympathy with the great American wealth
producer, the humble female chicken known
in farmer patois as a hen. Did you know
that it only costs about two dollars CLnd thir-
teen cents to feed a hen a whole year and
that she will produce twenty-sever. dollars
and a half for her owner, the darling thing

I know I '11 just love her when I get to
know her-them better, as I will in only
about eighteen hours now."
  "Ann, you are mad-mad!" foamed Mat-
thew, as he set down his plate of perfectly
good and untasted food, and buried his head
in his hands until his mop of black hair
looked like a big blot of midnight.
  "I 'm not mad, Matthew, just dead poor,
an heiress out of a job and with the necessity
of earning her bread by the sweat of her
brow instead of consuming cake by the labor
of other people. Uncle Cradd is coming in
again with a two-horse wagon, and the car-
riage to move us out to Elmnest to-morrow
morning. Judge Rutherford will attend to
selling all the property and settle with fa-
ther's creditors. Another wagon is coming
for father's library, and in two days he won't
know that Uncle Cradd and I have moved
him, if I can just get him started on a bat
with Epictetus or old Horace. Then me
for the tall timbers and my friend the


  "Oh, Ann, for the love of high heaven,
marry me to-morrow, and let me move you
and Father Craddock over into that infer-
nal, empty old barn I keep open as a hotel
for nigger servants. Marry me instead-"
  "Instead of the hen" I interrupted him
with a laugh. "I can't, Matt, you dear
thing. I honestly can't. I 've got to go
back to the land from which my race sprang
and make it blossom into a beautiful ex;ist-
ence for those two dear old boys. When
Uncle Cradd heard of the smash from that
horrible phosphate deal he was at the door
the next morning at sun-up, driving the two
gray mules to one wagon himself, with old
Rufus driving the gray horses hitched to
that queer tumble-down, old family coach,
though he had n't spoken to father since he
married mother twenty-eight years ago.
  "'Ready to move you all home, bag and
baggage, William,' he said, as he took fa-
ther into his huge old arms clad in the rusty
broadcloth of his best suit, which I think is
the garment he purchased for father's very


worldly, town wedding with my mother,
which he came from Riverfield to attend for
purposes of disinheriting the bridegroom
and me, though I was several years in the
future at that date. 'Elmnest is as much
yours as mine, as I told you when you
sprigged off to marry in town. Get your
dimity together, Nancy! Your grand-
mother Craddock's haircloth trunk is
strapped on behind her carriage there, and
Rufus will drive you home. These mules
are too skittish for him to handle. Fine
pair, eh, William' And right there in the
early dawn, almost in front of the garage
that contained his touring Chauvinnais and
my gray roadster, father stood in his velvet
dressing-gown and admired the two moth-
eaten old animals. Now, I honestly ask
you, Matthew, could a woman of heart re-
fuse at least to attempt to see those two
great old boys through the rest of their lives
in peace and comfort together Elmnest is
roof and land and that is about all, for Uncle
Cradd never would let father give him a cent

on account of his feud with mother, even
after she had been dead for years. Father
would have gone home with him. that morn-
ing, but I made him stay to turn things over
to Judge Rutherford. Aren't they ga eat,
those two old pioneers"
  "They are the best sports ever, Ann, and
I say let 's fix up Elmnest for them to live
in when they won't stay with us, and for a
summer home for us to go and take-take
the children for 'iral training. Now what
do you say-wedding to-morrow" And
the light in dear old Matthew's eyes was very
lovely indeed as the music grew less blatant
and the waiter turned down the lights near
the little alcove that the wide walnut panel-
ing made beside the steps that go up to the
balcony. I have always said that the
Clovermead Country Club has the loveliest
house anywhere in the South.
  "No, Matthew, I care too much about you
to let you marry a woman in search of a :oof
and food," I answered him, with all of the
affection I seemed to possess at that time in

my eyes. "You deserve better than that
from me."
  "Now, see here, Ann Craddock, did I or
did I not ask you to marry me at your four-
teenth birthday party, which was just ten
years ago, and did you or did you not tell me
just to wait until you got grown Have
you or have you not reached the years of dis-
cretion and decision I am ready to marry,
I am I" And as he made this announcement
of his matrimonially inclined condition of
mind, Matthew took my hand in his and laid
his cheek against it.
  "My heart is n't grown up yet, Matt," I
said softly, with all the tenderness I, as I
before remarked, at that time possessed.
"Don't wait for me. Itarry Belle Proctor
or somebody and-and bring the babies out
to Elmnest for-"
  The explosion that then followed landed
me in Owen Murray's arms on the floor of
the ball-room, and landed Matthew in his big
racing-car, which I could hear go roaring
down the road beyond the golf-links.


  There is a certain kind of woman whose
brain develops with amazing normality and
strength, but whose heart remains very soft-
fibered and uncertain, with tendencies to
lapse into second childhood. I am that gar-
den variety, and it took the exercising of
many heart interests to toughen my cardiac
  As I traveled out the long turnpike that
wound itself through the Harpeth Valleyr to
the very old and tradition-mossed town of
Riverfield, in the high, huge-wheeled, swing-
ing old coach of my Great-grandmother
Craddock, sitting pensively alone while
father occupied the front seat beside ULncle
Cradd, both of them in deep converse atout
a line in Tom M oore, while Uncle Cradd
bumbled the air of "Drink to me only with
thine eyes" in a lovely old bass, I should E ave
been softly and pensively weeping at the
thought of the devastation of my father's
fortune, of the poverty brought down upon
his old age, and about my fate as a gay scial
being going thus into exile; but I was n't.


Did I say that I was sitting alone in state
upon the faded rose leather of those ances-
tral cushions That was not the case, for
upon the seat beside me rode the Golden
Bird in a beautiful crate, which bore the
legend, "Cock, full brother to Ladye Rose-
comb, the world's champion, three-hundred-
and-fourteen-egg hen, insured at one thou-
sand dollars. Express sixteen dollars."
And in another larger crate, strapped on top
of the old haircloth trunk, which held several
corduroy skirts, some coarse linen smocks
made hurriedly by Madam Felicia after a
pattern in "The Review," and several pairs
of lovely, high-topped boots, as well as a
couple of Hagensack sweaters, rode his
family, to whom he had not yet even spoken.
The family consisted of ten perfectly beauti-
ful white Leghorn feminine darlings whose
crate was marked, "Thoroughbreds from
Prairie Dog Farm, Boulder, Colorado." I
had obtained the money to purchase these
very much alive foundations for my fortune,
also the smart farmer's costume, or rather

my idea of the correct thing in rustics, by
selling all the lovely lingerie I had brought
from Paris with me just the week before
the terrible war had crashed down upon the
world, and which I had not worn because I
had not needed them, to Bess Rutherford
and Belle Proctor at very high prices, be-
cause who could tell whether France would
ever procure their like again They were
composed mostly of incrustations of em-
broidery and real Val, and anyway the
Golden Bird only cost seven hundred dollars
instead of the thousand, and the ladies Eird
only ten dollars apiece, which to me did not
seem exactly fair, as they were of just as
good family as he. I was very proud of my-
self for having been professional enough to
follow the directions of my new big red book
on "The Industrious Fowl," and to buy
Golden Bird and his family from localities
which were separated as far as is the East
from the West. My company was respon-
sible for my lightheartedness at a time when
I should have been weeping with vain regiets

at leaving life and perhaps love, for I
could n't help hearing in my mind's ears that
great dangerous racer bearing Matthew
away from me at the rate of eighty miles an
hour. I was figuring on just how long it
would take the five to eight hundred children
of the Bird family, which I expected to in-
carnate themselves out of egg-shells, to in-
crease to a flock of two thousand, from
which, I was assured by the statistics in that
very reliable book, I ought to make three
thousand dollars a year, maybe five, with
"good management." Also I was not at all
worried about the "good management" to be
employed. I intended to begin to exert
it the minute of my arrival in the town-
ship of Riverfield. I had even already be-
gun to use "thoughtful care," for I had
brought a box of tea biscuits along, and I
felt a positive thrill of affection for Mr. G.
Bird as he gratefully gobbled a crushed one
from my hand. Also it was dear of him
the way be raised his proud head and
chuckled to his brides in the crate behind

him to come and get their share. It was
pathetic the way he called and called .nd
they answered, until I finally stopped their
mouths with ten other dainties, so that he
could consume his in peace. Even at that
early stage of our friendship I liked the
Golden Bird, and perhaps it was just a
wave of prophetic psychology that made me
feel so warmly towards the proud, white
young animal who was to lead me to-
  So instead of the despair due the occa-
sion, I was happy as I jogged slowly rut
over the twenty long miles that stretched
out like a silvery ribbon dropped down upon
the meadows and fields that separate the
proud city of Hayesville and the gray and
green little old hamlet of Riverfield, which
nestles in a bend of the Cumberland River
and sleeps time away under its huge old oak
and elm and hackberry trees, kept perFet-
ually green by the gnarled old cedars that
throw blue-berried green fronds around
their winter nakedness. As we rode slowly
along, with a leisure I am sure all the motbr-

car world has forgotten exists, the two old
boys on the front seat hummed and
chuckled happily while I breathed in great
gulps of a large, meadow-sweet spring tang
that seemed to fairly soak into the circula-
tion of my heart. The February day was
cool with yet a kind of tender warmth in its
little gust of Southern wind that made me
feel as does that brand of very expensive
Rhine wine which Albert at the Salemite on
Forty-second Street in New York keeps
for Gale Beacon specially, and which makes
Gale so furious for you not to recognize, re-
member about, and comment upon at his
really wonderful dinners to bright and shin-
ing lights in art and literature. Returning
from New York to the Riverfield Road
through the Harpeth Valley, I also discov-
ered upon the damsel Spring a hint of a
soft young costume of young green and
purple and yellow that was as yet just a
mist being draped over her by the Southern
  "I feel like the fairy princess being driven

into a land of enchantment, Mr. Golden
Bird," I remarked as I leaned back upon
the soft old cushions and took in the first
leisurely breath of the air of the open road
that my lungs had ever inhaled: one simply
gulps air when seated in a motor-car. "It
is all so simple and easy and--"
  Just at this moment happened the first
real adventure of my quest, and at that time
it seemed a serious one, though now I would
regard it as of very little moment. Sud-
denly there came the noise of snapping
cords, the feeling of jar and upheaval, and
before I could turn more than half-way
around for purposes of obse vation, the en-
tire feminine Bird family in their tem-
porary crate abode slid down into ti e dust
of the road with a great crash. I held my
breath while, with a jolt and a bounce and a
squeak of the heavy old springs, Uncle
Cradd brought the ancestral family coach to
a halt about ten feet away from the wreck,
which was a melee of broken timber,
squeaking voices, and flapping wings. As

soon as I recovered from the shock I sprang
from my cushions beside Mr. G. Bird, who
was fairly yelling clucks of command at this
family-to-be, and ran to their assistance.
Now, I am very long and fleet of limb, but
those white Leghorn ladies were too swift
for me, and before I reached the wreck,
they had all ten disentangled themselves
from the crushed timbers and had literally
taken to the woods, through which the
Riverfield ribbon was at that moment wind-
ing itself. Clucking and chuckling, they
concealed themselves in an undergrowth of
coral-strung buck bushes, little scrub cedars,
and dried oak leaves, and I could hear them
holding a council of war that sounded as if
they were to depart forever to parts un-
known. In a twinkling of an eye I saw my
future fortune literally take wings, and in
my extremity I cried aloud.
  "Oh, call them all back, Mr. Golden
Bird," I pleaded.
  "Now, Nancy, that is always what I said
about hens. They are such pesky woman-


ish things that it 's beneath the dignity of a
man to bother with 'em. I have n't had one
on the place for twenty years We'll just
turn this rooster loose with them and we
can go on home in peace," said Uncle Cradd
as he peered around the side of the coach
while father's mild face appeared on the
other side. As he spoke, he reached back
and released my Golden Bird from his crate
and sent him flying out into the woods in the
direction of his family.
  "Oh, they are the only things in the
world that stand between me and sta:rva-
tion," I wailed, though not loud enough for
either father or Uncle Cradd to hear.
"Please, please, Golden Bird, come back
and bring the others with you," I pleaded
as I held out my hand to the proud white
Sultan, who had paused by the roadside on
his way to his family and was now turning
bright eyes in the direction of my out-
stretched hand. In all the troubles and
trials through which that proud Mr. G. Bird
and I went hand in hand, or rather wingr in

hand, in which I was at times hard and cold
and disappointed in him, I have never for-
gotten that he turned in his tracks and
walked majestically back to my side and
peered into the outstretched hand with a
trustful and inquiring peck. Some kind
fortune had brought it to pass that I held
the package of tea biscuits in my other
hand, and in a few breathless seconds he was
pecking at one and calling to the foolish,
faithless lot of huddled hens in the bushes to
come to him immediately. First he called
invitingly while I held my breath, and then
he commanded as he scratched for lost
crumbs in the white dust of the Riverfield
ribbon, but the foolish creatures only hud-
dled and squeaked, and at a few cautious
steps I took in their direction, they showed
a decided threat of vanishing forever into
the woods.
  "Oh, what will I do, Mr. G. Bird" I
asked in despair, with a real sob in my
throat as I looked toward the family coach,
from  which I could hear a happy and


animated discussion of Plato's Republic
going on between the two old gentlemen
who had thirty years' arrears in argument
and conversation to make up. I could see
that no help would come from that direction.
"I can't lose them forever," I said again,
and this time there was the real sob arising
unmistakably in my voice.
  "Just stand still, and I '11 call them to
you," came a soft, deep voice out of the for-
est behind me, and behold, a man stood at
my side!
  The man's name is Adam.
  "Now give me a cracker and watch 'em
come," he said, as he came close to my side
and took a biscuit from my surprised and
nerveless hand. "Ah, but you are one
beauty, are n't you" he further remarked,
and I was not positively sure whether he
meant me or the Golden Bird until I saw
that he had reached down and was stroking
Mr. G. Bird with a delighted       hand.
"Chick, chick, chick!" he commanded, with
a note that was not at all unlike the com-

manding one the Sultan had used a few
minutes past, only more so, and in less than
two seconds all those foolish hens were
scrambling around our feet. In fact,
the command in his voice had been so
forcible that I myself had moved several
feet nearer to him until I, too, was in the
center of my scrambling, clucking Bird
  I don't like beautiful men. I never did.
I think that a woman ought to have all the
beauty there is, and I feel that a man who
has any is in some way dishonest, but I never
before saw anything like that person who
had come out of the woods to the rescue of
my family fortune, and I simply stared at
him as he stood with a fluff of seething white
wings around his feet and towered against
the green gray of an old tree that hung over
the side of the road. He was tall and broad,
but lithe and lovely like some kind of a
woods thing, and heavy hair of the same bril-
liant burnished red that I had seen upon
the back of a prize Rhode Island Red in the

lovely water-color plates in my chicken
book,-which had tempted me to buy "ied"
until I had read about the triumphs of the
Leghorn "whites,"-waved close to his he ad,
only ruffling just over his ears enough to
hide the tips of them. His eyes were set so
far back under their dark, heavy, red eye-
brows that they seemed night-blue with their
long black fringe of lashes. His face was
square and strong and gentle, and the cc lar
of his gray flannel shirt was open so that
I could see that his head was set on his wide
shoulders with lines like an old Greek nias-
terpiece. Gray corduroy trousers were
strapped around his waist by a wide belt
made of some kind of raw-looking leather
that was held together by two leather lacings,
while on his feet were a kind of sandal shoes
that appeared to be made of' the same
leather. He must have constructed both
belt and shoes himself, and he hadn't any
hat at all uipon his crimson-gold thatel of
hair. I looked at him so long that I had to
look away, and then when I did I looked

right back at him because I could n't believe
that he was true.
  "Now I 'in going to pick them up gently,
two at a time, tie their feet together with a
piece of this string, and hand them to you to
put inside the carriage. I '11 catch the cock
first, the handsome old sport," and as Pan
spoke, he began to suit his actions to his
words with amazing tact and skill. I shall
always be glad that the first chicken I ever
held in my arms was put into them gently
by that woods man, and that it was the
Golden Bird himself. "Put him in and shut
the door, and he '11 calm the ladies as you
bring them to him," he commanded as he
bent down and lifted two of the Bird brides
and began to tie their feet together with a
piece of cord he had taken from a deep
pocket in the gray trousers.
  "Oh, thank you," I said with a depth of
gratitude in my voice that I did not know I
possessed. "You are the most wonderful
man I ever saw-I mean that I ever saw
with chickens," I said, ending the remark in

an agony of embarrassment. "I don't know
much about them. I mean chickens," I has-
tened to add, and made matters worse.
  "Oh, they are easy, when you get to know
'em, chickens-or men," he said kindly, with-
out a spark in his eyes back of their black
bushes. "Are they yours"
  "They are all the property 1 have got
in the world," I answered as I clasped the
last pair of biddies to my breast, for w1ile
we had been holding our primitive conversa-
tion, I had been obeying his directions and
loading the Birds into Grandmother Crad-
dock's stately equipage. Anxiety shone
from my eyes into his sympathetic ones.
  "Well, you 'll be an heiress in no timne
with them to start you, with 'good manage-
ment.' I never saw a finer lot," he said, as
he walked to the door of the carriage with
me, with the last pair of white Leghorn ladies
in his arms.
  "But maybe I have n't got that manage-
ment," I faltered, with my anxiety getting
tearful in my words.

  "Oh, you '11 learn," he said, with such
heavenly soothing in his voice that I almost
reached out my hands and clung to him as
he settled the fussing poultry in the bottom
of the carriage in such a way as to leave room
for my feet among them. Mr. G. Bird was
perched on the seat at my side and was
craning his neck down and soothingly scold-
ing his family. "How are you, MNr. Crad-
dock" Pan asked of Uncle Cradd's back,
and by his question interrupted an argument
that sounded, from the Greek phrases flying,
like a battle on the walls of Troy.
  "W\Vell, well, how are you, Adam" ex-
claimed Uncle Cradd, as he turned around
and greeted the woodsman with a smile of
positive delight.
  I had known that man's name was Adam,
but I don't know how I knew.
  "This is my brother, -Mr. William Crad-
dock, who 's come home to me to live and die
where he belongs, and that young lady is
Nancy. Those chickens are just a whim of
hers, and we have to humor her. Can we

lift you as far as Riverfield" Uncle C radd
made his introduction and delivered hi, in-
vitation all in one breath.
  "I 'm glad to meet you, sir, and I am
grateful for your assistance in capturing my
daughter's whims," said father, as he came
partly out of his B. C. daze.
  As he took my hand into his slender, but
very powerful grasp, that man had the im-
pertinence to laugh into my eyes at my
parent's double-entendre, whichl he had in-
tended as a simple single remark.
  "No, thank you, sir; I 've got to get across
Paradise Ridge before sundown. The
lambs are dropping fast over at Plunkstt's,
and I want to make sure those Southd own
ewes are all right," he answered as he pu-r my
hand out of his, though I almost let it rebel
and cling, and took for a second the Golden
Bird's proud head into his palm.
  "I 'II be over at Elmnest before your-
your 'good judgment' needs mine," he sa'd to
me as softly as I think a mother must speak
to a child as she unloosens clinging depen-


dent fingers. As he spoke he shut the door
of the old ark, and Uncle Cradd drove on,
leaving him standing on the edge of the great
woods looking after us.
  "Oh, I wish that man were going home
with us, Mr. G. Bird, or we were going
home with him," I said with a kind of terror
of the unknown creeping over me. As I
spoke I reached out and cuddled the Golden
darling into the hollow of my arm. Some
day I am going to travel to the East shore
of Baltimore to the Rosecomb Poultry Farm
to see the woman who raised the Golden
Bird and cultivated such a beautiful confid-
ing, and affectionate nature in him. He
soothed me with a chuckle as he pecked play-
fully at my fingers and then called cheer-
fully down to the tethered white Ladies of



A     S we ambled towards the sun, 'which
JN      was setting over old Harpeth, the tall-
est humpbacked hill on Paradise Ridge, the
Greek battle raged on the front seat and
there was peace with anxiety in the back of
the ancestral coach.
  As the wheels and the two old gentlemen
rumbled and the Bird's family clucked and
crooned, with only an occasional irritated
squawk, I, for the first time since the land-
slide of our fortune, began to take real
thought of the morrow.
  "Yes, landslide is a good name for what is
happening to us, and I hope we 'll slide or
land on the home base, whatever is the cor-
rect term in the national game that Matthew
has given up trying to teach me to enjoy,"
I said to myself as I settled down to look
into our situation.


  I found that it was not at all astonishing
that father had lost all the fortune that my
mother had left him and me when she died
three years ago. It was astonishing that
the old dreamer had kept it as long as he had,
and it was only because most of it had been
in land and he had from the first lived
serenely and comfortably on nice flat slices
of town property cut off whenever he
needed it. He had been a dreamer when he
came out of the University of Virginia ten
years after the war, and it had been the
tragedy of Uncle Cradd's life that he had
not settled down with him on the very broad,
but very poor, ancestral acres of Elmnest, to
slice away with him at that wealth instead of
letting himself be captured in all his poetic
beauty at a dance in Hayesville by a girl
whose father had made her half a million dol-
lars in town land deals. Uncle Cradd's re-
sentment had been bitter, and as he was the
senior of his twin brother by several hours,
he demanded that father sell him his half of
Elmnest, and for it had paid his entire for-


tune outside of the bare acres. In poetic
pride father had acceded to his demand, lent
the money thrust upon him to the first specu-
lator who got to him, and the two brothers
had settled themselves down twenty miles
apart in the depths of a feud, to eat their
hearts out for each other. The rich inan
sought a path to the heart of the poor nan,
but was repulsed until the day after the s pec-
tacular failure of his phosphate company
had penetrated into the wilds of little River-
field, and immediately Uncle Cradd had
hitched up the moth-eaten string in his old
stables and come into town for us, and in
father's sweet old heart there was never an
idea of not, as he put it, "going home.' - I
had never seen Elmnest, but I knew scme-
thing of the situation, and that is where
the Golden Bird arrived on the situation.
The morning after our decision to return to
the land-a decision in which I had born,! no
part but a sympathetic one after I had lis-
tened half the night to father's raptures over
Uncle Cradd as a Greek scholar with whom

one would wish to spend one's last days-
the February copy of "The Woman's Re-
view" arrived, and on the first page was an
article from a woman who earns five thou-
sand dollars a year with the industrious hen
on a little farm of ten acres. There were
lovely pictures of her with her feathered
family, and I decided that what a woman
with the limited experience of a head stenog-
rapher in a railroad office could do, I, with
my wider scope of travel and culture, could
more than double on three hundred acres of
land in the Harpeth Valley. Some day I 'm
going to see that woman and I 'm going to
stop by and speak sternly to the editor of
"The Woman's Review" on my way.
  "Mr. G. Bird," I began as I reached this
point and I saw that we were arriving in
the heart of civilization, which was the
square of a quaint little old town. From a
motor-car acquaintance, I knew this to be
Riverfield, but I had never even stopped be-
cause of the family pride involved in the feud
now dead. "Mr. Bird," I repeated, "I am

afraid I am up against it, and I hope you '1
stand by me." He answered me by l)reen-
ing a breast feather and winking one of his
bright eyes as Uncle Cradd stopped the
ancient steeds in the center of the square, be-
fore a little old brick building that bore three
signs over its tumble-down porch. They
were: "Silas Beesley, Grocer," "IT. S.
Post-Office," and "Riverfield Bank and
Trust Co."
  "Hey, Si, here's William come homel"
called Uncle Cradd, as a negro boy with a
broad grin stood at the heads of the slow old
horses, who, I felt sure, would n't have
moved except under necessity before the
judgment day. In less time than I can take
to tell it father descended literally inlo the
arms of his friends. About half a lozen
old farmers, some in overalls and some in
rusty black broadcloth the color of Uncle
Cradd's, poured out of the wide door of the
business building before described, and they
acted verv much as I have seen the bcys at
Yale or Princeton act after a success or de-


feat on the foot-ball field. They hugged
father and they slapped him on the back and
they shook his hand as if it were not of
human, sixty-year-old flesh and blood.
Then they introduced a lot of stalwart young
farmers to him, each of whom gave father
hearty greetings, but refrained fr