A STORY OF PILGRIMS 10


By the second of march his foot had healed enough that he could go back to cutting trees. It was about this time that he had his first taste of maple sap. On the eleventh he went to work for a Mr. Williams. Being the sentimental fellow that he was, it was depressing to him to be limited in his contact with Uncle Lem and Aunt Mary and especially with Celestia. His job kept him pretty close to the Williams’ farm. He and Celestia did exchange letters and got together on Sundays throughout March and April but then the flame of their affection seemed to fade and die.
On the eleventh of April Alden came down from Canada saying that he had left home for good. A few days later he went to work on the William’s farm too. He agreed to seven months employment at eight dollars a month. Leonard was getting just about twice that at fifty cents a day. Prices were at a similar level, with haircuts at twenty cents. And he paid four dollars to have his teeth cleaned and three of them filled. What he described as a “fine shirt” cost him one dollar.
Through April, May and June he worked on the Williams’ farm, planting and hoeing corn and putting up hay. On the third of July he attended the wedding of his cousin, Frank Emery Fuller to Flora Lord. The following day he took the train to Middleberg to see the Fourth Of July celebration and fireworks. Later in the day he visited his cousin, Hattie Foster near Whiting.
But, while he was earning his fifty cents each day, his mind was on the opportunities and adventures that were calling people to the west. One day late in July, he rode the train into Rutland to talk to a land agent from Texas. He and Ida talked quite a lot about going to Texas in the fall. On the way back home he stopped off at Brandon to visit his cousin ,Julia, and her husband, Henry Williams.
August was harvest time on the farm and they put in long, hard days, often working to eight or nine at night. Even so, there were opportunities to visit his sister, Ida, and other relatives in the area. He paid 25 cents one day for a chance to hear a phonograph and was rather disappointed with it. Another day he bought a pair of fine boots for $3.75.
Toward the middle of September Alden took a job working for Albert Sumner. It was about a week later that Leonard encountered the contempt and cruelty of which members of the fair sex are capable. On Sunday he drove in to evening church with a team and wagon, and afterward, took Abbie Thomas for a ride.  Abbie let him believe that she was interested in him and agreed to go on a picnic excursion with him on Tuesday. When Tuesday came around  Abbie brought her cousin along on the excursion and the two of them proceeded to make the day miserable for Leonard. In his own words, “They treated me mean as dirt”. The result was that he finally left for home and left the two girls to get home any way they could.
October, November and December passed quietly with work on the farm and visits with relatives. At one point, he toyed with the idea of going to Kansas. It seems a little odd, considering his ancestry, but he worked all of Thanksgiving Day and seemed not to grant the day any significance. Christmas Day was spent at Uncle Henry’s. He left Brandon the 20th of March in 1879 and was back home at Granby when 1880 rolled around.
He was restless and discontent at home to the point that he was even quarreling with Lem, so he decided to return to Vermont. He started out on foot at nine o’clock on the morning of January 8. He got as far as Bolton by noon and bought a pound tobacco there. He had dinner at  Lormore about three and then went on to Clairville to spend the night. The next day he suddenly changed his mind about going to Vermont and boarded a train to Toronto, arriving there that evening. After a night in a hotel the he considered to be “worse than a hog pen” he spent Saturday waiting around for a man who had said he could get them a ride to Bellville. The man failed to return and Leonard was running out of money so he had to pawn his watch. He got a room for fifteen cents that night and then walked all day Sunday. Sunday night he got another room for fifteen cents. From there he proceeded on to Port Hope, where he found a job on a farm owned by a man named Asa. As soon as he had earned a little money he sent two dollars and twenty-five cents to Toronto to redeem his watch. The first of February he made an agreement with Asa to work for him for one year for $140.00. Besides farming, Asa sold firewood, so Leonard cut and split a lot of wood as well as threshing peas and doing farm chores.
In march he met Miss Hurd and had hopes developing a friendship with her but she was not interested.

Excerpted from WOOL TROMPERS   by J. L. Fuller

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About authorjim

I grew up in the country near a small Montana town, I have spent a lot of time in the outdoors, working, fishing, hunting and camping but have always been interested in mechanical and electrical things. Most of my life has been spent in the use, care and repair of things mechanical, electrical an electronic. After being retired for several years, I began writing and published my first novel at the age of 79. Now, at the age of 82, I have recently published my fourth noveland it is available from me or from the pulisher or book distributor.
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2 Responses to A STORY OF PILGRIMS 10

  1. Steeny Lou says:

    Imagine – such low amounts of money being the norm for expenses such as a fine shirt and dental work. How times have changed in so many ways since the 1800s.

    Like

    • authorjim says:

      You are so right. When reading my grandfather’s diaries I became aware of so many things that were common then that very few people even know about today. Thanks for stopping by, I truly appreciate it.

      Like

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