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The Old Iron Kettle and the Springtime Gaylon Barrow

The Old Iron Kettle and the Springtime

Gaylon Barrow

Published November 12th 2013
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
240 pages
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 About the Book 

And now the roof under the three went on down the stream, sometimes dipping a little, sometimes whirling in a cross-current. Hazel knew there was no further fear to which she could be subjected than this. She had reached the depths of terror. ThisMoreAnd now the roof under the three went on down the stream, sometimes dipping a little, sometimes whirling in a cross-current. Hazel knew there was no further fear to which she could be subjected than this. She had reached the depths of terror. This was the end of fear, for it was the end of life itself.But there was one more dread. Nils told her about it,--cautioned her about what to do. The house was making for the top of a grove of trees, or apparently so,--one couldnt tell, for it was subject to so many cross-currents. If it caught in the trees, it might be their salvation. On the other hand, if it struck with force, tree branches could sweep them off into the water. If the house approached it, she was to use all her wits about avoiding that,--was to lie flat, face downward. He would hold Jimmie tightly down by him.Now, all of life consisted of knowing whether this was to happen or not. They moved, dipped fearfully, swayed, whirled sickeningly. The grove was to the right, no, straight ahead of them,--to the right again. Now it loomed up in front of them. Green dripping foliage and gnarled brown branches were there straight ahead. She pulled her beret down tightly over her ears and lay flat down, face concealed in an arm, clung tightly with one hand, and crooked the other elbow over the roof ridge. The branches swept her, tore at her skirt and jacket and hose. Heavy rain-drops shaken from them pelted her.When all motion had ceased, she raised her head into the twigs and leaves of a tree top. Protecting her face, she peered through. Nils and Jimmie had withstood the impact, too. Jimmie was beyond the crying stage now, lay supinely on the wet roof, tired out, his teddy-bear in his arms.If once it holds together and dont go to crackin up already yet, Nils volunteered.Sometimes he climbed carefully from branch to branch trying to see out better, sighting their location. Sometimes he crawled stealthily about the roof top looking over into the dark waters. Often he shouted, his voice, used to hog-calling, echoing across the waters.She marveled at his patience with Jimmie. There was a place where a stout branch had wedged itself across the roof. Against this he placed the child who slept now on his hard, wet bed.Time wore on and she did not know whether it was minutes or hours that went by. Whatever it was it had no end. It was eternity. There was no sight but green branches and water,--no human sounds but their own.Jimmie woke and cried with hunger.Perhaps it was early afternoon,--they could not tell for the sun was hidden in the gray of the clouds,--that Nils came to his decision to swim,--he would go downstream with the current working gradually toward the right. He knew the gamble of it, but he was assuming it stoically.If I get there, I bring help. If I dont, we aint no worse off anyway, huh?Oh, Nils . . . are you going to? I dont think I can look after Jimmie and hang on, too.Yah . . . you can all right. Youre a strong girl. Betcha you play that there tennis.He stripped to underwear, felt his way carefully from branch to branch, looked back: If . . . I dont make it . . . and youre found all right . . . would you get word to my ma on the Missouri mud flats just below Omaha . . . Mrs. Christine Jensen?I would, Nils . . . oh, I would. But youll get there.Yah . . . Ill get there . . . maybe.Good luck, Nils.Nils was gone into the dark waters. She could hear the steady splash of his strokes and then the sound ceased.And now there was no such thing as time,--nothing but pain in ones wrists and fingers, and a wet numb body that would soon fail to function.