Dick and I, Chapter 7, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those. My thanks to Allan McKenney for sending this along.

Chapter VII

No breath of air to break the wave
The Givun

The sky is changed! and such a change! Uh night
And storm and darkness ye are wonderous strong

Childe Harold

Be Helle’s stream there is a voice of wail
And womans eye is wet mans cheek is pale

Bride of Abydos

The huge black cloud had crept further up the horizon and looked
black and threatening. At the time of our departure we had a light
breeze blowing from the north east but by the time we made Hulls
Creek the wind failed us altogether. lt was now near five oclock
and another hour was consumed in getting through the creek as the
boats had to be pushed through with the oars. We found the lower
lake as we came out into it to be dead calm and lay stretched out
before us like a large polished mirror. There was not a mar to its
surface save here and there where some fish would lunge out and
make a circle of tiny waves that would widen and widen until the
little wavelets would come rippling against the side of our boat
as she lay motionless on the silent lake.

“How silent and hushed every thing is. How distinctly one can hear
the slightest voice on shore although it is so far off,” said Viva
Joice. “I suppose this is the calm that preceeds a storm?” she
continued turning to Dick.

“And I fear the storm will be a bad one if we may judge from this
orninous silence,” he replied.

“If you will take the tiller a few minutes I will take in the jin
and close reef the mainsail and make all things snug and ready for
it when it does come,” said I addressing him.

– 41-

“Keep your seat,” said he. “and I will be sailor.”

The sails were soon dexterously trimed and taken
in. The halyards belayed again and everything made
tight and fast. Fay had also close reefed the sails
of the schooner but Adams had made no move toward
trimming his vessel for the coming storme – whatever.

“What can Adams be doing?” I asked, “that he does
not take in sail?”

“Whispering nonsense to Miss Mayer,” sugested Viva Joice.

“Oh dear,” exclaimed Inez B. “I wish Hope had stayed aboard the

“Is she not aboard the schooner,” demanded Dick turning toward her

“No. Miss Hughes offered to take care of Papa and Hope went in Mr
Adams boat.”

I saw Rashboys face was stern and white as he slipped forward and
shouted, “Sloop ahoy!”

“Ahoy yourself,” answered Adams.

“Why dont you trim your sails man?”

“We can manage our own affairs.”

“lt does not look like it,” he muttered to himself then aloud. “The
storm will be upon you in a few minutes I can hear it coming now.”

“Let it come.”

“But your boat will not live a minute with all that sail on.”

“When we need your help or advice we will call on you.”

Rashboy turned and came back to me. There was an expression on his
face that boded no good to Adams if anything should happen to one
of his passengers. The schooner lay off to our left about two
cables length while Adams boat was twice that distance directly
ahead of us.

“There is the first messenger of the coming storm,” said Dick as a
little black flaw came flurring across the tranquil water causing
the White Witch to careen over and dart through the water like
some nervous fish as it struck her. Presently another struck her
coming from a different quarter causing the sails to jibe

“Ladies you and Mr Smythe had better keep down in the bottom of
the boat,” said I as Smythe gory head came near being made more
gory than it already was by coming in the way of the jibing boom.

We could now hear the storm roaring through the tree tops on the
shore to our right and as we were heading to the southward we must
have the wind on our beam. It was now about sunset and already
darkness had began to fall over the waters and make objects at any
distance dim and indistinct.

– 42 –

“Here it comes,” cried Dick. “Hold her head well up in the wind Con
when it first strikes you and then you can ease her off

The lake was literally covered with foam marking the footsteps of
the storm as it came like a race horse toward us.

Although I held the vessels head well up into the wind as directed
by Rashboy yet when the storm struck her it laid her almost on her
beam ends for a moment. She righted however almost the same
instant and when I eased her off on our proper course she almost
flew through the water.

“Splendid!” cried Dick. “Now Con when you see one of those black
flaws coming luff her a little and we will be home before the rain
reaches us and as soon as the other two boats – My God!” he
exclaimed, “where are they? There is the schooner to leeward but
where is Adams boat?”

“Gone – to – the – bottom!”

His breath came hard and his face looked gastly in the gleem of
the lightening then illuminated the sky almost continually. He
spring upon the quarter deck and stepped back to where he could
look under the sail to leeward.

“They have probably capsized,” I replied, “but I do not think the
boat would sink as she is made of light pine and carries no
ballast but her passengers.”

”Ha! There she is now,” as by the red glare of the lightening I saw
a boat bottom uppermost and the gastly faces of the surviving
wretches who clung to her turned to us in a dispairing manner. The
flashes of lightening were but momentary and yet by its fitful
glare I saw it all. They were close to leeward and so close to us
that I could almost have reached them with an oar. We were about a
quarter of a mile to windward of Collage Island about a mile to
leeward of the main shore.

“Here Dick,” I exclaimed, “you can manage the boat better than I.
Take the tiller and put her about and let us try to pick up some
of them Dick! Dick I say!! Where in the name of God is he!”

He was gone! I sat slumped and bewildered. Mechanically I put the
boat about and ran back.

“What is it,” exclaimed Inez Blanchard who had crept back to where
I was. “Where is Mr Rashboy?”

“God knows darling!” I broke out. “In Heaven most likely. He —-,”
when suddenly recollecting myself. I (—-)

“He what?” she asked.

“I do not know. He was here but a moment since and now he is gone
when or where I can not tell.”

“Where is the other boat? Where is Hope? Oh I saw it all. The boat
has sunk and he has gone to save Hope,” she cried wringing her

“Ha! I believe you,” I exclaimed a light suddenly making in on my

– 43 –

bemused mind, “only,” I continued, “the other boat is not sunk,” and
in a few hurried words I explained to her all that had occured.
“And now,” I added, “go forward a little and watch for them for we
may pass them and not see them.”

She had listened to my hurried explanation very calmly and seemed
to devine at once the true state of affairs as she stepped forward.
She suddenly exclaimed, “Oh there they are right ahead. Oh stop the
boat quick or you will overrun them.”

I threw the helm hard alee and brought the little vessel head up
into the wind almost immediately.

A moment later I had let go the anchor and belayed the (—-).
I then ran about and found that the stern of the vessel almost
reached the capsized boat. I knew that she would not drift away
from us as the sails were downward into the water.

Miss Meyer Emily Burnette and Harry Barton were taken aboard and
that was all. Barton explained that Miss Blanchard and Adams had
been washed from the boat by a large wave that broke over them and
carried several rods to leeward by its force. That Adams had went
to Miss Blanchards assistance and strove to regain the boat but
that the waves setting against him were too strong and that he had
finally started for the shore which did not look to be over forty
rods distant and he contended that was the last that we saw of

“How long ago was that,” asked Inez.

“About half an hour I should judge.”

No one had seen anything of Rashboy. He had probably missed the
boat in the darkness and found a grave among the green mosses in
the bottom of the lake he loved so well in his vain efforts to
find the boat.

“Oh Mr Etheridge,” said Inez. “Let us run into the shore and see if
we can find any trace of them. It is our only hope,” she exclamed
as her voice trembled and the tears sprang to her eyes.

“Let me take the tiller Etheridge I know of a little harbor close
by under the shelter of a point where we can land in safety.
Although I think it is of no use. No mortal man could swim ashore
in this rough water alone without being encumbered by a lady,” said

I gave him the tiller and weighed the anchor and then seated
myself gloomily in the bow of the vessel.

The rain now began to fall in torents. I pulled Dick’s waterproof
cloak out of the for locker and wrapped it around me and Inez and
strove to comfort her but my own heart was too heavy to make much
but a sorry comforter of me.

“You are striving to comfort me,” said she laying her hand upon my
arm, “when you too are suffering.”

“Trouble and I are old acquaintences,” I replied gloomily, “and it

– 44 –

matters little when or where I meet it since its face has become
so familier to me.”

“I fear it is an acquaintance with whom we can all are apt to
become famalliar before we die,” she replied.

“I do not see why I am left to drag out and a cheerless and
desolate live alone when those that are more worthy to live and
who have something to live for are taken.”

“And have you nothing to live for?”

“Life without love is useless as well as desolate. The grave and
the dark waters of this lake have closed over all that ever loved
me. It may be my own fault as you remarked today that I have no
friends, but friendship and love mean something with me more than
a name.”

“Please do not remember my thoughtless words against you,” she
replied her lips quivering. “I would have given worlds to have
recalled them the next moment after they were spoken.”

“Forgive me if I have wounded you. My lonliness and misery makes
me forgetful of others feelings.”

“You have trouble enough tonight without me burdening you with my
sorrows. Yet let us hope for the best. Here we are,” I added as the
boats keel grated on a little strip of beach under shelter of the
point. “Remain here until I return and believe me I shall use
every effort to find our missing friends or some trace of them.

“I will do just as you say,” she replied giving me her hand, “but
please do not keep me long in suspense.”

“I will not darling,” I murmered and acting under an irristable
impulse I stooped and kissed the sweet quivering moveable tear
stained cheek. The little hand fluttered in mine and I imagined
gave a feble pressure before it was withdrawn. “God speed you,” she

A lantern was procured from the boat and Barton and I started in
search of some trace of the missing. The island on which we landed
was the largest one in the lake it being about tow miles in length
and varying in breadth from half a mile down to only a few rods.
The middle where there was a narrow neck of sandy beach on which
only a few stunted willows grew and over which the waves would
almost dash. We had landed on the southern side of the island near
the western end under the shelter of a small point that was
heavily timbered. The opposite side of the point from which we
landed formed a part of the western end of the island and the
shore on this end was lined with huge bowlders with the exception
of a short stretch of beach near the unfortunate boat had been
capsized. We crossed the point and followed along the shore toward
this stretch of beach which was about a quarter of a mile distant.
The wind still blew fiercely although it had abated somewhat of
its fury. The branches of the trees swaying and tossing wildly,
the large foam crested waves came thundering in against the
bowlders and dashing her cold spray into our faces as we hurred by
the fitful glare of the lantern over the bank into the gloom

– 45 –

“God pity any that should try to come ashore here,” said Barton.
“The water is quite deep close up to the rocks and they would be
at the mercy of the waves.”

We went slowly forward eagerly seeking in every rook and opening
between the boulders some trace of our missing companions and yet
fearing as the flickering light of the lantern at each advancing
step fell upon new objects that it would bring to our view. The
mangled and gastly forms of those we sought.

At length we came to a place where the bank rose, nearly perpendicularly
some thirty feet above the waters. The feble ray of the light we carried
would not penetrate the darkness to that depth and all look black and
dismal below us.

“Let us go back and follow along the ledge of bowlders at the base
of the bluff” said my companion. “It is a perilous and dificult
undertaking but it is useless to follow along here.”

“How far does this bluff extend,” I asked.

“About tow hundred yards.”

“And then?”

“There is a short stretch of beach.”

We retraced our steps for a few rods and then, by clinging to the
vines and bushes we descended to the slippery bowlders below.

“Ugh! This is disagreeable!” I exclaimed as a wave swept, nearly
waist deep, over the rock on which I stood and came near dashing
me headlong among the bowlders.

“Keep as near the bank as possible and hold onto the bushes and
vines when you can.”

The rain had ceased falling and the wind had spent its violence
and only came now in fitful sobbing through the treetop, but
sounded infinitely more sad and wierd than did the shrieking
tempest. The rugged edged clouds went hurrying across the dull sky
as if vainly endeavoring to overtake the tempest that had passed
on. The waves were no longer foam crested and angry but calm, in
large undulating swell rolling in with sad cadiace as if moaning
over the ruin and desolation they had wrought. We were wet and
cold and tired as we struggled along over the slippery rocks and
my hands were torn and bleeding by clinging at times to briars and
prickley ash to prevent myself from being washed away by the waves.

We had nearly reached the beach when we came to an old cedar stump
that obstructed our passage. As we clambered around it I caught
sight of a dark object a few feet in advance of us that was
partially visable above a large bowlder that lay between it and
ourselves. I felt a chill of horror creeping over me as I laid my
hand on my companions arm and pointed toward it. He raised the
lantern above his head and pierred at it earnestly.

“It is a hat,” he said in a low voice, “but -”

He did not finish the sentence. I read the unexpressed thought in
his face as he turned toward me.

– 46 –

“What else lies concealed behind that rock.”

We moved forward but as the light penetrated the darkness beyond
it revealed nothing else save a long narrow strip of yellow sand.
I picked up the hat. It was Rashboys. It had been asure some time
for it lay back out of reach of the waves now and had been washed
there when the wave ran the highest. But where was he the noble
impulsive Rashboy who had ever been willing to risk his life in
behalf of others? Where was the generous friend whom I had
learned to love how dearly I never knew until (—-) Alas could
none but the sobbing moaning waves tell? Had they sent me this
token to show me know that they had robbed me of the dearest
friend I ever knew. I was recalled to myself by an exclaimation
from Barton. He had picked up a knot of blue ribbons that I
recognized as belonging to Hope Blanchard. And that was all
although we searched for many yards above the beach, with the
exception of some loose boards and seats out of the wrecked vessel.

“lt is as I feared,” said Barton. “They have all perished.”

“And yet they were so near shore.”

“Not so near as you might suppose,” he replied. “The distance from
shore is very deceptive at night. lt always seems much nearer than
what it really is.”

“And how far was it then.”

“A quarter of a mile at least I should judge. Possibly further.”

“Let us return. It is useless to remain her any longer.”

“True,” he answered, “and yet I dread going back to Miss Blanchard
with such sad news.”

“It is not much worse than the suspense she now endures.”

Silently and gloomily we took our way back through the forest. The
clouds were beginning to break away and occasionally a silver star
would peep at us between the masses of dark cloud that were now
moving majesticaly away to the eastward. Presently the rising moon
broke out with a flood of soft light that transformed the
pendulous rain drops on the leaves and branches into millions of
sparkling gems that fell around us in showers as we brushed
against the bushes for here in this thick wood the fiercest
tempest could not penetrate to shake them from their emerald
settings. A few minutes silent walk brought us to where our little
vessel lay moored. The moon shown out as we approached and Inez
advanced to meet us. Barton passed on not wishing to be the one to
break the sad news and Inez said nothing but turned her dark
questioning eyes on me. I laid the little knot of ribbon in her
hand and said as she glanced toward the hat l carried. “Its Dicks –
we found them together.”

“Oh poor Hope! Poor Papa,” she sobbed. “I know it will kill him,” and
she sank down on an old wave worn cedar and wept convulsively.
My own heart was too full for me to strive to comfort her and
beside what could I say? What words of mine call back the lost
sister from her endless rest among the masses of the deep. where
she had been silently locked by the waters flow to that deep cold

– 47 –

sleep that knows no waking, what words of mine compensate her for
such a loss.

Mrs McDonald came and sat down beside her and stroked the silken
hair as she pulled her bowed head on her own motherly bosom but
said nothing.

By the time we had removed the water that had been dashed in by
the spray and rain from the vessel and were ready to start lnez
had recovered from her (process?) of weeping and was comparatively
calm. She went forward as we got underway and seated herself in
the bow and sat with her head resting on her hand looking into the
water. Barton took the tiller and I went forward and seated myself
beside her. I took her disengaged hand in mine and sat silent
gazing forward on the rippling waves as the little vessel sped on
its homeward way. There is a kind of subtle companionship with
some whom we meet in this world that needs not the use of words to
make itself understood or felt. The very presence of some seem to
exert a more kindly influence on the stricken or lonely heart than
do the most eloquent words or impassioned tones of others although
we may know that they are sincere in their protestations of regard
and sympathy. And as I sat by the beautiful girl at my side and
felt that my feelings were rightly understood and sympathized with
although I spoke no word I felt that sense of loneliness and
melancholy which had oppressed me at the rememberance of the loss
of my friend wear away and of greater content supplant it.

As we neared the village we saw lights moving near the pier and we
could also distinguish a number of people hurrying about. I ran a
light up to the masthead and in a few minutes a voice hailed us.

“Boat ahoy!”

“Ahoy yourself,” answered Barton.

“What boat is that?”

“The Water witch.”

I heard a murmer of voices when Barton told the name of the boat
among which I could distinguish an occasional word as “saved thank
God” “Wait and see” and so on and shortly after I heard Fay call
out “Steer for the light. It is on the pier. You had better land
on the east side of the pier; the schooner is on the west side.” As
we approched the pier I saw it was crowded with people men women
and children. Many pale anxious faces peered at us through the
gloom vainly trying to penetrate the darkness with their straining
eyes and learn at once the fate of loved ones. I distinguished Mr
Blanchard among the others, his grey hair fluttering in the night
wind. His face was pale, almost ghastly in its hue. He shaded his
eyes with a hand that trembled visably and looked eagerly into the
little vessel as it rounded to at the end of the pier. I saw him
start violently as he caught sight of his daughter Inez and a
moment after he sprung aboard and folded her in his arms. I left
father and daughter alone and stepped on the pier and explained to
the people all that I knew of the wrecked boat and of those that
were missing. The schooner had arrived safely with all on board.
They had not seen the other boat when it capsized in fact they
could not spare time to look for either of the two boats until it
was too dark to destinguish them. They had gathered at the pier

– 48 –

for the purpose of embarking in the schooner and going in search
of us when they saw our light and heard us. They resolved however
after our return to postpone their search after the others until
morning and each accordingly sought his home in order to gain some
needed repose before day light. It was past midnight when I seated
myself in the Water Witch and turned her head homeward. A soft
fresh breeze was blowing from the westward and the little vessel
sped merrilly along as if glad to get home after so fatiguing a
day. The points and headlands were all wrapped in silence as I
noislessly passed them, even the insects had ceased their chirping
and had sought a couch and repose on the sheltered side of some
friendly leaf. The distant hooting of an owl on a far away
headland and the wild scream of a loon as he beat the water into
foam with his wings in a vain effort to rise into the lighter
element were the only sounds that betokened aught of (—-) in
the world. At length the white chalk-like bank of Spirit Knob
came in sight and seemed to grow larger and more distinct to the
view as I neared it until I could distinguish the cedars growing
on it and hear the splash of the waves on the rocky shore. I ran
my boat round to the eastern and sheltered side of the point and
moved it to the pier. As I stepped asore it seemed an age since I
had left there in the morning with Rashboy. I felt as though half
the incidents of a lifetime had been cramed into that one day. I
entered my silent chamber and the air seemed close and stifling. I
threw open a window and the cool breeze felt grateful on my
burning throbbing head. “I fear I am going to be sick,” I mentioned
as I hastely changed my still damp clothing for dry and swallowing
an annodyne I threw myself upon my bed and tried to sleep. The
slightest noise, the gnawing of a mouse or the rustle of the maple
leaves against the window startled me as though a trumpet rang and
sent the blood in a cold stream to my heart. Presently as the drug
began to exert an influence over me the rustling of the leaves
became the whispering of people whom, did I but close my eyes for
a moment, I could see bending over the dark waters of the lake and
peering down into its silent depths at some object there that lay
upon the bottom and swayed backwards and forwards with every
motion of the water. If the wind sighed more heavily round the
gables I imagined it sounded like the struggles and gasps of the
drowning. Ever and anon I thought Adams followed by Mrs Whipple
would come to my bedside and the green moss and slime of the lake
still clinging to him and in a hoars whisper ask why I had let him
drown. And then I thought that they would both fall upon me with a
sort of padded bludgeon that they carried gave back no sound and
beat me across the forehead in such a manner that it seemed as if
each successive blow would mash my head. At length I could endure
it no longer and I sprang up and went to my medicine case and
swallowed a large portion of a powerful sedation.

I laid down upon the bed and almost immediately fell into a
slumber that was deep tranquil and dreamless.

(End 1st Book)

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Chapter 6, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those. My thanks to Allan McKenney for sending this along.

Chapter VI

No breath of air to make the wave
The Giaour

“The sky’s changed! And such a change! oh night
storm and darkness ye are wonderous strong”

Childe Harole

By Helle’s stream there is a voice of wail
womans eyes wet – Mans check is (frate?)

Bride of Abydos

The next wednesday morning dawned bright and glorious and just as
the sunbeams were first kissing the rippling waters of the lake
Rashboy and I hoisted the sail on the “Waterwitch” and started on
our way to E —-. There was a fresh cool breeze blowing from the
eastward and my little yacht went rippling and sizzing through the
water with a speed that promised to soon bring us to the village.
I know of no exercise that creates within me such a feeling of
exultation and pleasure as that of rapid sailing my little craft
which I had of cleped the water which was one that I had purchased
that summer and although it was not intended to carry over six
persons she was one of the fastest sailers on the lake.

Mr Blanchard had requested us to join them in an excursion that
was going up the lake to Crane Island a distance of about twelve
miles on that day and we were then on our way to E—– for the
purpose of taking him and family up in our boat.

“By the way, Dick, I suppose your old friend the parson will be
one of the party today.”

“lndeed! I was not aware that he cared for such frivolus company
as will be likely to for the excursion today.”

“Oh there will be some solid ones among the giddy throng. Mr
Phineas Smythe will probably be of the party.”

“Mr Nathan has as little relish for Smythes twaddle as you or I
Con. Indeed he is no fool. His mind is really a strong and powerful
one. The trouble is that it is chained and dwarfed by prejudice
and the stubborn dogmas of his creed that it has not room to’
expand and flourish as it might otherwise have done. It is a great

– 30 –

pity that such a noble intelect should have been so preverted. The
Catholics are right when they claim that the pripcipals instilled
into the mind in youth have a fermer hold than any that are
incalcated afterward.

“It is very apt to be the case,” I replied, “yet there are
exceptions. You yourself Dick I believe were educated as a

“Very true Etheridge. I do not speak of individual cases but of
mankind in general. For instance the children raised in Arabia are
Mohamidens. Those in China grew up deciples of Confucias while
those of this country and Europe are princepally Christians. Had
Mr Nathan been born and raised in India he would doubtless have
been as zealous a supporter of the Bagave.Geeta as he now is of
the bible.”

“By the way Dick, what do you think of Mr Alvan Adams?”

“I do not like him Con. There is something about him very repelling
to me and because I do not like him I had rather not express an
opinion concerning him.”

“I will tell you Dick who then is in E —- that I do like.”

“Really,” replied he smiling, “I do not think it would be difficult
to guess.”

“I am speaking of friendship Dick.”

“Well who is it Con that you have concieved such a sudden
friendship for?”

“Mrs Charity McDonald,” I replied.

“I quite agree with you Etheridge,” he replied seriously. “I think
she is a nice old land and one that posses a really good heart
would that there were more like her.”

“Well here we are,” I exclaimed as we approached the villae.

“Please stand by the halyards Dick. Now – lower away Let her
drift in under the jib all right — thank you.”

Some of the excursionists were were already on the wharf when we
reached there and were engaged in stowing away baskets of
provisions fishing rods fowling pieces shawls and all the phara-
phenlia of the expedition into a neat little schooner -. () cleped the
Black Crook that lay mowered along side of the pier Ladies and
gentlemen were standing in little groups and chatting and laughing
and were apparently in the best of spirits at the prospect of
pleasure which the day promised to afford. All were attired in
neat and tasteful costumes suitable for the day and the occasion.
If except one perhaps whom I distinguished from the others by
the brilliancy of his plumage. He was a slight and slender young
man about two and twenty with light flaxen hair and side whiskers
whose small light blue eyes squinted at you through a pair of gold
rimmed eye glasses that were secured by a pink ribbon to the
button hole of a bright blue clost cvat of very fine texture. His
nether limbs were encased in a pair of very light button down
colonial pantaloons. A vest of purple velvet was adorned by a very

– 31 –

flashy gold watch chain to which were attached several seals
of considerable size. A very red necktie gleamed above an
immaculate shirt front that was adorned by three green turtles
about the size of a quarter of a dollar each said turtles being
made of vegetable ivory and used for shirt studs. This individual
slipped forward raised a very fine plus two with a hand on which
gleamed an exceedingly large seal ring and accusted us.

“Aw —really—good mawnin.”

“Good morning Mr Smythe,” I replied for it was he. “We have a fine
morning for our excursion.”

“Delightful –and Mr Etheridge pawdon me but when did you hiah
that supurb boat?”

“lt is not a hire one Mr Smythe. It is mine. May I ask what lady
you intend to make happy for the day by taking her under your
special care and protection?”

“Aw thank you–Miss Blanchard I believe.”

“The Devil!” I exclaimed.

“No rather an angel” said Dick laughing, “but,” he continued
turning to Smythe, “which one of the Misses Blanchard have you

“Aw Miss Hope Blanchard of course.”

“0h!—Certainly Miss Hope of course. Mr Smythe will you and Miss
Blanchard honor us with your company in the Water witch.”

“Be delighted Im suah — Aw thank you Mr Etheridge but.” and he
stopped short. “is she safe?”


“Aw.” And Mr Smyth started up to the hotel.

“Con,” said Dick taking me aside, “go up and get your lady and let
us be off while the breeze lasts.”

“But Dick – I thought-”

“Huh! Never mind what you thought. You were mistaken but make haste.
See. The others are embarking.”

“I walked up to the hotel and found the rector and his daughter, Mr
Blanchard and his daughters, Mrs Whipple, Mrs McDonald, and Smyth in
the parlor ready to start. As soon as I entered little Bertie came
running up to me.”

“Wheres Uncle Dick at?”

“At the pier,” I answered smiling at the eagerness of her question.

“Oh I’se so glad,” said she clapping her little dimpled hands and
the next moment she darted out of the open door and ran down to
the shore.

– 32 –

“Well I dew declare,” said Mrs Whipple with a sniff but what she
was intending to disclose I did not hear nor care for at that
moment I was listening to a voice that had more interest in it for
me than Gabriels trumpet would have had.

We all returned to the pier and found that Mr Adams had arrived
during my absence with a yacht from W —- somewhat lower than mine.

“Mr Blanchard will you accept a seat in my little craft?”

“Thank you Mr Etheridge. I am really sorry that my poor health will
not permit me to accept your offer. I shall be obliged to go in
the schooner where I can lie down when I am wearied,” he added
turning to a gentleman who stood near. “You will be kind enough to
give me passage Mr Fay?”

“Certainly Sir,” replied Fay. “We will try and make you as
comfortable as possible.”

It was arranged that Hope who had excused herself from Smythe
should go in the schooner and take care of her fathers comfort who
was still an invalid while Inez and Bertie should go with me in
the Water Witch. Indeed the latter small personage had very
complacently esconsed herself beside Dick at the tiller and
absolutely refused to be coaxed away.

There were five passengers in my boat besides Dick and I. Mrs
McDonald, Viva, Joyce, Inez, Bertie, and Mr Smythe.
Adams’ yacht the Lady of the Lake was already started and contained
besides Adams, Miss Mayer, Irene, Nathan, Emily, Burriette, and Harry

At length when all were ready on board the Water Witch we cut
loose from the pier and started after the other two boats who
about a furlong ahead of us. The wind was light and baffling
coming in little puffs and flaws no two seeming to come from
same direction. After half an hour however a light but steady
breeze sprung up from the northeast. It struck the other two
vessils some little time before it reached us as they were in the
advance and we were staying to the southward and the distance
between us was rather increased than desired by the time we
reached Hulls Creek distant about ten miles form E—. This we
found was a narrow deep creek about half a mile in length, which
connects the upper lakes with the lower. There was no current
scarcely yet it was so narrow and crooked that we found it very
tedious ascending it. Rashboy had the tiller and I saw by the way
he handled the boat that he was an experienced sailor.

While we were working our way up through the serpentine windings
of the stream the breeze freshend and by the time we came out in
the open lake above we had stiff breeze blowing. Our course now
lay west by northwest so that we had the wind partialy on the
quarter, the other two vessels were plowing merrily along and
although we had gained on them coming up the creek, the increased
breeze had carried them a quarter of a mile ahead of us by the
time we got in the open lake. They were waving us signaling us
goodbye and their voices and laughter could be faintly heard
coming over the water.

– 33 –

“Aw – I feah we will be left dont you think so Miss Vi – Oh!” This
last exclamation was caused by the boat having rounded a small
wooded headland at the mouth of the creek which had heretofore
screened us from the breeze. The sails filled suddenly the vessel
carrened over on one side and parcepetated Smythe to leeward with
a crash.

“Windward All!” exclaimed Rashboy.

We changed our seats to the windward side and the little water witch went
sailing through the water dashing the waves and spray from her sharp prow
and leaving a track of foam and bubbles on the long swells over
which we had passed.

“We will soon overtake them at this rate,”said Inez.

“I think we will reach there as soon as they will.” I
replied wrapping a shawl round her shoulders to protect her from
the spray. “If they do not make more sail.”

“Oh! I hope we will beat them,” exclaimed Viva Joyce. “I never
could endure to have that Adam sneer at us I’d wither on the

“Aw — really,” exclaimed Smythe as about a hat full of spray
struck him in the face.

“You had better wrap a shawl round you Mr Smythe or you will take
your death of cold,” said Mrs McDonald handing him her shawl. “It
is old and faded but it will keep you from getting wet.”

Smythe wrapped the shawl around his shoulders and as his silk hat
was nearly spoiled by the spray he sat it in the fore locker and
tied a red silk handkerchief around his head.

When we passed Lithcoe’s Point we were up with the other two boats
Adam‘s vessel being on our right and a little ahead of the
schooner on our left. As we drew a little ahead of them the
schooner ran up her gaff topsails and Adams hoisted another jib on
the Lady of the Lake. Under the increased canvass the two vessels
began to gain slowly on us and finally passed us with shouts and
cheers and even Mr Blanchard and the pastor raised their voices to
the others in a long cheer as they drew ahead of us. We carried no
topsail and our misen sail had a small reef in it. I glanced at
Rashboy his face was flushed but he shook his head slightly in
answer to my unspoken question which he read in my face as to
whether we should make more sail.

“Mr Etheridge make mor sale please,” exclaimed Viva who had risen.

“Yes please do,” said Inez.

“Mr Rashboy is sailing master ladies You must appeal to him,” I
replied and then continued in a low tone to my companion. “My
little vessel carries too precious a cargo to admit of me
incurring any risks whatever.”

“Yes,” she replied. “Each one on board is precious to some one.”

“To whom is my life and I precious,” I asked.

“To your parents.”

“Alas I have none.”

“To your brothers and sisters.”

“They too are all dead.”

– 34 –

“Then to your friends.”

“There is the only one I have on earth,” I replied pointing to
Rashboy, “and I have only known him two weeks.”

“I have often heard it remarked that those who have no friends
have no one to blame for the lack but themselves.”

I made no answer and so I ( —- ) at this is the light in which I
am regarded. Because I have no friends she considers, is because I
do not deserve any ( —- —- ). I hope she may never know what it
is to feel as I have felt, to be surrounded by scens who were loud
in their protestations of friendship but who all vanished at the
first breath of advirsity and this dark eyed beauty by my side is
doubtless one of the same kind with the exception that she never
even profered friendship for me and I have been born idiot enough
to imagine at times that she loved me.

“Mr Rashboy can’t we put on more sail,” said Viva. “I do so want
our boat to beat.”

“I think we had better not try to carry any more sail while the
breeze remains so strong,” he replied.

“Let us put it to vote,” exclaimed Viva who had a yankees panchant
for every thing being carried vox populi. “I move,” she continued
rising with mock gravity and steading herself by the shrouds,
“that Mr Rashboy, sailing master of the water Witch be
respectfully requested to make more sail in order that we may
overtake the Philistines.”

“I second the motion,” said Inez smiling, “although my father and
sister are classed among the Philistines.”,

“I beg pardon I was thinking of Adams when I spoke of the
Philistines. I will accept of the amendment and say the Philistine
Ladies and Gentlemen,” she continued rising her voice. “It is moved
and seconded that Captain Rashboy be respectfully requested to
crowd on more sail in order that we may overhaul the Philistine
all that wish the motion to prevail please say Ay.”

Inez, Mrs McDonald, Viva and Smythe voted ay.

“Contrary minded say No.”

“No,” I replied.

Rashboy did not vote.

“Carried,” she exclaimed triumphantly. “Now Mr Rashboy you
gallantry will not allow you to refuse the unanumous request of
your lady passengers.”

“Is Smythe included in the list,” I asked.

“I – aw – I always like to be included with the ladies,” said that
gentleman answering for himself and ducking his head, which was
still ornamented with the red silk hankerchief, in acknowledgment
to Miss Joyce.

“I am sorry to refuse your request,” said Dick seriously, “but it is
unsafe for us to carry more sail. The wind is increasing and

– 35 –

should it continue to do so we will be obliged to take in some

Viva, face flushed and an angry sparkle appeared in her eyes as
she replied, “I did not think you so unkind Mr Rashboy. lf there is
danger we take the risk upon our own shoulders unless,” she added
“you have some apprehensions for yourself.”

“There would be no kindness,” he replied quietly, “in subjecting you
to danger even though you were generous enough to wish to
exonerate me from blame. Should anything happen I should be to
blame just the same not withstanding your kind offer and I could
never forgive myself.”

“Mr Rashboy is more cautious than I thought him,” said Inez laying
a strong emphasis on the word.

“Indeed you wrong him,” I replied, “when no others are concerned but
himself he is brave even to recklessness.”

“Pray do not seek to excuse your timidity by a show of solicitude
for us,” said Viva Joyce. “We are not children and are able to
judge for ourselves.”

In her excitement she had sprang to her feet and stood on the lee
side of the vessel confronting Rashboy. A large wave struck the
boat causing it to give a sudden lurch. There was a horror
stricken scream a heavy plunge and the next moment Viva Joyce was
struggling amid the foaming seething water of the lake.

“Take the helm Con,” said Dick, “and the next instant he leaped over the
side of the vessel into the lake.”

Little Bertie uttered one wild scream after and I verily believe
would have sprung overboard after Rashboy had 1 not held her
forcibly. The passingers in their excitement all made a rush to
leeward to look after Dick and Viva and it baw by the merest
possible chance that I prevented the little vessel from capsizing
by throwing her head suddenly in the wind.

“Take your seats and keep them,” I called out calmly and somewhat
sternly. “I can do nothing to save our friends so long as you
oblige me to do my utmost to keep us out of the lake. Mr
Smythe,” I added to that gentleman who stood swaying about ahold of
the lee stays white with terror. “If you do not sit down I shall
be compelled to pitch you into the lake.” He let go his hold and
fell sprawling in the bottom of the boat.

l put the vessel about and beat back into the wind after Viva and
Dick. I could only get an occasional glimpse of them as they rose
on the top of some mammoth wave when they could be seen for an
instant only. I finally lost sight of them altogether and with a
heart heavy as lead was about to give them up in despair when I
saw them only a few fathoms off and dead ahead of the boat. Never
in my life had I felt a keener thrill of joy at my heart than that
brief glimps of my friend afforded me with all my strength I
brought the helm hard alee and brought the boats head up in the
wind. She came running with a graceful curve and brought us along
side of our friends.

“Well done Con,” exclaimed Dick with a smile, “throw me the end of

– 36 –

the mainsheet.”

He gave the sheet a dexterous turn round Miss Viva Joyces waist
and we hoisted her in while Dick clambered up himself a moment

Viva was unconscious more through fright than aught else for her
clothing had boyed her up until Dick had reached her.

“Take charge of her Con. You are a doctor and give me the tiller.
I am not in a condition to crowd round among ladies.” said he
(exfeing?) his dripping garments ruefully. He seated himself at
the tiller and the next moment a pair of dimpled arms were around
his neck and a little voice trembling with emotion piped out, “Oh
Uncle Dick I’s mighty glad you didn’t geg dwonded aint you.”

“Yes if you are darling but you must not sit against my wet
clothes you will get wet and it will make you sick.”

“Will it make you sick too to be wet Uncle Dick?”

“I guess not pet I am old and tough.”

When I turned to Viva I found she had recovered her consciousness
but was shivering badly from the combined effect of her cold bath
and the nervous excitment it had produced. Having no better remedy
present I gave her a swallow of brandy.

“Uh you horid man! I am a good Templar and that was some sort of
liquor. They will turn me out of lodge sure!”

“I cant help it and unless that shivering ceases soon I shall be
obliged to give you another dram.”

She looked at me in dismay. “You are excusable Miss Joyce,” said
dick smiling. “Mr Etheridge is a physician and you are justifiable
in taking whatever he prescribes.”

She turned suddenly toward the speaker and regarded him for a
moment her lips quivered and her eyes filled with tears and the
next instant the impulsive creature glided forward and caught his
hand in both of hers and said with a voice trembling with emotion,
“Mr Rashboy if my worthless life is worth thanking you for until
my dying day l shall never forget your bravery nor your kindness
in risking so much to save a worthless girl and that too just
after I —–Oh Mr Rashboy please do not remember my unkind words
against me. I would give anything to recall them.”

“Do not distress yourself little friend,” said dick kindly, “with
any such foolish fancies. My rememberance of you will always be
one of one good tru hearted little lady. Impulsive perhaps a
little hasty at times never willfully unkind. And now allow Mrs
McDonald to wrap that shawl that I see she has confured forth from
some hidden receptacle, around you and keep you out of the wind
until we reach the Island which will be in a few minutes.”

Not withstanding the short delay caused by our mishap we reached
Crane Island but a few minutes after the other two vessels. A fire
was kindled immediately at which our friends dried themselves
while the others bussied themselves in preparing dinner. We had

– 37-

run under the lee of a small point and moured our boats where the
water was perfectly calm. Mr Nathan, Mr Blanchard and Harry
Barton prepared their fishing tackle and soon forgot every thing
else in the pleasure they experienced in pulling in the fine bass
and pickerel that are so plentiful. Then Fay, Adams and Smythe
assisted the ladies in preparing dinner and many a merry peal of
laughter resounded through the old woods at their blunders. Some
frying pans and coffee kettles had been brought along for the
purpose of frying fish and making coffee and while the others were
busy I took a light fowling piece and started off for a look at
the island. In area it did not contain more than seven or eight
acres and except the lowland at the base of the point where we
were camped it consisted of a table land perfect level on top and
elevated about twenty feet above the level of the lake. It was
covered with a growth of remarkably large and tall elms in which
hundreds of herons (called these blue cranes) came regularly every
summer to hatch and rear their young. There was no underbrush nor
small timber but in many places there was a dense growth of wild
touch-me-not or pale jewel weed (Impatiens Palida) which often
attained a height of seven and eight feet. The soil was remarkable
rich, the guano of the herons having accumulated there for
thousands of years. The island was surrounded on all sides, save
the small stretch of beach where our boats lay moored, by a rocky
coast; the rocks being large round boulders against which the
waves were thundering with a dull roar on the windward side of the
island. I shot a partridge that was strutting along through the
yellow leaved sarsaparilla, but had I known that a chorus of
discordant cries and unearthly squalls my shot would have raised I
think I should have let the partridge strut unmolested to its
hearts content. Hundreds of herons came down from the tree tops as
if to see what was disturbing the peace in their domain. A score
or more allighted in a circle around me while others kept circling
about my head and all stretched out their long necks and joined in
uttering such a series of hidious discordant screams as if bent on
driving me from the spot by their unearthly clammer. If such was
their design it succeeded for I hurridely slung my gun over my
back thrust my fingers into my ears and went tearing off through
the tangled beds of touch-me-nots without even waiting to pick up
my partridge. They followed me for some distance but fineally,
with an infernal screech of victory, gave up the chase. They
should be heard to be rightelly appreciated and so far as my
experience goes they are only equaled by a white concert in the
pine woods country of Mississippi. I came tearing into the
encampment just as they were sitting down to dinner and was
welcomed by a burst of laughter from the whole company.

“It appears I am destined to be applauded where ever I go. Hark! Do
you hear that?” I exclaimed pointing back to where the herons
shrill cries were still resounding. “The music which marks my
exodus from the stage mingles with that which welcomes my entrance
on another. How the two orchestras chord? Where shall I run next?”

“Here right between Miss Inez and I. Theres a place for you,” said
Mrs McDonald, “and dinner is all ready.”

The dinner was one that the most fastidious would have rellished
could they have had their appetites whetted as were ours by the
cool invigorating air and a sail over the pure waters of the lake.
There was beautiful snowy head and sweet golden butter made by Mrs
McDonalds own motherly hands. There was cold boild (—– ) and

– 38 –

roast chicken, a huge dish of speckled pickerel piping hot that
one of the gentlemen had caught that Miss Burdette and Viva Joyce
had fried for us. The aroma of coffee informed us that Hope
Blanchard had not been idle but had made for us some of that
beverage as only a southern woman can make it. Everyone was at his
ease and each seemed to be enjoying himself. Even the Rev Faster
seemed to almost forget for the time the stern dogmas of his creed
and allowed his features to relax something of their wonted
grimness as he watched others enjoy themselves.

“I like Mr Hughes better as the man than as the divine,” said Dick
in an aside to me.

“I quite agree with you,” I replied, “I never could see any
reason why Christians should look more grim and solemn than other
people or that Minesters should look as stern and grim as some old
Roman Warrior.”

“Tis fitting I suppose,” said he, “that they should pattern after
their master the God of the Bible who by his own word appears to
have been a bloodier old warrior than either Roman or Spartan.”

“Why bloodier or more cruel?” I asked.

“Because he kills his own children and is not content with killing
them but damns them afterward to a perpetual death. But let us
change the subject,” said he, “or I may lose your friendship as I
have that of every other person with whom I have conversed on
religious subjects.”

“Mr Etheridge – aw – will you help me to some of fish if you plan
– aw – thank you.”

“Who has ever feasted in a more sumptious hall than we,” exclaimed
Irene Hughes, “what gorgeous ( —- ) surround us what canopy more
lofty or beautiful tinted ever stretched over the heads of kings
or what perfumed air sweeter than this cool breeze laden with the
breath of autumn flowers?”

“Or what board,” said Adams, “has ever been graced by the presence
of fairer ladies.”

“Yew are very perlite tew say so I’m sure,” said Mrs whipple.
“That’s what poor dear Whipple used to say to me afore he died of
softening of the brain.”

“Aw really!” exclaimed Smythe the tears springing to his eyes
caused by a fish bone getting crosswise in his throat.

“Swallow a mouthful of bread,” said I devining the cause of his

“Aw thank you,” said he wiping his eyes as the obstruction was

“Dew tell. What a tender hearted critter Mr Smythe is to be sure,”
said Mrs Whipple.

“I do not like the appearance of that thick edged cloud off there
in the north west,” remarked Rashboy. “I have been watching it for

– 39 –

some time and I fear it is the harbringer of bad weather.”

“I have been watching it also for some time,” said Mr Blanchard,
“and I think we need be in no haste to return as it seems to be at
a stand still.”

“I quite agree with you,” said Adams, “and besides I do not believe
it is coming this way.”

“You will believe that is before you get home,” said Fay.

Considerable discussion arose as to whether we should return or
remain and hour or two longer as it was but a little after three

Fay however was obstinate and declared his intention of going back
to E— immediately. “l have lived here nearly all my life,” he
remarked, “and I think I know the indications of the weather pretty
well. As I have some lady passengers aboard I do not care to have
them out in a storm if I can get back before it overtakes us which
I think very doubtful.”

“Shall we not return also Con?” asked Dick

“If you think it best.”

“I think as Fay that we have not a moment to lose.”

“What say you ladies are you willing to return not Mrs McDonald?”

“Yes let us go.”

“Miss Joyce?”


“Miss Blanchard?”

“Go I suppose since all the others wish it but I do hate to leave
this beautiful little island.”

Adams being urged by his lady passengers to return with the others
set about his preperations in a very leisurly manner. The ladies
commenced gathering up their dishes and in a few minutes all was
bustle and confusion where but a short time before all had been
peace and quietude.

The rattling of the plates and knives and forks gave the alarm to
the herons who mingled their shrill cries with the base tones of
the men and the din already created and until the time of our
departure we had a babel in minature.

The passengers of the Water Witch were soon aboard and we lay
waiting for the other boats and watching their passengers as they
hurried to and fro and called to each other in the vain effort to
make themselves heard above the outcry of the herons and their own
noise. At length all were ready on Adams boat and the skiff from
the schooner was putting off with the last load of her passengers
when one of their number whom we perceived to be Mrs Whipple was
observed to be gesticulating wildly and by her purple face and

– 40 –

expanded mouth we judged her to be screaming something
vociferously but what it was exactly we could not tell as only
detached words and broken sentences came to us mingled with the
cries of the herons.

“Shore — well I never –back –tew shelling – out – dew—”

At length the boat put back to the shore and she sprang out
scrambled up the bank and disappeared for a few minutes. Presently
she came back with the cause of her trouble which proved to be a
pan of cold baked beans in one hand and a huge copperas colored
umbrella in the other. In her haste to get aboard she caught her
foot in some grape vine and fell headlong into the boat. Her
umbrella and teeth went into the lake and her pan of beans was
emptied into the immaculate shirt bosom of the minester.

“Now really,” exclaimed Smythe who had witnessed the mishap with
much interest.

Her umbrella was fished out but her teeth were gone forever.

Near half an hour was consumed altogether by the time all were
aboard and ready to start.

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Chapter 5, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those. My thanks to Allan McKenney for sending this along.

Chapter V

——–In religion
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text.
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.

Merchant of Venice

So it is and the same thirst
For something high and pure, above
This withering world, which, from the first
Makes me drink deep of womans love
As the one joy to Heaven most near
Of all our hearts can meet with here.

Moore’s Aleiphron

Alas the rarity of Christian Charity under the sun

“Aw, what a, aw really splendid common Mistah Hughes preached
today. Aw, don’t you think so Miss Hope?” said Mr. Phineas Smythe.
Mr. Smythe was one of the persons who find it impossible to
articulate the english.

“I could not say, Mr. Smythe, as I was not present.”

“Aw. Beg pardon. You missed a great treat and Miss Hope it was
really delightful.”

“What part,” asked Viva Joyce, “delighted you most Mr. Smythe?
Account of the worship of the brazen Calf or the conversation of
the animal Balaam rode?”

“Aw, really,” said Smythe leveling his eye glass at her. “I – aw –
cound not say which pawt – I -aw – preferred.”

“The sermon was a very able one,” said Adams, “and one by which we
all might profit. We seldom hear so fine a discourse here,” he
continued loud enough for Mr. Hughes to hear who was now

“Thank you Mr. Adams,” said the rector. “Praise from so competent a
Judge is appreciated as it deserves. I hope all present have
considered well the subject ‘Chose ye this day when ye shall
serve’ and decided like Joshua these friends,” he continued turning
towards Rashboy and my self, “I trust have made the same wise
choice. Have you chosen gentlemen whom ye shall serve?”

“I have sir,” replied Rashboy.


“Those who may be benefitted most by my service — mankind.”

The rector regarded this almost sternley for a moment ere he

“And have you considered sir that you will not be benefitted by


such service; that in the end you will lose your soul unless you
serve God in spirit and truth.”

“A service,” replied Rashboy, “that is prompted soley through selfish
motives and for benefits that are to accrue only to ones self I
apprehend is a sorry service at the best and will benefit neither
God nor man.”

“My young friend will you tell me how there can be any selfishness
in serving the Most High God.”

“Does your serving God benefit him in anyway?”

“Certainly not. God is all powerful and cannot be benefit by the
works of men.”

“Then why do you serve him?”

“We are commanded to serve God and bear Him.”

“And if you do not?”

“We are lost.”

“And if you do?”

“We are saved.”

“Then whom do you benefit by serving God?”

“We obey Gods commands and save our souls.”

“Exactly you work for selfish ends.”

“But we are commanded by God to bring sinners to repentance and if
we serve God truly we will save others as well as ourselves.”

“Where you labor to serve others, if you do not do it simply to
save your own Souls you bring yourself, on the same basis as
myself, but if you endeavor to save others simply to save your own
souls you work for selfish ends.”

“Mr. Rashboy we should not bring in question the fitness of the
direct commands of God. It is for him to order and for us to obey.”

“But sir suppose my reason and nature rebells at what you claim to
know the direct commands of God.”

“We are by nature sinful and must bring our reason in subjection
to Gods word — the Holy Bible.”

“Ay,” replied Dick. “Bring it in subjection to Gods word but without
my reason how am I to tell which is Gods word. The Mohammeden tells
me that the Koran is Gods word. The Bramin tells me that the
Baghavat Geeta is Gods word and the Guebers or Fire worshippers
will tell you that this Lenda Vesta are the word of God written by
the divine Drmudz [sic] through his prophet Toroaster [sic]. There are others
who will tell you that the record of Gods works is spread out
before us daily in the great book of nature wherein we all might
read would we but learn the language in which it is written. The

– 14 –

geologist finds a record of his deeds in characters that have
stood the rack of a million years. The astronomer reads of him in
the myrads of worlds that wander darkling in the eternal space and
every new star that is brought under the range of his telescope
tells its story of the greatness of God. The Botanist and
Naturalist read from different pages of the same God. Without my
reason how am I to distinguish among all thousand different faiths
the true one since they all conflict. How I ask without my reason
am I to tell what is the word of God?”

“This Holy Book is gods word sir,” said the rector laying his hand
upon the Bible.

“I have your word for it sir as likewise I have the Mohammidans in
saying that the same of the Koran what proof is there besides (—–)
assertion that you are right?”

“Mr. Rashboy, I am disappointed in you and if you will allow me to
speak plainly, you must indeed be very ignorant to be compelled to
ask what proves that the Bible is the word of God.”

A supressed laugh here followed in which all joined except the
Blanchards, Mr Hughes and myself and Miss Irene who appeared to be
pained at her fathers rudness.

“Aw, ignorant,” giggled Smythe. “Aw – really – ”

“Oh dear!” whispered the deacons wife loud enough for all to hear.
“Oh dear! He must be an infidel! How dreadful!”

“I really am ignorant,” said Rashboy calmly, “but since the proof I
asked is so apparent will you be kind enough to instruct me and
tell me what it is.”

“What! Proof that the Holy Bible is the word of God,” exclaimed the
rector in a voice of thunder as he sprang to his feet, “what proof
sir. Proof so plain that a wayfaring man though a fool need not
err therein. It is proof within its self. Every word of its sacred
pages proclaims its truth and ( —– ) origin. It is to that Book
sir that we owe our prosperity and civilization both as
individuals and as a nation. It has withstood the words of hell
born infidel for hundreds of years and will stand for thousands of
years to come. When will you find a book to equal it? Where is
there a word between the lids of that Holy Book that is not devine
and true? Where is your heathen Bible that offers you the
salvation this one does or teaches of as kind as loving and as
merciful a God as this old Book? Answer me Sir.”

“I will with pleasure,” said Rashboy, “and if you will listen to me
with as much patience as I have to you with interest I shall feel
thankful. I am Sir, neither infidel nor scoffer but and pleas God
always shall be an ernest seeker after truth. If a man present to
you a note or mortgage incurrs the payment of a few hundred
dollars how carefully you examine every word and sentence to
discover if it be genuine or spurious. How much more carefully
should you examine the writing of that book since on its veracity
you claim, depends our future ( —- ) or woe forever. Let me
examine it then not scoffingly but seriously – believing that if it
is of God and is truth all of mans reasoning that he can sin —– to
to bear against it instead of destroying will cause it to be more

– 25 –

fully established. On the first page we read an account of the
creation (Gen 1) God it seems labored five days in creating this
earth and devoted only one day to the manufacture of the sun moon
and stars. All those countless millions of worlds that fill the
unfathonable infinity of space were told were made simply for
lights for the earth. Denton very pertinently asks what God was
doing through all the eternity of the past before these wonders
were created; which by the way has only been about six thousand
years. Would the gentlemen be kind enough to answer it before I
proceed further?”

“Your question is blaspemous sir,” replied the rector, “and does not concern us in the least.”

“Excuse me Sir the question does concern us as we are seeking for the truth.
It is certainly not an unimportent curosity to wish to know what
our God was doing before he had any worlds or any people to govern.
But I will pass on. We are told man was created, the being for
whom all these worlds were made. That he was free to do
whatsoever he chose save that he eat not of the tree of knowledge,
which by the way was and still is very pleasant tasting fruit.
But alas he did eat of the forbidden fruit and by so doing brought
sin and death misery into the world. Why did God forbid man to eat
of the tree of knowledge. Why has he given his reason and
intellegence and forbidden him to cultivate or use them.
Furthermore since God is all wise he knew that man would partake of
the tree of forbidden fruit. And since he is infinite in goodness
and mercy why did he create a being when he knew he should curse
him. (Gen 3 7 to 20) ‘Blessed is the ground for thy sake in sorrow
shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life: Thorns also, and
thistles shall it bring forth to thee and then shalt eat the herbs
of the field In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread.’ God
knew that he would impose this curse on Adam before he created him
for this book says (Is 48-30) ‘I have declared the former things
from the beginning and they went forth out of —- mouth and I
showed them.’ Not alone on Adam and Eve did the curse fall but the
thousands of unborn children that were yet to people the earth
were doomed to toil and death for something they could not help.
ls that just?”

“Adam was a free agent and ought to have obeyed Gods command and
let the fruit alone” replied the rector.

“And how about the people unborn were they free moral agents too
and if Adam was free God knew he would eat the fruit and God was
to blaim for it for he made him himself and gave him —- and —-
and passion (Job). What one present having a family of beloved
children would set before them tempting fruits steeped in deadly
pain if you knew they would eat the fruit and die. (Mat 7-9 to 11)
‘If ye being God knew how to give gifts unto your children how
much more shall your father who is in Heaven give Gods good gifts to
(another?)’ ask him. Man told that the lord put a flaming sword
around the tree of life for fear Adam and Eve might eat of that
and they would then have had him in a pretty pickle. Since he is
so good and merciful why did he not put the flaiming sword around
the other tree the tree of death in the first place instead of
shutting off from his creations the only ( —– ) they had left by
putting it round the tree of life. But to proceed: We read that
after ten generations mankind became wicked — will you tell me Mr.
Hughs in what their wickedness consisted since no law had been

– 26 –

given and we are told in Romens 4 and 15 that where there is no
law there is no transgression.”

Mr. Hughes vouchsafed no answer and Dick read from Gen 6-6. ‘It
repenteth the Lord that he made man and it grieveth him at his
heart. And the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created
both man and beast and the creeping things and the fowls of the
air for it repenteth me that I have made them.

“Should you read in any other book than the bible of a being who is
reputed to be all wise who had made such a bungling job of his
work who failed on every hand in having them as he wished who got
sorry that he had created them at all and finally ended by hurling
man beast and fowl into eternity by one fell swoop — I say should
you read of such a diety in any other book but the Bible you would
throw the book down in disgust.

“After the deluge had passed and Noah had disembarked from the Ark
we are told that he offered up a burnt offering and as the fumes
of scorching bush and burning blood arose your bible says (Gen
VIII 21) ‘The Lord smelled a sweet savor and the Lord said in his
mind – I will not again curse the ground any more for thy sake’.”

“Oh dear what a dreadful man,” croacked Mrs. Whipple.
“Aw – really – I – aw —-”

“One more instance. Mr. Hughes in answer to your question and I am
done. One more instance of the boasting Justice and mercy of the
God of the Bible. I refer to the slaughter of the first born in

“Plagues had been sent up on the Egyptians without numbar and (Ex
3-20) ‘The Lord hardened Phoroahs heart that he might stretch out
his hand and smite Egypt.’ And for the misdeeds of this king this
one man whose heart God had hardened thousands upon thousands of
little children were sacraficed. Let me read you a few verses from
the twelfth chapter of Ex. ‘And it came to pass at midnight the
Lord smote all the first born in the land of Egypt from the first
born of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the first born of the
captive that was in the dungon and the first born of all the
cattle. And there was a great cry in Egypt for there was not a
house where there was not one dead.’ There stood the poor widow
with clasped hands by the bedside of her only son; that son to
whom she fondly looked for solace and comfort in her old age,
stood and watched the poor boy as he vainly stretched out his cold
hand for help toward his mother. Watched with bated breath the
film of death come over those glazed eyes that were turned so
piteously towards his mother. Watched her last earthly comfort
pass away into the dim realms of the misty lands of shadows. Let
us leave her alone with her dead and pass on.

“There was the silent choking grief of the father the wild wail of
the stricken mother as they stood helplessly by and gazed on the
suffering and death struggles of their bright child. Saw the
palor of death creep into the cheeks that were rosett with the
hues of health but a few hours before and saw the death dew
sitting under those clustering ( —– ). The little form that had
been so full of promise and happiness to them; the little arms that
were wont to entwine their necks in a loving embrace when the good

– 27 –

nights were given was now suffering in death and well might the
mother exclaim, ‘What hath he done, My unweaned son to move Jehovahs

“And your loving murderouse God come out with his hands steaming
and reeking with the blood of innocents and willingly exclaims, ‘I
am a God of war.’ This is the God you tell me I must serve and
love with my whole heart mind and strength or be damned. I had
rather be damned a thousand fold than debase my nature by loving
such a monster.”

“So had I,” exclaimed Irene Hughs her eyes flashing with the
intensity of her excitment and obhorrance.

“Silence girl,” exclaimed her father who had been pacing the floor
like an enraged lion. “I had rather see you dead than like that
double dyed infidel yonder.

“Sir,” he continued leaning toward Rashboy, “A man that will
blaspheme God as you have done today deserves death.
Such a man should not be allowed to remain at
large and influence others.”

“I have said nothing against the supreme being. On the contrary I
revere him too much to believe him the supreme diety spoken of in
the Bible,” replied Rashboy.

“To breathe the same air with such as you were contaminating,”
exclaimed the enraged minister. “Come Girl,” he contenued ( —– )
his daughter “Let us go home.”

“Alas the rarity of Christian Charity under the sun,” replied Irene.
“You called on the gentleman for his opinion and now condemed him
because he gave it.”

“I do not comdemn him for stating his opinion but for holding such
opinions and daring to speak of God as he has done.”

“Do not leave the field in possession of your enemy,” said Mr.
Blanchard smiling, “or he will look as though you were defeated.
Besides it is your duty to wrestle with all sorts of disbelief and
establish the true faith.”

“It is strange,” said Rashboy quietly, “that Christians the followers
of that Christ who they claim brought a religeon of love and
Charity should be the most mechanel of all people under the sun
and insist not only in damning a man, for his disbelief, hereafter
but would sacrafice him here were it possible. You have endeavored
to show how the Bible has benefitted mankind how it is the great
civilizer and has brought Peace on Earth and good will toward men.
Christ himself says in Mathew 34 & et, ‘Think not I send peace on earth;
I came not to send peace but a Sword. For I am come to set a man at variance
against his father and the daughter against her mother and the daughter in law
against the mother in law’.”

“I tell you sir,” exclaimed the rector turning upon him, “that your
life would not be safe today were it not for that bible. You would
be liable to be murdered at any time.”

“And would be as it is,” said Dick laughing, “had the Christians
there sway. If I may judge from what one of their ministers said a
few moments since.”

– 28 –

“Where is there a book that has done as much toward civilizing the
world tell me that?”

“There was a time during the middle ages when the Church ruled all
the Civilized(?) nations of Europe and since it had absolute power
it had vast opportunity of doing good – Mark the legend.

“Then,” says Ingersole, ‘the sword of the church was unsheathed and
the world was at the mercy of ignorant and infuriated priests
whose eyes feasted on the agonies they inflicted. Acting as they
believed or pretended to believe under the command of God!
Stimulated by the hope of infinite reward in another world haling
herectics with every drop of their vestial blood savage beyond
conception these infamous smiats in a kind of frenzied joy, leaped
upon the helpless victims of their age. They crushed their bones
in iron boots; tore their (—–) flesh with iron hooks and
pincers cut off their lips and eyelids; pulled out their nails and
into the bleeding quick thrust needles; tore out their organs;
extinguished their eyes; stretched them upon racks flayed them
alive; crucified them with their heads downward; exposed them to
wild beasts; burned them at the stake; mocked their cries and
groans; ravished their wives; robbed their children and then
prayed God to finish the holy work in hell. Millions upon millions
were sacraficed upon the alters of bigatry. The Catholics burned
the Lutherans. The Lutheran burned the Catholics. The episcopalian
tortured the Presbyterian and the Presbyterian‘tortured the
Episcopalian. Every denomination killed all it could of every
other and each Christian felt in duty bound to exterminate every
other Christian who denied the smallest practice of his creed.
They have imprisoned and murdered each other and the wives and
children of each other. In the name of God every possible curse
has been committed. Every conceivable outrage has been perpetrated.
Brave men tender and loving women beautiful girls and prattling
babes have been exterminated in the name of Jesus Christ.

“For more than fifty generations the church has carried the black
flag. Her vengence has been measured only by her power. During all
these years of infancy no herectic has ever been forgiven.

“With the heart of a fiend she has hated with the clutch of
averice she has grasped with the jaws of a dragon she had
devoured; petitless as famine merciless as fire with the
conscience of a serpent. Such is the history of the Church of God
Such is your civilizer.

“And you ask me what has done as much toward bettering the
condition of many as the book from which all their black hearted
fiends recind sanction and instruction for their murderers.

“The day will come,” said the rector solomnly, “when your are laid
upon a bed of death when you like Paine will recount all this and
die forsaken by God and dispised by man.”

“How many ministers have I heard say, without a thing to warrant
the assertion, that, Paine died forsaken by God and man. Where they
get their foundation for such statements I have never been able to
learn since all history on the subject state the reverse. But
suppose Paine had died. So what then was there not another who
when in the agony of death was upon him turned his glazing eyes to
Heaven and exclaimed, ‘My God! MY God! why hast thou forsaken me?'”

– 29 –

The dinner bell put a stop to further discussion and I was not
sorry for I greatly feared Rashboy was making enemies by
expressing his views so fearlessly and plainly.

“Mr. Nathans will you give your arm to my daughter Hope. Mr Rashboy
please show that you entertain no anamosity to your late
antagonist by taking his daughter down to dinner. Mr Etheridge I
see hes already appropriated my younger daughter. Mr Adams please
take charge of Miss Mayer and Smythe I resign you to the tender
mercies of Miss Joyce. Mrs Whipple permit me to act as your
escort,” said the gallent old gentleman and thus we all descended
to the dinning room and soon found our selves seated to a
substancial dinner.

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Mila Hayford, Samuel Bartow McKenney Jr. and Lenore Nellie Reynolds

Original courtesy Allan McKenney


Mila Hayford, S. B. McKenney and Nona L. Reynolds age 14 Original courtesy of Allan McKenney. I took the liberty of retouching a bit.

Mila Hayford b. 1871, daughter of Gilbert Faxon Hayford and Rebecca Ella McKenney (1848-1872), Samuel Bartow McKenney Jr. (1879-1913), son of Samuel Bartow McKenney (1847-1881) and Antoinette Lagroue (1859-1880), and Lenore Nellie “Nona” Reynolds (1877-1863) daughter of Albert Reynolds (1848-1918) and Charity Alice McKenney (1856-1922).

Rebecca Ella, Samuel Bartow and Charity Alice were all children of Robert Eugene McKenney (1821-1898) and Mary Bartow (1816-1879).

Samuel Bartow McKenney Jr. as Child




Original photo courtesy of Allan McKenney. I took the liberty of playing around with it some.
Samuel Bartow McKenney Jr., born 1879 June 10 at Whitehall, Livingston, Louisiana, died 1913 August 24 at Lincoln County, Oregon, married, 1902 June 12, in Lincoln County, Oregon, Frances “Fannie” Lorena Peek. They had four children: Clifford, Harry B., Floyd and Mildred.

Samuel Bartow McKenney Jr. was a son of Samuel Bartow McKenney (1847-1881) and Antoinette Lagroue (1859 circa to 1880 circa).

Samuel Bartow McKenney was the son of Robert Eugene McKenney (1821-1898) and Mary Bartow (1816 – 1879).

Dick and I, Chapter 4, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those.

Chapter IV

Are things eternal only for the dead
ls there for man no hope–but this which doomed
His only lasting trophies to be tombs
Yet so it is and the same thirst
For something high and pure above
This withering world which from the first

– 15 –

Make me drink deep of womans love
As the one joy to heaven most near
Of all our hearts can meet with here
Still burns me up still keeps awake
A fever naught but death can slake

Moon’s “Alciphron”

“Let me see this is Sunday what shall we do with ourselves today
Etheridge,” said Rashboy on the Sunday following our adventure on
Chapens Point.

“Lets go to church at E —- and afterwards call on
the Blanchards. It is now four days since we saw them. what Say

“I am at your service,” he replied.

“But there is no wind and I dislike rowing it is so warm. What
shall we do – Wait for a breeze or pull?”

“I dont think our case is without a remedy,” said he ringing the
bell. “Johnnie,” said he as a boy appeared in answer to his ring,
“run over and tell old Fritz Waxlebaum I want him to row me up to
E —- and tell him to come quick.”

“Yas sur,” replied the boy moving slowly away.

“Here,” said Dick tossing him a dime, “now skedaddle.”

The boy grinned and all his apathy vanished in an instant. He
disappeared like a flash and a moment afterwards we saw his white
head bobbing up and down as he ran through a field of maize on his

“Wonderful magnetizer that little coin,” said Dick smiling. “It is
the basis of all calculations here. A man measures out his goods
and chattels, his love for a friend or a sweetheart, ay even his
religion by the same measure – money. For instance John Smith
calculates to a penny how much he will gain by befriending Lord
Brown or how much love he can afford to bestow on Fedelia Jones
who has only forty acres of land and three hundred dollars in bank
and indifferent prospects – He also calculates nicely how much of
Heaven he can afford to purchase when a collection is taken up in
church; and if all the audience is watching him will doubtless
purchase more shares than he would with pencil and paper before
him in the privacy of his own office. Although when he gives a
beggar twenty five cents he expects to realize twenty five cents
worth of heaven and then twenty five cents worth of hell thereby
making a hundred percent by the investment. It is wonderful how
dull and far below par celestial stock has become and how few
investments are made. It is really refreshing to see how
indifferent he is as to what branch of Celestial Stocks he makes
his investment whether in the Great Hindu Mission Line or The
Home Mission Line or the Great Moody and Surckey Fillebusters Line.
He thinks they all belong to the same company and has Heaven for
its termince. There is no compassion none of the better promptings
of his humanity in the act. All is profit and loss measured by the
dividend it will pay to self. Excuse my sermonizing Can,” said he
smiling, “I did not wish to bore you.”

“I am not bored in the least I assure you but I am sorry you have
such a poor opinion of the world.”

– 16 –

“I was not speaking of the world – only of the church and that in
a general way. Particularly of its characteristic in the North and
East But here comes Fritz.”

“Grete Moryan, Meester Rashboy! Vat you vant mit old Fritz hey?”

“Want you to row us up to E—?”

“So–vell dees putty varm tay and dey don’t no got sum peer in
dot turn town! So?”

“No – but they have church Fritz and that is just as good,” said
Dick seating himself in the seat of the boat.

“Vell – dots so fur der young fellers und die gels Aber ich gebe
nichts drum fur die madchen.”

“Try this then,” said Dick handing him a small flask of spirits
that he had provided for the occasion.

“Ich thanke sir! Acht by golly dots besser als breachen.”

“Why Fritz,” said I. “You shurely think that preaching and church is
more important than a bottle of grog.”

“Vell – dots so somedimes. Der Luteren Kirch was all right but der
udder kirche der Metodist der Paptist und der pescopal vas all tem
humping vas gute for notting but der preachers und der young
fellers to git mit die gells.”

“How are the other ministers benefitted more than the Lutherin
minister?” I asked.

“You know dot? Vare you lif ven you dont find dot out? Vell – I
tole you Der Metodist preachers don’t care for notting but shikens
und die vemmen der peescopal vant der geld und der paptist dey
vant der shikens die vimmen and auch der gelt all togedder py tam.”

“And how about the Luthern,” I asked.

“Oh. Dots a tifferent ding. Dey vas offel gute men. I vas Luthern

“Oh! That settles it I suppose,” I replied laughing. “Is your wife
a Lutheran too Fritz?”

“Nein – She belong to der Bot tem Methodist. She go to meedin und
shout und bray und shout und talk about bein in Yesus poosorm Ven
she say dot der breacher he kind yink mit von eye like he say
‘Dots me’ I tole you dey all go to hell togedder.”

“Its the old story over again,” said Dick laughing. “The Methodist
damns the Lutheran and the Lutheran damns the Methodist. The
Episcopalian cusses the Catholic and Presbyterian and the Catholic
cusses them all and so on to the end of the chapter. The only
charitable ones among all is the liberalist or infidels as the
orthadox term them who pities all but curses none.”

The morning was lovely. The sunshine sparkled merrily on the
dancing water that was rippled by a gentle breeze from the

– 17 –

westward. As we neared the little rural village of E— the
chiming of the church bells warned us that we had no time to lose.
Throngs of gaily dressed people of all ages were winding their
way the crooked streets that were shaded numerous forest trees
toward the church. All appeared by their subdued and quiet
demeanor to be impresed by the solemn quiet beauty of the morning.

“Dick don’t you think there is some good in fact a great deal of
good in the people?” I ask as we reached the church door around
which were ( —- ) groups of ladies and gentelmen.

“Certainly there is good in them. There is no one but what
possesses some goodness.”

“But see their subdued solemn looks! How reverential and quiet
they are as if afraid of desturbing the serene and holy quiet of
the day. You will not tell me that this is all by hypocracy.”

“No indeed Etheridge yet I think a little as the old german
proverb says ‘Jader gute mensch haszt Henchelei und Falschheit’.
Every good person has (some) hypocracy and falshood. These people
have been taught since infancy to rever the day. Yet Care how many
of them devotees have not their minds engraved at present with
thoughts of Self. How many do you think are pondering on that
infinite here after or thinking of some way to make their loved
ones happy.”

“I should say rather,” I replied, “that they were thinking of him
who through his great love died that they might live. See the
peaceful reverential expression on the face of that old gray
haired patriarch what but religion could give such a look of
peace to a face that has saw the seasons come and go for so many
years. Let us step nearer and judge by his conversation of what he
is thinking.

We approached the group the gray haired old man was
speaking in a hushed and subdued voice that was slightly tremulous
with age.

“I don’t know what my hogs will do,” said the patriarch solemnly.
The tarnal frost killed all my corn. Things is gitten wors and
wors every year. My wheat didn’t go mor’n twelve bushel to the
acre this year and No 1 is worth a dollar fifteen.”

“Hey year done yer thrashing yet Deacon,” asked one.

“Yes nigh a fortnight ago.”

“Who thrashed for you Deacon?”

“Tom Mahoney.”

“Yew don’t say! That Catholic chap?”

“Coundn’t help it,” replied the patriarch. “He took his pay in them
Jinny Lind potatoes at forty cents a bushel and they wont wurth a

Here they all joined in a solemn chuckle. I moved away utterly
disgusted and entered the church just as the first notes from a
deep toned organ swelled forth in grand solemn cadence a hymn of
praise and thanksgiving to the great Creator. Every one turned to

– 18 –

look at us even the choir and the organist cast hurried glances
from their music at us as we walked up the aisle I wondered what
breach of church etiquette I had been guilty of and took the first
occasion to ask Rashboy what we had done that was amiss that every
one should stare at us so.

“The minister is the only person in the house I vesibly believe
but what is staring at us at this moment. Why is it Dick?”

“Curiosity — the customs of the people here — nothing more. There
is not a tongue present but what will have something to say
concerning us our manners, our dress, everything about us will be
criticised and Judgment passed because we are strangers. You are
at least and I presumed I am to them although they are not all so
to me. It has been twelve years since I was in this church before.”

The minister, an intellectual noble looking man whom aged I should
judge was about 55, now arose and read the morning lesson the 24th
Chapter of Joshua. His enunciation pronounced him a scholor while
the massive forehead strangely marked by hard and deep lines
showed a noble intellect and one that had wrestled hard and long
with many a knotty problem. Lines that perchance that were records
of many a hard fought battle in which he had striven to chain down
his intellect to the stern dark dogmas of his creed. There were
marks of sufferings too about a mouth that large and firm almost
to sternness. Another hymn was sung and then that impressive
silence which denotes expectation prevailed and was only broken by
an occasional ‘ahem’ or cough of some pompous old deacon whos
features were as solemn and santified as if he were in attendance
on his grandmothers funeral. The text was a part of the fifteenth
verse of the twenty fourth chapter of Joshua, “Choose you this day
whom ye shall serve,” which was read twice in a solemn and
impressive manner. The minister proceeded to show the favors that
God had shown to his people commencing with Noah in the time of
the deluge. He spoke of Abraham and the Lords promise to him of
Isaac and Jacob and of his children the lsralites of their
captivity in Egypt of the plague and pestilence sent up on the
Egyptian the slaughter of the first born. Of their escape from
bondage of the Egyptian persuit after them and their (the Egyptian)
destruction and of all the care that the Lord had taken of them
and of the favor that he had confirred on them from the deluge up
to the time of Joshua assembling them together at shechem. He then
spoke of the manner in which the isralite had gone astray into all
manner of wickedness. How they had erected images and become
idolators and so on. He further spoke of the more modern evils and
idolations into which mankind was prown to enter at the present.
How we continually forget God and think only of ourselves. After
showing them their standing he spoke of Gods love and mercy and
his willingness to forgive and receive all them who would turn to
him. He admonished them before chosing whom they should rever to
look well to when their choice would bring them. The sermon was
an able one well and forcibly delivered and I noticed that Rashboy
had paid the closest attention to it.

After church was over Rashboy proposed calling on our friends the
Blanchards. As we strolled along toward the Lake House I
experienced a tumult of strange and varied emotions that were
utterly unknown to me before I was thinking of her by whom I had
been haunted in my dreams as well as in my waking hours ever since
I had first beheld her I was about to see her and converse with

– 19 –

her — How would she receive me? I was a stranger to her — a
very slight acquaintance at most. The service rendered in finding
the child was accomplished almost entirely by Rashboy and if not
what other I was but the merest act – humanity that the most
insignificant clodhopper in Christendom could and would have done.
Beautiful perhaps rich surrounded doubtless by a host of admiring
wealthy and distinguished sutors and adventurers would she care to
cultivate the acquaintance of such a humble person as myself. What
an egregrious fool I had been in allowing myself to think of her
so much. Perhaps she was betrothed already perhaps —–

“”Come Etheridge,” said my friend regarding me with a quiet smile.
“Don’t look so savage man. We are not about to storm a fortress
nor negotiate a war. Smooth out some of those wrinkles or the
ladies will think you have a bit of indigestion or contemplate
suicide. Seriously Con, dont let your fancies run away with your
reason and self possession. If you would conquer others conquer
yourself first.”

“Thanks Dick! for the hint,” I replied as we entered the Hotel.
“I will try and keep my face straight.”

We sent up our cards and waited for the return of the servant in a
small parlor that had a bay window over looking the bay. The
sciene displayed was one indicative of peace and quiet. The water
glittered and sparkled in the sunlight and was dotted with
numerous white sail some of them mere specks in the distance. A
small island about eight miles in circumference and about 2 miles
long lay opposite to the village while beyond the upper end we
could see the main land not over five miles distant. How quiet and
peaceful everything looked! Who would think that a world so
bright and serene could contain aught but peace and content what
cause could there be for war and strife; for emmnity and revenge
and all those heartburnings that are caused by petty animosities
and selfish deeds. A light step on the carpet and the rustle of a
ladies garments caused me to turn round with a start. Miss Hope
Blanchard had entered the room. My face must have shown something
of disappointment in not seeing Inez accompanied by her sister for
she said with a smile as she gave me her hand, “You must excuse
sister Inez we have company and could not both leave. Walk up
stairs gentlemen. Father will be really glad to see you.”

“No. Excuse us Miss Blanchard,” I replied. We have no desire to
force our acquaintance on you and your friends simply because we
were fortunate enough to be of a slight service to you once. We
simply called to learn how Mr. Blanchard was and to see if we
could be of any service to you or him.”

“Father is much better but is not yet able to go out. He will be
grevious I fear when he learns that you refused to see him. He has
asked every day whether you called. Under the circumstances I
presume he would not wish to put himself under any further
obligations to you.”

“My dear lady,” I replied scarcely able to repress a smile at the
woebegon expression of Dicks face. “You have entirely
misapprehended my friends meaning. Nothing would give either of us
greater pleasure than to be your friends if we thought you would
really desire it independently of any feelings of gratitude that
you may imagine is due us.”

– 20 –

“Gentlemen I take you at your word,” replied she smiling, “and if
your acquaintance ever becomes intrusome I shall tell you so in
plain English. For the present I shall insist on you both
remaining to dinner.”

“l am your most devoted subject Miss Blanchard,” I replied, “and as
long as your commands incur nothing more difficult than remaining
to a good dinner I think you may rely on my loyalty.”

“It may prove to be a more severe test than you imagine. Allow me
to conduct you to our parlor.”

The company present consisted of the minister the Rev. Timothy
Hughes and his daughter Irene, Miss Ursula Whipple relict of the
late Deacon Whipple, a young lady Miss Viva Joyce a ( —– ) yankee,
Miss Aleve Mayer a southern girl of spanish descent, two gentlemen,
Mr Phineas Smythe and exquisitely dressed young gentleman with a
profusion of jewelry, and Mr Alvan Adams a dark haired man about
thirty whom I instinctively disliked. My dislike may have been
hightened by the fact of his being seated near Inez Blanchard and
conversing with her in a low tone. She came forward, however as
soon as l had paid my respects to her father who was seated in a
large arm chair and I imagined appeared to be glad of an excuse to
leave Adams. She took my arm and resented me to the ladies present
while her sister did a like office for my friend.

“Shall I introduce you to the gentlemen Mr. Etheridge.”

“To the minister only I will not trouble you to an introduction
to the others.”

She cast a quick inqusitive glance into my face but said nothing.

“Do you find these indian summer days in Minnesota as pleasant as
the climate in the Sunny South,” I asked seating her in the alcove
of a window that offered a fine view down the lake.

“I think they are delightful but I have not been able to enjoy
them much since Papas illness.”

“I am sorry: This weather is of short duration here and one
ought to be able to enjoy while it lasts.”

“Papa is nearly well now and I trust will be quite recovered by
Wednesday when we are to have and excursion to Crane Island. Will
you join us Mr Etheridge?”

“With pleasure,” I replied “if —-”

“If! We can admit of no ‘if‘s’!” said she.

“The remedy lies in your hands.”

“Tell me how to apply it and I will remove that ‘if’.”

“By accepting a seat in my yacht and confirring on me the honor
of being your especial escort guide and guardian on that day,” I

– 21 –

“Certainly Sir if you consider it an honor to be encumbered with
such a bundle of responsibility.”

“Treason!” exclaimed Miss Hope who leaning on Rashboys arm had
approched us unobserved. “Is this your boasted loyalty sir?”

“When the sovereign forgets the subject it is only fair that the
subject should offer his allegiance elsewhere,” I replied.

“And how long before you will foreswear your lost allegiance,” she
asked smiling.

“Never!” I answered so solemnly Miss Inez raised her dark eyes to
my face while a soft blush stone into her cheaks.

“Not if the soveregn forgets the subject?”

“No. My allegiance is final and,” I continued only loud enough for
Inez to hear, “I trust my soveregn will never forget her subject.”

“She never will,” she replied in the same low tone while Dick and
Miss Hope passed on.

“Nor never allow another to hold to a higher place in her esteem?”
I asked.

“Never,” she rep1ied.

Her hand lay at her side on the sofa. I clasped it in mine and the
little soft fingers gave back a faint pressure to my clasp.
Prudish maids and fastidious maidens will doubtless feel shocked
at a young couple having loved and tacitly acknowledged their love
the second time they ever met – but I cannot help it. The only
excuse I have to offer is that what I have related is truth. And
as the truth is or should be what we are all seeking after, my
apology ought to suffice. Moreover I can not so sure but what we
would all marry more hapily if we would consult those fine
intuative feelings of our nature more and our pecuniary interests

Be that as it may I know that I have never regretted the
conversation recorded above.

– 22 –

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Chapter 3, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those.

Chapter III

They called him back to many a glade
His childhood haunts of play
when brightly through the beechen shade
The waters glanced away
They called him back with their sounding waves
Back to his fathers hills and groves


—-till the air a solomn stillness holds
Save when the beetle wheels his droning flight


It was now about one o’clock in the afternoon and the day was
excessivly warm for the season. The tall trees and dense foliage
shut out every breath of fresh air although we were on the base of
a point that extended about half a mile into the lake to the
westward and finally terminated in a narrow strip of sand and

– 10 –

rocks that were covered with a almost inpentrable dense thicket of
willows and shunted cedars. I took a zig zag course, back and
forth across the point in order to intercept the object of my
search should he have been on the point and attempted to return
and gradually worked my way toward the extremity. In some places
the woods were more open and I was enabled to see the water on
both sides but again in other places the under brush was so matted
together with greenbriar, grape and bittersweet vines that I found
it almost impossible to proceed so that on the whole my progress
was slow indeed.

I had almost reached the rocks of end of the point that was
covered with the willows when I thought I heard some one call
behind me. Surely I could not have passed any one without seeing
them when the point was so narrow. I stopped and listoned
attentively. No: I must have been mistaken. It could not be that
any one was following me. There again! Hark!

“Bertie! Bertie! Oh my God I shall never see the child again.”

The voice came from behind a thick cope of prickly ash behind me.

“Hallo!” I called.

A moment after the prickly plants were torn aside and a gentleman
about fifty tall and gray haird emerged from the thicket. His face
was haggard his clothes torn and soiled and his flesh cruelly
lacerated by the vicious shrub. His hands were literally covered
with blood and althgether he had more the appearance of a maniac
than sane man.

“Can this be Mr. Blanchard,” I asked.

“I am sir. Tell me have you seen any thing of my child in your
ramble – a little girl —- ”

“Calm your self sir. We found your child about an hour ago and she
is now with your daughter and my friend Mr Rashboy who was
principally instrumental in finding her.”

“Oh. Thank God,” and the exhausted man overpowered by fatigue and
the excess of his emotions sank tremblingly upon a fallen tree and
covered his face with his blood stained hands.

I fired the signal as agreed upon with Rashboy and then going to
the lake I wet my hankerchief in its cool waters and bathed the
mans temples and wiped the bloodstains from his face.

“There. Thank you I feel better now.”

“Try some of this sir. I think it will help you,” said I giving him
my brandy flask. He was able to rise although he trembled

“Let me assist you to the lake shore and wash some of this blood
from your hands. It may frighten your daughters.”

“Ah yes. Thank you. You are very thoughtful.”

– 11 –

I assisted him to the beach and bathed the swollen hands and
chafed his temples but it was no use, he could not rise again and
when he made the effort sank back into a fainting fit. I debated
with myself what was best to do. Whether to leave him there alone
while I went for his daughter or to attempt to call. The distance
and dense forest almost precluded any chance they might otherwise
have had of hearing me. Should I stay then and wait it might be
hours before they would find me and time was precious to the sick
man. Still I disliked to leave him there in the woods alone I was
greatly relived to see Rashboy emerge from the woods and come to
my side.

“Get the boat please and bring the ladies round in it. I fear he
has overheated himself and is threatened with a fever.”

“Let me help you cary him up from this damp sand first. So–I
will be back as soon as possible,” and he disappeared.

I sat by the father – her father – and bathed his burning temples
and strove to relieve his suffering all I could for near half an
hour when he fell into a troubled sleep and did not awaken until
Rashboy returned with the boat and the ladies. The poor girls were
greatly distressed when they saw their father and Miss Inez
turning to me with hurt eyes swimming in tears placed both her
hands in mine and said, “Oh Mr Etheridge how could we repay you for
your kindness to dear Papa.”

“By calming yourself dear lady. He will probably need all your
care although,” I added as I saw a frightened look come into her eyes.
“I do not think his symptoms are dangerous with good care and
gentle nursing both of which I am sure he will receive. I think he
will come out all right although it may take some time.”

And I thought how gladly I would undergo all his suffering for the
sake of the nursing. Ah what would I not suffer to have those
little soft hands stroke my forehead and – pshaw – what a fool I
am getting to be. She probably has half a dozen admirers perhaps
is already betrothed and I set my teeth.

“Etheridge,” whispered my friend, “For heavens sake keep your
features under a little better control. You look black as a
thunder cloud.”

“Oh Mr. Etheridge,” said the dark eyed houri having seen Rashboy
whisper to me. “I fear he is more worn than you think. You do not
know how weak he has been. It was for his sake we came up here.”

“You are not a native of this place then,” said I willing to direct
her thoughts.

“No sir. Our home is in Mississippi on the gulf.”

“Please arrange a couch for him on board the boat and we will
remove him.”

Rashboy and I raised him carefully and took and laid him on the
couch prepared by his daughters and as there was a pleasant breeze
blowing we set sail.

Mr. Blanchard was stopping at the Lake Henn in E —- and we had a

– 12 –

sail of about four miles which we accomplished without any further
mishap. After doing all we could to make our fair friends and
their father comfortable we took our leave promising to call again
and see them. We hired a skiff and reached Maplewood house just as
the supper bell was ringing.

“Will you share my room with me tonight Etheridge as I did yours
once. Come,” he added seeing me hesitate, “I will not take no for an
answer. I know you are hungary and you shall have an opportunity
of judging whether I sang my land1ady’s praises unadvisadly or

“Oh very well!” I replied, “since I am obliged to say yes I may as
well do so as gracefully as possible for to tell the truth I am
hungry as a woodchuck.”

And I am sure the good woman found no reason to complain of my want
of appreciation of her roast duck and mealy potatoes for I did
ample justice to both.

My companion seemed gloomy and abstracted although I could see
that he made an effort to appear cheerful. Failing to get any
thing but random replies to my remarks we finally both relapsed
into silence each being busy with his own thoughts until the meal
was completed.

“I fear I am a dull companion Etheridge, but there are times when
it is torture for me to talk. Let us have a cigar out on the lake
shore I should sufficate here.”

We strolled along the lake shore through an old field among the
scarlet sumach until we came upon a slight emminence upon which
stood the ruins of an old house. We seated ourselves upon the soft
short grass in front of the ruins and gazed out over the quiet
waters of the bay that was now without a ripple. Some old gnarled
maples interlocked their branches over our heads and sent
fluttering down upon us occasionally their bright tinted leaves or
let them fall upon the quiet bosom of the lake where floated
gracefully like miniature ships of gold and ruby upon a sea of
jasper. It was one of those warm, hazy indian summer evenings for
which Minnesota is so noted. The sun like a huge ball of fire was
just sinking behind the crimson and golden leaved trees that lined
the opposite margin of the bay: their bright variegated splendor
being reproduced with a softened tint in the limped waters. As the
dusky shadows of the long autumn twilight began to enfold us in
their hazy mantle thousands of little autumn crickits began their
melancholy chirp – chirp – chirp – as if chanting a dirge over their
own short lives or perchance bewailing that the gorgeousness in
which every thing was arrayed was but the herald of coming
desolation and death. The dismal hollow boom of the night-hawk as
he descended from his giddy height or the weird screem of the loon
that came floating oer the water or was echoed from the
surrounding wooded hills were the only sound that varied the
melancholy chanting of the insects and disturbed the deep repose.
And thus it had been for ages past: The same bright tints of
trees, the same melancholy chirp of insects and the same wild cry
of the night birds has marked each golden indian summer as the
changing season brought them round. And in that far off past other
beings have sat in the soft twilight as we did then and felt
perchance the same deep melancholy and creep over them that nature

– 13 –

ever inspires in the hearts of her children when they recognize in
all round them that we are each but an atom and a part of the
great hole that goes to make up the universe in which mans short
live aye even the forms most ancient hills and rocks are “as
bubbles tossing in the air”, transitory as a beach when viewed
from eternity as a stand point and yet these minute atoms of which
our earth is composed and all the turning motions of animal forms
upon it are as eternal as the heavens. Yet each individual
existence how transitory! Can we even claim it for a moment. Our
bodies are composed of different atoms from what they were yester-
day and our minds concieve of different thoughts. Tis true some
of yesterdays atoms as well as thought are with us today never all
of either, and yet taken as an individual whole are we the same.
Ages hence when I have returned to the elements all that there was
gone these atoms and to the great fountain of intelligence and
life my thoughts and existance which now combined form an effect
as experienced in my existance. Others will sit on this same shore
watch the same sky and fading landscape and listen to the same
sounds that cast such a solemn melancholy over me now and
perchance ponder on the same problem that now occupies my thoughts.

“I know not,” said my friend, “whether such an evening makes me a
better man. Certainly not a more contented one. Every sound is
rife with memories of other days. All the tender memories of my
childhood and boyhood pasttimes and the friends that shared them
times ( —- ) me are present half viled by a sort of soft regretful
melancholy by which all misdeeds and sorrows are obscured and only
the joys and pleasing recolections are seen but often they have
changed this here and are viewed now in a softened and subdued
light and over and around all is thrown that indescribable feeling
of sadness which is neither one entirely of pleasure or of pain
but a soft blending of the two. Whether those days were really as
happy as memory now paints I know not–perhaps not. It may be that
some time in the future I will look back on this quiet night with
only you, mother nature and my own thoughts for companions and
persuade myself that I was happy, but Etheridge I never felt sadder
in my life. The very air is thronging with the shadows of lived
ones and of a happiness that never can return. How often have I
wandered through these same woods with my little brown haired
sister and gathered the fringed acorn cups and bright forest
leaves. Ay sat upon this same spot beneath these same trees with
her. I can almost feel the touch of her little warm soft hand in
mine and feel her little curly head resting against my shoulder as
we sat and listened to the chirping of the insects and I saw the
tears spring into her blue eyes because she thought they were
crying because they had to die. My mother has sat in the door of
that old ruined house and watched us with the love light beaming
from her soft brown eyes. Another, and a younger little sister has
listened to our talk and regarded us with her great black eyes as
we built our fairy castles on the rosy future while a little
toddling brother has lain on the soft grass beneath the same trees
and played with the leaves and winged (samara?) of the maples and
laughed in childish glee as the old trees sent down their showers
of treasure. Dear Brother! his doors are closed now against his
infidel brother and mother my dear old mother who once held me so
dearly and tenderly now feels no tenderness for her lunatic son or
if she does Nature is (prevented?) and a mothers instinct
smothered to annuet the dogmas of a soulblighting creed. Of my two
sisters one of them sleeps beneath the same trees under which she
played in infancy and the other occupies an unknown grave in the

– 14 –

wild prairies of the far west. God wot I too shall be afraid when I
may lay me down in my last sleep and lose in the oblivion of death
this sorrow I must always know while living — I trust too that
the day is not far distant when this faith which claims to teach a
religion of love yet turns the mother against the child and the
brother against the brother will have given place to a more
reasonable and please God a more human creed. But, Etheridge, my
sorrows make me egotistical. This old desolate home of mine and my
Cares and troubles can have no interest for you.”

“I assure you dear Dick.” said I grasping his hand, “that all that
concerns you interests me.”

“May you never, dear friend, taste the bitter cup that I have
drained never know what it is to be an outcast from those you love
on account of your faith.”

“Was this old building indeed once your home?”

“Yes: years ago.”

“How long?”

“Twenty years.”

“And have you never been back since?”

“Yes. Several times but did not stay long.”

“How many of your family are still living?”

“Their mother brother and sister born since they left here.”

“Where are they now?”

“Living up the lake.”

“Excuse me for asking so many questions Dick but I wish I could be
of service to you.”

“Thank you but there is nothing you can do in this case unless—”


“Nothing now Let us return to the hotel it is late.”

We wended our way arm in arm in the soft moonlight amoung the
trees that cast their dark shadows across our way as trouble and
superstition overshadow the path of wandering humanity yet there
were flecks of moonlight here and there between.

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Chapter 2, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those.

Chapter II

But, hoply, a poor artisan
Searched, ceaselessly, ’till he
Found, safe asleep, the little one,
Beneath a beechun tree.


Her eyes
were black as death, their lashes the same hue
Of down cast length in whose silk shadows lie
Deepest attraction


A few days afterwards, taking with me a light fowling piece I
started on a ramble through the woods taking the direction of
Carsons Bay.

There was no road, but an old path wound through the mazes of the
forest and was almost covered with crimson maple leaves, with here
and there a bright yellow one from the aspens; or popples as the
people there termed them while the oaks and basswoods gave them
more modest tinted offerings with a quiet quiet hand.

The ironwoods elms and white birches were all gorgeously arrayed
and were slowly and silently covering their roots with the soft
splendor of their apparel. The air was cool, light and bracing and
gave one from its excess of oxygen a boyant and exhilerated
feeling amounting almost to intoxication.

A little red squirel darted up on the trunk of an oak and
chattered and frisked his tail keeping time to his own music by
tramping his hind feed and acted much as though he were
intoxicated or filled with a sort of exhileration and wanted all
the world to see how happy he was.

The path ran down a gentle slope covered with dark growth of
gigantic maples and skirted one of those gloomy looking tamarac
swamps that are so numerous in Northern Minnesota.
The change from the bright autumn tinted forest to the dusky gloom
of the swamp was indeed striking. The trees grow very straight and
tapering and often attain a height of a hundred and fifty feet.

– 4 –

Still the very largest seldom measures over twenty inches in
diameter at the base.

The swamps up which they grow appear to have formerly been lakes
that have been covered over with a floating bog that is
intracately woven together by a net work of their roots. A man can
stand on this bog and shake the tops of the tallest trees and
indeed of several of them, by simply springing up and down.
Some partridge flew up from a clump of back haw bushes where they
had been feeding and allighted on some small ironwoods near by
The feelings of the dreamer were exchanged for those of the
sportsman and my gun was soon ringing cherrily on the morning air
I had succeeded in bringing down three of the fluttering birds and
was aiming on a fourth when I was startled by the crack of a rifle
near by and my bird fell to the earth minus a head. Turning
partially around toward the place from whence the sound proceeded
I was greeted with a light laugh from Rashboy who held his smoking
rifle in his hand.

“Rather an unmannely trick,” said he, “but really I could not resist
the temptation of giving you a little suprise. Pray pardon my
rudeness,” said he advancing and giving me his hand. “If there
were any rudeness,” I replied. “I entirely lost sight of it in the
pleasure I experienced in meeting you”.

“Which pleasure is mutual I assure you I have had enough of my
own dark thoughts for one day and prefer more cheerful company. If
you care to extend your hunt about a mile over to Chapmans Point I
shall be very glad of your company. I think you will find the
shooting better.”

“With pleasure. I have been there by water and I think the sien is
beautiful whether there is any game or not.”

“Yes the view is fine. I should like to make a sketch or two if
you will wait on me when we get there.”

“Why of course I”ll wait.”

“Come on then I want to get there in time for dinner.”



“I thouht there was no one living on the point.”

“Neither is there,” he replied “but if you will allow me to act as
cook I think with the assistance of our game bags I can improvise
a dinner that will be better than dining on this empty air which
by the way appears to be a great appitizer here.”

“I am at your service if there is to be any prospect of dinner.”

“What game have you?”

“Two partridges.”

“Good! I have one and some bread and butter that my landlady put
up for me — Our course lies in this direction now,” said he

– 5 –

diverging from the path and going westward.

“You are dormicled at the Maplewood house then are you?”

“Yes — and if I can’t boast of such a picturesque host as you
for her lack the flannel had and moth patches which when viewed by
the flicking glare of the fire light has such a striking effect.
Still the deficincy is made more reconcilable by the (tre —- ) he
posseses in his landlady. She is indeed an excellent person — to
make toast and coffee and then she feels so kindly interested in
your shirt buttons ~~ and private papers when they are not locked

“Don’t you find her solicetude a little annoying some –”

“Hark! What is that.”

“I hear nothing.”

“There it is again!” he replied after listening for a moment “lt
sounds like a child crying and can not be far off.”

I listened attentively. A sobbing wailing cry came floating
through the trees.

“How in the name of all that is wild could a child get here in
this wilderness,” I exclaimed.

“I dont know. We will soon see.”

And with long rapid strides my companion started in the direction
of the sound Some times the noise would cease and we would be
obliged to wait until it was repeated when we would push rapidly
forward Presently it ceased altogether and we came to a

“I am enclined to think Mr. Rashboy that the sounds we have been
following were made by some cowboy who has been ammusing himself
at our expense.”

“I hope so but I dont believe it.”

“What shall we do?”

“Continue our search: I had rather risk being laughed at than risk
leaving any one in distress.”

“All right let us go on.”

“Stay! Let us separate and push forward a few rods apart.”

We according proceeded slowly about six rod apart for some time in
silence; looking carefully into every little cope of Kinnikinic
and Wild Currant bushes and I was beginning to tire of what I
mentally termed a wild goose chase I turned toward Rashway for
the purpose of proposing a cessation of the search when I saw him
gazing intently at his feet. At that insistance he turned toward
me and silent beckoned me to approach. I noticed as I advanced
that there was a softened look in his eyes and expression on his
face that I had never seen there before.

– 6 –

“What is it?” I asked as I reached his side.

“”Hist! Look!”

On the mossy roots of an old maple lay a child, a little girl,
apparent about three years old, fast asleep; the brown curls were
dishelved and partially concealed the sweet tear stained face
nested on one little chubby arm and a large pearly tear still
glistened in the long fringes of the closed eye lid. Both face and
arms were shown out clearly and softly by the dark green moss on
which she which she reclined. Some withered flowers, a few bright tinted
leaves and a sprig pf scarlet bitter sweet berries had fallen from
the listless fingers of the other hand to the ground. Rashboy laid
aside his rifle and knelt down and gathered the little sleeper, as
tenderly as her won mother might have done, in his arms.

“Poor Baby” said he softly dissing the tear stained face. “You have
cried yourself to sleep away off here in this lonesome wood with
no one to wipe the tears away. Come, Ethridge, lets go home.”

“But,” I replied, “her parents may be near and are now hunting for

“Let them hunt,” he exclaimed almost fiercely. “The parent that
would allow a little one like this to wander off alone in this
infernal wilderness do not deserve to ever find her., But stay,” he
added seating himself on a log with the child in his arms. “You
are right Let us wait awhile. We may hear them call. They can not
certainly be far off.”

“How far are we from the lake?”

“About a furlong Look, you can see the water glimmering through
the trees.”

When he turned his face again toward his charge he encountered a
pair of large brown eyes that were regarding him attentively.

“I quied drefful hard didnt I?”

“Yes dear: but you are not afraid now are you?”

“No–You won‘t let the toads bite me will you?”

“Certainly not. Where is your papa?”

“Yous my papa, aint you coz I aint got no ovver papa.”

“Who is your mamma?”

The big brown eyes looked solomly up into his.

“Grampa I reckon: who your mamma?”

“I have none darling.”

She wound one little chubby arm around his neck and stroked his
bearded face with the other hand.

“What is your name little one?”

– 7 –


“Bertie what?”

“Dis Bertie. Has you dot any name?”

“Yes. Call me Uncle Dick.”

“I like you drefful well Uncle Dick — Has you dot any chickens?”

“No Darling! would you like to come and live with me?”

“An Lota too.”

“Where is Lota?”

“Toads got her I reckon an Nena too.”

“Do you know, Ethridge, I almost wish no one would ever call for
this little waif — I would like to keep her myself.”

I sat and looked at him in stupid wonder was the man crazy?

“What in the name of King Herod would you do with her. A baby and
a girl too.”

“Hark! I hear voices! Some one is coming! Ladies by the Great
Mogul. Young too and beautiful,” he continued as they came round a
clump of box elders into full vision.

“One of them is, at least,” I replied.

“Which one?”

“Can you ask? Man where is your eyes why the one with the dark
eyes and hair There is not her peer in all America.”

“Tastes differ,” he replied smiling. The other with the golden hair
and blue eyes is more to my taste although both are beautiful.”

“Let us speak to them. See they are looking for the child and she
is weeping those glorious dark eyes are swimming in tears.”

“What would I not suffer,” I exclaim under my breath, “to be worthy
of such jewels” —

“Poor Boy! So bad as that,” said he laughing. “She is probably the
child’s mother and I dare say has a red headed husband nearby.”

I felt as though some one had suddenly ran an icicle down my back
and as though I should like to knock him down, but was saved
future sensation of a similar character by the approach of the

“Can you tell me,” said Rashboy, “anything of this little wanderer?”

“0h! Indeed yes,” exclaimed the dark haired one recovering from her
suprise at seeing us. “It is our little sister.” (Sister! Thank
goodness.) “It is Bertie, Hope Where did you find her sir?”

“Under this tree asleep I heard her crying and followed the sound

– 8 –

but she was asleep when we found her,” explained Rashboy.

The child was awakened by the sound of voices and raised her
curley head from Rashboys shoulder and regarded her friends very
complacently but did seem inclined to get down.

“Oh Bertie,” exclaimed the ladies addressed as Hope reaching out
her arms for the child. “You frightened us nearly to death.”

“Maybe he‘ll take you Lota if you guy dufful hard like I did,”
she said —-

“Allow me,” said Rashboy breaking in rather awkardly into the
childs revelations, “to introduce my friend Mr Etheridge and myself
Richard Rashboy at your service.”

“My name,” said the fair haired lady giving hem her hand, “is Hope
Blanchard, this is my sister Inez and this little (truant?) is my
adopted sister Bertie and now gentlemen,” continued she turning to
me. “Allow me to thank you both for your kindness.”

“And I, too, thank you,” said Miss Inez, “for restoring our little
favorite. We almost idolize her.”

A moment afterward I was conscious of feeling a little soft hand in
mine and of seeing a pair of large dreamy eyes turn their dark
splendor upon me for a moment and of wishing that I might have an
opportunity of hunting lost babies every day.

“Come Bertie lets go and find Grandpa,” said Miss Hope.

“Ise tird Uncle Dick go too.”

“Let me carry her – poor little one – I dare say she is tired.”

“Uh if you please — This way: it is not far. We were having a
quiet family picnic on the lake shore and after dinner Inez and I
strolled off for a walk and left Bertie asleep on some shawls in
the shade. We left Papa to take care of her but he went to sleep
too and when he awaked she was gone. He thought at first that she
was with us but when we returned without her we were all terribly

“Poor Papa! He is doubtless hunting for her now,” said Miss Ines.

“Uh let us hasten please.”

The rest of the walk to the lake shore was soon accomplished.
Rashboy leading the way with the child and the rest of us
following as close as possible. We presently emerged in an open
glade or rather what had once been a small clearing for an old
rotton tumbled down log hut stood near. At the lower edge of a
gentle slope was the lake. A small sloop was mored by the beach. A
basket containing the fragments of a repast and some shawls lay
scattered under the shade of a large birch but not a living soul
was to be seen. The father had evidently not returned from his
search after the child. The girls looked anxiously round and the
tears gathered in the dark eyes of Inez.

“Papa will be so worried I am afraid it will make him swoon,” she
exclaimed “Only think what he must be suffering.”

– 9 –

“Please excuse me for a few minutes ladies,” said I, “and I will try
and find him.”

“Oh Mr Etheridge if you will be so kind,” and the dark eyes turned
appealing toward me.

“Should you find him first, Etheridge,” said Rashboy, “fire your
gun I will do the same He certainly is not far away.”

“What direction shall you take?” I asked.

“I shall go to the eastward.”

“Very well. We came from the south so I shall go westward. Be of
good cheer ladies. We will not be gone long I trust.”

“Oh I trust you will find him soon he is not able to be
travelling round through the woods.”

“Never fear. We will soon be back,” and without more ado we struck
off in opposite direction into the forest.

(Note 1) I had left my practice in New Orleans in charge of a
friend or rather my patience had (eff—?) for ( —– ?) healing
(—–) and run up here the week before for a months rest. The
excessive heat of the summer and hard work had made terrible
inroads on my health. I had chosen this place in the extreme north
to any of the more fashionable watering place because I needed
rest and I have yet to find any rest at Lost Braude or Newport
unless one can concieve a succession a hot crowded hotel and tough
beef ( —– ) coffee old ( —– ) various phenphanded of fashionable
manly ( —– ). Here I found good hunting and the finest fishing
anywhere. The atmosphere is pure and bracing and is a far better
cordial than any mineral water that I have found anywhere. I
leaned back in my easy chair and listened to the howling tempest
with a feeling of great comfort. No patients to visit. No long
rides through the storm and darkness called out by the whinned
fancies of some old hypocondriac when sole aim and object in life
appears to be to make everyone uncomfortable.

(Note 2) Although I have been practicing my profession that of a
physician in New Orleans for the last year.

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Chapter 1, 19th Century Unpublished Book by S. B. McKenney

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

This manuscript was written before 1881 by Samuel Bartow McKenney. In the transcription I’ve not changed spellings or punctuation unless I absolutely must for coherence. There were no periods in the manuscript and I have added those.

Dick and I

Chapter I

The evening wind shrieked wildely: the dark clouds
Rested upon the horizon’s hem and grew
Mightier and mightier ———
——————- There arose
From the infinites of waters sounds
Confused appalling; from the driad(sic) lee shore
There came a hevier swell, a lingthend roar
Each moment deeper, rolling on the ear
With most portentious voice


Behold him here
No welcome guest it seems —–

Framthe(sic) Frences

A wild night in September. The wind went shrieking and howling
around the old gables and through the tree tops in fitful gusts.
The lindens and maples knocked their branches furiously against
the walls of my chamber as if envious that any one should be
afforded shelter while they were exposed to all the face of the
terrible storm that raged without.

In an occasional lull of the tempest, the sullen roar of the
breakers could heard thundering against the huge bowlders (sic)
that surronded Spirit Knoll.

It seemed as though all the dusky indian spirits of Minnesota that
had ever held an incantation or offered up a sacrifice on the
Knoll, were moving upon the waters of lake Minnetonka that night
and mingling their wild yells and angry imprecations with the
screaming sobbing wind and trying to drive the intrusive pale
faces from a spot where they had performed their weird rites and
offired up this rude worship to the Breat Manitou for so many

The cold driving rain rattled against the window panes and the
tempest seeming to gain renewed force from every lull howled and
roared with renewed fury causing, as each successive squale hurled
itself against the buildings, every timber to tremble and vibrate.
I threw down my book which I had been vainly trying to read for
the last hour and drew my chair up to the fire and fell into the
very unprofitable employment of watching the glowing coals,
listening to the storm and building all sorts of fanciful castles
in the air. (See Note 1 page 48)

My dreaming however, was of shirt duration as I was soon called
back to the practical affairs of life by my land lord in the room
below —-

“I’m orful sorry, but there aint a spare bed in the house. I
guess if yew go doawn tow Phinias Barlews they kin keep ye. Its
only about two miles.”

“But Sir” replied a voice “two miles is an interminable distance
on such a night: and besides it would be almost impossible to find
Mr. Barlows in this darkness. If you will allow me I shall be
content to sit by the fire the remainder of the night”

“I guess I haint got wood enough to last all night and then I
don’t like tew hev strangers laefin raound that I don’t know
nothin about.”

“I am neither a robber nor a thief and will try and dispense with
a fire if you will be kind enough to afford me the shelter of your
roof. lt’s a terrible night and —”

– 1 –

“I can’t help if if it is. Look a here: there ain’t no use yer
beggin and cerlaverin around I don‘t keep stranger, without money.
Yew can either find shelter somewhere else or lay out dern. I
don’t care a darn which.”

“Thank you,” replied the stranger, “as niether of your alternatives
happen to suit me on a night like this. I believe I shall remain
where I am.”

“Hey! Goneter stay whether I’m willin or not any yew – Yew darned
dead beat! Ill show ye! Bit out o here. By Gosh I hev ye
arrested in the mornin Yew Sol darned Klew Kluck! Bit out o this I

“No thank you,” quickly replied the stranger. “I prefer your bluster
to that of the storm but I would suggest that you be a little more
choice of your language Reserve your complementary epatats until

Now I know my red headed Yankee host to be a man of considerable
temper and fearing that we might have squally times inside as well
as without I decended the stairs in order to soothe his troubled
spirit by paying the strangers reconing for Rufus R. Woolsey had a
passionate fondness for shin plasters.

On entering the barroom I discovered the ungainly form of the Land
lord on one side of the fire, his red hair bristling up like the
quills on the fretful porcupine. His freckled face expressive of
both wonder and anger at the audacity of his unbidden guest while
his greyish blue eyes glared minancing(sic) at the intruder who
seated opposite, and apparently paying no attention to the
innkeeper whatever, was quietly warming himself at the fire while
across a chair back hung his dripping water proof cloak from
which a small pond of water had already fallen on the neatly swept

The stranger arose as I entered and instinctively my hand
containing the money was thrust into my pocked; not that I thought
him unworthy of my offering but the idea of offering charity to
such a man was not to be entertained for a moment. In person he
was tall, fully six feet, and straight as an arrow There was an
ease and grace in every movement that betokened not only an
acquaintance with the ‘best society’ but the possession of great
muscular strength. His age could not have exceeded twenty eight
although a causual observer might have taken him to be
considerable older.

The long wavy hair, black as midnight, was brushed back from a
broad white forehead that was marked by lines indicative of deep
thought and one not unacquainted with mental suffering.
The mouth, small and sensative as a womans, was shaded by a long
silken mustash of the same raven hue as his hair. The eyes, large,
and dark seemed capable of flashing fire or of being infinitely
tender and gentle as the occasion might require.
At present they appeared to be a morbid of living expression in
their dark depths that could not have been caused by the
inhospitable deportment of the innkeeper for he seemed to have
utterly forgotten his presence–

“Excuse me Sir,” said I advancing, “there is a much better fire in
my room If you will honor me by being my guest l think I can make
you more comfortable than you can be here.”

– 2-

“Thank you I shall indeed be most happy to accept of your _
hospitality the more so since Boniface here does not seem very
socially inclined tonight.”

I led the way to my room leaving my Yankee host growling and
muttering to himself as he proceeded to punch the fire

I seated my guest in my chair while I proceeded to a closet after
a bottle of some old burgundy which I thought would not be
unacceptable after a trip through such weather.

“My name,” said he, “is Richard Rashboy lately from LaGrange
Mississippi although I can not say that that place or any other in
particular is my home and now sir may I ask who that kind friend
is who has so generously offerded me shelter from this infernal
tempest and rescud me from the presence of that gory headed
heathen down stairs.”

“My name is Constand Ethridge and I, like you, have not permantly
located my self in any place (Note 2 page 48) although now that we
have formally, or informaly (….) which we introduced
ourselves fill your glass and allow me to drink to our better

“Willingly, Mr. Ethridge, I expect to remain here a few weeks for
the purpose of making some sketches and shall probably stop at the
‘Mapewood House’ on Carsons bay about two miles from here I
shall be indeed glad to see you at any time.”

I learned during the conversation that ensued that my guest
possessed a rare and highly cultivated mind and that he had left
his trunk containing all his money at the railroad station in
Wayzata and it was owing this last fact that woolsey the landloard
refused him shelter.

When I went to bed that night it did not seem possible that I had
only knew Richard Rashboy but about two hours; he seemed to me
rather as an old friend returned after a long absence. Now I can
not say as I am in general a very social man or one fond of making
(forming) new acquaintainces, but there was something in this man.
A sort of subtile magnetism that attracted me toward him in spite
of myself A feeling, perhaps, not possessed by all to such an
extent as experienced by me, but one that I believe to be felt by
every one more or less: A feeling of either attraction or
repungance toward every person with whom we come in contact
I have often when walking the through streets of some populus city
come suddenly face to face with a man, whom; had I acted from the
first impulse of my feelings I should have knocked down and felt a
sense of relief in doing so, so sharp was this feeling of
repungence excited within me. I have on the other hand met
strangers toward whom I felt strongely attracted. Whether such
mysterious influence is caused by the feelings portraying them-
selves on the features, gives to faces such a diversity of
expression, which, almost unconsious is recognized as an index of
the feelings and impulses of the heart by others who feel
attracted first in proportion to the account of congeniality and
harmony within the two persons or whether there may be a more
subtile power still by which spirits find their kindred I am not
prepared to say but it was perhaps owing to this influence that I

– 3 –

felt so strongly attracted toward my guest.
I have often been lectured by practical old ladies and called a
visionary and a lunatic by worldly-wise men for allowing my
feelings to influence my actions and told that I would be a looser
by it many times but some how I never could quite persuade my self
to bring all my sensibilities and kind impulses down to a monirer
basis and measure out my love for a friend by a system of profit
and loss.

The same sages would tell me that all things were made for a
purpose but did not say for what purpose those fine intiutive
feelings amounties almost to instinct were given us if not to
assist us in the choice of our friends and associates.

Mr. Rashboy departed the next morning after having urged me to
visit him soon and I determined to avail myself of his invatation
and endevor to learn ( —– ) more of a man that seemed to be such
a strange ( —– ) of strong passion and marvelous coolness. A
fiery thinker and great patience and a fierce vindictive
temperment and ( —– ) most gentle ( —– ) all of which was
generaly ( —– ) man beneath a calm exterior ( ————- )

– 4 –

Go to Table of Contents for “Dick and I”

Dick and I, Unpublished 19th Century Novel by S. B. McKenney–Contents

Dick and I

Dick and I by Samuel Bartow McKenney

Dick and I is an unpublished manuscript by Samuel Bartow McKenney who was born June 3, 1847 in Iowa to Robert Eugene McKenney and Mary Bartow, and was killed in April of 1881 in Whitehall, Livingston, Louisiana.

An old typewritten copy was supplied me by Allan McKenney, a relation of Samuel Bartow McKenney’s who also is descended down the Robert Eugene McKenney line. My McKenney line is related to this one, Robert Eugene having been probably a cousin to my ancestor, George Washington McKenney, Sr.

My task has been to scan and OCR the images then fix the OCR transcription as best as possible. The manuscript had no periods at all and for the convenience of the reader I have supplied those.

Dick and I turns out to be a great read after one gets into it, offering some beautiful descriptions of the natural environment. The story turns out also an example of 19th century Freethought inspired by Robert G. Ingersoll who was highly influential for the time and friends with both Walt Whitman and Mark Twain. Samuel Bartow McKenney makes mention of Ingersoll in the book in a debate between a Freethinker and a minister.

My thanks to Allan McKenney for this wonderful manuscript!

Dick and I

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven