Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

By John Ise | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
More Drouth and Anxiety

W HEN you have cattle and hogs you have to worry your head off about feed for them, or sell them for next to nothing; and as soon as you sell them you get good crops again, and have to worry about buying them back, at twice as much as you got. That's the way with farming out here. Whenever you raise anything, there's too much, and you have to give it away; and then when you don't raise anything, there isn't enough, and you have to buy feed, and pay three prices for it. You never can get anything for anything except when you haven't anything. It looks as if there was something wrong with the way the whole business is ordered."

It was Rosie speaking one day, in a mood of discouragement that threatened to become chronic. Rosie was changing fast. The back that had been so strong and straight was bending perceptibly, with too much carrying of babies and tubs and baskets. Each year her busy hands were rougher, more scarred and twisted, with finger nails always broken. She had never been able to walk with ease. Rosie had frozen her feet when a girl of eleven years, and they always bothered her afterward. It was very cold winter weather at the time, and she was working in a neighbor's kitchen, an unplastered lean-to. Disliking to ask special permission to go into the warmer rooms, she stuck to her task until her feet were so badly frozen that she never recovered free and easy use of them. Now her step, although as firm and resolute as ever, was more plodding and laborious. Her brown eyes were eager and friendly as ever; yet around them time and trouble had drawn wrinkles that deepened with every passing year.

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