Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

By John Ise | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXII
The Sale, and the End of Pioneering

T HE long-dreaded day broke clear but chilly, upon red eyes that had known little sleep. It was the day of the sale, the day when cheap but prized possessions, accumulated through many years of saving, were to be held up before neighbors and strangers, puffed and praised by a blatant and haranguing auctioneer, and sold to the highest bidder. It was a day when all hands must be activity and bustle, all minds be alert, while hearts hung heavy as lead.

Breakfast of coffee and rolls was eaten in the twilight of early dawn, and soon all were busy with the thousand tasks of the day. Will curried and brushed the horses, and tied up their tails in odd little knots. Happy rolled the implements out into the yard, and threw some of the garden tools together in a pile, with the scythe, pipe tongs, scoops and pitchforks, and the heavy tools that were to be sold. Rosie washed the dishes, and put some of them away in a barrel for shipment, then helped move the furniture out onto the porch. She would have liked to take it all along, but the children said that it would not be good enough in town, and, as usual, she had acquiesced. Chairs and tables and beds and lounges and bureaus and rugs were soon brought out onto the porch, or into the yard, and stacked in discomfiting confusion.

At nine o'clock, there was still much to be done, but the sale was started. The auctioneer picked up a picture -- the big Rhine picture that Rosie had bought the year of the Chicago Fair, with five dollars that grandmother sent.

"Here we are, gentlemen! How much am I offered? A handsome picture, an elegant picture -- grace any home! What shall we say?"

-318-

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