CHAPTER XVII
A Taste of Village Life

THE change from farm to village life, though delightful, was not so complete as we had anticipated, for we not only carded with us several cows and a span of horses, but the house which we had rented stood at the edge of town and possessed a large plot; therefore we not only continued to milk cows and curry horses, but set to work at once planting potatoes and other vegetables almost as if still upon the farm. The soil had been poorly cultivated for several years, and the weeds sprang up like dragons' teeth. Work, it seemed, was not to be escaped even in the city.

Though a little resentful of this labor and somewhat disappointed in our dwelling, we were vastly exalted by certain phases of our new surroundings. To be within a few minutes' walk of the postoffice, and to be able to go to the store at any moment, were conditions quite as satisfactory as we had any right to expect. Also we slept later, for my father was less disposed to get us out of bed at dawn and this in itself was an enormous gain, especially to my mother.

Osage, a small town, hardly more than a village, was situated on the edge of a belt of hard-wood timber through which the Cedar River ran, and was quite commonplace to most people but to me it was both mysterious and dangerous, for it was the home of an alien tribe, hostile and pitiless--"The Town Boys."

Up to this time I had both hated and feared them,

-189-

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