Tess of the Storm Country

Tess of the Storm Country

-

English
121 Pages
Read
Download
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 6
Language English
Report a problem
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Tess of the Storm Country, by Grace Miller White, Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Tess of the Storm Country Author: Grace Miller White Release Date: July 13, 2007 [eBook #22064] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY*** E-text prepared by Roger Frank and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) TESS of the STORM COUNTRY GRACE MILLER WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS BY HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS Made in the United States of America Copyright, 1909, by W. J. WATT & COMPANY WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE I DEDICATE THIS BOOK TO MY FATHER Contents CHAPTER I CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER IV CHAPTER V CHAPTER VI CHAPTER VII CHAPTER VIII CHAPTER IX CHAPTER X CHAPTER XI CHAPTER XII CHAPTER XIII CHAPTER XIV CHAPTER XV CHAPTER XVI CHAPTER XVII CHAPTER XVIII CHAPTER XIX CHAPTER XX CHAPTER XXI CHAPTER XXII CHAPTER XXIII CHAPTER XXIV CHAPTER XXV CHAPTER XXVI CHAPTER XXVII CHAPTER XXVIII CHAPTER XXIX CHAPTER XXX CHAPTER XXXI CHAPTER XXXII CHAPTER XXXIII CHAPTER XXXIV CHAPTER XXXV CHAPTER XXXVI CHAPTER XXXVII CHAPTER XXXVIII CHAPTER XXXIX CHAPTER XL CHAPTER XLI CHAPTER XLII CHAPTER XLIII 1 8 14 23 30 35 42 51 60 71 81 88 95 102 110 121 132 142 146 154 161 167 179 189 196 208 217 224 233 249 256 265 273 282 290 297 306 317 325 332 339 349 359 1 TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY CHAPTER I One September afternoon, not many years ago, three men sat on the banks of Cayuga Lake cleaning the fish they had caught in their nets the previous night. When they glanced up from their work, and looked beyond the southern borders of the lake, they could see, rising from the mantle of forestry, the towers and spires of Cornell University in Ithaca City. An observer would have noticed a sullen look of hatred pass unconsciously over their faces as their eyes lighted on the distant buildings, for the citizens of Ithaca were the enemies of these squatter fishermen and thought that their presence on the outskirts of the town besmirched its fair fame. Not only did the summer cottages of the townfolk that bordered the lake, look down disdainfully upon their neighbors, the humble shanties of the squatter fishermen, but their owners did all they could to drive the fishermen out of the land. None of the squatters were allowed to have the title of the property upon which their huts stood, yet they clung with death-like tenacity to their homes, holding them through the rights of the squatter-law, which conceded them the use of the land when once they raised a hut upon it. Sterner and sterner the authorities of Ithaca had made the game laws until the fishermen, to get the food upon which they lived, dared only draw their nets by night. In the winter whilst the summer residents were to be found again in the city, Nature herself made harder the lot of these squatters, by sealing the lake with thick ice, but they faced the bitter cold and frozen surroundings with stolid indifference. A grim silence had reigned during which the three men had worked with feverish haste, driven on by the vicissitudes of their unwholesome lives. Moving his crooked legs upon the hot sand and closing a red lid over one white blind eye, Ben Letts spoke viciously. "Tess air that cussed," said he, "that she keeps on saying fishes can feel when they gets cut. She air worse than that too." "And she do say," put in Jake Brewer, grasping a large pickerel and thrusting his blade into its quivering body after removing the scales, "that it hurts her insides to see the critters wriggle under the knife. She air that bad too." Ben Letts scratched his head tentatively. "She ain't had no bringin' up," he resumed, again plying the sharp-bladed knife to his scaly victims, "and they do say as how when she air in a tantrum she'll scratch her dad's face, jumpin' on his back like a cat. Orn air a fool, I say." "So says I too," agreed Brewer; "no wonder his shoulders air humped. But you never hears as much as a grunt from him. He knows he ain't never give her no bringin's up, that's why." "Some folks has give their kids bringin's up," interposed Ben Letts with a glance at the third man, who was industriously cleaning fish and had not yet spoken. "And they hain't turned out no better than Tessibel will." At this the industrious one turned. "I spose ye be a hittin' at my poor Myry, Ben," he muttered. "I spose ye be, but God'll some time let me kill the man, and then ye won't be hittin' at her no more, 'cause there won't be nothin' to hit at. It air dum hard to keep a girl from the wrong way, love her all ye will." For an instant Ben Letts dropped his head. "We always wondered who he was, but more wonder has been goin' on why ye ain't made no offer to find the fellow." "Ain't had no time," said the desperate cleaner of fish; "had to get bread and beans, to say nothin' of bacon." "But why didn't ye send the brat to the workhouse?" asked Jake. "Satisfied" Longman, as he was called, shook his head. "I was satisfied to let it stay," was all he answered. "My old mammy says," offered Ben Letts, "as how yer son Ezy asked Tessibel Skinner to marry him and as how she slicked him in the face with a dirty dishrag." He slowly closed the scarlet lids over his crossed eyes, suspending the pickerel in his hand the while. "Tess ain't had no mother," remonstrated Longman, after a long silence, pausing a moment in his bloody work and allowing his eyes to rest upon the magnificent buildings of the University, rearing above the town, "and Myry says that them what has ought to be satisfied." Just then a shadow fell upon the shore of the lake near the fishermen. "There air Tess now," muttered Letts and his two companions eyed a figure clad in rags, with flying coppercolored hair and bare dirty feet, which dropped down beside Longman without asking whether or no. "Cleanin' fish?" she queried. "Can't ye see?" growled Ben. 2 3 4 "'Course I can," she answered;