A Recent Rough Storm – Bill Arp, 6/12/1890
I thought it was Sherman. No, I didn’t either, but somehow it reminded me of Sherman. We had company for dinner- children
and grand children and all other kin folks, and were winking up the general repast with strawberries and cream when suddenly there was a clap of thunder that shook the elements and brought a storm of wind and rain and hail so swiftly that it stopped the feminie conversation. Mrs. Arp looked at me and I looked at her for a moment. was a wild racket and a rattling overhead and against the windows, and in the back hall, like a thousand guns had opened fire upon our devoted household. The long back
hall was opened to the wind and the hail stones rolled and bounced furiously through it and into the front hall and covered the
floor. Most of them were like marbles, but many were as large as walnuts, and such a fall of hail has not been seen in these
parts for years and years. The wind blew like a young cyclone, and it took all hands to close the windows and slam the doors.
Mrs. Arp looked out and exclaimed: “Oh the pit, the flower pit. Just see the hail-crushing through the glass.” The horse and
the cow were grazing in the front lot, and suddenly waked up to the situation, and set out on a run, and galloped round and
round, but found no place of refuge. The peacock screamed and made for the house, but his beautiful tail was in his way. He
had too much rudder for his ship, and soon found himself away down into the grove. Too much tail is bed dressing for any
thing in a storm: Old Fido, our superanuated dog gave an indignant bark and slowly.trotted to the piazza. The leaves and
twigs from the forest trees in the lawn filled the air and traveled with the storm. The ground was white with hail, and it banked
all up against the house and fence several inches deep. I would like to be up in the clouds and see how that thing is done.
The children screamed with delight and wonder, for they had never seep anything like it before, but it was no delight to me,
for I knew it carried destruction in its pathway. I thought of the farmers’ cotton that had just made a narrow escape from
the frost. I thought of my garden and green-house, and all the pretty flowers and plants that I had toiled so faithfully over
to please Mrs Arp. I could see them bend and shrink before the icy blast that stripped them of their leaves and flowers. * * * I said I thought of Sherman-I always think of him in May when the strawberries come.
Just twenty-six years ago we had a strawberry feast one night at our bouse-strawberries and cream for supper and a little
later on old Gen. Sherman began to scatter his unfeeling shells right over the house, and we all waked up to the horror of
the situation and found that General Johnson had ordered another fall back, and that Rome was being abandoned to her fate.
I had partaken too much of strawberries and cream and they were holding a secession meeting within my coportate limits
but all suffering and bent up as I was we had to get up, and depart those coasts prematurely, in the darkness of a fogy night,
and meander away to parts unknown with vigilance and alacrity. All night long we hustled from the foul invader and left our
beautiful: home lo his mercy and our strawberries and cow to his appetite. And that’s why I thought of Sherman when the
hail-storm broke up our feast. But it is is all right. I can plant More beans and more squashes. I have already planted my garden twice this spring, and I can plant it again. It is not near so bad as war, and, thanks to the good Lord for his mercies, we are
not running from Sherman now with a one-horse rockaway full of infantry and the maternal ancestor looking.back every
few minutes to see the Yankees were coming to take them. But now everything is calm and serene. There are some little dtsturbances in the political horizon, they will pass away. Just before an election there are so many fellows “sides wipin’
around huntin’ for *be orthography of an office,” as Cabe says that the people do get excited a little, but it will soon pass
away. Them what’s in want to stay in just one more term, they say, so as to wind up their business, but its always one
more term. It’s like “to-morrow,” that never comes. These Alliance men are going to wake up the old veteran politicians
onetime I reckon, but they had better wretch their lead horses, for some won’t pull a pound except they are in the lead,
and they are not worth a cent to hold back when the wagon is going down grade. Watch your lead horses, I say. A long
time ago there was a know nothing party that called themselves the American party, and their motto was “Put none but
Americans on guard tonight.”
It was a party of good principles and good patriotism and good intentions. but ambitious men got at the head of it and they wouldn’t work anywhere but in the lead, and they run away and turned the wagon over and spilt the contents, one of whom
I was which. It was an oath bound secret organization and on that account was attacked by Alex. Stephens and others, and
was over thrown. Well, it does make an outsider feel helpless. I don’t wonder time our members of Congress are disturbed
and our aspiring lawyers who would like to go to the legislature, but we can all risk the farmers one time and then judge them
by their works. If they do any worse then send Larry Gant to Congress, I don’t care. He wants fifteen cents for cotton, but
let him go. I traveled with seventy-five women to Rome and back to Atlanta last week and they were all for Ltrry because
of that splendid tribute to women he had in his paper-that penitent confession that he had not been as considerate a husband
as he should have been. Those good women were on a state temperance mission to Rome, but I don’t think they alluded
to Larry’s exalted temperance preclivities. It was the manifestation of his late subjugation to a proper appreciation of the
marriage relation that filled them with admiration. But they were not for Colonel Slaughter for anything or for any office.
He is the high railroad otlicial who gives half-rate fare to excursions, and he refused to commute these temperance women because there were less than a hundred. That is the reason he gave; but Mrs. Felton told me contldentially that it was
because they couldn’t vote nor hold office. “A hundred indeed,” said one of them. “Fifty men can start out on a champagne
or whisky excursion and go anywhere for a nominat fare; but. here are seventy-five noble women, whose mission is to
save the young men from ruin and save the state and save the railroads and everything else, and Col. Slaughter says
you haven’t got women enough-you must pay full fare.” I with the colonel could have been there. He would have thought
there were women enough. My opinion is there were 150, at least. One good woman ought to be counted
as two men, any-how.
I count that way at my house. Colonel Slaughter had better reconsider and refund that money. The mission of these noble
women is worth more to the railroads than a press excursion. It embraces the good sober conduct of all their officials from
the presidents to the breakmen and will give them sober passengers who won’t get hurt and then sue for damages. I had
rather be Larry Gant than Colonel Slaughter now. I don’t know where Larry’s farm is nor the size of his cotton patch, but
he may have fifteen cents a pound for the cotton he raised and nobody will complain. We are all for Larry at my house.
Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by Bill Arp
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