A Drunken Man

This occurred while broth z•i• Willie was a little boy. It was spring time. There had been some lovely weather. The snows all gone and cropping commenced but there came a damp rainy time. Willie had taken cold and was croupy, so had been kept in the house.

Evening was drawing on. The little bov stood by the window looking out toward the road, watching the rain patter down. Father %Aus choring, while David followed him about. Mother was preparing supper, when she heard Willie say, “Oh, the man failed down.” Then again, “Come, Ma, see. The man walks, and then falls down.” Mother has something on the stove she cannot leave n once, and ‘when she does come, she sees a man just going out of sight. She does not recognize him.

The chores are finally done, supper is over. A little time is spent around the fireside, then they have family worship and retire. It is not long hot% ever before a voice sounds at – the 1‘ indow. Mrs. Haight: Is Mr. ijaight: at home? Father is very bad.”

Father jumps up and into his clothes at once. Mother goes to the door and calls to the girk In come in The\ rome in. 1 hey do so. -I he\ are bare headed no ‘vr;9n. AIL ‘Oh please. Mr. Haight, go to ow’ house at once. I zither is \ er had.” Away Father goes. The girls sit by the stove and as they make no mot e to go hack home. Mother suggests the go to bed. This they do and Mother goes back to her YVell.

Father in hurrying to the supposed sick man, meets Mrs. Bishop coming also toward our house. She also is out in the rain with no vraps and has a little child by each hand. He commences to have an idea of the form of sickness this neighbor had. He tells the lady to go on up to his house. that Mrs. Haight will look after her.

Now he nears the Bishop home. He sees a light and he hears the voice of a man calling wiklly, “Walter, Walter”. Now he knew full well this man was not calling him but rather was calling his oldest boy whose name also was Walter, but father calls, “\ es, Mr. B., I am coming-.

Now came a vollv of Oaths and he say. “Haight, you — preacher. Who sent for you? • near me and I b:.ain But Father was no coward and he answered back “Yes, Mr. B., I’m coming. I’ll help you.”

As Father neared the door he saw the man standing just inside \\ith a hard wood chair raised and the man exclaimed again, “Come inside that door and I brain you with this.” But Father makes a grab for the chair, misses the first round and skins his arm to the elbow. But grabs the further round and with the other hand grabs the man, and downs him.

Yes the man was mad indeed, wildly insane with drink. Now it seems that only once in a great while did his terrible appetite for strong drink get the better of this man. He was a fairly prosperous farmer, was a kind husband and father, was also the supervisor of the township where they lived; considered quite a gentleman.

Father had heard a vague rumor of the fact that occasion* the man went wild with drink. The famiI? loved him and remained loyal to him, hiding his weakness as much as possible. But on this particular night, the man had gone clear beyond anything ever before.

He had beaten the faithful wife and mother and driven her out in the night with their two youngest children clinging to her skirts. The two older girls had escaped to our IS V • 18house for help while this was going on. The oldest boys had defended their mother and he had pounded them. But they kept him busy while the mother and younger ones got away.

Now, as Father had the man down, the boys came out of hiding and pounced upon their father, pounding him with their fists. Father stopped them. Says, “boys, boys. No, stop. Don’t do that”. But they were very angry and swore vengance upon him.

Father held the man down for a long time. He would beg and pray and curse and swear. Finally he seemed really to .be sobering up. He said, “Honest, Elder, behave. I’m an awful fool. I’m awful sorry.” Father thought really he might be sober and let him up, but what did the man do but go to the barn where he had a bottle hidden and take a big drink, then to the wood pile and get the ax and come at Father with the ax. But Father got the ax away, dragged the man back in the house and got him down and held him down until the poor drunken beast really went to sleep.

It was in the early morning hours then however. Father covered up the man with over coats and went home. Mother had got Mrs. B. to go to bed, but of course the poor woman could not sleep. Our own dear mother could not have slept either had she known the danger her husband was in.

Mrs. B. heard Father when he came in and she slipped into her dress and out in the room and said, “How is pa?” Father told her he was sound to sleep and she said, “I’ll go right home now so I’ll be there when he wakes up. He 1611 sleep a long time and be quite all right when he wakes up.”

Well, Father got a little rest in the early hours of the morning. They never heard of B. having a had time like that again but he would hardly speak to Father all the rest of the time they lived neighbors.