Now I can’t he sure just where my dear parents lived when the window peeper gave Mother such a scare. David thinks they lived in McComb county on a Mr. Bate’s place. Be that as it may be,’but the facts are, they lived some where in a tiny little cottage, one fair sized room and two small bedrooms. Two doors out of this room, front and back.
Father was away from home. They were building a new railroad through the country. Lots of strange, wicked, wild men roamed the forest and passed through the settlement.
This evening of which I speak, Mother and Jamie had done up the few chores, had gotten in the wood for night, had had supper and done up the dishes, and had put David and Willie to bed. i think it was in the spring time if I remember right and the evenings were cool. She had fixed up a fire in the old elevated oven stove. Took her knitting and sat by the stove. Jamie was sitting with her and very likely she was telling Jamie stories, when all at once a fear %vent over Mother.
There was a small high window just back of the stove and Mother looked up and sat 01. a man looking at her. She didn’t scream, but she looked down at her knitting and 11rVer let on she sim the man at all. Finally Jamie saw him and whispemd in a scared manner, “Oh, Ma, there’s a man looking in the window!” Mother ‘vhispered, “Hush! Don’t let on you see him.”
Finally the heard foot steps and then came a knock. Mother said, “Who’s there, and he answered, “It’s a man that wants to stay all night.” “Well”, said Mother, “you can’t stay here.” “N’es I can,” said the man. “Your husband isn’t at home and you’d hin room for him if he was here.”
Mother was terribly frightenecL She knew it would be little trouble for him to push the door in. It was only made of boards. There was no lock, just a rude home made latch with latch string pulled in and also a button on the door. The other door was the same.
The man continued to beg to be let in. Mother continued to tell him no. And either he was not wholly had or else the good Lord himself sent him on his way, or likely both. Any way he walked away.
But oh, how terribly frightened she was vet She and Jamie stood holding hands and Mother thought very likely he was watching her for there were no curtains at all in this one room. Finally they moved about as though preparing for bed and Mother carried the lamp in the bed room. Then she blew out the light. She said, “Oh I just darsen’t go to bed. He might come back and break in and do something desperate.” So she asked Jamie if she could carry Willie to Bate’s. She said she could. So Mother took the sleeping child and wrapped him up and put him in Jamie’s arms. Then she wrapped up David and took him herself, he being the larger you know, and out they stepped in the dark. She said she expected eA er-v minute the man would grab her. but they soon reached !hr home of NIT’. and Mrs. Bates and Mother tried to go right in but the door was locked. She pounded and cried. “Oh let me in! Let me in quick! quick!” and they did.
Oh no, Mother didn’t faint away but she did sink rather limplx on a chair. Well she stayed at Rate’s nights after that untill Father came home.