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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
Mill the Wind


One of the wheels of their wagon was squeaking like an old lady complaining of her tired aches and pains. “I reckin’ we’ve made it here all right, and not in any too soon either. I think this old wagon has about given up the ghost.”

Bell ignored his irreverence and couldn’t seem to get enough looking at the big sky. “My! My! I thought Otter Creek out of Marshall, Oklahoma was beautiful the first time I saw it, but this, this is surely God’s country.” The land they bought out of Guymond, Oklahoma was spread out in a grand way before them.

“I know. This sky is wonderful!” Joe observed. “It looks like it is just goin’ to plumb swaller’ you up.”

“There’s a half dug-out on the place, where we can live, until we kin git a well dug, and a proper house.”

Dug Out

Joe wanted to comfort Bell for what was ahead.

“Half-dug-out?” Bell’s eyes fell on the structure that looked more like a shed than anything else. Most of the space was underground, and over the hole was a roof.

"My goodness! It’s not even big enough to store a barrel of my sweet elderberry wine! Is that what you’re talking about when you say, half dug-out?” Bell couldn’t get the incredulity out of her voice. There wasn’t anything homey looking about this structure. It really wasn’t even as inviting as the first log cabin had been there on Otter Creek. Around the grounds were no trees, not one. In fact, the land was void of any landscaping details to break the monotony. Something in her character wouldn’t let her be distraught or disappointed. Before her was the, here and now, but in her mind she could see a vision of what this stretch of ground could be.

Bell turned to Joe and said, “I guess I had better see inside the place. I’ll have to know what has to be done.

“Stay here! Let me check things out first!” Joe ordered.

When he came up out of the half dug-out there was a rather large snake hanging over the barrel of his gun, and Bell almost gave way to her less than intrepid attitude.


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