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storm and with sheer fright. Then, in my desperate need to act, the terror cleared away a little.
The buggy was filling with ice and ice-water. Bally was shivering, balking, leaping ahead in sudden spurts when the larger stones pelted her. At last she got her back to the tempest as nearly as she could, and, forsaking the road, set off galloping unsteadily through the mesquite. I would jerk at her -- almost stop her. An extra pelting of hail would set her off again. I saw the end of it in a swift vision — the wheels of our chariot tangled in some clump of mesquite — the buggy upset
-I, lying stiff, crumpled, in the ice-water, with the hailstones pounding me. Somehow I had got to stop Bally!
For a second I did get her stopped, huddled together in the raging storm. And then I hurled myself out over the wheel on to the plain - a shallow lake, now, with hailstones floating in it. I was instantly wet to the knees gasping with cold; but I could not stop. I sprang to Bally's bridle and caught it and held on. Somehow I kept the umbrella, too.
I had a wild notion of leading my horse to the shelter of some clump of mesquite; but she had wild notions of her own. We dragged each other back and forth for a time. Once in a while I got her near a bush, only to find that it was worthless. Now and then she grew crazy with the beating of the stones and set off, pulling me after her. At last
At last -- it seemed long, but I suppose it was only a short while - we both realized the hopelessness of trying to better ourselves, and then we huddled close together and took what was coming. That lasted only a few minutes, too, I am sure.
The gale swept the black clouds and the lashing storm over us. The flood of driving rain became a drizzle and then a sprinkle. The pelting stones grew fewer and fewer, and ceased.
I stood there hanging to Bally's bridle and to the umbrella, and wondered how I had escaped alive. Any one of those stones might have stunned me if it had struck me squarely. The shallow lake of the plain was afloat with them everywhere. I climbed into the buggy its body several inches deep in ice-water --- and headed Bally in what I thought was the direction of the road. I happened to be right. We reached the road. We were near Camp Verde, I saw.
Now I was very wet. My shoulders, protected by the yellow slicker, were dry; but my shoes were soaked, my skirts, to far above my knees, were wringing wet. In spite of the umbrella, my hat was wet. It hung in a dripping straw ruffle about my face, and from its two bunches of lovely pink roses fell rosy drops of ice-water. Damp strings of hair lay against my cold cheeks. I probably looked even worse than I felt, but my spirit was up. I was not going to be downed by such trifles as my appearance and the atmospheric conditions. I had set out to Camp Verde for the mail, and to Camp Verde for the mail I went.
They made rather a fuss over me in the post-office. I might have been killed, they said. It was a marvel I had n't been killed! And my nerve —!
“Nerve!”I cried half impatiently. “It was n't nerve! I was in it and I could n't get out! I had to stand it somehow!"
To this day I am very glad I did n't “collapse after it
was all over,” or desert Bally, as they suggested I might have done; but also to this day I do wonder whether I did display much courage in this little experience? As I said then, I was in it, and I could not get out.
I borrowed some dry clothes in Camp Verde and went home after the dark had fallen. It was barely light enough, I remember, for me to see white foam and floating hailstones in the water at the first crossing. I was a little afraid, but I reminded myself that I was now a rural school-teacher and that I'd better get over some of my weaknesses.
A GROUP OF SEASON POEMS
BY ARTHUR KETCHUM
The hedgerows cast a shallow shade
Upon the frozen grass,
And comes the Candlemas.
Each day a little later now
Lingers the westering sun;
Of April are begun.
O barren bough! O frozen field!
Hopeless ye wait no more.
The Spring is at the door!
AN APRIL MORNING
BY BLISS CARMAN
ONCE more in misted April
Beyond the sweeping meadows
In every wooded valley
The goldenwings and bluebirds Call to their heavenly choirs. The pines are blued and drifted With smoke of brushwood fires.
And in my sister's garden,
BY GRACE RICHARDSON
A FLUSH is on the woodland,
A thrill with every heartbeat, A rapture touched with sighs, New lustre on the soul of Life, Tears in my happy eyes.