Part 4

They built a home, a barn, a chicken house and a tool shed, and for some years they had wonderful crops. Money was never very plentiful, but the boys went all over the country with their ball team, they rode horseback to round up the cows, and there were lots of dances and social evenings held in the local schools so life was never dull. And, of course, there was the "party line", and never let it be said that the telephone rang without a Darcy listening in to hear the latest gossip. When Harold and I were visiting on the farm we had to sit without a sound for long periods of time - it seemed like hours - until Grandma had her fill of the news. It was a general practice in all farm homes and goes on to this day in the rural areas which still have party lines.

Papa's farm was on an intersection where it was necessary to go four miles in any direction to reach a school. Marguerite rode those four miles on horseback every day of her short life, with her lunchpail under her arm. She died at sixteen of spinal meningitis when the doctors had no cure for this dreaded disease. Grandma was heartbroken and I am sure it clouded every day of the rest of her life.

My uncles Elwood and Frank loved the farm but Leonard always hated it and left for better times in B.C. as soon as he could get away. My mother had left in 1916 when she and my dad were married. When Harold and I were little we spent a great deal of time on the farm.

My most vivid childhood memory is of the day that Papa died. A drilling crew had arrived at the farm to dig a well, and I remember a huge wheel up in the air with ropes attached to the drill. We were warned not to go into the yard at all as this was dangerous work, so we stayed with our eyes glued to the window. Suddenly one of the guy ropes broke and the wheel came swinging down and caught Papa on the back of the head. I can still see Grandma sitting on the grass holding Papa's head in her lap and sending us to the kitchen for flour which she used to stop the bleeding. By the time the doctor had driven the ten miles from town it was all over. That was in August 1922 when Harold and I were five and three.

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