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SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE

VOL. XXXVI

JOURNEYING WITH

I

JULY, 1904

By Charles Moreau Harger

ILLUSTRATIONS BY EDWIN B. CHILD

away to the misty horizon, dimpling, smiling like seas of gold. Shadow-waves chased AY after day the dispatches from the in riotous courses over the undulating surwheat-belt grew, more hysterical...face, and, great cloud-islands moved slowly

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"Late frost rd caught it now read the doctor at breakfast;"won't be half a crop." The next morning? Wheat wasn't hurt so bad after all, the paper says --but Hessian fly's mighty thick." And, then: "Rain has killed the Hessian y but look out for rust! Th' leaves' are turning yellow." At last: "It's all rightwasn't rust at all-just th' ripening. Heads are filled, kernels big-want twenty thousand extra hands-th' chance of a lifetime."

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VOL. XXXVI.-1

NO. 1

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HARVESTERS

"Chance for what?"

"To get up at four o'clock in th' morning and work till nine at night, get two dollars a day-and found-cure my attack of the blues, and come to enjoy my meals." Harvest was ready. Rich fields stretched

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upon the sunlit expanse. It was the Middie West in its glory-the perfect fruitage of the farmers' year.

"Hope they'll know what they're tryin' to do," remarked Farmer Mangold, who sat in his wagon waiting for a load of men needed on his ranch fifteen miles from town. "Th' lot I got last summer hitched th' horses up wrong end first and called the sod barn a 'mud house' and th' cyclone cellar a 'hurricane hole'."

Not all were of this kind. The farmer loaded up his wagon with well-tanned, Copyright, 1904, by Charles Scribner's Sons. All rights reserved.

Withdrawn 1940

How they came, those harvesters-a motley company, gathered from a dozen States and as many occupations, We watched the train as it drew out of the distance.

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The farmer loaded up his wagon with well-tanned, strong-armed men.-Page 1.

strong-armed, whiskered men from Illinois. They had come from a coal town and were blackened with the soot.

"Mighty clean out here, Jim," remarked one to his fellow; and his eyes drank in the fair prairie landscape joyfully. They were the first comers-men used to these.sum: mer excursions for wheat-gathering. They knew which end of a horse should bear the strike after a bit." breeching and never referred to the machine as a "lawn mower."

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"They are going to be pretty hard to keep up with," declared the doctor, as the, springless wagon jolted over the rough highway. "I'm going to look for an easy place," and he moved up close to the farmer, engaging him in earnest conversation on X-ray development. Shrewd man, the doctor!

"No big money in this 'ere job," was the dictum of the leader. "Yes'day's Star said wages was three-fifty a day. Th' boss says it's only two plunks."

"Going to get another load when th' freight comes in," the farmer announced as we reached the ranch. "Lot comin' from Kansas City." It was after dark when they arrived; they were town men, laborers on the streets and at the back doors of packing houses.

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"But there's livin' yer know, Mart, an' that's somethin'."

"Course, we'll haye ter stand it awhile; but I'd go let gt 'em all ter agree t'

Well have a harvest hands' union," laughed the doctor. "I'm going to be a walking delegate." He always did like he easy jobs. Not all were in yet-the college boys were on the way. They, too, had heard the Macedonian cry-and the reports of big wages. They needed the money to continue in school-and they wanted the fun. So they came-pale students wearing glasses, swarthy football players, solemn postgraduates-bewildered, brittle, untried. They travelled in groups and at every station gathered on the platform with a "Rah, 'rah, 'rah, H-a-r-v-a-r-d!" or a "Ray, ray, ray, Tiger, tiger, tiger!"

Seven came out in the early morning to

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uncompromising response. The doctor's hopes of a soft place fell seventeen degrees. "What you got there?" The farmer turned on one of the college boys and pointed to a suspicious bulging in the rear of the youth's hip pocket. "Fish it out here, quick."

The young man was dressed swaggeringly with "rough rider" leggings, cowboy hat, yellow and black sweater. But his bluster faded when he shamefacedly dragged to light a fierce and threatening revolver.

"Give it to me;" and Farmer Mangold

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more schools and churches to the population than in his home community.

II

"WELL, come on, boys," and the procession started for the big field. The doctor, because of his soft, white hands, was driving a team; the swaggerer was armed with a three-tined fork instead of an uglier weapon, and the union organizer was put behind the reaper. His enthusiasm would soon be softened.

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It shimmered beneath the perfect opales-
cent blue of the sky, the tall straws bending
with their weight of grain. Standing on
the seat of the reaper one might see in the
distance a glimmer of green pastures, and
catch glimpses of rustling fields of corn-
but here was the heart of summer.

"Them machines look dangerous," re-
marked the doctor. "Believe I won't
drive until I see 'em work." He joined the
union forces in the rear.

lowed the leader, each taking great armfuls out of the huge square of gold, tying them in twine with marvellous rapidity, and tossing them contemptuously to the rear.

At every station they gathered on the platform with a "Rah, 'rah, 'rah!"-Page 2.

"Life treats some people just that way," mused the doctor-then jumped to escape the revolving reel of the fourth reaper.

"Go to work there!" called out Farmer Mangold. "Shock back of the machines.” With good-will the little company en

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The farmer laughed, took the seat, cracked his long whip and started five eager horses. "Whir-r-r, rattle, swish"-harvest had commenced!

tered on its two weeks' task. It was a helter-skelter beginning. When the clattering reapers had completed a toilsome round and overtook us, Farmer Mangold stopped his straining horses with a stertorious "Whoa!" Then: "What in the name o' common sense are you a-doin'?" This was addressed to the college boys.

"Bunching the wheat, sir," replied the swaggerer.

Farmer Mangold chuckled audibly. "Somebody show 'em," he ordered. "They think they're pickin' potatoes."

The college youths had thrown the bundles together, regardless of positionAnother self-binder, and another, fol- simply tossing them into loose and topsy

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"Here, look 'e," and he placed two bundles side by side, their tops intertwining; then two others; then others, and some as a capsheaf covering. "See that? That ther' shock'll stand a two days' rain, an' won't blow away in anything less'n a cyclone." The students saw. "They're developing

They attacked the heaps of bread nd the dishes of pickles as to annihilate the entire board. - Page 7.

turvy piles. The union man-so the doc- by th' new education-learning by doing," tor had dubbed him-knew better. chuckled the doctor.

Too many were following the reaper, and a new plan of attack was taken up. There came from the barns a different sort of graincutting implement. It was like a battering ram' to force down the walls of wheat. Four horses pushed it in front of them, and the driver was behind all, steering the docile

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