In the Heart of a Fool

ISBN 13: 9781492383918

In the Heart of a Fool

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9781492383918: In the Heart of a Fool
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Sunshine and prairie grass–well in the foreground. For the background, perhaps a thousand miles away or more than half a decade removed in time, is the American Civil War. In the blue sky a meadow lark’s love song, and in the grass the boom of the prairie chicken’s wings are the only sounds that break the primeval silence, excepting the lisping of the wind which dimples the broad acres of tall grass–thousand upon thousand of acres–that stretch northward for miles. To the left the prairie grass rises upon a low hill, belted with limestone and finally merges into the mirage on the knife edge of the far horizon. To the southward on the canvas the prairie grass is broken by the heavy green foliage above a sluggish stream that writhes and twists and turns through the prairie, which rises above the stream and meets another limestone belt upon which the waving ripples of the unmowed grass wash southward to the eye’s reach. Enter R. U. E. a four-ox team hauling a cart laden with a printing press and a printer’s outfit; following that are other ox teams hauling carts laden with tents and bedding, household goods, lumber, and provisions. A four-horse team hauling merchandise, and a span of mules hitched to a spring wagon come crashing up through the timber by the stream. Men and women are walking beside the oxen or the teams and are riding in the covered wagons. They are eagerly seeking something. It is the equality of opportunity that is supposed to be found in the virgin prairies of the new West. The men are nearly all veterans of the late war, for the most part bearded youngsters in their twenties or early thirties. The women are their fresh young wives. As the procession halts before the canvas, the men and women begin to unpack the wagons and to line out on each side of an imaginary street in the prairie. The characters are discovered as follows: Amos Adams, a red-bearded youth of twenty-nine and Mary Sands, his wife. They are printers and begin unpacking and setting up the printing material in a tent.

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