Ted and the Telephone

Ted and the Telephone

Sara Ware Bassett

Literature & Fiction / Children's Books

AN UNHERALDED CHAMPION Ted Turner lived at Freeman\'s Falls, a sleepy little town on the bank of a small New Hampshire river. There were cotton mills in the town; in fact, had there not been probably no town would have existed. The mills had not been attracted to the town; the town had arisen because of the mills. The river was responsible for the whole thing, for its swift current and foaming cascades had brought the mills, and the mills in turn had brought the village. Ted\'s father was a shipping clerk in one of the factories and his two older sisters were employed there also. Some day Ted himself expected to enter the great brick buildings, as the boys of the town usually did, and work his way up. Perhaps in time he might become a superintendent or even one of the firm. Who could tell? Such miracles did happen. Not that Ted Turner preferred a life in the cotton mills to any other career. Not at all. Deep down in his soul he detested the humming, panting, noisy place with its clatter of wheels, its monotonous piecework, and its limited horizon. But what choice had he? The mills were there and the only alternative before him. It was the mills or nothing for people seldom came to live at Freeman\'s Falls if they did not intend to enter the factories of Fernald and Company. It was Fernald and Company that had led his father to sell the tumble-down farm in Vermont and move with his family to New Hampshire. "There is no money in farming," announced he, after the death of Ted\'s mother. "Suppose we pull up stakes and go to some mill town where we can all find work." And therefore, without consideration for personal preferences, they had looked up mill towns and eventually settled on Freeman\'s Falls, not because they particularly liked its location but because labor was needed there. A very sad decision it was for Ted who had passionately loved the old farm on which he had been born, the half-blind gray horse, the few hens, and the lean Jersey cattle that his father asserted ate more than they were worth. To be cooped up in a manufacturing center after having had acres of open country to roam over was not an altogether joyous prospect. Would there be any chestnut, walnut, or apple trees at Freeman\'s Falls, he wondered. Alas, the question was soon answered. Within the village there were almost no trees at all except a few sickly elms and maples whose foliage was pale for want of sunshine and grimy with smoke. In fact, there was not much of anything in the town save the long dingy factories that bordered the river; the group of cheap and gaudy shops on the main street; and rows upon rows of wooden houses, all identical in design, walling in the highway. It was not a spot where green things flourished. There was not room for anything to grow and if there had been the soot from the towering chimneys would soon have settled upon any venturesome leaf or flower and quickly shrivelled it beneath a cloak of cinders. Even the river was coated with a scum of oil and refuse that poured from the waste pipes of the factories into the stream and washed up along the shores which might otherwise have been fair and verdant....
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  • 543
Steve and the Steam Engine

Steve and the Steam Engine

Sara Ware Bassett

Literature & Fiction / Children's Books

Steve Tolman had done a wrong thing and he knew it. While his father, mother, and sister Doris had been absent in New York for a week-end visit and Havens, the chauffeur, was ill at the hospital, the boy had taken the big six-cylinder car from the garage without anybody\'s permission and carried a crowd of his friends to Torrington to a football game. And that was not the worst of it, either. At the foot of the long hill leading into the village the mighty leviathan so unceremoniously borrowed had come to a halt, refusing to move another inch, and Stephen now sat helplessly in it, awaiting the aid his comrades had promised to send back from the town.
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  • 432

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands

Sara Ware Bassett

Literature & Fiction / Children's Books

After days of fog Stanley Heath, a stranger whose power-boat runs aground on the treacherous Cape Cod shoals, stumbles into the Homestead and into the life of Marcia Howe, a young widow with whom half the men in the village are already in love. Out of his clothing falls a leather case crammed with gems and the enigma of this puzzling possession provides the pivot around which the story revolves. Marcia's blind, intuitive belief in the man's innocence brings its own reward. The hamlets of Wilton and Belleport, already so well known to Miss Bassett's readers, are again the setting of this new novel. A sparkling love story of Cape Cod.
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The Wall Between

The Wall Between

Sara Ware Bassett

Literature & Fiction / Children's Books

A stone wall divides the property line between two farms circa 1920, it has been there for generations, and is falling down. No one remembers who owns it and both think the other should fix it. Hate runs deep between the two farms. A young woman of the family comes to live on one side, and begins to melt the tension, or so she thinks. Excerpt from The Wall Between, the Howe and Webster farms adjoined, lying on a sun-flooded, gently sloping New Hampshire hillside. Between them loomed the wall. It was not a high wall. On the contrary, it is formidable as the result of tradition rather than of fact. For more than a century it had been an estranging harrier to neighborliness, to courtesy, to broad-mindedness; a barrier to friendship, to Christian charity, to peace. The builder of the rambling line of gray stone had long since passed away, and had he not acquired a warped importance with the years, his memory would doubtless have perished with him. All unwittingly, alas, lie had become a celebrity.
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