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About Heppner herald. (Heppner, Or.) 1914-1924 | View This Issue
Tuesday, January. 22, 1924
THE HEPPNER HERALD, HEPPNER, OREGON
CHAPTER I. Jennie Woodruff con
temptuously refuses to marry Jim Ir
win, young farm hand, because o( his
financial condition and poor prospects.
He la Intellectually above his station,
and haa advanced ideas concerning: the
possibilities of expert school teaching,
for which he la ridiculed by many.
CHAPTER II. More aa a joke than
otherwise Jim Is selected as teacher of
the Woodruff district school.
CHAPTER III. Jim, In his new posi
tion, sets out tg make stanch friends
f his pupils, especially two hoys, New
ton Bronson and "Buddy" Slmms, tha
latter the son of a shiftless farmer.
Colonel Woodruff, Jennie's father, has
little faith In Jim's Ideas of Improving
rural educational methods. He nick
names him the "Brown Mouse," In Il
lustration of an anecdote.
CHAPTER IV. Jim's conduct of the
school, where he endeavors to teach
the children the wonders of nature
and some of the scientific methods of
farming, as well aa "book learning,"
CHAPTER V. Jennie Woodruff Is
nomlnted for the position of county
superintendent of schools. The school
board grows bitter In its opposition
to Jim and his innovations.
CHAPTER VI. At a public meeting
Jim roundly condemns the methods of
teaching in the rural schools, and
makes no friend thereby.
CHAPTER VII. A delegation of
prominent women condemn Jim's meth
ods of teaching, but he Is stoutly de
fended by his pupils, especially Newton
CHAPTER VIII. Jim has Christmas
dinner at Colonel Woodruff's, and lis
tening to him, Jennie begins to do some
thinking concerning his ability and
CHAPTER IX. In the evening Jim,
as well as he knows how, courts Jen
nie, without, however, making much
progress, though she Is quickly losing
lmr poor opinion of lilm.
A distinct sensation rnn through
the Woodruff school, hut the school
master and a group of five boys unci
three girls enguged In a very unclass
11 ke conference In the hack of the
room were all unconscious of It. The
geography clnsses had recited, and
the language work was on. Those
too small for these studios were play
ing a game under the leadership of
Jlnnle Slmms, who hud been promot
ed to the position of weed-seed mon
itor. The game was forfeits. Each child
hud been encouraged to bring some
sort of weed from the winter fields
preferably one the seed of which still
clung to the dried receptacles but
anyhow, a weed. If any pupil brought
In a specimen the nutne of which he
himself could not correctly give, be
pnld a forfeit. If a specimen was
brought In not found lu the school
cabinet which was coming to con
tain a considerable collection It was
placed there, and the task allotted to
the best penman In the school to write
Its proper label. All this caused ex
citement, and not a little buzz but It
ceased when the county superintend
ent entered the room, '
For it was after the first of Jamr
ary, and Jennie was visiting the Wood
The group in the back of the room
went on with Its conference, oblivious
of the entrance of Superintendent
.lennle. Their work was rather ab
sorbing, being no more nor less than
the compilation of the figures of n cow
census of the district.
"Altogether," paid Mary Talcott,
"we have In the district one hundred
and fifty-three cows."
"I don't make It that," said Ray
mond Slmms. "I don't get but a hun
dred and thirty-eight."
"The trouble Is," said Newton Itron
son, "that Mary's counting In the
Italley herd of Shorthorns."
"Well, they're cows, uln't they?" In
"Not for this census," said Itny
111 on d.
"Why not?" asked Mary. "They're
the prettiest cows In the neighbor
hood." "Scotch Shorthorns," said Newton,
"and run with their calves."
"Leave them out," said Jim, "and
tomorrow, I want each one to tell In
the language class, In three hundred
words or less, whether there are
enough cows In the district to Justify
a co-operative creamery, and give the
reason. Tou'H find articles In the
farm papers If you look through the
card Index. Now, how about the cen
sus In the adjoining districts?"
"There are more than two hundred
within four miles on the roads lead
ing west," sit Id a boy.
"My father and I counted up about
a hundred beyond us," said Mary.
"But I couldn't get the exact num
ber." "Why," said Raymond, "we could
find six hundred dairy cows In this
neighborhood, within an hour's
"Six hundred!" scoffed Newton.
"You're craxy I In au hour's drive?"
"I mean an hour's drive each way,"
"I believe we could," said Jim.
"And after we find how far we will
have to go to get enough cows, if half
of them patronised the creamery, we'll
work over the suvimts the business
uuum iiiaive, 11 we couiu get uie prices
for butter paid the Wisconsin co-operative
creameries, as compared with
what the centrallzers pay us, on a
basis of the last six months. Who's
In possession of that correspondence
with the Wisconsin creameries?"
"I have It," said Raymond. "I'm
hectographlng a lot of arithmetic
problems from It."
"How do you do, Mr. Irwin!" It
was the superintendent who spoke.
Jim's brain whirled little prismatic
clouds before his vision, as he rose
and shook Jennie's extended hand.
"Let me give you a chair," said he.
"Oh, no, thank you !" she returned.
"I'll Just make myself at home. I
know my way about in this school
house, you know!"
She smiled at the children, and
went about looking at their work
whlcn was not noticeably disturbed,
by reason of the fact that visitors
were much more frequent now than
ever before, anil were no rarity. Cer
tuinly, Jennie Woodruff was no novel
ty, since they had known her all their
lives. Most of the embarrassment was
Jim's. lie rose to the occasion, how
ever, went through the routine of the
closing day, and dismissed the flock,
not omitting making an engagement
with a group of boys for that evening
to come back and work on the for
malin treatment for smut In seed
grains, and the blue-vitriol treatment
for seed potatoes.
"We hadn't time for these things,"
said he to the county superintendent,
"in the regular class work and it's
getting time to take them up If we
are to ciean out the smut in next
They repeated Whittler's Corn Song
In concert, and sehoo was out.
Since that Christmas afternoon when
Jennie had undertaken to follow Mr.
Peterson's advice and line Yim Irwin
up, Jim had gone through an Inward
transformation. He bad made up his
mind that he would marry Jennie
Woodruff. He saw her through
clouds of rose and pink ; but she
looked at him as at a foolish man
who was making trouble for her,
chasing rainbows at her expense, and
deeply vexing her. She was in a cold
ofllclul frame of mind.
"Jim," she said, "I want you to give
up this sort of teaching. Can't you
see It's all wrong?"
"No," answered Jim, in much the
manner of a man who has been
stabbed by his sweetheart. "I can't
see that it's wrong. It's the only sort
I can do. What do you see wrong
"Oh, I can see some very wonderful
things In It," said Jennie, "but It can't
be done In the Woodruff district. It
may be correct in theory, but it won't
work In practice."
"Jennie," said be, "when a thing
won't work, it Isn't correct In theory.
Hut my theory is correct, and it
"Rut the school board are against
"The school board elected me.
They stood by and suw the contract
signed," said Jim, "and yes, Jennie,
I know I am dealing In sophistry I I
got the school by a sort of shell
game, which the board worked on
themselves. Hut that doesn't prove
that the district is against me. I be
lieve the people are for me, now, Jen
nie. I really do!"
Jennie rose and walked to the rear
of the room and hack, twice. When
she spoke, there was decision In her
tone and Jim felt that It was hos
"As an ofllcer," she said rather
grandly, "my relations with the dis
trict are with the school board on the
one band, and with your competency
as a teacher on the other."
"lias It come to that?" asked Jim.
"Well, I have rather expected it."
His tone was weary. The Lincoln
Inn droop In his great, sad, mournful
month accentuated the resemblance to
the Martyr President. Possibly his
feelings were not entirely different
from those experienced by Lincoln at
some crisis of doubt, misunderstand
ing and depression.
"If you can't change your methods,"
said Jennie, "I suggest that you re
sign." "Are you to be called upon to sug
gest that?" asked Jim.
"A formal complaint against you
for Incompency," she replied, "has
been lodged in my office, signed by the
three directors. I shall be obliged to
take, notice of It."
"And do you think," queried Jim,
"that my abandonment of the things
In which I believe In the face of this
attack would prove to your mind that
I am competent? Or would It show
Jennie was silent.
"I guess," said Jim, "that we'll have
to stand or fall on things as they
Jennie had drawn on her gloves,
and stood raariv f 4titnr,
-unless yon resign before the
twenty-fifth," said she, "I shall hear
"Unless You Resign I Shall Hear the
Petition for Your Removal."
the petition for your removal on that
date. I bid you good evening!"
"Incompetency !" The disgraceful
word, representing everything he had
always-.despised, rang through Jim's
mind as he walked home. He could
think of nothing else as he sat at the
simple supper which he could scarce
ly taste. Incompetent! He was In
competent. He picked up a pen, and
began writing. He wrote, "To the
Honorable the Board of Education of
the Independent District of "
And he heard a tap at the door. His
mother admitted Colonel Woodruff.
"Good evening, Colonel," said Jim.
"Take a chulr, won't you?"
"No," replied the colonel. "I
thought I'd see if you and the boys
at the schoolhouse can't tell me some
thing about the siaut in my wheat. 1
heard you were going to work on that
"I had forgotten!" said Jim.
"I wondered If you hadn't," said the
colonel, "and so I came by for you.
I was waiting up the road. Come
on, and ride up with me."
The colonel had always been friend
ly, but there was a new note in his
manner tonight. He was almost defer
ential. He worked with the class on
the problem of smut. He offered to
uid the boys In every possible way In
their campaign against scab In pota
toes. He suggested some tests which
would show the real value of the
treatment. The boys were in a glow
of pride at this co-operation with
Colonel Woodruff. This was real
work! Jim and the colonel went
away together. It had been a great
"Jim," said the colonel, "can these
"I think," said Jim, "that they , can
outspell any school about here."
"Good," said the colonel. "How ire
they about arithmetic and the other
branches? Have you sort of kept
them up to the course of study?"
"I have carried them in a course
parullel to the textbooks," said Jim,
"and covering the same ground. But
it has been vocational work, you know
related to life."
"Well," said the colonel, "If I were
you, I'd put them over a rapid re
view of the textbooks for a few days
say between now and the twenty
fifth." "What for?"
"oh, nothing just to please me.
. . . And say, Jim, I glanced over a
communication you have started to
the more or less Honorable Board of
"Well, don't finish it. . . . And
say, Jim, I think I'll give myself the
luxury of being a wild-eyed reformer
"Yes," said Jim, dazed.
"And if you think, Jim, that you've
got no friends, Just remember that I'm
"Thank you, Colonel."
"And we'll show them they're In, a
"I don't see , . ." said Jim.
"You're not supposed to see," said
the colonel, "but you can bet that
we'll be with them at the finish; and,
by thunder! while they're getting a
full meal, we'll get at least a lunch.
"But Jennie says," began Jim.
"Don't tell me what she says," said
the colonel. "She's acting according
to her Judgment, and her lights and
other organs of perception, and I
don't think It flttin' that her father
should try to influence her official
conduct. But you go on and review
them common branches, and keep
your nerve. I haven't felt so much
like a scrap since the day we stormed
Lookout mountain. I kinder like be
ing a wild-eyed reformer, Jim."
CHAPTER XI : :
Fame or Notoriety.
The office of county superintendent
was, as a matter of course, the least
desirable room of the courthouse.
Poor Jennie! She anticipated noth
ing more than the appearance of
Messrs. Bronson, Peterson and Bon
ner In her office to confront Jim Irwin.
But at nine fifty-six the crowd in
Jennie's office exceeded Its seating ca
pacity, and Jennie was In a flutter as
the realization dawned upon her that
this promised to be a bigger and more
public affair than she had anticipated.
At nine fifty-nine Raymond Situms
o)ened the office door and there filed
In enough children, large and small,
to fill the room. In addition there re
mained an overflow meeting In the
hall, under the command of that dis
tinguished military gentleman, Colonel
"Say, Bill, come here," said the
colonel, crooking his finger at the
wnat you got here, All" said Bill,
coming up the stairs, puffing. "Ain't
It little early for Sunday school
"This Is a school fight in our dis
trict," said the colonel. "It's Jennie's
baptism of fire, I reckon . . . and
say, you're not using the courtroom,
"Nope," said Bill.
"Well, why not Just slip around,
then," said the colonel, "and tell Jen
nie she'd better adjourn to the big
Which suggestion was acted upon
Instanter by Deputy Bill. .
"But I can't, I can't," said Jennie
to the courteous deputy sheriff. "I
don't want all this publicity, and I
don't want to go into the courtroom."
"I hardly see," said Deputy Bill,
"how you can avoid It. These people
seem to have business with you, and
they can't get into your office."
Jennie quailed. "All right, all
right!" said she. "But, shall I have
to sit on the bench !"
"You will find It by far the most
convenient place," said Deputy Bill.
Was this the life to which public
office had brought her? She was
perched on the judicial bench, which
Deputy Bill had dusted oft for her,
tipping a wink to the assemblage
while doing It. And that crowd! To
Jennie it was appalling. The school
board under the lead of Wilbur
Smythe took seats Inside the railing.
Jim Irwin, who had never been In a
courtroom before, herded with the
She couldn't call the gathering to
order. She had no idea as to th
proper procedure. She sat there while
the people gathered, stood abont whis
pering and talking under their
breaths, arid finally became silent, all
their eyes fixed on her, as she wished
that the office of county superintend
ent had been abolished In the days of
her parents' infancy.
"May it please the court," said Wil
bur Smythe, standing before the bar.
"Or, Madame County Superintendent,
I should say . . ."
A titter ran through the room, and
a flush of temper tinted Jennie's face.
They were laughing at her! She
wouldn't be a spectacle any longer!
So she rose, and handed down her
first and last decision from the bench
a rather good one, I think.
"Mr. Smythe," said she, "I feel very
ill at ease up here, and I'm going to
"Madame County Superintendent, I
get down among the people. It's the
only way I have of getting the truth."
She descended from the bench,
shook hands with everybody near her,
and sat down by the attorney's table.
Now," said she, "this is no formal
proceeding and we will dispense with
red tape. If we don't, I shall get all
tangled up In It. Where's Mr. Irwin?
I'lease come In here, Jim. Now, I
know there's some feeling in these
things there always seems to De;
but I have none. So I'll just hear
why Mr. Bronson, Mr. Peterson and
Mr. Bonner think that Mr. James E.
Irwin Isn't competent to hold a certifi
cate." Jennie was able to smile at them
now, and everybody felt more at ease,
save Jim Irwin, the members of the
board and Wilbur Smythe: That in
dividual arose, and talked down at
"I appear for the proponents here,"
said he, "and I desire to suggest cer
tain principles of procedure which I
take it belong indisputably to the con
duct of this hearing."
"Have you a lawyer?" asked the
county superintendent of the respond
ent. "A what?" exclnimed Jim. "No
body here has a lawyer!"
"Well, what do you call Wilbur
Smythe?" queried Newton Bronson
from the midst of the crowd.
"He ain't lawyer enough to hurt !"
said the thing which the dramatists
cull A Voice.
There was a little tempest of laugh
ter at Wilbur Smythe's expense,
which was quelled by Jennie's rap
ping on the table. She was beginning
to feel the mouth of the situation.
"There Is nothing In the school
laws, as I remember them," said Jen
nie, "giving the parties any right to
be represented bv counsel. Tou mav
When in need of any
thing in the line of neat
and attractive Printing.
avise your cnencs an you piease, out
I'm not going to waste time In listen
ing to speeches, or having a lot of
lawyers examine witnesses."
"I protest," said Mr. Smythe.
"Well, you may file your protest In
writing," said Jennie. "I'm going to
talk this matter over with these old
friends and neighbors of mine. I
don't want you dipping Into It, I say !"
Jennie's voice was rising toward
the scream-line, and Mr. Smythe rec
ognized the hand of fate. There was
a little wrangling, and a little pro
test from Con Bonner, but Jennie
ruled with a rod of Iron, and adhered
to her ruling. When the hearing was
resumed after the noon recess, the
crowd was larger' than ever, but the
proceedings consisted mainly In a con
ference of the principals grouped
about Jennie at the big lawyers' table.
They were talking about the methods
adopted by Jim in his conduct of the
Woodruff school just talking. The
only new thing was the presence of a
couple of newspaper men, who had
queried Chicago papers on the story,
and been given orders for a certain
number of words on the case of the
farm-hand schoolmaster on trial be
fore his old sweetheart.
By the time at which gathering
darkness made It necessary for the
bailiff to light the lamps, the parties
had agreed on the facts. Jim admit
ted most of the allegations. He had
practically ignored the textbooks. He
had burned the district fuel and worn
out the district furniture early and
late, and on Saturdays. He had in
troduced domestic economy and man
ual training, to some extent, by send
ing the boys to the workshops and the
girls to the kitchens and sewing-rooms
of the farmers who allowed those
He had used up a great deal of time
In studying farm conditions. He had
Induced the boys to test the cows of
the district for butterfat yield. He
was studying the matter of a co-operative
He honor! to onort to tbe hovq qnrt
IT PAYS TO READ
Inside of the vault of the bank are located
the individvual Safe Deposit Boxes main
tained for those forehanded people who want
the BEST OF PROTECTION for their
valuables. Bonds, stocks, insurance policies,
mortgages, records, receipts, jewelry, trink
ets, etc, deserve better protection than they
receive when kept in an office safe, tin box
or hidden away somewhere.
This bank has these Safe Deposit Boxes
for rent at the rate of two dollars a year and
up, according to the size of the box., It offers
you the opportunity to keep your valuables
where it) keeps its own. Rent a Safe Deposit
Box today, for the number now vacant is
Farmers and Stockgrowers
OUR STORE is head
quarters for seasonable
We can feed and clothe the whole
family from soup to nuts and
from hats to shoes
See our line of
Suits and Overcoats
for Men and Boys
gait me wonders ox toe universe
which are touched by the work on the
farm. He hoped to make good and
contented farmer of them, able to I
get the most out of the soil, to sell '
what they produced to the best advan
tage, and at the same time to keep up
the fertility of the soil Itself. And
he hoped to teach the girls In such a
way that they would be good and con
tented farmers' wives.
"An' I say," interposed Con Bonner,
"that we can rest our case right here.
If that ain't the limit, I don't know
Jennie turned to Jim.
"Now, Mr. Irwin," said she, "while
you have been following out these very
interesting and original methods, what
have you done in the way of teaching
the things called for by the course of
"I'm willing," said Jim, "to stand or
fall on an examination of these chil
dren in the very textbooks we are ac
cused of neglecting."
Jennie looked steadily at Jim for B
"How many pupils of the Woodruff
school are here?" she asked, "AH rise,
A mass of the audience, in the midst
of which sat Jennie's father, rose at
"Why," said Jennie, "I should say
we had a quorum, anyhow 1 Weil
have school here. And Mr. Irwin,
please remember that you state that
you'll stand or fall on the mastery by
these pupils .of the textbooks they axe,
supposed to have neglected."
"Not the mastery of the text," Bald
Jim. "But their ability to do the work
the text is supposed to fit them for."
"Well," said Jennie, "I don't know
but that's fair."
"But," said Mrs. Haakon Peterson,
"we don't want our children brought
up to be yust farmers. Suppose we
move to town where does the culture:
come In?" ,
(To be continued)
THE HERALD ADS