Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, December 11, 1925, Image 2
By Copyright, Bell Syndicate (WINU Servics) (Continued from last week.) SYNOPSIS CHAPTER I—Oliver October Baxter, Jr., was born on a vile October day. His parents were prominent in the commercial, social and Spirifual life of the town of Rumley. is father was proprietor of the hardware store. The night that Oliver October was born a gYDpsy queen reads his father’s fortune and tells him what a wonderful future his son has before him, but after the reading, the gypsy becomes angry and Jeaves the house in a rage after telling Mr. Baxter that his son will never reach the age of thirty, that he will be hanged for a crime of which he is not guilty. CHAPTER II.—Ten years elapse and Oliver's father is the owner of a busi- ness block in the town. Mrs. Baxter died when Oliver was nearing seven. Josephine Sage, wife of the minister, causes a sensation when she leaves Rumley to go on the stage. She be- comes a “star” and later goes to Lon- don, where she scores a hit. Her daughter Jane and young Olver be- come greatly attached to one another. After finishing college, young Oliver accepts a position in Chicago with an engineering company. He goes to China on an important mission for his firm. Upon his return he enlists in the Canadian army. CHAPTER III.—The war over, Oliver returns to Chicago and is told by his employers that his services are no longer required. He returns home. He hears Jane is in love with Doctor Lansing. Jane and Oliver meet again, Oliver is reprimanded by his father for not getting another position. Oli- ver threatens to leave home. “You don’t really mean it, Oliver?” cried Mr. Sage. “That is good news— splendid news.” “I hate that old Gooch man,” cried Jane. “Jane, my dear, you really are be- coming quite a vixen,” remonstrated her father. An automobile came to a sudden stop in front of the house, and an agile Young man leaped out, leaving his en- gine running. He came up the walk with long strides. “Say, Oliver, you old skate, I've been looking all over town for you,” shouted Sammy Parr. “This isn’t your night to call on Jane—don't you know that? Good evening, Jane. Evening, Mr. Sage. Say, the Bannesters told me all about you, you blamed old skate—I mean Ollie, not you, Mr. Sage. Gee whiz, Ollie you certainly did throw the hooks into Uncle Horace this time, didn’t you? You certainly—" “Shut up!” growled Oliver, scowling fiercely at the excited Sammy. “What on earth are you talking about, Sammy?’ cried Jane. “Out with it, Sammy, out with it,” counseled Mr. Sage, coming down the steps. “Well, what do you think, Mr. Sage ~—what do you think? Why, this chump here is the guy that lent Mrs, Bannes- ter the money to redeem her house.” “Oh, Oliver!” cried Jane. “Did you really do it? I could squeeze you to death for it. And you never told me— you never breathed a word—" “It was only about a thourand dol- lars,” mumbled Oliver. “Sure it was,” agreed Sam cheerful- ly. “But right there and then the destiny of the great American nation was Shaped along new lines. The words were no sooner out of the mouth of old Mrs. Bannester when the boom was born! Yes, sir, at that very mo- ment—" “0h, for the Lord's sake, Slammy, slow down! What the dickens are you driving at, anyhow? Boom? What boom?” “Your boom, you idiot! The boom's been started for you as candidate for state senator against old man Gooch.” “Why, you darned chump,” roared Oliver, “I'm not going to run for state senator or anything else. You must be crazy. [I'll head it off tomorrow. I'll telephone—"’ “Won’t do you a darned bit of good,” cried Sammy exultingly. “They'll nom- inate you, anyhow. Why, you're the only man in this county that would stand a ghost of a show, Ollie. And the best of all—popular nephew run- ning against Shylock uncle! Gee whiz! I'm going down to see Al Wilson at the Despatch office. Put him wise and warn him not to let a word of it leak out in the paper till he gets the word. Night, Mr. Sage—so long, Jane.” “Wait a minute!” called out Oliver, springing to his feet as Sammy darted down the walk. “Nix!” shouted Sammy over his shoulder. The three of them watched him in silence as he leaped into his car and began his swift, reckless turn in the narrow street. “What are you going to do about it?” inquired the minister, the first to speak. Jane did not give Oliver a chance to reply. “Do about it?” she cried. “Why, he’s going to run against old Gooch and beat the life out of him!” Oliver looked up at her, She stood at the top of the steps, the light from the open door falling athwart her radi- apt face, half in shadow, half in the warm, soft glow. Suddenly his heart began to pound—heavy, smothering love half a dozen times. blows against his ribs that had the ef- fect of making him dizzy, as with verti- go. He continued to stare, possessed of a strange wonder, as she turned to her tall, gray-haired parent and laid both hands on his shoulders. “I wish I could say ‘gee whiz’ as Sammy says it,” she cried. “I feel all over just 1lke one great big ‘zee whiz.’ Don’t you, daddy?” The man of God took his daughter’s firm, round chin between his thumb and forefinger and shook it lovingly. “One ‘gee whiz” in the famly is enough,” said he. “I am glad you feel like one, however. You take me back 25 years, my dear. Your mother used to say ‘gee whiz’ when she felt like it. It is, after all, a rather harmless way of exploding.” Presently he left them and Jane spoke softly. “Did you notice, Oliver, that he spoke of mother a little while age? It wus the first time in years. I wonder if I remind him of her in lots of ways.” Oliver's thoughts leaped backward a scere of years and more. “I used to think she was the most wonderful per- son in ali the world.” he said. “I was very desperately in love with your mother when I was six or seven, Jane.” He hesitated and then went on clumsi- ly, almost fatuously: “I am beginning to think that you are like her in a lot of ways.” She gave him a quick, startled look. His face was turned away, and so he did not see the tender, wistful little smile that flickered on her lips, nor was he aware of the long, deep breath she took. From that moment a queer, uneasy restraint fell upon them. There were long silences, dreamy on her part, moody on his. He left shortly after 10; his “good-night” was strangely gruff and unnatural. He was jealous. He knew it for a fact, he confessed it to himself for the first time openly and unreservedly. He was jealous ef young Lansing. There was no use trying to deny it. He did not go so far as to think of himself as being in love with Jane— that would be ridiculous, after all the years they had known each other— but he bitterly resented the thought that she might be in love with some one else. Especially with the superior. supercilious, cocksure Lansing! CHAPTER V An Amazing Cablegram “Why, if Jane were in love with Lansing,” reflected Oliver, “good Lord, what a fool he had been to think it would make no difference te him! It would make a difference—an appalling difference. All nonsense to think she wouldn't go out of his life if she mar- ried Lansing or anyone else. Of course she would. Strange, though, that he should be so consumed with jealousy when he wasn’t the least bit in love with Jane himself. He had been in He ought to know what love was—and certainly -his feelingh toward Jane were nothing like those he had experienced in by- gone affairs of the heart. Gee whiz! ‘What had suddenly got into him? The next morning he was down at the swamp bright and early, inspecting the work of the ditchers and tile lay- ers. The task of reclaiming the land had been under way for several months and was slowly nearing completion. “I wish you’d change your mind about not going out any farther, Oli- ver,” said old John Phillips, who was superintending the work. “We could go out a quarter of a mile farther with- out a bit of risk, and you'd add about 20 acres of good land to—" “We'll have enough, John,” inter- rupted the young man. “We'll stick to the original survey. Don’t go a rod be- yond the stakes I set up out yonder. It may be safe but it isn’t worth while.” “Well, you’re the boss,” grumbled old John, and adted somewhat peevish- ly: “But I can’t help saying I think you're aking a mistake. There's some mighty good land there, 'spite of them mudholes a little farther out.” “I'm not denying that,” said Oliver patiently. “But we'll stop where the stakes are, just the same.” A few minutes later old John con- fided to one of the ditclers that young Baxter was considerable of a darned fool. Either that, or else he had some thundering good reason of his own for not wanting to go out beyomd the stakes. “This here job has cost up’ards of $3,000 already, and for a couple of hundred more he could clean up clear to the edge of the mire. I used to look upon that boy as a smart young feller.” “Maybe he's a whole lot smarter than you think,” said the ditcher sig- nificantly. “Oh, I don’t for a minute think it's that,” said old John hastily. “Not for a minute,” “I can’t help thinkin’ we'll turn up that old man’s body some day. It sort of gives me the creeps.” The two big ditches, fed by lateral lines of tile, held a straight course across the upper end of the swamp and drained into Blacksnake creek, a sluggish little stream half a mile west of Rumley. Roughly estimated, three hundred acres were being transformed into what in time was bound to be- come valuable land. Oliver was walking slowly back to the house, his head Bent, his hands in his pockets, when he observed an auto- mobile approaching over the deeply rutted, seldom traveled road. He recog- nized the car at once. Lansing’s yel- low roadster. “Hello, there!” called out Lansing. “Hop in, Oliver. I've been sent to fetch you over to Mr. Sage's. He had a cablegram this morning and sort of went to pieces.” “A "cablegram? His wife—is she dead?” “I should say not. She's sailing for the United States tomorrow and is coming here to live!” It was true that Josephine Sage was corsing home. The beatific minister thrust the cablegram into Oliver’s hand as that young man came bounding up the veranda steps ten minutes later. “She’s coming on the Baltic. I have declded to go to New York to meet her. Jane will accompany me. I wish you would find out for me, Oliver, when the Baltic is due to arrive at New York. Please help me out, lad. Perhaps I should have telegraphed my- self—or had Jane do it—but we—I mean I—er—" “Say,” interrupted Oliver, with sparkling eyes. “I'll bet you're 20 Years younger than you were yester- day, Uncle Herbert!” “I—I believe I am,” said Mr. Sage, squaring his thin shoulders and draw- ing a deep breath. * * * * $ ® * Mr. Horace Gooch of Hopkinsville heretofore a miserly aspirant for legis. lative honors but persistently denied the distinction for which he was loath to pay, had “come across” so hand- somely—and so desperately—that the bosses had foolishly permitted him to be nominated for the state senate. The people did not want him; but that made little or no difference to the party leaders; the people had to take him whether they liked him or not. Mr. Gooch’s astonishing contribution to the campaign fund was not to be “passed up” merely because the people didn’t approve of him. The report that young Oliver Baxter of Rumley was being urged to make the race against his uncle caused no Busey i “Nobody Knows What the People Want,” Replied the Chairman Sen- tentiously. Jneasiness among the bosses. It was not until after the young man was nominated and actually in the field that misgivings beset them. Young Baxter was popular in the southern section of the county, he was a war hero and he was an upstanding figure in a community where the voters were as likely as not to “jump the traces.” The bosses sent for Mr. Gooch and suggested that it wouldn't be a bad idea for him to withdraw from the race —on account of his age, or his health, or his nephew, “Do you mean to tell me,” began Horace, genuinely amazed, “that you think this young whipper-snapper of a nephew of mine is liable to defeat me?” “Nobody knows what the people want,” replied the chairman senten- tiously. “Now, this young Baxter. He's a fine feller. He has a clear record. There isn’t a thing we can say against him. On the other hand, he can say a lot of nasty things about you, Mr. Gooch. I'm not saying you'll be licked next November, but you stand a blamed good chance of it, let me tell you, if this young Baxter goes after you without gloves.” “I've just been thinking,” said Mr. Gooch, leaning forward in his chair, “suppose I go down to Rumley and have a talk with Oliver.” “What about?” demanded the other, sharply. “I may be able to reason with him.” “No chance,” said the other, shaking his head. “He's got it in for you, I hear.” Mr. Gooch got up and began pacing the floor. “See here, Smith,” he began, halting in front of the “boss.” “I may as well come out flat-footed and tell you I've never been satisfied with all these stories and speculations concerning the disappearance of my brother-in-law a year ago. It's mighty queer that a man like Oliver Baxter could disappear off of the face of the earth and never be heard of again. Most people believe he’s alive—hiding somewhere—but I don’t believe it for a minute. He's dead. He died that night a year ago when he had his last row with his son, And, what’s more to the point, I am here to say I don’t believe his son has told all he knows about the—er—the matter.” “Say, what are you trying to get at, Mr. Gooch. That comes pretty near to being a charge, doesn’t it?” “You can call it what you please. All I've got to say is that I’m not sat- isfied, and I'm going to the bottom of tlils business if it's possible to do so.” Two days later, Horace Gooch stopped his ancient automobile in front of the Baxter block in Rumley and in- | quired of a man in the doorway: “Is young Oliver Baxter here?” The loiterer turned his head lazily, squinted searchingly into the store, and then replied that he was. “Tell him his uncle is out here.” The citizen disappeared. He was back in a jiffy, grinning broadly. “Well?” demanded Mr. Gooch, as the messenger remained silent. “What did he say?” The citizen chuckled. print,” said he, Mr. Gooch shut off his engine and settled back in the seat, the personifi- cation of grim and dogged patience. Fifteen minutes passed. Passersby, sensing something unusual, found an excuse for loitering in front of nearby show windows. Mr. Link came out of his office, and after taking one look at the hard-faced old man in the automo- bile, hurried to the rear of his estab- lishment. A few seconds later he re- turned, accompanied by Joseph Sikes. They took up a position in the door- way. At last Oliver October appeared. “Hello, Uncle Horace,” was his greet- ing. “Sorry to have kept you waiting. And I'm in a bit of a hurry, too. Some friends coming down on No. 17, Mr. and Mrs. Sage—you remember them, no doubt. Anything in particular you wanted to see me about?” “Yes, there is,” said Mr. Gooch harsh- ly. “I came over here to demand an apology from you, young man—a pub- lic apology printed over your signature in the newspapers. I wrote you a very plain and dignified letter in which I told you what I thought of the under- handed way you acted in regard to those dear old ladies, Mrs. Bannester and her sister. You know as well as I do that it was my intention to restore their property to them, absolutely tax free and without a single claim against it. You simply sneaked in and got ahead of me. And what did you say in reply to my simple, straightforward letter? You said you wouldn't trust me as far as you could throw a loco- motive with one hand, or something like that. If I don’t have a written and published acknowledgment from you that you deliberately misrepre- sented me, that ypu played me an un- derhand trick simply for political pur- poses, I'll—I'll— “T’ll make it so blamed hot for you you'll wish you’d never been born,” grated Mr. Gooch. “It rests with you, young man, whether a certain investi- gation takes place or not.” “What do you mean by investiga- tion?” demanded Oliver, his eyes nar- rowing. “Just what are you driving at? His uncle leaned forward and spoke slowly, distinctly. “Is there any evi- dence that your father ever left this place at all?” Oliver looked his uncle straight in the eye for many seconds, a curious pallor stealing over his face. “There is no evidence to the con- trary.” “There's no evidence at all,” said Gooch, “either one way or the other. There has never been anything like a thorough search for him—in the neigh- borhood of his own home. I don’t be- lieve Oliver Baxter ever ran away from home. I believe he's out there in that swamp of yours. Now you know what I mean by an investigation, young man —and if it is ever undertaken I want to say to you it won't be under your direction, and it won’t be a half-heart- ed job. And the swamp won't be the only place to be searched. There are other places he might be besides that swamp.” “I think I get your meaning, Uncle Horace,” said Oliver, now cool and self-possessed. If I agree to withdraw from the race and perjure myself in the matter of the Bannester tax scan- dal, you will drop the investigation and forget all about it—even though I may have killed my own father?” “% am not here to argue with you,” snapped Mr. Gooch, his gaze sweeping “It ain’t fit to the ever-increasing group of spectators. “Your candidacy has nothing to do with my determination to sift this busi- ness to the bottom,” he went on, sud- denly realizing that he was now com- mitted to definite action. “I shall ap- peal to the proper authorities and noth- ing you do or say, young man, can head off the investigation. That's final I” CHAPTER VI A Star’s Homecoming The return of Mrs. Sage after an ab- sence of 23 years was an “event” far surpassing in interest anything that had transpired in Rumley since the strange . disappearance of old Oliver Baxter, Hundreds of people, eager to see the famous “Josephine Judge,” crowded the station platform long before the train from Chicago was due to arrive; they filled the depot windows; they were packed like sardines atop the spare baggage and express trucks; they ranged in overflow disorder along the sidewalks on both sides of the street adjacent. The train pulled in. The crowd tip- toed and gaped, craned its thousand necks, and then surged to the right. Above the hissing of steam and the grinding of wheels rose the voice of Sammy Parr far down the platform. “Keep back, everybody! Don’t crowd up so close. Right this way, Mr. Sage —How are you? Open up there, will you? Let ’em through. Got my new car over here, Mr. Sage—lots of room. Hello, Jane! Great honor to have the pleasure of taking Mrs. Sage home in my car. Right over this way. Grab those suitcases, boy. Open up, please!” (To be Continued.) BA —Get your job work done here. A SES TT SOR ORR ED SR Ry, STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN. Motorists disregarding danger exist- ing at railroad grade crossings have at least 11 seconds to think and act after hearing the first whistle of an approaching train before the train reaches the crossing, railroad officials say. Two long and two short blasts constitutes the warning signal. Engineers sound the first shrill blast of the whistle on their engine when the train is 1,000 feet from the crossing and a train traveling 60 miles an hour reaches the crossing approx- imately 12 seconds after the first warning, but the warning precedes the arrival of the train at the crossing by slightly less than 11 seconds. In the case of a railroad crossing at right angles to the rails, a motorist near the crossing has 11 seconds to either stop or determine if he has enough time to cross. Railroad offi- cials say the former plan should be adopted by all drivers for the matter of safety. The officials point out, however, that | a slower passenger train or a freight | reaches the crossing a few seconds lat- er than the train traveling 60 miles | an hour. ! Sound travels 1,000 feet a second un- | der average atmospheric conditions and a whistle from an engine 1,000 feet away from the crossing is heard in one second. A train traveling 60 | miles an hour will reach the crossing in approximately one fifth of a min- | ute giving the motorist 11 seconds to think out his course of procedure for | safety. Thousands of persons are killed an- nually at grade crossings because the ! drivers of automobiles fail to heed the | warnings at the crossings and of the | whistle of the approaching train, offi- | cials say. The time in which they ! have to think and act is usually at! least 11 seconds, only a few trains | running faster than 60 miles an hour, | and in most cases the time is from 14 | to 18 seconds for passenger trains and aproximately 24 seconds for slow | passenger or freight trains traveling | 30 miles an hour. An interesting problem associated | with the foregoing data is that if a locomotive whistles when 5,000 feet : away from the crossing while travel- | ing 5,000 feet a minute and stops | whistling when it reaches the crossing | and it takes five seconds for the sound , to reash the crossing only 55 seconds | of whistling is heard, although the, whistle blows for a minute. | Also, if the locomotive is traveling away from the crossing at the rate of 5,000 feet a minute and starts whist- | ling at the crossing and whistles fora ! minute, 65 seconds of whistle are heard, including the five seconds of whistle that comes back after the en- gineer shuts off the steam.—Ex. 462,624 Dogs Licensed in Pennsylva- nia This Year. The latest report from the Bureau of Animal Industry, State Department of Agriculture, indicates that 462,624 dogs have been licensed individually in Pennsylvania during the first nine months of 1925. This number is 9,551 more than were licensed during the same period in 1924 and 84,273 more than during the same period in 1923. Forty counties show an increase in the number of dogs licensed this year over the same period last year. Coun- ties in which more than 10,000 indi- vidual licenses have been issued to October 1 include Allegheny, Berks, Cambria, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Lancaster, Luzerne, Mont- gomery, Westmoreland, Washington and York. A total of 1,652 claims for damages done by dogs have been received by the Department of Agriculture up to November 1 and a total of $60,532.30 ° has been paid to owners of live stock and poultry, after careful investiga- tion of the claims. Damage claims as a result of sheep being killed or injured by dogs show a reduction this year over previous years, due principally to the vigorous enforcement of the dog law in the | sheep raising sections of the State. : There has been an increase, however, : in the poultry damage claims due probably to the fact that the public is becoming better informed on the dog law and its provisions for pay- ing damage claims resulting from dogs killing chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and other poultry. U. S. Tourists to Cuba to Get Tax Exemption. Citizens of the United States will receive the same privileges given Cu- ban citizens by the immigration au- thorities, under a recent department ruling. The treasury department has ex- empted tourists and other travelers from payment of the one-quarter of one per cent. tax on money above $50 taken out of the country by travelers. Secretary of the Treasury Cartaya authorized steamship companies to is- sue identification cards to passengers, which, on their leaving the country, absolves them from either making a statement as to the amount of money they are carrying or payment of the tax. Sr — A nie ——Uncle Eph’m had put on a clean collar and his best coat, and was walking majestically up and down the street. “Are you working today, uncle?” asked one of his acquaintances. “No sub. I’se celebratin’ my gold- en weddin’ suh.” “You were married fifty years ago today ?”’ “Yes, suh.” “Well, why isn’t your wife helping you to celebrate it?” “My present wife, suh,” replied Uncle Eph’um, with dignity, “ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. She’s de fo’th.” Giving of Toys. The origin of the custum of giving toys to the children at Christmas has never been authentically traced. It is known that children of the early. Egyptians received toys as gifts at | stated periods, during which their elders indulged in festivals of good will more than 2,000 years before the coming ‘of Christ.—George Newell | Moran. | Harrisburg, January 18 to 22. land is seen. . purchaser may be so engulfed in the: , than Pennsylvania. of the land before buying. happens that unsuspecting people buy FARM NOTES. —Care should be taken to store gladiolas, canna, and dahlia bulbs in a cool dry place out of the reach of mice and protected from freezing. —The poultry house flodded with sunlight is much more healthful and sanitary than a dark one. It also tends to make the flock contented. Eggs come from contented birds. —Christmas trees that are to be shipped must be cut early if they are to arrive at the market on time. they are very late in arriving, they might just as well be a whole year late. —Pennsylvania State College crop : specialists recommend applying left- : over fertilizer on pasture land instead ' of keeping it over in a damp place where it will become hard and lumpy before spring. —If you already have a window flower stand in which begonias or other such tender plants are growing, parsley may be planted along the out- er edge of the box. This can be used for flavoring all winter. —Now is the time to select those specimens you are planning to exhibit. at the State Farm Products Show at he: local or county show is a good place to ' test the strength of your exhibit. —Is your seed corn safe from the danger of freezing? The wet weather this fall has prevented proper curing so that a freeze may result in serious trouble to the seed corn supply. A | little extra pains may save a corn crop. —Give attention to the water sup- ply for the sows during the winter. They should be allowed a plentiful supply of water that is not too cold. Ice cold water will throw the hog’s: system out of condition and will often cause abortion. —Do you know that McIntosh, Grimes, and Smokehouse are good eat- ing apples now? With an occasional delicious Rhode Island Greening, or Hubbardston thrown in, you soon find that instead of eating apples merely for the health’s sake you get real plea- sure from indulging in a ripe, juicy eating apple. —Have the farm tools and machines: not in use been housed for the winter ? Greasing the working parts will pre-- vent rusting and insure more satis- faction when the machine is started next year. If a list of needed repairs. is made when the machinery is put away, the parts may be ordered and put on before.the spring work starts. —Pennsylvanians, both farmers and city folks, are advised by the State De- partment of Agriculture to be cautious about buying farm land in distant States. Land like grass looks green- est at a distance to some people and they are easily talked into an invest-- ment by speculators often before the: Even when seen, the: enthusiasm of the real estate agent. that the fact is forgotten that land must have transportation facilities and the products a satisfactory market in order to have value for farming pur- poses. Before disregarding an investment in farm land in Pennsylvania in favor of land in a distant State, attention ig called to the fact that land in this State costs relatively less in view of its: unexcelled local markets and its abil- ity to produce good crops than the: land in many sections in which farm- ers have recently been asked to invest. their money. No State has more large consuming centers within trucking: distance of the majority of its farms This obviates: long costly freight hauls and gives. every assurance of a satisfactory mar-. ket cutlet. However, if a person is determined to invest in land outside the State, he: is urged to make a personal inspection. It often swamp or desert land, or perhaps. property too remote from transporta- tion facilities to be of any value. —Now is the time to mulch straw-- berries in Centre county. The mulch-- ing of strawberries cannot be over-- emphasized for either the home gard- en bed or the commercial plantation.. Benefits from the added protection. are; prevention against soil heaving,.. early frosts and excessive loss of mois-- ture; berries of higher quality; and. greater ease in harvesting. The ef- fectiveness of a mulch is dependent. upon the material used, the depth of mulch, and the time of application. Some believe that the mulch should : be applied when the ground is firm. enough to support a wagon and its. load without cutting in. However, many delay too long before spreading the mulch. The fruit buds of straw- berries develop during the latter part of August or early September and coun- tinue until extreme cold weather pre- vents vegetative development. Con- sequently if the mulch is applied at . the time when the greatest vegetative growth ceases many of the later buds to form would not be killed by severe freezing but permitted to mature as a result of the added protection. The amount of mulching material to use will depend on the locality and perhaps on the age of the plantation . or the vegetative condition of the plants. The amount of material gen- erally decreases with an increase of latitude due to the increased protec- tion from a heavier fall of snow. The . amount used will vary from 2 to 4 tons per acre which will provide a mulch of 2 to 3 inches. A number of materials are used for mulching. The determining factors in the choice of the material are cost and availability. Wheat and oat straw are undoubtedly used more than any others although they do not serve the purpose as well as marsh grass or pine needles which contain no weed seeds and do not mat down so as to smother the plants. Barnyard manure is fre- quently used, but the weed seed con- tent is a disadvantage while often blue mold appears to take a greater toll of fruit. Leaves are used in some sec- tions but the outstanding drawback to - their use is the tendency to mat and thus cause suffocation of the plants. . Throughout the eastern berry sec- tions the use of either oat or wheat straw is most common. Corn stover - which has been shredded can be used . to a good advantage. .