Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, December 11, 1925, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Copyright, Bell Syndicate (WINU Servics)
(Continued from last week.)
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, 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
“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-
“0h, for the Lord's sake, Slammy,
slow down! What the dickens are you
driving at, anyhow? Boom? What
“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
“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
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
Jane did not give Oliver a chance to
“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
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!
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
“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-
“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
“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-
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
“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,
“I may be able to reason with him.”
“No chance,” said the other, shaking
his head. “He's got it in for you, I
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
“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-
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
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-
“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
“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”
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
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.)
—Get your job work done here.
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 |
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
Citizens of the United States will
receive the same privileges given Cu-
ban citizens by the immigration au-
thorities, under a recent department
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
Sr — A nie
——Uncle Eph’m had put on a clean
collar and his best coat, and was
walking majestically up and down the
“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
—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
—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
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-
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. .