Romantic Capers


Miss Jennie Sypolt, a young lady of Kingwood, who was a poor girl and had to work for her living, answered an advertisement in a matrimonial paper, then began to correspond with a young David A. Murphy, of Kaigs Mills. He was 34 years old and “a real nice looking fellow, “all the girls said.” He claimed to have a small farm, with a comfortable home of his own, and his mother lived with him. She was getting to old to keep house for him now, so he needed a wife.

Through letter writing back and forth their friendship ripened into affection. They exchanged photographs, mutual tokens of esteem, and soon became engaged by correspondence. After a time they reached an understanding that he was to come visit her, and if both were satisfied they would get married. If they were not, no harm was done, and the courtship could be dropped. She was an exemplary church member, not lazy, and no one had anything against her, except that “she wasn’t handsome.” But faith in her lover was strong, never doubting that he would come and marry her.

A time was set for Friday of that week to meet. The would-be-groom arrived in Kingwood on the noon train and walked to the Preston House Inn, where the expectant bride was waiting for him. They were both satisfied and the courtship was brief. At 2 P.M. the next day they were married and left on the 4 o’clock train for the home of the groom. They lived the rest of their lives in love and respect for each other.

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Burglary in Beyers Mills Present Day Fuoss Mills!

October 3, 1863

The burglars entered the wash-house where they stole, clothing, boots, shoes and four jars of peaches, from the home of Aaron Beyer.

From the wash-house, they then broke into the parlor by removing strips from the window, enabling them to hoist the sash. Quiet as cats in padded boots they found the center table and took a new cover. At the book-case they removed valuable reading material along with two picture albums, that contained several images of members of family, and close friends. These cannot be replaced, with money. The family is saddened by this.

Mr. Beyer related to the constable: “They must be old offenders, as their work had been accomplished so noiselessly that none of us in the household were awakened by their presence.”

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Disease Has Broken Out at Fuoss Mills.

June 1918

For three days a lack of appetite, nausea and fever ravaged his body. On the morning of the fourth day after getting out of bed he looked at his arms and there they were. The dreaded red spots, they were all over him. The forty-five year old rushed to the phone. “Hello, Dr. Forrest, this is Charles McFarlane in Fuoss Mills. Can you come right over I’m very ill?”

“Yes, I’ll grab my bag and be there in ten minutes.”

Dr. Forrest made the ten minutes drive from Bellwood in five.

He rang the door bell, Charles opened it. “Thank you for getting here so fast, please come in.”

As he stepped through the door a large number of people were milling about the house. “Oh, Charles why are all these people here?”

“They live with me. Family.” Dr. Forrest shook his head.

“This isn’t good. Where can I examine you?”

“Come into my bedroom.” After looking carefully at the patient.

“Charles, I’m going to call another doctor. I want a second opinion to be sure my diagnosis is correct. May I use your phone.”

“Yes, it’s on the wall by the kitchen door.”

“Hello, Dr. Findley. This is Dr. Forrest, I’m at the McFarlane’s in Fuoss Mills. I need you to come down and give me a second opinion of what this disease might be. I’m hoping it’s not what I think it is.”

“Yes, I ‘ll be there as soon as I can.”

Fifteen minutes later he arrived from Altoona. After much discussion the physicians were fully satisfied that the disease was smallpox.

As word spread throughout the community, located a short distance from Tyrone, everyone was in panic mode. The house and all twelve occupants were put in strict quarantine and were required to stay in the home and not leave for any reason.

The friends and family who had come in contact in any way with the McFarlane’s in the past month were required to be vaccinated plus burn and destroy their clothes.

The Doctors made a statement to the local press to ease the hysteria of the small community. “This case is a mild form of the disease, steps we have taken will keep it from spreading. Blair County health authorities are also taking precautions to, confine it to this town.”

In a couple of weeks Mr. McFarlane completely recovered and life soon went back to normal, in Fuoss Mills.

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Copperhead Snake Bites.

Fuoss Mills mother of five struck. August 1953

The afternoon heat was building as Jeanne and her eleven year old daughter walked to the flower garden. Ten strands of white string hooked below the gutter, the other end attached to stakes in the ground, running the length of the side of the house. Beautiful Morning Glories of lavender, white, and red grew around the cords half way to the roof. Peggy watched as her mom bent down and wrapped her fingers around a weed. “Ouch.” Her index finger stinging as she pulled her hand back. At first she thought she had been stung by a bee, but when she parted the flowers, fear flashed through her body, the snake lay coiled, ready too strike again. She jerked her daughter back onto the porch, opened the kitchen door and pushed her in. “Don’t let any of the other children outside.” She slammed the door, ran across the porch crying and yelling, “stay in the house kids don’t come out.” She continued running to the next door neighbor who took her to the hospital.

Before she arrived at the emergency room her arm had swollen to her elbow. They did not have the anti-venom on hand and had to send to another hospital to get it.

Her husband was called home from work. As he walked to the side of the house the snake came slithering out of the flower bed. He had a shovel in hand and killed it. Turning he ripped the flowers down, carried them to the trash barrel and stuffed them in. After a week in the hospital his wife recovered and went home.

She was the second victim of a poisonous reptile reported in the Tyrone area in five days. The newspapers speculate the state had sprayed the power lines on the mountain and the snakes were coming down for water. Jeanne’s house lay between the power lines and the river.

The next year she strung the white lines and planted her Morning Glories. But this time she checked carefully before weeding the garden.

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Her Desire For Husband Too Strong

Life in the United States as it was in 1911.

Miss Grace Holland a pretty eastern girl, traveled from Ohio to become the bride of a man named Lockett, who lived in Beatty, Nevada. A farmer who claimed to be a mining man, placed ads in the Cincinnati paper saying he was looking for love. She answered and started communications with him. They entered a brief courtship by mail. He persuaded her to come and meet him with the purpose of talking over a proposition of matrimony. She agreed, but only if he paid her expenses.

He sent her the money. She traveled there and he met her at the train station, but refused to  state who he was. She decided not to stick around and traveled on to Goldfield, Nevada. Lockett complained to the authorities that she obtained his money under false pretenses. When she stepped off the train the police were waiting for her.

She was allowed to go to a hotel and later he dismissed the complaint. She retained a lawyer and prepared to sue him for damages. For a time she felt like a stranger in a strange land.

Two days later she was having dining in a restaurant and met Daniel O’Keefe. Following a four-day courtship she became his bride.

Now all ended happily since she has become the wife of one of Goldfield’s prominent citizens. Having found an ideal westerner in her husband, and is very happy.

She has not decided what to do with the suit she intended to bring against Lockett.

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2016 Kindle Book Review Semi-Finalist!

The victim? Bert Grayson, a known fighter and drinker from the rough side of town, found in a dark alley with his throat slit. The police ended their investigation after a couple of weeks due to lack of evidence; or so they say. Through her letters to Bert’s sister, a young barmaid named Lillian Grace claims the whole thing was a cover-up, and the cops were in on it, too.

So when Lee Perkins comes across mysterious letters with information about a fifty-year-old murder case, he begins a chase for a killer.

Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows, now only .99 on Amazon. 2016 Kindle Book Review Semi-Finalist!

List Maker or a Wing Man?

My daughter is a List Maker, planner, organizer, plotter. In fact she even wrote a book on organizing. Her life is all about order. I’m just the opposite. I’m more of a Wing Man.

My question to you is; are you the List Maker in your writing, reading, shopping? Or are you a Wing Man? An idea slides into your mind and you go right to the computer and start writing that great novel. As you’re writing the plot moves along, people, places, ideas continue to populate your mind. In about six months you write the End.

The List Maker; searches for ideas. Finds a few after careful study, then on paper with pen in hand, comes up with names of each character and a sketch of who they are. Writes out places for the story to take shape, what it will look, feel, and smell like. A careful laying out of the plot. Then the List Maker is ready to write the story. Six months later the End.

In the end we both achieve the same goal. We all reach our goals in different ways. We all use different methods, that get us where we want to be. THE END.

Let me know what you think and thank you for Traveling with me.

Is It Suspicion or Curiosity?

Do you think there is a detective spirit born in most of us?

Even as a child we would pry deeper because of a built in bent to inquire. Curiosity vicariously urges us to investigate things that are slightly irregular.

Curiosity operates on logic, common sense, and reason.

With the best television detectives we probe, and analyze the evidence, pondering the killers next move.

But, only in books can you truly lose yourself, walk into another time or space and live there for a couple of hours.

Great mysteries are built on the ability of the author to transport you there, while enjoying the journey.

What do you think?

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Have you been to A Place Called There?

In the stillness of the night I lingered there, enjoying the frogs jumping in the pond as the stars lit up the dark sky. The tree branches came to life with the sounds of birds, squirrel and insects. Then as fast it came, it all went dead silent. A slight jerk of my head angled off to one side signaled that I should leave. I felt the quick movement of something behind me. I was afraid to look. The cold wind picked up howling through the tree tops.

At first I moved as if in slow motion. What was wrong with my legs, they weighed a hundred pounds each. I was dragging one foot in front of the other.  Then, I seemed to break free. Running as fast as my rubbery legs would go, chasing the wind and clutching at shadows. My footfalls echoed through the Bridge, then like a flash of lightning I bolted out the other side, glancing over my shoulder as something came rushing at me from behind.

The stench of wet mud and wild animals stung my nose. Would this be the way I would die? I couldn’t imagine it would end like this. Then I saw it up ahead. The bright light pulling me forward, I know she’s waiting I told myself.

Out of breath, warm tears streaming down my cheeks, I saw the steps. Sobbing, I leaped onto the porch, wrapped my arms around Mom’s waist and hugged her tight.

“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

“I stopped at the Pond on my way home and lost track of time. It got dark. The noise of the night filled my head. Foot steps behind me grew close. I felt someone or somethings hot breath on the back of my neck, my eyes darted from side to side as I ran. My heart was pounding so loud I couldn’t think. The tingling from my head to my feet made me think I would die. Your shadow in the doorway, intensified by the bright light behind you gave me courage. I stretched out my arms hoping I would make it to you, before it grabbed me.”

Hugging her tight. “You’re safe now. Your home.” She stroked her daughter’s hair as she looked out into the night. “All I see are shadows on the road. I’ll tell you this honey as a word of warning, tomorrow don’t stop at the pond, you know the Legend of the The Place Called There.”

“Don’t worry Mom. I will never stop There again.”

“Come, let’s go into the kitchen, I have hot chocolate waiting for us.”

Copyrighted February 2018

Write your own ending. Tell me how you would have ended this story in the comments. You should always leave something behind. Comments, tracks, stories. I want to hear what you have to say. Thank you for Traveling With Me.

Who Was Beautiful, Seductive Delilah?

Delilah. Was the beautiful, faithless, Philistine woman who Samson fell head over heels in love with. He was so blinded by his passion that he revealed to her the secret of his great power.

Then one night while he slept, she cut off his golden strands of strength.

Her name was Hebrew but she is believed to be a Philistine. Is Delilah an example of how the devil exploits people’s weaknesses?

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