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To the east, approaching the river, wooded hills sank away, row after row, and wherever the slopes were gentler, there were fields spread out halfway up, and in undulating old hull and placed on a modern steel barge. The Goldenrod still entertains audiences with old-time melodrama and olios, but does so today at St. Charles, Missouri. 7. S. Highway 61. S. topographical maps published in 1947 show it as Highway 25. 22 My Farm on the Mississippi the valley floors, clean white villages were grouped around spiked church steeples.

They wore big straw hats or white bonnets, and as they looked up from their hoes, they waved to us, as if cars were a rarity in these parts. We met schoolchildren, on their way home for lunch; some were barefoot, and even this was astounding, because elsewhere schoolchildren were almost always transported by bus. Tractors puffed, covered over with big white parasols, even though it was not really hot. But the main impression was not the modern mechanization, but the signs of an earlier time. Farmers drove in the direction of the main road in little high-wheeled horse-drawn wagons that in Germany would be called Sandschneider (sandcutters)—two-seaters with a bonnetlike leatherette cover over them.

The first bucket, let down on a rope, brought a live tarantula and a dead bird to light; both displeased me, for there was nothing for us to do but manage temporarily with boiled Mississippi water. The path to the river led through the neglected garden, crossed the railroad, and then appeared to lead to a big peninsula. That had become an island, however, because of the flood, so I went farther down the path to the water and scooped the bucket full. One of the large cans in the kitchen turned out to be a clean flour container, and after six times back and forth Rita was temporarily provided with water.

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