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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - Looking For A Mooley Cow
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Peck's Sunshine - Looking For A Mooley Cow Post by :MrsWebb Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :2301

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Peck's Sunshine - Looking For A Mooley Cow

It is painful to read the remarks made by some of the papers in regard to the wicked stories told about a minister named Atwater, up in Dunn county, who was walking in the woods with a young lady. Some editors would believe anything that was told of a minister, if they knew it was untrue.

The truth of the matter seems to be that the elder called to visit a Miss Northrop, a member of his church, who taught school at Knapp. She seemed to have something on her mind, which she wanted to unfold to him, and as there were other people in the house where she boarded, it was suggested that they walk up a hill, into a piece of woods, where they could talk more freely.

They started out, and a lot of saw mill hands saw them, and immediately concluded that something was wrong, and after the truly good people had got into the brush the men followed. How natural it is for bad men to think there is something wrong, where two persons of the opposite sex are congregated together. The elder and the schoolma'am went in the grubs and sat down on a log, and there she unfolded to him her tale of woe.

It appears that she had violated one of the rules of the church by dancing, and she felt that she ought to confess, and did confess. She cried like a child, and seemed to be weak, and the elder put his arm around her to keep her from falling off the log. Everybody knows how easy it is to roll off a log, if they are not looking, and any man that wouldn't put his arm around a girl, to keep her from falling off a log, would be a fool whom it would be base flattery to call another.

She continued to weep--even the girl admits that--and he put his hand up to her forehead and stroked her hair, and told her to be calm, and her head may have fallen upon his breast. The number of heads that wouldn't, under the circumstances, are mighty few. She was overcome with grief and he with pity, and he tried to show her that if she braced up and tried to lead a different life, and shook the dancing hall and the wicked people who would put their arms around her, she might yet be saved.

One can imagine that he was displeased at her going into a giddy throng, to be hugged in plain sight, to the music of a band, and pointed out to her how much more beautiful it would be to go into the woods, on a log.

He had, it is alleged, got through soothing her, and she was about to wipe her nose on her handkerchief, and he was about to remove his arm from about her waist, when those wicked and perverse men from the saw mill came whooping into the thicket where they sat, looking for a mooley cow with one horn broke.

Now, the elder and the girl knew in a moment that they were not looking for a mooley cow, but that they were scoffers, and when they asked the elder if he had seen such an animal, he rose up with much dignity, buttoned up his coat, and in a pious manner said that he had not seen the cow. He did not upbraid them for breaking into the solitude of the sacred confessional, looking for a mooley cow, but seemed to act the perfect gentleman all the way through.

Nothing had transpired that might not have transpired in a parlor, if there had not been so many people in the house, and yet these illiterate and ungodly saw mill hands went off and told a story that would make angels blush. It is possible that the elder did wrong in not offering to go with them and look for the mooley cow, but we should not chide him for that. He probably had not time to take up a collection of his thoughts, and no doubt after he thought it over he was sorry he did not offer his services to them as a herder of mooley cows, but it was then everlastingly too late.

They had gone and told the old, old story, and nothing remained to be done but to call a church meeting, which was done, and the elder and the girl were acquitted of any wrong doing. This was right. If men are to be deposed from the ministry for sitting down on a log and consoling a female parishioner, what is to become of the world?

We don't believe the elder had any wrong motive, or that a thought entered his head that might not have entered any man's head under the circumstances. And yet it was unfortunate, it is so confounded hard to explain what they walked a mile for to get into the woods where there was a log.

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