A Branch Road
Up the Coulee
Among the Corn Rows
The Return of a Private
Under the Lion's Paw
The Creamery Man
A Day's Pleasure
Mrs Ripley's Trip
Uncle Ethan Ripley
A "Good Fellow's" Wife
The mood of bitterness in which these books were written was renewed and augmented by a second visit to my parents in 1889, for during my stay my mother suffered a stroke of paralysis due to overwork and the dreadful heat of the summer. She grew better before the time came for me to return to my teaching in Boston, but I felt like a sneak as I took my way to the train, leaving my mother and sister on that bleak and sun-baked plain.
"Old Paps Flaxen," "Jason Edwards," "A Spoil of Office," and most of the stories gathered into the second volume of Main-Travelled Roads were written in the shadow of these defeats. If they seem unduly austere, let the reader remember the times in which they were composed. That they were true of the farms of that day no one can know better than I, for I was there-a farmer.
Life on the farms of Iowa and Wisconsin-even on the farms of Dakota-has gained in beauty and security, I will admit, but there are still wide stretches of territory in Kansas and Nebraska where the
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