The Leatherwood God

The Leatherwood God

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The Leatherwood God by William Dean Howells

Published:

1916

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The Leatherwood God

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The author thinks it well to apprise the reader that the historical outline of this story is largely taken from the admirable narrative of Judge Taneyhill in the Ohio Valley Series, Robert Clarke Co., Cincinnati. The details are often invented, and the characters are all invented as to their psychological evolution, though some are based upon those of real persons easily identifiable in that narrative. The drama is that of the actual events in its main development; but the vital incidents, or the vital uses of them, are the author's. At times he has enlarged them; at times he has paraphrased the accounts of the witnesses; in one instance he has frankly reproduced the words of the imposter as reported by one who heard Dylks's last address in the Temple at Leatherwood and as given in the Taneyhill narrative.

Book Excerpt

and daubun' keeps fallun' out, and lettun' all the kinds of weather there is in on us, and Sally she's at me about it, too; she's wuss'n I am, if anything. I reckon if she had her say we'd have a two-room cabin, too, and a loft over both parts, like you have, Mis' Braile, or a frame house, even. But I don't believe anybody but you could keep this floor so clean. Them knots in the puncheons just shine! And that chimbly-piece with that plaster of Paris Samuel prayin' in it; well, if Sally's as't me for a Samuel once I reckon she has a hundred times; and that clock! It's a pictur'." He looked about the interior as he took the seat offered him at the table, and praised the details of the furnishing with a reference to the effect of each at home. In this he satisfied that obscure fealty of the husband who feels that such a connection of the absent wife with some actual experience of his is equivalent to their joint presence. It was not so much to praise Mrs. Braile's belongings to her as to propitiate the idea of

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