"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."-Genesis 8:22
Penn County, Indiana, like all rural areas in the early 1900's, is in the process of changing forever. The horse and buggy days are fading away, as are the mores of the Victorian era. With WWI on the winds of the American landscape, the children of the one room schoolhouse begin to drift apart.
Four generations of the Krouse family, like many families, have seen their share of hard times as pioneers of the Midwest, working vast amounts of land. However, Will Krouse, a dairy farmer, has everything he's ever dreamed of – until now. Confronted with a seriously ill wife, and four children too young to be of help with the family farm, he's on the verge of mental breakdown.
Here at the beginning, if it were possible, Will Krouse would point to a photograph. In his mind's eye, he can see it all, the students of Hampton School, 1899. Next to them, Mister Longacher, their schoolmaster, would be standing straight and rigid, a clean-shaven Abe Lincoln minus his top hat, the deep-set eyes below his bushy brows probably angled toward the Kepler sisters. Longacher was the visible reminder of the old century that, even in America, was called by the name of an English Queen, Victorian.
Like Longacher, you'd notice Becky Kepler first, with her high cheekbones, long reddish hair, and bright eyes, too lean to be pretty yet. Her sister Callie, four years older, was on her way to being a great beauty. The two standing next to each other, identical except in height, dressed like twins from matching bonnets to black wool stockings on their long skinny legs.
You'd recognize Will Krouse the boy if you knew Will Krouse the man, his sandy hair tousled, his pale gray eyes playful, his mouth smiling but tight, a fine-featured boy, not tall, his arms already muscular from farm work.
Eleven-year-old Trudie Brice is strangled to death in her home two weeks before Christmas. The crime goes unsolved.
Twenty years later, writer Ray Krouse is looking for material for his next book and is mysteriously drawn to the little girl's gravesite. When Ray approaches the girl's mother to ask if she would like to know who killed her daughter, she tells him, "They know"-a term professional investigators say people use when they know who the "they" is.
Haunted by Trudie's spirit and believing that she deserves no less, Ray and his friend and publicist, Kick Jetton, set out on a long and trying two-year investigation to find her killer.
The old two-story farmhouse sits alone at the bend in the road. Its porch wraps from front
to side. It was built in a day when there was neither electricity nor any of the things that
go with it. It was designed to be cool in summer and warm in winter with minimum
human intervention. Its builders are only names now. The people who put up the house
and their children and grandchildren are gone now - all of the people who lived there.
On that day - twenty years ago - it probably looked well lived in. The newly
decorated Christmas tree was visible from outside, through a large picture window.
If you had gone inside you could have seen, beneath the tree, three wrapped gifts
next to a handmade nativity scene. There was a dog's chew bone tied with a big red bow
and tucked up in the branches; a dog lived in this house. You would have also seen a
family portrait on one of the end tables. Sitting between her parents in the photo is a
young girl, her blonde hair resting on the shoulders of her Sunday School dress.
Americans killing Americans. Washington politicians and generals believe that the Civil War will end in one hundred days.
David Longacher enlists. Once he arrives at camp, he is already longing for home. Only the mail keeps him in touch with his beloved family and dear friends. His odyssey will be long and perilous. He carries with him a diary, which will become his shield and sword.
After training, he and his company march off to the Wilderness in Virginia, the same battleground his cousin, Charles Allen, is fighting in but on the Confederacy's side.
David Longenecker's diary of 1864-65 has been in my possession for almost a halfcentury.
Previous to that, it lay in an old train caboose jammed with whatnots and thig-ama-jigs,
sitting on a farm in Indiana. I transcribed it over thirty years ago, but all my
notes were either misplaced or lost. Nearly a year ago, I decided to transcribe David's
diary once again. I felt compelled to tell his story.
David Longenecker was born on April 16, 1837 in Juniata County, Pennsylvania.
He enlisted in the Union Army at Camp Piqua, Ohio and was assigned to Company G of
the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a Private on August 19, 1862.
David was wounded twice-first in the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia and
again at the Battle of Monocacy Junction in Maryland where he was captured and
eventually marched to and incarcerated in a southern prison, a converted tobacco house,
located in Danville, Virginia.
SIMPLE SELLING: COMMON SENSE THAT GUARANTEES YOUR SUCCESS
People have bartered for goods and services since the beginning of human history. Much of the information I share in this book is not new. I hope, however, that I have presented it in a simple manner, one that will be a new perspective on a very old profession.
Information that can increase your knowledge and sharpen your selling skill is well worth the effort it takes to find. The selling process consists of many things, some of which can be taught, and some which can’t. If you genuinely like talking (and listening) to people and believe your product fulfills a need in the marketplace, you are more than halfway down the road to success. Another important characteristic goes by many names. Some people call it common sense, or horse sense, or even mother wit.
In life, as well as sales, your common sense guides you to make the right decisions. But common sense makes sense only if you have the right information to guide you. In today’s information world, knowledge is no longer optional; it is necessary.
DIRTY LITTLE TRICKS: HOW SALESPEOPLE ARE ROBBING YOU BLIND!
Being tricked or taken for a ride can be frivolous or harmful, depending on whether you lose money or your sanity. If you lose money, then I'm quite sure that your sanity will follow.
When individuals are made to look a fool, many emotions surface: anger, disappointment, humiliation, and others. When you are taken advantage of by a sales "rep," it takes awhile to get rid of the bad taste it leaves in your mouth. Of course, the resentment you feel towards the salesperson usually increases in direct relationship to how much money or humiliation it cost you. For example, if a person happens to be a millionaire, losing a hundred dollars does not have the same effect as someone who is struggling to make ends meet. That hundred could represent badly needed food, clothing, or shelter. On the other hand, if an individual has more than sufficient funds, the loss of one hundred dollars could be the same as losing a few pennies.
A dairy farmer is losing his wife, sons, and all his property. His boyhood
friend, a doctor, pushes himself on the dairy farmer's pregnant wife. The doctor
enjoys inflicting pain. Another schoolmate, a sheriff, becomes entangled in a
murder at an insane asylum. The doctor's whore disappears. All these schoolmates
end up in a fight for their lives.
SYNOPSIS for "Scattered Harvest"
WILL is a dairy farmer in Indiana in 1914. His wife, REBECCA, is sick and they are struggling to make her better. Rebecca suggests that HATTIE come live with them, an old college friend of theirs whom Will used to fool around with.
The local Doctor, DOC, is seeing the town's new veterinarian, KATHERINE, and Hattie. The two of them go up to Will's farm, Doc to see Rebecca, and Katherine to check on Will's bull.
Whilst checking her heart with a stethoscope, Doc gropes Rebecca's breast. Rebecca screams out and Will throws him to the ground and punches him. Doc and Katherine scramble out of there.
Will is then arrested. In his court hearing it is concluded that Will is having a mental breakdown, is certified insane and ordered to Long Pointe, a state mental hospital.
Will overpowers a hospital guard, steals his uniform and escapes Long Pointe. He jumps on a train back to Hampton.
A doctor enlists in the Union as a private when he should be a major. His
moonshining cousin joins the Confederacy. The doctor's ma, her girls, and the
doctor's fiancee, are left behind to
fend for themselves. The cousins take part in major battles. The girls
eventually find love, but not without tragedy. Based on a soldier's 1864
SYNOPSIS for "Cry Uncle, Sumbody"
OHIO VALLEY (1863)
DAVID LONGACHER enlists in the Union Army, entering a war which took the life of his Pa. He leaves his MA, sisters HANNA and BETH, and fiancee, NEL, to work the family farm with the help of his cousin, CHARLES ALLEN, a Confederate sympathizer and moonshiner from Southern Indiana.
With a degree in Veterinary Medicine, the ol' TOWN DOCTOR encourages David to enlist as a Union Officer. David rejects the notion, instead wanting to fight beside the Army regulars.
David is taken to enlistment camp by Charles Allen. Upon Charles Allen's return, he finds the family's farm destroyed. Charles Allen then leaves to join the Confederacy.
David's friend, JERRY DIXON, is nearly killed when a Reb sniper opens fire on the two while on picket duty.
EVE LONGACHER (MA)(42) stands on the front porch of the family's two-story frame farmhouse overlooking their farmland and the green Ohio Valley beyond. Her eyes fix on the covered bridge that crosses over a winding brook at the edge of the Longacher farm - the bridge through which everybody and everything comes and goes. A placard on the bridge reads: EST. 1842.
Ma turns and sits on the porch swing. She looks up when she hears a wagon's wheels hitting the planks on the floor of the bridge. And, as usual, the family dog, BUCK, hightails it toward the bridge to mooch a ride back with his master, Ma's only son, DAVID (22).
David climbs the porch steps and glances over at his ma as he goes to open the front door. Ma pats the porch swing, beckoning her son to sit. He sees that she's been crying - an emotion that David almost never sees in his ma.