Out On The Mudline
Our neighbor to the south was Mr. Fly—I do not remember his given name although at one time I knew. As you crossed our south line, a section line, you would already be going up the mountain, after following the foot of hills almost as high as Fly Mountain. I had them all named—Spring Hollow Mountain, Rattle Snake Mountain and Cottoner Mountain (this was a misnomer for Mr. Cottoner only rented the farm). Mr. Cottoner lived in the log house at the foot of Cottoner Mountain.
As a little boy, my delight was to ride my new (second hand) bike to the top of that hill road and coast down. I could coast almost to the Mud Line (the little “second bottom rise” stopped the coasting). On the way down there were two stops that I sometimes made. First, there was a house place about half way down. For a long time the man who operated the press at Mr. Hervey’s gin lived there and also worked for Mr. Fly. If he was at the house I would stop and talk to him. He’s the one who taught me how to move a five hundred pound bale of cotton easily.
A little farther down there was/is a side road. The road didn’t go far into the woods. We called it the hunter’s road. Several groups of fox hunters gathered there to run their fox hounds on a regular basis. In later years I met several men who came there from Crowder to hunt (sit around a fire and listen to the dogs run, among other things). They didn’t know but just to the west of the little bridge at the foot of the hill there was a beautiful little glen filled with May Pops (in season), several kinds of ferns and wild flowers, backed by a rock bluff.
I started this to tell you about meeting Mr. Fly. Seems that I kinda got carried away. One day shortly after dinner, as I played at the swing under the giant Cedars in our front yard, a man rode out of the road that came from Fly Mountain. The horse and saddle were beautiful. The man was statuesque. I was impressed. The gentleman introduced himself as Mr. Fly and I introduced myself. I was doubly impressed for I had heard many things about Mr. Fly.
Now the thing that really got my attention was the object hanging on the saddle. In the cabinet behind me, as I sit here typing, is almost the duplicate of the little rifle hanging on that saddle. I’m sure they were the same make for they were identical except that Mr. Fly’s had only a pistol length barrel.
When he found out that Dad was over in the bottom with the clearing crew he said he would come again.
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