Along the Santa Fe Chapter 3 page 6
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The Agent's House

At 5:00 we closed the office, and I went on over to the house and found that Mother had everything pretty well under control there. She had the stoves up and a nice fire going in the living room and supper cooking on the stove in the kitchen, so it was only a short time and she had a nice supper on the table for us. We sat down to eat and talk over the happenings of the day.

The house was set in among a number of large rocks, and a creek ran by it. There was a very little dirt yard, just enough for a flowers, and there was a fence around the place. The house had two bedrooms and a large living room and a small kitchen, also a pantry. In the living room was a caboose stove, similar to the one that was in the chair car on the train. It was a coal heater and as Company furnished us plenty of coal, we made good use of it, and it really heated up the house. We had a small cook stove for the kitchen, which we had purchased in Prescott. We used wood and coal for this stove. The wood was old railroad ties, cut up in stove lengths, and they made a fire with a little coal.

Out in the yard were four large wooden barrels, which were filled with water. This was put in the barrels from the water tank on the train's engine. The engine crew filled them everyday, and this water we used for drinking cooking and washing. We usually had to break through about a half inch cake of ice in the barrels before we could dip any water out, and sometimes it was mixed with quite a bit of crude oil, which sifted in from the engine. This arrangement was not any too handy and the water was not too good for drinking, but it was the best we could do and we had to put up with it, so in time we got used to it.

We were pretty tired at the end of that first day, so we retired early and had a good rest.

The next morning we got up at 7:00, and it was really cold when I hit the floor. I told Mother and the children to stay in bed until I could get a fire started. I lost no time in getting dressed and making a fire in the living room and then the kitchen, and the house was soon comfortable. Then Mother got up and fixed a nice breakfast for us, the children got up and dressed, and then we ate breakfast. By that time it was early 9:00, at which time I was to open up the depot.

Mother had got little Alice ready for school and said she would take her over to the school and acquainted with the teacher. She was 7 years old and was in the second grade. Donnie was only 4 years old, and I told Mother I would take him with me to the office. She said she would come over to the office after she took Alice to school and cleaned up the house.


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