Sarah's Web

Enter The 19th Century World Of Sarah And Her Friends

Excerpt From Chapter One

The Accident

    It all seemed to have happened in one of those slow-motion moments. Actually, the horse heard it first-the rattle sound. The sound that leaves goose bumps on a big man’s neck. By the time the girl caught eye of it, Blackie had instinctively shied to the right.


   “Snake!” Rachel pointed at the coiled serpent, its mouth gaping, fangs laid bare.


   Blackie bolted. The sudden jerk slammed Rachel against the seat, wrenching the reins from her hands. Immediately she reached for twelve-year-old Sarah. Careening wildly along the narrow lane they furiously clutched at the buggy seat.


   “Blackie!” Rachel screamed. “Whoa! Whoa, Blackie!”


   The frightened horse raced on at full gallop while the reins dragged the ground. Mother and daughter tightened their grip and waited for Blackie to run himself out.


   “Blackie!” Sarah screamed. “Stop, Blackie! Oh, please! Stop! Mama, I’m scared!”


   Rachel shrieked louder, “Whoa!”


   The lane curved sharply right, but the frantic horse dashed straight on. Ten feet into a meadow the buggy struck the outcroppings of a stump and shot Rachel down the seat smashing into Sarah. Flipping onto its side the buggy slammed the ground, digging in. Dirt and grass flew in all directions. Breaking loose from the splintered buggy, Blackie made a blue streak through the wild flowers and disappeared into the woods.


   The dust settled-silence.

Wit and Wisdom of Granny Evans

“Granny, I sure appreciate your help while Elizabeth is ill. The baby give you any trouble?”

            “He be a little fussy. Kept a pullin’ at his ear.”

            Now, Granny doctored sick folks with herbs and all kinds of homegrown “cures.” Many people in the county came to her when they were ailing. She had lived in the area much longer than the doctor, and folks trusted her.

            “I cured him of it.”

            “You did?” Doc raised his eyebrows in doubt.

            “Shore did. Fired up my ol’ corncob pipe. After I had her a goin’ good, I blew the smoke into the baby’s ear, soft a course. Oh, he liked it right well-settled right down, no more fussin’.”

“Look here, mister, I ain’t a needin’ no help. I’m strong as an ox and can lick my weight in wildcats. If I need help, ye’ll be the first to know.”

Granny's cure for head lice:

            This be what I do to rid folks of the little varmints. I apply this here oil to their hair until it be soaked right good. Then, I wrap the head to keep the hair wet, and the oil from runnin’ on the person’s face and neck. I tell them to keep doin’ this soaking two or three more times in the next 24 hours. Afterwards, they can wash with lye soap and then rench it clean. The lice and their nits will be gone.” She gave Sarah a wink. “Granny’s cure keeps them from losing their hair.”

            “Rench? You mean rinse it clean?”

            “Shore, rench it clean.”

            Rubbing the top of her head, Sarah stared wide-eyed at the old lady. “Granny, that sounds like it gets rid of more than the lice. It might take your skin, too.”

            “Aw, it might take the first layer, but that be all.” She looked Sarah straight in the eye. “It’ll grow again soon enough.”

            The girl saw something in the old lady’s eyes, but what? She was hard to figure.  Hmmmm. Doctor Baum told me Granny sometimes stretches the truth.

From The Glossary

The Sarah books have glossaries in the front of each. Here are some sample entries:

High-falutin’- a person stuck on himself or herself, stuck up.


Light a shuck - leave in a great hurry.


Little end of the horn - getting or having less than expected.


Moses - Refers to Harriett Tubman. A slave, she escaped from Maryland to Canada in 1849 but returned to Maryland several times to lead others to freedom. For our story, her title is used symbolically of all the heroes, black and white, that entered the South and led slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.


Mudsills - uneducated, lower class, common people.


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