THEY MET IN THE CHIMNEY
By S. C. Turnbo
It is well known by a few of the older people of Ozark County, Mo. that Hugh McClure lived on Little North Fork before the Civil War broke out. Mr. McClure sympathized with the south when the heat of the war aroze he left his old home and moved down into Marion County Ark. where he stopped a while on Jimmies Creek. Bob Long an old friend of McClures also was staying in that neighborhood. The house that McClure and his family occupied was a log house with a side room attached to it to cook and eat in. To this room was a big open mouth stick and dirt chimney that was made for the purpose of doing the cooking. This chimney had room enough in the throat and stem for a bear to climb up through and go out at the top. One night while McClure lived on Jimmies Creek Mr. Long and his wife whose name was Eliza went to McClures to remain all night and they slept on a bed in the side room. As Long started disrobing to go to bed he remarked to his wife Lizy if the Federals come tonight I will hide in that chimney saying it more for a joke than reality. Along in the night Mr. Long fell asleep and was aroused by a noise of some kind that he could never account for afterward. He said the first thing he knew he rose quickly in his night clothes and started for the fireplace. Being warm weather there was no fire in it and started to go up. McClure who heard the same noise had leaped out of bed in his shirt tail and had run out of doors and ran around to a ladder was setting up against the room near the chimney to guard against the house talking fire and climbs up the ladder and crawled down into the top of the chimney to hide. He supposed it was a bunch of Federals and as he attempted to settle down placing his toes in the cracks he stepped down and fell on his friend Long and knocked him back into the fire place and McClure fell on top of him. It was an exciting moment but fortunately it was not the enemy and they returned back to bed. Mr. Long told this repeatedly for the truth and no one as far as I knew disputed it.
Springfield-Greene County Library