The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

George Woods who owned the mill at the Big Spring on East Sugar Loaf Creek below Monarch in Marion County, Ark. had a large family of children the majority of which were girls, all the family delighted in the old time dances. Many young people who lived far and near attended these "Ho downs" as they were commonly called. One day Bill Magness son of Joe Magness who lived in the river bottom one mile above the mouth of Big Creek went to mill there. The weather was cold and the river was up also and Sam Magness brother of Bill Magness, assisted him to swim Bills horse across the river at the side of a canoe. Bill Magness wore a new pair of shoe made of home tanned leather that was not well tanned. When Bill arrived at the mill he received an invitation to remain at a big dance the Woods family were going to have that night and he accepted without having to be persuaded. The fire place of the Woods dwelling was wide and as the temperature was nearly down to zero the Woodses kept a hot fire all night and the young men and women never stopped dancing during the entire night. The fire was so warm that it had a drawing up effect on Magnesses shoes and they hurt his feet so bad that he was compelled to pull them off his feet and danced in his stocking feet. The girls who were very mischievious watched for an oppertunity to burn them and getting a chance without Magness observing them they tossed them into the middle of the fire place and stirred the fire with the fire iron until the shoes were covered with live coals, chunks and cinders. When day light come the dance broke up and Magness, wanted to go home but he could not find his shoes. At last he got a hint that when he come there he had on a pair of shoes but he had none now to wear back home and the man had to ride back home in his sock feet and the bottoms of his, socks were worn out at the dance. When he got to the river opposite where he lived his brother Sam brought the canoe over to help him across and seeing his brother in his sock feet and his toes frost bitten he says "Bill you sentimental old rascal you got your shoes burned off of your feet did you. No matter for you though for you ought to have come back home and let the dance go to the devil where it belonged."

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