The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Many years ago old Uncle Henry Tabor lived on the John Copelin Place at the Buck Shoals Ford of White River in Keesee Township in Marion County, Ark. One night Mr. Tabor and family gave a dance for the old and young that desired to be present and indulge in the old time way of dancing. Among those present who lived on Big Creek were old Billy Howard who lived on what is now the lower part of the Aaron Quick farm. Peet Morris, Miss Sarah Smith, Tom Morris and Sally Morris his wife and John Tabor, old Jimmie Tabor and Tom Tabor, the two last named were the fiddlers for the dance. Old Billy Howard was a widower, and the youngsters who attended the dance that night played a prank on the old man Howard because he wanted to marry and could not find a woman that would agree to make him happy. Henry Tabor had a daughter named Phebee who was a sister of Ede Tabor who married Paton Keesee. The youngsters persuaded Mart Herrean who was present to personate Miss Sarah Stone daughter of Jack Stone who was dead. Phebee Tabor promised to furnish Mart Herrean some of her clothes on the out side and when he come in some of the women were to introduce him as Miss Sarah Stone and they give him a big introduction to Mr. Howard and the old man begged permission for her company at once and Mart gladly accepted. Of course Mart Herrean wore a big bonnet on his head to conceal his features and being then a beardless boy he carried out the fun well. The old man was exceedingly anxious for a help mate and finding that his sweet heart was more than ready to spark right along he opened out his heart and popped the question which was accepted immediately by the supposed young lady. The old man sit very close to his intended all night and talked of the happy future. They were promised to be married just as soon as the old man could get his house in better shape to receive his pretty bride. All was joy and happiness to Mr. Howard, there was no more lonely hours for him for in a few days he would bring his young wife home and would start life anew and live it all over again. Just as day began to show a faint light in the east he bid his intended adiew until he could fix up his house and then he would be ready to have the ceremony performed. His beloved promised to be ready when he was and he left for his home to make the arrangements that they both agreed on. Poor old man he went away so happy and rejoiced exceedingly because he had secured a young woman for his new wife. But during the day his happiness was sadly blasted for Mart Herrean in company with Jim Tabor paid the old man a visit at his home on Big Creek and informed him that the marriage would have to be called off. "For" said Mart "I have got out of the notion of taking you unto myself for a husband." The old man Howard saw it through now and knew he had been made a scape goat of and he shed tears for he was working hard to get things fixed for the occupancy of the expected bride. The old man’s joy was wilted now. The good hopes and pleasures of life were gone.

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