Wind Blows Free

Wind Blows Free

Texas Panhandle Book 1
by Loula Grace Erdman
Publisher: Dodd, Mead
©1961, Item: 86800
Library Rebind, 242 pages
Used Price: $8.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

Historical Setting: Texas, 1890s A. D.

Homesteading in the 1890's: The Texas Panhandle was only just beginning to be homesteaded by farmers—called "nesters." Forced to give up his store in East Texas, Mr. Pierce introduces his family to the daunting challenge of life in a sod hut on the windswept plain. While the move offers a prospect of something new to irrepressible little Carolyn and unending adventure to the lively twins, Bert and Dick, it promises to be an ordeal of labor and isolation for Mama, Melinda and timid Katie.

14-year-old Melinda Pierce, the oldest child and most reluctant pioneer, is especially dismayed. She has given up her friends and happy town life, for this? She clings tightly to her grandmother's promise that when Melinda is 16 she may return to East Texas and join her friends at Lewisville Academy for Young Females. It is this hope, and her mother's dauntless example, which get Melinda through the first difficult weeks. Before long, however, Melinda is caught up in the compelling beauty of this land of wind and wide horizons, with its adventures and with its gift of new friendship. She finds herself joining wholeheartedly with the other members of her family in their determination to answer the challenge of the Panhandle and make it home.

This is the first of three stories about the Texas Panhandle, each highlighting one of the Pierce family daughters.

It was late afternoon when they came to the dugout. Melinda could not believe that this could really be their home. In the first place, it seemed so small, really not much more than a humped-up place in the middle of this vast land. It looked more like a dog sitting up on its haunches than a house...Melinda took in all the details, remembering as she did the white house back in Lewisville, with its wide porches and big rooms, and the yard with the oak trees and the flowers in it.

"Well," Papa said, stopping the team, "we're home."

And then, as if to welcome them, there was the sound of wild, glad barking.

"Tige!" the twins yelled together, swinging down off the wagon.

"I tied him up in the shed," Papa told them. "Go get him."

Papa held Carolyn down, and then helped Mama. Melinda and Katie clambered over the side of the wagon. For a moment they stood there, not saying a word. The wind was blowing, lonesome and sad. Just then the boys and Tige came tearing across the grass. Like a yellow streak, he shot across the ground until he came to Carolyn. He hurled himself against her with such force that she and the doll sat suddenly down on the ground.

"Why, Tige," Carolyn said, "you are glad to see us aren't you?" She began to stroke his ears. "Know what?" she asked soberly. "I think you like it out here. Well, I do, too. Bessie Sugan and I both like it."

"We are all going to like it, honey," Papa told her.

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