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1920. The book begins: Nothin; don't nuver come ter pass hyarabouts! The boy perched disconsolately on the rotting fence threw forth his lament aloud to the laurelled silences of the mountain sides and the emptiness of space. Every doggone day's jest identical with all ther balance-save only thet hit's wuss! He sat with his back turned on the only signs of human life within the circle of his vision; unless one called the twisting creek-bed at his front, which served that pocket of the Kentucky Cumberlands as a highway, a human manifestation. There behind him a log-cabin breathed smokily through its mud-daubed chimney; a pioneer habitation in every crude line and characteristic. On the door hung, drying, the odorous pelt of a varmint. Against the wall leaned a rickety spinning wheel.