Song of the Lark HTML version

Chapter I.5
The children in the primary grades were sometimes required to make relief maps
of Moonstone in sand. Had they used colored sands, as the Navajo medicine
men do in their sand mosaics, they could easily have indicated the social
classifications of Moonstone, since these conformed to certain topographical
boundaries, and every child understood them perfectly.
The main business street ran, of course, through the center of the town. To
the west of this street lived all the people who were, as Tillie Kronborg said, "in
society." Sylvester Street, the third parallel with Main Street on the west, was the
longest in town, and the best dwellings were built along it. Far out at the north
end, nearly a mile from the court-house and its cottonwood grove, was Dr.
Archie's house, its big yard and garden surrounded by a white paling fence. The
Methodist Church was in the center of the town, facing the court-house square.
The Kronborgs lived half a mile south of the church, on the long street that
stretched out like an arm to the depot settlement. This was the first street west of
Main, and was built up only on one side. The preacher's house faced the backs
of the brick and frame store buildings and a draw full of sunflowers and scraps of
old iron. The sidewalk which ran in front of the Kronborgs' house was the one
continuous sidewalk to the depot, and all the train men and roundhouse
employees passed the front gate every time they came uptown. Thea and Mrs.
Kronborg had many friends among the railroad men, who often paused to chat
across the fence, and of one of these we shall have more to say.
In the part of Moonstone that lay east of Main Street, toward the deep ravine
which, farther south, wound by Mexican Town, lived all the humbler citizens, the
people who voted but did not run for office. The houses were little story-and-a-
half cottages, with none of the fussy architectural efforts that marked those on
Sylvester Street. They nestled modestly behind their cottonwoods and Virginia
creeper; their occupants had no social pretensions to keep up. There were no
half-glass front doors with doorbells, or formidable parlors behind closed
shutters. Here the old women washed in the back yard, and the men sat in the
front doorway and smoked their pipes. The people on Sylvester Street scarcely
knew that this part of the town existed. Thea liked to take Thor and her express
wagon and explore these quiet, shady streets, where the people never tried to
have lawns or to grow elms and pine trees, but let the native timber have its way
and spread in luxuriance. She had many friends there, old women who gave her
a yellow rose or a spray of trumpet vine and appeased Thor with a cooky or a
doughnut. They called Thea "that preacher's girl," but the demonstrative was
misplaced, for when they spoke of Mr. Kronborg they called him "the Methodist
Dr. Archie was very proud of his yard and garden, which he worked himself.
He was the only man in Moonstone who was successful at growing rambler