Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!
|At Rhonda's in Penryn, picture taken by Lori...Gorgeous!|
The examination was to begin on Monday at 9 o'clock, so it behooved us to start early. On Saturday morning, after harnessing old Bill to the buggy, and with twenty dollars, borrowed money, in my purse, we started on our journey and reached Murphy's that evening.
That old Bill was a character if there ever was one. His driver never knew what he was going to do next. Sunday morning instead of continuing our journey with Bill for our buggy horse, my brother put one of his horses in Bill's place and Kathryn rode Bill.
We rented a room for the week for six dollars and the next morning entered the examination room, there to find ourselves in company with twenty two or three applicants from the Western Normal in Stockton, all primed for the test. I did not have any expectation of passing. Each applicant had to pay two dollars, and I shall never forget the pang in my heart when I put that money down and whispered "Good-bye" to it. Well, after laying down the dollars, we began the examination, not as I thought, from a printed list, but by copying each question as read by the superintendent. This was the first test I had ever taken in my life and my first thought was, "I can never do it." My second thought was, “and lose the two dollars? No, never. I will do my best."
It was a very difficult test and so long it was tiresome. When Mr. Morgan read an example of a question I knew right away if I could answer it correctly or not. And the greater part of them I could.
The test was finished on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning we started out on our home journey expecting to reach Murphys that evening but we couldn't make it. Bill had been in one of the best stables in Sonora where I had paid first class rates for his board. On getting away from town he acted as if he were starved. Every bunch of grass or weed the poor brute saw he would stop and eat and as our journey proceeded he seemed to get weaker and his temper uglier. We had crossed the bridge at Parrot's Ferry and were on that part of the road that had been built up on a level with the bridge, when like a flash of lightening, that animal whirled half way around and pushed the buggy over to the edge of the wall between the road and the bed of the river. Kathryn by this time was out and grabbed him by the bridle in time to save us from going over a drop of twelve or fifteen feet to the rocks below. We straightened horse and buggy around and looked at the road, all up hill, that was facing us now. By this time Bill's head was almost down between his feet and we realized he was never going to be able to pull us and the buggy up those hills. The only thing to do was for us to walk up the hill and help Bill with the buggy. It was almost sundown when we gained the top of the grade and stopped again for Bill to rest and for us to decide to go down to Angels or up to Murphys. We decided to take the down grade hoping the weight behind him might help to push him along. When we reached Angels it was getting dark and I took a back road instead of the main street. I felt that I would be arrested for cruelty to animals if I dared drive Bill through the main street. The next day Bill acted as if he were going to die. He lay down all day as if every minute was going to be his last. He was able to make the trip to my brother's after a good rest and from there to home on the following Wednesday.
Two weeks later we heard the results from Sonora. There was a very nice letter to Kathryn from the Board saying that they were sorry to tell her she had failed to make the required number of credits to pass, but not to let that discourage her. In a separate envelope addressed to me, was a certificate giving me lawful permission to enter the schools of California as a teacher. Of course I was glad that I had not failed, even if I did not intend to use the certificate. Kathryn had taken the test in Calaveras County the year before and had a good standing so it was just up to her to work during the summer and take the examination again in August. She did that and got her credentials and commenced to her first school assignment that fall, on the same day that I entered the school room in West Point.(To Be Continued)