Thursday, 21st March, 1867

Found it pouring down rain this morning. As soon as it subsided a little, Bill had Mr. Pollard’s flour up in the oxcart (400 lbs.) four hundred pounds, $17 pr. barrel, to carry to him. Tom drove the cart and he went on horseback. Had the flour weighed there by Mr. Lewis Slaughter on his scales, which made the flour weigh 15 lbs. to the box more than it had weighed at the Mill. There’s evidently a fault in his scales. After Tom returned about 12 o’clk., I told him I wished him to finish making soap in the kitchen, that needed boiling more, but he found no regard to it and went about something else. When I thought he was ready for me, I went out and found he had done nothing and was nowhere in hearing, so I called to Pigeo to come out. She and I hung the pot on and put the soap in and it soon made beautifully, and about that time sprang a leak in the bottom of the pot, and found it would soon all run out the spiders I sat under it.1 It ran over and John was frightened out of his wits and couldn’t get out of the way of it. I ran to the door and looked out and saw Tom at the wood pile and called to him to come immediately and help me, but he paid no regard at all to my calling him, except to say that he heard me and went on to the barn. At that time, Pigeo, looking from her window and seeing me turn about in the kitchen door, ran out to see what was the matter and helped me to save the soap. Just then Tom walked in and rushed to the fire to warm himself. I told him I had no use for him then, he might go on to the wood pile and cut wood and gave him a scold for not coming when I called him. He turned round and said he suffered no damned fool to speak to him in that damned way, and got up his things and left the kitchen, saying to send Mast. Billy after him if I chose and he would get the worst of it. What we experienced in that moment was more than we felt during the day from Sheridan’s Army, for we didn’t fear being killed by them, but a glance from that fiend sent daggers to the heart.

  1. A spider was a commonly used cast iron cooking pan which had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of a fire. Caroline definitely writes “spiders.” So she seems to have put more than one spider underneath the hanging pot. Perhaps she was anticipating that leak.  (back)