Ernie Little’s horse leaned hard into the collar of the harness and strained, head down rear legs stretched back, left front hoof tipped forward and down so that he could drive the caulks into the pavement to keep from slipping with the load. The pull on the wagon seemed heavier than usual on the stretch of Little Bridge street from the subway to the roadway in from of the Town Hall.
Ernie sat up front on the upturned nail keg facing the side of the wagon with one arm on the rack. The lines were slack in his hands. He was content to let the horse move up the slope at its own pace. Ernie was happy as usual, smiling, looking around in full enjoyment of this day in early June, 1927.
Behind him on the wagon was a wooden crate which was nailed snug and hard all around. Although it wasn’t so very big, it must have had something unusually heavy inside to make the horse strain as hard as it did coming up the slope from the subway to the town hall.
“What’s in the box Ernie?” a man called from the street. “Dunno,” said Ernie. “Sure is heavy though.” Then, as a kind of afterthought he added “I think it’s got something to do with Alex Rosamond.”
The horse seemed to be wondering too. The box wasn’t anywhere near the size of the thousand pound bales of wool that came from Australia and that were wrapped in burlap and tightened in like a corset with steel bands. Two of these bales filled the wagon and made up the usual load for the hose and wagon for the trip to Rosamond Woollen Company’s No. 1 mill from the C.P.R. freight sheds, and sometimes in the other direction, from the mill to the railway. This was a regular route for the horse, and now as the wagon came to the level in front of the town hall the horse eased up the strain on the collar and started across to go up Water Street and on to the freight sheds. A small tug on the reins brought him up short. He stopped in his tracks for a moment, as if wondering, what now?
“Gee, Gee up there. Gee.” Ernie called out. The horse drove his shoulders again into the collar, swung to the right and moved forward up Bridge Street towards the railway crossing. “Whoa now. Whoa.” Ernie brought the horse and wagon to a halt in the space between the town hall and the tracks. He stepped down off the wagon to look over the site more carefully.
Men working there on a stone structure laid down their tools and came back to the wagon to inspect the crate.
Ernie returned to the wagon, picked up the lines and moved to the side of the wagon.
“Back up now. Back, back, back up.” The wagon moved close to the stone base. Ernie again slackened off the lines and let the horse enjoy a rest while the men prepared to unload the crate from the wagon.
Ernie read the packing slip idly as he watched the men make ready to lift the crate. “The Volunteer” he read. “The Volunteer”, he mused. “Just how does that connect with Alex Rosamond? I wonder.”
Related Reading-From The Almonte Gazette–The Volunteer …… by John Dunn
Alexander George Rosamond (1873 – 1916) click here
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun