Camping at Lake Kathryn by Katherine Carey-Place 1878-1934

We folks all planned to go and camp, just four were in the bunch,
So, we packed out fishing tackle, and put up a scrumptious lunch,
We had bacon, eggs and coffee, raisin bread, and ginger cake,
The good old-fashioned kind, you know, like Mother used to make.

We got a pretty early start, it seemed we couldn’t wait,
To reach Hank Jenkins cabin, in the pines by Kathryn Lake,
The sun was shinning awful hot, but shaw, we didn’t mare,
For we had out fishin’ tackle, and the trout were jumpin’ there.

We cooked a dinner that I vow was fit for kings to eat,
And judgin’ from our appetite, it couldn’t well be best,
Then Hiram Smith made up the bunks, and tidied up the camp,
And Hank brought up the water, and filled the kerosine lamp.

But me and Sill, we sort of thought, that we had better hike,
Right to the lake and see just how, the baitin’ fish would bite,
We learned we’d have to dig some worms, that’s what we’d have to do,
So, we dug and acre lot all o’er, and only got a few.

For down in Dixie, angleworms seem mighty hard to get,
If Bill just didn’t flunk the job, we might be diggin’ yet,
It was pretty nigh to five o’clock. When we was ready too.
With diggin’ worms and catchin’ bait, we’d had a sight to do.

At last, I stepped down in the boat, to fix things right about,
When that air pesky thing tipped up, and by gosh I fell out.
And Bill he stood on that air dock and laughed enough to die, grinned some too,
But I was feelin’ riled, my slicker and my brand-new shoes.

All my clothes where spiled.
But I was game, I went right on, I told Bill to get in.
The I asked him sort of carless like, if he’d ever learned to swim.
Bill said his heart was pretty weak, the doctor told him so.
He said he’d do the trollin’ and I could sit and row.

I rowed that boat round and round; Bill trolled and trolled a sight.
I cud told him if I cared to, that he didn’t do it right.
I was getting’ pretty tired and stiff, thought I’s goin’ to have a chill.
But I kept right on a rowin’, and nobody fished but Bill.

Well long ‘bout dark, Bill says to me, “Well let’s go in,” says he.
“I’ve had enough of fishing, and I think it’s going to be quite cold tonight.
The wind seems wrong, I think it’s in the west.
It’s got to be right in the south, “says Bill, “to be its best.”

Bill Snell can tell some awful lies, last week I heard him say,
“Let’s go a fishing on the pier, this is a dandy day,
The wind is blowing from the west, that’s just the time that’s right.
When we’re getting’ winds that come that way, the fish are sure to bite.”

Well. South or west, I didn’t care, for I was tuckered out.
So, I pulled the anchors up, and I turned that boat about.
I headed for the cabin in the woods a mile away,
Where Hank had built a fire, it was most as light as day.

The moon came up in a splendor, never saw a sight more rare,
The tall pine trees, the silver lake, and us a sittin’ there.
When all at once, there come a sound, familiar as could be.
The honk, honk of a motor horn, it sorts startled me.

Hank Jenkins says, “He’s never scared and bold as he could be.”
He walked right out to that air car, he said “He’s goin’ to see, who drove in there so late at night.”
But Hiram, Bill and me, we sat right still,
We wasn’t scared just hearin’ that air gang, but we was wishin’ one of us had brought a gun along.

It proved to be some good old friends, Pa fetters and his wife.
I think I never felt so glad before in all my life,
I wasn’t scared a single bit; I’d stay alone all right.
But it seemed good to have your friends to come and spend the night.

It was pretty late when we turned in, I didn’t sleep a wink,
Bill Snell and Hank, they snored so loud, you couldn’t even think.
Pa Fetters slept right in his car, and sure as you are born,
He got dreamin’ in the night, and tooted of his horn.

Well morning came at last, and I was pretty glad all right.
Things looked more cheerful in the day, than they had looked last night.
We ate our breakfast out of doors, beneath a tall pine tree,
And the way that food just vanished, was marvelous to see.

The crisp brown bacon, and the eggs, with sunny side turned right,
The coffee and ginger cake, sat folks it was a sight,
I thought High Smith would kill hisself, and Bill ate hearty too,
But Hank was still a eatin’, when all the rest was through.
Then Hank says, “now, I’ll catch some fish, you two can’t catch a cat.”
So, he asked Bill for his tackle, and he borrowed my old hat.
He ask Pa if he’d row the boat, told none of us to shirk,
Hank gets a sight of joy from life, if someone does the work.

Well Hank he fished, and fished, and fished, Pa rowed the boat around.
And once we seen Pa wadin’ and a huntin’ on the ground.
Along ‘bout noon, we seen the boat, a headin’ for the pier,
And Hiram says, “If I judge right, they’ve got no fish, I fear.”

When Hank came in, he looked so mean, we darsen’t even speak.
He’s ready for most anything, so me and Bill looked meek.
He fished four hours, Bill kept the time, and Bill can do it right.
But how we laughed, when we’s alone, Hank didn’t get a bite

I’m home at last, my limbs are stiff, and many bruises show.
I have to walk out with a cane, my back it hurts me so.
My muscles all feel awful queer and someone told around,
That I had to have a cushion in the chair when I sat down,

And Bill hasn’t feelin’ well at all, and he told me he wished,
Some folks would bring their tackle, when they want to go and fish.
Bill’s awful careful of his things, it bothers him a lot,
To see the way some people, use, the only rod he’s got.

Course, Hiram Smith and Hank can camp. And sleep out in the night,
But Me and Bill are going to stay. Where fish are apt to bite.
The oceans full of great big ones you get them without fuss.
And Me and Bills decided that is good enough for us.

Katherine Carey-Place 1878-1934

Copyright Roy Richard

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