Mischief, circa 1900

Troublemaking, pranks, accidents, and general misbehaviour aren’t new to society. This page will highlight a few of the misdemeaners that luckily didn’t result in any permanent damage to individuals or property.

“I was quite aware of the rivalry between my Father and Mr. MCCORMICK, yet I did not let this interfere with satisfying my desire for a certain make of plug licorice and a special Scotch kiss that Father did not stock in the store. As a result I was a regular cash customer of the postmaster-merchant, Mr. MCCORMICK. Then one day on my way to his store for a huge buying spree, my mind was so occupied thinking about the goodies, I threw away a small stone I was carrying in my hand without giving it any thought. Near the corner of Main and St. Lawrence Streets (Morewood & Moffat), a three-glass window was in the MCCORMICK basement just above the sidewalk. After the stone left my hand it struck the sidewalk and bounced through the window breaking one pane into a thousand pieces. I was terribly scared that I would be sent to jail so rushed back to the store and told Father, who sent me to tell Mr. MCCORMICK.

His sentence was less severe, letting me off the hook by promising to replace the glass and listening to a short lecture on being so careless. He did not know it was his goodies that caused all the trouble. It was my first putty job – I imagine how smooth and even it must have been!”

“I knew the MCCONNELL apple orchard well enough to be able to go directly to the tree of any variety whether Early harvest, Snow, St. Lawrence, Greening, Russett, MacIntosh or others not on this list. In fact, I still might be able to make a plan of the orchard without an error.

The particular visit to the orchard that I am now writing about, occurred many years after my early regular visits, for it was in the fall of 1912, just before I returned to college at Queen’s University as a sophmore. It happened the night of Russell Fair, when many Morewood people were absent at the fair, but left Bern MOFFAT and I a little lonesome. After talking for a time, Bern suggested for a little excitement that we go some place and ‘swipe’ some apples. Going and getting apples in the large MOFFAT orchard would have been no fun.

I suddenly remembered that St. Lawrence apples should be ripe in the old MCCONNELL orchard, then owned by Mr. William SWERDFEGER. The longer we talked the stronger was my hankering for some of the apples, so we went to the orchard and investigated. Yet, I am sure if we had gone to the SWERDFEGER front door, rapped and asked for a few apples they would have been gladly given.

The moon could not be seen that night, but the sky was filled with stars and I had no trouble going directly to one of the trees of St. Lawrence apples, but unknown to me for a short interval turkeys were roosting in the branches. The first shake of the tree brought down plenty of apples, but it also brought with them plenty of turkey ammunition! The birds proved to be efficient guards, although Bern was not hit I carried away proof of their marksmanship, and both of us lost any appetite for apples.

I spent the remainder of the night trying to get the turkey fruit off my head and clothes in order to free myself of odors humans do not relish. Finally, I confessed to Mother that I had received the unpleasant perfume when stealing apples. This was one of the few times in my life when she failed to give me any sympathy but had a good laugh. Even Bern did not like my odor and went home disgusted, and during the few times we met later in life, the experience gave both a good laugh. I have not returned to the orchard and have not eaten St. Lawrence since!”

Check out the DANDELION WINE story on the Cheese Factories page.

Check out the TURKEY THIEVES story on a private residence page.