Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis
It is not to be supposed that the merrymaking was really at an end with the dancing. Our people were determined the newly married couple should be fitted out in proper fashion, and so the fiddlers remained to help in the celebration after a home for Elizabeth and Samuel had been built.
Before I was awake next morning, the older men, and as many of the younger ones as were not too weary from having danced all night, set about building a cabin for the bride and groom, and, as might have been expected, Billy was in the thick of it, for he counted himself a full-grown man after having beaten his elders at shooting.
I don't suppose there is any need to tell how a house is built out here in our country, and yet because Elizabeth was the first white bride this side of the Gap, it really seems as if I should set down everything in which she had any concern.
Samuel had already staked out the land, and it was not above a quarter of a mile from where our home was to be. On it was plenty of timber, and as soon as breakfast had been eaten the men of the fort set to work rolling up a cabin. Some began chopping trees and trimming them into .proper lengths to make the sides and ends of the house. The boys dragged out the logs to where the cabin was to be set up, and yet other men cut and split trees into clapboards to cover the roof. Some worked at splitting logs into puncheons for the door and floor, and all labored with such a will that, aided at noon by those who had danced hardest during the night, everything was ready before sunset for rolling up the house, for even the foundation timbers had been laid.
Next day the house was finished and the chimney put up. Elizabeth was indeed proud of it, for there were two windows with thin, oiled doeskin to keep out the rain, and heavy shutters with loopholes in case it should be necessary to defend the place against the Indians. There was a real table made of clapboards, plenty of pegs at one end of the room on which to hang things, and as many as four three-legged stools, to say nothing of half a dozen short logs that, when placed on end, were as good chairs as one could desire.
The bed was a marvel, and I am hoping we shall have some just like it when our cabin is built. Two forked poles were set in the floor about seven feet apart and not less than five feet from the side of the house. Across the forks, lashed by deerskin thongs that Elizabeth had dyed a most' beautiful red, was a stout sap-ling, forming the front of the bed. Across this last, with the ends thrust between the logs of the building, were placed poles which would bend easily under one's weight; over these some thin puncheons were laid.
Samuel had a quantity of bear and deerskins, smoke-tanned; and when the bed was made up with them, it was something beautiful to look upon, besides being most comfortable.