|Montana cowboys, c1910|
These are from Mary MacLane’s The Story of Mary MacLane about a 19-year-old “genius” in Butte, Montana; and Grace and Alice MacGowan's Aunt Huldah, about a paragon of generosity in a West Texas town. Once again, I struck out on a few. If anyone has a definition for “bat’s wool,” “tribble,” or “mauley grubs,” leave a comment below.
|Pail with bail|
bail = an arched handle, such as on a bucket or a teapot. “The bread was cut and spread, the coffee put in a small bucket, and a string of tin cups was tied to its bail.” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
box-rustler = a chorus girl who followed her performance by mixing with the patrons in their boxes, promoting the sale of drinks and, when desired, offering herself as a part-time prostitute. “‘Box-rustlers’—who are as common in Butte as bar-maids in Ireland.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
dengue = a tropical disease, with fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash like measles. “The young girl whom Gilbert had brought to the Wagon-Tire House was indeed suffering from dengue.” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
diggings = lodging. “I want you to make yourself scarce around here from now on. Don’t let Frosty know you’re in the diggin’s at all.” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
felon = a puss-filled infection at the end of a finger or toe in the area surrounding the nail. “The only mark I know of that you can tell him by is that he has had a felon on the first finger of his left hand, and it left the finger sort of marked.” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
Gunter, Archibald C. = English-born American and prolific writer of popular plays and novels (1847-1907). “From the books of Archibald C. Gunter and Albert Ross: Kind Devil, deliver me.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
Hildegarde Grahame = a character in a series of girls’ novels (1889-1897) by Laura E. Richards (1850-1943). “I have read some girl-books, a few years ago—‘Hildegarde Grahame,’ and ‘What Katy Did,’ and all.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
|Irish point, 1904|
Irish point = Brussels appliqué; needlepoint lace, made in Ireland. “The aristocratic family with the Irish-point curtains in the windows—that lives on the county.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
Jack Hazard = character in a series of children’s stories by John Townsend Trowbridge (1827-1916). “I read about a boy whose name is Jack Hazard and who, J. T. Trowbridge informs the reader, is doing his best, and who seems to find it somewhat difficult.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
lawn = a fine linen or cotton fabric used for making clothes. “The stiffly-starched lawn frocks, which would have been put on the little girls, were laid by, and a couple of dark calicoes substituted.” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
|Illustration, Tennyson's "Mariana," 1901|
lisle thread = a strong, tightly twisted cotton thread, named after the town in France where it was first manufactured. “From lisle-thread stockings; from round, tight garters; from brilliant brass belts; Kind Devil, deliver me.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
“Mariana” = a poem about despondent isolation by Tennyson published in 1830. “All day long this heart-sickening song of Mariana has been reeling and swimming in my brain.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
mover = a tramp, itinerant. “And you don’t know anything of the parents, except that they were movers, and that the man deserted the woman here!” Grace and Alice MacGowan, Aunt Huldah.
offscouring = refuse, rubbish. “The dregs, the élite, the humbly respectable, the off-scouring—all thrown together, and shaken up, and mixed well.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.
orris root = the root of certain iris plants, once important in western herbal medicine, now chiefly used for its fragrance in perfumes and potpourri. “As if orris-root were sprinkled in the folds of my brain.” Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane.