"Mountain Memories" Page 10
As the fight became fiercer, Rollie whipped out his knife and began to slash Ed Hartness's back, up and down, back and forth, until blood was splattering all around. Marian Hartness saw that Rollie was going to kill his oldest son and he pointed his gun to shoot, but he didn't. Both these. fathers, Hartness and Whitmore, were Masons, pledged to defend and uphold each other regardless of the situation. When Whitmore saw Hartness on the verge of killing his son, he looked him straight in the eye and said, "You don't know what you're doing, do you, Marion?" Recalling the vow he had made when he joined the Masons and the determination he had to keep it, Marion dropped his hand. Harve didn't belong to the Masons and he declared venomously that he never would. He grabbed his gung, fired, and Rollie Whitmore fell to the ground, mortally wounded.
The fight was over. Everyone was stunned, paralyzed over the tragedy that had happened between these two families that had been friends. There were eleven siblings in this Hartness family, of which Harvey was next to the oldest. No doubt but what the women began to scream and lots of frightened little faces were pressed against the windows wondering what had happened between their "Paw" and brothers and their neighbors. Of course there was a hustle to get the Whitmore boy home and in bed and to try to do something for his wound.
Harvey and Rollie had once been friends, and Harvey stayed with the family that night. Whether or not he was welcome, I don't know. The family was only concerned with the welfare of their son and brother at that time. There were no doctors, no blood transfusions, no antibiotics, no painkillers -- just home remedies. Rollie died and everyone was sad, including Harvey.
Ollie was smoldering inside over the loss of his twin brother and soon began to plan a way to get revenge. He found his chance one day (he thought) when Harvey's little eight-year-old brother Ben was sent to the mill to get corn ground for meal to make bread for the family. When the boy wasn't looking, Ollie put some kind of poison in the meal. Evidently Ollie didn't care if he killed the whole family, children and all. Mary Hartness (the mother) made cornbread from the meal and all the family became sick--that is, all except Harvey! He wasn't home.
What did I say about a guardian angel watching over people?
No one in the family died, but that wasn't the last attempt Ollie made on Harvey's life. Next he set out to ambush him. He concealed himself among the bushes close to the trail where he
Rollie Whitmore's brother, Ollie, that Mildred mentions was actually named George Washington Whitmore. He was a twin to Rollie. George was the one who was shot and died.
Boyd Miller, a brother to Mildred Thomas, said that Mildred did not know all there was to the shooting story between the Hartness and Whitmore faimiles. His grandpa shot two Whitmore brothers Boyd said. One of them died and the other almost died. When the one that lived was told that his brother had died, he sat up in the bed and fell backwards, passed out according to Boyd.