One of Ours
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Willa Cather was a prominent American writer best known for her novels on frontier life in the Great Plains. Cather also received the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for the novel One of Ours. In addition to One of Ours, Cather wrote other popular books such as O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. One of Ours is the story of Claude Wheeler, a Nebraska native around the turn of the 20th century. Wheeler is the son of a successful farmer yet struggles to find his purpose in life.
intelligent and industrious; why shouldn't they get on?" Claude flattered himself that he spoke in an easy, confidential way. Bayliss screwed up his eyes. "I expect they're too fond of good living. They'll pay their interest, and spend whatever's left entertaining their friends. I didn't see the young fellow's name in the notice of incorporation, Julius, do they call him?" "Julius is going abroad to study this fall. He intends to be a professor." "What's the matter with him? Does he have poor
but the way such fellows will. The girls handed it back to him, and sold him three tickets and shut him up. I couldn't see how Susie thought so quick what to say. The minute the girls went out Bayliss started knocking them; said all the country girls were getting too fresh and knew more than they ought to about managing sporty men and right there I reached out and handed him one. I hit harder than I meant to. I meant to slap him, not to give him a black eye. But you can't always regulate things,
stood out in front of her restaurant, ringing her bell to announce that dinner was ready for travellers. A crowd of young boys stood about her on the sidewalk, laughing and shouting in disagreeable, jeering tones. As Claude approached, one of them snatched the bell from her hand, ran off across the tracks with it, and plunged into a cornfield. The other boys followed, and one of them shouted, "Don't go in there to eat, soldier. She's a German spy, and she'll put ground glass in your dinner!"
pasture. He stood on the edge of the bank and looked down at them, while he slowly cut off the end of a cigar and lit it. The boys grinned at him, trying to appear indifferent and at ease. "Looking for any one, soldier?" asked the one with the bell. "Yes, I am. I'm looking for that bell. You'll have to take it back where it belongs. You every one of you know there's no harm in that old woman." "She's a German, and we're fighting the Germans, ain't we?" "I don't think you'll ever fight any.
his own duties. She made him describe the bayonet drill and explain the operation of machine guns and automatic rifles. "I hardly see how we can bear the anxiety when our transports begin to sail," she said thoughtfully. "If they can once get you all over there, I am not afraid; I believe our boys are as good as any in the world. But with submarines reported off our own coast, I wonder how the Government can get our men across safely. The thought of transports going down with thousands of young