Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday with Words (Daniel Plainway)


 Several years I dived into The Moosepath League Series by Van Reid and felt it was time for a re-read. I love a well written novel and have found this series just as satisfying as the first time I read them. The author has a love for his home state, Maine, a great sense of humor, and an appreciation of words. I am sharing from the third book in the series, Daniel Plainway: Or The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League.
Mr. Walton, who is the president of The Moosepath League, and his valet and friend, Sundry Moss are taking a ride on a toboggan.
     The brother and sister were awed with the effect of Mister Walton's mass on the velocity of their vehicle, and though his hat was nowhere to be found once they reached the foot of the grade, the bespectacled fellow was so very exhilarated by their descent that he suggested a second run. Fast friendships were quickly formed among this unlikely quartet, and soon every child with a toboggan was looking for a portly pilot. Not a few unlikely participants were encouraged by Mister Walton's example, and despite the lateness of the hour, the revelers upon the slope were galvanized to action.
      Finally, at the foot of the hill (was it after the third or forth run?), the two men bade farewell to the children; by this time the hill's population and the level of noise seemed to have tripled. 
Snow anyone?
     There is only the one word for it in the English language, and that is snow: not sleet or hail or freezing rain, but snow--white, light, and cumulative, thrall to the vagaries of sun and wind, impermanent blanket, poor man's fertilizer.
     There is only the one word, in English, but snow is a phenomenon of many dispositions: There is light snow and wet snow and crusted snow and snow that is fine for skiing and snow that is fine for snowshoeing and snow that encourages one to stay indoors, but only seldom does that singular snow, the snow of perfection, fall, for under certain conditions, snow will form easily into a ball that fits in the human hand and cries to be flung. p.156
Ephram, Eagleton, and Thump are charter members of The Moosepath League. These three characters are like the icing on a cake.
     The portion of an hour struck from a steeple in the village, and Ephram consulted one of his three or four watches. "Half past twelve," he announced. He was beginning to feel hungry.
     Eagleton, still craning his neck, considered the immaculate blue between the pine caps and said, "Continued fair and seasonable. Winds in the west."
     "High tide at--the Dash-It-All Boys!" declared Thump, a declaration that Ephram and Eagleton found difficult to interpret. Ephram thought his friend had experienced a sort of linguistic hiccup (he had suffered them himself from time to time)and inquired after Thump's well-being with an "Are you--the Dash-It-All Boys!" p. 241
Sundry Moss, a very likable and level-headed young man.
For a man who could be so subtle, it would be said later, Sundry Moss was a master of frankness. p. 363

Cordelia Underwood: Or the Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League
Mollie Peer: Or the Underground Adventure of the Moosepath League
Daniel Plainway: Or the Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League


  1. Sounds like a good literary read.

  2. Love the passage about snow, perhaps especially because ours is almost never of THAT kind. ;)

  3. The first passage took me back to our years in NJ where I tended to be the portly lady the kids to make their ride more fun :) But really that passage exactly described our adventures at Dead Man's Hill in Greenwich, NJ.

    I have never heard of these books and if my TBR pile was not ridiculous...



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