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A fine evening meal of fresh trout and garden greens was topped off with a “flan” which Mrs. Juliand had prepared the previous day. Grandfather enjoyed the flan and questioned Mrs. Juliand as to how it was prepared.


“Finely ground meal, milk, and sugar, with a caramelized topping” said Mrs. Julliand.


Grandfather had never heard of the word “Caramelized” and was embarrassed to ask what it was. Instead he asked “How do you grind the meal so fine?”


“Abram Storms.”   – – – Mr. Julliand had interjected himself in his wife Hannah’s story; however, the result was rather cryptic.


“Abram Storms?” asked Grandfather, somewhat bewildered.


Then came an interjection within an interjection; this time it was Esquire Garnsey who had interrupted Mr. Julliand.


“Yes, Abram Storms will grind your meal as fine or as course as you wish, the fellow is legend around here. He single-handedly brought finished grinding stones down from Coxackie by oxen cart, built a mill up in Brisben, – – – – next village up the Chenango. You may meet him tomorrow. Owns a parcel down river.”


“I would like to meet such a man,” responded Grandfather, “A man who could single-handedly bring a team of oxen carrying grinding stones from the Hudson, across the Susquehanna, and to the Chenango – – – – must be some man indeed!”


Mrs. Juliand stated “He is!” She then offered the men to remove themselves from the eating area and to the library. “The help and I will clear and clean the table.”


The men were moving to the library when Mr. Juliand asked “Would it offend you if we smoked a pipe?”


“Not at all sir, this is your home” responded Grandfather.


Mr. Juliand opened a beautifully inlaid wooden cabinet that depicted a hunting scene. He withdrew two long clay pipes, almond in color. Each pipe had a base relief of a human face on the front. The long stems were embossed with curly ivy vines. Several long wooden sticks lay near the fireplace. The Esquire and Mr. Juliand filled their pipes with tobacco and lit them with these long sticks. The smoke permeated the room and to Grandfather’s pleasant surprise he enjoyed the aroma.


Mr. Juliand told the story about their trout supper; how much he enjoyed taking a horse up to “Hogs back” and fishing at first daylight. That morning he had caught twelve spotted trout, three that reached from his elbow to his wrist, five that were a few inches shorter, and four more that would reach from his elbow to his shoulder.


When questioned on the location of “Hogs back” Mr. Juliand simply said “You will recognize it when you see it, A nice stream near a ridge similar to a hogs back.”


Grandfather quickly recognized Mr. Juliand as a man who wished to keep his best trout streams a secret.


The conversation centered around the next day’s visit to the last parcel of land. Mr. Julliand offered that he would not be going because he no longer had a vested interest in it.


Esquire Garnsey interrupted to explain Mr. Julliand’s comment to Grandfather. The Esquire took quite some time to tell Grandfather the story.


© wtomosky