In talking with Enslow and Bum, Lawrence and I were able to piece together some of Ed’s family connections on Harts Creek. Everyone seemed to know about the Mullinses — Ed’s mother’s people — but drew a blank when it came to his father. Enslow remembered his kids well, hinting at their mischief.
“I don’t know whether you remember, them boys — I don’t know whether it was Clyde or who — put them three-inch firecrackers in Ed’s coat pockets and shot them off.”
Lawrence said, “That must’ve been Ralph. They’d do that to each other.”
“They used to come in here a whole lot and get out and get in a fight,” Bum said. “They’d fight with each other.”
I was slowly getting this picture of Ed’s children running wild on Harts Creek — or anywhere else for that matter — so long as they kept at a safe distance from their parents. If true, it may have severely crippled Ed and Ella’s ability as traveling musicians to find people willing to give them room and board. Then Enslow told a horrible story about one of the kids getting stuck in a well.
“They just had a cement tile for a well out there at Robert Martin’s and one of them kids went down in it and he couldn’t get back up out of it,” he said. “He wedged his feet and his arms going down in it. Got down there, couldn’t get out. They had to rescue him out of that well.”
I asked Bum what Ed did when his kids started fighting or getting into mischief and he said, “He’d tell them to quit. They’d pretty well quit whenever he told them to, too.”