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After spending a few hours with Vilas, we drove a short distance up main Harts Creek to see Violet Mullins. Violet still lived in her mother Roxie’s little house. I hadn’t seen her since my first visit to Harts with Lawrence Haley in 1991; the home seemed a bit empty without Roxie. Violet began to speak in a voice hauntingly reminiscent of her mother’s.

“I knew Ed well,” she said. “He used to come stay all night at our house when he was traveling through here. I know he played all kinds of music. He’d play tunes and then sing them. He’d sing ‘The Drunkard’s Hell’ and the ‘Brownlow’s Dream’, I’ve heard him play that. They’d always be a big gang with him and I never stayed around with them where they was a playing music very much. He’d drink with them every now and then. He’d get to drinking and they’d get into a racket and have him a talking every once in a while. He never was at our house too much — just come and stay all night, him and his daughter and his son. Now, his son Jack stayed with us a long time. He come here, you see, and stayed with Uncle Peter’s fellers, and with different families around here. He stayed for a year or two.”

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