Page 76. " Howard and George played cribbage. "

The first recorded version of cribbage is in the 17th century, and shares common elements with the French game of Piquet, with its use of pegs to keep score. Early settlers brought the game to America; it became especially popular in New England.

Two famous games of cribbage were played by characters in Charles Dickens’ books: “Old Curiosity Shop” (between Richard Swiveller and the Marchioness ) and “Oliver Twist” (between Mrs. Bedwin and Oliver).


Page 93. " Beyond the town (West Cove) was the lake, which stretched toward the horizon and during the winter was a vast white plain interrupted only by the humped black tufts of the four islands in its midst. "

George and his mother, Kathleen, walk to West Cove, to have Dr. Box check George’s hand -- the one that Howard bit during his epileptic seizure. As they walk into town, “Kathleen turned the corner, eager for the first look at West Cove that any traveler had when she approached town from the south.” 

Harding modeled West Cove on small towns in the Greenville area, along the southern shore of Moosehead Lake. The year would have been around 1926 – a time when the logging industry was in decline, and the region was becoming popular with summer visitors for its fresh air, good hunting and fishing, and outdoor recreation.

Page 94. " As mother and son came abreast of the front corner of the house, they saw that it was being drawn by eight yoke of titanic oxen. "
Oxen Teams Move a House down State Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumOxen Teams Move a House down State Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts - Credit: Courtesy of Historic New England
Apparently, moving houses in the 19th century was not all that uncommon. According to the blog, The Down East Dilettante, in  1845, Elizabeth Prince Peabody described a house-moving she witnessed in Danvers, Massachusetts: “The building came along slowly, drawn by yokes of oxen. Every yoke had a driver beside it with goads, hurrying them with a ‘Hush-whoa’. It seemed as though there were 20 or 40 yoke of oxen.”