FAIR DAY, AND ANOTHER STEP BEGUN by Katie Letcher Lyle (c) 1974. This is a real old paperback! 42 years to be exact! In November of 1974 I turned 16 years old. This little novel is unusual to say the least. The writer claims the story is taken from an old English ballad called CHILDE WATERS. It’s about a 16 year old free spirited girl named Ellen Burd who considers herself a “mountain person” a person who grew up and lives up in the mountains surrounding the town. She learns about animals and plants from an old man who lives nearby as she helps him collect ginseng and other medicinal plants to sell.
One day Ellen comes into town and see’s John Waters an older and financially well off college boy who was a camp counselor at a local camp Ellen attended. They begin to talk and go on a boat ride. Next thing they knew they were making love. Here he is about 21 years old and making love to a 16 year old. Now here it is months later and Ellen seeks John Waters out to tell him she’s pregnant. He tells her to get rid of it but she says “No!”
NOTE: I don’t want to give away the rest of the story, so IF you can ever find it in some old book swap joint maybe you can read it too.
Here’s the old English ballad I found on YouTube: