By Ben Klassen
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Additional resources for Against the Evil Tide
About four miles south of Herschel such a farm was found and he negotiated a transaction with a farmer by the name of Tillinghast. The latter had originally homesteaded the place in 1910, had built a decent two story house, a large red barn with an enormous hayloft, a tool shed, fences in place, and accumulated an assemblage of farm machinery. In short, he offered a going concern, a ready-made farm. We bought the place, 640 acres, half a mile wide and two miles long. 00 per acre. Not all of this land was under cultivation.
I was now 16, but too young to go to Normal School and become a teacher, the most obvious short cut to getting away from the farm and having a profession. You had to be at least 18 to enroll. Anyway, I was tired of studying and there was no urgent need to continue education, now or ever. I decided I would quit school, and stay home. I would do some siding and skating. I would do a lot of hunting. It was at this time that I had become intensely interested in guns and in hunting. For the last eight years one of my closest friends had been a boy by the name of Peter Wiens.
I wanted to become a professional baseball player like Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. This lasted for about two years. Then I began reading western stories, such as Zane Grey and western pulp magazines, and my interest shifted to becoming a cowboy, then perhaps a rancher. I had been riding horses ever since we moved to the farm in 1926. By now I was an expert rider. I also became more interested in guns, both handguns and rifles. 22 rifle we had. I began to dream of owning a large cattle ranch in Mexico some day, starting small and gradually building up the herd.