There's rosemary -- that's for remembrance -- and I took some with me when I returned to the Walnut cemetery yet again in search of Emma Jane -- or possibly Emma Jean -- the Cantrell child whose grave I went looking for a while back.
Emma Jane (or Jean) would have been three on February the second. It was December (of 1925 0r '26) when her parents left her and her brothers at home (the older boy wasn't feeling well) and set off walking down Thomas Branch to attend Sunday night church meeting.
The older boy went out to water the mule; when he came back his little sister was fine, happily playing with her dog. A little later he left the house again to go turn the cows out. When he came back, Emma Jane was gone, as was his younger brother.
The older brother figured that the two must have gone over the mountain to their grandparents' place in Sodom. So he got the mule and rode over there to find his brother there but no Emma Jane.
It was snowing lightly and she didn't have a coat on, said Jeter. Later the searchers figured that the little girl must have set off down Thomas Branch, following the way her parents had gone, but rather than continuing toward Walnut, she had turned up the switchback that led toward Saddle Top Mountain.
The sheriff searched on horseback and, as Nancy's family remembered, the lights of the searchers could be seen weaving back and forth through the leafless trees on Saddle Top.
When they found her, Emma Jane was frozen to death, but the little dog with her was still alive.
She's buried in the main cemetery around the church, Jeter said, under a flat stone near the marker for her parents, William and Nola Cantrell. Look in the southeast corner, he added, next to the pasture.
But I didn't.
Which is why I haven't updated the ongoing story. But when Esta, who comments here occasionally, asked me yesterday what more I'd found out about the little girl, so I thought I'd go on and do an update.
Eventually, I'll get to the library and see what I can find on micro fiche. And when the weather is more moderate, I'll go back one more time and look for Emma Jane. Or Jean.
And I'll take some more rosemary.