Whiteleaf Creek and Bridge (Location Key)


There are two "Whiteleaf" creeks in the fictions, or one that seems to flow in two different directions - and a hamlet named "Whiteleaf" as well. There's no obvious way to see how these three locations might be put in any one place on a map. In As I Lay Dying "Whiteleaf" refers to a creek that the Bundren's cross over between their farm and Samson's, where "the willows leaning near enough" to the road allow Cash to reach out of the wagon and break off a branch (109). On its own the topography of Yoknapatawpha in As I Lay Dying is unusually hard to map, but the situation becomes still more confusing in Intruder in the Dust when Vinson Gowrie's killer is caught trying to ambush the sheriff as he travels through "a lonely midnight creek bottom" while taking Lucas to another jail in the town called Hollymount (227). The narrative refers to the place where the trap is sprung variously as "Whiteleaf bridge" (213), "Whiteleaf bottom" (215) and "the Whiteleaf fill" (216), and the road the sheriff is traveling as "the old Whiteleaf cutoff" (216). All this implies the presence of a Whiteleaf creek. But the creek in Dying flows into the Yoknapatawpha River from the south. If the creek in Intruder flows into the Yoknapatawpha, it would have to be from the north. The hamlet of Whiteleaf has its own entry; it is on the northern side of the river, but is not in a "lonely" part of the county. There is a Yellow Leaf Creek in the real Lafayette County. The water in it behaves like creek water should, flowing steadily in one direction - south - into Yocona River.

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Whiteleaf Creek and Bridge
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Whiteleaf Creek and Bridge