Skip to main content

Full text of "An unofficial patriot"

See other formats




This book has been adapted for 
the stage by James A. Herne. 
The drama, under the title of "The 
Rev. Griffith Davenport/ is being 
produced by Mr. Herne. 

An Unofficial Patriot 




"Is This Your Son, My Lord ?" " Pray You, Sir, Whose Daughter?" 

"Pushed by Unseen Hands," "A Thoughtless Yes 1 

"Men, Women and Gods," * Facts and Fictions 

of Life," Etc., Etc. 



9 AND 1 1 EAST 1 6rH STREET 

Copyright, 1894, 


A II rights reserved. 



To those who, with heroic fortitude, have 
faced the questions involved ; to whom was and 
is unknown the narrow vision which results in 
bitterness ; who do not reckon upon great socio 
logical problems in the evolution of the race as 
mere political capital ; who are able at once to 
comprehend and to respect divergent opinion, 
and who do not brand as moral turpitude all 
that falls outside the scope of their own experi 
ence or preference ; this volume is dedicated, in 
the hope that it may make plain some things 
that even the conscientious historian has failed 
to understand or record, and upon which litera 
ture is so far silent. 

; Fame is the rose on a dead man s breast." 




GEIFFITB DAVENPORT was a clergyman. I 
tell you this at the outset, so that you may be 
prepared to take sides with or against him, as 
is your trend and temperament. Perhaps, too, 
it is just as well for me to make another state 
ment, which shall count in his favor or to his 
disadvantage, according to your own prejudices 
or convictions. He was a Southern man. He 
had been a slave-owner, and now he was neither 
the one nor the other. But in connection with, 
and in explanation of these last-mentioned facts, 
I may say that he had been a law-breaker in 
his native State, and was, at the very time of 
which I tell you, evading the law in the State 
of his adoption. 


Both of these facts were the direct results of 
having been born to slave-ownership, and, at 
the same time, with a conscience which was of, 
and in harmony with, a different latitude and 
heredity. I trust that you will not infer from 
this last remark that I am of the opinion that 
the conscience of the Northern habitant is of 
more delicate fiber than is that of his Southern 
brother, who is of the same mental and social 
grade ; for nothing could be farther from either 
the facts or my intentions herein. But that it is 
of a different type and trend is equally beyond 
controversy. The prickings of the one are as 
regular and as incessant, no doubt, as are those 
of the other ; but the stimulating causes have 
different roots. Perhaps, too, it may sound 
strange to you to hear of one who can be spoken 
of as having a somewhat sensitive conscience 
and at the same time as being both a law-breaker 
and a law-evader. But certain it is, that with a 
less primitive conception of laws and of men, 
you will be able to adjust, to a nicety, the ideas 
therein conveyed, and also to realize how true 
it is that times, conditions, and environment 
sometimes determine the standard by which the 


rightf ulness or wrongfulness of conduct is meas 
ured, and that it is quite within the possibilities 
for a man to be at once a law-breaker and a 
good man, or a law-keeper and a bad one. 

But I am not intending to warp your judg 
ment in advance, and you are to remember that 
whatever my opinion of the quality of the Rev. 
Griffith Davenport s conduct may be, there is 
another side to the matter, and that I shall not 
take it greatly to heart if you should find your 
self on the other side. 

But if, as I have sometimes heard readers say 
who looked upon themselves as of a some 
what superior order you do not take an inter 
est in people who have placed themselves out 
side of the beaten pathway of legal regularity, 
it will be just as well for you to lay this little 
story aside now, for, as I have said, it is a story 
of a clergyman, a slave-holder, a law-breaker, 
and a law-evader, which, I admit, does not at 
the first blush present a picture to the mind of 
a person in whom you and I, my lofty and im 
maculate friend, would be greatly interested, or 
with whom we would care to associate for any 
protracted period. Still, I intend to tell the 


story, and in order to give you a perfectly clear 
idea of how all the more important events in 
this curiously complicated life came about, I 
shall be compelled to go back to the boyhood of 
young Davenport, so that you may catch a 
glimpse of the life and training, which were a 
prelude and a preparation if you do not wish 
to look upon them as exactly a justification of 
and for the later years of the life, which experi 
enced such strange trials, complications and 

It was in the year eighteen hundred and 
twenty-four that the great sea of Methodism 
first began to beat with a force that was like 
that of a succession of mighty tidal waves upon 
the previously placid State of Virginia. Young 
Davenport had, at that time, just turned his fif 
teenth year, but it was not until nearly four years 
later, when the tide of interest and excitement 
had swept with a power and influence impossi 
ble to picture in these days of religious indiffer 
ence and critical inquiry, into the homes and 
over the barriers of long-established things, that 
young Griffith s home felt the invasion to be a 
thing which it behooved gentlemen to consider 


seriously, or even to recognize as existing, if 
one may so express it, in an official sense. 

As I suggested before, it would be difficult, in 
these later and less emotional days, when every 
school-boy knows of doubts and questionings in 
the minds of his elders, to picture adequately 
the serene lack of all such doubts and question 
ings in Griffith Davenport s boyhood. 

To be sure there were, and, I venture to as 
sume, always had been, disagreement and dis 
putes over forms, methods, and meanings ; but 
these were not fundamental doubts of funda 
mental beliefs, of which it would be entirely 
safe to say that young Davenport had never in 
his whole life heard one little doubt expressed 
or intimated, or that a question existed that 
could tend to make any one suspect that there 
were or could be unsettled realms in the system 
and plan of salvation as laid down by Christian 
ity. He supposed, of course, that Christianity 
was an incontrovertible, fixed, and final religion. 
Different sects he knew there were, but all of 
these accepted the basic principle of Christian^. 
All sprang from the same root. Some grew 
eastward, some westward, and some made straight 


for heaven like the center shaft of a great oak ; 
but each and all were true limbs of the same 
healthful trunk whose roots found anchorage in 
the bed-rock of eternal truth. He did not know 
that there were other trees quite as vigorous 
and even more expansive, each of which had 
sprung from the seed of human longing to solve 
the unsolvable. The " heathen " he had heard 
of, of course, in a condemnatory or pitying way, 
but he did not know or think of their worship 
as "religion." It was " fetichism," idolatry, 
superstition. Of Deists, he had heard, if at all, 
but vaguely ; for it must be remembered that in 
the year of our blessed Lord eighteen hundred 
and twenty-seven the name of that famous Deist, 
Thomas Paine, who had done so much for the 
liberty and dignity of the great new nation, was 
not honored as it is to-day, and, indeed, so dense 
was the philosophical ignorance of that time, 
that the mention of the name of the author-hero 
of the Revolution was seldom made except in 
execration and contumely. Even of the Jews, 
from whom his religion came, Griffith had heard 
no good. They had slain the Christ, had they not? 
Their own God condemned the act, did he not? 


Young Davenport supposed that this was all 
true. He also supposed that because of a 
blunder, made in ignorance and passion, in an 
age long past, a whole race had ever since been 
under the chastising hand of a just Jehovah, 
who had decreed that their humiliation and the 
expiation of the fatal blunder should be eternal. 
That there were Jews who were to-day good, 
devout and religious who still approved the 
attitude of Pilate toward the Christ, he did not 
know. He counted this class, therefore, as in 
some sort, Christians also. Mistaken in method, 
no doubt ; superstitious and blundering perhaps ; 
but still secretly filled with sorrow and shame 
for the awful crime of their race, and accepting 
the verdict of God and the disciplining punish 
ment of time, he had no doubt of their final ac 
ceptance of what he believed established as 
eternal Truth, and their consequent redemption 
and salvation. The easy-going, gentle Episco- 
palianism of his home-training, with its morning 
and evening, perfunctory, family prayers, its 
" table grace " and its Sunday service, where all 
the leading families of the county were to be 
seen, and where the Rector read with so much 


finish and the choir sang so divinely, the same 
old hymns, week after week, had so far been as 
much a part of his life, and were accepted as 
mechanically, as were the daily meals, the un 
paid negro labor, and the fact th?. 4 : his father, 
the old " Squire," sat in the best pew, because 
he had built and endowed the finest church in 
the State. 

All these things had come to Griffith as quite 
a matter of course ; as some equally important 
things have come to you and to me and not at 
all as matters of surprise or as questions for 

That his father, the old major, swore roundly, 
from time to time, at the slaves, did not appeal 
to the boy s mind as either strange or reprehen 
sible ; so true is it that those things which come 
to us gradually, and in the regular order of 
events, do not arouse within us doubts and 
questionings as do sudden or startling addi 
tions to our development or intellectual equip 
ment, when thrust unexpectedly in upon our 
ordinary surroundings. Such moral or social 
questions as were involved in the ownership of 
slaves had, up to that time, produced no more 


mental qualms in the boy than have the same 
questions as to ownership of lands or of horses 
upon you or me at the present time. 

Jerry had been Griffith s own particular 
" boy " ever since he could remember, and, al 
though Jerry was the older of the two, it would 
be wholly unfair to all parties concerned not to 
state clearly and fully that the righteousness 
and inevitability of the relationship of owned 
and owner, had no more sinister meaning for 
Jerry than it had for his young " Mos Grif ." 
So prone are we all to accept as a finality that 
to which custom has inured us. 

Was Jerry an Episcopalian ? Most assuredly ! 
Were not all of the Davenports members of the 
established order in all things ? And was not 
Jerry a Davenport? Not one negro on the 
whole plantation had ever for one little moment 
thought of himself as other than an Episcopa 
lian, in so far as the Almighty would permit 
one whose skin was black to be of the elect. 
They one and all felt a real and eager pride in 
the social and religious status of the Davenports, 
and had never even harbored a doubt that they 
would be permitted to polish the harps and hold 


the horses of that fortunate family when all 
should again be reunited in that better world, 
where all might be free but not equal for " as 
one star differed from another," etc. No dif 
ferent dreams had ever, so far, visited master or 

" I could never be happy in heaven without 
Jerry," had settled the question in Griffith s 
mind, for of course his own destination was 
sure. And the negro felt equally secure when 
he thought, " Mos Grif ain t gwine ter go 
nowhah widout me. Nobody else ain t gwine 
ter take cahr ob him. Nobody else know 

But the unsettling times which brought Meth 
odism, in a great and overwhelming wave, into 
the ranks of established things, brought also 
mutterings and perplexities and awakenings of 
another sort. Aroused energies, stimulated con 
sciences, excited mentalities are ever likely to 
find varying outlets. Progressive movements 
seldom travel singly, and so it came about that, 
mingled with the new religious unrest, there 
were other and, perhaps you will say, graver 
questions so inextricably joined, in some minds 


that the one appeared to be the root and cause 
of the other. 

" Is slavery right ? If it is right for the laity, 
at least, is it not wrong for one who is an apos 
tle of the Son of God, who had not where to lay 
His head ? Should black men be free men ? " 
and all the disturbing horde of questions which 
followed in the train of the new religion, began 
to float, at first in intangible ways, in the air. A 
little later they took form in scowl or hasty 
word, and at last crept into sermons, social dis 
cussions and legislative deliberations, as by de 
grees the echo of these latter floated down from 
Washington or filtered through other sources, 
from the Border States, where the irrepressible 
conflict had arisen in a new form to vex the 
souls and arouse the passions of men. The 
pressing question of free soil or slave extension 
had already begun to urge itself upon the public 
mind and to harass the Border States, finding 
utterance for or against that Congressional meas 
ure known as the Missouri Compromise Bill. 
Young Griffith Davenport had spent his seven 
teen years in an atmosphere of scholarly investi 
gation and calm, where little of even the echoes 


of these disturbing influences had come. His 
home was a comfortable one indeed, the finest 
in all that part of the " valley " ; the library 
quite unusual in extent and quality for the time 
and place. Grif s tutor was a University man, 
his pleasures those of a country squire ; for in 
Virginia, as in England, the office of "esquire," 
or justice of the peace, was wont to pass from 
father to eldest son, in families of considera 
tion ; and, indeed, at that early age Grif s father 
had, by degrees, turned the duties of the office 
over to the boy, until now no one expected to 
consult the " old squire " upon any ordinary 
topic. The "young squire " settled it, whether 
it were a dispute over dog-slain sheep or a mis 
understanding about the road tax. 

Upon this placid, " established " finality of 
existence it was, then, which descended a 
cyclone. Formalism in religion had run its 
course. The protest was swift, impassioned, 
sincere. Vigorous, earnest, but often unlearned 
men sprang into prominence at a single bound. 
Arguments arose. Men began to ask if the Al 
mighty was pleased with forms in which the soul 
was dead if mere words, and not sincere emo- 


tion of the heart, gratified God. Was it wor 
ship to simply read or repeat the words of 
another ? Must not one s own soul, mind and 
heart furnish the key, as well as the medium, to 
aid in real devotion ? Had the letter killed the 
spirit ? 

Young Griffith heard. The ideas fascinated 
him. Oaths from his father s lips struck him 
with a new meaning and a different force. 
Whereas they had been mere vocal emphasis, 
now they were fearful maledictions and from 
a leading Christian, the leading Christian of the 
county ! 

Griffith pondered, trembled, listened again to 
the new religious teachers to whose meetings 
he had, at first, gone in a spirit of mild fun, not 
in the least reprobated by his father and had, 
at last, tremblingly, passionately believed. 



" I paint him in character." Shakespeare. 

THAT a Davenport should seriously contem 
plate leaving the " Mother Church," as the dev 
otees of the Anglican establishment were given 
to calling their branch of the real Roman 
mother, was a proposition too absurd to be con 
sidered ; and the old Major met his son s first 
suggestions, wherein this tendency was indi 
cated, as the mere vaporings of a restless, un 
formed boy. He laughed loudly, guyed his son 
openly, and inquired jocosely which one of the 
pretty Methodist girls had struck his fancy. 

" If it turns out to be serious, Grif, and you 
marry her, she will, as a matter of course, trans 
fer her membership to the Mother Church. A 
true wife always follows her husband in all 
things. Thy people shall be my people, and 
thy God my God, you know, Grif. Good old 
saying. Bible truth, my son. But who is the 


happy girl, you young scamp ? There is rather 
a paucity of thoroughbreds among the Metho 
dists, as they call this new craze. Don t make 
that kind of a mistake, my boy, whatever else 
you do. Better keep inside the paddock." 

The old Major chuckled, and, turning on his 
heel, left his son covered with confusion, and 
with a sense of impotent zeal and conviction to 
which he could not or dared not give voice. 

That this question of a truer, warmer, more 
personally stirring religious life did not touch a 
single responsive chord in the Major s nature, 
filled the son, anew, with misgivings. At first, 
these questionings led him to doubt himself, 
and to wonder if it could, after all, be possible 
that his own youth, inexperience and provincial 
ism might really not lie at the root of his new 
unrest. lie went to the Methodist meetings 
with a fresh determination to be serenely criti 
cal, and not to yield to the onrush of emotion 
which had grown so strong within him as he 
had listened, in the past, to the passionate and 
often ruggedly- eloquent appeals of the pioneers 
of the new faith or, perhaps, it were better to 
say, to the new expression of the old faith. 


He gave up his extra Latin lessons, which 
had been his delight and the pride of his tutor 
and of his family, that he might have these 
hours for the study of the Bible and the few 
other books carried by the colporteurs or the 
circuit riders, who were beginning to overrun 
the State. 

The old Major disapproved, but it was not his 
way to discuss matters with his family ; and it 
may be doubted, indeed, if the Major grasped 
the significance and force of the tide which had 
overtaken his son, as it had rushed with the 
power of a flood over his beloved Virginia and 
left in its wake a tremendous unrest, and carried 
before it many of the most sincere and forceful 
characters and questions. Beyond a few twit- 
tings and an occasional growl, therefore, the old 
Major had ignored his son s gradual withdrawal 
from the ancient forms and functions and the 
fact that almost every Sunday morning, of late, 
had found the boy absent from the family pew 
and present two miles up the valley at the little 
log meeting-house of the Methodists. He was 
unprepared, therefore, to face the question seri 
ously, -when finally told by the boy s mother 


that Grif had decided that on his nineteenth 
birthday he would be baptized, and that he 
intended to enter the ministry as a circuit rider. 

The joke struck the Major as good above the 
average. He laughed long and loud. He 
chuckled within himself all day. When even 
ing came and Griffith appeared at the table the 
Major was too full of mirth and derision to con 
tent himself with his usual banter. 

" Your mothah inforhms me," he began with 
the ironical touch in his tone held well under 
the sparkle of humor. " Your mothah inforhms 
me that to-morrow is your nineteenth birthday, 
you long-legged young gosling, and that you 
contemplate celebrating it by transmuting your 
self into a Methodist ass with leather lungs and 
the manners, sir, and the habits, sir, of of of 
a damned Yankee ! " 

As the Major had halted for words and the 
picture of his son as a circuit rider arose before 
him as a reality and not as a joke, his ire had 
gotten the better of his humor. The picture he 
had conjured up in his own mind of this son of 
his in the new social relations sure to result from 

the contemplated change of faith swamped the 



old Major s sense of the absurdity of the 
situation in a sudden feeling of indignation and 
chagrin, and the sound of his own unusual 
words did the rest. 

Griffith looked up at his father in blank sur 
prise. His mother said, gently, "Majah! 
Majah ! " But the old squire s sudden plunge 
into anger had him in its grip. He grew more 
and more excited as his own words stirred 

" Yes, sir, like a damned northern tackey that 
comes down here amongst respectable people to 
talk to niggers, and preach, as they call their 
ranting, to the white trash that never owned a 
nigger in their whole worthless lives, and tell 
em about the unrighteousness of slavery ! 
Why don t they read their Bibles if they know 
enough to read? It teaches slavery plain 
enough Servants obey your masters in all 
things, and If a man sell his servant, and 
His servant is his money, and a good many 
more ! Why don t they read their Bibles, I 
say, and shout if they want to, and attend to 
their own business ? Nobody wants their long 
noses down here amongst reputable people, 


sowing seeds of riot and rebellion among the 
niggers ! " The Major had forgotten his orig 
inal point but it came back to him as Grif 
began to speak. 

" But, sir " 

" But, sir ! " he said, rising from his chair in 
his excitement, " don t but, sir, me ! I m dis 
gusted and ashamed, sir ! Ashamed from the 
bottom of my hawt, that a son of mine a Daven 
port could for one moment contemplate this 
infernal piece of folly ! A circuit rider, indeed ! 
A damned disturber of niggers ! A man with 
no traditions ! Shouting and having fits and 
leading weak-minded women and girls, and 
weaker-minded boys and niggers into unpardon 
able, disgraceful antics and calling it religion ! 
Actually having the effrontery to call it religion ! 
It s nothing but infernal rascality in half the 
cases and pitiable insanity in the other half, and 
if I d been doing my duty as a squire I d have 
taken the whole pestiferous lot up and put one 
set in jail and the other set in an asylum, long 
ago ! Look at em ! Ducking converts, as they 
call their dupes, in the creek ! Perfectly dis 
graceful, sir ! I forbid you to go about their 


meetings again, sir ! Yes, sir, once and for all, 
I forbid it ! " 

The Major brought his fist down on the table 
with a bang that set the fine china rattling and 
added the last straw of astonishment and dis 
comfort to the unusual family jar ; for few in 
deed had ever been the occasions upon which 
even a mild degree of paternal authority had not 
been so quickly followed by ready and willing 
compliance that an outbreak of anything like 
real temper or authoritative command other 
than at or toward the slaves had been hardly 
within Grif s memory. 

The boy arose, trembling and pale, and leav 
ing his untouched plate of choice food before him 
turned to leave the room. 

" Come back here, sir ! " commanded the old 
Major. " Take your seat, sir, and eat your 
supper, sir, and " 

Mrs. Davenport burst into tears. The boy 
hesitated, parted his lips as if to speak, looked 
at his mother, and with a sudden movement of 
his hand toward a little book which he always 
carried these later days in his breast-pocket, he 
stepped to his mother s side. There was a great 


lump in his throat. He was struggling for 
mastery of himself but his voice broke into a 
sob as he said : 

" He that loveth father or mother more than 
Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh 
not his cross and followeth after Me, is not 
worthy of Me. " He kissed his mother s fore 
head and passed swiftly out of the room. His 
horse stood at the front gate waiting the usual 
evening canter. Griffith threw his long leg 
over the saddle, and said to Jerry, who stood 
holding the bridle of his own horse, ready to 
follow as was his custom : " I don t want you 
to-night, Jerry. Stay at home. Good-night," 
and rode away into the twilight. 

It would be difficult to say just what Grif 
fith s plan was. Indeed, it had all been so 
sudden and so out of the ordinary trend of his 
life, that there was a numb whirl of excitement, 
of pain and of blind impulse too fresh within 
him to permit of anything like consecutive 
thought. But, with Grif, as with most of us 
when the crises of our lives come, fate or chance 
or conditions have taken the reins to drive us. 
We are fond of saying and while we are young 


we believe that we decided thus or thus ; that 
we converted that condition or this disaster 
into an opportunity and formed our lives upon 
such and such a model. All of which is 
as a rule mere fond self-gratulation. The 
fact is, although it may wound our pride to 
acknowledge it, that we followed the line of 
least resistance (all things being considered, our 
own natures included) and events did the rest. 
And so when Grif turned an angle in the road, 
two miles from home, and came suddenly upon 
the circuit rider, who was to baptize the new con 
verts on the following day, and when Brother 
Prout took it for granted that Grif was on 
his way to the place of gathering in order to be 
present at the preliminary meeting, it seemed to 
Grif that he had originally started from home 
with that object in view. His thoughts began 
to center around that idea. The pain and 
shock of the home-quarrel, which he had simply 
started out to ride off, to think over, to prepare 
to meet on the morrow, gradually faded into a 
dull hurt, which made the phrases and quota 
tions and exhortations of Brother Prout sound 
like friendly and personal utterances of soothing 


and of paternal advice, and so the two miles 
stretched into ten and the camp-ground was 
reached, and for Griffith, the die was cast. 




IT has been well said that the heresies of one 
generation are the orthodox standards of the 
next ; and it is equally true that the great con 
vulsive waves of emotion, belief, patriotic aspi 
ration or progressive emulation of the leaders of 
thought of one age, for which they are mar 
tyred by the conventionally stupid majority, 
become the watchwords and uncontrovertible 
basis of belief for the succeeding generation of 
the respectably unthinking, and furnish afresh, 
alas ! the means, the motives and the power for 
the crucifixion of the prophets and thinkers of 
the new cycle. Mediocrity is forever sure that 
nothing better or loftier is in store. Genius 
sees eternal progress in perpetual change. 

Much of the doings and many of the sayings 
of the new religious sect seemed to the people 
about them full of heresy, dangerous in tend- 


ency, and, indeed, blasphemous in its enthusi 
asms and its belief in and effort for an intimate 
personal relationship \vith a prayer-answering 
and a praise-loving God. To Grif, Brother 
Prout s fervor and enthusiasm of expression, his 
prayers which seemed the friendly communica 
tions of one who in deed and in truth walked 
with his God, instead of the old, perfunctory, 
formal reading of set phrases arranged for special 
days, which had to be hunted up in a book and 
responded to by all in exactly the same words, 
and with the same utter want of personal feel 
ing, to Grif, these fervid, passionate, sincere and 
simple appeals of the kind old enthusiast seemed 
like the very acme and climax of a faith which 
might, indeed, move mountains. 

" Amen ! amen ! " 

" Praise the Lord, O my soul ! " 

"Thanks be to Almighty God!" echoed 
along the banks of the river, the loved Opquan, 
that had been to Grif a friend and companion 
from his earliest boyhood. He had never stood 
by its banks without an onrush of feeling that 
had tended to burst into a song of joy ! From 
his grandfather s front porch and from the win- 


clows of his own room at home he could see it 
winding through the rocky hills and struggling 
for its right to reach the sea. He had skipped 
pebbles on it and waded across it at low tide, 
and had stood in awe at its angry and impetuous 
swiri when the spring rains had swollen it to a 
torrent of irresistible force. It seemed to Grif 
now that its waters smiled at him, and his eyefi 
filled with tears that were of happiness not un 
mixed with a tender pain and regret regret for 
he knew not what. 

" Joy to the world, the Lord has come ! " 
rang out with a volume and an impassioned 
sincerity which gave no room for the critical 
ear of the musician nor for the carping brain of 
the skeptic, had either been there to hear. " Let 
earth receive her King ! " The hills in the dis 
tance took up the melody, and it seemed to the 
overwrought nerves of the boy that nothing so 
beautiful in all the world had ever been seen or 
heard before. " Let every heart prepare Him 
room, and heaven and nature sing ! " Ah, was 
not heaven and nature, indeed, singing the most 
glorious song the earth had ever heard or seen 
when she made this valley? When she built 


these mountains, and threaded that little river 
over the stones ? Griffith was lost in an intoxi 
cation of soul and sense. He was looking across 
the valley to the old home. His hands were 
clenched until the nails were marking the palms, 
and his voice rang out so clear and true that the 
neighborhood boys touched each other and mo 
tioned toward the young fellow with almost a 
sense of envy. Neither cultured musician nor 
cynic was there, and the softness of the air lent 
charm to the simple exercises which some of the 
youths had come in a spirit of fun to deride. It 
was restful to the weary, stimulating to the 
sluggish and soothing to the unhappy. They 
were carried out of their narrow and monoto 
nous lives. If Griffith s heart had been sore and 
in a condition to be soothed by the words and 
prayers of Father Prout, how much more were 
his nerves and emotions in that unstrung and 
vaguely wounded and impressionable state 
where physical change and reaction is easily 
mistaken for religious fervor or exaltation, how 
much more was he in that state where melody 
joined to nature s most profligate mood of beauty 
in scene leads captive the soul 1 


During the meeting which had followed his 
arrival at the camp-ground Grif had passed 
through that phase of physical reaction which 
meant to him a " leading of the spirit " and, as 
he stood now on the banks of his beloved river 
pouring out his young heart in the hymn of his 
boyish fancy, he no longer doubted that he had, 
indeed, been " called " to be a circuit rider and 
to cast his lot with the new order of religious 
enthusiasts. He looked now upon his previous 
doubts as temptations of the devil and put, once 
and for all, their whisperings behind him and 
accepted the new lot as heaven and God-sent 
and intended. 

Father Prout gave to all of his converts a 
choice in the form of their baptism. Leaning, 
himself, toward immersion, he still held that 
sprinkling was sufficient and with a lingering 
memory of his father s fling at " ducking con 
verts in the creek," Griffith had determined to 
be sprinkled ; but, as the last echoes of the old 
hymn died away, he stepped to the bank and 
indicated that he would be immersed. As he 
arose from the water his face was radiant, 
and when he had removed his immersion robe 


his eyes filled with happy tears as his father 
rode up to the edge of the grounds and held 
out his arms to the boy. 

"My son," he said tremulously, "my son, 
fohrgive me. I have been unhappy all night. I 
did not realize that I was swearing at you until 
your mothah told me. Come home, my boy, 
and your new friends will be welcome at Rock 
Hall. God bless you, my son, come home, 
your mothah is unhappy." 

Mr. Lengthy Patterson, a long-legged, ca 
daverous mountaineer who had wended his 
way from the distant fastnesses of the high 
perched log cabin which he called home and 
wherein he ate and slept when he was not 
engaged in those same occupations out under 
the stars where night during his hunting 
and fishing expeditions chanced to overtake 
him, had been watching Grif all day. The 
boy s radiant face the past hour had fasci 
nated him. In his absorption he had stepped 
so close to the old Major as he and Grif 
stood making ready for the homeward ride, that 
Mr. Davenport made an instinctive gesture of 
impatient disapproval which called the naturally 


deferential woodsman back to his normal men 
tal state. 

" It is Lengthy Patterson, father," said Grif 
fith, with his ever-ready impulse to cover the 
confusion of the unlucky or ignorant who were 
intrusive without a knowledge of the fact until 
a recognition of disapproval made self-con 
sciousness painful. 

Mr. Davenport moved as if to make amends 
for his previous manner by an offer to shake 
hands with the mountaineer an unheard-of 
proceeding on the Squire s part. 

" Oh, it s Lengthy Patterson, is it ? I beg 
your pahrdon, Mr. a Lengthy. I did not rec 
ognize you at " 

The long legs had moved slowly away. 
He turned around, tilted his half rimless hat 
further on to the back of his head, in lieu of 
lifting it, and in a voice as evenly graded to 
one single note as is that of a flying loon, re 
marked, as he kept on his way : 

"No excuse. Say nothin . Few words com 
prehends the whole." 

"What did that fellow say, Grif?" asked 
his father, as they mounted. 


Griffith laughed rather hysterically. The 
reaction was coming. 

" It s just a phrase he has, father. They say 
he never was known to say anything else ; but 
I expect that is a joke. He s an honest fellow 
and a splendid woodsman. He knows every 
crack in the mountains, and is a perfect terror 
to rattlesnakes. Don t you remember ? He is 
the fellow who saved the old Randolph house 
that time it took fire, and got the children out. 
They say when Mrs. Randolph went away up 
to his cabin to thank him, he remarked that a 
few words comprehended the whole, and fled 
the mountain until he was sure she had gone. 
He appears to be afraid of the English lan 
guage and of nothing else on earth." 

There was a long silence. The old Major 
was turned half out of his saddle, as was a 
habit of his, to rest himself. The horses were 
taking their own gait. Presently they turned 
a curve in the road and Grif suddenly threw 
his arm across his father s shoulder and leaned 
far over toward him. " Kiss me, father," he 
said, and before the moisture had dried out of 
their eyes and the great lump left their throats, 


both laughed a little in that shame-faced fash 
ion men have when, with each other, they have 
yielded to their natural and tender emotions. 
But both horses understood and broke into a 
steady lope, and the chasm was bridged. 

" Dars Mos Grif ! Bars Mos Grif an ole 
Mos ! " exclaimed Jerry as he saw the two 
horsemen in the distance. " Dey comiii , Mis 
Sallie, dey is dat ! Lawsy me, Mis Sallie, dey 
want no uste fer yo ter be skeered dat a way 
bout Mos Grif. lie s des dat staidy dat yo c d 
cahry wattah on he haid, let er lone Selim ain t 
gwine ter let no trouble come ter Mos Grif. 
But I dus low dat e oughter a tuck dis chile 
erlong wid im ter look arter im, dough. Dat s 
a fack. I knows dat. Run inter de kitchen, 
Lippy Jane, an tell yo maw dat Mos Grif an 
ole Mos mose heah, an she better git dem dar 
chicken fixins all raidy quick as ebber she kin. 
Dey gwine ter be hongry, sho s yo bohn, dey 
is dat." 

Lippy Jane sped away on her errand with 
that degree of enthusiasm which sprang from a 
consciousness of bearing a welcome message 
to expectant listeners, when suddenly, as she 


passed a group of idle compeers, one of the 
boys flung upon her lower lip, where it lodged 
and dangled in squirming response to her every 
motion, a long yellow apple peeling. She did 
not pause in her onward course, but called 
back in belligerent tones at the offender : 

" I des gwine ter lef dat erlone dar, now, an 
show hit ter Mos Grif ! I is dat ! You nasty 
little nigger ! " and she reappeared, after giv 
ing her message in the kitchen, with the pen 
dant peel still reposing upon the superfluous 
portion of the feature to which she was in 
debted for her name. 




So desirable a candidate was speedily or 
dained, and Brother Prout himself rode with 
the boy 011 his two first rounds of the not far- 
distant circuit which was soon to be placed in 
charge of this youth Avho had so suddenly taken 
on the duties, responsibilities and desires of a 
man. Grif s temperament had always been so 
merry and frank and full of the joyful side of 
life that he found himself at once ill at ease and 
hampered by the feeling that he must curb his 
spirits. Brother Prout, whose own nature was 
only less buoyant, patted Grif on the back and 
advised against the change which he clearly 
saw the boy was trying to compass. 

"Don t grow dull, Brother Davenport," he 
said one day, as they were riding toward the 
home of one of their members to make a 


pastoral visit. " Don t grow dull and old be 
fore your time. Religion is joy, not gloom. 
Your message to these people is happiness. 
Let your bright young face and voice bear tes 
timony for the Lord, and prove to them that all 
His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His 
paths are paths of peace. Let your neighbors 
see that in forsaking your old life you have not 
lost the best and most glorious part of it. You 
take that with you in addition to the rest. 
Laugh with them that laugh, and weep with 
them that weep. I m an old man, now, and I 
never did have your spirits ; but we need just 
that in our labors, my son. Don t allow your 
self to grow dull. With your nature you will 
win and not drive souls to the Lord." 

Such advice cheered the boy and made him 
feel less strongly the great change in his life. 
The long hours of riding his fine horse over the 
roads and by-paths of his beloved and beautiful 
valley ; the talks with friends or strangers 
who were never strangers for long, since mutual 
acquaintance or intermarriage had made of the 
whole state almost one family, proved attractive 
and interesting to him. He found in this new 


work a real and fresli happiness. Fording 
swollen streams, searching for obscure mount 
ain passes, riding alone or with a chance com 
panion through extensive stretches of woodland, 
listening to, and often answering the notes of 
birds or the cry of some animal, were congenial 
occupations to the young parson, and his form 
rounded out and his face gradually settled into 
mature but gentle and kindly lines, and it was 
now grown to be his invariable rule to compose 
his sermons as he rode. He never wrote them. 
Some text would fix itself in his mind as he 
read his little black Testament night or morn 
ing, and upon that text he would build a 
simple and kindly talk which reached and 
touched his handful of listeners as no elabora 
tion of rhetoric could have done. 

Some days he would ride along for miles, 
humming or singing a single tune, while a train 
of thought for his next sermon was building 
itself up in his mind. Selim, the fine young 
sorrel, knew quite well what to do, and fell 
into a walk or a gentle canter, according to the 
briskness or volume of the notes that rose over his 
back. If " How-tedious-and-tasteless-the-hours, 


when-Jesus-no-longer-I-see," trailed out softly, 
with long and undevised breaks in the continu 
ity of sound and sense, Selim walked demurely, 
and saw no ghosts or interesting things whatso 
ever in woods or stream or distant valley. But 
when " Joy to the world ! The Lord has 
come ! " rang out, continuous and clear, Selim 
knew that he might even shy at a stone, and 
make believe a set state of terror at sight of a 
familiar old post or a startled groundhog ; or 
that if he were to break into an unexpected 
gallop, no harm would be done, and that he 
would be pretty sure of some playful remarks 
And a bit of teasing from the rider, whose 
sermon, Selim knew full well, was finished. 
But so long as " Joy to the mm-mmmm-m- 

mmmm-mmm Let earth mmmm mmmmm- 

mmmher King," greeted his ears, Selim knew 
that the responsibility of ford or path rested 
with him, and many a ford did Selim take 
before his rider realized that he had come to it. 
If swimming were necessary, Selim struck out 
with a powerful stroke, and came up on the 
other bank with a proud stamp of his feet and a 
whinny that bid for the recognition of his 


prowess that he knew was sure to come -to 

" Whoa, old fellow ! Stop and get your 
wind ! Steady ! That was a pretty stiff cur 
rent, wasn t it ? There, take a nibble ! Been 
some pretty heavy rains around here, haven t 
there ? But what do you and I care about rains 
and currents ? Whoa, there, you rascal, keep 
your nose off my sleeve ! O, you will, will 
you? Well, there, there, there, I ve wiped it 
all off as good as ever. T-h-a-t s right ; nip off 
some of these fresh buds. Here, let s take our 
bit out. Tastes better, doesn t it ? Oh, you will, 
will you, old wet nose ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! Selim, 
you know more than most folks, you old hum- 

If his master sat down and became absorbed 
in thought, or in his little black book, Selim 
would browse about for an hour ; but at 
the first note of a hymn the faithful fellow 
came to have his bridle replaced, and was ready 
for a gallop or a walk, as his rider should indi 

At first the young circuit rider would take a 
swollen ford, when a safer one could have been 


found a mile or two farther on, or he would 
ride miles out of his way to make a pass in the 
mountains, when, had he known the fact, an 
obscure but safe one was near at hand. But, as 
the years passed by, both Selim and his master 
would have scorned a guide, and, night or day, 
the country became to them like the fields of 
one s own estate, so familiar were they with it 
all. In this pass was a great nesting place, 
where, year after year, the circuit rider talked 
aloud to the birds, and fancied that they knew 
him. Many a friendly note of reply to his 
whistle or call gained a hearty laugh. 

"Feel jokey to-day, do you, you ridiculous 
Bob White ? Wish I could translate that into 
English. Know it was a good joke from the 
twist you gave it, but I m no linguist. You ll 
have to excuse me if I don t reply intelli 
gently," he would call out to some unusually 
individualized note, and Selim would whisk his 
tail in utter disapproval of a man who would so 
foolishly converse with birds such little insig 
nificant things as they were when here was a 
full-grown, blooded horse, right under his nose ! 
The pride and arrogance of species is great 


within us all and Selim had associated much 
with man. 

" Hello ! Where s that great-grandfather of 
yours that I saw here the last time we crossed 
your ford ? " Griffith remarked aloud to a frisky 
little trout, as it whisked past Selim s feet. 
" Hope nobody s caught him. Give him my 
regards when you get home." 

Just then Selim s feet struck the bank, and, 
as he scrambled up, he shied a little, and his 
master recognized the long legs before him as 
those of the mountaineer in homespun trousers 
and hickory shirt, who had vexed the old Major 
at the baptizing in the Opquan that now seemed 
so long ago. 

" Good-morning " began the young min 
ister, when Lengthy s gun went suddenly to 
his shoulder, there was a flash, a report, Selim 
sprang to one side, and the mountaineer poked 
with his gun where the horse had stood. 
" Look down. Say nothin . Few words com 
prehend th whole ;" he remarked to the aston 
ished circuit rider, as he held up on the end of 
his gun a still writhing, ugly, dying snake, 
which had been coiled to spring. He was too 


confused, or too mentally embryonic to do more 
than grin in gratified silence at the thanks and 
compliments from the young preacher ; for it was 
somewhat infrequently that Lengthy was ad 
dressed by one of Griffith s type, and the very 
sincerity of his evident admiration for the cir 
cuit rider still farther handicapped his already 
abnormally developed awkwardness of manner. 
It is possible that the vocabulary of this swarthy 
mountaineer (whose six feet and seven inches 
of bone and sinew had fixed upon him the only 
name that Pastor Davenport had ever heard 
applied to him), it is possible, I say, that his 
vocabulary may have been fuller than it was 
generally supposed to be. Among his fellows 
it is just possible that he may have ventured 
upon language with more freedom ; but certain 
it is that when Lengthy was in the presence of 
what he was pleased to call " quality," the lim 
itations were painfully apparent, and there was 
a legend which appeared to have as solid a 
basis as belongs to most that whatever slight 
variations he might venture upon as an opening 
remark, the finale, if one may so express it, was 
sure to be the same. 


Mr. Davenport asked after his health, that of 
his family, the neighborhood in general and 
finally, unable to extract anything beyond a nod 
or a single word from the giant who had pitched 
the still squirming rattlesnake from the end 
of his gun into the river, Griffith took another 

" River seems to be unusually high. Selim 
had all he could do, didn t you, old fellow ? 
Been having a freshet here, haven t you ? " 

Lengthy pointed with his gun, to the rem 
nants of a rail fence, now high on the bank, in 
the top rails of which clung half-dry weeds and 
river refuse. 

"Look there. Few words comprehend th 

Griffith smiled, gave up the task of convers 
ing with his admirer, shook the bridle on Selim s 
neck and with a cheery " "Well, I m glad to have 
met you. Good-bye," rode on toward the 
village where he was soon to begin his first year s 
pastorate as a " located " preacher. As he rode 
along he almost regretted the change. These 
had been happy years to the simple-hearted, but 
ardent young fellow ; but he was consoled when 


lie saw before him in mental vision the 
home in which pretty, black-eyed Katherine 
LeRoy was to preside for the young cir 
cuit rider had found his fate and, alas ! it 
had not been inside the Episcopal paddock 
nor even in the Methodist fold such pranks 
does Fate play with us, such liberties does 
Cupid take, even with the hearts of those 
whose mission it is to deal with other things ! 
Very early in the new life Griffith had stayed 
one night at the hospitable home of Katherine s 
father. In spite of all, his heart was lonely and 
his face less bright than in the old days. Miss 
Katherine saw. Miss Katherine was kind and 
Miss Katherine s sweet face traveled many a 
mile with the young preacher after he, as Selim 
was well aware, should have been humming a 
hymn and composing that sermon for the mor 
row. But Selim was discreet ; and when he 
shook his head or whinnied or changed his gait 
and Griffith did not heed, Selim plodded de 
murely on and waited. But as the months had 
gone by and Selim had carried the young 
master up the same lane a few times and had 
observed the same silent abstraction after each 


visit, he had grown to know very well indeed 
that this was a marked house and that Griffith 
liked to go there. So it came to pass that after 
the dark eyes had traveled with the young 
preacher and peered over his shoulder into his 
Testament and interfered sadly with the trend 
of his thoughts on sacred things, it had grown to 
be very certain to Griffith that something would 
have to be done. Then it was that for the first 
time he thought how little he had to offer. 
Not even a home ! Not even his own companion 
ship ! For all these six years he had traveled 
his different circuits and slept where he found 
himself as night came on, and preached here or 
there as he had been directed. His home had 
been literally in his saddle, and his salary had 
been too insignificant to mention. The old 
Major, who to a degree, had become reconciled 
to the new order of things, had at first insisted 
that Jerry follow and care for the young 
master ; but Griffith had argued that it ill be 
came one who had taken such a step to take 
with him a body servant, and it had almost 
broken Jerry s heart to be compelled to stay at 
the old home-place and allow young Mos Grif 


to saddle and feed Selim, if need be, and care 
for and brush his own clothes. This latter had, 
indeed, led to the loss of most of his limited 
wardrobe, for he had left behind him, at the 
house of some " member" a piece of clothing or 
some toilet article very often, at the first ; but 
as it never failed to be returned to him on his 
next round, the leather saddle-bags retained 
about the same proportions from month to 
month, replenished as they were by his mother 
and Jerry on his frequent visits home. 

But it was when the thought of a wife and a 
home of his own first came to Griffith that the 
life of a circuit rider grew less attractive and 
he wondered if it would be right to ask to be 
" located " or " stationed " as some of the married 
men were. To be sure they must change their 
" station " year by year and so tear up the little 
roots they could strike in so brief a period, but 
at least it gave something like a home and a 
" charge " to the preacher, and he not his 
family was the sole subject of solicitude and 
consideration to the authorities who governed 
his movements. Had not the Lord said to those 
whom He sent forth to preach that they must go 


from place to place leaving behind all family 
ties ? Had not He so lived ? Had not Paul 
and Timothy and the twelve ? Later on had it 
not been so with the many until wealth and 
love of ease and the things of this world un 
dermined the true faith ? 

But human nature is strong, and all faiths in 
the past have as all in the future will continue 
to do accommodated themselves to the human 
needs and demands of those who sustain the the 
ory as infallible, immutable, unchangeable and 
unchanging ; but modify it to fit the times, the 
natures and the conditions in which they strike 
root. If Mohammed will not go to the mount 
ain, the mountain will come to Mohammed. 

So when the young circuit rider had stopped 
again, as had grown to be his habit, with the 
family of Katherine LeRoy, and when she, with 
quaint coquetry, had met his equally quaint 
courtship by finally accepting him on condition 
that he " take a charge " he had asked the pre 
siding elder to locate him as a married man for 
the next year since he was about to marry. 
Brother Prout had approved, and the matter had 
been settled with little difficulty. 


The courtship was unique. The young par 
son had grown to be so great a favorite where- 
ever he went that his cheerfulness, his kindly, 
simple and sincere nature insured him hearty 
welcome even outside of his own flock. His 
superior birth and breeding made him a marked 
man within his denomination. Many were the 
speculations as to which rosy-cheeked Methodist 
girl he would find nearest his ideal, and jokes 
were many at the expense of this or that one if 
he but stopped twice at her father s house. 

At last it became plain that in one neighbor 
hood he preferred to stay overnight with the 
family of Bernard LeRoy, a staunch and un 
compromising Presbyterian, and it did not 
take long for others to discover why ; but so 
sure was Mr. LeRoy, himself, that it was to his 
own superiority to his neighbors that the visits 
were due, that the times when a few words 
alone with Miss Katherine were possible were 
few indeed. The large, ready, hearty hospi 
tality of the time and of Virginia were ex 
emplified in this household. All welcomed 
him. Old, young, white and black alike ; and 
the wide porch or great rooms and halls gave 


space and hearty invitation to family and 
neighborly gatherings. So it came about that 
at last Griffith felt that he could wait no 
longer. He must know his fate. The demure 
Katherine had reduced him to a mere spirit of 
unrest in spite of the presence of others, and 
while all sat talking of crops, politics, religion, 
neighborhood happenings, rains, swollen streams 
and the recent freaks of lightning, the young 
minister took from his pocket the little black 
Testament and drew a line around the words, 
" Wilt thou go with this man ? " and handing it 
to Miss Katherine he asked : " Will you read 
and answer that question for me, Miss Kath 
erine ? " Their eyes met, and although Grif 
fith returned to his seat and essayed to go on 
with the conversation with her father, they both 

Her dark eyes ran over the words, her color 
rose and fell, but, contrary to the hope of the 
young preacher, she did not mark and return the 
reply. She carelessly turned the leaves and his 
heart sank. He gave abstracted replies to her 
father and twice failed to hear what was said, 
and still Miss Katherine turned the leaves. At 


last he believed that she had either not under 
stood or that she did not intend to reply, and 
with a sinking heart he rose to go. Selim had 
been put away. The circuit rider was always 
expected to stay overnight. He explained in 
a vague way that this time it would be best for 
him to go to a Methodist neighbor s two miles 
farther on. Was it that reply which decided dark- 
eyed Katharine not to farther tease her lover ? 
Did she fear the wiles of the plump, demure 
girl in the quaint, unribboned bonnet who looked 
such open admiration into the eyes of the young 
preacher. However that may be, certain it is 
that at this juncture and under cover of the 
general movement to send for the guest s horse, 
Miss Katherine took from her belt a pansy and 
putting it between the pages to mark where she 
had drawn a line, she gave the little book back 
to its owner. He saw the movement and 
glanced within : " Why have I found grace in 
thine eyes that thou shouldst take knowledge 
of me seeing I am a stranger ? " He read and 
his heart leaped. " A stranger ! " She was not 
of his fold ! It was that she thought of ! He 

looked at her and both understood. He could 


ride away now and both would be content, even 
though he were under the roof with the quaint 
little Methodist bonnet. 

As they moved toward the door the two 
young people managed to pass out alone and 
Griffith took her in his arms for one brief in 
stant and kissed her lips. 

" Thank God ! " he whispered. " Thank 
God, for this last and holiest blessing ! I love 
you next to my Saviour, Katherine. Sometimes 
I pray it may not be more than I love Him." 

She laughed, a soft little ripple, and drew 
back just as her father appeared at the door. 

" I shall not pray that," she said, as he 
mounted, and the young preacher rode away 
into the darkness with no disapproval of the 
heresy upon his radiant face. Selim knew that 
this was a strange proceeding this late de 
parture and he shook his head so violently 
that the buckles of his bridle rattled. The 
young minister made no sign, but when, a little 
farther on, there suddenly arose over his back, 
the notes of a long-forgotten song, Selim cast 
one eye backward and started at the break-neck 
pace of his youth. 


" The moon is beaming brightly, love, 

Te turn te turn te te ! 
A trusty crew is waiting, love, 
Away, away with me!" 

Selim s surprise knew no bounds. He had 
not heard that song since before the day his 
young master went, for some strange reason, 
into the Opquan river, with Brother Prout. 
Something unusual had happened, that was very 
clear. Something that carried the young 
preacher quite out of himself and into a world 
where sermons and hymns were not; and, 
although the song was guy, Selim felt a tug at 
his bridle that meant a slower pace. 

" Yea ! old fellow, y-e-a ! " Selim was sur 
prised again. He stopped short. 

" G ap ! g lang ! 

" Far o er the deep, o er the deep, o er the d-e-e-e-p, 
Far o er the deep blue sea ! 

Far o er the deep, o er the deep, o er the d-e-e-e-p, 
Far o er the deep blue sea ! 

Oh, come and share a sailor s heart far o er the deep 
blue sea ! " 

Perhaps Selim was not exactly scandalized, 
but he felt that it would not be judicious to 
i^ch the home of the quaint Methodist bonnet 
too prematurely. And Selim walked. 




BUT all this was away back in the years when 
you and I were not born, my friend, and, there 
fore, the only reason I tell you about it or 
expect you to be interested in such simple and 
far-off lives is that you may know something of 
the early habits and surroundings of the man 
who, I began by warning you, became a law 
breaker ; for, I hold it to be a self-evident fact 
that however true it is that heredity stamps the 
character with its basic principles and qualities, 
it is never wise to forget that it is to environ 
ment, circumstance and education that we 
owe its modifications and the direction of its 
final development. But now that you will be 
able to picture to yourself the man as he then 
was, and his surroundings and conditions, I 
will tell you as directly as I can the story of 
his offense ; but first I must explain that when 


his coming marriage to Miss Katherine LeRoy 
was announced at his home, the old Major 
objected again, but this time more mildly, to 
the choice his son had made. 

" Her people are good, wholesome, respect 
able folks, my son," he said ; " but but, Grif, 
why couldn t you have found a girl of well, 
one of the families you were brought up with. 
Mind, boy, I m not saying anything against 
Miss Katherine. I ve heard and I don t doubt 
it that she is a mighty nice sort of a girl; 
but " 

The Major had grown milder in his methods 
with his son, and he hesitated to speak words 
which might cause pain hereafter. 

" Of course, Grif," he went, on after an 
awkward pause, "of course, if you love each 
other and and well, if the thing is set 
tled, I have only to congratulate you, and to 
say that I am truly glad to have you settle 
down, so I ll be able to know where you 
are. It s deucedly disagreeable not to know 
frpm week to week where to put a finger on 
hpu such a tacky sort of shifty sensation 
about it. I t-u.l know now at least a year at 


a time. Perfectly ridiculous custom it is to 
move a preacher just when he gets acquainted 
with the people, and they begin to trust him ! 
Infernal habit ! I d as soon live on a boat and 
just anchor from time to time in another stream 
and call it home and and living. I ve come 
to respect your sincerity, Grif, but I can t re 
spect the sense of a denomination that has no 
idea of the absolute value of stability, of con 
tinuity of association, between its pastor and its 
people. Why, just look at the thing ! It up 
roots the best sentiments in both, and makes a 
wanderer of one who ought to be, not only by 
precept, but by example, stable and faithful and 
continuously true to those who look up to him. 
Why, a scamp can pose for a year or two as a 
saint ; but it takes real value to live a lifetime 
in a community and be an inspiration and a 
guide to your members. Then just look at it ! 
Nobody who has any self-respect is going to 
talk of his inner life to a stranger ! We are all 
alike in that. We pose and pretend and keep 
our shutters up, mentally and morally, with a 
new-comer. Gad ! I can t see the wisdom nor 
the sense of any such rules." 


" Has its good points, father," said Grif, 
whose quiet chuckle from time to time had 
stirred the Major to unusual earnestness. He 
wanted to get at his son s real views on the 
subject. " Has some redeeming qualities, after 
all, father, quite aside from the Bible teaching 
upon which the leaders of our church base it. 
There are men even ministers, I m afraid, 
whom one enjoys much better when they are 
on another circuit ; and I may as well confess 
to you that there are circuits a man enjoys a 
good deal better when he s not on them after 
he has left." 

" Some of the old boy in you yet, Grif," 
laughed the Major, slapping his son on the back. 
" Better not say that to Father Front, or he will 
keep you on one of that kind for discipline." 

Jerry was filled with delight when told of 
the coming marriage of Mos Grif. Jerry s own 
wife had long since presented him with twins, 
and it was his delight to show off the antics of 
these small ebony creatures to Griffith when 
ever he was at home. It was at first arranged 
that this family only should go to form the 
new household. 


The rautterings born in a different clime and 
under other conditions had now reached propor 
tions which could not be wholly ignored. In 
many a long ride over the mountain or valley 
paths in the past few years had Griffith pondered 
the question, and he had definitely decided in his 
own mind that for one who had cast his lot with 
the itinerant Methodist clergy, at least, the 
ownership of slaves was wrong. He would 
never buy nor sell a human being. Upon that 
point his mind was clearly and unalterably made 
up. But Jerry and his family were to be a 
part of the new household while yet they 
remained, as before, the old Major s property. 
To this Griffith had consented readily, for Miss 
Katherine must have an efficient cook and 
Jerry would be of infinite use. Griffith had 
drawn a picture of a small house in the village 
in which this beautiful dream of his was to be 
realized ; but, as the time drew near, the old 
Major developed his own plans with such skill 
as to carry his point. 

When the house was to be looked for he 
said : " See here, Grif, you are a good 
deal younger than I am, and some of the 


older slaves are pretty hard to manage. They 
can t work a great deal, and they get into 
mischief one way and another. Look at that 
set over in the end cabin they always did 
like you best and since you have been gone so 
much they are a good deal of trouble to me. 
They ve got to be cared for somehow. I wish 
you d take them. They can do a lot of useful 
things if they are away from the others, and you 
can get twice as much work out of them as I 
can. They are stubborn with me, and it wears 
my soul out to deal with em. I ve needed 
your help a good many times since you ve been 
away, but I did not like to say much. I think, 
now you are going to settle down, that you 
ought to think of your father s needs a little, 

Grif winced. He recalled that he had 
always pushed his father s problem aside in 
his thoughts when he had settled or solved his 
own. He realized how unfair that was He 
felt the force of the Major s complaint. 

" Of course, I ll do anything I can, father, 
to help you ; but I can t take a lot of negroes to 
a village and " 


" That s just it ! Just it, exactly ! Of course 
you can t. I didn t intend to ask you just yet, 
but I want you to give up that foolish idea 
of taking Katherine to town to live. She can t 
stand it. You are asking enough of a woman, 
God knows, to ask her to put up with your sort 
of life anyhow, let alone asking a girl that has 
been respectably brought up on a plantation to 
give all that up and go to a miserable little 
village. It is not decent to live that way ! 
Cooped up with a lot of other folks in a string 
of narrow streets ! I d a good deal rather go to 
jail and done with it. Now, what I want and 
what I need you to do, is to take that other 
plantation the one down on the river your 
grandfather s place and take some of the 
hands down there and you can let them work 
the place. How in the name of thunder do you 
suppose you and Katherine are going to live on 
your ridiculous salary ? Salary ! It isn t enough 
to dignify by the name of wages let alone 
salary ! Y can t live on it to save your lives. 
Katherine can t " 

"But, father " 

" That farm down there is plenty near enough 


to town for you to ride in every single day if you 
want to and look here, boy, don t you think 
you owe a little something to your father ? I m 
getting old. You don t begin to realize how 
hard it is on me to meet all these difficulties 
that other men s sons help them with." 

The Major had struck that chord with full 
realization of its probable effect, and he watched 
with keen relish the troubled and shamed look 
on the face before him. Griffith made a move 
ment to speak, but the Major checked him with 
a wave of the hand. 

" That farm is just going to wreck and ruin, 
and I haven t the strength to attend to that 
and this both. Besides, these negroes have got 
to be looked after better. Pete is growing more 
and more sullen every year, and Lippy Jane s 
temper is getting to be a holy terror. She and 
Pete nearly kill each other at times. They had 
a three-cornered fight with Bradley s mulatto, 
Ned, the other day, and nearly disabled him. 
Bradley complained, of course. Now, just 
suppose Ned dies and Bradley sues me ? It 
seems to me it is pretty hard lines when a man 
has a son and " 


" But, father- 

" Now, look here, Grif, don t but me any 
more. I ve had that house on the other place 
all put in order and the negro quarters fixed up. 
The negroes can belong to me, of course, if 
you still have that silly idea in your head 
about not wanting to own them, but you have 

got to help me with them or Then damn 

it all, Grif, I don t intend it to be said that 
a daughter-in-law of mine has to live in a 
nasty little rented house without so much as a 
garden patch to it. It is simply disgraceful 
for you to ask her to do it ! I " 

" Father, father I " said Grif, with his voice 
trembling ; " I you are always so good to me, 
but I I " 

The old Major looked over his glasses at his 
son. Each understood, and each feigned that he 
did not. The Major assumed wrath to hide his 
emotion. " Now, look here, Grif, I don t want to 
hear anything more about this business ! You 
make me mad ! Who am I to go to for help in 
managing my land and my niggers if I can t de 
pend on you for a single thing? That s the 
question. Confound it all ! I m tired out, I tell 


you, looking after the lazy lot, and now you can 
take your share of the work. What am I going 
to do with the gang if I ve got to watch em 
night and day, to see that they are kept busy 
enough not to get into trouble with each other, 
and get me in trouble with my neighbors. Just 
suppose Pete had killed Bradley s Ned, then 
what ? Why, I d have been sued for a $1,000 
and Pete would have been hung besides ! I tell 
} r ou, boy, I m too old for all this worry, and I 
think it s about time I had a little help from 

you. I--" 

The young preacher winced again under the 
argument, although he knew that in part, at 
least, it was made for a purpose other than the 
one on the surface. In part he knew it was 
true. He knew that his father had found the 
task heavy and irksome. He knew that the 
negroes preferred his own rule, and that they 
were happier and more tractable with him than 
with the old Squire. He knew that as the 
times had grown more and more unsettled and 
unsettling, his father had twice had recourse 
to a hired overseer and that the results had 
been disastrous for all. He knew that other 


sons took much of this care and responsibility 
from the aging shoulders of their fathers. He 
hesitated and was lost. He would take the 
negroes with him and live on the other place 
at least one year ! 

But when Miss Katherine brought with her 
her father s gift of slaves which Mr. LeRoy had 
tried hard to make sufficiently numerous to im 
press the old Major Grif, to his dismay, found 
himself overseer and practically the owner of 
twenty-two negroes and he on a salary of $200 
per year ! With a plantation to work, the matter 
of salary was, of course, of minor importance. 
But Griffith had not failed to see glimpses of a 
not far-distant future, in these past few years as 
he had read or heard the urgent questions of 
political policy which had now become so insistent 
in the newer border states a future in which 
this life must be changed. Riots and bloodshed, 
he knew, had followed in the train of argu 
ment and legislative action. Slaves had run 
away and been tracked and returned to angry 
masters. But the basic question as to whether 
it was right for man to hold property in man 
had, so far, been presented to his mind in 


the form of a religious scruple and with a 
merely personal application. Should ministers 
of his Church buy and sell black men ? Griffith 
had definitely settled in his own mind that they 
should not. But whether they should inherit 
or acquire by marriage such property, had, 
until now, hardly presented a serious face to 
him. And now, in the form in which they came 
to him, he saw no present way out of the 
difficulty even had he greatly desired it. 

I have no doubt that to you, my friend, who 
were not born in these troublous times, and to 
you, my neighbor, who lived in another latitude, 
the problem looks simple enough. " He could 
free the slaves which were in his power," will 
be your first thought. " I would have done 
that," is your next, and yet it is dollars to 
doughnuts that you would have done nothing 
of the kind. Oh, no ! I am not reflecting upon 
your integrity, nor your parsimony although 
I have not observed any tendency you may have 
toward dispensing with your property by gift 
but to other and more complicated and complicat 
ing questions with which you would have found 
yourself surrounded, and with which your pri- 


vate inclinations would have come into violent 
collision, as Griffith Davenport discovered ; and 
surely, my friend, you would not care to be 
written up in future years as a violator of the 
law you who value so lightly " that class of 
people " that you have often said, quite openly, 
that you cared very little to even read about 
them, and deplored the fact that writers would 
thrust them into respectable literature ! 

Griffith had watched the coining storm in the 
southwest. He had hoped and prayed (and 
until now he had believed) that for himself, at 
least, the question was settled. He would never 
own slaves, therefore he would not be called 
upon to bear any personal part in the coming 
struggle. But a wife s property was a husband s 
property in Virginia, in those far-off barbaric 
days, and so Griffith found himself in an anoma 
lous position, before he knew it, for Mr. LeRoy 
had given Katherine her slaves as a marriage 
portion, and had striven to make sure that their 
number and quality should do honor to the 
daughter-in-law of her prospective husband s 
father. Mr. LeRoy had an exalted opinion of 
the position and importance of the old Major 


or as he always called him, of "old Squiah 

But so matters stood until, a few years later, 
an accident happened, which resulted in the 
death of the old Major. When the will was 
opened, Griffith found himself forced to con 
front the question of ownership of slaves, fairly 
if not fully. The will left "to my beloved 
son, Griffith, all the slaves now living with him, 
together with the farm upon which he now lives 
and the old homestead; with the admonition 
that he care for and protect the old slaves and 
train and employ the young." His other prop 
erty was devised in accordance with his wishes, 
leaving to his grandchildren and distant rela 
tives the other slaves and live stock. 

Meantime, as this would indicate, there had 
been born to Griffith several children three 
boys and a little baby girl which now filled 
the hearts and home with life and joy. 

The exigencies of his ministerial life had so 
far made it necessary for him to leave the 
plantation but twice. Father Prout had 
managed to have his "stations" rotate from 

one small town to another in the immediate 


vicinity, and, with his growing stoutness, Mr. 
Davenport had taken to driving, chiefly, since 
Selim had been retired from active service, to 
and from his places of meeting week after 
week. Twice, for a year each time, he had 
been compelled to leave the plantation in charge 
of Jerry and remove to a more distant town, 
where the small house and unaccustomed con 
ditions had resulted in ill health for Katherine 
and the children. But now they were on the 
" place " again and were owners of much that 
required that they face larger and more com 
plicated responsibilities and what was to be 
done? Griffith had made up his mind, defi 
nitely, that he did not want his sons to grow up 
in a slave-owning atmosphere. He had read 
and thought much of the struggle over the 
Missouri Compromise Bill. He had hoped great 
things from it, and had beheld its final repeal 
with dismay. He had seen, so he believed, in 
it the arm that was destined to check if not to 
wipe out human slavery. How this was to be 
done he did not know ; but that he hoped for 
it, for all men, he knew. For himself he was 
quite sure that as a preacher, if not as a man, it 


was wrong. He liad determined to so educate 
his sons that they would not blame him for 
shutting them out from at least the inherited 
possibilities of the institution which had fallen 
upon him. But now, what could be done ? The 
Major s will had thrown the task definitely upon 
him and had greatly increased the difficulties. 
He knew that it was against the laws of his state 
to free the negroes and leave them within its 
borders. Exactly what the terms of the law 
were, he did not know ; but it was easy to 
realize its need and force. Free negroes were 
at once a menace to all parties concerned, both 
white and black. They had no work, no homes, 
no ties of restraint and responsibility. They 
were amenable to no one and no one was their 
friend. They could starve, or they could steal, 
or they could go North. If they did the first 
in a laud of plenty they were not made of that 
stuff out of which human nature is fashioned, 
be that nature encased in a white or in a black 
skin. If they did the second they fared far 
worse than slaves the chain-gang for home 
and the law for a driver has horrors worse than 
even slavery at least so thought the colored 


man of 1852. But if they attempted to achieve 
the last of the three alternatives their lot was 
hardest of all. They must leave home, family, 
wife, children, parents and friends all that 
made life endurable to a patient, affectionate, 
simple nature and find what? Neither friends, 
welcome nor work ! A climate in which they 
suffered, a people amongst whom their rarity 
and the strangeness of their speech and color 
made of them objects of curiosity and aversion 
where the very children fled from them in 
fright little children like those whom they had 
nursed and fondled and who always had loved 
them ! They would find the prejudice against 
their color intense beyond belief, for few indeed 
were the men or women in the free states who 
would give work of any kind to these strange- 
looking and stranger-speaking creatures. In 
deed, no one was more shocked to learn than 
was Griffith, that in some of the border 
states it was illegal to give employment to 
these ex-slaves. All this Griffith was destined 
to learn to his cost. He knew, already, that 
slaves trained as his father s were, had no concep 
tion of hard and constant work such as was 


demanded of the northern laborer. He knew 
that they could not hope to compete with white 
workmen in a far-away field of labor even could 
they get the work to do. He knew that they 
would be the sport where they were not the 
game and victims of those white laborers. He 
knew that the employer (were they so fortunate 
as to find one) would not be slow to learn that 
they accomplished less and ate more than did 
their white rivals. That alone would, of 
course, settle their chances of competition, and 
starvation or crime would again become their 
only alternative. 

A freed slave, in a country where slavery 
still existed, was a sorry and unhappy spectacle ; 
but a freed slave in competition with freemen 
was a tragedy in black ! 

Griffith had fought his battle alone. It is true 
that he had talked much with his wife on the 
subject, and it is also true that her faith in and 
love for him made her ready acquiescence in his 
final decision a matter of course ; but with no 
outlook into the political world, with no mental 
scope beyond the horizon prescribed as suitable 
for women, she could give him nothing but loy- 


alty. She could echo his sentiments. She 
could not stimulate or aid his thought. Attuned 
to follow, she could not lead, and was equally 
unfitted to keep even step with him side by side. 
She did not share, nor could she understand, 
her husband s acute mental misgivings and fore 
bodings. The few times she had spoken to her 
father of them, he had said that she need not 
worry. " Griffith is no fool. He ll get over 
this idiotic notion before long. It is reading 
those damned Yankee speeches that is the 
trouble with him. You just be patient. He ll 
get over it. The old Squire knew how to cure 
him. Like to know what he d do with all those 
niggers ? But Griffith is no fool, I tell you, if 
he is a Methodist." Katherine had not relished 
the last remark, and she did not believe that 
her father quite comprehended how deep a hold 
on Griffith the idea of freedom for the blacks 
and freedom from ownership of them for him 
self had taken ; but she was silenced. 



"My conscience whispers." SJiakespeare. 

BUT at last the crisis came. One of the girls 
Sallie, a faithful creature had married " Brad- 
ley s John," and now John was about to be sold 
and sent to Georgia. Either John must be sepa 
rated from his wife and child, or Sallie must be 
sold, or Mr. Davenport must buy John and 
keep him here ! The final issue had come ! 
John begged to be bought. Sallie pleaded not 
to be allowed to be sold, nor to be separated 
from her husband. Katherine agreed to plead 
for Sallie, who had been her own playmate ever 
since she could remember. 

" Git Mos Grif ter buy John, Mis Kate ! Fo 
God s sake, Mis Kate, git im ter buy John ! 
Yoh kin. I knows mon sous well dat yoh kin ! 
He gwine ter do jes what yoh tell im ter. I 
knows dat he is, Mis Kate ! " 

Mr. Davenport was in his study. Katherine 


had explained the case to him fully, and Sallie s 
black face peered in behind him, with anxious 
eyes, watching and listening to her mistress. 

" Katherine, I cannot ! I cannot pay money 
for a human being. I have yielded, step by step, 
to what I felt was wrong long ago, until 
now I am caught in the tangled threads of this 
awful system but I cannot ! I cannot pay 
money for a human soul ! " 

Suddenly Sallie fell at his feet, and, swaying 
to and fro, swung her sturdy frame like a reed 
in the wind. 

" Oh, Mos Grif, fo God s sake, buy John ! 
Ain t yo got no mussy, Mos Grif ? Don let 
dat Mos Bradley sen John way off dar ! I 
gwine ter die right heah, if yo don hep me, 
Mos Grif ! Ain t I been a good girl ? Ain t I 
nus de chillun good, an did n I pull Mos Bev 
erly outen de crick when he fall in an wus mose 
drownded ? Oh, f o Christ s sake, Mos Grif, buy 
my John ! He gwine ter wuk fo yoh all his 
life long, an he gwine ter be good ! " 

She swayed and wept and moaned. She held 
her baby to her breast and cried out for John, 
and then she held it out toward Griffith and 


stared through streaming eyes at his face to see 
if he had relented. And still Griffith was 
silent. His teeth were set tight together, and 
his nails cut his palms, but he said not a word. 

Mos Grif, Mos Grif ! what did God 
A mighty gib yoh all dis Ian an houses an 
money fo ? What He gib yoh my Mis Kath - 
rine fo ? Cause He know yoh gwine ter be 
good an kine, an an datyoh gwine ter be good 
ter us ! Mos Grif, de good Lawd ain t fo got 
we alls des kase we black ! " 

She rolled the baby on the floor beside her 
and grasped both of her master s clenched hands, 
and struggled to open them as she talked. She 
seemed to think if they would but relax that he 
would yield. 

" Mos Grif, we bofe gwine ter wuk fo yoh, 
an pray fo yoh, and dat baby, dar, gwine ter 
wuk an pray fo yoh all ouh lifes long all de 
days ob ouh lifes, des fo dat little, teenchy six 
hund ud dollahs, what Mos Bradley got ter hab 
f o John ! All ouh lifes long ! All ouh lifes 
long, we gwine ter wuk and pray fo yoh, des 
fo dat little, teenchy six hund ud dollahs ! ! " 

Mrs. Davenport put her hand on her hus- 


band s shoulder. Her eyes were wet and her 
lips trembled. 

" Griffith, what harm can it do ? And see 
how much good ! Griffith, we will all love you 
better if you will. I can t bear to see Sallie the 
way she has been these last two months ever 
since it was decided to sell John to that man 
when he comes. It is heart-breaking. You 
know, darling, she played with me ever since 
we were babies, and she has been so good to my 
children our children, Griffith ! " She low 
ered her voice to a mere whisper : " Can God 
want you to be so cruel as this, Griffith ? " 

Mr. Davenport had never dreamed that any 
thing he might feel it his duty to do would 
seem to his wife like cruelty. It hurt him 
sorely. He looked up at her with a drawn face. 

" Katherine," he said, " let us give Sallie her 
freedom, and let her go with John." 

" No, no, no, no ! I ain t gwine ter go wid 
dat man ! I ain t gwine ter be no free wife nig 
ger, pendin on him ! I ain t gwine ter leabe 
Mis Kath rine, nedder ! " She arose in her 
fear, which was turning to wrath. " Mis Kate, 
yoh ain t gwine ter let him gib me away, is 


yoh? I don belong to nobody ter gib away, 
but des ter my Mis Kate, an she ain t gwine 
ter gib me way arter I done nus her chillun ail 
save de life of Mos Beverly ! Dat ain t de kine 
o lady my Mis Kate is ! O Mis Kate, Mis 
Kate ! I done wisht yoh d a-gone and married 
dat Mos Tom Harrison dat time wat e ax you ! 
He don t lub money dat much dat he can t spahr 
a little six hund ud dollahs ter sabe me an 
John an an an dis heah baby ! " 

She caught up the baby from the floor again 
and held it toward her master. 

" Dar ! take hit an kill hit fus as well as 
las ! kase I gwine ter die, an hit gwine ter be 
my Mos Grif dat kill bofe of us. God gwine 
ter know bout dat ! John gwine ter tell im ! 
Jesus gwine ter know dat six little hund ud 
doilahs is wuf more ter my Mos Grif dan me 
an yoh an John," she moaned, holding the 
baby up in front of her. " All free, bofe ob us, 
ain t wuf dat little much t ouh Mos Grif I 
All free, bofe ob us ! A little, teenchy, ugly 
six hund ud dollahs I He radder hab hit in de 
bank er in de desk er in he pocket dat little 
six hund ud dollahs what s mo bigger dan all 


ob us an mo bigger dan Mis Kate s lub ! " 
She fell to sobbing again. " Des dat little 
much ! Des dat little much ! " she moaned. 
" All ob us got ter die fer des dat little much ! 
An Mos Grif, he don care. He lub dat little 
much money mo dan wat he do all ob us, count- 
in in Mis Kate s lub wid de res ! " 

His wife had gone to her chair and was hold 
ing a handkerchief to her face. He could see 
her lips and chin tremble. 

" I will buy John, Sallie, if " 

Sallie grasped the two hands again. They 
were relaxed and cold. 

" I knowed hit ! I knowed hit ! O good, kind 
Jesus ! O Lord, Saviour ! dey ain t no if! Dey 
ain t no if ! My Mos Grif gwine ter do hit. 
Dey ain t no if lef in dem han s ! My Mos 
Grif gwine ter buy John ! " and she fell on her 
knees again and sobbed for joy. She caught the 
little black baby up from the floor where it lay, 
laughing and kicking its toes in the air, and 
crushed it so close to her breast that it cried out 
and then set up a wail. Sallie stopped weaving 
her body to and fro, and tried to smile through 
her tears. 


" Des listen ter dat fool baby ! Hits cryin fo 
des a little liu t like dat, an I only des choke 
hit wif my arms ! Mos Grif done choke my 
hawt out wid grief, an now he done strangle 
me wid joy, befo I got ter cry, chile ! Yoah 
po mammy s hawt done bus Avide open wid joy 
now. Dat s what make I can t talk no sense, 
Mos Grif. I des wants ter yell. But Mis 
Katherine, she know. I des kin see dat she do. 
She know dat I feel des like I gwine ter bus 
plum down ter my chist. She know ! " 

She laid the baby down again and suddenly 
held up both arms toward her master. Her voice 
was a wail. 

" Tell me dat dey ain t no if lef in your 
hawt, Mos Grif ! I knows dat dey ain t, but I 
got ter heah yo say dat dey ain t, an den I kin 

" I will buy John, Sallie. There is no if," he 
said ; and Katherine threw her arms around his 
neck and looked at him through tears of joy. 

That night the Rev. Griffith Davenport 
prayed long and earnestly that he might be for 
given for this final weakness. He felt that his 
moral fiber was weakening. He had broken the 


vow taken so long ago. He felt that the bonds 
were tightening about him, and that it would be 
harder than ever to cleanse his soul from what 
he had grown to feel was an awful wrong this 
ownership, and now this money purchase, of a 
human soul. 

" I have gone the whole length," he 
sighed to himself. " I have at last, with my 
eyes open, with my conscience against me, done 
this wrong ! I have paid money for a human 
being. I know it is a wrong I know I know, 
and yet I have done it ! God help me ! God 
forgive me ! I cannot see my way ! I cannot 
see my way! " 

In the distance, as he arose from his knees, 
there floated in through the open window the 
refrain from Sallie s song, as she moved about 
the quarters: 

An deys no mo trouble, an deys no mo pain, 
An deys no mo trouble fo me, fo me ! 

An deys no mo sorrer, an no mo pain 
Oh, deys no mo trouble f o me, f-o-h-h m-e-e-e ! 

I libs on de banks ob de golden shoah, 

Oh, I libs in de promise Ian ! 
An I sez to de Lawd, when He opens the doah, 

Dat deys no mo trouble f o me I 


De Lawd He says, when he took my han , 

" Enter into de gates ob res ! " 
An He gib me a harp, an I jines de ban , 

Fo deys no mo sorrer fer me ! 

Lippy Jane was dancing, on the back porch, 
to the rhythm of the distant song, and two of the 
black boys stopped in their race with Beverly, 
over the lawn, to take up the chorus " Oh, 
deys no mo trouble fo me, f-o-h m-e ! " 

But, in spite of his prayer for " light and 
leading," as he would have called it, Mr. Daven 
port felt that his moral fiber was, indeed, weak 
ening, and yet he could not see his way out of 
the dilemma. He had definitely decided so 
long ago now that he could not remember when 
he had thought otherwise, that for one in his 
position, at least, even the mere ownership of 
slaves could not be right. He recalled that it 
had come to him at first in the form of purchase 
and sale, and it had seemed to him that under 
no conditions could he be forced into that form 
of the complication ; but a little later on he de 
cided that the mere ownership involved moral 
turpitude for one of his denomination, at least, 
if he was in deed and in truth following the 
leaderhip of the Christ. 


When first he had agreed to take part of his 
father s slaves, therefore, he had made himself 
feel that it was right that he should assume a 
part of the old Major s burdens as his son and 
trustee, only, and that there was to be no trans 
fer of property. That this service was his 
father s due and that he should give it freely 
seemed plain to him. Katheririe s slaves he had 
always thought of as hers alone not at all as 
his ; but ever since the old Major had died and 
the will had settled beyond a quibble that the 
Rev. Griffith Davenport was himself, in deed and 
in truth "Mos Grif" to all these dependent 
creatures, it had borne more and more heavily 
upon his conscience. He had tried to think 
and plan some way out of it and had failed, and 
now he had been forced to face the final issue 
the one phase which he had felt could never 
touch him, the purchase for money of a black 
man, and he had yielded at the first test ! His 
heart had outweighed his head and his con 
science combined, and the line he had fixed so 
long ago as the one boundary of this evil which 
he could never pass, and which, thank God, no 
one else could thrust upon him, was obliterated, 


and he stood on the far side condemned by his 
whole nature ! In this iniquity from which he 
had felt his hands should forever be free, they 
were steeped ! He felt wounded and sore and 
that a distinct step downward had been taken, 
and yet he asked himself over and over again 
what he could have done in the matter that 
would not have been far worse. He slept little. 
The next day when he went to Mr. Bradley to 
buy John his whole frame trembled and he felt 
sick and weak. 

His neighbor noticed that he was pale, and 
remarked upon it, and then turned the subject 
to the matter in hand which Sallie had duly 
reported an hour after she had won and her 
master had lost the great moral contest. For it 
cannot be denied that, all things considered, 
Sallie had won a distinct victory for the future 
moral life of herself and for John and the baby. 
So complicated are our relations to each other 
and to what we are pleased to call right and 
wrong in this heterogeneous world, that in doing 
this Sallie had forced her master into a position 
which seemed to him to cancel his right to feel 

himself a man of honor and a credit to the re- 


ligion in which he believed he had, so far, found 
all his loftiest ideals. He could plainly see, 
now, that this phase of the terrible problem 
would be sure to arise and confront him again 
and again as time went on, and his heart ached 
when he felt that he had lost his grasp upon the 
anchor of his principles and that the boundary 
lines of his ethical integrity were again becom 
ing sadly confused in a mind he had grown to 
feel had long ago clearly settled and denned 

" You look as pale as a ghost. Better try a 
little of Maria s blackberry cordial ? No ? Do 
you good, I m sure, if you would," said Mr. 
Bradley. " You re taking this thing altogether 
too much to heart, sir. What possible differ 
ence can it make to John whether you pay for 
him or whether he had come to you as the others 
did ? If you will allow me to say so, I think 
it is a ridiculous distinction. Somebody paid 
for the ones you ve got. If you ll allow an old 
neighbor to make a suggestion, I think you read 
those Yankee papers altogether too much and 
too seriously. It perverts your judgment. It s 
a good sight easier for those fellows up there to 


settle this question than it is for us to do it. 
They simply don t know what they are talking 
about, and we do. With them it s all theory. 
Here it s a cold fact. What in the name of 
common sense would they have ? Suppose we 
didn t own and provide for and direct all these 
niggers, what on earth would become of em? 
Where would they get enough to eat? You 
know as well as I do there is nothing on this 
earth as helpless and as much to be pitied as a 
free nigger. They don t know how to take care 
of themselves, and nobody is going to hire one. 
What in thunder do people want us to do? 
Brain em?" 

" Oh, I know, I know," said Mr. Davenport, 
helplessly, looking far off into the beautiful 
valley, with its hazy atmosphere and its rich 
fields of grain. "I ve thought about it a 
thousand times, and a thousand times it has 
baffled me. I m not judging, now, for you, Mr. 
Bradley, not in the least. I feel myself too 
thoroughly caught in the meshes of our social 
fabric to presume to unravel it for other people. 
But but in my position for myself it seems 
a monstrously wrong thing for me to count out 


this money and pay it over for John, just as if 
he were a horse. It makes me feel sick as I 
fancy a criminal must feel after his first crime." 

Mr. Bradley laughed. 

" You don t look it, Davenport ! Criminal ! 
Ha, ha, ha, ha ! that s rich ! " 

Griffith moved uneasily and did not join the 
laugh which still convulsed his neighbor. 

" For me it is wrong distinctly, absolutely 
wrong. It is a terrible thing for me to say 
and still do it I, a preacher of God ! For you, 
I cannot judge. Judge not, that ye be not 
judged, is what I always think in this 
matter. But for me, for me it is not right and 
yet what can I do ? " 

Mr. Bradley laughed again, partly in amuse 
ment and partly in derision, at what he looked 
upon as the preacher s unworldly view, and 
what he spoke of with vexation to others as 
" Davenport s damned foolishness," which had, 
of late, grown to be a matter of real unrest to 
the neighborhood, in which it was felt that the 
influence of such opinions could not fail to be 
dangerous to social order and stability. It was 
as if you or I were to spring the question of 


free land or free money in a convention of land 
lords and bankers. Or, if you please, like the 
arguments for anarchy or no government ad 
dressed to the " Fourth ward," or the members of 
Congress. It was, in short, subversive of the 
established order of things, and neither you, nor 
I, nor they, accept quite gracefully such proposi 
tions, if in their application to ourselves, they 
would be a sore and bitter loss if it would render 
less secure and lofty our seat on the social or 
political throne. We revolt and we blame the 
disturber of the old established order of things 
the order, which having been good enough for 
our fathers is surely good enough for you and 
for me. In short, was not the way in religion 
and in social order of our fathers far the better 
way ? Is not the better way always that of the 
man who owns and rides in the carriage ? If 
you will ask him or if you are he you will 
learn or see that there is not the least doubt of 
the fact. If you should happen to ask the man 
who walks, you may hear another story if the 
man who walks happens to be a philosopher ; 
but as all pedestrians are not philosophers and 
since acquiescence is an easy price to pay for 


peace, it may happen that the man in the 
carriage will be corroborated by the wayfarer 
whom his wheels have run down. 

And so, my friend, in the year 1852, had you 
been sitting counting out the six hundred 
dollars which must change hands to enable 
John to play with the little black baby on his 
knee, after his daj^ s work was done, and to keep 
Sallie from the pitiful fate she dreaded, it is to 
be questioned if you would not have agreed 
with Mr. Bradley in his covert opinion that 
" Davenport s squeamishness was all damned 
nonsense," and that he might far better stop 
reading those Yankee newspapers. But be that 
as it may, the deed was done. The transfer 
was made, and the Rev. Griffith Davenport rode 
home with a sad heart and troubled conscience. 
He did not sing nor even hum his favorite 
hymns as he rode. His usually radiant face 
was a study in perplexity. When he passed 
the cross-roads he did not whistle to the robin 
who always answered him. 

Selim s successor and namesake slackened 
his gait and wondered. Then he jogged on, and 
when he stopped at the home " stile " and 


Griffith still sat on his back, apparently oblivious 
of the fact that the journey was at an end, 
Selim whinnied twice before the responsive pat 
fell upon his glossy neck. 

Jerry ran out. " Dinnah s raidy, Mos Grif. 
Mis Kath rine she been a waitin foh yoh." 

The rider roused himself and dismounted, 
more like an old man than like his cheery, 
jovial, alert self. 

" Is that so ? Is it dinner-time already ? " 
he asked absently. " Feed him, but don t put 
him up. I may want him again after dinner." 

" You ain t sick, is you, Mos Grif ? " 

"No, no, boy, I m not sick," he said, and 
then recognizing the look of anxiety on the 
faithful fellow s face : " What made you ask 

" Yoh look so monst ous lemoncholly, Mos 
Grif. Hit ain t seem like yo se f. I des 
fought dey mus be somp in de mattah wid yo 

Mr. Davenport laughed and snapped the rid 
ing whip at the boy. Jerry dodged the stroke, 
but rubbed the place where it was supposed to 


" Lemoncliolly, am I ? I ll lemon cholly you, 
you rascal, if you don t just knock off and go 
fishing this afternoon. I shan t need you with 

He was half way to the house when he 
called back : " Bring me a nice mess of trout, 
boy, and you ll see my insides, as you call em, 
will be all right. It s trout I need. Now 
mind ! " 

And Jerry was comforted. 




IT was a year later before the Rev. Griffith 
Davenport found himself in a position to carry 
out, even in part, a long-cherished plan of his. 
For some time past, he had been strengthening 
himself in the belief that in the long run he 
would have to flee from the problem that so 
perplexed him. That he would have to make 
one supreme effort which should, thereafter, 
shield him against himself and against temp 
tation. This determination had cost him the 
severest struggle of his life, and it had resulted 
in the rupture of several lifelong friendships 
and in strained relations with his own and his 
wife s near kinsmen. It had divided his church 
and made ill-feeling among his brother clergy 
men, for it had become pretty generally known 
and talked about, that the Rev. Griffith Daven 
port had definitely determined to leave his old 


home and take his sons to be educated " where 
the trend of thought is toward freedom " as he 
had expressed it, and as his neighbors were fond 
of quoting derisively. He had finally secured 
a position in connection with a small college 
somewhere in Indiana, together with an ap 
pointment as " presiding elder " in the district 
in which the college was located. He had 
arranged for the sale of his property, and he was 
about to leave. 

To those whose traditions of ancestry all center 
about one locality, it costs a fearful struggle to 
tear up root and branch and strike out into 
unknown fields among people of a different type 
and class ; with dissimilar ideas and standards 
of action and belief. To such it is almost like 
the threat or presence of "death in the house 
hold. But to voluntarily disrupt and leave 
behind all of that which has given color and 
tone and substance to one s daily life, and at its 
meridian, to begin anew the weaving of another 
fabric from unaccustomed threads on a strange 
and unknown loom, to readjust one s self to a 
different civilization all this requires a heroism, 
a fidelity to conscience and, withal, a confidence 


in one s own judgment and beliefs that sur 
pass the normal limit. But, if in addition to 
all this, the contemplated change is to be made 
in pursuance of a moral conviction and will 
surely result in financial loss and material 
discomfort, it would not be the part of wisdom 
to ask nor to expect it of those who are less 
than heroic. In order to compass his plans Mr. 
Davenport knew that it would be necessary to 
dispose of his slaves. But how ? 

He hoped to take with him to his new home 
although they would be freed by the very 
act several of the older ones and Jerry and 
his little family. He knew that these would, 
by their faithful services, be a comfort and sup 
port to his wife and of infinite use and advan 
tage to the children, whose love and confidence 
they had. To take all into his employ in the 
new home would, of course, be impossible. He 
would no longer have the estate of an esquire. 
At first, at least, he must live in a small town. 
There would be no land to till and no income 
to so support them. The house would no 
longer be the roomy mansion of a planter. His 
income would be too meager to warrant the 


keeping of even so many servants as they were 
planning to take and there would be little 
work for them to do. The others must be dis 
posed of in some other way. But how ? They 
are yours, my friend, for the moment. How 
will you dispose of them ? What would you 
have done ? 

" Free them and leave them in the state of 
their birth and of their love where their friends 
and kinsmen are ? " But you cannot ! It is 
against the law ! If you free them you must 
take them away. Sell them ? Of course not ! 
give them to your wife s and your own people ? 
Would that settle or only perpetuate and shift 
the question for which you are suffering and 
sacrificing so much ? And it would discriminate 
between those you take and thus make free and 
those you leave and farther fix in bondage, and 
the Rev. Griffith Davenport had set out to meet 
and perform, and not merely to shift and evade, 
what he had grown to look upon as his duty 
to himself and to them. It was this which had 
burdened and weighed upon him all these last 
months, until at last he had determined to meet 
it in the only way that seemed to settle it once 


and for all. He would go. He would free all 
of them and take them with him into the state 
of his adoption. He would then give hired 
employment to those he needed in his house 
hold and the others would have to shift for 
themselves. This he prepared to do. Some of 
them would not want to go into a homeless and 
strange new land. This he also knew. Pete 
was, as the negroes phrased it, " settin up to " 
Col. Phelps Tilly. Pete would, therefore, re 
sist, and wish to remain in Virginia. Old Milt 
and his wife had seven children who were the 
property of other people in the neighborhood, 
and their grandchildren were almost countless. 
It would go hard with Milt and Phillis to 
leave all these. It would go even harder with 
them to he free and homeless. Both were 
old. Neither could hope to be self-supporting. 
My friend, have you decided what to do with 
Milt and Phillis ? Add Judy and Mammy and 
five other old ones to your list when you have 
solved the problem. 

Mr. Bradley had spoken to Griffith of all 
these things of the hardships to both black 
and white and of the possible outcome. 


Over and over during the year, when they had 
talked of the proposed new move, he had urged 
these points. 

" It seems to me, Mr. Davenport, that you 
are going to tackle a pretty rough job. You say 
you will take all of them as far as Washington, 
anyhow. Now you ought to know that there 
are no end of free niggers in Washington, 
already, with no way to support themselves. 
Look at Milt and Phillis and Judy and Dan, 
and those other old ones in the two end cabins ! 
They ve all served you and your father before 
you faithfully all of their lives, and now you 
are proposing to turn them out to die simply 
to starve to death. That s the upshot of your 
foolishness. You know they won t steal, and 
they can t work enough to support themselves. 
All the old ones are in the same fix, and the 
young ones will simply be put on the chain- 
gang for petty thefts of food before you get 
fairly settled out west. Lord, Lord, man, you 
don t know what you are doing ! I wish the 
old Major was here to put a stop to it. You re 
laying up suffering for yourself, you re laying 
up sorrow and crime for them, you are robbing 


your children of their birthright, and of what 
their grandfathers have done for them, you are 
making trouble among other people s niggers 
here who hear of it, and think it would be a 
fine thing to be a free nigger in Washington or 
Indiana and what good is it all going to do ? 
Just answer me that? It would take a micro 
scope to see any good that can come out of it. 
It s easy enough to see the harm. Look at 
Squire Nelson s Jack ! He undertook to run 
off last week, and Nelson had him whipped 
within an inch of his life. Yes, bad policy, 
and cruel, of course, but that s the kind of a 
man Nelson is. Now your move is going to 
stir up that sort of thing all around here. It does 
it every time. You know that. What in thunder 
has got into the heads of some of you fellows, I 
can t see. It started in about the time you 
Methodists began riding around here. Sometimes 
I think they were sent down here just for that 
purpose, and that the preaching was only a blind." 
Mr. Davenport laughed. " Ha, ha, ha, ha I 
Bradley, you are a hopeless case ! If I didn t 
know you so well, I d feel like losing my 
temper ; but " 


" Oh, I don t mean you, of course. I know 
you got to believing in the new religion and 
got led on. I mean those fellows who came 
down here and started it all when you were 
a good, sensible boy. And how do they 
get their foolishness, anyhow ? Your Bible 
teaches the right of slavery plain enough, in 
all conscience, and even if it didn t, slavery 
is here and we can t help ourselves; and 
what s more we can t help the niggers by turn 
ing some of em loose to starve, and letting 
them make trouble for both the masters and 
the slaves that are left behind. I just tell you, 
Mr. Davenport, it is a big mistake and you are 
going to find it out before you are done with 

Griffith had grown so used to these talks and 
to those of a less kindly tone that he had 
stopped arguing the matter at all, and, indeed, 
there seemed little he could say beyond the 
fact, that it was a matter of conscience with 
him. His wife s father had berated him 
soundly, and her sisters plainly stated that, in 
their opinion, " poor Brother Grif was insane." 
They pitied their sister Katherine from the 


bottom of their hearts, and thanked God 
devoutly that their respective husbands were 
not similarly afflicted. And, as may be readily 
understood, it was all a sore trial for Katherine. 

At last, when the manumission papers came, 
Katherine sent LeRoy, her second son, to tell 
the negroes to come to the " big house." 

Roy ran, laughing and calling, to the negro 
quarters. " Oh, John, Pete, Sallie, Uncle Milt 
everybody ! Father says for all of you every 
single one to come to the big house right 
after supper ! Every single one ! He s got 
something for you. Something he is going to 
make you a present of ! I can t tell you 
what only every one will have it and you 
must come right away after supper ! " 

" G way fum heah, chile ! What he gwine 
t gib me ? New yaller dress ? " inquired 
Lippy Jane, whereupon there arose a great outcry 
from the rest, mingled with laughter and gibes. 

" I know wat he gwine t gib Lippy Jane ! 
He gwine t gib er a swing t hang enter dat 
lip, yah ! yah ! yah ! " remarked Pete, and 
dodged the blow that his victim leveled at him. 

" New dress I Lawsy, chile, I reckon he be 


mo likely ter gib you a lickiri along er dat 
platter you done bus widout tellin Mis 
Kate ! " put in Sallie, whose secure place in the 
affections of the mistress rendered her a severe 
critic of manners and morals in the " quarters." 

" Come heah, Mos Roy, honey, an tell ole 
Unc Milt wat e gwine t git. Wat dat is wat 
Mos Grif gwine t gib me ? Some mo er dat 
dar town terbacker? Laws a massy, honey, 
dat dar las plug what he f otch me nebber las 
no time ertal." 

But Roy was tickling the ear of old Phillis 
with a feather he had picked up from the 
grass, and the old woman was nodding and 
slapping at the side of her head and humoring 
the boy in the delusion that she thought her 
tormentor was a fly. Roy s delight was un 

" G way fum heah, fly ! Shoo ! G way fum 
heah ! I lay dat I mash you flat fo a nudder 
minnit! Sho-o-o ! " 

Roy and the twins were convulsed with sup 
pressed mirth, and Aunt Phillis slapped the 
side of her head with a resounding whack 
which was not only a menace to the life and 


limb of the aforenamed insect, but also, bid fair 
to demolish her ear as well. One of the twins 
undertook to supplement the proceeding on the 
other ear with a blade of " fox tail," but found 
himself sprawling in front of the cabin door. 
" You triflin little nigger ! Don you try 
none er yoah foolin wid me ! I lay I break 
yoah fool neck ! I lay I do," exclaimed the old 
woman in wrath. Then in a sportively insist 
ent tone, as she banged at the other side of 
her head, " Fore de good Lawd on high ! twixt 
dat imperent little nigger an dis heah fly, I 
lay I m plum wore out. Sho-o-o, fly ! " 

Suddenly she swung her fat body about on 
the puncheon stool and gave a tremendous snort 
and snapped her teeth at the young master. 
" Lawsey me, honey, was dat yoh all dis long 
cum short? Was dat yo teasin yoah po ole 
Aunt Phillis wid dat fedder? I lay I gwine 
ter ketch yo yit, an s waller yo down whole ! 
I lay I is ! " 

The threat to swallow him down whole 
always gave Roy the keenest delight. He ran 
for the big house, laughing and waving the 
feather at Phillis. 


Great was the speculation in the quarters as 
to what Mos Grif had for $very one. 

" Hit s des lack Chris mus ! " 

" I des wisht I knowed wat I gwine t git." 

" Lawsey me, but I wisht hit was arter supper 
now I " 

In the twilight they came swaying up through 
the grass a long irregular line of them. Jerry 
had his banjo. Mammy, Sallie s old mother, 
carried in her arms the white baby. Little 
Margaret was her sole care and charge and no 
more devoted lovers existed. 

" Et me wide piggy back, mammy," plead 
the child. 

" Heah, Jerry, put dis heah chile on my back ! 
Be mons ous keerful dar now ! Don yoh let 
dat chile fall ! Dar yoh is, honey ! Dar yoh 
is ! Hoi tight, now ! .Hug yoah ole mammy 
tight ! D-a-t-s de way. 

" Go down, Moses, away down in Egypt s Ian . 
Go tell ole Pharoah, t let my people go. " 

Mammy began to trot and hum the tune for 
the child. The swaying rhythm caught like a 
sudden fire in a field of ripened grain. Every 


voice, old and young, fell into harmony, and 
Jerry s banjo beat its tuneful way like the ripple 
of a stream through it all. 

Mrs. Davenport stood by the window watch 
ing them as they came nearer and nearer. Her 
face was sad and troubled. She looked up into 
the clear twilight and saw one star peer out. 
She did not know why, but in some mysterious 
way it seemed to comfort her. She smiled 
through dim eyes at the child on mammy s 
back. Her husband still sat by the table sort 
ing over some legal-looking papers. 

"Are those the manumission papers, father?" 
asked Beverly, taking one up and turning it 

" Yes." 

Beverly glanced at his father. It seemed to 
him that the lines in his face were very sad. 
The merry twinkle that always hid in the cor 
ners of eyes and mouth were obliterated. There 
was a settled look of anxiety. He seemed older. 
Beverly was silent. He more nearly understood 
what his father was doing than did even 
Katherine. Presently he said : " Hear them 


Mr. Davenport was staring straight before 
him into space. He turned to listen. 

" Happy, careless, thoughtless, unfortunate 
creatures," he said softly, " and as free as you or 
I, this minute as free as you or I if only they 
knew it;" then suddenly " No, not that, either. 
They can never be that so long as they may not 
stay here free, even if they want to. I suppose 
I am breaking the law to tell them what I shall 
to-night, but I can t take them away from their 
old home and friends and not tell them it is for 
good and all that they may not come back. 
For good and all for good and all," he re 
peated, abstractedly. After a long pause he 
said, " Law or no law, I cannot do that. I must 
tell them they are free before they go and that 
they must say good-bye, never to come back." 

" Seems pretty hard, doesn t it, father ? But 
then but don t you think God was pretty 
hard on them when He when He made them 
black ? Jerry is a gentleman, if if he was 
not black." 

" Griffith," asked Katherine from the window, 
" how do you suppose they will take it ? I m 
afraid " 


" Take it ! take it ! Why, little woman, how 
would you or I take freedom if it were given to 
us ? " The thought cheered him and he crossed 
the room and tapped her cheek with the papers. 
His face beamed. " I m prepared to see the 
wildest outbreak of joy." He chuckled, and 
some of the old lines of mirth came back to his 
face. " I m glad Jerry brought his banjo. They 
will be in a humor for some of the rollicking 


songs afterward. I think they would do me 
good too. And you, you, little woman, you 
will need it too. You have been brave you 
have been my tower of great strength in all this. 
If you had contested it, I m afraid my strength 
would have given out, after all." He put his 
arm around her. "But God knows what we 
can stand, Katherine, and he tempers the trial 
to our strength. Thank God it is over the 
worst of it," he said, and drew her to him. 

Suddenly this silent, self -controlled woman 
threw both arms about his neck and sobbed 
aloud. " God help us to bear it, Griffith. 
Sometimes I think I cannot ! It is hard ! It 
is hard ! " 

He stroked her hair silently. 


"Mos Grif, does yoh want us to come in 
er t stay on de big po cli?" It was Jerry s 
voice. " Good-ebnin , Mis Kath rine ! I hope 
yoh is monst ous well dis ebenin . Thanky, 
ma am, yes m, I m middlin ." 

Mrs. Davenport drew herself farther into the 
shadow, but she heard the little groan that 
escaped her husband. She understood. Her 
own voice was as steady as if no storm had 

" Open these large windows on to the porch, 
Jerry, and your Mos Grif will talk to you 
from here. Just keep them all outside. I 
liked your songs. When Mos Grif is done with 
you all, sing some more sing that one he likes 
so well the one about Fun in de Cabin. " 

" To be sho , Mis Kath rine, to be sho . 
Dat I will. What dat Mos Grif gwine ter gib 
us ? Milt he low dat hit s terbacker, an 
Lippy Jane she low dat hit s calicker, an John 
he low dat " 

With the opening of the low windows a great 
wave of " howdys " arose and a cloud of black 
faces clustered close to the open spaces. The 
moon was rising behind them and the lamp on 


the table within gave but a feeble effort to rival 
the mellow light outside. The master was 
slow to begin, but, at last, when the greetings 
were over he said, with an effort to seem 
indifferent, " You all know that we are going 
away from here and that you are going, too ; 

but " He found the task harder than he 

had expected. His voice trembled and he was 
glad that Katherine put her hand on his arm. 
He shifted his position and began again. " You 
have all heard of freedom." He was looking 
at them, and the faces were so blandly, blankly 
vacant of that which he was groping for they 
were so evidently expecting a gift of tobacco, 
or its like that he omitted all he had thought 
of to say of their new freedom and what it 
could mean for them, and what it had meant 
for him to secure it for them, and at once held 
up the folded papers. " These are legal papers. 
They are all registered at a courthouse. I 
have one for each one of you. These papers 
set you free ! They are manumission papers, 

and you are all to be free ! free " 

The silence was unbroken except for a slight 
shuffling of feet, but the dire disappointment 


was depicted on every face. That was too 
plain to be mistaken. Only papers ! No 
tobacco ! No calico ! Nothing to eat ! The 
silence grew uncomfortable. They were wait 
ing for something for which they could give 
out the "thanky, Mos Grif, thanky, sir, I s 
mighty much bleeged t you, I is dat ! " in 
their own hearty and happy way. 

Griffith found himself trying to explain what 
these papers really were. He chanced to open 
Judy s first. He would make an object lesson 
of it. She had been his nurse, and was too old 
and rheumatic to work except as the spirit of 
occupation urged her to some trifling task. 
Griffith was reading the paper and explaining 
as he went. The negroes looked from the 
master to Judy and back again until he was 
done. She walked lamely to his side when he 
had finished and was holding her freedom papers 
toward her. She held out her hand for it. Then 
she tore it through twice and tossed it out of 
the window. Her eyes flashed and she held 
herself erect. 

" What I want wid yoah ole mannermussent 
papers ? What I want wid em, hey ? " She 


folded her arms. " Me a free nigger ! Me ! 
Mos Grif, yoh ain t nebber gwine ter lib t be 
ole enough t make no free nigger out ob ole 
Judy ! What I fotch yoh up foh ? Didn t I 
nus yoh fum de time yoh was a teenchy little 
baby, an wasn t ole Mis and yoah paw sas fied 
wid me ? What I done t yoh now ? What f o 
is yoh gwine ter tun me loose dat a way ? 
Mannermussent papers ! " she exclaimed, in a 
tone of contemptuous wrath, " mannermussent 
papers ! Yoh can t mannermussent yoah ole 
Aunt Judy ! Deys life lef in her yit ! " 

It was done so suddenly. The reception of 
freedom was so utterly unexpected so opposed 
to what he had fondly hoped that Griffith 
stood amazed. Katherine motioned to mammy, 
who still stood with the white baby in her 
arms. " Give me the baby, mammy. I 
will " 

" Mis Kate," said the old woman, turning, as 
she pushed her way through the room, " Mis 
Kate, do Mos Grif mean dat yo alls is gwine 
ter leabe us ? Do he mean dat we alls is got ter 
be free niggers, wid no fambly an no big house 
an no baby t nus ? " 


She changed the child s position, and the little 
soft, white cheek lay contentedly against the 
black one. 

" Cause, if dafs wat Mos Grif mean, dis 
heah chile ob yoahs an ole mammy, deys gwine 
t stay togedder. Dis heah mammy don t eben 
tetcJi no ole mannermussent papers ! Tar hit up 
yo se f, Mis Kate, kase dis heah nigger ain t 
eben gwine t tetch hit. She s des gwine ter 
put dis baby ter bed lak she allus done. Good 
night, Mis Kate ! Good-night, Mos Grif ! " 

She was half-way up the stairs, when she 

" Mis Kate, sumpin er a-nudder done gone 
wrong wid Mos Grif s haid. Sho as yoh bawn, 
honey, dat s a fack ! I wisht yoh send fo yoh 
paw. I does dat ! " and she waddled up the 
stairs, with the sleeping child held close to her 
faithful heart. 

The reception of the freedom papers by the 
others varied with temperament and age. Two 
or three of the younger ones reached in over 
the heads of those in front of them when their 
names were called, and, holding the papers in 
their hands, " cut a pigeon-wing " in the moon- 


light. One or two looked at theirs in. stupid, 
silent wonder. Jerry and his wife gazed at the 
twins, and, in a half-dazed, half-shamefaced way, 
took theirs. Jerry took all four to Katherine. 
" Keep dem fo me, please, ma am, Mis Kath - 
rine, kase I ain t got no good place fer ter hide 
em. Mebby dem dare chillun gwine ter want 
em one er dese here days." 

Not one grasped the full meaning of it all. It 
was evident that one and all expected to live 
along as before to follow the fortunes of the 

" Thanky, Mos Grif, much bleeged," said old 
Milt, as he took his, " but I d a heap site a-rud- 
der had some mo ob dat town terbacker I 
would dat, honey." 

" Give it up for to-night, Griffith," said his 
wife, gently, as he still stood helplessly trying 
to explain again and again. " You look so 
white, and I am very tired. Give it up for to 
night. It will be easier after they have talked 
it over together, perhaps by daylight." 

She pushed him gently into a chair and mo 
tioned to Jerry to take them all away. The faith 
ful fellow remembered, when outside, that she 


had asked him to sing, but the merry song she 
had named had no echo in the hearts about him. 
All understood that they had failed to respond 
to something that the master had expected. The 
strings of his banjo rang out in a few minor 
chords, and as they moved toward the quarters 
an old forgotten melody floated back 

O, de shadders am a deep nin on de mountains, 
O, de shadders am a deep nin on de stream, 

An I think I hear an echo f um de valley, 
An echo ob de days ob which I dream ! 

Ole happy days ! Ole happy days ! 
Befo I knew dat sorrow could be bawn, 

When I played wid mos er s chillun in de medder, 
When my wuk was done a-hoein ob de cawn ! 

Dose happy, happy days ! Dose happy, happy days ! 
Dey ll come again no mo , no-o-o m-o-r-e, no more ! 

Ole mos er is a-sleepin neath de willow ! 

An de apple blossoms fallin on de lawn, 
Where he used to sit an doze beneath its shadder, 

In de days when I was hoein ob de cawn ! 

Ole happy, etc. 

Dey ll come no mo dis side de ribber Jordan, 
O, dey ll come no mo dis side de golden shoah ! 

Foh de chillun s growed so big dat deys forgot me, 
Kase I se ole an cannot wuk foh dem no mo ! 

Ole happy, etc. 




" LOOK down. Say notliin . Few words com 
prehends the whole." 

The long, lank mountaineer stood leaning on 
his gun and looking listlessly at the collection 
of bundles, bags, children, dogs, guns, banjos, 
and other belongings of the Davenport negroes, 
as they waited about the wagons, now nearly 
ready to start for " Washington and the free 
States " that Mecca of the colored race. It is 
true that Lengthy Patterson disapproved of the 
entire proceeding, notwithstanding his profound 
respect for, and blind admiration of, Parson 
Davenport, as he always called Griffith ; but he 
had tramped many miles to witness the depart 
ure, which had been heralded far and wide. 
Lengthy s companion, known to his familiars as 
" Whis " Biggs, slowly stroked the voluminous 
hirsute adornment to which he was indebted for 


his name, " Whiskers " being the original of the 
abbreviation which was now his sole designation 
Whis stroked his beard and abstractedly 
kicked a stray dog, which ran, howling, under 
the nearest wagon. 

" Hit do appear t me that the Pahrson air a 
leetle teched in the haid." 

There was a long pause. The negroes looked, 
as they always did, at these mountaineers in 

Lengthy dove into a capacious pocket and 
produced a large home-twisted hand of tobacco 
and passed it in silence to his companion, who 
gnawed off a considerable section and in silence 
returned it to the owner. 

" Let s set," he remarked, and doubled him 
self down on a log. Lengthy took the seat be 
side him, and gathered his ever-present gun 
between his long legs and gazed into space. 
Mr. Biggs stroked his beard and remained 
plunged in deep thought. That is to say, he 
was evidently under the impression that he was 
thinking, albeit skeptics had been known to 
point to the dearth of results in his conversa 
tion, and to intimate that nature had designed 


in him not so much a thinker as an able-bodied 
rack upon which to suspend a luxuriant growth 
of beard. He was known far and wide as 
" Whis " Biggs ; and, if there was within or 
without his anatomy anything more important, 
or half so much in evidence as was his tremen 
dous achievement in facial adornment (if such 
an appendage may be called an adornment by 
those not belonging to a reverted type), no one 
had ever discovered the fact. What there was 
of him, of value, appeared to have run to hair. 
The rest of him was occupied in proudly dis 
playing the fact. He stroked his beard and 
looked wise, or he stroked his beard and 
laughed, or he stroked his beard and assumed a 
solemn air, as occasion, in his judgment, ap 
peared to require ; but the occasion always 
required him to stroke his beard, no matter 
what else might happen to man or to beast. 

But at last the wagons pulled out. Amidst 
shouts and " Whoas ! " and " Gees ! " and 
" G langs ! " Amidst tears and laughter and 
admonitions from those who went, and those 
who were left behind, the strange and un 
accustomed procession took its course toward 


the setting sun. The family drove, in the 
old Davenport barouche, far enough behind to 
avoid the dust of the wagons. The long journey 
was begun for master and for freedmen. Each 
was launched on an unknown sea. Each was 
filled with apprehension and with hope. Old 
friends and relatives had gathered to witness 
the departure, some to blame, some to deprecate, 
and all to deplore the final leave-taking. 
Comments on the vanishing procession were 
varied and numerous. The two mountaineers 
listened in silence, the one stroking his beard, 
the other holding his gun. Some thought the 
preacher undoubtedly insane, some thought him 
merely a dangerous fanatic, some said he was 
only a plain, unvarnished fool ; some insisted 
that since he had gone counter to public opinion 
and the law of the state, he was a criminal; while 
a semi-silent few sighed and wished for the 
courage and the ability to follow a like course. 
The first hours of the journey were uneventful. 
There was a gloom on all hearts, which insured 
silence. Each felt that he was looking for the 
last time upon the valley of their love. Jerry 
drove the family carriage. As they paused to 


lower the check-reins at the mill stream, 
Katherine bent suddenly forward and shaded her 
eyes with her hands. " Griffith ! Griffith ! 
there goes Pete back over the fields ! I m sure 
it is Pete. No other negro has that walk that 
lope. See ! He looked back ! He is running ! 
I know it is Pete I " 

Mr. Davenport sprang from the carriage and 
shouted to the fleeing man. He placed his 
hands to the sides of his face and shouted again 
and again. 

"Shell I runfoh"im, Mos Grif ?" asked 
Jerry passing the lines to his mistress. " I lay 
I kin ketch im n I ll fetch im back, too, fo 
he gits to de cross-roads ! " 

He grasped the carriage whip and prepared to 
start. The shouts had served to redouble Pete s 

" He was your negro, Katherine, shall I let 
him go ? " Griffith said in a tired voice. 

" Yes, yes, oh, Griffith, let him stay in Vir 
ginia if he wants to. We can t have him with 
us why, why not let him stay here ? " 

Griffith sighed. His wife knew quite well 
why ; but she was nervous and overwrought and 


feared resistance should Pete be brought to 
bay might he not fight for his freedom to 
remain where he might not be free ! 

The wagons had all stopped. One of the 
twins, with ashen face, came running back to 
report Pete s escape. " Mos Grif, Oh, Lordy, 
Mos Grif! Pete he s run off ! Pete " 

It was plain to be seen that the negroes were 
restless and expectant. The tone and atmos 
phere of uncertainty among them, the tearful 
eyes of some, and the sullen scowl of others 
quickly decided Mr. Davenport. It was no 
time for indecision. Prompt action alone 
would prevent a panic and a stampede. 
Katherine spoke a few hasty words to him as he 
leaned on the carriage-door. He sprang in. 
" Go on ! " he shouted. " Go on ! We can t 
all stop now. We must cross the ferry to 
night ! " Then as a precaution he said to the 
twin : " Catch up and tell Judy that Squire 
Nelson will get Pete if he tries to stay here." 

Squire Nelson, the terrible ! Squire Nel 
son ! who had called before him a runaway boy 
and calmly shot him through the leg as an ex 
ample to his fellows, and then sent him to the 


quarters to repent his rash act and incidentally 
to act as a warning ! Squire Nelson 1 Did 
the manumission papers give those who stayed 
behind to Squire Nelson ? The negroes looked 
into each other s faces in silent fear, and drove 
rapidly on. 

An hour later, as they were looking at the 
glorious sunset, and Griffith was struggling to 
be his old cheery self, Katherine said sadly: 
" We are as much exiled as they, Griffith. "We 
could never come back." She choked up and 
then, steadying her voice, " If you think it is 
God s will we must submit; but but every 
thing makes it so hard so cruelly hard. I am 
so afraid. I no one ever every one loved 
you before, and now now did you see the 
faces, Griffith, when we left? Did you see 
Squire Nelson s face ? " She shuddered. 

" Oh, is that all ? " he exclaimed lightly. 
" Is that it, Katherine ? Well, don t worry over 
that, dear. We won t be here to see it, and of 
course he wouldn t like it. Of course it will 
make trouble among his negroes for awhile and 
I am sorry for that. I don t wonder he feels 


" But, Griffith," she said nervously, " we are 
not out of the State yet, and and, Griffith," she 
lowered her voice to make sure that Jerry 
would not hear, " can t the law do something 
dreadful to you for leaving Pete here, free? 
What can " 

" Jerry, I wish you d drive up a little. Get 
to the ferry before it is too dark to cross, can t 
you ? " said Griffith, and then, " Don t worry 
about that, Katherine, Pete won t dare show 

himself for a day or two, and besides " He 

paused. The silence ran into minutes. Then 
he reached over and took her hand and with 
closed eyes he hummed as they rode, or broke off 
to point silently to some picturesque spot or 
to whistle to a robin. There was a nervous 
tension on them all. 

" Mos Grif , hit gwine ter be too late to cross 
dat ferry to-night. Ain t we better stop at dat 
big house over dar ? " 

Mr. Davenport opened his eyes. He had 
been humming without time and with long 
pauses between the words one of his favorite 
hymns. He looked out into the twilight, 
" That s Ferris s old mill and the Ferris house, 


isn t it, Katherine ? Yes, Jerry, call to the boys 
to stop. We will have to stay over. It is too 
late to cross now. That ferry isn t very safe 
even in daylight." 

The following morning, just before sunrise, 
there was a rap at the door, and a servant came 
to say that Mr. Davenport was wanted. 
Katherine was white with fear. She sprang 
from bed and went to the window. There, in 
front of the house, stood Lengthy Patterson, 
gun in hand, and beside him, sullen, crest 
fallen, and with one foot held in his hands, 
stood Pete. Griffith threw open the window, and 
Lengthy waited for no prelude. He nodded 
as if such calls were of daily occurrence, and 
then jerked his head toward Pete. " Saw him 
runnin . Told him t stop. He dim out 
faster. Knowed you wanted him." He pointed 
to Pete s foot. It was bleeding. There was a 
bullet hole through the instep. " Few words 
comprehends the whole," added the mountaineer 
and relaxed his features into what he intended 
for a humorous expression. Griffith turned 
sick and faint. Squire Nelson s lesson had 
been well learned even by this mountaineer. 


Pete was a dangerous negro to be without con 
trol, that was true. As a free negro left here 
without ties, it was only a question of time 
when he would commit some desperate deed, 
and yet what was to be done ? Lengthy 
appeared to grasp the preacher s thought. He 
slowly seated himself on the front step and 
motioned Pete to sit on the grass. 

" Don t fret. Take yer time. I m a goin 
t the ferry. Few words comprehends th 
whole," he remarked to Griffith, and ex 
amined the lock of his gun, with critical delib 
eration. When the wagons were ready to start 
Jerry whispered to his master that two of the 
other young negroes had run off during the night, 
and yet Mr. Davenport pushed on. It was not 
until late the next afternoon when the dome of 
the Capitol at Washington burst upon their 
sight that Griffith and Katherine breathed free. 
The splendid vision in the distance put new life 
and interest in the negroes. Their restlessness 
settled into a childlike and emotional merry 
making, and snatches of song, and banter, and 
laughter told that danger of revolt or of 
stampede was over. Judy, alone, sulked in the 


wagons, and Mammy vented her discontent on 
the younger ones by word and blow, if they 
ventured too near her or her white charge. At 
last the Long Bridge alone stood between them 
and a liberty that could not be gainsaid and 
another liberty for the master which had been 
so dearly and hazardously bought. 

The Long Bridge was spanned and the 
strange party drove down Pennsylvania Ave 
nue to the office of the attorney who had 
arranged for their reception. The Long Bridge 
was past and safety was theirs ! Griffith 
glanced back and then turned to look. " Kath- 
erine," he said, smiling sadly, " we have crossed 
the dead line. We are all safe ! " He sighed 
with the smile still on his lips. 

" It is terrible not to feel safe ! Terrible ! 
Terrible !" she said in an undertone, " not to feel 
safe from pursuit, from behind, and from un 
known and unaccustomed dangers near at 
hand terrible ! " 

So accustomed had Griffith been to caring 
for and housing these negroes, who, now that 
they were in the midst of wonders of which they 
never had dreamed, clung to him with an abid- 


ing faith that whatever should betide he would 
be there to meet it for them so accustomed had 
he been to caring for them that it had never 
occurred to Griffith not do so, even now when 
they were no longer his. 

" Are the cabins ready ? " he asked the at 
torney s clerk, and sent all but Mammy to the 
huts which had been provided on the out 

" Go along with this gentleman, children," 
he said. " Mammy will stay with us, and after 
Jerry takes us to the hotel he will come and 
tell you what else to do. Good-bye ! Good 
bye ! Keep together until Jerry comes." 

All was uncertainty ; but it was understood 
by all that several of the negroes were to go 
with the family and the rest to remain here. 
Griffith had decided to take to his new home 
Jerry and his wife, Ellen, and the twins ; 
Mammy and Judy, and, if possible, Sally and 
John. It was here, and now, that he learned 
the inhospitality of the free states to the freed 

" I intend to take several of them with me 


" Can t do it," broke in the attorney, " In 
diana s a free state." 

" Well, I can take em along and hire em, I 

" Reckon you can t not in Indiana." 


" I said you couldn t take em along and hire 

" I d like to know the reason for that. 

" Law. Law s against it." 

Griffith drew his hand across his face as if he 
had lost his power to think. 

" You can t take any of em to Indiana, I 
tell you," said the attorney insistently, and 
Griffith seemed dazed. Then he began again : 

" Can t take them ! " he exclaimed, in utter 

" That s what I said twice can t take 
them none of them." 

"But I shall pay them wages ! Surely I can 
take my own choice of servants into my own 
household if they are free and I pay them 
wages ! Surely - " 

"Surely you cannot, I tell you," said the 


attorney, and added dryly, " not unless you are 
particularly anxious to run up against the law 
pretty hard." He reached up and took down a 
leather-bound volume. He turned the leaves 
slowly, and Griffith and Katherine looked at 
each other in dismay. " There it is in black and 
white. Not a mere law, either sometimes you 
can evade a law, if you are willing to risk it ; 
but from the way you both feel about leaving 
those two free niggers in Virginia, I guess you 
won t be very good subjects for that sort of 
thing thirteenth article of the constitution of 
the State itself." He drew a pencil mark along 
one side of the paragraph as Griffith read. 
" Oh ! you ll find these free states have got 
mighty little use for niggers. Came here from 
one of em myself. Free or not free, they don t 
want em. You see," he said, slowly drawing 
a line down the other side of the page, " they 
prohibit you from giving employment to one ! 
Don t propose to have free nigger competition 
with their white labor. Can t blame em." He 
shrugged his shoulders. 

Griffith began to protest. " But I have read 
I thought " 


" Of course you thought and you ve read a 
lot of spread-eagle stuff, I don t doubt. Talk 
is one of the cheapest commodities in this 
world ; but when it comes to acts " he 
chuckled cynically, " s pose you had an idea 
that the border States were just holding out 
their arms to catch and shield and nurture and 
feed with a gold spoon every nigger you 
Southern men were fools enough to set free ; 
but the cold fact is they won t even let you 
bring them over and pay em to work for you ! 
That is one of the charming little differences 
between theory and practice. They ve got the 
theory and you ve had the practice of looking 
after the niggers ! Your end is a damned sight 
more difficult than theirs, as you ll discover, if 
you haven t already. Excuse me, I forgot you 
were a preacher. You don t look much like 
one." Griffith smiled and bowed. Katherine 
had gone to the front window, where Mammy 
and the baby were enjoying the unaccustomed 
sights of the street. Griffith and the lawyer 
moved toward them. 

" No, sir, your niggers have all got to stay 
right here in Washington and starve or steal. 


You can t take em to Indiana, that s mighty 
certain. Why, when that Constitution was 
passed only a year or two ago, there wern t but 
21,000 voters in the whole blessed State that 
didn t vote to punish a white man for even giv 
ing employment to a free nigger. Public senti 
ment as well as law is all against you. You 
can t take those niggers to Indiana that s cer 
tain ! " 

" Dar now ! Dar now ! wat I done tole you ? " 
exclaimed Mammy. " What I done tole Mos 
Grif bout all dis foolishness ? Mis Kate, you 
ain t gwine ter low dat is you ? Me an Judy 
free niggers ! Town free niggers wid no 
fambly ! " The tone indicated that no lower 
depth of degradation and misfortune than this 
could be thrust upon any human being. 

" I s gwine ter keep dis heah baby, den. 
Who gwine ter take cahr ob her widout me ? " 
The child was patting the black face and pull 
ing the black ear in a gleeful effort to call forth 
the usual snort and threat to "swaller her 

" Bless yoah hawt, honey, yoh ain t gwine t 
hab no odder nus, is yo ? Nus ! Nus ! 


White trash t nus my baby ! Yoh des gwine 
ter hab yoh ole mammy, dat s wat ! " 

The attorney took Mr. Davenport and Kath- 
erine to an inner office. It was two hours later 
when they came out. Both were pale and half 
dazed, but arrangements had been made, papers 
had been drawn, by which the nine oldest 
negroes were, in future, to appear at this office 
once every three months and draw the sum of 
twenty-four dollars each, so long as they might 
live. The younger ones must hereafter shift, 
as best they could, for themselves. The die 
was cast. The bridges were burned behind 
them. There was no return, and the negroes 
were indeed, " free, town niggers," henceforth. 

" God forgive me if I have done wrong," said 
Griffith, as he left the office. " If I have done 
wrong in deserting these poor black children, 
for children they will always be, though pen 
sioned as too old to work ! Poor Mammy, Poor 
Judy ! And Mart, and old Peyton ! " 

He shook his head and compressed his lips as 
he walked toward the door, with a stoop in his 
shoulders that was not there when he had en 
tered. All the facts of this manumission were 


so wholly at variance with the established the 
ories. Every thing had been so different from 
even what Griffith had expected to meet. As 
they reached the door the attorney took the 
proffered hand and laughed a little, satirically. 

" Now I want you to tell me what good you 
expect all this to do ? What was the use ? 
What is gained ? It s clear to a man without a 
spy-glass what s lost all around; but it s going 
to puzzle a prophet to show where the gain 
comes in, in a case like this. If you ll excuse 
the remark, sir, it looks like a piece of romantic 
torn-foolery, to a man up a tree. A kind of 
torn-foolery, that does harm all around to 
black and to white, to bond and to free. Of 
course if all of em were free it would, no doubt, 
be better. I m inclined to think that way, my 
self. But just tell me how many slave-owners 
even if they wanted to do it could do as you 
have ? Simply impossible ! Then, besides, 
where d they go the niggers ? Pension the 
whole infernal lot ? Gad ! but it s the dream 
of a man who never will wake up to this world, 
as it is built. And what good have you done ? 
Just stop long enough to tell me that ; " he 


insisted, still holding Griffith s hand. He was 
smiling down at his client who stood on a 
lower step. There was in his face a tinge of 
contempt and of pity for the lack of worldly 

" I m not pretending to judge for you nor for 
other men, Mr. Wapley, but for myself it was 
wrong to own them. That is all. That is 
simple, is it not?" The lawyer thought it 
was, indeed, very, very simple ; but to a nature 
like Griffith s it was all the argument needed. 
His face was clouded, for the lawyer did not 
seem satisfied. Griffith could not guess 

" My conscience troubled me. I am not advis 
ing other men to do as I have done. Sometimes 
I feel almost inclined to advise them not to fol 
low my example if they can feel satisfied not to 
the cost is very great bitterly heavy has the 
cost been in a thousand ways that no one can 
ever know but the man who tries it and this 
little woman, here." He took her hand and 
turned to help her into the carriage. 

" Ah, Katherine, you have been very brave ! 

The worst has fallen on you, after all for no 


sense of imperative duty urged you on. For 
my sake you have yielded ! Her bravery, sir, 
has been double, and it is almost more than I 
can bear to ask it to accept it of her ! For 
my own sake ! It has been selfish, in a sense, 
selfish in me." 

Katherine smiled through dim eyes and 
pressed her lips hard together. She did not 
trust herself to speak. She bowed to the 
attorney and turned toward Mammy and the 
baby as they stood by the carriage door. 

" I m a-goin wid yoh alls to de hotel, ain t I, 
Mis Kath rine ? Dar now, honey, des put yoah 
foot dar an in yoh goes ! Jerry, can t yoh hoi 
dem bosses still ! Whoa, dar ! Whoa ! Mos 
Beverly, he radder set in front wid Jerry, an I 
gwine ter set inside wid de baby, an yo alls." 

The old woman bustled about and gave 
orders until they were, at last, at the door of 
the Metropolitan, where, until other matters 
were arranged, the family would remain. 

Strange as it may seem, to save themselves 
from the final trial of a heartbreaking farewell, 
from protests, from the sight of weeping 
children and excited negroes, three days later 


Mr. Davenport and his family left by an early 
train for the west before the negroes, aside from 
Jerry, knew that they were gone. And in the 
place of the spectacle of a runaway negro 
escaping from white owners, the early loungers 
beheld a runaway white family escaping from 
the galling bondage of ownership ! 



" One touch of nature." Shakespeare. 

As time wore on the family had, in some sort, 
at least, adjusted itself to the new order of 
things. The dialect of the strapping Irish 
woman who presided over the kitchen of the 
small but comfortable new home, and the no less 
unaccustomed speech of the natives, themselves, 
were a never failing source of amusement to the 
children and, indeed, to Griffith himself. His 
old spirits seemed to return as he would repeat, 
with his hearty laugh, the village gossip, 
couched in the village forms of speech. 

Each day as he opened his Cincinnati C-azette 
he would laugh out some bit of town news which 
he had overheard at the post-office or on his way 
home. The varying forms of penuriousness ex 
hibited in the dealings between the farmers and 
the villagers impressed him as most amusing of all. 
The haggling over a few cents, or the payment 


of money between neighbors for fruit or milk or 
services of a nature which he had always looked 
upon as ordinary neighborly courtesy, rilled him 
with mirth. One day, shortly after their arrival, 
Beverly had brought his mother a dozen 
peaches from a neighbor s yard. The boy had 
supposed when asked if his mother would not 
like them that they were intended as a present. 
He thanked the owner heartily and said that he 
was sure his mother would very greatly enjoy 

" After he gave them to me," the boy said, 
indignantly, Six cents wuth, an cheap at 
that ! says he, and held out his hand ! Well, I 
could have fainted ! Selling twelve peaches to 
a neighbor ! Why, a mountaineer wouldn t do 
that! And then he had asked me to take 
them ! I had ten cents in my pocket and I 
] landed it to him and walked off. He yelled 
something to me about change, but I never 
looked back." 

His father enjoyed the joke, as he called it, 
immensely. He chuckled over it again and 
again as he sat in the twilight. 

One day late in that summer the summer of 


57 the children were attracted by a great 
uproar and noise in the street. A group of 
school children, some street loafers, and a few 
mature but curious, grown citizens were 
gathered about an object in the middle of the 
street. Hoots and shouts of derision went up. 
A half-witted girl circled slowly about the 
outskirts of the crowd making aimless motions 
and passes with her hands toward the object of 
interest. Voices clashed with voices in an 
effort to gain coherent sound and sense. Was 
it a bear or a hand organ ? The children ran to 
see. Beverly followed more slowly. Beverly 
seemed a young man now, so sedate and digni 
fied was this oldest son. 

"What is it?" 

" Look out there ! Look out there ! It s 
going that way ! " 

" What ? What you say ? Who ? " 

" Who is Mosgrif ? No man by that name 
don t live here." 

" Digger, nigger, pull a trigger, never grow 
an inch a bigger ! " 

" Get her some soap ! Let s take her and give 
her a wash I " 


" What ? Who ? Shut up your noise there, 
will you, Dave Benton. She s askin fer some 
body some feller she knows. Who ? " 

There was a pause in the progress of the pro 
cession as it reached Mr. Davenport s side 
gate. Beverly was craning his neck to see over 
the heads of the crowd. His two brothers took 
a surer method. They dodged under arms and 
between legs and were making straight for the 
center of the crowd where they had heard an 
accustomed voice. 

" What I axes yo alls is, whah s my Mos 
Grif ! Dey done tole me down yander dat he 
lib down dis a-way. Whah s my Mos Grif s 
house ? I got ter fine my Mos Grif ! " 

" Aunt Judy ! Aunt Judy ! " shrieked the 
two younger boys, in mad delight. " It s Aunt 
Judy ! Oh, Beverly, come quick ! She s hurt ! 
She s been struck with a rock ! Come quick 
quick ! " 

LeRoy had reached the old woman, who be 
gan to tremble and cry as soon as she felt that 
friends were indeed near. She threw her arms 
about his neck and half-sobbed with joy. Then 
she tried to pick up the younger boy in her 


arms, as of old, but her strength gave way, and 
she fell on her knees beside her bundle and 
stick. A laughing shout went up. Dave Ben- 
ton shied a small stone at her. 

" How dare you ! How dare you ! you com 
mon loafers ! " shrieked LeRoy, white with 
rage. He struck out with both fists at those 
who were nearest. " How dare you throw 
at Aunt Judy ! How dare you, you low- 
down 1" 

Words failed him, and he was choking with 
rage, but both fists were finding a mark on the 
Tisage of the prostrate Dave. His fists and the 
astonishment felt at the sight of white children 
caressing and calling the old black creature 
" aunty " had served to clear a space about 
them. Every one had fallen back. The half 
witted girl alone remained with the center- 
group, making aimless passes, with ill-regulated 
hands, at Aunt Judy. So absorbing was this 
strange creature to the bewildered senses that 
not even the struggling boys on the ground at 
her feet served to divert her gaze from the old 
black face. 

" His aunt s a nigger ! " 


" Kissed her, by gum ! " 

" They re the Virginia preacher s kids ! " 

" Never knew before that some of their kin 
was niggers ! " 

Dave Benton was now on top, and Howard 
was pulling at his leg in an effort to help his 
brother. Suddenly Roy swirled on top and 
grasped the helpless Dave by the throat. 

" You let her alone, you dirty little devil ! " 
he ground out between his teeth, " or I ll kill 

His rage was so intense, his face was so set 
and livid, that it looked as if he might execute 
the threat before the astonished and half-amused 
bystanders realized the danger. Beverly sprang 
to the rescue. He had hustled Judy through 
the side gate and into the house with Howard. 

" LeRoy ! LeRoy ! stop stop ! Get up ! let 
go ! Get up this instant ! " he commanded, loos 
ening the boy s grasp. " Look at that blood ! 
Father will be so ashamed of you ! " 

He pushed the boy ahead of him and the door 
closed behind them, leaving a hooting mob out 
side and Dave Benton with a bleeding nose and 
a very sore head. 


" Got a nigger fer a ant, by gosh ! " exclaimed 
one, as they turned slowly away, leaving the 
weak-minded girl alone circling about the gate, 
making inarticulate noises and movements of 
indirection at the house and its curious and un 
canny new occupant. 

But LeRoy s blows and his taunts bore fruit 
in due season. A week later, Dave Benton s 
father, who had nursed his wrath, caused serv 
ice to be made upon Mr. Davenport to show 
cause why he was not infringing the law and 
the State constitution by keeping in his service 
a free negro. Mr. Davenport explained to the 
court that he had not brought her into the State 
and was in no way responsible for her having 
come. Indeed, Judy would not or could not 
tell exactly how she had managed it herself. 
That she had been helped forward by some one 
seemed evident. But Griffith s plea would not 
suffice. She was here. He was avowedly the 
cause of her coming. She was a free negro. He 
was giving her employment. That was against 
the State constitution. Clearly, she must be 
sent away. Griffith consulted with a lawyer. 
The lawyer gravely stated, in open court, that 


the old negro was a guest, and not an employe", 
of the Davenport family. The judge smiled. 
There was no law, no constitutional provision, 
no statute to prevent a family from having ne 
gro guests in Indiana; provided they would 
give bond for the good behavior during life, and 
burial in case of death, of such guest ! 

" By gum ! I reckon she is kin to em, shore 
miff ! " remarked Dave s father, sotto voce. 
" Wonder which one s sister she is her n or 
his n?" 

" Do know, but it s one er t other ; fer all 
three o the boys call her ant, n the little gal, 
too. She rides on her back. Seen her out in 
the yard t other day." 

" Fore I d let one o mine kiss a nigger n 
ride on her back ! " 

"Well, I should smile!" 

" Sh ! What s that the jedge said ? " 

" Goin t take it under dvisement, perviden 
Davenport agrees t bind hisself give bon ." 

And so it came about, as I told you in the be 
ginning, that this man, who was already a law 
breaker in his native State, unblushingly be 
came a law-evader in the State of his adoption ; 


for the papers were duly drawn up and finally 
signed and executed. Aunt Judy was officially 
and legally declared not to be employed by, but 
to be a visitor in, the family ; " and, furthermore, 
it is declared and agreed, that, in case of her be 
coming indigent, or in case of her death while 
within the borders of the State, the aforenamed 
Rev. Griffith Davenport binds himself, his heirs 
and assigns, to support while living, or bury in 
case of the death of the aforenamed Judy Dav 
enport (colored) ; and, furthermore, agrees 
that she shall in no manner whatsoever be 
come a charge upon the State of Indiana. 
The expenses of this procedure to be paid, also, 
by the said Rev. Griffith Davenport." 

" I reckon my conscience is getting a little 
tough, Katherine," said her husband, smiling, 
that night as he recited the matter to the 
family. " I signed that paper with precious 
little compunction and yet it was evading the 
law, pure and simple so far as the intent goes ! 
Fancy Aunt Judy looking upon herself as a 
guest of the family ! Ha ! ha ! ha I ha ! " The 
idea so amused him that he laughed uproariously. 
Five minutes later there floated out on to the 


porch, where Judy sat with the children telling 
them wonderful tales of Washington, the notes 
of " Joy to the world ! The Lord has come ! " 

" De good Lawd, bless my soul ! " exclaimed 
the old woman, listening, " I ain t heerd nothin 
so good as dat soun ter me, sense yo alls 
runned away ! Dat sholy do soun like ole 
times ! Hit sholy do ! " 

Rosanna, the Irish cook, sniffed. She was 
hanging out of the kitchen window listening to 
aunt Judy s tales of adventure. " She do talk the 
quarest, schure, an it s barely the rear av her 
remarks thet a Christian can understhand ; " 
mumbled Rosanna to herself. 

" Well, but how about the twins, Aunt Judy? 
You said you d tell us all about the twins just 
as soon as supper was over. Now, hurry, or I ll 
have to go to bed," urged Howard. 

The old woman shifted around in her chair to 
make sure the ears of Rosanna were not too 
near and lowered her voice to a stage whisper. 

" Honey, dem dar twins is des so spilt dat 
dey is gettin tainty ! " 

" Bad, you mean ? " asked Roy. 

u Dat s wat I said, an dat s wat I sticks to. 


Dey s so spilte dey s tainty. Bad! Why bad 
ain t no name fo hit. Dey is mouldy. De 
onliest reason why dey ain t in the lock-up is 
kase dey ain t got ketched up wid yit. Dey 
gwine ter git dar, sho as yoh bawn. Dey is 

" I don t believe it. I don t believe the twins 
are so bad. You are just mad at em. 
They " Roy was always a partisan. 

" Look a heah, honey, yoh don t know what 
yoh s talkin bout. Dem twins is plum spilte, 
I tell yoh. Jerry, he s a teamin an he can t 
watch em, an dey maw she s a wuckin fo one 
er dem Congressers, an dem twins is des plum 
run wile." 

" Perhaps you expect too much of the morals 
of Washington," suggested Beverly, winking at 
Roy to give the old woman full sway. 

" Mo ls ! mo ls ! Why, lawsy, honey, yoh 
don know what yoh talkin bout no mo dan 
Mos Roy do. Dey ain t no mo ls in Washin - 
ton white ner black. Mebby dem dar folks 
had some fo dey cum dar ; but dey sholy did 
leave de whole lot back in de place whah dey 
cum fum ! Dey sholy did dat. Mo ls ! In 


Washin ton? Dey ain t none darJ" She 
shook her finger at Beverly. 

Roy saw his opportunity as she started for the 
door to shut off further questions. " Oh ! go 
away, Aunt Judy, you don t know what morals 
are," he said, "that s all. In Washington they 
are government property and they keep em in 
tin cans. Of course you didn t see any." 

" Dey dun los do opener t dat can, too," she 
remarked, hobbling up the steps. Many and 
blood-curdling had been her stories of life at 
the capital. In her opinion, the seat of govern 
ment had no redeeming qualities. " Stay dar ? 
Why, dis chile wouldn t stay dar fo no mount 
o money, ner fer nobody. She s got too much 
self- spect fer dat, de good Lawd he do know. 
Stay dar ? No, sah ! " 

" Well, the others are getting along all right, 
I ll bet you," piped up Howard, as her foot 
struck the top step. She turned. 

" I ain t gwine ter tell yoh no mo to-night. 
I se gwine ter bed ; but wat I knows is des dis : 
De way dey gets long, dey goes t dat dar Mr. 
Lawyer an gits dat money Mos* Grif done lef. 
De f us mont dey sholy dus lib high ; de nex 


mont dey sorter scrabbles erlong, an de las 
mont dey sholy is hawd times. Dey ain t no 
use talking, dey sholy is dat ! Now I m des 
gwine in n take a good big jorum of pepsissiway 
for my stummick, u git erlong ter my bed, fore 
de rusters gin ter crow fer mawnin ." And she 
disappeared in the darkness, shaking her head 
and reiterating the refrain, as to the badness of 
those twins. 

The story of Aunt Judy s travels, in so 
far as she vouchsafed to tell them and not 
to resort to fiction or silence her advent 
ures by land and water, by wagon and 
rail, in search of " Mos Grif," spread far and 
wide. The old woman could not set her 
foot outside of the door without a following of 
boys and girls, and, as a faithful historian, it 
would little avail me to omit, also, of men and 
of women, who hooted, stared at and otherwise 
indicated that she was less than human and 
more than curious. She was the pariah of the 
village, albeit LeRoy s fists had done their per 
fect work in that she was no more stoned. But 
she was content so, at least, she asserted and 
not even the longing for Jerry and Ellen and 


those badly-spoiled twins (of whom she never 
tired talking) served to convince her that there 
could be, on all this green earth, any home for 
her except, alone, the one that sheltered " Mos 
Grif an Mis Kath rine an dat blessed baby," 
now grown too large to be a baby longer except 
alone to this loving old aoul, to whom, forever, 
she was " my baby." 



" To thine own self be true." Shakespeare. 

THERE had been a bright side for Griffith 
in all this change, too. New and warm friends 
had been made. He had watched with a feel 
ing of joy the enervating influence of slave 
ownership drop from Beverly s young shoulders 
and upon the other boys he felt that it had 
never cast its blight with a power that would 
outlast early youth. It filled him with pleasure 
to find his sons surrounded in the academy and 
college with the mental atmosphere and influ 
ence of freedom, only. He encouraged them to 
join the debating societies and Greek letter 
orders which admitted discussion of such topics. 
Beverly was now in his Sophomore year and was 
an ardent student of free-soil doctrines. He 
read and absorbed like a fresh young sponge the 
political literature of the time. He was always 


ready and eager to enter the debates of his class 
upon the ever pregnant and always recurring 
slavery extension and compromise bills. The 
young fellows had numerous hot arguments over 
the position of the different statesmen of the 
time, and Stephen A. Douglas furnished Bev 
erly with many a hard hour s thinking. Mr. 
Davenport adhered to Douglas ; but Beverly 
inclined to persistently oppose his point of 
view. When, at last, Douglas had taken the 
side of repeal in that famous measure the 
Missouri Compromise Bill, which had been at 
once the hope and the despair of all the great 
northwest, Beverly no longer hesitated. He 
and his father took different sides, finally and 
forever, in their political opinions. At com 
mencement time, year after year, the governor 
of the State was made the feature of the college 
exercises, and he had several times been the 
guest of Mr. Davenport. This had served to 
draw to the house many politicians whose talks 
had given both stimulus and material to 
Beverly s already ardent political nature, which 
was so fast leading him outside the bounds 
reached by his father. The scope and class of 


his reading often troubled his mother sorely. 
One day she had gone to Griffith in dismay. 
It was so seldom that she felt obliged to crit 
icise this eldest son of hers, upon whom she 
looked with a pride almost beyond words to 
express, that Griffith was astonished. 

" I wish, Griffith, that you would tell Beverly 
not to read this book. It is the second time I 
have told him and he is determined. I burned 
the first copy and he has bought another. He 
says he will buy fifty if I burn them before he 
has read it all. He is that determined to read 
it. I hated to tell you, but " 

Griffith held out his hand for the obnoxious 
book. Then he exclaimed in surprise : " The 
Age of Reason ! Paine s book ! Where did he 
happen to get that ? " He looked over the title 

" I see, I see ! Rights of Man he quoted 
from that in his last essay at college. It was 
good, too excellent. I ve never read either 
one, but oh, tut, tut, mother, why not let him 
read it ? I wouldn t worry over it. Beverly is 
all right. He has got a better mind than you 
have a far better one than I have why not 


let him use it ? Let him read anything he 
wants to. We can t judge for him. He ll be 
all right anyhow. You know that. He and I 
differ in politics now. He is going the radical 
road and I m staying by the old line whigs ; but 
oh, tut, tut, Katherine ! let s not hamper the 
boy s mind with our notions to the extent of 
forcing them on him. It won t do a bit of good 
if we try it either. That s not the kind of a 
mind Beverly has got and suppose it was, what 
right have we to warp and limit its action?" 
He was turning over the leaves. " I ve never 
read this myself." Then looking up suddenly 
" Have you ? " 

" No, of course not ! But my father forbade 
our boys reading it. He said it was a fearful 
book infidel " She broke off, but stam 
mered something about Beverly s salvation. 
Griffith drew her down on his knee. 

" Madam Kath rine," he said, quizzically, " if 
I had followed my father s conscience instead of 
my own, I never would have " he was going 
to say seen her, but he recognized in time that 
that might hurt her "I never would have 
done a good many things that have seemed 


right to me the only right things for my soul. 
So long as Beverly is open and frank and true 
to himself and he has always been that I 
mean to let him alone. I am sure that I found 
a good deal better way for myself than my 
father had marked out for me. Perhaps Bev 
erly will. Suppose we trust him. He has been 
such a good son such a frank fellow; don t 
let us make a pretender of him. Let him read 
what he does openly. You may be very sure if 
it looks wrong to him he won t want to be open 
with it. I don t want to hurt Beverly as my 
father, dear soul, hurt me intending it for my 
own good, of course ; but but can t you trust 
Beverly, Katherine ? I can. And maybe, after 
all, people have not understood this book. 
Leave it here. I believe I ll read it myself." 

Katherine was astonished, but the little talk 
rested and helped her. That night the book 
was on Beverly s table again and nothing was 
said of it. Beverly had joined his father s 
church when he was a little fellow, but since 
he entered college he had seemed to take slight 
interest in it. He was always present at family 
prayers, but said nothing about his religious 


views of late. A year ago he had been repri 
manded, in company with others, by the local 
preacher for attending a social dance. That 
night he said to Roy : " The first time a danc 
ing teacher comes to this town I am going to 
take lessons. Look at those Louisville boys in 
my class and in yours, too. They are twice as 
easy in their manners as any of the rest of us. It 
is their dancing that did it. They told me so." 

" Mr. Brooks will turn you. out of the church 
if you do," said Roy. 

"Father wouldn t," replied Beverly, whis 
tling " and father is good enough for me." 

But, since there had been no opportunity to 
fulfill the threat, the little matter of the social 
dance had blown over, and Beverly was still, 
nominally, a member of the Methodist Church. 

The days passed. The political crash was 
upon the country. Men met only to talk of 
free-soil and slave extension, of union and 
disunion, of repeal, and even, in some quarters, 
of abolition. Young men s blood boiled. In 
Legislature and Congress feeling ran to blows. 
The air was thick and heavy with threats of 
no one knew what. Old friendships were 


broken and new ones strained into real enmity. 
Brothers took different sides. Fathers and 
sons became bitter. Neighbor looked with sus 
picion upon neighbor. College fraternities 
lapsed into political clubs. It was now Bev 
erly s last year. His favorite professor died. 
Griffith noticed that the boy was restless and 
abstracted. One day he came to his father. 

" Father," he said, abruptly, " I don t feel as 
if I ought to waste any more time at college. 
There is a tremendous upheaval just ahead of 
us. Could you would you just as soon I 
should? I ve got an offer with two of the 
other fellows, and I " 

Mr. Davenport recognized in the boy s un 
usual hesitancy of speech an unaccustomed 
quality of unrest and uncertainty. He looked 
over his gold-bowed glasses. 

"Why, what is it, son? Out with it," he 
said, smiling. 

" Well, it s like this : You remember Shap- 
leigh, of the class last year ? Well, you know 
his father owns that little free-soil paper out in 
Missouri that I get every once in a while. It s 
democratic, you know, but free-soil." 


Griffith nodded. " Very good little paper, 
too. Don t fully agree with those last edito 
rials too fiery but a very decent little sheet." 

Beverly was evidently pleased. 

"Well, the old gentleman is tired of the 
fight, and Shap wrote me that if Donaldson and 
I will each put in f> 1,500, his father will turn the 
paper over to the three of us. Shap knows how 
to run the business end of the concern. That s 
what he has done since he was graduated. 
Shap wants me for political editor, mostly. 
He s a red-hot free-soiler, and he knows I am. 
I sent him my last two speeches and he used 
em in the paper. He says they took like wild 
fire ; his constituents liked em first-class. You 
know, I ve always thought I d like to be a 
newspaper man. Think so more than ever 
now. Times are so hot, and there is such a lot 
to be said. They need new blood to the front, 
and " 

Griffith was laughing gently and looking 
quizzically, with lips pursed up, at this ambi 
tious son of his ; but the boy went on : 

" The fact is, father, I ve worried over it all 
this term. I hated to ask you if you could let 


me have the money. It is such a splendid 
chance one of a lifetime, I think. I do wish 
you d let me." 

At last he had fallen into his boyish form of 
speech, and Griffith laughed aloud. 

" Let you ? Let you be an editor of a fiery 
free-soil paper out in Missouri, hey ? The fel 
low that edits a paper out there just now can t 
be made out of very meek stuff, Bev. It won t 
be a nest of roses for any three young birds that 
try it, I reckon. D yeh see that account in the 
Gazette, yesterday, of the mob out there near 
Kansas City ? " 

" Yes, I did ; and that s the very thing that 
decided me to ask you to-day. Of course, 
you d really own the stock. It would only be 
in my name till I could pay you for it, and " 

" Beverly," said his father, gravely, " if 
you ve made up your mind fully to this thing, 
and are sure you know what you want and can 
do, I reckon you don t need to worry over the 
money for the stock. But are you sure you 
want to leave college before you finish ? Isn t 
it a little premature ? " 

He did not hear his son s reply. It came 


suddenly to his mind that this boy of his was 
almost exactly the age that he had been when 
he had tried to argue his own case with the old 
Major. It rushed into his thoughts how hard 
it had been to approach the topic nearest his 
heart, and how cruelly it had all ended. He 
realized, as he often did these days, how boyish 
and immature he must have seemed to his 
father, and yet how tragically old he had felt 
to himself. He wondered if Beverly felt that 
way now. He began to realize that the boy 
was still talking, arguing and planning, al 
though he had not heard. 

"Bev," he said, gently, using the abbrevia 
tion instinctively to make the boy feel the ten 
derness of his intent " Bev, I don t intend to 
argue this thing with you at all." 

Beverly had misunderstood his father s long 
silence and abstraction. The remark confirmed 
his misconception. He arose, disappointed, and 
started for the door. Griffith reached out, 
caught him by the sleeve, and pulled him into a 
chair beside his own. 

" I want to tell you something, Bev. When 
I was about your age maybe a little younger 


I made a request of my father that it had cost 
me a sore trial to make up my mind to ask. 
He well, he didn t take it kindly, and and 
and I left home in a huff ; not exactly a huff, 
either; but, to tell the truth, we succeeded in 
hurting each other sorely. And there wasn t 
the least need of it. It took us both a long 
time to get over the hurt of it. I sometimes 
doubt if we ever did get really all over it. I 
tell you, Beverly, boy, it was a sad, sad blunder 
all around. It darkened and dampened my 
spirits for many a day, and I don t doubt it did 

Griffith was playing idly with a paper-knife 
on the table beside him, and there came a pause 
and a far-off look in his eyes. 

" Oh, father, don t fancy I feel that way I 

don t I wouldn t think " began Beverly, 

eagerly, with a suspicious quaver in his voice. 
To hide it, he arose suddenly. 

" Sit down, son," said Griffith, smiling at the 
boy and taking the hand that rested on the 
table. It was cold. He dropped the paper- 
knife and laid his other hand over his son s. 
" Beverly, you didn t understand me, I reckon " 


he threw one arm about the boy s shoulders 
" I reckon you didn t understand me. I meant 
to say this : I still think my father was wrong. 
Now, if I can help it, I don t want the time to 
ever come, that when you recall your first inde 
pendent effort with me, you will think that 
of me. I ve always intended to try to remem 
ber, when that time came, to put myself in 
your place, and recall my own early struggles 
be nineteen again myself. We will all hate to 
have you go so far away. That will be the 
hardest part for mother and for all of us ; but 
if you have thought it all over seriously " 

" I have, indeed, father for months and 
months. It " 

" Why, all there is to do is for me to look 
into the matter and get that stock for you, and 
see how we can make the change as easy as pos 
sible as " 

The boy was on his feet. He was struggling 
to hide his emotion. Griffith, still holding his 
hand, arose. He drew the boy toward him. 
Suddenly Beverly understood his father s wish. 
He threw both arms about his neck and kissed 
him as he had not done since he was a little fel- 


low. Mr. Davenport held the boy close to his 
breast. Beverly was the taller of the two, but 
the father s form had filled out into portly pro 
portions during these past years and Beverly s 
was very slight. 

" There, there, there ! " exclaimed Griffith, 
presently, blowing a blast upon his handkerchief. 
" What are we two precious fools crying over ? 
Wasting time ! Wasting time ! Better go tell 
your mother all about it and let her get about 
fixing you up to go. Editor Davenport ! " he 
exclaimed, holding the boy at arm s length. 
" Well, well, well ! what next ? Tut, tut, tut, 
tut ! I expect Roy will be wanting to set up a 
law-office or a boxing school in a day or two." 
Roy s exploit with his fists in behalf of Aunt 
Judy had always been a family joke. "But, 
look here, Beverly, I want you to promise me 
you will be mighty careful to keep out of 
trouble out there. It s a hot State just now. 
The times are scorching, and God only knows 
what s in store for the country. Keep out of 
trouble and hasty words, son. Bless me, but I m 
glad it s not Roy ! He d be in trouble before he 
got his first stick set up. They call it a stick, 


don t they ? I ll have to coach up on journalis 
tic language if I m to have an editor for a son. 
The proof of the editorials will be in the read 
ing thereof," he added, smiling at the play upon 
the old saying. " But I stipulate right now 
that you send me every one you write marked 
in red, so I won t have to wade through all the 
other stuff to find yours. If they re as good as 
that last essay of yours at the Delta, I ll be 
proud of you, my boy. Only only don t be 
too radical ! Young blood boils too easy. 
Mine did. Go slow on this question, Bev. It s 
bigger than you think it is. In one form or 
another it has burdened my whole life, and I ve 
never been able to solve it yet for others, for 
others. I solved it for myself as Judy s pres 
ence here proves," he added, laughing. Judy s 
presence and her triumph over the law was a 
family jest, and Roy s fight on her behalf not 
wholly a memory of regret. 

" He fit fur the ould naiger," remarked the 
envious Rosanna, from time to trme, " but it 
would be the rear of me loif, shure, before he d 
do the same, er even so much as jaw back, fer 
the loikes o me ! " 



" I ll stand as if a man were author of himself, 
And knew no other kin." 


SINCE Beverly was a Virginian, and since it 
was well known that at least one of the new 
owners of the paper was from Massachusetts, it 
was deemed wise to have Beverly sign all of 
his editorials where they touched as they 
usually did upon the ever-present, and ever- 
exciting topic of slave extension. The young 
fellows were advised by the original owner 
that the border people were in no mood to 
accept arguments opposed to the opinions of a 
large proportion of the property owners, if they 
supposed these arguments came from persons in 
any way hostile to their interests as all the 
New England people were supposed to be. 
But, he reasoned, if these arguments came 
from the pen of one who had known the iiisti- 


tution of slavery at its best and had loved the 
old order of things where it was an established 
institution and where its roots were, as even 
Beverly believed, in normal earth and not to 
be disturbed if from his pen came the protest 
against its farther extension it was believed 
the natives would accept it in kindness whether 
they agreed with him or not. Beverly still 
adhered to the old order of things for the old 
states. He, like his father, had seen how hard 
it was to be rid of even a small portion of its 
power and its responsibility. 

At the end of the second year of his new 
editorial work Beverly had grown to feel him 
self quite at home with his duties. He had 
made both friends and enemies. The little 
office had become the town s center of debate and 
of political development. The clash of interests 
had come nearer and nearer. The country was 
on the eve of an election excitement such as had 
never before been known. Four parties were in 
the field. The election of either of the two 
radical candidates meant civil war beyond hope 
of evasion. Many still fondly hoped that 
peace was yet possible if but the compromise 


candidates were elected. Mr. Davenport held 
tenaciously to that view. Beverly came out 
openly against it. If it were staved off by com 
promise, he insisted that it was only a matter 
of time when the inevitable would come. He 
argued that it would be best to meet and settle 
the issue once and for all. 

" I shall cast my first presidential ballot for 
that Illinois lawyer who flayed Douglas," he 
wrote to his father. " War is simply inevitable 
now, and he is a fearless and clear-headed 
leader. When the extension party sees that 
he means business, and has the whole North and 
West behind, him the struggle will the sooner 
be over." But Griffith still hoped for peace 
and a compromise, and declared his intention to 
vote for Bell and Everett. " You are simply 
throwing your vote away," wrote Beverly, 
insistently, " and after all you have done and 
suffered because of this thing I am sorry to see 
you do it, father. I d rather see you help other 
people to keep out of the fire that scorched you 
than to silently allow it to be lighted in the states 
that are now free in the new territorial country 


so soon to be states. But what business have 
I to advise you? I m in a position to see it 
better than you are, is my only excuse. I am 
going to vote for Lincoln and work for him with 
all my strength. Things are about as hot as they 
can be out here, I can tell you. I mail my last 
editorial on the subject to-day. A good many 
people here don t half like it, and I ve had to 
buck up to some pretty ugly talk first and last ; 
but we have to follow our consciences, don t 
we ? That s mine, whether they like it or not. 
Lots of love to mother and the boys and Mar 
garet and to Judy, too. And af you plaise, 
me reshpects t Rosanna, shure I 

" P. S. I forgot to say I ll have to postpone 
that visit home for a little while yet, until 
things settle down a bit. We have all we can 
possibly manage at the office now. Shap runs 
the business end of things very well, does the 
hiring and adv. work and all that. Donaldson 
takes all the locals and reporting, and I ve got 
pretty much the whole of the editing to do. I 
sign only the political ones, but I do the other 
stuff on that page and the literary part too. Of 
course both of them do some of these things 


once in a while and if they want to ; but I am 
depended on for it ; so as times are, I ve got to 
be here to meet all these new questions. We 
talk em over and I write em up. It keeps me 
tied, but I like it ; I reckon I was born for the 
business. "We are really making great strides 
for youngsters. The subscriptions have very 
nearly doubled in the two years. Did you 
read the issue of the 24th with my lurid remarks 
on Breakers Ahead ? I believe every word 
of it. I don t believe we are going to pull 
through without a touch of gunpowder. I don t 
intend to fight myself, if I can help it but I 
shall shoot with ink just as long and as strong as 
I can. I believe my postscript is a good deal 
longer than my letter ; but sometimes our after 
thoughts have more in em than the originals, so 
why not add em ? I forgot, too, in my gassing 
about myself, to say how glad I am that Roy is 
doing so well at college now. I shall surely try 
to get home to his graduation in June next, for I 
hope after Lincoln is once in the White House 
(and you see I assume he is going to get there), 
that it won t take long to settle matters down. 
I think by next June I can surely come home 


for a good visit. I doubt, though, if we do 
have a place for Roy to take even then. All 
the places we have to give are rather well, 
they are not in his line and the pay is small. 
The salary list looks pretty big to us on pay 
day, but I reckon it looks slim enough to each 
one of the men who gets his little envelope. 
Now, I believe that is really all I overlooked 
replying to in your last ; only, once more, father, 
do vote for Lincoln and don t throw yourself away 
on that tinkling little Bell. His chances are 
hopeless ; and if they were not, then the country s 
chances would be. Might as well just put 
little Margaret at the helm of a ship. No 
matter how hard she d pull, or how sweetly 
she d smile or how hard she d coax, the ship 
would miss the firm grip needed to steer clear 
of the breakers. There are breakers ahead! 
Lincoln is our only hope for an undivided 
country and the limitation, once and for all, of 
the extension of slaverysure, sure. Again, 

love to all, 


"N. B. I don t often read my letters over, but 
if I hadn t read this one I shouldn t be so ceir 


tain as I am now that if I were my own father 
and should receive this cock-sure piece of advice 
from my eldest hopeful, I d well, I d tan him 
well, verbally. But since I have the good luck 
to be the eldest of the very best and most con 
siderate father in this wide world, I don t expect 
anything of the kind to happen to me ; but if it 
does, I ll swallow it like a little man and take 
my revenge (in a scorching editorial) on some 
other fellow s father who votes for Bell. 

" Meekly, 

" B." 

Mr. Davenport as was his habit read the 
letter aloud to the family, but he smiled anx 
iously at Roy s merry comments. 

" Beverly is in a bad place to be reckless with 
his English, just now. That editorial on 
Breakers Ahead seemed to me to go a good deal 
too far. I m glad he says he will not fight if 
there should be a war which God forbid." 

" I would, then ! " remarked Roy. " I d get 
up a company right here in college. Lots of 
the boys declare they d go." 

Mr. Davenport looked at his son over his gold- 


bowed glasses. There was a suspicious twinkle 
in his eyes and a twitching of the lips. There 
was a long pause before he spoke. This son of 
his had always seemed to Griffith younger than 
he was. 

" How old are you, Roy ? " he asked iij a 
spirit of fun. " You d make a tremendous sol 
dier, now, wouldn t you ? just out of short 

" I m older than Bev. was when he left college. 
I m twenty. Young men make the best soldiers 
anyhow. I heard Governor Morton tell you 
that the last time he was here, and besides " 

" Tut, tut, tut, boy, you attend to your les 
sons ! Twenty ! Is that so, Katherine ? Is 
Roy twenty ? " 

Griffith took his glasses in his hand and held 
them as if he were trying to magnify the boy in 
order to see him, and with his other hand 
tweaked his upper lip as if searching for a 
mustache. Roy accepted the joke and stretched 
himself up to his tallest, and from his inch of 
advantage over his father he put down a patron 
izing hand on Griffith s head and said, " Bless 
you, my children, bless you." Griffith changed 


the direction of his glasses and searched the 
ceiling with that gratified smile fathers have 
when they realize that a son really exceeds them 
in anything. Katherine was laughing at the by 
play of the two. Suddenly Griffith turned to 
his youngest son : " Howard, how old are you ? 
I suppose you will vote this time, and go to war 
and do no end of great and rash things." 

" No, I ll stay at home and nurse the baby. 
That s the kind of a fellow I am," flung back 
this petulant one, and the door banged behind 

" Don t tease Ward," said Katherine. " His 
temper seems to grow faster than he does just 
these last two years, and " 

" Highty-tighty ! He d better take a reef in 
it. If I d behaved that way with my father he 
would have prescribed a little hickory oil. How 
old is Howard ? Fourteen ? Growing too fast 
by half but his temper does seem to keep up 
with the rest of him, I must say. Go and hitch 
up the century plant, Roy. I want to drive 
out to the farm. Want to go long ? Don t. 
Well, do you, Kath rine ? No ? Well, then I 
guess I ll have to take Margaret. She won t go 


back on me like that. It ll do her good and she 
can play with those two peewees of Miller s, 
while he and I look over the stock and drive 
about the place a little. Fan s colt was lame the 
last time I was out. I don t believe the straw 
berry patch is going to do well this year, either. 
Did I tell you what a fine fat calf the brindle s 
is ? You d laugh to see it. It winks at you 
exactly as if it understood a joke." 

The old phaeton otherwise the " century 
plant " dashed up to the door. The combina 
tion was especially incongruous. Hitched to it 
was a great, gray, fiery Arabian stallion. The 
one-time circuit rider had not lost his love for a 
good horse, and his little stock farm on the out 
skirts of the town was the joy of his life. He 
sadly missed the beautiful valley of his youth, 
but at least these fields were his. No blue 
mountains loomed up in the distance, but the 
beech and maple trees were luxuriant. Mount 
ain stream and narrow pass there were not, but 
a pebbly brook, in which were minnows, ran 
through the strip of woods, and Griffith still 
enjoyed the comradeship of bird and beast and 
fish. He had named the stallion Selim, after 


the love of his youth, and no one dared drive 
him but himself. He took up the lines and 
called back to Roy as Selim dashed off, " I ll 
leave Selim and bring Fannie in, so your mother 
and you can drive to-morrow. Bye, Howard! 
Be a good boy ! " he called, as he caught a 
glimpse of the boy at the corner of the house. 
" So ll the devil be a good boy ! Just wait 
till that war comes ! They ll see ! " he growled, 
as the " century plant " disappeared. There 
floated back on the air, " Joy to the world, te, 
te, turn, turn. Yea, yea, there, Selim ! Whoa ! 
Yea ! yea ! Let earth receive her King ! Te, te, 
turn." The " century plant " and Selim disap 
peared around the corner, and the fife and drum 
corps which had startled the horse, drowned all 
other sounds, and for Howard, all other thoughts. 
He did not stop to reach the gate. He vaulted 
over the fence and joined the procession and the 
refrain of the school-boys who gave words to the 
music " on a rail ! Arid we ll ride old Abe, 
and we ll ride old Abe, and we ll ride him to 
the White House on a rail ! " The boy dropped 
into the step and the rhythm, with a will. He 
forgot to be sullen. 



" The shears of destiny." Shakespeare. 

WAR, ! war ! war ! The great election was 
over. The bitterness of faction and of section 
had only intensified. The inevitable had at last 
come. Mobs, riots, and confusion followed 
threats, and at last the shot that struck Fort 
Sumter echoed in every village and hamlet in 
the country. The beginning of the struggle with 
arms to adjust the differences between two irre 
concilable doctrines two antagonistic social and 
economic policies had culminated. The adjust 
ment must, indeed, now come. " Seventy-five 
thousand troops for three months ! " The Presi 
dent s call rang out, and almost before the echo 
died away the quota was full. The young, the 
adventurous, and the hot-headed, supplemented 
the patriotic and sprang into line. To these it 
was to be a three months camping-out lark. Of 


course the South would back down at the show 
of armed strength and firm resistance to dis 
union. The martial spirit, the fighting instinct 
inherent in the race that legacy from our brute 
ancestry was fanned into flame like fire in a 
summer wind. College classes were depleted. 
Young lads hastened to force themselves into 
the ranks. Drum and fife and bugle sounded in 
every street. LeRoy Davenport was one of the 
first to enlist. The company of college boys 
elected him their second lieutenant, and they 
left at once for Camp Morton to be ready to 
march to the front at the first order for troops 
from the west. He looked very fine and sol 
dierly and handsome in his uniform, and with the 
straps upon his shoulders. Beverly wrote that 
he should stick to his editorial chair. He slept 
in the office, to be ready to receive and write 
up every scrap of news the moment it came. 
He wrote a series of fiery editorials, denouncing 
the " outrage on the flag at Fort Sumter." An 
anonymous letter was pushed under his office- 
door warning him to desist. He published the 
letter and appended to it a more vigorous article 
than before. That night, as he lay on the bed 


in the little back room of the office, he thought 
he detected a strange odor. He went softly to 
the window and looked out. The moon was 
just rising on the river. His little row-boat, in 
which his fishing and pleasure trips were taken, 
bobbed idly up and down on the waves just 
under the corner of the building. The strange 
odor grew stronger and more distinct in char 
acter. He began to suspect that he understood 
it. He opened the door into the front room and 
passed on to the compositors room. He was 
sure now that it was the smell of smoke and oil- 
soaked cloth. His first impulse was to open the 
front door and shout fire, but he remembered 
Lovejoy s fate and paused. He stepped to the 
front window and turned the old slats of the 
heavy green blinds so that he could see out into 
the narrow street. There were three forms 
crouching near the door. He thought he saw 
the gleam of steel. Flames had begun to creep 
under the door and from the compositors room. 
Suddenly the flimsy pine partition burst into a 
sheet of flame. He knew that to open the front 
door was to meet death at the hands of desper 
adoes. He caught up the only implement of 


defense he saw a pair of great, sharp, clipping- 
shears, and started for the door. He intended, 
at least, to mark his man so that others could 
deal with him afterward. Suddenly he remem 
bered that he could drop from the back window 
into the river. If they had not taken his oars 
he could escape. The room was as light as day 
now, and he knew that to hesitate was to be lost. 
He dropped the curious weapon he had in his 
hand, and ran to the back room. The only rope 
there was the support of the old-fashioned bed. 
He hastily unwound it and fastened it to the 
bed-post nearest the window. He wanted to 
make the drop as short as possible, lest the 
splash of the water attract the men from the 
front of the house. He smiled when he climbed 
into the boat and found the oars safely in its bot 
tom. In an instant he was pulling gently, softly, 
slowly out into the stream. He could almost 
hear the beating of his own heart. Then in the 
moonlight a shot rang out on the clear air, and 
a sharp crack, as the ball struck the side of the 
boat, told him that he was discovered. No need 
for caution now ! Need only for haste and 
strength ! He pulled with all his young vigor 


with the stroke of an accustomed hand. The 
sky was livid with the flames from his burning 
office the dream and hope of his first manhood 
was melting before his eyes. " God damn em ! " 
he said, between his set teeth, as two more shots 
followed him, " they won t dare stay longer now 
and I m out of range. God damn em ! " He 
let the oars fall by his side. He could see num 
bers of men running about now, shouting, swear 
ing, vainly trying to check the flames. Some 
one yelled, " Shoot again, he s in that skiff ! " 

He heard and understood that the victim 
was being made out the culprit. The would-be 
assassins were covering retreat. He de 
cided that it would not be safe to pull back 
to the Missouri side just then. He would 
land on the Kansas shore. Morning found him 
near a small village. He landed and made his 
way directly to the newspaper office. It was 
one of his own exchanges, and a free-soil paper 
like his. He told his story, and the editor made 
a lurid article out of it and called for his towns 
men to gather in a public meeting. He issued 
an extra, and Beverly was the hero of the hour. 
Rough frontiersmen some of whom had seen 


his paper looked at the slender stripling and 
volunteered to cross the river and " clean out 
the town." They called on Beverly for a 
speech. They were bent upon making him a 
leader. The war fever was in the frontier 
blood. He began his speech in a passion of 
personal feeling, but ended in an appeal for 
volunteers, " not to fight my battle, not to 
avenge my wrong, not to repair my loss, but to 
fight this great battle for liberty and freedom 
in the great northwest ! It seems we will 
have to fight for the freedom of speech and 
press, as well as for free soil ! I will be frank : 
I had not intended to enlist in this war. I had 
hoped to do more good by argument than I 
could hope to do by arms. I had hoped to see 
the end of it at the end of the three months 
for which the President called for troops ; but 
I do not stand on that ground any longer. 
Yesterday, as you all know, there was issued a 
new call for five hundred thousand more men ! 
I want, now, to be one of the first of those, and 
I shall enlist for three years or for ten years or 
as long as this war lasts ; and I don t want to 
come out of it alive if I have got to come out 


into a country where free speech is throttled 
and a free press burned up ! I shall enlist, I 
tell you, and since I had to fly to Kansas for 
protection, I hope that Kansas will enroll me as 
her son, and if it may be, as her very first 
volunteer ! " 

The idea took the fancy of his listeners. 
" Raise a regiment ! " " I ll go with you ! " 
" Three cheers for the editor ! " 

They were given with a will, and the enthu 
siasm for himself put a new idea into his head. 

"I am only twenty-three years old," he said 
laughing, " and not much bigger than the right 
arm of some of you great, fine, muscular fellows ; 
but if you are willing to trust me, I would ask 
nothing better than to take the lead of such a 
body of men. If enough of you will enlist here 
and now, I ll go with you as private or as 
captain. Ill take the lead and the responsibility, 
or I ll follow any better qualified man you may 
name, and we ll go up to the capital and offer 
ourselves as the first Kansas volunteers for this 


l " 

Almost before he had spoken the words 

cheer after cheer rent the air. Men signified 


their willingness to enlist, and before night on 
the first day he had spent on Kansas soil he 
found himself marching toward the capital at 
the head of one hundred determined, rough, 
strong, fearless frontiersmen to ask for a com 
mission as their captain, and for arms and ammu 
nition for his men. 

Mr. Davenport was surprised that day to re 
ceive this dispatch : 

"Am elected Captain, Company A. First 
Kansas Vols. Will write. 


They could not imagine at home why Bev- 
erley should be in a Kansas company, but when 
the Gazette came that night with an account of 
the burning of the obscure newspaper-office out 
in Missouri, they understood, and Katharine felt 
faint and sick when she realized that two of her 
boys had gone to fight against her people. She 
knew that her own brothers and nephews would 
all be on the other side, and that Griffith s were 
there too. Griffith had gone with Roy s com 
pany to Camp Morton and had sorrowfully con- 


Bented to his enlistment ; but if war there must 
be and if his son must go, Griffith felt that he 
was on the right side. He held back, himself, 
from the idea that fighting was necessary, even 
yet. At the very worst, it would all be over 
very soon, he thought, and he hoped and believed 
that a few demonstrations of determination on 
the part of the Government would undoubtedly 
settle the matter without any real or serious fight 
ing. He was unalterably opposed to a division of 
the Union, and he believed that the South would 
see its mistake on that question and reconsider 
it. But as State after State seceded, his perplex 
ity deepened. He and Katherine had all these 
years kept up a fond and constant correspondence 
with the old home friends and kinsmen, several 
of whom, from time to time, had visited them. 
All these had felt that Griffith had made a 
grievous mistake in following the course he had 
taken, but until now no real bitterness had result 
ed. Now, all letters ceased. They had heard, 
somehow, in the old home, that Griffith s sons 
had enlisted in the Union army to fight against 
them ! That was more than they could bear. 
Even before the line of communication was 


finally closed against letters, theirs had ceased 
to come and Katherine understood. Many a 
night she sobbed herself to sleep. 

" How terrible this all is, Griffith ! How ter 
rible ! Why should they fight over it ? Why 
don t they let the slave states go, if they want 
to, and be one government, and the others be free 
states and another government as Canada and 
we are, or as Mexico and we ? " 

Griffith had tried to explain the difficulties 
and the inevitable clashing of interests that 
would be forever resulting the constant and 
eternal clashing. He pointed out that no 
country would allow itself to be divided. He 
read to her long arguments in support of the 
maintenance of the Union ; but she said : 

" Yes, I see it is desirable if all want it so ; 
but if they do not, why why I wouldn t fight 
to compel them to stay with me if they want to 
go. You never do that way with your children, 
Griffith, you know you don t. You never did try 
to conquer one of them and force him to think 
your way. You always felt that way about free 
ing the slaves, too. You said you did not judge 
for other people only for yourself. And when 


you saw how terribly hard it was to do it, and 
that most people could not do as you did even if 
they wanted to you always said that you did 
not blame them in the least." 

" I say so yet. I know all that ; but govern 
ments are very different. Some one has got to 
decide for others. If they didn t, everything 
would go to smash in very short order. I sup 
pose I am a good deal of a coward. I can t bear 
to judge for other people. But I do believe in 
maintaining this government at any and all cost 
but I d leave slavery alone in the South. I 
wouldn t let it spread. That is Lincoln s policy 
now. He said so in his message his inaugural. 
If it will stay where it is, he says he won t 
disturb it and that suits me ; but if it will 
not " 

" Well, it won t," put in Howard. " I heard 
Governor Morton say so in his speech last night. 
He said that this fight had all along been really 
to extend and not to retain slavery, and when that 
was lost then the South proposed to smash the 
Union. That s exactly what he said ; but, We ll 
rally round the flag, boys, we ll rally once again, " 
he sang, and banged the door behind him. 


That night Howard disappeared. He had run 
away, sworn that he was eighteen years old and 
enlisted under another name, as a gunner in a 
battery ! It was ten days before a trace of him 
was found. Then he was on his way to the 
front whence news had come thick and fast of 
skirmishes, battles and tremendous preparations 
for a terrible and bloody struggle. Excitement 
was at fever heat. The streets were crowded 
with soldiers and echoed with martial music 
night and day. War, indeed, was upon them, 
and fair July was here. 




IN Washington, on the twentieth of July, 
1861, expectation ran high. A decisive, and 
it was hoped a final blow was to be struck on 
the following day. Large numbers of troops 
had passed through the city and been massed 
thirty miles away. A great battle was immi 
nent. Both armies had recently won small 
victories. Both were jubilant. For the most 
part the soldiers in these two opposing camps 
were raw recruits. They sang and joked and 
played tricks on each other. To both, war was 
a mere name yet, a painted glory, a sabred, 
gold-laced parade before admiring, cheering 
crowds. The Confederates knew every step of 
the ground. To their opponents it was an un 
known land into which they had been marched ; 
rugged, broken country, the like of which the 
most of them had never before seen. Raw and 


untried they were on both sides, but the lack of 
knowledge of the topography of the location of 
pass and defile, of ford and of stream gave to the 
Union troops (when they had deigned to think 
of it at all) a certain feeling of insecurity and 
uneasiness. Still no one doubted for a moment 
the outcome. The battle would be fought and 
won, and glory would be carried home on every 
Union bayonet. Civilians drove out to camp 
from the city, and from distant hilltops were 
prepared to witness the battle. A martial dis 
play like this may not be seen through field- 
glasses every day. Early in the day cannonad 
ing had been heard. More citizens started for 
the scene of action. There were intervals of 
comparative silence, and then again the boom of 
cannon and the rattle of muskets told the 
distant audience that hostilities w r ere on that 
neither side had finally yielded. Later a 
number of citizens drove furiously across the 
Long Bridge with the news that the Northern 
troops were retreating toward the city. Then 
word came that they had rallied, but citizens 
deserted their posts of observation and rode 
rapidly toward town. They reported the 


Southern troops as fighting fiercely, but it was 
thought they were about to yield. They could 
not hold out much longer against the murderous 
fire of the Union men. Suddenly a flying 
horseman with livid face and white lips sped 
through the streets. It was a messenger from 
the front! He was making straight to the 
White House ! The Northern troops were in 
full retreat! People looked at each other in 
dismay. Surely they would rally ! They 
would not come to the city ! They were only 
falling back ! They would form and attack 
again ! People told each other these things 
and turned pale. The streets began to be filled 
with returning civilians. No one stopped. 
Every one pushed on toward home or to the Cap 
itol. Another foam-flecked horse dashed in. 
The rider had on a uniform, dirty, begrimed and 

" The Northern troops have broken ranks ! 
They are fleeing, horse and foot, in one mass of 
disorganized panic-stricken humanity, pursued 
by a murderous fire from a jubilant, victory- 
intoxicated enemy ! The officers could not 
rally them ! It is a panic ! " No need to 


question the facts. Look at the distant hills. 
Watch the approaches. See the succession of 
dispatch bearers fly past to the White House ! 
" It is only a retreat ! They will rally ! " 
called back one rider only to be contradicted by 
the next. " It is not a retreat ! It is a panic ! 
They have broken ranks. Men are flying 
madly. Guns, ammunition, everything that 
hinders speed have been thrown away ! Each 
man is flying to save himself ! Washington is 
in danger ! " 

The climax had indeed come. The dismay 
knew no bounds. What next? Must the 
President escape ? Where should he go ? If 
he left, what could Congress do ? Must all fly ? 
Where ? Would the enemy invade Washing 
ton ? Was the Northern army really so dis 
organized, so demoralized? In the name of 
God ! what could it all mean ? People all 
asked questions. There was no one to answer 
them no one but the stragglers who began to 
come in. Were the brave fellows who had so 
gallantly and cheerfully marched out not brave 
after all ? Were they outnumbered ? Were 
there no reinforcements ? What was the solu- 


tion ? They had not long to wait. A handful 
of horsemen, shame-faced and hesitant, then 
worn out and hard-driven teams began to appear 
at the far end of the Long Bridge. All Wash 
ington took to its housetops. Anxious faces 
watched for some approaching line. None 
came ; but the Long Bridge was gorged with a 
struggling mass of horse, foot and ordnance. 
There was no pretense of a line of march. 
Each man fled by and for himself. Twilight 
saw the streets filled with men in soiled and 
torn uniform; uniform which had but just 
marched out fresh and resplendent. Sullen 
replies greeted questions. 

" By God, we didn t know where we were ! 
Officers didn t know any more n we did." 

" Had us in a pocket ! " 

" Gad, we was lost didn t know the way in 
ner out ! Try it yerself ." 

"Willin t fight but not willin t go it 
blind like that." Ambulances, limping footmen, 
infantry, cavalry, ordinance and supply wagons 
crowded and jostled and swore and cursed each at 
the other. Each struggled for place in advance. 
The Long Bridge, the Aqueduct Bridge, the 


Chain Bridge, all were one mad scene of confu 
sion. The terrified men saw the dome of the 
Capitol and their aim was to reach it by the 
nearest route. The thought of the unknown 
country had been to them a nightmare from 
which escape was their only desire. All night 
the ghastly spectacle was kept up. No one 
slept. No one knew what to expect on the 
morrow, Would the city be bombarded from 
the heights beyond? Would it be shelled 
and burned ? Would these panic-stricken men 
rally ? Could they be depended upon, or was 
the fright now so in their blood that they would 
refuse to form in line again and obey com 
mands? Could they be relied upon? Penn 
sylvania avenue was lined with tired, terrified, 
and wounded men. Churches were turned into 
hospitals. Nobody slept. Surgeons were 
everywhere. More wounded kept coming in. 
Surgeons from Baltimore, .from Philadelphia, 
and even from New York responded to tele 
grams. Special trains rushed in. Washington 
was one mad whirl of fright and dismay ! 
Next morning the whole country was electrified 
by the terrible news. " Extra ! stra ! stro ! 


Extra ! all bout terrible defeat m-m-m- ion 
troops ! stra ! stra ! stro ! " In every town 
and hamlet in the country on every table 
there was spread the awful news on the morning 
of July 22. Men began to take on another 
look. This, indeed, was serious ! What was 
to be done ? Reserve troops were started 
without delay from camp and home. Excite 
ment was at fever heat. Would the fresh 
troops arrive in time ? Could Washington 
hold out ? Must the President fly ? Another 
kind of question bore hard upon many a house 
hold. Who was killed ? Who wounded ? 
Who missing ? People looked into each other s 
eyes and feared to ask or to speak of this ques 
tion nearest their hearts. 

Roy Davenport s regiment was ordered to the 
front. Henceforth camp life would be no pic 
nic. They could be boys no longer. Men were 
needed at the front. Beverly s company had 
some time since joined the troops in the South 
west and was in the field. The battery in which 
Howard acted as gunner was with Sherman in 
the far South. For the first time the seriousness 
of the situation was borne home to the whole 


North. To feel that Washington was really 
in danger gave a new meaning to defeat. Why 
had the Northern troops met such a fearful dis 
aster? Before this they had won in almost 
every contest, but this was worth all the rest to 
the South so near was it to Washington so near 
to Richmond. The two capitals faced each 
other like gladiators, and the first serious blow 
had fallen with crushing force upon the Union 
champions. If Washington fell the Confederacy 
was sure of foreign recognition of success. 

Griffith had a long talk with Governor Morton 
when he went to see Roy s regiment off. When 
he came home he was pale and anxious. There 
was a new trouble on his heart. He did not 
tell Katherine that Morton had urged him to 
volunteer his services to the Government as a 
guide through the passes and denies of his 
native State. 

" Your knowledge of that country would be 
simply invaluable. It would prevent any such 
disaster as this again. Panics like this ruin an 
army. It will take months to recover from such 
a rout even if nothing worse comes of it. The 
moral effect is simply fatal. You are a Union 


man and you know every foot of that country. 
Our generals don t. They are afraid to risk 
getting their men into a pocket and losing their 
whole command. You can help. The main 
battle-ground is bound to be Virginia ; we can 
accomplish nothing of value until we know and 
feel secure on that soil until the State is an 
open book to us. Let me wire the President 
that you will. Let " 

Griffith held up his hand. 

" I cannot ! I cannot ! " he said. " It is my 
old State ; I love it and my people. I have 
done enough for my country. I have done my 
share. I have given my property, my friends, 
my home, and now my three boys all, all I have 
given for my conscience and my country s sake. 
Surely I have done my whole duty, I will not 
betray my State ! I will not ! " 

Over and over the Governor had returned to 
the attack only to receive the same reply. Day 
after day he argued with Griffith, and still ill 
news came from the front. The army of the 
Potomac seemed paralyzed after its repulse. 
The real gravity of the situation was, for the 
first time, borne in upon both the military and 


the political mind. If the great foreign powers 
recognized the Confederate government, the Re 
public was lost. If Washington fell, that recogni 
tion was assured and still " all was quiet on the 

The middle of July the wires had flashed the 
news of the defeat of the Confederates at Boon- 
ville, Missouri, by Lyons men. Beverly had 
been there, and had written the full account 
home. Then he was at Carthage, and was full 
of fight and enthusiasm. After his account of 
the battle at Carthage, he had other things to 
tell. " I didn t get a scratch either place, but 
the day after the last fight I did get a lot of fun 
out of it. I suppose you won t be able to see 
how there could be any fun in the situation. 
Well, I ll tell you one or two things. One of 
my men showed the white feather, and we were 
thinking of court-martialing and making an 
example of him. I made up my mind to give 
Hartman (that was the fellow s name, Bill Hart- 
man) a chance to tell me privately his side of 
the story. Says I, Bill, I ve asked all your 
neighbors here in camp if you were a coward at 
home, and they a}l say you were not only brave, 


but you had proved it many a time. Now, I 
want to save you this court-martial if I can, and 
I want you to tell me your side of it. How did 
it happen ? 

" Wetl, said he, transferring his quid of to 
bacco to his other cheek, Cap, it s this a-way. I 
can t seem t jest stand right up an shoot a fel 
ler I ain t had no words with. I want to pick 
out my man when I kill him, an I want t kinder 
have a quah l with him fust. I can t seem t 
jest stand right up an kill a man I ain t had no 
words with. I can t do it, somehow er nother, 

" I don t know how I m going to manage to 
get Bill into a quah l with some special Reb 
before the next fight, and then make sure he ll 
get a chance to pop at that particular one in 
action ! We ll have to get up some scheme, I 
suppose. Bill is too good a soldier to be ham 
pered and to have his usefulness impaired by a 
simple want of a feeling of personal revenge ! 
I reckon if the truth were told, though, we all 
fight a good deal better if we have that stimu 
lant. Another ludicrous thing happened the 

other day. I was sent out, just with an orderly, 


to see if I could learn anything of the move 
ments of the enemy. We had on citizens 
clothes, and we jogged along until we were 
within field-glass distance of Harris s camp. He 
is an old West Pointer and a tactician. I ve 
heard that they call him Old Logistics and 
Strategy and I must say if his advice in the 
Senate had been followed last winter we d have 
had a mighty poor show here now. But when 
we got where we thought we could see some 
thing, quite a shower came up and our glass 
was no use. Under the cover of the rain I 
ventured a good deal closer ; and, if you ll be 
lieve me, his command were sitting on their 
horses, drawn up in line, with umbrellas raised ! 
The absurdity of the thing nearly knocked my 
pins from under me. I only wished I could get 
near enough to see the effect on Old Logistics 
when he should emerge from his tent and he a 
West Pointer ! But you don t need to make 
any mistakes about their fighting these natives. 
We ve found that they will fight to the death, 
but they ve got their own ideas on the subject 
of soldiering in the meantime. Most of em 
carry their powder in a pouch, and it needs to be 


kept dry ! It was the very funniest thing I ever 
saw, though. The rain came down in such tor 
rents I couldn t get an idea how many there 
were, but, from the way they fought us next day, 
I made up my mind there must be pretty close 
to a million and they didn t use umbrellas to 
protect themselves, either ! They took our storm 
of shot cooler than they did the rain in camp, 
and they fought like demons. Of course, their 
equipments don t compare with ours. Most of 
them have their old home guns no two alike. 
But a good lot of our boys are carrying around 
some of their ammunition inside of them just 
now, all the same. One of the prisoners we 
took a straggler told us that none of his 
command are regularly enlisted. They are 
afraid to enlist ; say that Old Logistics is a 
reg lar, and, if they enlist and then don t 
do just his way, he ll court-martial them. 
They argue that, if they don t regularly enlist, 
he can t do anything to them. They are ready 
and eager to fight, but they don t propose to 
be subject to regular discipline in the in 
tervals. This fellow says half of the command 
go home nights to their farms and stores and 


return at dawn the next morning. I think he 
is lying about the numbers who do, but I don t 
doubt that some do. He vows he is telling the 
cold fact. Fancy the humor of commanding an 
army under umbrellas, who go home nights to 
milk the cows ! But undertake to fight em, 
and there is no laugh left. That is not their 
comic side. We have orders to move in the 
morning and are all ready. I will let you hear 
again the moment we stop." 

Before this letter of Beverly s reached home 
the telegraphic news of the battle of Wilson s 
Creek filled the papers. Beverly s name ap 
peared among the wounded : " Seriously, not 
fatally Captain Beverly Davenport; shot in 
three places while covering retreat after General 
Lyon fell. Young Captain Davenport s men 
did good service. His command lost heavily." 
No further news came. Griffith telegraphed, 
but could get no reply. 

" You must go and bring him home," said 
Katherine. " I cannot bear this suspense any 

She had grown pale and hollow-eyed in these 
few days of anxiety. Griffith went. He found 


Beverly doing well, but a ball had gone through 
his sword-arm and two others were imbedded in 
his flesh. His horse had fallen beneath him 
and he had had to walk on the wounded leg, 
and had lost much blood. He looked weak and 
thin. His orderly had written home for him, 
but the letter had never come. Griffith urged 
him to go home and recuperate, but he would 
not listen to the proposition. Griffith wrote 
home to Katherine and then waited. The com 
mand was ordered to move, and still Beverly 
was not able to go with it. The commander 
ordered him to go home until able to report for 

He was a sensation in the village. He was 
the first handsome young wounded officer to re 
turn. Alas ! they were plenty enough later on ; 
but now his limp and his arm suspended in a 
sling made him a hero, indeed. Many were the 
demonstrations in his honor. The Governor 
came to see him, and strove again to convince 
Griffith that he, too, was needed at the front. 
" I have told President Lincoln about you," he 
said. " You can see for yourself what the army 
in Virginia is doing ever since Bull Run 


nothing at all. Those two defeats Bull Run 
and Ball s Bluff stopped them off entirety. 
Action that will be effective is simply impos 
sible without knowing the lay of the land. 
Northern men don t know it, and we can t trust 
Southern men to tell the truth, of course, 
about it. The rebels know that perfectly well, 
and they bank on it. They keep their best and 
strongest generals, and men who know the 
State like a book, right there between Washing 
ton and Richmond. It won t do to let it be 
generally known, for that would put panic into 
our troops when they are tried next ; but there 
is not a soul the President can trust who knows 
those passes and denies and fords. Captain, I 
hope you know them. I don t believe you will 
refuse to go any place you are needed. As a 
recruit an enlisted man you can t refuse." 

" Go," said Beverly ; " go ! why of course I 
would if I knew the country as father does, but 
I don t. You see father used to be a circuit- 
rider. He knows every foot of it as if it were 
his front yard, but I would know only a few 
miles near where we lived. I was only a boy 
then. It is a hard country to learn. Passes 


are many and blind. Fords change it takes a 
native and an expert to feel safe with them. If 

I " He turned suddenly to his father in 

his enthusiasm. " Why don t you go, father ? 
If the President wants you if your country 

needs you, why " He saw the look that 

crept into his father s face, and he understood. 
The young fellow limped to his father s side 
and laid his left hand on his shoulder. 

" Father has done enough," he said, looking 
at the Governor. " Do not ask him to do this. 
He fought his battle before the North came to 
it. He has borne and suffered enough, Gov 
ernor. Father is a Virginian, blood, bone, and 
ancestry. He loves his people and his old home. 
We boys don t remember it as he does, but to 
him to him, it will always be home. They 
will always be his people." 

" Unless it is desperate and I am ordered, I 
shall not go," said Griffith, looking up almost 
defiantly. " You need not ask me again, Gov 
ernor. I have done my share. I have done 
more for my country and my conscience than 
many men will be called upon to do I have 
done my share." 


The Governor gave it up, but he did not for 
get one phrase, " unless it is desperate unless 
I am ordered." That night he started for 
Washington, and a week later Beverly returned 
to his command and to duty in the field. 




ONE evening Griffith sat by the library table 
reading, and Katherine was. moving about the 
room restlessly. For several days no news had 
come from the front no home news, no letters 
from the absent sons. The door leading to the 
porch was open and suddenly there stood before 
them a messenger with a telegram. Katherine 
grew weak and sick. Griffith tore the envelope 
open and read. She watched his face. Every 
vestige of blood had left it, and his head sank on 
his arms crossed on the table before him. The 
telegram was crushed in one hand. A groan 
escaped him, and then a sob shook his frame. 

" Which one is it ? Which one of my boys is 
killed ? Which which one ? " cried Katherine. 
She tried to loosen the hand that clasped the 
message, but he held it crushed, and when he 


lifted his head tears were streaming down his 
cheeks. He tried to reassure her. " It is not 
that" he said, hoarsely. " They the boys are 

all right, but they have ordered me ." He 

relaxed his grasp, and his head sank again on 
his arms. 

She took the message and read : 

" Washington, D. C. 
" Report here immediately. 


For a moment Katherine seemed stunned. 
She did not comprehend. Then she seemed to 
rise far above her normal stature. 

" You shall not go ! " she said. Her eyes 
blazed. Her hands hung by her sides, but they 
were clenched until the nails sank into the 
flesh. The tigress in her was at last aroused. 
" You shall not go ! How dare he ? With 
three of my boys in the army now ! With us 
reduced to this ! " She had never complained 
of the change in her style of living, but she 
flung out the contemptuous fire within her as 
she stretched out her arms to indicate the sim 
plicity of her surroundings. " With this in 


exchange for what we had! With every tie 
broken ! With every luxury and comfort gone ! 
Separated from even the negroes that loved us 
and begged to come with us ! How dare they 
ask for further sacrifice from us ! How dare 

Griffith s head lifted slowly. He looked at 
her in dismay. Was this the patient, compliant 
wife who had willingly given up her fortune and 
her home to satisfy his conscience ? Was this 
the silent, demure, self-controlled Katherine 
this very tall, angry woman ? She looked like 
a fury unchained. She took a step nearer to 

" You shall not go ! " she repeated, and the 
astonished messenger-boy fled in affright, as she 
suddenly threw both arms about Griffith and 
began to sob convulsively. 

Griffith held her to his breast, which heaved 
and choked him. It seemed to him that he 
could not speak. At last he whispered softly : 
" I must go, Katherine. It is an order from the 
President. I will have to go to Washington." 
He had not finished speaking until he felt her 
form begin to shrink and collapse in his grasp. 


Her eyes half closed, half opened again, then 
closed and a ghastly pallor spread itself over her 
face. For the first time in her life Katherine 
had fainted. His first thought was that she was 
dead. A great wave of fear and then of self-re 
proach swept over him. He sat staring in the 
ghastly face. 

" I have sacrificed her very life to my con 
science," he moaned aloud. " I had no right to 
do that ! God help me ! God forgive me ! 
What is it right to do ? Can we never know 
what is right ? " He was holding her in his 
arms, with his own face upturned and staring 
eyes. " God help me ! God help me ! What 
is it right to do ? " he moaned again. 

" Fo de good Lawd on high, Mos Grif, what 
de matter wif Mis Kate ? What de mattah wif 
all two, bofe of yoh ? " exclaimed Aunt Judy. 
" I done see dat little rapscallion what brung de 
telegraf letter run fo deah life, an he yell back 
dat Mis Kate done gone crazy, an " 

Judy had hobbled to his side, and her old 
eyes were growing used to the changed light. 
She saw his tear-stained face and Katherine s 
lifeless form in his arms. 


" Is Mis Kate daid, Mos Grif ? " she asked, 
in an awed voice. 

" I have killed her," he said, like one in a 
dream, looking at the old woman as to one who 
could be relied on to understand. Katherine s 
eyelids began to move. They slowly lifted 
and closed again. The old woman saw it first. 

" Mos Grif, wat fo yoh tell me dat kine er 
talk? Mis Kate, she ain t daid. She s des 
foolin . Yoh ain t hu tted, is yoh, honey ? " she 
cooed, stroking Katherine s hair. " Nobody 
ain t hu tted yoh, is dey, Mis Kate? No 
body " 

" Get some water quick, quick ! " said Grif 
fith, and struggled to the couch with his bur 
den. He knelt beside her and stroked her 
forehead and chafed her hands. He could not 
speak, but he tried to control his distorted feat 
ures, that she might not understand might not 
remember when she should open her eyes. 

" Heah some wattah, honey. Des yoh take a 
big sup. Hit gwine ter do yoh good. Dar, 
now, I gwine ter lif yoah haid. Now, den, yoh 
des lay des dat away, an Aunt Judy gwine ter 
run an git dat rabbit foot ! Dat gwine ter cuah 


yoh right off. It is dat. Dey ain t no doctah in 
dis roun worl kin cuah yoh like wat dat kin 
let erlone one er dese heah Yankee doctahs ! 
Hit fotch me to you alls dat time wat yoh 
runned away, an hit fetch dem roses back to 
yoah cheeks, too. Dat hit kin ! " 

She hobbled off to her loft to find her precious 
talisman, and Griffith softly closed and locked 
the door behind her. Katherine lay so still he 
thought she had fallen asleep. He could see 
her breathing. He went to his seat beside the 
couch and gently fanned her pale face. The 
color had come again in the lips. Presently he 
went softly across the room and took up the 
crumpled message from the floor, where she had 
dropped it. 

" Report here immediately. 


There could be no mistake about that. It 
was a command from the President, imperative, 
urgent. He sank into the chair again, and his 
head fell on his folded arms on the table. His 
lips were moving, but there was no sound. At 
last he was conscious of a light tapping on the 


window. He was surprised to find that it was 
dark. He crossed the room to find Rosanna 
outside with a tray. 

" Shure, an Oi troied both dures, an not a 
sound did Oi git. Tis long phast yer tay 
toime, an not a pick have ye et nayther wan 
av yez. The ould nayger s done fed the baby 
an put her t bed. Shure, an she s a-galavantin 
round here thryin the dures an windeys, 
flourishm the f ut av a bunnie, be jabbers ! She 
says tis what yez wants fer yer health ; but, sez 
Oi, viddles is what they wants, sez Oi an here 
they be." 

Griffith opened the door. 

" Is it wan av the young maisthers kilt, 
shure ? " she whispered, as she put the tray 

Griffith shook his head. 

" Well, thanks be t Almoighty God an all 
the blished saints ! Oi feared me it was the 
young maisther an shure an ye d go fur and 
not foind the loikes av him agin. He looked 
just simply ghrand in his ossifer s uniforum. 
Yez moight say ghrand ! Shure an nobody else 
could match up wid im! He looked that 


rehspectable ! An the schape av im ! " She 
threw up her hands and admired the absent 
Beverly. " The schape av im ! Yez moight 
say ! He shurely do become them soger close ! 
Now, can t yez ate the rear av thim berries, 
dear ? They re simply ghrand, they re shplen- 
did ! " 

Katherine seemed to be sleeping, and Griffith 
soon pushed the tray aside. Rosanna took it 
up. Then she leaned forward. 

" Shure, an that ould nayger s awful reh 
spectable ; ye can see that by the lukes av her ; 
but she s thet foolish with her ould ded bunnie 
fut thet she makes me craipy in me shpine." 

She glanced about her before venturing out, 
and then made a sudden dash for the kitchen. 



" The depths and shoals of honor." Shakespeare, 

WHEN Griffith reached Washington he sent 
his name directly to the President, and was told 
to go to the room which Mr. Lincoln called his 
workshop, and where his maps were. The walls 
and tables were covered with them. There was 
no one in the room when Griffith entered. He 
walked to a window and stood looking out. 
In the distance, across the river, he could see 
the heights. He noticed a field-glass on the 
table. He took it up and focused it. The 
powerful instrument seemed to bring the Long 
Bridge to his very feet. He remembered in 
what tense excitement he had seen and crossed 
that bridge last, and how he had thought and 
spoken of it as the dead-line. He recalled the 
great relief he had felt when his negroes and his 
own carriage had at last touched free soil were 

indeed in the streets of Washington. It came 


over him that the country, as well as he, had 
traveled a very long way since that time and 
over a stormy road. A blare of martial music 
sounded in the distance. Pie watched the 
soldiers moving about in parade. Pie thought 
of his own sons, and wondered where they were 
and if they were all safe to-day. A heavy sigh 
escaped him, and a hand fell upon his shoulder. 
He turned to face the tall, strange, dark man 
who had entered so silently. His simple and 
characteristically direct words were not needed 
to introduce him. No one could ever mistake 
the strong face that had been caricatured or 
idealized by friend or foe in every corner of the 
land, but which, after all, had never been re 
produced with its simple force and rugged 
grandeur. Before Griffith could speak he felt 
that the keen but kindly eyes had taken his 
measure he was being judged by a reader of 
that most difficult, varied and complicated of 
languages the language of the human face. 

" I am Abraham Lincoln," he said, as if he 
were introducing a man of but slight import 
ance, " and you are Mr. Davenport. I was ex 
pecting you." He took Griffith s hand and 


shook it warmly, in the hearty, western fashion, 
which, in Mr. Lincoln s case, had also a per 
sonal quality of frankness and of a certain hu 
man longing for that contact of the real with 
the real which it is the function of civilization 
to wipe out. 

" I would have known you any place, Mr. Lin 
coln," began Griffith. " Your pictures " 

" Anybody would," broke in the President, 
with his inimitable facial relaxation, which was 
not a smile, but had in it a sense of humor 
struggling to free it from its somber cast, " any 
body would. My pictures are ugly enough, but 
none of em ever did my ugliness full justice, but 
then they never look like anybody else. I re 
member once, out in Sangamon county, I said if 
ever I saw a man who was worse looking than I, 
I d give him my jack-knife. The knife was 
brand new then." 

He ran his hand through his stiff, black hair 
and gave it an additional air of disorder and 
stubbornness. He had placed a chair for Grif 
fith and taken one himself. He crossed one 
long leg over the other and made a pause. 

Griffith was waiting for the end of his story. 


He concluded that there was to be no end, and 
he ventured a quizzical query : 

" You don t mean to tell me that you are car 
rying that knife yet, Mr. President?" 

Both laughed. Griffith felt strangely at home 
already with this wonderful man. He did not 
realize that it was this particular aim which had 
actuated Mr. Lincoln from the moment he had 
entered the room. This reader and leader of 
men had taken the plan of his legal years, and 
was taking time to analyze his guest while he 
threw him off his guard. In the midst of the 
laugh he stretched out his long leg and dived 
into his trousers pocket. 

" No, sir, you may not believe it, but that s 
not the same knife ! I carried the other one 
well I reckon it must have been as much as 
fifteen years with that offer open. It lost its 
beauty and I didn t gain mine. It was along 
in the fifties somewhere, when one day I was 
talking with a client of mine on the corner of 
the main street in Springfield, and along came a 
fellow and stopped within ten feet of us. I 
looked at him and he looked at me, and we both 
looked into a looking-glass in the store window. 


I d tried to be an honorable man all my life, and 
hard as it was to part with an old friend, I felt 
it was my duty to give him that knife and I 

There was a most solemn expression on his 
host s face. Griffith laughed heartily again. 
The President was gazing straight before him. 

" I don t know where that man came from, 
and I don t know where he went to, but he won 
that knife fair and square. I was a good deal 
of a beauty compared to him ! " 

The very muscles of his face twinkled with 
humor. No one would have felt the homeliness 
of his face, lit as it now was in its splendid rug- 
gedness, with the light and glory of a great and 
tender soul playing with its own freaks of fancy. 

But before the laugh had died out of Grif 
fith s voice, the whole manner of the President 
had changed. He had opened the pen-knife 
and was drawing the point of the blade down a 
line on the large map which lay on the table 
beside him. 

" Morton tells me that you used to be a cir 
cuit-rider down in these mountains here, and 
that you know every pass, defile and ford in the 


State." He looked straight at Griffith and ran 
his great, bony hand over his head and face, but 
went hastily on : "I know how that is myself. 
Used to be a knight of the saddlebags out in 
Illinois, along about the same time only my 
circuit was legal and yours was clerical. I car 
ried Blackstone in my saddlebags after I got 
able to own a copy and you had a Bible, I 
reckon volumes of the law in both cases ! Let 
me see. How long ago was that ? " 

" I began in twenty-nine, Mr. President, and 
rode circuit for ten years. Then I was located 
and transferred the regular way each one or two 
years up to fifty-three. That year I left 
my -native state ." 

Mr. Lincoln noticed the hesitancy in the last 
words, the change in the tone, the touch of sad 
ness. He inferred at once that what Senator 
Morton had told him of this man s loyalty had 
had something to do with his leaving the old 

"Found it healthier for you to go West, 
did you ? Traveled toward the setting sun. 
Wanted to keep in the daylight as long as you 
could ; but I see you took the memory of the 


dear old home with you. Have you never been 

" I don t look like much of an outlaw, do I, 
Mr. Lincoln ? " asked Griffith, with a sad smile. 

" Can t say I would take you for one, no." 
The President turned a full, long, searching look 
upon him. 

" Well, I have never been back home I 
I left two freed slaves in the State when I came 
away, and, you know " 

Mr. Lincoln laughed for the first time aloud. 
" Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ! You remind me of a case 
we had out in Illinois. There was an old fellow 
trying to stock a pond he had with fish. Well, 
that pond was so close to town and so handy, 
that the boys some of em about as old as you 
and me caught em out as fast as he put em in. 
By and by his son got into the Legislature, and 
one day when there wasn t a great deal of other 
law to make or to spoil, he got the other members 
to vote for a bill to punish anybody for taking 
anything out of that pond. His bill said, for 
fishing anything out of that pond. Well, one 
day a little son of his fell in and got so far from 
shore before they saw him that they had to liter- 


ally fish him out with a pole. Some of the fish 
ermen around there wanted him arrested for 
violation of the law he had passed to hit them. 
Fact ! He and you are about the same sort 
of criminals." He turned to the map again. 
" Of course I understand what you mean. Yes, 
yes, I know. These very passes and fords are 
dear to you. Some people have that sort of at 
tachments. I have. Why, I d feel like getting 
down off o my horse at many a place out on my 
old circuit and just making love to the very 
earth beneath my feet! O, I know how you 
feel ! These old fords are old friends. As you 
rode along at another place, certain thoughts 
came to you, and kept you company for miles. 
They would come back to you right there again. 
Right over there was a sorrowful memory. You 
knew the birds that nested in this defile, and 
you stopped and put the little fellows back in 
the nest when they had fallen out and they 
were not afraid of you. I know how that is. 
They never were afraid of me none but the 
yellow-legged chickens." He smiled in his 
quizzical way. He was still testing and study 
ing his guest, while keeping him off his guard, 


and making him forget the President in his re 
lations with the man. 

Griffith had begun to wonder how he could 
know about those birds and woodland friends of 
long ago, but the yellow-legged chicken joke 
was so familiar to the preacher that he smiled 
absently, as in duty bound. 

" I m really glad to know that there are other 
circuit-riders than we of the cloth who strike 
terror to the inmates of the barnyard, but I 
never before heard any one else accused of it." 

" I remember, once," began Mr. Lincoln, re- 
crossing his long legs and taking up the pen 
knife again " I remember, once, when a lot of 
us were riding over to a neighboring town from 
Springfield. I had the wrong end of a case, I 
know, and was feeling pretty chilly along the 
spine whenever I thought of it. The judge 
was with the party, and the only way I ever did 
win that suit was by pretending not to see the 
chickens hide under the corn-shocks the minute 
he got off his horse. He d eat a whole pullet 
every meal, and he got around so often they all 
knew him some by sight and some by hear- 


He drew the map toward him and indicated 
a spot by holding the point of his knife on it. 

" There s a strip along here," he began, and 
Griffith arose and bent over the map, "that I 
can t make out. That seems to be an opening 
in the mountains ; but " 

" No no," said Griffith, taking up a pencil 
from the table. " No ; the real opening the 
road pass Let me see ; what s the scale of 
miles here ? M-m-m ! Four ? No Why, 
the road pass is at least five miles farther on." 
He drew a line. " You see, it s like this. 
There." He stopped and shook his head. 
" M-m-m ! No, n-o-o ; that map s all wrong. 
It ought to run along there so. This way. 
The road the wagon road trends along here 
so. Then you go across the ridge at an angle 
here so. There ought to be a stream here. 
O pshaw ! this map s Where did you get this 
map ? It s no account, at all. Why, according 
to this, there s at least seven miles left out right 
here, between Why, right here, where 
they ve got those little, insignificant-looking 
foothills, is one of the most rugged and impas 
sable places in this world ! Here, now ! " He 


drew several lines and turned the map. " O 
pshaw ! there s no place left now for the 
Here, right a-b-o-u-t h-e-r-e no, there, right 
there is the Bedolph estate fine old stone 
house, corn-fields, wheat, orchards a splendid 
place. Then, as you go up this way, you pass into 
a sort of pocket a little strip pretty well hedged 
in. You couldn t go with a carriage without 
making a circuit around here this way but a 
horseman can cut all that off and go so. See? 
There is a mill fine old mill stream right 
here runs this way." 

Mr. Lincoln had followed every line eagerly, 
making little vocal sounds of understanding, or 
putting in a single word to lead Griffith on. 
Suddenly he said : 

" You re a good Union man Morton tells me." 

" I am, indeed, Mr. Lincoln. Nobody in the 
world could be more sorry than I over the pres 
ent situation. I " 

" How sorry are you ? " 

" What do you mean ? " asked Griffith, 
straightening up. Mr. Lincoln arose at the 
same time. 

" How much of a Union man are you ? 


nough to help save it ? How sorry are you ? 
sorry enough to act ? " 

Griffith had almost forgotten why he was 
here. It all came back to him. He began to 
breathe hard. 

" I have acted, I have helped," he said, 
moving toward the window. " When you came 
in the room I was looking through those fine 
glasses of yours at that bridge, across which I 
came in fifty-three, self-exiled, hastening to 
escape from the bondage of ownership, and, at 
the last, from the legal penalty of leaving be 
hind me two freed, runaway negroes." He had 
lifted the glasses to his eyes again. " I thought 
then that I had done my full duty all of it. 
But since then I have given my three sons to 
you to my country. They " 

Mr. Lincoln s muscular hand rested on Grif 
fith s shoulder. 

"Look at that bridge again. Do you see 
any dead men on it ? Do you see young sons 
like your own dragging bleeding limbs across 
it? Do you see terror-stricken horses strug 
gling with and trampling down those wounded 
boys ? Do you see " 


Griffith turned to look at him, in surprise. 

" No," he said, " nothing of the kind. There 
are a few soldiers moving about down this side, 
but there s nothing of that kind." 

He offered the glasses to the President, who 
waved them away. 

" I don t need them ! " and an inexpressibly 
sad expression crossed his face. " I don t need 
them. I have seen it. I saw it all one day. I 
saw it all that night as it trailed past here. 
I heard the groans. The blood was under that 
window. I have seen it ! I have seen nothing 
else since. If you have never seen a panic of 
wounded men, pray to your God that you never 
may ! " The sorrowful voice was attuned now 
to the sorrowful, the tragic face. " Do you 
see that lounge over there ? " He pointed to 
the other side of the room. " Men think it is a 
great thing to be a President of a great nation 
and so it is, so it is ; yet for three nights 
while you slept peacefully in your bed I lay 
there, when I wasn t reading telegrams or re 
ceiving messages, not knowing what would 
come next waiting to be ready for whatever it 
might be." 


He waited for the full effect of his words, 
but Griffith did not speak. 

" I was waiting to be ready for whatever did 
come," he repeated, slowly, t; and to give my 
whole soul, mind, heart, intellect, and body, if 
need be, to my country s service. I could not 
sit back in my arm-chair and say that I have 
done my share I had done enough ! If I 
knew how to save or prevent a repetition of 
that horror, had I done my share had I done 
my duty until I did prevent it ? " 

Griffith began to understand. He sank heav 
ily into a chair, and drew his hand slowly over 
his forehead again and again. His eyes were 
closed, but the President was studying the face 
grimly as he went on : " If a man is drowning, 
have you done your whole duty if you swim to 
shore and call back to him that you got out ? 
If " 

" Mr. Lincoln, I " began Griffith, but the 

astute man heard still a note of protest in the 
voice under the note of pain, and he did not 
allow him to finish. 

" If there is but one way to stop all this hor 
rible suffering, this awful carnage, and there is 


some one who knows how to do it, who is re 
sponsible for its continuance? This Union is 
going to be maintained if there is not a soul left 
to enjoy its blessings but the widows and 
orphans the war for its life has made I " he said, 
bringing his great muscular fist down on the 
table, and Griffith opened his eyes and sat star 
ing at him with a pain-distorted face. " This 
war is not for fun ! It is not waged for con 
quest ! It is not our choice ; but the people of 
this Nation have placed me at the head of this 
Nation to sustain its integrity to maintain this 
Union against all foes, and by the Eternal I am 
going to do it ! You will help us if indeed you 
are a Union man ! You will desert us in our 
hour of need if you are simply a self-indulgent 
moralist, who feeds expensive pap to his personal 
conscience, but gives a stone to his starving 
neighbor ! This Government needs you. It 
needs exactly what you are able to give. Are 
you its friend or its enemy ? " 

Griffith had shifted his position uneasily as 
the torrent of words had poured from the lips 
of the fire-inspired man before him. Lincoln s 
long arm had flung out toward him with a gest- 


ure of appeal, but lie did not wait for a reply. 
He had not finished presenting the case in a 
light in which he felt sure it would touch the 
character of the man before him. 

" Are your small personal needs paramount to 
those of your country ? Have you no patriot 
ism ? Have you no mercy upon our soldiers ? 
Must more hundreds of them suffer defeat and 
death for the lack of what you can give them ? 
Are you willing to receive the benefits of a free 
country which you are not willing to help in 
her hour of greatest need ? Can you do you 
want to leave your young sons and the sons of 
your neighbors on the far side of the dead line 
marked by that bridge ? " The allusion was a 
chance one, but it struck home. 

Griffith put out his hand. 

" What do you want me to do ? " he gasped, 

The President grasped his hand and held it in 
a vice-like grip. " What do I want you 
to do ? " he asked, with a deliberation 
strangely at variance with the passion of his 
words a moment ago. He looked down search- 
ingly, kindly, pityingly into the troubled eyes 


before him. " What do I want you to do ? I 
want you to follow your conscience 
for the benefit of your country in 
stead of for your own personal com 
fort, until that conscience tells you 
your country needs you no longer ; that 
you have, in deed and in truth, done your share 
fully ! I want you to go with an advance guard 
down through that very country " his long 
ringer pointed to the disfigured map on the 
table " and show our commander the real topo 
graphy of that land. I want you to make him 
as familiar with it as you are yourself. I want 
you to show him where the passes and fords are, 
where supplies can be carried across, where 
water is plenty, and where both advance and 
retreat are possible without useless and horrible 
slaughter. I want you He was still hold 
ing Griffith s right hand. He placed his left on 
his shoulder again. " No man has done his duty 
in a crisis like this until he has done all that he 
can to hasten the dawn of peace ; " he lowered 
his voice, " and he that is not with us is against 

us," he said solemnly, the scriptural language 


falling from his lips as if their professions were 

" How far do you want me to go ? " asked 
Griffith, looking up with an appeal in every 
tense muscle of his miserable face. " It is my 
native State ! They are my people ! I love 
every foot of ground I love those " He was 
breathing so hard he stopped for a moment. 
" That we do not think alike that they are 
what you call rebels to our common country 
does not change my love. I Mr. Lincoln " 

The President seemed to tower up to a greater 
height than even his former gigantic altitude. 
He threw both arms out in a sudden passion : 
" Forget your love ! Forget your native State ! 
Forget yourself! Forget everything except that 
this Union must and shall be saved, and that you 
can hasten the end of this awful carnage ! " 
The storm had swept over. He lowered his 
voice again, and with both hands on the preach 
er s shoulders : " I will agree to this. When 
you have gone so far that you can come back 
here to rne and say, I know now that I have 
done enough. My conscience is clear. My 
whole duty is done. When you can come back 


here and say that to me when you can say (if 
you and I had changed places) that you could 
ask no more of me then I will agree to ask no 
more of you." Then, suddenly, "When will 
you start? To-night? " 

"Yes," said Griffith, almost inaudibly, and 
sank into a chair. 

Mr. Lincoln strode to the table and pushed 
aside the disfigured map. " I will write your 
instructions and make necessary plans," he said. 
" There is not much to do. The General and the 
engineer corps are ready. I hoped and believed 
you would go." His pen flew over the paper. 
Then he paused and looked at his visitor. " We 
must fix your rank. Will you volunteer, or 
shall I ?" 

"Is that necessary, Mr. Lincoln? I am a 

preacher, you know. I Can t I go just 

as I am just as ? " 

The President had turned again to the table, 
and was writing. Griffith stepped to his side. 

" Do you realize, Mr. Lincoln, that every 
man, woman and child in that whole country 
will recognize me and ? " 

" Yes, yes, I know, I know. We must do 


everything we can to protect you from all dan 
ger against assassination or " 

" It is not that" said Griffith, hoarsely. " Do 
you care nothing for the good-will for the con 
fidence of your old neighbors back in Illi 

The stroke went directly home. 

" Do I care for it ? " There was a long 
pause. The sunken eyes were drawn to a mere 
line. " I d rather lose anything else in this 

world. It is meat and drink to me. I 

Look here, Mr. Davenport; don t make the 
mistake of thinking that I don t realize what 
I m asking you to do that I don t see the sacri 
fice. I do. I do, fully, and I want to do 
everything I can to to make it up to you. I 
know you used to be greatly trusted and be 
loved down there. Morton has told me. He 
told me all about the pathos of that old negro 
following j^ou, too, and how you made out to 
keep her. I know, I know it all, and I wouldn t 
ask you if I knew how to avoid it. I tell you 
that I d rather give up everything else in this 
world than the good-will of those old friends of 
mine back there in Illinois ; but if I had to give 


up the respect and confidence and love of every 
one of them, or forfeit that of Abraham Lincoln, 
who has sworn to sustain this Union, I d have 
to stick to old Abe ! It would go hard with me 
harder than anything I know of but it 
would have to be done. We have got to sustain 
this Union ! We ll save her with slavery at the 
South and with friends to ourselves, if we 
can ; but, by the Eternal ! we ll save her any 

He struck over and over the same chord the 
Union must be saved. Every road led back to 
that one point. Every argument hinged upon 
it. Every protest was met by it. He ham 
mered down all other questions. 

" If we are Union men, this is the time and 
the place to show it. All other objects, mo 
tives, methods, private interests, tastes, loves or 
preferences must yield to the supreme test 
What are we willing to do to save the Union ? " 

Once he said : 

" You don t suppose my position is particu 
larly agreeable, do you ? Do you fancy it is 
easy, or to my liking? " 

" No, no, Mr. President, of course not. I un- 


derstand that ; but you are holding a public 
office, and " 

" So are you," came like a shot. " In times like 
this all men Avho are or who have been trusted by 
their fellow men, are now, in a sense, leaders 
are in a public position. Their influence is for or 
against this Union. There is no neutral ground. 
I ve already been driven a good deal farther than 
I ever expected to have to go, and it looks as if 
I d have to jump several more fences yet ; but 
you ll see me jump em when the time comes, or 
I ll break my neck trying it ! " He wheeled 
back to the table. " Here, why not let me put 
you down as a chaplain? Carry you on the 
rolls that way? It " 

"No, Mr. Lincoln, that won t do. I won t 
agree to that. If I go it is not as chaplain. We 
know that, and there must be no pretense. I 
will not use my ministerial standing as a cloak. 
I " 

" You are right, too. I wouldn t, myself. 
Then you won t be with any one division long 
at a time. You ll have to transfer as the need 
comes. Let me see m-m-m " 

" If I do this thing I will do it outright. I ll 


ask one thing of you I don t want it known ; 
for, of course, none of my friends can under 
stand the way you look at it and the way you 
have made me see it. But when I go, I ll want 
a good horse, and I ll ride in the lead. I ll not 
stay back as a chaplain, nor sutler, nor as any 
thing but as what I shall be, God help me ! a 
guide ! " 

" Well, suppose we just call you that Gov 
ernment Guide. But since it is to be such ex 
traordinary service so vital to our cause we ll 
make your pay extraordinary, too. How does 
a colonel s pay strike you ? " 

Griffith was on his feet in a flash. He stood 
looking straight at the President, who had not 
turned as he asked the question. The hands of 
the preacher were grasping the back of his 

" On the pay-roll," began Mr. Lincoln, " you 
will appear as " 

" Pay-roll ! Pay-roll ! " burst from Griffith, 
and the President turned. The expression of 
the preacher s face was a complete surprise, but 
the astute man understood it instantly. Grif 
fith was moving toward the door. "Mr. 


Lincoln, you do not understand me. You have 
mistaken your man ! You I " 

The President had followed him hastily and 
his own hand reached the door first. 

" Stop ! " he said kindly. " It is you who do 
not understand me. I " 

" I understood you twice to say to offer to 
pay me to lead a hostile army to take troops 
into to the homes of " 

"No, no, don t look at it that way. It is 
right you should have some some rank 

and " He was going to utter again the word 

pay, but did not. Suddenly he thought of a 
way out of the dilemma. 

" You see, it is like this. You ve got to have 
grub rations. Now, we can t issue rations to 
men who don t exist ain t doing some sort of 
service, don t y see ? Then suppose you should 
be captured. I don t want to suppose any 
thing of the kind, and of course we ve got to 
take every possible precaution against such a 
disaster but suppose you were captured, unless 
you are recognized as unless you have some 
status we can t require the rebels to treat you as 
a prisoner of war and exchange you for some 


officer. We ve got to arrange so you will be 
treated as a regular, and an important prisoner 
of war don t you see ? " The dangerous shoals 
were being skilfully crossed. The sagacious 
lawyer and reader of men was retrieving his 
blunder. Pie passed his hand through Griffith s 
arm, and turned him from the door. " That 
was what I meant ! We ll have to carry you, 
somehow, on the rolls for rations and things. 
You ll mess with the General, of course, and 
we ll see that you have the very best horse in 
the army you see, I know the circuit rider s 

weakness. The fact is " He was leading 

Griffith back to the table where the great disfig 
ured map lay where he deftly slipped the paper 
containing the half-written instructions, upon 
which the subject of pay had been begun, under 
its edge, took another sheet in its stead, and 
began anew with the rank and the pay left out. 



"Into the valley of death." Tennyson. 

IT was arranged that the command with which 
Griffith moved should, so far as was possible, 
avoid collision with the enemy ; move silently, 
swiftly or slowly as occasion demanded, but at 
all times do everything possible to give to the 
topographical engineers a clear, distinct and 
minute knowledge of the country, so that in 
future intelligent action could be sustained. 
It was thought wise to take as few troops as 
safety would permit, and, wherever knowledge 
of the proximity of the Southern forces was 
obtained in time, take some other road or retire 
temporarily to the seclusion of the mountains. 
All fighting was, if possible, to be avoided. 
This was the plan of operations. At times 
they were far inside the enemy s lines, but 
at distant points from the opposing force. 


At other times they were again camped for 
a night with some advance division of the 
federal troops farther northward. To those 
to whom their object was unknown, their 
movements would have seemed unaccountable, 

In road or pass or village, many a familiar face 
did Griffith see, and his relief was intense, if no 
look of recognition came into it. His fatigue 
coat, from which the brass buttons had been 
taken, and broad-brimmed, cord-decorated 
military hat, served as something of a disguise 
with those who had never seen him in other 
than clerical garb. Often a sharp pain shot 
through his heart as he rode through some one 
of his old circuits, and a one time friendly face 
looked up at him, at first with simply the 
curiosity and dislike bestowed upon the staff 
officers of a hostile force, and then with a sudden 
flash of recognition, there would come, also, a 
look of bitter personal resentment, not meant 
for the staff, but for that son of the South, who, 
as they felt, was betraying his friends. What his 
position or rank was they did not know. His 
uniform was that of a civilian, excepting only 


the hat ; but that he was in and with and of the 
invading army was enough. The information 
spread like wildfire. 

" Griffith Davenport is with a brigade of 
Yankees ! He knows every inch of this 
country ! " What this meant to both sides, was 
quickly understood. Bitterness increased. That 
he should be shot at the first opportunity was 
universally conceded. Griffith saw and felt it 
keenly. It made his heart too heavy for words. 
At first he spoke to the General : " I knew that 
man, General. He recognized me. Did you 
see how he turned suddenly to look again ? 
Did you see ? " 

" Yes, I noticed, and I saw the look of hate, 
damn him; but you needn t be afraid. The 
first time any assassination business is tried 
they will find who they have got to deal with. 
I ll burn every God-damned house I come to, and 
shoot several citizens in retaliation ! Oh, I m 
not half so mild as I look ! Don t you be 
afraid ! They ll all think hell has broke loose on 
earth, if they fire from ambush at you ! They ll 
have to get you in open battle, if they want 
to be treated with soldierly consideration, and 


we don t intend you to be in any battle ; so don t 
you be " 

" It is not that ! It is not that, General," 
Griffith would say. He tried to explain. 

" Well, heavens and earth ! What did you 
expect ? You didn t expect em to like it, did 

Griffith sighed and gave it up. No, he did 
not expect them to like it. He did not even 
hope that they could understand it fairly, and 

yet The home-coming was indeed bitter, and 

Griffith ceased to sing. He saw maps made of 
the places he loved, and he saw in the distance 
the peaceful old haunts filled with contending 
armies. He looked at the trees that were still 
old and warm and loyal friends, in spite of dif 
ference of creed or politics, and he dreamed of 
them when they should be lopped of their 
branches and torn with shot and shell as they 
tried vainly to shield with their own sturdy limbs 
those who knew no better than to fight the 
battles of this life with sword and gun. One 
day, as he rode slowly in advance of the rest, he 
suddenly looked up toward the gnarled branch 
of a great tree, where he recalled that an old 


friend of his had lived. The heads of three 
tiny squirrels peeped out, and the mother frisked 
hard by. " Ah," he said, aloud, " how do you 
do, Bunnie? Still living at the old home-place, 
I see ! Is it you or your great-grandchildren ? 
There s such a strong family likeness I can t 
tell." The little animal whisked nearer, and 
looked with curious eyes that were not afraid. 
" You do not blame me, and you do not hate 
me, and you do not fear me, Bunnie. You un 
derstand me better than men do, after all." He 
sighed and tossed a bit of cracker toward the 
nest. It fell far short, but the mother-squirrel 
whisked about here and there, and flipped her 
tail and posed ; but at last snatched up the prof 
fered gift and scampered up the tree. Griffith 

" I ve broken bread with one of my old friends 
at last," he said aloud. 

" What did you say ? " asked the General, 
halting suddenly. He had lowered his voice to 
the danger pitch, as he had mistaken Griffith s 
low tone for one of caution. He lifted his 
hand, and each of his officers down the line did 
the same. There was an instant halt. 


"What was it?" he asked again, under his 

" A nest of squirrels right where they were 
fifteen or twenty years ago. I was renewing the 
acquaintance. They were the first old friends 
that have not been afraid of who trusted me 
still. I was " 

A volley of oaths burst forth. " Attention I 
March ! " he commanded, and as the line officers 
repeated the command, the General s wrath 
waxed furious. He did not dare to wreak it 
directly upon Griffith. He dashed back down the 
line, swearing with that lurid facility and abandon 
for which he was famous, at the astonished, but 
case-hardened and amused men. 

" Halted an army to talk to a God-damned 
squirrel ! " he ground out between his wrathful 
teeth, as he rejoined his staff. He whipped out 
a revolver and fired at the nest. The bullet flew 
wide of the mark, but the little heads disap 
peared in affright. The staff-officers looked at 
each other and smiled. The contrast between 
the two at their head was a source of constant, 
mild fun. 

" Broken faith with even you, haven t I, Bun- 


nie? " said Griffith, softly, as lie rode on. " Do 
you think I threw you the cracker so that I 
could the better shoot you ? I didn t, Bunnie 
but you will never know." 

A half-mile further on Griffith halted. " Gen 
eral," he said, " this is the only place for some 
distance now that we can halt for the night 
under cover of a dense wood and still have water 
near. There is a creek just below that rise. It 
is good water. It curves around this way, and 
the horses can be picketed near it and still be 
hid. After this it will be open country for ten 
miles or more. If " 

" Halt ! Throw out pickets ! Dismount ! 
Break ranks ! " 

The orders were given and repeated. The 
appearance of a camp grew up like magic. No 
fires were to be lighted until scout and picket 
reports came in, but the men went about feeding 
their horses and making ready for the fires and 
for " grub," as they called it. They were glad 
to stretch themselves. It had been a long day s 

" We will signal from the rise over there, 
General," Griffith said. " If from there we can 


see no camp-fires, there will be none near enough 
to detect ours. Shall I return here, General, 

or " 

" Return here. Pick your escort." 
Griffith rode away with his three sharpshooters. 
The tired men watched eagerly for the signal, 
as they lay about on the ground. A shout went 
up when they saw it, and fires were lighted and 
rations brought forth. A young fellow with 
corporal s straps was humming as he lay on his 
back with both feet far up on the body of a tree. 
He had carried with him all day an empty tin 
can, and now he was making coffee in it. He 
turned from time to time to peer into the can 
or readjust the sticks as they burned. 

" We re tenting to-night on the old camp-ground." 

His soft tenor rang out 011 the cool evening air as 
clear as the note of a bird, despite his recumbent 
position. He lifted himself on one elbow and 
peered again into the coffee, but the song ran 


" Give us a song to cheer." 

A group near him was deep in a game of 

cards. " Here ! It s Towsy s deal ! Damned 


if I don t believe Jim would deal every hand if 
he wasn t watched. He " 

" Our weary heart, a song of home- 

" Oh, dry up ! Give us a rest ! " 
" Ouch ! Stop that ! If I don t- 

" Clubs again, by gad ! Every time Stumpy 
deals, its clubs. I believe " 

" And friends we love so dear. 
Many are the hearts that are weary to-night, 
Wishing " 

The clear tenor had risen into steady con 
tinuity as the young corporal sat half up to 
shake the tin can again. The card dealer 
joined in with a mocking bass, then suddenly, 
voice after voice took up the refrain and the 
very air seemed to come laden with it, from far 
and near. The volume of sound died with the 
last note of the refrain, and once more the clear 
tenor, lying on his back now, with both hands 
under his head, ran softly on alone : 

We ve been tenting to-night on the old camp-ground. 
Thinking of days gone by " 

He drew a letter from his breast-pocket, and, as 
he unfolded it, stooped over and took one 


swallow of the coffee, and replaced the can on 
the fire. Some hard tack lay beside him, and 
one biscuit reposed on his stomach where he re 
placed it when he lay back again, and finished 
the verse slowly. When the refrain began 
again, the cards were held down, men in other 
groups straightened up from rekindling fires, 
others stopped short in a game of quoits played 
with horseshoes picked up on the banks of the 
creek. Water carriers set down their loads, or 
halted, with pails still in hand, and added their 
voices to the melody. The effect amongst the 
trees was indescribable. The picket in the dis 
tance half halted in his tramp, and turned to 
listen. The moon was beginning to swing up 
over the hill, from which the signal had come, 
and between the trees it touched the face of the 
delicate-featured young corporal of the sweet 
voice, and he turned the letter to catch the light 
from it, and add to the glow of the firelight, that 
he might the better re-read the treasured words. 
He was still humming softly, inarticulately, 
now. A stick burned in two, and the can of 
precious coffee was slowly emptying its over 
turned contents on the ground. 


There was but one bite gone from the bis 
cuit which lay on the blue coat. Music and 
sentiment had triumphed over appetite and the 
young corporal dozed off, asleep now with the 
letter still in his hand and the noisy players 
about him. In the distance Griffith and his es 
cort were returning. Suddenly a shot rang 
out in the clear air ! Then another and 
another ! The men were on their feet in an in 
stant. The General was hastily adjusting his 
field-glass, but in the moonlight it was but 
slight help. He could see, as the smoke 
cleared away, six men instead of four. So 
much he could make out, but no more. One 
was being lifted on to a horse. All were dis 
mounted. There was activity in the camp. 
Hasty preparations were made to send a relief 
party. Who was shot? What did it mean? 
Was there an ambush? Was the Guide de 
ceived as to the safety of this position ? Would 
they have to fight or retreat ? Had the Guide 
been killed ? Had some angry native seen and 
assassinated Griffith ? The officers consulted 
together hastily and orders were given, but 
the little procession was slowly approaching. 


They were not pursued. At least there was 
not to be a battle and there had been a 
capture, but who was killed? The Government 
Guide ? Two were walking were they the 
assassin and his companion ? When the little 
procession reached the picket line it halted and 
there was some readjustment of the body they 
were carrying, stretched between two horses, 
where it lay motionless except as others lifted 
it. Beside it walked another figure not in the 
federal uniform. Tall, lank, grim, and limping 
painfully, with a blood-stain on the shoulder 
and a bullet hole in the hat. The sharp 
shooters had done their work but who was it 
what was it that lay across those two horses 
that they were leading ? The whole camp was 
watching and alert. Cards, quoits, letters had 
disappeared. At last they could see that the 
Body was not Griffith. He still sat astride his 
splendid chestnut horse and the relief party were 
talking to him. The procession moved to the 
General s tent. Griffith looked pale and 
troubled. The sharpshooters were radiant. 
The Body was lifted down, and its long pen 
dant beard was matted and massed with blood. 


The pride, the joy, the ambition of Whiskers 
Biggs was brought low at last ! He was breath 
ing still, but the feeble hand essayed in vain to 
stroke the voluminous ornament and ambition 
of his life. The hand hung limp and mangled 
by his side. The General questioned the other 
prisoner in vain. He pointed to Griffith and 
preserved an unbroken silence. Griffith spoke 
to him aside. The prisoner turned slowly to the 
commander : 

"I ll tell him. Few words comprehend th 
whole." Then he lapsed into silence again and 
nothing could induce him to speak. The 
General threatened, coaxed and commanded in 
vain. The imperturbable mountaineer stood 
like one who heard not. All that the sharp 
shooters could tell was soon told. Some one 
had fired from ambush, apparently at Griffith. 
They had returned the fire instantly. Then 
they had found this man who was dying and 
the other one beside him. " I know this man, 
General," said Griffith. " He says that he 
will talk to me alone. May I shall I " 

" He ll talk to me, God damn him ! or he ll 
get a dose of Did you fire at our men ? r 


he demanded of the mountaineer. Lengthy 
Patterson shifted his position to relieve his 
wounded leg. He gazed stolidly, steadily, ex- 
pressionlessly before him, and uttered not a 
sound. His gun had been taken from him, and 
his hands seemed worse than useless without 
this his one and only companion from whom he 
never separated. The hands moved about in 
aimless action like the claws of some great 

" It will go a good deal easier with you, you 
infernal idiot, if you ll out with your stoiy 
tell your side of it. How d this thing 1 
happen ? " 

Lengthy glanced sidewise at the Body as it 
lay on the ground. " Friend of mine," he said, 
and lapsed into silence again. 

" Will you tell me, Lengthy ? " asked Griffith. 
"Will you tell me in the presence of the 
General? It would be better for us both if 
you will. I wish " 

" Twill ? " asked Lengthy giving Griffith a 
long, slow look. " Better fer yoh ?" 

" Yes," said Griffith, half choking up. He 
thought he had solved the problem of why, with 


these two mountaineer marksmen as their an 
tagonists none of their party had been shot in 
the encounter. " Yes, better for me. Do you 
care for that, Lengthy ? " The woodsman gave 
another long look at Griffith, and then pointed 
with his thumb at the figure on the ground. 

" I done hit. Wins aimed t kill yoh. Few 

words comp " Griffith grasped the great 

rough, helplessly groping hands in his. " I 
thought so, I thought so," he said brokenly. 

" And you stood by me even He was 

your friend, and " Griffith s voice broke. 

In the pause that followed Lengthy was staring 
at the form on the ground. 

" Yes. Whis wus a frien er mine ; but Wins 
tuck aim at yoh. Few-words-comprehends-th - 
whole ! " The last sentence seemed to be all 
one word. Griffith was still holding the great 

" Did you know I was with Northern troops, 
Lengthy ? Did you know ? " 

" Knowed hit wus you. Didn t keer who 
t other fellers wus. He tuck aim. Seed whar 
he wus pintin Few words " 

" Are you a Union man, Lengthy ? " 


" Naw." 

" Rebel, are you ? " asked the General, 
sharply. There was a profound silence. The 
mountaineer did not even turn his head. 

" I asked you if you were a rebel, God damn 
you ! Can t you hear ? " shouted the General 
thoroughly angry. " I ll let you know " 

" Are you on the Confederate side, Lengthy ? " 
began Griffith. The mountaineer had not in 
dicated in any way whatever that he had heard 
any previous question. " Naw," he said slowly 
and as if with a mental reservation. The 
General shot forth a perfect volley of oaths and 
questions and threats, but the immobility of 
the mountaineer remained wholly undisturbed. 
There was not even the shadow of a change of 
expression on the bronzed face. 

" What the General wants to know what / 
want to know is, Lengthy, which side are you on? 
Are you " 

" On yourn." 

" On Davenport s side against the world ! " 
remarked a staff officer aside, smiling. The 
mountaineer heard. He turned slowly until the 
angle of his vision took in the speaker. 


" On his side agin the worl . Few words 

The rest was drowned in a shout of laughter, 
in which the irascible Commander joined. 
Griffith s eyes filled. Lengthy saw and misin 
terpreted. He forgot the wound in his leg, and 
that his trusty gun was his no more. He sprang 
to Griffith s side. 

" On his side agin the hull o yuh ! " he said, 
like a tiger at bay. The sorely tried leg gave 
way and he fell in a heap at Griffith s feet. 

Here ! Quick ! Get the surgeon. We for 
got his wounds. He is shot in the leg and 

here " Griffith was easing the poor fellow 

down as he talked, trying to get him into a better 
position. Some one offered him a canteen. 
The surgeon came and began cutting the boot 
from the swollen leg. 

" Do everything for him, Doctor everything 
you would for me," said Griffith hoarsely. 
" He killed his friend and risked his own life 
to save me. He " 

His voice broke and he walked away into the 
darkness. Presently Lengthy opened his eyes 
and asked feebly, u Whar s the Parson ? " 



" Th Parson." 

" Oh," said the surgeon kindly, " you want 
the Chaplain. Oh, you re not going to die ! 
You re all right ! You ve lost a lot of blood and 
stood on that leg too long, but " 

" Whah s Parson Dav npoht ? " 

A light dawned upon the surgeon. He had 
never thought of Griffith as a clergyman only 
as he had heard it laughed over that the General 
swore so continuously in his presence. He sent 
for Griffith. When he came Lengthy saw that 
his eyes were red. He motioned the others to 
go away. Then he whispered, " Th other fellers 
our soldiers th " 

" You mean the Confederate troops, the 
Southern men ? " asked Griffith, and Lengthy 
nodded; "Jest over yander. Layin fer ye." 

" I looked everywhere for smoke, Lengthy. 
I didn t see any signs of camp fires. I " 

" Jest what me an Whis was doin fer t other 
side when we seed ye. Hain t got no fires. 
Hain t goin t make none." 

" Do you mean that you were doing a sort of 
scout or advance duty for the reb the Confeder 
ates, when you met us, Lengthy ? " 


He nodded. " Jest thet." 

" You were to go back and tell them about " 

" We wus. Saw you. Didn t go. Him n 
me qua l d bout " 

" About shooting me ? " 

Lengthy nodded again. " He aimed at ye. I 
got him fust." There was a long pause. 

" Do you want to go back to your camp, 
Lengthy, if " 

" Naw." 

Presently he said : " They s mo o them then 
they is o you alls." 

Griffith grasped his idea. "You think we 
better leave here ? You think they will attack ? " 

" Kin leave me layin here. They ll git me n 
him ; " he pointed with his thumb again toward 
the friend of his life the body that lay await 
ing burial on the morrow. 

"Would you rather go with us?" began 
Griffith, and the swarthy face lightened up. 

" Kin you alls take me ? " 

" Certainly, certainly, if you want to go. We 
won t leave you. The General " 

" Hain t goin with him. Goin th you." 

"All right, all right, Lengthy. You shall go 


with me and you shall stay with me." The 
mountaineer turned his head slowly. The nar 
cotic the surgeon had given was overcoming 
him. He did not understand it, and he was 
vainly struggling against a sleep which he did 
not comprehend. 

" You alls better light out. They is mo 
o them and they is mad plum through. 
Few words com com 

The unaccustomed effort at linguistic elabora 
tion exhausted him, and, together with the sleep 
ing potion, Lengthy was rendered unconscious of 
all pain, and an hour later he was borne on a 
stretcher between two horses as the engineers 
party silently retraced its steps and left the camp 
deserted and desolate with its one silent occupant 
lying stark in the moonlight, with its great mass 
of matted beard upon its lifeless breast. 



" At first happy news came, in gay letters moiled 
With my kisses, of camp life and glory." 


THE fall and winter wore on. Spring was 
near. Griffith wrote to Katherine daily and 
mailed his letters whenever and wherever it was 
possible. His personal reports of progress went 
with regularity to Mr. Lincoln, and an occasional 
note of congratulation or thanks or encourage 
ment came to him in reply. Meantime the 
Army of the Potomac did little but wait, and 
the armies of the South and West were active. 
Letters from the boys came to Katherine with 
irregular regularity. Those from Howard were 
always brief and full of an irresponsible gurgle 
of fun and heroics. He had been in two or three 
small fights, and wrote of them as if he had en 
joyed an outing on a pleasure excursion. He 
said in one that when he was on picket duty he 
had " swapped lies and grub " with the picket 


on the other side. " He tried to stuff me with 
a lot of fiction about the strength of their force 
said they had not less than ninety thousand 
men in front of us ready to lick us in the morn 
ing. I told him that I d just happened by acci 
dent to hear our roll called, and it took two days 
and a night to read the names of our officers 
alone. He was a crack liar but I reckon we got 
off about even. He had the worst old gun I 
ever saw. It came out of the ark. He admired 
mine, and it was a tip-top Enfield, but I told him 
it was just an old borrowed thing (the last of 
which was true) and that my own was nearly as 
big as fifty of it and would shoot ten miles. He 
kicked at me and laughed, but I didn t tell him I 
was a gunner in a battery. A battery is a jim- 
dandy of a place. I get to ride all the time. 
That suits me right down to the ground. I 
haven t had a scratch yet and I m not afraid I ll 
get one." His letters rattled on in some such fash 
ion whenever he remembered or exerted himself 
enough to write at all. They developed in slang 
as the months went by, and Katherine smiled 
and sighed. 

Beverly s letters kept up their old tone, and 


he tried in every way he could think of, to 
cheer his mother. He had wholly recovered, 
he said, from his wounds, and was now with 
Grant in Tennessee. He described the long 
moss on the trees, and wrote : " We are moving 
now toward Corinth. That is the objective 
point. I was transferred a month ago to Grant s 
army, -and so, unless Roy has been transferred 
since you wrote me last, I ll get to see him in a 
few days, I hope. That will be good. It seems 
as if we boys had traveled a pretty long road 
in the matter of age and experience since we 
were at home together. I m glad to hear of 
Roy s promotion the handsome fellow ! And 
so it was for conspicuous bravery at Fort Donald 
son, was it ? Good ! Good ! Ah, we can be 
proud of Roy, mother. And he got only a little 
flesh-wound in it all, and did not have to go to 
the hospital at all ! What lucky dogs we boys 
are, to be sure. I hope father is home with 
you by this time. Of course, I understand the 
ominous silence and inaction in Virginia in the 
army of the Potomac as only a few of us can. 
But I do hope that father will do all the Presi 
dent asked of Mm, and get home before they 


undertake to act upon the information he is en 
abling them to gather. Yes, yes, mother, I know 
how terribly hard he took it, and how silently 
heroic he is and will be, God bless him ! But 
after all, mother mine, your partis about the hard 
est of all to bear. I think of that more and more ! 
To sit and wait ! To silently sit and wait for 
you know not what. To take no active part ! 
Oh, the heroic patience and endurance that must 
take ! But don t worry about us. The fact is 
that we are not in half so much danger as you 
think. When one comes to know how few, 
after all, of the millions of rounds of ammunition 
that are fired, ever find their mark in human 
flesh, one can face them pretty courageously. 
We were talking it over in camp the other day 
a lot of the officers. I really had had no idea 
what a safe place a battle-field is. It seems that 
out of 7260 balls fired, only ten hit anybody, and 
only one of those are serious or fatal ! Just look 
at the chances a fellow has. Why he doesn t seem 
to be in much more danger than he is that a 
brick will fall on him as he walks the streets, 
or that he ll slip and break his neck on the ice. 

Doesn t seem so very dangerous, now, does it, 


mother ? Now, I want you to remember those 
figures, for they are correct. Then you remem 
ber that I got my three which is more than my 
share of balls, in the very first fight I was in ; 
so you see I m not likely to get any more. Roy 
had one, so his chance to catch any more is poor ; 
and as for Howard well, somehow or other, I 
never feel the least anxiety about Howard. 
He d pull through a knot-hole if the knot was 
still in it. He is so irresistibly, irresponsibly, 
recklessly indifferent. But at all events, 
mother, don t worry too much. My only anx 
iety, now, is to hear that father is at home 
again ; both for your sake and for his. Ye 
gods ! what a terrific sacrifice the President 
demanded of him ! And what a stubborn 
heroism it has taken to make father do it, with 
his temperament and feelings, a heroism and 
patriotism beyond even the comprehension of 
most men. Give little Margaret the enclosed 
note, please. I don t know that she can read it, 
but I wrote it as plain as I could on this shingle. 
We are moving pretty steadily now. We stopped 
to-day, to let the supplies catch up. We start 
again in an hour or so. We are all ready now. 


I never cease to be glad that you have old aunt 
Judy, and that she continues such a comfort, 
and trial. Give her my love, and tell the gentle 
and buxom Rosanna, that if she were in this 
part of the country she d see the loikes av 
me at every turn. Soldiers are thicker than 
peas in a pod, and she d not have to go fur t 
foind the loikes av me multiplied by ten thou 
sand, all of whom become their soger close 
quite as truly as did the undersigned when the 
admiration of Rosanna for me blossomed forth in 
such eloquence and elaboration of diction. This 
seems rather a frivolous letter ; but I want you 
to keep up good heart, little mother. It won t 
it can t last much longer, and just as soon as 
father gets home, I, for one, shall feel quite easy 
again. I hope he is there by this time, with his 
part all done. The last letter I got from him, 
lie thought it would not take much longer to 
do all they expected him to do, now. Dear 
old father ! His last letter to me was an in 
spiration and a sermon, in living (as he is), 
without the least bit of preaching in it. He 
doesn t need to preach. He lives far better 
than any creed or than any religion ; but " 


Katherine broke off and pondered. Was Bev 
erly still reading Thomas Paine ? If he were 
to be killed ! What did he believe ? " Lives 
far better than any creed or than any religion," 
what did he mean ? Had Beverly become 
openly an unbeliever in creeds and religions ? 
The thought almost froze her blood. She fell 
upon her knees and wept and prayed not for 
her son s life to be spared from the bullets 
of the enemy, as was her habit, but that the 
shafts of the destroyer " might spare his soul ! 
Her cup of anxiety and sorrow was embittered 
and made to overflow by the sincerity of a 
belief which was so simple, and knew so little of 
evasion, that the bottomless pit did, indeed, 
yawn before her for this son of her youth. 

" Save him ! save him ! " she moaned aloud, 
"if not from death, at least from destruction, 
oh, God of my salvation ! " 

The terrors which should follow unbelief had 
been long ago, in her rigid Presbyterian home, 
made so much a part of her very nature, that 
the simple, cheerful, happy side of Griffith s 
religion, which had been uppermost all these 
years, had not even yet, in cases of unusual stress, 


obliterated the horror of Katherine s literal belief 
in and fear of an awful hell, and a vengeance- 
visiting God for those who slighted or ques 
tioned the justice or truth of a cruel revelation 
of Him. A great and haunting fear for Bev 
erly s soul eclipsed her fear for his life, and 
Katherine s religion added terrors to the war 
that were more real and dark and fearful than 
the real horrors that are a natural and legiti 
mate part of a cruel, civil contest. The " com 
forts," to a loving heart and a clear head, of 
such a religion, were vague and shadowy ; in 
deed. Its certain and awful threats were like a 
flaming sword of wrath ever before her eyes. 
To those who could evade the personal applica 
tion of the tenets of their faith, who could ac 
cept or reject at will the doctrines they pro 
fessed, who could wear as an easy garment the 
parts they liked, and slip from their shoulders 
the features of their " revelation " to which the 
condition of their own loved ones did not re 
spond, there might be comfort. But to Kath- 
erine there was none. Her faith was so real 
and firm, that it did not doubt a literal damna 
tion, nor could she read from under the decree 


those she loved, simply because she loved them. 
An eternal decree of suffering hung over her 
first-born, the idol of her soul! The awful 
burden of her religion was almost more than 
she could bear in these days of fear and loneli 
ness, stimulated as it was by the ever-present 
threat and shadow of death for the lamb that 
had strayed, even so little, from the orthodox 
fold. Her days were doubly burdened by the 
new anxiety, shadowed by the real, and haunt 
ed by the agony of fear for the imaginary, 
danger to her son. In her dreams, that night, 
she saw him stand before an angry and aveng 
ing God, and she awoke in a very panic of 
delirium and mental anguish. Great beads of 
moisture stood upon her brow. " Save him ! 
save him ! oh, God of our salvation ! " she cried 
out, and little Margaret stirred uneasily in her 

" Wat dat, honey ? Wat dat yoh say, Mis 
Kate ! " called out Judy from her cot in the 
next room. " Did yoh call me, Mis Kate ? " 

"No, no, aunt Judy, I had a bad dream. 
j " 

The old woman hobbled in. " Now, des look 


aheah, honey, des yoh stop that kine er dreams, 
now. Dey ain t no uste t nobody, an dey des 
makes bad wuk all de way roun . An sides 
dat dey ain t got no sense to em, nohow." 
Poor old aunt Judy, her philosophy was deeper 
and truer than she knew or than her mistress 
suspected ; but the sound of her kind old voice 
comforted Katherine as no philosophy could. 

" Dar now, honey, yoh des lay right down dar 
n go to sleep agin. Yoah ole aunt Judy des 
gwine ter stay right heah twell yoah skeer gits 
gone. Dar now, dar now, honey, dem kine er 
dreams is all foolishness. Dey is dat ! Now, I 
gwine ter set heah an yoh des whorl in an dream 
sompin good bout Mos Grif, dat s what you 
do ! Aunt Judy gwine ter set right heah by de 
bed. Dar now, honey ! Dar now, go sleep." 



" Into the jaws of death, 
Into the mouth of hell." 


IT had rained in torrents. The stiff clay of 
the muddy roads was ankle deep. Roy s regi 
ment in camp near the Tennessee river was 
whiling away its time as best it could. It 
was generally understood that they were to be 
joined in a day or two by reinforcements, and 
then march on to Corinth. Roy knew that 
Beverly was to be with the expected command. 
The young lieutenant a first lieutenant now 
was proud and eager. He thought it would be 
a fine thing for him and Beverly to fight side 
by side. He meant to show Beverly that he 
was no longer a boy. A soft silken mustache 
had come to accent his fresh complexion, and 
he was as handsome and tall and graceful and 
erect as a young soldier need be. He carried 


himself with peculiar grace, and he was an inch 
taller than Beverly, now. He hoped that he 
would be taller than his brother, and he walked 
very erect, indeed, as he thought about it. 
Then he smiled to himself and said half aloud, 
" He will be here to-morrow, and I shall give him 
a great welcome and a surprise." This was his 
last thought as he turned on his side, and fell into 
a soldier s dreamless sleep, in spite of rain and 
mud, in spite of noise and confusion, in spite of 
danger and anxiety. 

It was the night of the fifth of April. Roy 
had planned to appear very splendid to his 
brother on the morrow. He had shaved freshly 
and brushed his uniform, and rubbed up his new 
shoulder straps. His sword was burnished, and 
the boy had smiled to himself many times as he 
worked over these details, to think how vain he 
was, and how anxious that Beverly should look 
pleased and proud when he should see him at 
his best. He seemed to have slept only a little 
while when there straggled into his conscious 
ness the sound of a shot, then another and an 
other; then a sudden indescribable noise and con 
fusion roused him wholly. He sprang to his feet. 


The gray of the dawning day was here. Bugles 
were sounding. Confusion, noise, action was on 
all sides. The camp had been surprised ! The 
enemy was upon them ! Grape, canister and 
Enfield balls tore through the tents. Shells 
burst ; the first vision that met his eyes as he 
rushed forth, was a horse of one of their own 
batteries, struggling, moaning, whinnying piti 
fully with both fore-legs torn away, and the 
cannon half overturned. An onrushing force of 
Confederates shouting in triumph. As his own 
regiment tried to form in line, three terrified 
horses tore past dragging their fellow, and what 
was left of the dismantled cannon. They were 
wounding each other cruelly in their mad 
frenzy of pain and fright. They fell in one 
mass of struggling, suffering, panic-stricken flesh 
into the river and drowned, with their harness 
binding them together, and to the wreck of their 
dismantled burden. Everything was confusion. 
Each regiment was doing its best to form and 
repulse the terrible onslaught. The surprise 
had been complete. The scouts had been sur 
rounded and captured, and the pickets killed or 
driven in at the first charge which had awakened 


the sleeping camp. The horrors, the disasters 
and the triumphs of Shiloh had begun ! 

There was no time to think. Action, alone, 
was possible the intuitive action of the soldier. 
The men formed as best they could, and fought 
as they fell back, or as they advanced a step, 
with dogged determination to retrieve lost 
ground. Some were driven into the river, and 
when wounded, fell beneath its waves to rise no 
more. The intrepid Confederates followed up 
their first dash with persistent determination, in 
spite of the forced march which had preceded 
the surprise, and in spite of hunger and un 
certainty when their supplies might come. 
They aimed at nothing short of capture. Then 
supplies would be theirs without delay. But 
every foot of ground was being stubbornly con 
tested. Now a gain was made, now a loss. Both 
sides were fighting with that desperation which 
makes certain only one thing as the issue of the 
battle the certainty of an awful carnage. At 
such a time it does not seem possible, and yet it 
is true, that a sense of reckless humor finds place 
and material to feed its fancy. A good-natured 
badinage held possession of many of the men. 


Roy s regiment had been driven back by the 
first sudden onrush. It had formed and fought 
as it went, but it had undoubtedly been forced 
from its position of advantage on the rise of the 
hill. They were struggling desperately to 
regain it. Every man seemed determined to 
stand again where he had stood an hour before 
or die in the attempt. A large piece of paper 
pinned to a tree with a bayonet, attracted Roy s 
attention as the smoke was lifted for a moment, 
while they pushed forward inch by inch. The 
boys had seen its like before. They understood 
and it acted like a stimulant upon them. Some 
of the boys laughed outright. The smoke hid the 
paper. The next volley had driven the Confed 
erates a step farther back. The ground was 
strewn with their men, lying side by side with 
those who had fallen from the Northern ranks 
at the first dash of the enemy. The tree with 
the paper was a trifle nearer. 

" Charge for that challenge, boys ! Charge ! " 
shouted Roy, and they responded with a yell 
and a murderous volley as they ran. It was 
almost within reach now, but the men who had 
posted it fought like tigers to hold their ground. 


" We ll get it, boys ! We ll get it ! " rang out 
with the roar of the battle. At last the tree 
was only a few feet away. A private dashed 
out of the line, and grasped the bayonet that 
held the coveted paper and swung it aloft. The 
challenge was captured ! Even the boys who 
lay on the ground joined in the triumphal shout 
and one of them volunteered to reply. He had 
a good arm left ! He took a pencil from his 
breast pocket, and turned his body painfully, 
slowly, so that he could write. The stock of 
his gun was desk enough. He read the captured 

paper and laughed. " The La. presents 

its compliments to the Ind., and intends to 

thrash it out of its boots as usual." 

The wounded man turned the paper over and 

wrote : " The Ind. returns its compliments 

to the La. and expresses a desire to see it 

accomplish the job." He was so near to the tree 
that he thought he could drag himself to it and 
post up the reply on the far side, but his legs 
were numb and helpless, and the pain of drag 
ging himself on hands and hips conquered him. 
He looked all about him. The ambulance 
workers had come, not far away, to carry off the 


wounded. One came near and offered to help 

" Pin that paper to the far side of that tree, 
first," he said, with a grim smile. " I ll wait." 

The man refused, but the wounded fellow 
essaying to drag himself toward it again, he 
yielded, and the return challenge was posted. 

Two hours later its work was done. The 

La. held the hill again ! A laughing shout went 
up. It might have been a warmly contested 
game of football, so free from malice was it. 

All over the great battle-field the work of the 
day was back and forth over the same bloody 
and trampled ground. The mud of the morning 
took on another tinge of red, and the mingled 
blood of the gallant fellows who gave their 
lives for the side they had espoused made hid 
eous mortar of the ghastly sacrifice. The river 
ran on its way to the sea, floating the costliest 
driftwood ever cast by man as an offering to his 
own passions, mistakes, and ambitions ; a drift 
wood pale and ghastly, clad in gray or in blue, 
and scattering from Maine to Texas, from 
ocean to ocean, the sorrow that travels in the 
wake of war, the anguish of those who silently 


wait by the fireside, for the step that will 
never come, for the voice that is silent forever ! 
Ah, the ghastliness of war ! Ah, the costliness 
of war ! It is those who do not fight who pay 
the heaviest debt and find its glory ashes ! 

On the hill was the rivalry of the challenge. 
It gave grim humor to the contest. Three chal 
lenges were taken, and three replaced, before 
the sunset brought that suspension of effort 
which left the hill, the tree, and the final glory 
of the day in the hands of the Confederates. 
The drawn battle was over for the night, but 
the trend of the victory was southward, and the 
heavens once more deluged the dead and dying 
with the pitiless downpour of chilling rain all 
the night long. In the northern camp the tired 
men slept in spite of rain and mud and distant 
cannonading. With the slain beside them, the 
groans of the dying about them, the echo of the 
conflict in their ears, the promise of the struggle 
of the morrow, still the tired men slept! In 
the Confederate camp sleep was impossible. The 
Federal relief boats had come ! To-morrow fresh 
men would fill the Northern ranks. Meantime 
the thunder of the great gunboats continued the 


unequal contest. Shot and shell fell with the 
rain into the Confederate camp. All night the 
bombardment went on. The river was tinged 
with red, the heavens kept up the old refrain 
and wept for the sins, the mistakes, the cruelties 
of men, and still the tired soldiers slept and 
waited for the morrow and what? There 
would be no more surprises at least. Both under 
stood now that it was a stubborn fight. Both 
knew that the reinforcements were here for the 
Federal troops. Pickets and scouts were wide 
awake now ; no danger of another surprise. All 
night the relief corps worked. All night the 
distant echoes from the gunboats brought hope 
to the one and desperation to the other army. 
All night the surgeons labored. All night 
stragglers came in dragging wounded limbs. 
All night suffering horses neighed and whinnied 
and struggled and at last died from loss of blood 
and still men slept ! Ah, the blessed oblivion 
and relief of sleep ! If to-morrow s action must 
come, then to-night nature must restore the 
wasted energy, and repair the deathly exhaus 
tion, and men slept ! Soaked through with 
rain, begrimed with smoke and with mud, 


assailed with groans and with that insidious foe 
of rest, uncertainty, still men slept, soundly, 
profoundly, dreamlessly ! 

The first gray streak of dawn brought a bugle 
call : another, another. The clouds were clear 
ing away. Nature was preparing to witness 
another and more desperate struggle. The 
dreamless sleep, that had refused to yield to 
hunger, pain, uproar or anxiety, yielded at the 
first note of the reveille. Every man was awake, 
alert, active. The rain and action-stiffened 
limbs were ready for duty again. The seventh 
of April had dawned. Reinforcements would 
soon land ; but the battle was on before they 
could disembark. The Confederates, flushed 
with the advantage of the day before, were 
determined to overwhelm even the new force. 
The battle was on. Roy, the spruce, trim, 
handsome young lieutenant of the day before, 
waiting for his brother with proud, brotherly 
anxiety, was a sorry sight to-day, but that did 
not trouble him. His new shoulder-straps 
were tarnished, his sword was marked with 
an ugly red stain, his freshly brushed uni 
form was bespattered and wrinkled and wet, 


mud-covered and torn ; but he was unhurt save 
for the track of a Minie ball under the skin of 
his left arm. To that he gave no heed. A 
plaster of the pottery clay, self-applied, had 
taken the soreness almost away, and as Roy 
stood at the head of his company to-day and took 
the place of the captain, who would respond to 
roll-call no more, he was wondering if Beverly 
would be with the troops that would land, and 
if they would help save the day. He hoped 
that Beverly would be there, and yet after the 
sights and experiences of yesterday did he 
hope that Beverly would be there ? Beverly 
might be killed ! He had not thought of that 
the day before, nor had it troubled him for him 
self ; but as he looked about him now or bent to 
see if an old comrade were really dead, or only 
unconscious, he somehow felt glad that Beverly 
had not been there the day before. Ah, these 
hearts of ours ! these hearts of ours ! What 
tricks they play us ! What cowards they make 
of us ! What selfishness they breed in us ! 
For ourselves we can be brave, defiant, even 
jocose, in the midst of danger or of sorrow ; but 
for those we love ! Ah, for those we love, our 


philosophy is scant comfort, our courage is un 
dermined before it is tested, and we are helpless 
in the face of Love. We can walk bravely 
enough into the mouth of a cannon, but Love 
disarms us, and we cry for mercy where we did 
not shrink from death I 

Roy wondered how much Beverly knew of 
the battle, and if his heart was anxious, also. 
He knew Beverly s division was expected, but 
he thought as he fought, " I reckon I d just as 
lieve Beverly shouldn t be with them. If he 
were on sick leave or or something." He 
felt a little sense of shame for the thought, and 
fought the more determinedly because of it. The 
gallant Confederates were flushed by their gain 
of the day before. No one would have dreamed 
that they were exhausted by a long march be 
fore the surprise. No one would have dreamed 
that they were hungry, and that their supply- 
wagons had not come up until long after the 
struggle. No one would have dreamed that 
they had been kept up all night by the bom 
bardment from the distant gunboats. No one 
would have dreamed that out of that intrepid 
Louisiana, with its challenge again on the 


tree there, would never muster again over three 
hundred and twenty-seven of the six hundred 
merry fellows who flung themselves up that 
hill only twelve short hours ago ! 

" Our side bet is up, boys, by the jumping 
jingo ! " said one of the relieved pickets the 
first thing in the morning. " It is written on a 
slab this time. I don t know when they got it 
up. I laid for it all night, and was going to 
pick the fellow off who came out to that tree, 
but it was darker than a pile of coke last 
night, and, if hell ever saw such a rain before, 
the fires must all be out soaked through. 
Don t believe there is a dry spot in the devil s 
domain to-day. Whew ! Look at my boots ! 
I had to stop and scrape the mud off every four 
steps all night long. My feet were as big as a 
horse s head and it s mighty good Bible mud, 
too sticketh closer than a brother." 

The boys had laughed and agreed that they 
would get the new challenge somehow. The 
news that it was up again, and on a substan 
tial slab, which seemed to aggravate the offense 
in some inexplicable way, spread and aroused 
the young fellows anew. They would have 


that slab or die in the attempt. The side bet, 
as they called it, must be won. They were 
making straight for it, and the Confederates 
were holding their position with grim and 
dogged determination. A sudden onrush of 
fresh, eager, rested, enthusiastic men, yelling as 
they came from the gunboats, dashed from the 
steamboat landing and flung themselves against 
the lines. The relief had come ! Regiment 
after regiment dashed past. Every new one 
was felt like a blast of cold wind in the face of 
a belated traveler. The Confederate lines wav 
ered, broke, rallied, retreated, reformed. More 
fresh troops came and swept past like fire in a 
field of grain. Discouraged men felt the brac 
ing influence and stimulant on the one side. 
On the other, it seemed that at last the billows 
of the ocean had broken upon them, and they 
must yield or be forever overwhelmed. As 
each new regiment came up, with its shout and 
wild, eager dash in the face of the enemy, the 
ground was being gathered in like thread on a 
great spool as it revolves. Inch by inch the 
line yielded. The river was left behind, with 
its horrible secret, to keep its bloody tryst with 


the sea ; to carry its drift of gallant men, who 
would, alas, be gallant no more, on the infinite 
wanderings of its waves, as they ran and 
struggled in vain to leave behind the memory 
and the burden of the pitiless struggle and car 
nage the relics of man s power and courage 
and savagery, to do and to die by and for his 
fellow-man, that he may adjust differences he 
himself has raised from the infinite depths of his 
own ignorance from the blindness of his be 
nighted past ! And still the river ran on in its 
hopeless effort, for the human drift kept pace, 
and the awful battle was lost and won. Shiloh 
had passed into history, and Grant was famous ! 
The country took stock of its loss and its gain. 
One more milestone in the devious road was 
past. One more reef was taken in the irrepress 
ible conflict. The North rejoiced. The South 
sorrowed, and mothers, wives, sisters, and sweets 
hearts stared at the wall and wept and moaned 
for the treasure that was lost, for the price that 
was paid, and took up anew their stunned and 
silent part, and waited and hoped and prayed. 
One of the first regiments to dash past into 
the hell of shot and shell was Beverly s. He 


had noticed, as people will notice trivial things 
in the midst of great crises, a board nailed to a 
tree. When the battle was over he had searched 
for his brother s regiment. At last he had found 
it, but Roy was not there. Some one said he 
had fallen, others said he had been captured just 
before the relief came " Right up there by the 
challenge by the tree." Beverly rode back 
toward the hill, sick and faint at heart. He 
wondered, with a thrill of superstitious fear, if 
that board was to be a sort of grave-mark for his 
brother, and if that was the reason he had no 
ticed the ridiculous challenge at such a time. 
He would go back to the mark and search for 
his brother. He got down from his horse and 
tied him to the tree. The challenge was still 
there. He had no heart to read it, but started 
on his sickening search. Face after face that he 
knew boys from the old college looked up at 
him some, alas, with stark, unseeing eyes, and 
others who begged for help. Boys he had in the 
old days cared for with youthful fervor, and yet 
they seemed as nothing to him now ; he must not 
lose time he must find his brother. Again 
and again he turned a bloody face upward only 


to exclaim, " Thank God ! " when he did not 
know the features. Oh, the infinite selfishness 
of Love ! The toy it makes of our human sym 
pathies ! The contraction it puts upon our gen 
erosity of soul ! The limitations it sets upon 
our helpfulness ! When twilight came Beverly 
was still searching for his brother, and thanking 
God, in the face of every mangled form, that it 
was the face of some other man s brother some 
other mother s son ! He returned to the camp 
for a light. He could not wait until morning 
to be sure that Roy was captured. He hoped 
and prayed that it might be so, but he 
must know. No report had come to the regi 
ment. Roy had not been found or recognized. 
Beverly went hastily through the hospital tents. 
Roy had not been brought in. The search on 
the field began again the search for his brother. 
The relief corps were working heroically. Men 
with stretchers passed and repassed him, and 
still Beverly looked in vain. He turned his 
dark lantern on the stretchers as they approached 
him, and sighed with relief as each passed on. 
He came to the spot where the little church had 
stood, now dismantled and wrecked by shell. 


One after another he turned the faces of pros 
trate men upward. The night was wearing on. 
He was desperate, discouraged, and yet he had 
begun to settle into a solid hope that Roy had 
been captured and taken back into the Confed 
erate ranks before the relief had come. He was 
making his way back to the tree and his impa 
tient horse, when he heard a gurgling groan in 
a muddy ravine through which the retreating 
cannon had gone. He turned aside and searched 
with his lantern again. Deep in the stiff mud 
lay a young officer. His legs were deeply im 
bedded. Evidently the wheel of a cannon-car 
riage, or some other heavy wheel, had passed 
over him and crushed his legs into the soft 
earth. He had lain directly in the path of the 
retreating ordnance. The deep tracks told 
where the wheels had been. Beverly turned 
sick. He stooped to lift the face that lay half 
in the mud and water. 

" Oh, Roy ! Roy ! my brother ! " he gasped and 
fell upon his knees. His hand trembled so that 
the canteen fell from his grasp. He groped for 
it as the lantern lay beside him, and one hand 
still held the face above the earth. " Roy I 


Roy ! can you hear me ? Can you hear me ? It is 
your brother ! It is Beverly ! " lie cried out, but 
for reply there was only that gurgling groan, fol 
lowed by another and another and then silence. 

" Oh, my God ! " cried Beverly, " What can 
I do ? It will kill him to try to lift those poor 
crushed legs and " 

The light fell on the breast, and there, for the 
first time, Beverly saw that it was not mud 
alone that lay there, but that a piece of spent 
shell was half crushed into Roy s side. It was 
plain now. Roy had fallen with that, and the 
retreating battery had driven over his helpless 
form. Beverly wiped the mud and powder from 
his brother s face and bent down and kissed the 
parted lips. 

" Oh, my brother ! my brother ! I came too 
late at last ! I thought all the way on the river, 
and then, as we dashed up that hill, I thought 
we had come in time to save you, and I was so 
glad ! Roy, I prayed not to be too late ! Some 
how I thought you were up there. And you 
were here here, with this ghastly wound and 
they drove over you I O, Roy, Roy, my brother, 
how can I ever tell mother? How can I ? " 


The long, gurgling moan came again. Bev 
erly sprang to his feet and shouted for help. 
Shout after shout rang out. At last a reply 
came, and then men with a stretcher. 

" I have found my brother," was all Beverly 
could say. His own voice seemed strange and 
distant to him. The men set about lifting the 
body from its bed of clay the body of this 
spruce young officer who had been so eager that 
his brother should feel proud to see him in his 
new uniform with the first-lieutenant s straps I 
No one could tell what the uniform was now, 
and the jaunty cap and polished sword were 
gone ! The strong young legs and the erect 
figure could boast of its extra inch no longer. 
Beverly breathed hard as the men worked. 
" I m afraid he s too far gone to help now, cap 
tain. It " 

" Oh, let me lift his head ! I can t pull on 
those poor crushed legs ! Be so careful ! Oh, 
God ! oh, God ! how cruel ! Be so careful ! 
oh, Roy ! Roy ! We are trying to be so careful, 
Roy ! "We try not to hurt you so ! My God, 
how cruel ! I cannot bear it, brother ! " 

The body was on the stretcher at last, and 


Beverly was wiping great beads of anguish from 
his own face. One poor leg was crushed near 
the hip, and had been hard to manage. The 
groans had become more distinct and frequent. 
Then, "Dr dr," came from the lips. 

" Here, here, give me a canteen ! I lost mine 
down there. Quick, he wants a drink, I think. 
Here, brother Roy." Beverly put a hand under 
his head. " Here, Roy, dear, can you swallow ? 
Oh, it hurts him so ! Here, brother, my brother ! 
Oh, Roy, I wish it were I ! Can you hear me ? 
Can you hear me, Roy ? " 

The men with the stretcher turned their faces 
away and drew their sleeves across their eyes. 
Even they who had worked all night with and 
for the dead and dying were moved anew by the 
young officer s sorrow. Beverly looked up 

" I think he swallowed just a little. Let us 
get him to a surgeon, quick. Perhaps, per 
haps " Beverly looked from one to the 

other and could not finish his sentence. The 
little group moved wearily toward the hospital 
tents, and Beverly ran for the surgeon of his 
own company. 


" My God, doctor, lie has been driven over, 
and he is wounded in the breast besides ! Do 
you think there is any hope ? Oh, how I wish 
it were I ! Oh, doctor, can t you save him ? It 
is my brother my brother Roy ! " 

The surgeon was listening as he worked. 

" The best thing that could have happened to 
him is that he was so deep in that mud. It has 
kept the fever down. It has saved his leg. It 
isn t badly swollen. I can set this bone. I 
don t think the other one is " He was ex 
amining and talking slowly. He changed to 
the wound in the breast. " This is the most 
this is the worst, but I don t think the lung is 
badly this plaster of mud on his breast " 

" I took it nearly all off, doctor. It was very 
thick when I found him, and this " Bev 
erly took a large jagged piece of shell from his 
pocket. " This was down in it. I think it must 
have struck and stunned him, and while he was 
helpless those cruel wheels went over him. His 
body was as if he had fallen on his back, but 
the legs were twisted as if he had been on his 
side. The mud was nearly two feet deep. It 
was an awful place, awful ! And to think that 


they should have driven over Roy I Do you 
think ?" 

" That was the best place he could have been. 

That mud has acted like " The doctor was 

taking professional pride in the case. The 
wounded man groaned. 

" Oh, how it seems to hurt him, doctor ! Can t 
you can t I couldn t we give him something 
to deaden ? He was never so strong as I. 
He " 

" You d better go away, captain. You re 
brave enough for yourself, but you d better go 
away. I ll do my level best for him. I don t 
think this wound is fatal and the mud poul 
tice was the very best thing that could have 
happened to him, really. The wheel that threw 
that did him a greater service than it did injury 
to his leg. I you had better go and lie down 
for a while, captain. I ll do everj ihing possible, 
and well, I hope his lung is not very seriously 
implicated. I hope we can pull him through. 
I feel sure of the leg and go and lie down. 
You can t do any good here, and you mustn t 
lose your nerve that way. If he if I if he 
regains consciousness I ll call you. Try to get 


a little rest for to-morrow. Try. You may be 
needed then. You must have your nerve then, 

too, if he should open his eyes and " 

" If he should open his eyes ! " Beverly turned 
away and sat with his face in his hands. " How 
can I write it to mother," he moaned " how 
can I ? How can I ? And father may not be 
there to help her bear it I Oh, Roy, Roy, my 
brother ! " 



"How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood." 

WHEN the news of the battle reached Kath- 
erine, she was still alone. Griffith had not 
completed the task set, and was still in the tent 
of the irascible General, whose chief acquaint 
ance with the English language appeared to lie 
in his explosive and ever ready profanity. He 
swore if things went right, and he swore if they 
went wrong. If he liked a man, he swore at 
him playfully, and if he disliked him, he swore 
at him in wrath. His ammunition might give 
out, but a volley of oaths was never wanting to 
fire at the enemy. It sometimes seemed to 
Griffith the irony of fate that he should be placed 
in the same tent and closely associated with such 
a man, for, although Griffith said nothing, it 
grated sadly upon his ears, and he sometimes 
wondered if the Almighty would prosper an 
expedition led by this man, for Griffith had kept 


still, through all the years the primitive idea of 
a personal God who takes cognizance of the 
doings of men, and meets and parries them by 
devices and schemes of His own. 

As time went on, and Lengthy Patterson re 
covered from his wound so as to be always in 
evidence, he came in for a large share of the 
General s explosive and meaningless oaths. 
Sometimes it was half in fun, more often it was 
in memory of the fact that Lengthy had ignored 
him and his questions upon their first meeting, 
and that up to this day the lank mountaineer 
took his orders and his cue from Griffith only. 
He had attached himself to the sharpshooters 
and rarely left Griffith s side. As silent and 
faithful as a dog he rode day after day, with 
watchful eyes, by the side of or just behind " the 
Parson," as he still called the object of his 
adoration. He watched Griffith narrowly. He 
noticed the growing sadness of the old-time 
merry face. He felt that something was wrong. 
At last the silence could be preserved no longer, 
he must know what the trouble was. They 
were near the borders of the county where 

Griffith s old home was. Lengthy had expect- 


ed to see his face grow interested and bright, 
but instead there seemed to come over it a 
drawn and haggard look that was a puzzle and 
a torment to the woodsman. He ventured a 
remark as they rode apart from the rest. 


" No, no, Lengthy. I m not sick. Why ? " 

" Yeh never talk no mo . Heard yeh kinder 
groan. Few-words-comprehends-th -whole." 

Griffith turned his face full upon him. 

" Lengthy, it is almost more than I can bear 
to do this work. I it is sometimes I think I 
cannot take them over there." He held out his 
hand toward the beautiful valley in the dis 
tance. They could see the thread of the river 
winding through the trees and out into field 
and farm. It was the river in which Lengthy 
had seen this friend of his baptized, so many 
years ago, when both were young men, and now 
both were growing gray ! 

Lengthy made no reply. The silence stretched 
into minutes. They halted for the noon meal 
and to feed and rest the horses. They all lay 
about on the hill, and Griffith talked to the 
engineers. They drew lines and made figures 


and notes. An hour later they pushed on 
toward the river. Lengthy and Griffith rode in 
front. The old mill where Pete had run away 
appeared in the distance. The river was very 
near now. A heavy sigh from Griffith broke 
the silence. He was looking far ahead and his 
face was drawn and miserable. 

" What d yeh go fer ? " 

Griffith did not hear. His chin had dropped 
upon his breast, and his face was pale. His lips 
moved, and the mountaineer waited. At last 
he said : " What yeh do hit fer ? " 


" What yeh do hit fer, f yeh don t want teh ? " 

"Do what? Go here?" 


" I am a Union man, Lengthy. The President 
sent for me and asked me to do it. He made 
me see it was my duty. There was no one else 

he could trust, who knew the country. I " 

There was a long pause. The mountaineer 
threw his leg up over the front of his saddle, 
and ruminated on the new outlook. Presently 

Griffith went on : " Some one must do it, but " 

He lifted his face toward the blue above him : 


" Oh, my God, if this cup could but pass from 
me ! " he groaned aloud. " It seems to me I 
cannot cross that river ! It seems to me I can 
not ! " His voice broke and there was silence. 

" Don t need teh ." 

Griffith did not hear. His eyes were closed 
and he was praying for light and leading, as he 
would have called it for strength to do the 
dreaded task, if it must be done. Lengthy 
looked at him, and then at the not far distant 
river, and waited in silence. A half mile 
farther on he said, as if the chain of remarks 
had been unbroken : " Don t need teh cross. I 
will fer yeh." 

" What ? " cried Griffith, like a man who has 
heard and is afraid to believe. 

" Said yeh didn t need teh cross. I will fer 
yeh. Few-words-comprehends-th -whole," he re 
peated, in the same level key, looking straight 
at his horse s ears. 

Griffith s bridle fell upon his horse s neck. 
Both arms lifted themselves up, and both hands 
spread as if to grasp something. " Oh, my God, 
is my prayer to be answered so soon ? Do you 
mean oh, Lengthy, do you mean that you will 


_i . . 

save me from this terrible trial ? Do you 
mean " 

" I does." He was gazing straight ahead of 
him now, with elaborate pretense of indifference. 
He had begun to grasp the situation. 

Griffith dropped both hands upon his uplifted 
face, and a cry as of one in great pain escaped 
him, " O-h-h," in a long quaver. The moun 
taineer turned his eyes. Griffith was looking 
straight at him now, like a hunted man who at 
last sees hope and rescue ahead, but dares not 
trust it lest it prove but an illusion. He tried 
to speak, but his voice failed him. The moun 
taineer understood. 

"Yeh kin go home. I ll do hit. Few 
words " 

Griffith was overtaken with hysterics. He 
threw both arms above his head and shouted, 
" Glory to God in the highest ! Peace and 
good will to men ! " and covered his face with 
his hands to hide the emotion he could not con 
trol. They were on the banks of the river now, 
and the commander dashed up. " What in hell s 
the matter now ? " he demanded. 

" Hit s the river done it," put in the mountain- 


eer, to save his friend the need of words. " Bap 
tized thar." 

" What ? What in the devil are you talking 
about ? What in " 

He was looking at Griffith, but Lengthy broke 
in again with his perfectly level and emotion 
less voice. " Baptized thar, I sez. Few-words- 
comprehends-th " 

" Will you dry up ? You infernal What 

does this mean? " He turned again to Griffith, 
who had regained his self-control. The com 
mander usually acted upon him as a refrigerator, 
so incapable was he of understanding human 
emotion that reached beyond the limits of irri 

" General," he began, slowly, " I have just ar 
ranged with Mr. Patterson for him to take my 
place as Government Guide. I can go with you 
no farther. That house over there in the dis 
tance " he stretched out his hand " used to 
be my old home. I love the people who live 
here all about here. This river " 

A volley of oaths interrupted Griffith. The 
command had come up, and the staff-officers sat 
listening and waiting. The General was chang- 


ing his first outburst into arguments. Griffith 
met them quite calmly. It seemed a long time 
now since he had found the relief he felt. It 
did not seem possible that it was only ten min 
utes ago that it had come to him. 

" This man knows the country even better 
than I do, General. He is willing to go to 
take my place and he is perfectly loyal loyal 
to me. He will what Mr. Lincoln wanted was 
that the work should be done, and done by one 
he could trust it was not that he wanted me 
to do it. I will stake my honor on this man s 
fidelity. He " The word " deserter," min 
gled with threats, struck Griffith s ear ; he did 
not pause to analyze it. " Mr. Lincoln told me 
that I was to return to him whenever I " 

" God damn Mr. Lincoln ! Tarn in command 
of these troops ! Mr. Lincoln didn t know he 
was giving me a couple of lunatics to deal with ! 
If you attempt to leave you will be shot as a de 
serter, I tell you ! I ll do it myself, by God ! " 

Griffith s head dropped against his breast. He 
dismounted slowly and handed his bridle to the 
mountaineer. Lengthy hooked it over his arm 
and waited. Mr. Davenport deliberately knelt 


by the bank of tlie river, with his face toward 
the old home. 

" Shoot. I will go no farther ! " he said, and 
closed his eyes. 

Instantly the mountaineer s gun went to his 
shoulder. His aim was at the General s breast. 
" Few-words-comprehends-th -whole," he said, 
and the hammer clicked. The General smiled 

" Get up," he said. " I had no right to make 
that threat. You are a private citizen. You 
came of your own accord. You are under Lin 
coln only. Get up ! Can we trust this man, 
damn him ? " 

Griffith staggered to his feet. The storm had 
left him weak and pale. The mountaineer dis 
mounted and stood beside him. 

" You mean to take my place in good faith 
to lead them right I know, Lengthy ; but tell 
him so for me" Griffith asked, in a tired voice, 
taking the swarthy hand in his. " You will 
do your best as a guide in my place, won t 

Lengthy s response was unequivocal. "I 
will," he said in his monotonous tone, and 


somehow, as they stood hand in hand with the 
curious group of men about them, the reply re 
minded every one of the response in the mar 
riage service, and a smile ran around as the men 
glanced at each other. 

" You promise to do all in your knowledge 
and power to enable them to get accurate knowl 
edge and make their maps, don t you, Lengthy ? " 

"I do," 

The similitude struck even the commander, 
and when Griffith turned, the irascible General 
was trying to cover a smile. 

" Are you satisfied, General ? I will stake 
my life on both his capacity to do it even bet 
ter than I and on his honor when he promises 
to do it for me. Are you satisfied ? " 

" Have to be satisfied, I guess. Mount ! 

Griffith lifted the hard, brown, rough hand in 
both of his and gravely kissed it. " You are the 
truest friend I ever had, Lengthy. God bless 
and protect you 1 Good-bye." 

The mountaineer laid the great hand on the 
palm of its fellow, and looked at it gravely as 
he rode. 


* Kissed it, by gum ! " He gazed at the spot 

in silent awe. " Few-words-comp " His 

voice broke, and he rode away at the head of the 
command, still holding the sacred hand on the 
palm of the one not so consecrated, and looked 
at it from time to time with silent, reverential 
admiration. His gun lay across his saddle, and 
the horse took the ford as one to the manner 
born. On the farther bank he turned and looked 
back. Griffith waved his handkerchief, and 
every man in the command joined in the salute 
when Lengthy s shout rang out, " Three cheers 
for the Parson ! " 

Even the General s hat went up, and Griffith 
rode back alone over the path he had but just 
come, alone and unguarded but with a great 
load lifted from his shoulders, bound for Wash 
ington to make his final report to the President, 
and then return to the ways and haunts of peace. 

" Homeward bound ! homeward bound ! thank 
God ! " he said, aloud, " with life s worst and 
hardest duty done. Surely, surely, my part of 
this terrible struggle is over ! It has shadowed 
me for twenty long years. The future shall be 
free. Peace has come for me at last I " 



" The days of youth are the days of gladness." 

" DEAR MOTHER," wrote Howard, " I forgot 
to write last week, but then there wasn t the 
first thing to tell, so it don t matter. We re 
just loafing here in camp waiting for the next 
move. We had a little scrap with the Johnnies 
ten days ago, but it didn t come to anything on 
either side. They are sulking in their tents and 
we are dittoing in ours. But what I began this 
letter to tell is really funny, and I don t want 
to forget to write it. The other day a slabsided 
old woman (you never did see such a funny 
looking creature. She was worse than the 
mountaineer class in Virginia, or even than those 
Hoosiers out there on that farm near ours.) 
Well, she came to our camp from some place 
back in the country and asked to see our doctor 
man. She seemed to think there was but one. 


One of the surgeons had a talk with her, and it 
turned out that her ole man, as she called her 
husband, was mighty bad off with breakbone 
fever, and she had come to see if the Yankee 
doctor man wouldn t have some kind of stuff 
that would cure him the first dose. These kinds 
of folks think our officers and doctors are about 
omnipotent, because our men are so much better 
fed and clothed and equipped than the Johnnies 

" Ef yoh can t gimme sumpin fer my ole man, 
doctah, he s jes boun ter die, she kept saying 
over and over. Well, the doctor questioned her, 
and came to the conclusion that a good sweat 
would be about the proper caper to recommend, 
and he told her to cover him up well, and then to 
take some sage they all have that in the garden 
and mighty little else and, said he, take 
about so much and put it in something and then 
measure out exactly one quart of water and boil 
it and pour over the sage. Then make him 
drink it just as hot as he can. Now don t forget, 
so much sage and exactly a quart of water. 

" Yeh think thet s agoin t cuah (cure) my 
ole man, doctah ? says she. 


" I think it is the best thing for him now. 
Be sure to make it as I told you so much sage 
and a quart of water. 

" You kin bet I ll fix her up all right, doctah, 
ef thet s a goin t cuah my ole man. Then she 
tramped back home. The next day she appeared 
bright and early, and wanted .that doctor man 
again. Well, my good woman, I hope your 
husband is feeling a good deal easier after his 
sweat. I 

" Naw e hain t nuther. My ole man, he 
hain t scooped out 011 the inside like you Yanks 
is, I reckon. 

" She looked pretty worried. How s that ? 
How s that ? asked the doctor. 

" Wai, says she, I jest hoofed hit home es 
quick es ever I could, an I tuck an medjured 
out thet there sage an the water jest edzactly 
a quat an I fixed her up an tuck hit t the ole 
man. I riz his head up, mister fer he s power 
ful weak an he done his plum best t swaller 
hit, but the fust time he didn t git mo n halft 
down till he hove the hull of hit up agin. I 
went back and I medjured up thet there sage 
agin an the water an tried him agin, but he 


hove her up fore he got halft down. But I 
never stopped till I tries her agin, an* that time, 
doctah, he didn t git halft down. Now, doctah, 
thet there ole man er mine he don t hold but 
a pint. I reckon you Yanks is scooped out 
thinner than what we alls is. : 

" We boys just yelled, but the poor soul 
loped off to her pint>measure old man without 
seeing a bit of fun in it. She was mad as a wet 
hen when the doctor told her she needn t make 
him drink it all at one fell swoop. She vowed 
he had told her that the first time, and it s my 
impression that she now suspects the Yankees of 
trying to burst her old man. I ve laughed over 
it all day, so I thought I d write it to you, but 
it don t seem half so funny in writing as it was 
to hear it. 

u Give little Margaret this ring I put in. I 
cut it out of a piece of laurel root. I expect it 
is too big for her, but she can have some fun 
with it I reckon. There isn t any more news, 
only one of our cannons exploded the other 
day. It didn t do much damage. I m not sure 
that I ve spelled some of these words right, but 
my unabridged is not handy and I m not sorry. 


I always hated to look for words. I wish you d 
tell some of the town boys to write to me. 
Letters go pretty good in camp and some fellows 
get a lot. I don t get many. It s hard to 
answer them if you get many, though, so I don t 
know which is worst. This is the longest one 
I ever wrote in my life. I forgot to tell you to 
tell Aunt Judy I met a fellow from Washington 
and he said the twins were in jail, but they were 
let out to work on some Government intrench- 
ments near by. I don t know what they were 
in for. The fellow didn t know about our other 
niggers. Said he thought Mark and Phillis 
were dead because he used to see them but 
hadn t for a long time. Said Sallie worked for 
his mother sometimes and that is how he knew 
so much about them. Two or three of the boys 
got shot last night putting cartridges in the fire 
to monkey with the other fellows. None of em 
hit yours truly. My hand is plum woah out, as 
Aunt Judy would say, holding this pen and the 
thing has gone to walking on one leg. I guess 
I broke the point off the other side jabbing at a 
fly. Good-bye. Write soon, 



" P.S. I forgot to say I am well, and send 
love. I wish I had some home grub. 

" Foxy Leathers got a bully box last week. 
He gave me nearly half of his fruit cake. The 
other boys didn t know he had one. They got 
doughnuts but even doughnuts are a lot better 
than the grub we get. H." 

The box of " home grub," was speedily 
packed and sent, and while it lasted it made 
merry the hearts of his mess. Howard said in 
one of his letters that he was growing very tall. 
He said that the boys declared that " if it had 
not been for his collar he would have been 
split all the way up, as he had run chiefly to 
legs." Howard, however, expressed it as his 
own unbiased opinion that it was jealousy of his 
ability to walk over the fences that they had to 
climb which prompted the remark. " Foxy 
has to climb for it and I put one leg over and 
then I put the other over and there you are," 
he said. Camp life agreed with him, and the 
restraints of home no longer rasping his temper, 
he seemed to be the gayest of the gay. Nothing 
troubled him. He slept and ate wherever and 


whenever and whatever fell to his lot ; lived 
each day as it came and gave no thought to its 
successor. He counted up on his fingers when 
he wrote home last, and tried to remember to 
write about once a week, because his mother 
begged that he would, and not at all because the 
impulse to do so urged him or because he cared 
especially to say anything. He liked to get let 
ters, but he knew he was sure of those from 
home whether he wrote or not, and so his replies 
had that uncertainty of date dependent upon 
luck. No sense of responsibility Aveighed upon 
him, and his mother s anxiety impressed him 
when he thought of it at all as a bit of 
womanish nonsense ; natural enough for a 
woman, but all very absurd. He had no deeper 
mental grasp upon it, and indeed the whole 
ethical nature of this boy seemed embryonic ; 
and so it was that his camp life was the happiest 
he had ever known the happiest he would 

ever know. 



..." Consider, I pray, 

How we common mothers stand desolate, murk, 
Whose sons, not being Christs, die with eyes turned away, 

And no last word to say ! " 

Mrs. Browning. 

"DEAR LITTLE MOTHER," wrote Beverly. 
" When I telegraphed you last night that Roy 
was wounded and that I was safe and unhurt, I 
feared that to-day this letter would take you 
most terrible news you who have the hardest 
part to bear, the silent, inactive part of waiting 
and uncertainty and inaction and anxiety but 
to-day I feel so relieved that I can send you a 
very hopeful letter. The doctor says that Roy 
will surely live ; and he hopes that the wounds 
will not prove so serious as we feared at first 
and as they looked. A piece of shell struck him 
in the breast but it must have been a spent 
shell, for although the place is considerably 
crushed in, the doctor now feels certain that no 


very serious damage is done his lung. That 
was what we feared at first. One of his legs is 
broken near the hip, but it is set and the doctor 
says it is doing well and will do so, for there is 
almost no fever. The great mud poultice that 
was on it for several hours at first was his 
salvation, so the surgeon thinks. I will not 
stop to explain this to you now, but when Roy 
gets home he will tell you, for he remembers 
most of it and we will tell him the rest. But 
just now I want simply to tell you the reassur 
ing things and the plans I have made for Roy. 
He is perfectly conscious and says that he does 
not suffer very much. We don t allow him to 
talk, of course, for fear of his lung, but I ve ar 
ranged to have him sent to Nashville, where he 
can be nursed as well as if he were at home. I 
recalled that the Wests live there now, and I sent 
a telegram asking if they would not take Roy 
to their house and care for him until we could 
send him home. They wired that they would 
be most happy to do so. You will recall that 
pretty little Emma West who used to come to 
the house. She was at school with Roy before 
he went to college. They are nice people, and 


I am sure that Roy will be cared for as if he 
were their own. They are Union people. 
They will write to you daily, too, so that every 
thing will be made as easy for you as possible. 
This takes a great load off my heart, and as 
Roy seems so bright to-day I am almost gay 
after yesterday s terrible experience of which 
I shall tell you when we all get home, but 
not now. One of the most absurd things I ever 
heard of was that the very first question Roy 
tried to ask, when he became conscious, was 
who got the challenge last. It was a side 
challenge of battle between his regiment and a 
Louisiana regiment. It was posted on a tree 
written on a slab of wood. I had tied my 
horse to that tree when I was looking for Roy, 
and had utterly forgotten him. Roy s question 
recalled the poor horse to me and I went to 
see what had become of him. There the old 
fellow stood, pawing the ground and twisting 
about the tree, hungry and thirsty and tired. 
He had knocked the challenge down and split it 
with his stamping feet. I gathered it up and took 
it to Roy, and a real lively smile crossed his face, 
and immediately he fell asleep. What strange 


freaks of fancy and of desire and ambition we 
are ! I am told that Roy was promoted again 
on the field just before he was shot, so he is as 
big a captain now as I am, but that fact has not 
yet appeared to come back to him. Who 
got the challenge at the last was his first 
thought ! I suspect he was thinking of that 
when he fell, and his returning consciousness 
took up the thread of thought right where he 
had dropped it or where it was broken by the 
lapse. It has not seemed to surprise him to see 
me. He acts as if I had been about him all 
along, and yet it has been nearly two years 
since we were together ! Of course I act the 
same way so as not to excite him. He has had 
two long, good, natural naps to-day and I talked 
to him between. He knows he is to go to 
Nashville, and I had a sneaking idea that 
when I mentioned Emrna West he looked un 
commonly well pleased with the scheme. Do 
you know whether they got spoony, after I 
left home ? Anyhow that Nashville scheme 
seems to suit him all the way through. I feel 
absolutely light-hearted and gay to-day, mother 
mine. It is the reaction from the strain of 


yesterday and last night, I suppose ; but if I 
could, I d dance or sing or something. Since I 
can t do that I ll content myself with writing you 
rather a frivolous letter. You just ought to see 
these trees ! They are simply riddled with shot 
and shell. This shows, too, one very good reason 
why so few of the rounds of ammunition take 
effect in the men. They shoot entirely too 
high. Quite above the heads of the tallest men. 
The trees are simply cartridge cases, and the limbs 
are torn away. The mud ! You ought to see it. 
You d think you never saw mud before. It 
took sixteen mules and the entire regiment 
hitched to one of the cannon to pull it along the 
road the Johnnies retreated over. A man we 
captured was one who had given out at the job. 
Poor fellows ! they had a hard time of it all 
around, and we fresh troops who landed from 
the gunboats were the last straw in their cup of 
tribulation. I reckon they don t think they 
got their tribulation through a straw though, 
and the figure is a trifle mixed ; but as a soldier I 
can t stop to edit copy ! Oh, mother, I wish I 
could make you feel as relieved as I do to-day. 
Skittish is the word I feel really skittish ; 


because I am so sure Roy is in no danger. I 
believe he will be able to go home before many 
weeks, and meantime, for all comforts, he will 
be as if he were at home. When he comes you 
can get the whole story of his fall, the fight, and 
his promotion. Dear old fellow ! He s a great 
big captain now, and I stick right there. I m 
acting Inspector-General now on the staff, but 
I m really only a captain yet. I hope things 
will settle down before I get any higher 
though I d feel uncommonly well to have the 
same kind of a promotion as he got yesterday. 
I m going to let him tell you himself. It was 
quite dramatic, as the fellows tell me. I just 
stopped to take a peep at him and he is sleep 
ing like a baby. There is almost no fever. I 
feel like hugging this pottery clay mud for we 
have it to thank for a good deal but it makes 
us swear to march through it. I do hope father 
is home now. He is my main anxiety. I 
hope he won t see the papers if anything was 
said of Roy. He was thought to be missing, 
at first when the reports went, and then to be 
killed; but don t worry a single bit. I am 
telling you the very truth when I tell you that 


last night I believed that Roy could not live 
and to-night I feel absolutely safe about him I 
feel like singing and all this accounts for this 
very giddy and jerky letter. I suppose I am 
what you d call hysterical. Of course he will need 
intelligent care, but since that is all arranged 
for I shall march away to Corinth (that is our 
next aim) with a light heart and as hopeful 
as I want to make you feel. Ah, mother mine, 
I realize more and more what all this must be to 
you ! I thought of it as I looked for Roy last 
night. Silent, patient, inactive anxiety ! The 
part of war the women bear is by far the harder 
part. It takes bravery, of course, to face 
bullets and death ; but it must require almost 
inspired heroism to sit inactively by and wait 
for it to strike those we love far better than 
life. More and more, small mother, do I realize 
this, do I understand that the hardest part of war 
must be borne by those who are not warriors ; 
but we love you, little mother, and we will be as 
careful of the sons you care for and love as we 
can be and do our duty. We will not be fool 
hardy nor reckless, for your sake be sure. 
" One of the pathetic things that is not un- 


mingled with humor was told me to-day by the 
young fellow in the next bed to Roy. He is a 
pretty boy, only about eighteen. He belongs to 
an Ohio regiment. During the first day s fight 
he got separated from his command and did not 
know whether he was inside or outside of our 
lines. He was picking his way around, peering 
from behind trees cautiously, trying to get his 
bearings, when all of sudden he came upon a 
Johnnie. Both were taken by surprise. The 
other fellow jumped and seemed about to shoot, 
and the Ohio boy yelled out, Don t shoot ! 
don t shoot ! I m already wounded ! 

" The Johnnie was a mere slip of a boy himself, 
and hadn t the faintest desire to shoot. They 
had both seen all they wanted to of war. Both 
were homesick and heartsick with it all. They 
sat down on a log and fell to comparing notes. 
Neither one knew whether he was captured or 
whether he had a prisoner. Both were lost. 
They agreed to call it even and go their separate 
ways when they got their bearings. Neither 
wanted to be a prisoner. * I ve got a dear old 
father back in Alabama, and if I ever see his 
face again I ll have enough sense to stay at 


home ; explained Johnnie, with a suspicious 
quaver in his voice. Ohio had the very dearest 
and best of fathers too, and he confessed that if 
he could but see his face now heaven would 
be his. They shook hands over the situation 
and both fell to crying softly, as they decided 
that war was not what it was cracked up to be. 
The two homesick fellows sat there on that log 
and compared notes about those blessed fathers 
at home, and both were blubbering because 
they had, instead of because they had not, 
fathers who loved them and whom they loved ! 
Well, the upshot was that they agreed to part 
friends ; and go back to their regiments as soon 
as ever they could find out which one was cap 
tured. They d just call it even and let each 
other off. The Ohio boy is laid up now with a 
Minie in his arm that he caught the next day, 
and he is wondering if the Alabama lad with 
the father sent him that ball as a keepsake and 
a reminder ! So you see there are some humor 
ous sides to these horrors after all, mother. My 
journalistic instinct has kept me amused with 
this thing a good deal to-day. I d have given a 
good deal to have overheard the talk. I swear 


I wouldn t have captured Alabama. He should 
have had his chance to go back to the dear old 
home and the father. Ohio was troubled over it, 
but I told him that he did exactly right. But 
wasn t it delightfully funny ? Oh, mother mine, 
I wish I could say something to make you keep 
up good heart. I hope father is home. If I 
could be sure that he is, I d feel almost gay, to 
day. Wool little Margaret s curly pate for me 
and tell her that I say her chirographical efforts 
are very creditable for a young lady of her 
limited experience. Get her some little paper 
and encourage her to write to me often. It will 
do her good, and it will be a delight to me. 
Her last letter was as quaint and demure as her 
little self. Love to aunt Judy the faithful old 
soul, and to the gentle Hosanna in the highest 
peace and good will ; not to * mention me re- 

" Keep up a brave heart, mother. It can t 
last much longer ; and truly, truly I believe that 
Roy is quite safe. Kiss yourself for your eldest 
and loving son, 




" Thy brother s blood the thirsty earth hath drunk." 


WHEN Griffith reported at the White House, 
the President expressed himself as entirely 
satisfied. " You have done all I asked ; " lie 
said. " The maps sent, so far, are wonderfully 
fine and accurate, I can see that, and now that 
you have left a man who is able and willing to 
take your place, that is all I ask. If he should fail 
us I will send for you again : but I hope I shall 
not need to do that. If he is faithful, you have, 
indeed, done your whole duty, nobly. I thank 
you ! I thank you 1 You are a silent hero a 
war hero in times of peace and a peace hero in 
times of war ! I am glad you can go home now. 
I I happened to read I always notice your 
name, now when I see it and " 

Griffith looked at him steadily. There was 


evidently something bearing on the mind of the 
President which had to do with Griffith. Mr. 
Lincoln was moving toward the table. " Have 
you read I suppose you have not seen the 
papers lately ? " 

" Nothing," Griffith said, shaking his head. 
" What is the news, Mr. Lincoln ? " 

" Glorious news ! A great victory at Shiloh ! 
A great victory ; but " 

He turned over several papers and took one 
up from among the rest. 

" What regiments are your sons in ? " he 
asked, looking down the columns. 

Griffith put out his hand, " What is the name, 
Mr. Lincoln ? Is he killed or " 

The President retained the paper and feigned 
to be looking for a name. " No, no, missing 
according to one account. The other the news 
is too meager yet to it is confused. We can t 
be sure, and then this paper is several days 
old, beside. I ve seen nothing since nothing 
at all of him. Here Roy. Captain Roy 
Davenport of " 

" Roy is not a captain. That is his brother 
Beverly. Is Roy " 


" He was promoted on the field, just before 
he fell or This paper " 

Griffith staggered toward the door. 

" I must go home. Just before he fell ! 
Poor Katherine ! Poor Roy ! I must go home. 

I must make haste. How long When did 

you say it was ? When ? " 

" Wait, " said Mr. Lincoln. " Let me try 
for a message for accurate news for you. 
Wait." He rang. " Send that message, in 
stantly to Shiloh to the Colonel of the 

Indiana Infantry, and bring me the reply. Be 
quick quick as you can," he said ; and the 
secretary hastened away. 

Silence fell between them. Griffith s hand 
reached out toward the paper Mr. Lincoln had 
let fall, but the long angular arm reached it 
first, and as if not noticing the movement of Mr. 
Davenport, he deftly slid it toward the pile of 
other papers, and then suddenly flung all into 
a confused heap as he searched for some article 
on the table. 

" Would you like to go home that way ? " 
They were both thinking of Shiloh, so why 
mention the name ? " Perhaps if you did, you 


might find you might take him home with 

you if Have you wired his mother that 

you are safe, and here on your way home ? 

That was right. That will help her to bear " 

He arose restlessly and placed both hands 
upon Griffith s shoulders. " Mr. Davenport, 
I can t thank you enough for your services. 
I want you to understand that I know what 
it all meant to you, and that I appreciate 
it at its full value. I hope the time will 
come when you will let a grateful country 

know what you have done and and " He 

held out his hand for the message as the door 
had opened for the secretary. He read and 
turned the other side up, and then re-read it. 
" Who is Beverly ? Colonel, of Oh, your sou ? 
Oh, this is for you ! I did not notice the address. 
I wondered who loved me ! " Mr. Lincoln smiled 
as he handed the message to his guest. " Roy 
is wounded, but doing well. Have sent him to 
Nashville to the Wests. I am unhurt. I love 
you. Beverly," Griffith read. Then he took 
out his handkerchief and blew a great blast. 

"Was there ever such a boy? To telegraph 
that!" He smiled up at Mr. Lincoln through 


proud dim eyes. " That is my oldest son the 
Captain." The quaver in his voice and the smile 
in his eyes, drowned as it was in moisture, 
touched the great man before him, who took the 
message again and re-read it as Griffith talked. 
" He is a good son. He " 

" He loves you he says, and the other 
one is doing well. You ought to be sat 
isfied. A good many fathers are not fixed 
just that way, to-day ! " Mr. Lincoln shook 
his head sadly from side to side, and the 
tragic face sank into its depth of gloom again. 
" Too many fathers have no sons to love them to 
day too many, too many," he said gloomily. 
" When will it all end ? Sow will it all end? " 
He held out the message as he suddenly turned 
to the table. " You will want to keep that. Do 
you want to go by way of Nashville, now ? Or 
straight home ? " 

Griffith re-read the message. " Straight 
home," he said. " He is in good hands and and 
he is safe. Straight home." Then suddenly, as he 
folded the telegram and placed it in his in 
side pocket, " Mr. Lincoln, did you know I 
am a deserter ? " 



" Did you know I deserted ? The General 
threatened to shoot me, and " 


Griffith told the story of the threat simply, 
fully. The keen eyes watched him narrowly. 
There was a growing fire in them. 

" Didn t you know he couldn t shoot you ? 
Didn t you know you were under me ? Didn t 
you know " 

" I didn t think of that at first, Mr. Lincoln. 
I thought he could, and I thought he would, 
for a little while. I was " 

" If he had," said the President, rising and 
showing more fire than he had exhibited before, 
"well, if he had, all I ve got to say, is that 
there d a been two of you shot ! " Then, 
recalling himself he smiled grimly. " If he 
does his share as well as you ve done yours, I ll 
be satisfied." 

" Before I go, Mr. Lincoln, I wanted to speak 
to you about a little matter. You said some 
thing just now about a grateful country, and 
but I recall that you I understood you to 

The fact is, when I was here before, I somehow 


got the idea that you were willing to to pay, 
and to give a Colonel s commission, and and 
emoluments to one who could do this service, 
Mr. Lincoln dropped the hand he held, and 
an indescribable change passed over the tall 
form and the face, which made both less pleas 
ant to see. But he smiled, as he passed his 
hand over his face, and turning toward the 
table with a tired expression, reached for a 

" You ve sort of concluded that the job is 
worth pay, have you ? " 

" Yes, it s worth all you can afford to pay, 
Mr. Lincoln ; it is extremely dangerous business. 
Is the offer still open ? " 

The President gave an imperceptible shrug to 
his loose shoulders, and drew a sheet of paper 
toward him. 

" Certainly. Commission ? " he said as he 
began to write. 

" Yes, if you will. A Colonel s commission 
and pay dating all back to the beginning of my 
service if that is right." 

Mr. Lincoln nodded, but there was a dis- 


tinctly chilly air creeping into his tone. " Y-e-s. 
of course. Nything else ? " 

" I don t see hardly how you can date it back 
either, without " 

" Oh yes, I can date it back to the beginning 
of your service," he said wearily, " but I don t 
know " 

"I guess you ll have to just put it Col. L. 
Patterson, for I don t know his real name, the 
baptismal one. Known him all my life just as 
Lengthy, but of course that won t " 

" What ! " the President had turned to face 
him, but Griffith was still looking contempla 
tively out of the window, and did not notice 
the sudden change of tone and position. 

" It will give him a certain standing with 
the men and with the General that he will 
need and deserve, and and and the rest is 
right too, for him, if " 

Mr. Lincoln thrust his fingers back and forth 
through his already disheveled hair, and at last 
burst out : " Can t say that I exactly get 
your idea. I understood you to say that you 
had changed your mind about about wanting 
the rank of Colonel, and and the pay for " 


He was looking full at Griffith, and the preach 
er s eyes traveled back from the distant hills 
and fell upon the face before him. It struck 
him that the face looked tired and worn. He 
pulled himself up sharply, for the dull way he 
had been presenting the case, and his reply was 
in a fuller, freer voice, with a brisker air of at 
tention to business. 

"Certainly, certainly, Mr. Lincoln, that s it 
exactly." Then with a lowered voice : " Perhaps 
you don t realize, Mr. Lincoln, that every 
instant a man in that situation, who is known 
and recognized, and who holds no commission, 
and wears no federal uniform, has his life in his 
hands is in more danger than any soldier ever 
is, and " 

" Realize ! Didn t I tell you so ? Didn t I 
ask you to go better protected ? Didn t I ? " 

Griffith waved his hand and went on. 

"I somehow couldn t bring myself to take 
the attitude and position of a soldier. I am a 
man of peace, a non-combatant, a clergyman, 
and and then there was some sort of sentiment 
of Mr. Lincoln, it isn t necessary to try to 
explain my position. The fact is, I doubt if I 


could, if I tried, make you understand wholly ; 
but I want this Government to protect Lengthy 
Patterson with all the power and all the devices 
it has. And I want him to have a commission 
that will place him where he will receive re 
spect and consideration in our own ranks ; and 
if he is captured. I want money paid to him to 
live on afterward, if he should be hurt and 
he can never live in his old home again. I 

want " He had risen and was standing 

near the President again. His voice had grown 
intense in its inflection. "Lengthy Patterson 
has taken my place, and I want and if you 
will just give him all that I don t see how you 
can date it back either, or he will suspect that 
1 am paying him and he wouldn t take a cent ; 
but if can t you just " 

A great gleam of light seemed to break over 
the rugged face of the President. He arose 
suddenly, and threw one arm around Griffith s 
shoulders, and grasped his hand again. 

" God bless my soul ! Certainly ! Of 
course ! By the lord Harry, I didn t understand 

you at first, I Why, certainly, the man who 

took your place shall have both the commission 


that will shield him and the pay he deserves, 
certainly, certainly ! " They were moving 
toward the door. " Anything else, Mr. Daven 

" I reckon you will have to let him think that 
J took that I was both commissioned and and 
paid, Mr. Lincoln, or he won t take it and and 
there isn t the least reason why he should not. 
He must. Can I leave it all will you see 
that ?" 

" Oh, yes, yes, that s all right. I ll fix that 

I m glad it s that way " He broke off and 

took Griffith s hand. " Well, good-bye. Good 
bye. I hope, when we meet again, it will not be 
I hope this war will be over, and that I shall 
have no more need to test men like you. But 
ah, you have a son who loves you and the 
other one is safe ! I wish to heaven all loyal 
men were as well off as you are to-night. I am 
glad for you, and yet I sometimes think I shall 
never feel really glad again," and the strong 
homely face sank from its gently quizzical smile 
into the depths of a mood which had come to be 
its daily cast. He stretched out his hand for 
another message, and stood reading it as 


Griffith closed the door behind him. " New 
Orleans is ours," was all that the message said, 
but Mr. Lincoln sighed with relief and with 
pain. Victory was sweet, but carnage tortured 
his great and tender soul. The sadly tragic 
face deepened again in its lines, and yet he said 
softly, as he turned to his desk : " Thank God ! 
Thank God ! one more nail is driven into the 
coffin of the Confederacy. Let us hope that 
rebellion is nearly ready to lie down in it and 
keep still. Then perhaps we can be glad again 
perhaps we can forget ! " 



" Through the shadows of the globe we sweep into the 
younger day." "ennyson. 

" WHEN the war is over and the boys all get 
home," Griffith was fond of saying, as he sat and 
talked with Katherine, " how good it will seem 
just to live ! I ve seen all the suffering and 
shadows of tragedy I want to see for my whole 
life. The boys and I will make it up to you, 
Katherine, and these gray hairs that have come," 
he touched the wavy hair with tender fingers, 
."these gray hairs that have come since we went 
away, shall be only memoranda of the past, not 
heralds of the future." 

It was such infinite relief to have him at home 
and well that Katherine almost forgot for a time 
to feel troubled about her sons. News had come 
daily from the first about Roy ; but now that 
he was so much improved the letters gradually 
grew a little less frequent. Sometimes Emma 


West wrote them, and then the letters were veiy 
minute indeed, and full of anxious hopefulness. 
Her praise of Roy s fortitude, her descriptions 
of his wonderful courage and the insistence with 
which she assured Katharine that no duty of all 
their lives her father s and mother s had ever 
been done with half so hearty a good-will as was 
the nursing of the young Captain, had in it all 
a spirit of devotion and a guarded tenderness 
that Katharine thought she understood. Al 
though it is true that no girl is ever quite good 
enough to marry any mother s son, Katherine 
tried to adjust herself with reasonable fortitude 
to the idea of what she thought she saw in the 
future. Of course it would be many years in 
the future before the finality must be faced, and 
Katherine was learning to live in the present 
and to push aside that which threatened or even 
promised, as too uncertain to dwell upon. At 
last short notes, and then longer ones, from Roy 
himself began to come, and the time seemed not 
far off when the invalid would arrive. It 
was wholly unlikely, he said, that he would 
be fit for service again during the war, unless the 
war should last much longer than his original 


term of enlistment and lie should enlist again. 
Of his final recovery he felt certain. The 
crushed side was doing well, and he would be 
only slightly lame, the doctor said. To get him 
out of the army by even so heroic a process gave 
his mother comfort, and she felt that she could 
keep him out now even should he recover before 
his enlistment period were over, she would, if 
need be, appeal to Mr. Lincoln, and she felt sure, 
from all Griffith had told her, that the President 
would give Roy an honorable discharge. Two 
of her brood were safe again, she argued with 
herself, and meantime news from Howard and 
Beverly was frequent and assuring. Life seemed 
about to drop into less tragic lines in the little 
household. Griffith fell to humming his favorite 
hymns once more, and sometimes as he sat on 
the porch and watched or greeted the passers-by 
or read his paper, he would stop to tell Katherine 
stories of his recent adventures, where they 
did not trench too closely upon the sorrowful 
memories of the cold faces and bitter feelings of 
his one-time friends. To no one else did he 
speak of where he had been. His townsmen 
knew that he had been away, of course. The 


Bishop and the college trustees alone knew 
why. To all others his few months absence 
was no more significant than many another trip 
he had taken since he came among them. The 
duty he had felt forced to do had been too pain 
ful in its nature to make him willing to discuss 
it even after it was over. Most of those about 
him were bitter toward the South with a bitter 
ness born of ignorance of conditions and of the 
times of excitement. To this man, who had 
passed through the fire before the general con 
flagration was kindled, there was no bitterness. 
He understood. His sympathy was still with 
those who were caught on the under side of the 
wheel of progress as it had revolved. His be 
liefs and convictions had long ago traveled with 
the advance line ; but he left all sense of un- 
kindness and revenge to those who were less 
competent to see the conflict from the side of 
understanding, and who judged it through the 
abundance of their ignorance and prejudice. To 
Griffith it was like watching the tide rise on the 
sea. It was unavoidable, and those who were 
caught out beyond the safety line were bound 
to go down. He did not blame the sea. He 


only deplored the inevitable loss, the sorrow, 
the suffering, and the mistakes which made it all 
possible. That his own part of it was in and of 
the past lightened his heart. One day as he sat 
listlessly on the side porch reading his Gazette, 
he noticed vaguely the half-witted girl, now 
almost grown to womanhood, circling about the 
gate and making aimless passes toward the end 
of the house. He watched her covertly over his 
paper for a moment and went on humming, " He 
leadeth me, oh, blessed thought ! " The move 
ments of the demented creature seemed to take 
on more defmiteness. Griffith arose and stepped 
to the end of the porch. There sat aunt Judy, 
smoking her pipe, and swaying her body in time 
with his humming, " O words with heavenly 
comfort fraught! Where er I go, whate er I 
be," Griffith s step had attracted the old 
woman and she opened her eyes and looked up 
at him. " Still tis His hand that leadeth me," 
Griffith finished, smiling at her. 

" Lawd amassy, honey, I des been a settin heah 
wid my po ole eyes shet, alistenin to dat dar song 
er yoahrn ! Hit sholy do seem des lack ole times 
come back agin t heah yoh sing dat a way ! Hit 


sholy do ! Lawsy, honey, dey want no singin 
roun heah whilse you wus gone all dat long time. 
Dey want dat ! Hit wus des dat gloomysome 
dat hit seem lack somebody daid all de time. 
Hit sholy do go good t set heah an listen ter 
yoh singin agin ! Hit sholy do, Mos Grif." 
She suddenly looked toward the street. " Mos 
Grif, what dat dare fool gal doin ? She des do 
like dat a way all de time. I hain t nebber seed 
her when she don t do des dat er way. I ax her 
wat she want, an I ax er wat ails er, an she 
don t say nothin tall. She des keep on doin. 
dat way." 

" She s afflicted, aunt Judy. She s a poor 
afflicted creature and " 

" Lawsy, honey, anybody kin see dat she s 
flicted ; but wat I axes yoh is, what fer she do dat 
away at me ? She ain do dat a way at yoh, an 
she ain do dat a way at Mis Kate an she ain 
do dat a way at Mis Marg et, needer. Des at 
me. She tryin ter witch me. Dat s what ! " 

Griffith laughed. The point of view was so 
unexpected and yet so wholly characteristic that 
it struck him as humorous beyond the average 
of aunt Judy s mental processes. His laugh 


rang out loud and clear. His broad shoulders 
shook. He had grown quite portly, and his face 
was the picture of health and fine vigor. 

" What fer yoh laugh dat a way, Mos Grif ? 
Dat dar fool gal would a witched me long time 
ago if hit hadn t a been fer dat." She took from 
her bosom, where it hung from a string, the rab 
bit foot : " Dat s so. Des as sho as yo bawn, 
honey ; dey ain no two ways bout dat ! " 

The fascination of the strange black face for 
this clouded intellect seemed never to lose 
its power. Whenever and wherever Judy had 
crossed her path all else faded from the half 
vacant brain, and such mind and attention as 
there was, fixed itself upon the old colored 
woman. Judy had tried every art she possessed 
to engage the girl in conversation, but with no 
results. She would continue to circle about 
and make her passes of indirection with one hand 
outstretched and the other hung aimlessly perr 
dent at her side in that helpless fashion which de 
fies simulation. Judy had even tried threaten 
ing the girl with her cane ; but no threat, no 
coaxing and no cajolery served to free her from 
this admirer who seemed transfixed as a bird is fas- 


cinated by a snake with the fascination of per 
plexity and fear in so far as the vacant soul 
could know such lively and definite sensations. 
Judy had finally long ago taken refuge in her 
rabbit foot, and made up her mind that in compe 
tition in the black art, only, was safety. She 
shook the foot at the girl, who responded in the 
usual fashion. How long the contest might 
have lasted it would be difficult to say, had 
not Griffith walked toward the gate. The 
instant the bulk of his body hid the old 
black woman from her eyes, nature did the 
rest. The vacant mind, no longer stimulated 
by the sight of the uncanny face, lost all interest 
and continuity of thought and wandered aim 
lessly on ; forgetful alike of her recent object of 
attention and equally unguided by future in 
tent, her steps followed each other as a succes 
sion of physical movements only, and had no ob 
ject and no destination. Aimlessly, listlessly, 
walking ; going no one knew where ; thinking 
no one knew what if, indeed, her poor vague 
mental operations might be classified as thought 
living, no one knew why ; following the path 
of least resistance, as how many of her betters 


have done and will do to the end of time ; look 
ing no farther than the scope of present vision ; 
remembering nothing ; learning nothing ; an ob 
ject of pity, of persecution, of fear or of aversion 
according as she crossed the path of civilized or 
savage, of intelligent and pitiful or of pitiless 
ignorance. Griffith watched her as she wove 
her devious way and wondered where, in the 
economy of Nature, such as she could find a use 
ful place, and why, in the providence of God, she 
had been cast adrift to cumber the earth, to suf 
fer, to endure and at last to die where and why 
and how ? He was not laughing as he returned 
to the house, and aunt Judy scanned his face 
narrowly, and then carefully replaced the rabbit 
foot in its resting-place in her bosom. 

" Druv er off. She know ! She know a 
preacher o de gospil o de Lawd Jesus Chris 
w en she see um ! Dey ain t no two ways bout 
dat flicted or no flicted. Dat dar gal s 
flicted o course, but she know nuf ter know 
dat ! She been tryin ter witch me, dat she is ; but 
Lawd God A mighty, she hain t got no sense, ter 
try ter witch dis house wid Mos Grif an dat 
rabbit foot bofe in hit I Dat dar gal s a plum 


bawn fool ter try dat kine er tricks. She is dat. 
She s wus dan flicted. She s a plum bawn 
ejiot ter try dat kine er tricks aroun dese heak 
diggins. She is dat ! Lawsy, Lawsy, she ain 
got no sense worf talkin bout I Mos Grif an 
dat rabbit foot bofe t match up wid ! Lawsy, 
Lawsy, dat dar pore flicted gal s a plum bawn 
fool ! " And poor old aunt Judy, still talking 
to herself, hobbled into the house, satisfied with 
her estimate of all parties concerned and content 
with the world as she found it, so long as that 
world contained for her both a Mos Grif and 
her precious rabbit foot. 

White or black, bond or free, war or peace, 
were all one to old aunt Judy ; nothing mat 
tered in all this infinite puzzle called life, if but 
there remained to her these two strongholds 
of her faith and her dependence ! And who 
shall say that aunt Judy was not wise in her 
day and generation? So wise was she that 
sorrow, anxiety, and care had passed her lightly 
by to the end that her eighty years sat upon her 
shoulders like a pleasant mantle, adjusted, com 
fortable to a summer breeze- 



" And what are words ? How little these the silence of the 
soul oppress ! 

Mere froth, the foani and flower of seas whose hungering 
waters heave and press 

Against the planets and the sides of night, mute, yearn 
ing, mystic tides !" 


" I AM coming home next month," wrote 
Roy, " with my wife the very dearest, sweetest, 
most lovable and beautiful girl in the whole 
world. We have decided not to wait, but to be 
married at once as soon as she can get ready, 
and I a bit stronger and go home for our bridal 
trip. The winter at home with you will finish 
up my recovery (and if anything on earth could 
facilitate it, Emma s nursing and care and love 
will,) and then if the war is not over, of course I ll 
go back if I am needed enlist again. My time 
is out now ; but I hope and believe that the war 
will be over, or, at least, on its last legs by that 


time, and then I can begin business at once. 
My own idea is to take the stock-farm, if 
father is willing, instead of leaving it to those 
Martins who don t know the first thing about 
stock-breeding, and go in for fine horses and a 
few fine cows, too. I got hold of some books on 
those subjects here. Emma s father used to 
have a fancy that way, and I ve read up 
and talked a lot with him on the subject in 
these four months. Don t you think we could 
fix the house out there on the place so it would 
do very well, indeed, for a couple of young 
folks who won t care so very much about any 
thing at all but each other ? " 

Griffith stopped reading the letter to laugh. 

" Tut, tut, tut ! Here s more love in a cottage 
business for you. Well, well, I am surprised, 
Katherine ! I am " 

"I am not. I ve been expecting it all 
along only I did hope I didn t think it 
would be quite so soon. Roy is only twen " 

" Well, well, pon my soul, it looks as if you 
didn t get out of one kind of a frying-pan in 
this world until you got into another. I was 
just building all sorts of castles about the future 


and and to tell the mortal truth, Katherine, 
I never once thought of making a place for 

a daughter-in-law ! Never once ! Why " 

There was a long pause. Griffith finished the 
letter in silence and handed it to his wife. As 
she read she began back at the beginning he 
gazed straight before him with unseeing eyes 
and a low hum ran along with unsteady and 
broken measure. " How tedious mmmm 
mm the hours, Mmmmm no longer mmm 
mm ; Sweet pros mmm, swee et mmm mm 
mm, mmmm, Ha ave all mm mm mm mm to 
me. But we ll have to expand the castle, 
Katherine build on an addition for a daugh 
ter-in-law," he said as if there had been no break 
in the conversation, albeit almost half an hour 
had passed during which each had been wrapped 
in thought, and the singing if Griffith s natural 
state of vocalization may be called by that 
name was wholly unnoticed by both. 

" Yes," said Katherine in a tired voice ; " yes, 
but I had hoped for a reunion of of just 
ourselves first ; but but we will try to feel that 
she is one of ourselves and surely we ought to 
be very grateful for the way they have nursed 


Roy and His letter " Katherine fell to 

discussing liis letter and the new plans and 
needs, and how short a time it would be until 
they would come. 

Little Margaret hailed with delight the idea of 
a new sister. They all remembered the pretty 
face of the school-girl Emma. Letters of con 
gratulation and welcome were written and 
posted, and it seemed to Katherine that nothing 
in the whole world could ever either surprise or 
startle her any more. She felt sure that what 
ever should come to her in the future would 
find her ready. She would take the outstretched 
hand of any new experience and say, " I was 
expecting you." Her powers seemed to her to 
have taken up their position upon a level sur 
face and to have lost all ability to rise or fall. 
The fires had burned too close to have left ma 
terial to ever flare up again. There was nothing 
left, she thought, to kindle a sudden or brilliant 
blaze. She had accepted the thought of a new 
daughter with a placidity which shocked her 
self, when she thought of it, until she analyzed 
her sensations or her lack of them. 

The month passed. When the happy young 


creatures came, the very beauty of their faces 
and forms about the house gave warmth and 
color. Roy was still limping a little and his 
lung needed care, but he was as handsome as a 
young fellow could be, and as proud and bright 
in his new happiness as if the earth were his. 
" Is she not beautiful ?" he would ask twenty 
times a day, holding the laughing young wife at 
arm s length. " Isn t she beautiful, father? " 
and Griffith would pretend to turn critical eyes 
upon her and tease the son with an assumption 
that it was necessary to look for a beauty which 
was both rare arid graciously, brilliantly en 

" Well, let me see ! L-e-t me s-e-e ! Turn 
around, daughter-^ No, not so far M-mm. 
Well it seems to me she is r-a-t-h-e-r 
fair ! " and Griffith s eyes would twinkle with 
pleasure when Emma tweaked his ears or drowned 
his pretense in a dash of music. The old piano 
gave place to a new one, and the home was once 
more filled with laughter and music and a hap 
piness that not even the shadow cast by the 
thought of the two absent ones could make 
dark enough to veil the spirits of the two who 


had come. With the others it had also its in 
fection. So true is it that after long and ter 
rible strains we hail partial relief with such peans 
of joy that the shadows that remain seem only 
to temper the light that has burst upon our 
long darkened vision and to render us only the 
better able to bear the relief. Griffith sang the 
old hymns daily now, and even essayed to add 
his uncertain voice to the gay music that Emma 
and Roy flung forth. 

" And the nights shall be filled with music, 
And the thoughts that infest the day, 
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, 
And as silently steal away." 

Emma s voice rang out clear and sweet, and 
it seemed to Katherine that, after all, it was 
very delightful to have a new daughter like 
this one, and if Roy must marry, why 

Good news continued to come from the 
front. Howard and Beverly were well and un 
hurt. In their different ways they wrote cheer 
ful and cheering letters. Emma grew more 
radiant every day as she watched the returning 
color come to Roy s cheeks, and one day Griffith 


took her by both arms as she was flashing past 
him. He held her at arm s length and laughed. 

" Trying to see if I m pretty, father ? " she 
said saucily, lifting her mouth for a kiss. 

" Pretty I pretty ! Why, daughter of Baby 
lon, the lilies of the field are not half so 

lovely and Solomon, in all his glory " He 

stepped back and folded his arms. Emma 
flung both little hands up to his cheeks in glee. 
" Kiss me ! oh, you dear old father ! Solomon 
in all his glory never knew you didn t have 
3 7 ou for a father and so that is where I have 
got the best of Solomon ! Poor old Solomon, I 
wouldn t trade with him ! " She ran laughing 
down the hall, and Katherine smiled up at her 

" What a dear girl she is ! I am so glad for 
Roy for all of us ; " she said. " It is easy and 
a pleasure to build on an addition to our air- 
castles for her." 

Griffith bent over to kiss her. " Yes, God 
has been very good to us all the days of our 
lives, Katherine. The struggles have all been 
outside of the most sacred of He hesi 
tated as he recalled some of the struggles, and 


touched his lips to her hair where the gray 
was growing distinct. "But all those seem to 
be about over, now, and for us the dawn is here 
and the brilliant day is only just ahead. Ah, 
little wife, the sun will rise for us to-morrow on 
a day which shall have no conflict of soul be 
fore us. How happy we shall be when the 
other boys get home ! It makes me feel young 
again only to think of it ! I am going over to 
the College now. A business meeting of the 
trustees." He smiled back at her and went 
humming down the lawn : " Joy to the world, 
the Lord is come ! " 

Two hours later in the twilight, there was a 
confused scuffle of feet and babble of muffled 
voices on the front porch. Katherine, ever on 
the alert for news from her absent sons, opened 
the door. A dark, repellent face the face of an 
ascetic, cast in the mold of sorrow and soured 
by the action of time, was before her. She rec 
ognized the pastor of the church near by. 
"Sister Davenport," he said, "you had better 

step back. We have sad news. We He 

is dead." 

"Which one? Which one?" cried Kathe- 


rine, " Howard or Beverly ? " She was strug 
gling to push by them out on to the porch. 
Roy rushed from the hallway and past the 

" Great God ! It is father ! It is father ! " 
he cried, and turned to shield his mother from 
the sight. " Come back ! Come back ! " he said 
grasping her l>y the waist and trying to force her 
into a chair. He had, as we all have at such 
times, a vague idea of somehow saving her by 
gaining time. The little group was staggering 
into the room and its load was laid upon the 
couch. Griffith Davenport was dead. The smile 
on the face was there still, but the poor brave 
heart would beat no more forever. 

" Heart failure," some one said, " in the 
trustees room." 

" In the midst of life we are in death " began 
the stern-faced ascetic as he took his place near 
Katherine. Roy had pushed her into a chair and 
stood holding her about the shoulders. Emma 
knelt before her with streaming eyes, looking 
into the set face. Little Margaret was weeping 
with fear. She had never before seen the face 
of death. She did not understand. She only 


knew that some terrible blow had fallen, and 
she clung to aunt Judy and wept. 

" In the midst of life we are in death. The 
Lord give tli, and " 

" Ob, go away, go away ! " moaned Katherine, 
as the monotonous voice and the tall form of the 
clergyman forced itself into her consciousness 
again. " Go away and leave me with my dead ! " 
She was dry-eyed and staring. Sbe sat like one 
in a dream. She had not reckoned upon this 
when she had felt that she was ready for any 
thing that should come anything that could 
come to her in the future. She was too dazed 
to grasp or adjust anything now. She only knew 
that she must be alone. " Go away ! go away," 
she said looking up at Roy. . He motioned the 
men and the minister out and closed and locked 
the door. When he returned to his mother s side 
her eyes were shut and her head was thrown back 
against the chair. There were no tears. He 
beckoned Judy to bring little Margaret, and he 
took his mother s arms and put them about 
the child, and his own were around both. His 
own eyes were streaming but hers were dry still. 

"Mother," he said softly, "mother," She 


did not answer. Presently she opened her e3 r es 
and they fell upon the child in her arms. 

" Poor fatherless child ! Poor fatherless 
child ! " she moaned, and the tears gushed forth, 
but her arms dropped slowly from Margaret s 
form, and she did not seem to want the child 
there. The streaming eyes traveled toward 
the couch and its silent occupant whose trials 
and struggles were indeed over at last. Oh, 
the irony of fate ! No conflict of soul was 
before him, the dawn he had heralded the 
brilliant day was come, was it not ? Who was 
there to say ? He was out of bondage at last 
bondage to a conscience and a condition that 
tortured his brave, sensitive soul. The end 
of the sacrifice had come, but for what? To 
Katherine, as she gazed at him lying there in 
the gloom, it was dead sea-fruit indeed. She 
could not think. She only sat and stared, and 
was conscious of the dull dead pain the worth- 
lessness of all things. 

Roy bent down and stroked her hair and 
kissed her. She did not seem to know. "Shall 
we go away, too? -Allot its, mother? Would 
rou rather be alone with father? " 


" Yes," she said feebly. " I will be alone 
always, alone now, always alone alone ! " 

" No, no, mother, you will have all of us 
all ail-but him. We will " 

" Go away ! go away, for a while," she said, 
and flung herself on her knees beside the couch. 
"Oh, Griffith, Griffith! What was it all for? 
All our suffering and trials and hopes and life ? 
What was it all for at last ? " she moaned with 
her arms about his lifeless form. " What did it 
all mean? What was it all for, if this is the 
end? Oh, Griffith, Griffith ! what was the use ? 
What was the use with this for the end ! I 
felt so safe about } r ou, darling, now that you 
were here ! I did not even think of you ! I did 
not fear it was you ! Oh, Griffith, Griffith ! 
this is the end of all things ! This is the end ! 
This is the end ! I do not care what else comes 
I do not care I do not care ! What is a 
country? What are sons to me now? I do not 
care ! I do not care ! This u the end ! " 

Roy had heard her voice and her sobs. He 
opened the door softly and saw her with her 
head on the breast of her dead and the long 
sobbing sighs corning with the silences between. 


He closed the door noiselessly .again, and took 
his young wife in his arms. His voice was 
clicked and broken. 

"Emma, my darling, perhaps if you were 
to go to her perhaps she would know that you 
can understand perhaps you could com fort her, 

" No, no, Roy, she would hate me if I were 
to go in there now I who have you ! I who 
am so happy and so blest ! I know ! I know, 
darling. Let her alone for awhile. Oh, Roy. 
If it were you ! If if it were I in there, 
with with you dead ! Oh, Roy ! " 

They clung to each other in silence. Both 
understood. At last he said, holding his wife to 
his heaving breast : " And we cannot help her ! 
Not even God can help her now if there be a 
God not even He can help her now ! He 
would be too late to undo His own cruelty ! Ah, 
love and death ! Love and death ! how could 
a good God make both ! " 

The young wife shuddered and was silent. 
Her faith could not compass that situation. 
Love was too new and too strong. Doubt 
entered the door Love had swung open for 


these two, and took up his seat at their fireside 

An hour later, as they talked in whispers, Roy 
said : " To think that we all escaped in battle 
and he from worse danger and now ! " 

" Mos Roy, honey, I wisht yoh d take dis heah 
rabbit foot in dar t Mis Kate ! Lawsy, Mos Roy, 
she gwine ter go outen her mine if she don look 
out. Aunt Judy dori need dis heah foot lack 
what Mis Kate do now, honey. You des go in 
dar an des kinder put hit inter Mis Kate s 
pocket er somewheres. Hit ain t gwine ter do 
her no harhm an mebby hit mout do er some 
kine er good, kase I gwine ter gib hit to her ter 
keep fer all de time now." 

Roy took the proffered gift quite gravely. 
" Thank you, aunt Judy, you were always good 
to us always. I will take it in there after a 
while ; " he said, and the heroic old soul hobbled 
away, happy in her supreme sacrifice. 

It was night To Katherine it seemed 

that the darkness must be eternal. Yet the 
sun rose on the morrow, and Life took up its 
threads and wove on another loom. 



Los Angeles 
V V*r>1< is TT v on * l^st date stanped V 

m " " "" Hill Hill Kill Hill Hill HI |||j