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
HELEN H. GARDENER
"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.
R. F. FENNO & COMPANY
9 AND 1 1 EAST 1 6rH STREET
HELEN H. GARDENER.
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."
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
A SON OF VIRGINIA.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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?
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
8 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
10 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 11
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
12 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 13
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
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
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.
14 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 15
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.
16 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 17
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
18 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 19
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
20 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 21
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
22 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 23
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.
24 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
THE IEONY OF FATE.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 27
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
28 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 29
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
30 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
deferential woodsman back to his normal men
" 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
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 31
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,
32 . AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 33
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.
34 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
THE KEY. GRIFFITH DAVENPOKT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 35
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
36 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 37
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 39
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
40 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
within us all and Selim had associated much
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
42 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
"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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 43
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
44 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 45
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
46 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 47
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
48 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 49
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
50 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN (INOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 51
" 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.
52 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
A MAN S CONSCIENCE.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 53
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;
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
54 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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."
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 55
" 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
56 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 57
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 "
58 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 59
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 "
60 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 61
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
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
62 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 63
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-
64 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 65
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
66 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 67
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
68 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 69
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
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-
70 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN V80XP1CXAL PATRIOT. 71
"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
72 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 73
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
" 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-
74 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
band s shoulder. Her eyes were wet and her
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 75
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
76 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 77
" 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
78 AN UNOFFICIAL PATEIOT.
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
" 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
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 79
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.
80 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 81
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-
82 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 83
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?
" 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
84 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 85
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
86 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN VNOFFICIAL PATEIOT. 87
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
88 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 89
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 91
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
92 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 93
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.
94 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
Over and over during the year, when they had
talked of the proposed new move, he had urged
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 95
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 "
96 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 97
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
98 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 99
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.
100 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 101
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
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
102 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" Griffith," asked Katherine from the window,
" how do you suppose they will take it ? I m
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 103
" 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.
104 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
"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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 105
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
106 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" What I want wid yoah ole mannermussent
papers ? What I want wid em, hey ? " She
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 107
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
" 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 ? "
108 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
She changed the child s position, and the little
soft, white cheek lay contentedly against the
" 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
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 109
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
110 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. Ill
OUT OF BONDAGE.
" 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
112 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 113
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
114 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 115
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
"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
116 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 117
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
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
118 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 119
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.
120 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. li>l
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-
122 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 123
" 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
124 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 125
" 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.
126 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 !
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 127
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
128 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT 129
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
130 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 131
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 !
13-2 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 133
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
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
134 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 135
" 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
" 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
136 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
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
" His aunt s a nigger ! "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 137
" 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.
138 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 139
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
" 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 ;
140 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT 141
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.
142 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 143
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
144 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 145
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."
146 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 147
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
148 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 149
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
150 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 151
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
152 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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."
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 153
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,
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
154 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 155
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
156 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 157
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-
158 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 159
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 ! "
160 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 161
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
162 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 163
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
164 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 165
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
166 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 167
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 169
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
170 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 171
" 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
172 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 173
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
374 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 175
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
176 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 177
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
Almost before he had spoken the words
cheer after cheer rent the air. Men signified
178 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 179
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
180 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 181
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
" 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.
182 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
.4.2V UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 183
THE OTHER SIDE OF WAK.
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
184 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 185
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
186 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 187
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
188 A N UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 !
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 189
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
190 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 191
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
192 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 193
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,
194 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 195
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
196 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 197
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
198 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT,
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
Atf UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 199
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."
200 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 201
A SILENT HERO.
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
202 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
She took the message and read :
" Washington, D. C.
" Report here immediately.
" A. LINCOLN."
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 203
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.
204 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 205
" 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
" 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
206 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" Report here immediately.
" A. LINCOLN."
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 207
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
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
208 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 209
" 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
210 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 211
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.
212 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATSIOT. 213
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
" 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
214 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 215
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
" 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-
210 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 217
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-
218 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 219
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
" How much of a Union man are you ?
220 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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 "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 221
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
222 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 ?
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 223
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-
224 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 225
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
226 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 227
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
228 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATftlOT. 229
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-
230 AX UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
" 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
Atf UNOFFICIAL PATKIOT. 231
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.
232 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 233
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.
234 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
"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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 235
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
236 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 237
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
238 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 239
"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,
" Broken faith with even you, haven t I, Bun-
240 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 241
see no camp-fires, there will be none near enough
to detect ours. Shall I return here, General,
" 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
242 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 243
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.
244 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT,
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 245
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.
246 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
"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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT 247
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
248 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 ? "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 249
" 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.
250 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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 ? "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 251
" 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 ? "
252 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 "
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 253
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
" 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.
254 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 255
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
Beverly s letters kept up their old tone, and
256 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 257
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,
258 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 259
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 "
260 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 261
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
1:02 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
The old woman hobbled in. " Now, des look
AN VNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 263
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."
264 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 265
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.
266 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 267
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.
268 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 269
" 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
270 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 271
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
272 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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,
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 273
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,
274 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 275
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
276 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 277
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
278 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN VN OFFICIAL PATRIOT. 279
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
280 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 281
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
282 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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 ? "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 283
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 285
" 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
286 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
they should have driven over Roy I Do you
" 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.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 287
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 ! "
288 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
"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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 289
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-
290 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 291
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 :
292 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 293
_i . .
save me from this terrible trial ? Do you
" 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
"Yeh kin go home. I ll do hit. Few
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-
i>94 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
eer, to save his friend the need of words. " Bap
" 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-
" 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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 295
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
296 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 297
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 ? "
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
298 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
* 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 "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 299
" 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.
300 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 301
" 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
" 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
C02 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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.
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 303
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,
504 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 305
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
306 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
..." 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 ! "
"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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 307
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
308 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 309
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
310 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 ;
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 311
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
312 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 013
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
814 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 315
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,
316 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATBIOT. 317
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 "
318 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 319
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
320 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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 ? "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 321
" 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
" 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
322 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 323
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
"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 "
324 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 825
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
826 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 327
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 ! "
328 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 329
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
330 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 331
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
332 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 333
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.
" 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
334 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 335
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
336 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 337
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-
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 339
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
340 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 341
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
342 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 343
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
344 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT,
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
UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 345
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
"Which one? Which one?" cried Kathe-
346 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
" 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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 347
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
348 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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? "
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 349
" 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.
350 AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT.
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
AN UNOFFICIAL PATRIOT. 351
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.
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