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Full text of "Peggy Ware"

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PEGGY WARE 

BY 

M. W. HOWARD 

Four Years Congressman from Alabama, 

Author of "If Christ Came to Congress," 

Etc. 



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Published by 

J. F. ROWNY PRESS 

Los Angeles, Cal. 
1921 



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Copyright, 1921 

by 

M. W. HOWARD 

Los Angeles, Cal. 
All rights reserved. 



CONTENTS 



Chapter 
I. 



II. 
III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 

XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIII. 

XIX. 

XX. 

XXI. 
XXII. 



Christmas in the; Cumberland Moun- 
tains ------ 7 

Christmas in Bucks Pocket - - 22 

Earth to Earth - 33 

The; Unwelcome; Strangers - - 48 

The New Life Begins 63 

Peggy Follows Her Vision 76 

Cliff Anderson Attends a Fight - 85 

The Mysterious Man from Nowhere 101 

The Wild Catter Surrenders - 118 

A Man Without a Name - - 129 

The Mind Builder at Work - - 142 

Seeking Rest and Finding None - 152 

The Awakening - 161 

Back to the Old Home - - 176 

The Lonesome Folks - - - 197 
Behold What a Flame a Little Spark 

Kindleth ---__ 212 

The Slackers' Rendezvous 234 

The Surrender - 253 

Cliff Anderson Enters Politics - 283 

Peggy Goes to Washington - - ' 306 

Peggy's Gethsemane - 323 

Christ Liveth in Me - - 338 



: iw O j 



Chapter One 

CHRISTMAS IN THE CUMBERLAND 
MOUNTAINS 

4 '/^vH, Uncle Simon, do come up to the house this 
1 J minute, and see Peggy wearing mama's wed- 
ding dress. It's the finest dress you ever saw, 
and Peggy is just beautiful in it!" 

Ralph Ware was all excitement and enthusiasm, as 
he stood in the door of Simon's cabin, located in one 
corner of the yard. 

Ralph was just ten, with big brown eyes, dark 
curly hair, and a chubby face. 

"I'se pow'ful busy, lettle boy," said Simon, "but 
I ain't seed dat dress sence your mammy wore it at 
her weddin', an' I'll jest lay my work down fer a 
lettle while an' run up to de big house wid you." 

"What are you making. Uncle Simon?" asked Ralph, 
looking at the great pile of shavings that littered 
Simon's floor and hearth. 

"Lettle boys musn't ax questions, 'specially long 
erbout Christmas eve. You know dat it wus on 
Christmas eve dat curiosity killed de cat what you 
alius heerd erbout." 

"Did curiosity really kill him, Uncle Simon?" 

"Wall, dat's whut dey alius tell me, but I don't 
think it killed him more'n seben times, an' den de 
cat learn to min' his own business, an' he still hab 
two more libes lef an' he know how to behave hisself." 



" '&• ' '. ;Peggy Ware 

. . . .By ,this ; time they had reached the "big house," as 
.'•'.' Simbti. designated tlie double log house in which the 
Wares lived, and Simon was cut short in his disserta- 
tion about cats. 

"Come in, Simon," said Mrs. Ware, "and tell me if 
you recognize this dress. It has been hidden away 
for many years, but Peggy discovered it today, and in- 
sisted on trying it on." 

"'Corse I membahs it, Young Missus, an' I membahs 
de day you an' Massa Ware wus married at de big 
church weddin'. You wus de belle ob Shenandoah 
Valley, an' I wus so proud ob you as you stood up 
long side ob Massa Ware, young an' hansum, an' you 
lookin lak a queen." 

"Tell us all about it, Uncle Simon," cried Ralph and 
Virginia in chorus. "We want to hear about our beau- 
tiful mother when she was a girl back in Virginia." 

"Did you know her when she was a little teensy 
baby?" asked Virginia, the youngest member of the 
Ware family. "Did she look like me?" 

"Don't ask so many questions, 'Cotton Top'," ex- 
claimed Ralph. "Of course she didn't look like you, 
because your hair is white and your eyes are as blue 
as the sky in June, while Mamma's hair is as black as 
a crow, and her eyes are just like mine," he proudly 
asserted. 

"Answerin' yore fust question, Virginia, I knowed 
yore mothah when I could hold her out on one han', 
an' I knowed her mothah an' her fathah." 

Virginia had climbed upon Simon's knee and set- 
tled down comfortably for the story that she and Ralph 
had heard from the old man's lips a hundred times. 
To them it was always a new story, and grew more 
wonderful with each repetition. 



Christmas in the; Cumberland Mountains 7 

A big log fire burned in the wide-mouthed chimney, 
and Peggy and her mother took their seats to listen 
to the story that Peggy loved quite as well as Ralph 
and Virginia. 

"I belonged to Cap'n Lee befo' de wah," the old man 
began. "He was yore gran'pa. He was a cousin 
ob General Robert E. Lee, an' de Lees, you know, had 
de fines' blood in ol' Virginny, an' dat's sayin' sumpin', 
case Virginny got de fines' blood in de worl'." The 
old man straightened himself up proudly as he deliv- 
ered this statement with an air that would have made 
contradiction presumptuous. 

"Yassum, it's de shore 'stocracy blood, an' wharevah 
you fin' it in de Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, an' 
Alabama, you kin alius tell de Virginny blood." 

"Are you a Lee, Uncle Simon?" asked Virginia earn- 
estly. 

The old man scratched his head, frowned, and 
thought very hard. "Ob cose I'se a Lee," he said final- 
ly, "my name is Simon Lee, an' I libed wid de Lees so 
long dat I des nachelly got 'noculated wid de Lee 
blood. Dat's why I alius tells lettle boys an' gals to 
'sociate wid none but quality." 

"Well, I heard my papa say that his folks were 'poor 
white trash' before the war," ventured Ralph. "What 
did he mean by that?" 

"Wall, befo' de wah, honey, all we niggers dat be- 
long to white folks got stuck up an' thought we wus 
bettah dan de white folks dat don't own no niggers, 
an' we call dem 'po' white trash,' an' we sorter looked 
down on dem. But when de wah come yore gran'- 
daddy Ware fought long side ob yoah gran'daddy Lee, 
an' dey wus bofe killed in Virginny, an' when dey wus 
brought home dey wus buried in de same grabe yahd, 
side by side. 



8 Peggy Ware 

"Yoah gran'pa Lee lef a big plantation wid thou- 
sans ob acres ob Ian' an' joinin' it yoah gran'pa Ware 
lef about a hundred acres. De niggers use to laugh 
an' say he des had enough Ian' to make a turnip patch. 
But when de wah wus ovah an' de slabes freed an' 
mos' ob dem gone yoah gran'ma Ware's place wus 
wuth des erbout as much as yoah gran'ma Lee's place, 
'case dey warn't nobody to cultivate nothin' 'cept lit- 
tle patches scattahed heah an' dah. 

"Wall, yoah gran'mas wus de bes' frens in de worl'. 
Dey bofe wove dey own cloth an' made de jeans fer 
de men an' de linsey fer de wimmin, an' dey warn't 
no moah po' white trash aftah de wah. Ev'ry tub 
stood on its own bottom, an' ef you had de blood it 
didn't make no diffe'nce wheatha you owned slabes 
befo' de wah 'r not. 

"Yoah gran'ma Ware and yoah gran'pa Ware had 
des as good blood as anybody evah had dat warn't a 
Lee, an' when yoah ma married Massa Wilbur Ware, 
I said dey nevah wus no finah blood jined. 

"An' it wus de right sort ob marriage, too, 'case dey 
had knowed one nother sence dey knowed anythin', 
an' dey had lubed one another all dey lives, an' God 
done jined dem togethah in heaben' befo dey wus pro- 
nounced man an' wife by de preacher." 

"Was my father a preacher when he got married?" 
asked Ralph. 

"Yes, chile, he wus de likelies' young preacher in de 
Shenandoah Valley. He wus des home frum a big 
'ological school in Boston, an' he brought a whole 
wagon load ob dem 'ological books wid him. Dey 
up in dem shelves now, an' erbout a thousan' more 
dat he bought sence den." 

"Well, I ain't never going to be no preacher," de- 
clared Ralph, "because preacher's can't have any fun." 



Christmas in the: Cumberland Mountains 9 

"Wall, I ain't gwine to 'scuss dat now," said Simon 
thoughtfully. "I think they mout an' again they mout- 
ent. I ain't sayin' what I thinks, 'cept this : On 
Christmus eve de whol' woiT ought to be happy, even 
de preachers." 

"It seems to me, Simon, that the preachers ought 
to be the happiest people in the world," said Peggy, 
"for they are doing such a noble work in ministering 
to the distressed and needy and leading people into 
the light of truth." 

"At least we shall try to feel this way about it to- 
day," said Peggy's mother, "for this should be the 
gladdest, happiest time of all the year. Our Savior 
came to the world at this time, hence we call it Christ- 
mas. He came to give the world its greatest Christ- 
mas gift, the gift of the life of joy, peace, and abund- 
ance, and we, in our poor way, make gifts to each 
other, trying to emulate the Christ spirit." 

"I don't like Christmas," spoke a harsh voice, and 
all turned toward Wilbur Ware, who had entered the 
house without being observed. 

Peggy rose to offer her father a chair, and he ob- 
served that she wore her mother's wedding dress. His 
face softened for an instant. "Ah, your mother's wed- 
ding dress. How beautiful you are in it, my child, but 
not more beautiful than your mother was the day she 
wore it, nor more beautiful than she is now," he said 
gently as he walked over to the corner where his wife 
sat and pressed a kiss on her cheek. 

As he did so, .he observed that her cheeks were 
flushed and her eyes unusually bright, shining like 
dew drops after a Spring shower. A fit of coughing 
seized her, but she laughed musically, saying she had 
taken a slight cold, but that she would be entirely well 
by morning and able to attend church with the family. 



10 Peggy Ware 

Wilbur Ware, Peggy and Simon were greatly dis- 
tressed about her condition, and a dagger thrust to 
their hearts could not have given them keener pain 
than this soul-racking cough of the one they loved, a 
victim of the great white plague. 

Peggy assumed a gaiety she did not feel, for in her 
heart there was a great fear that some impending dis- 
aster hung over the Ware home. 

Resuming his conversation, Ware said : "No, I don't 
like Christmas. It is the saddest season of the year, 
for me. I always feel my poverty more keenly at 
Christmas than at any other time, for I am unable to 
give presents to the members of my family and to 
others who are in need." 

"Wall, I got to go down to de cabin an' finish a 
little whittlin' befo' bed time," said Simon, "an' I 
'spect I bettah be gwine." 

"We are going to have roasted sweet potatoes and 
sweet milk for supper, Simon, with lots of good butter 
to put on our potatoes," said Ralph. "Don't you want 
to come up and eat your supper?" 

"Do come, Simon," urged Peggy and her mother. 
"Dat's a Christmas eve supper fitten fer a king," said 
the old man, smacking his lips. "Day ain't but one 
thing to make it bettah, an' dat would be a good fat 
possum, an' ef Ralph will borry a good possum dog, 
we'll ketch one afo' Miss Peggy goes back to college." 
Peggy had been home a week from college, and she 
had been busy assisting her mother in making some 
clothing for Ralph and Virginia from some of her out- 
grown garments. These, with warm woolen socks 
her mother had knit for her father and Simon, were 
to be hung on a Christmas tree that Simon had ready 
in an adjoining room. There were also some cakes 
and homemade candy for Ralph and Virginia hidden in 



Christmas in the Cumberland Mountains 11 

Simon's cabin. The shavings on Simon's floor were 
made by his jackknife, with which he was an expert. 
From pieces of soft timber he had whittled many won- 
derful toys for the two younger members of the family. 

Peggy was now sixteen, and had completed a two 
years' course at college. She had an unusual mind 
that seemed to know things without being taught. 
Stored away in her subconscious or superconscious 
mind was a fountain of knowledge and wisdom that 
she was apparently able to tap at will. 

She was the pride of her teachers, and would have 
been envied by her fellow pupils but for her unusual 
personality that made every one love her and glad to 
have her excel. 

She had been given a scholarship at the college be- 
cause her father was a minister, and on account of her 
superior gifts, but it had entailed untold privations and 
sacrifices on the part of each member of the Ware 
family to supply the small amount of money required 
for Peggy's board and clothing. 

In fact, it would have been impossible but for the 
help of old Simon. His devotion to Peggy was almost 
divine, and he had insisted on "hiring out" to work 
on a near-by farm, where he received a certain wage 
and his "grub." Every dollar had been turned over 
to Wilbur Ware for Peggy. Simon even refused to 
buy a pair of shoes, when his old ones could no longer 
be mended. He said he preferred going barefoot so 
his "cawns could git well." 

Peggy, although she had devoured all the books in 
the college library on science, philosophy, and the his- 
tory of the various religions, was not the typical book- 
worm. She was full of a healthy enthusiasm, and was 
a leader in all college sports. She was the soul and 



12 Peggy Ware 

center of all the activities of the student body, and no 
movement was complete without Peggy Ware. 

Her hair was an unusual golden shade, her eyes blue 
as sapphire, and as she looked earnestly at you, you 
could never penetrate their depths. 

"Miss Peggy's eyes des lak a pool in de woods what 
ain't got no bottom," old Simon was wont to say when 
referring to her. 

"The sweet potatoes are done," declared Ralph as 
he removed them from their bed of hot ashes and 
coals. "I will go and call Simon." 

"Lawd, you don' need to call me, chil'," the old man 
exclaimed gleefully as he came in, brushing the snow 
from his coat. "I done heerd dem sweet taters callin' 
clean down to de cabin. It's snowin' pow'ful hard, an' 
I 'spect de groun' will be covered in de mawnin'." 

"If it is, you'll have to carry me on your back, Simon, 
to church," said Virginia. 

"Dat I will," said Simon. "I toted Peggy. Ralph 
and you when you wus lettle, an' I toted yoah ma, an' 
lettle Florence when she was heah." 

A look of suffering passed over Wilbur Ware's face 
at the mention of Florence, which was not unobserved 
by Peggy and her mother. 

"I've fixed you a plate in this warm corner, Simon, 
where you can eat your supper while we sit at the 
table," said Peggy. 

"Fse so happy, so happy !" exclaimed the old man, 
"that you'se all well, got a wahm house to lib in, plenty 
to eat, an' Miss Peggy, de smartes' gal in college, heah 
wid us to enjoy it all." 

"And I thank God for you, Simon," said Mrs. Ware. 
"You have been the most faithful soul in the world, 
and I love you. We all love you with a love that is 
too great for words. When the war was over and 



Christmas in the Cumberland Mountains 13 

you were free to go where you pleased, you remained 
with my mother and watched over me. When I mar- 
ried and my mother had passed on, you left everything 
and followed our fortunes without hope of reward. 
You never thought of self in your younger days, and 
now you are old and penniless, and we are almost as 
poor in this world's goods. I know God will reward 
you when He calls you home, for you certainly lost 
your life in your thought of others." 

"I don' hab to die to git my rewahd, Young Missus," 
the old man declared reverently. "I don' been gittin' 
it all de time. An' I don't hab to die to go to Hebin 
nethah, 'case dis is Hebin right heah. I libes in Hebin' 
all de time, an' I don't much believe dat you gwine to 
walk right slap bang into Hebin when you gits obah 
yondah, onless you takes yore Hebin wid you." 

"I think you are right, Simon" said Peggy. 

Her father frowned. "That is poor theology, Si- 
mon," he said. "I don't think you and Peggy know 
what you are talking about. In my sermon tomorrow, 
I shall try to set you right." 

Neither Peggy nor Simon replied, Simon realizing 
his own ignorance, and Peggy unwilling to argue with 
her father. 

There was a vacant chair at the table, a child's chair, 
with a white oak splint bottom. It was given to Flor- 
ence, the first born of the Ware children, by an old 
blind man who made chairs for a living. It was 
guarded sacredly and never brought from its place of 
seclusion except on the night before Christmas. No 
one made any reference to the little chair during the 
progress of the meal, but each knew that it was upper- 
most in each other's thoughts. 

Early in the evening, Ralph and Virginia began to 
manifest by yawns and nods a desire to seek their 



14 Peggy Ware 

beds. They felt that in some way the hours would 
pass more quickly if they were asleep. Their mother, 
remembering how she had felt at their age under simi- 
lar circumstances, suggested to her husband that the 
children be allowed to go to bed. 

Then, as was his custom, the minister took his well- 
thumbed Bible from its resting place, and read the 
beautiful twenty-third Psalm, after which they all knelt 
devoutly and offered their thanks to God. 

When Ralph and Virginia were sound asleep, the 
others sat by the great wood fire as the hickory logs 
burned into glowing coals, the flames forming fantastic 
shapes and figures, depending on the mood and fancy 
of the beholder. 

For a long time no word was spoken, each knowing 
the thing nearest the other's heart, and yet hesitating 
to begin a discussion of the subject that all knew was 
inevitable. 

At last the silence was broken by Wilbur Ware, and 
his voice was unusually hard and hopeless. "Sixteen 
years ago tomorrow this little chair was left vacant 
when some fiend cruelly stole our little Florence. For 
years I searched for her all over the country from 
Richmond to Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Nashville. 
Something kept telling me that she was alive and that 
I would find her. I could not understand how a good 
and merciful God could be so cruel as to take our 
darling away from us. As time went on my faith 
waned, and now I have long ceased to hope. God has 
hidden His face from me, and I am groping in the dark. 
All the old foundations upon which I built while at the 
Theological Seminary, and upon which I have stood 
since, seem to be crumbling beneath me. I used to 
think that love was God's predominating characteristic ; 
but He is also powerful in vengeance, and it is the 



Christmas in the; Cumberland Mountains 15 

vengeance of the Lord visited on me for my sins. It 
is to teach me to fear Him, and to show me that I am 
but a poor, creeping worm of the dust. 

"And yet, there are times," the now deeply agitated 
minister exclaimed, as he paced the floor, his eyes 
blazing, his fists clinched, his breast heaving, "when I 
almost hate him !" 

Suddenly he stopped, frightened, horrified that he 
should have dared to give utterance to such blasphemy, 
and sank into his chair, the tears following the deep 
lines of suffering down his weather-beaten cheeks, 
while his massive form was rocked by the inward 
tempest. 

His wife, also weeping sympathetically, placed her 
arms lovingly about him, while Peggy knelt at his 
feet, holding one of his great, bony hands in her two 
soft, warm ones, smiling through her tears, while 
Simon covertly drew his red bandana handkerchief 
from his pocket and applied it vigorously to his eyes, 
saying, "My ole eyes are gittin' so pow'ful bad, I think 
I will have to buy a pair of specs." At this Peggy 
laughed heartily and said : 

"Simon, I think I need some specs, too!" 

Gradually the tempest of doubt, of lack of faith in 
God raging in Wilbur Ware's soul began to subside, 
and Mrs. Ware, her face illumined until all looked at 
her awe-stricken, as though she were some ancient 
prophetess just stepped down from the skies, exclaimed : 

"Wilbur, I see a vision too big for utterance. It is 
so great that it overwhelms me, and in its presence I 
stand on holy ground, for in the midst of the vision I 
see God. And He is guiding us. 

"I am near the end of my journey, but a great work 
lies before the rest of you. There will be much suf- 
fering, much anguish, but in the end you will all really 



16 Peggy Ware 

find God, for He is beckoning. And you will find our 
dear child. I see her alive and well, and some day 
there will be a happy family reunion, and my spirit 
will be there to rejoice with you." 

As she ceased talking, all were silent. They felt an 
unusual presence and power, and stood in awe of 
something they did not understand. 

Quietly Simon stole out to his cabin as Peggy kissed 
her father and mother good-night and climbed the 
stairway to the attic room, leaving them with clasped 
hands, looking into the glowing coals. 

Early Christmas morning Ralph and Virginia were 
peeping out of the window for the first streak of 
dawn when they discovered that a heavy snow had 
fallen during the night. Their shouts of delight aroused 
the entire household, and all were soon gathered about 
the great fire that Simon had slipped in and built while 
every one slept. 

Soon the door of the other room opened and Santa 
Claus appeared and announced that he was ready to 
distribute the presents on the Christmas tree. His 
long white beard and funny wig so disguised him that 
Ralph and Virginia did not recognize him until all 
the presents had been distributed, and he produced 
his banjo and began to pick one of Simon's favorite 
jigs and to dance to the music. Then they knew it 
was dear old "Uncle Simon." They took off his long 
beard and funny wig, screaming with delight at dis- 
covering that Simon had rubbed flour on his face until 
it was white. Banteringly they said : "Simon, why 
did you make your face white?" To which he replied: 
"Huh, who ever seen a nigger Santa Claus?" 
When the hour arrived for going to church, Mrs. 
Ware wanted to accompany the family, but all pro- 
tested that the walk through the snow would be too 



Christmas in the Cumberland Mountains 17 

much for her, so she reluctantly consented to remain 
at home. 

Peggy, walking beside her father, followed by Ralph, 
striding proudly by himself, Simon with Virginia 
perched on his shoulder, bringing up the rear, formed 
the little procession that took up its march to the 
mountain church a mile away, Mrs. Ware watching 
from the window until it had wound its way over the 
hill. 

In the church there was an assembly of typical 
mountaineers who had sat under the theological 
preaching of Wilbur Ware for the past five years. He 
had come to them from one of the largest churches in 
Knoxville. Just why no one seemed to know. Un- 
complainly and unquestioningly his wife, children, and 
Simon had followed him, and endured without a mur- 
mur the hardships and privations of their new en- 
vironment. 

In his search for his lost child in previous years he 
had spent a few days in the wild recesses of the Cum- 
berland Mountains, and as his thoughts became more 
and more introspective, he felt drawn back to this out 
of the way place. 

It was five years ago that he finally lost all hope of 
finding Florence, and with hope dead he desired to get 
away from the world, so that he would be able to 
devote more of his time to his theological studies. He 
had accumulated one of the largest theological libraries 
in the South, depriving himself and family of many of 
life's comforts so that he could buy the precious books 
containing the thoughts, beliefs, and interpretations of 
other men's minds. 

His sermons to the little mountain church would 
have made him famous if they had been delivered as 
lectures in some great theological school; but to his 



18 Peggy Ware 

hearers they had little meaning, and they accepted all 
he said as being true. He officiated at weddings and 
funerals, but always his discourses were as cold as 
icicles, and his words like the chill of the winter winds. 

This mental and spiritual attitude of her husband 
had caused his wife great sorrow, and in secret she had 
poured out her heart to God for him. 

Peggy had been away at college most of the time for 
two years, so that she was not wholly prepared for the 
sermon her father delivered on this Christmas morn- 
ing. She had played the little, old, squeaky organ and 
sang Sankey's beautiful song, "The Ninety and Nine," 
while the audience sat spell bound under the magic of 
the beautiful words of the song as interpreted by 
Peggy. Many of her auditors whose lives had been 
hard, cold, and barren, were moved to tears, while her 
father's face showed a great struggle of contending 
emotions. 

His sermon came like an icy blast following an April 
shower, and the buds of tender emotions froze into 
icicles, even as they burst into full bloom. 

"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity, and vexation of spirit," 
said the preacher, and a shudder ran through the 
audience. 

"Man is doomed to a life of sorrow and woe, and 
when he is cut down, must go before an angry, but 
just God, to give an account for the sins of the flesh. 

"We are born in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and are 
all on the road to hell ; and nothing but the blood of 
Jesus can save us from the wrath of a sin-avenging 
God. I warn you that unless you believe in the power 
of the blood to cleanse from sin, 'you will be lost and 
lost through all eternity.' And if you are not washed 
in the blood you will spend eternity crying 'Lost ! 
lost ! lost !' but God will turn a deaf ear to your cries." 



Christmas in the; Cumberland Mountains 19 

Peggy sat horrified, a feeling of fear clutching at her 
heart. 

At the conclusion of the sermon, her father an- 
nounced the closing hymn, "Hark, from the tombs a 
doleful sound," but Peggy shook her head mournfully 
when he requested her to lead the singing. 

In a hard, unsympathetic voice, the preacher sang 
the first line of the hymn, a few of the older members 
of the congregating joining in from time to time, in 
wailing, discordant tones as he "lined the hymn." 

Peggy sat with bowed head, a great pity in her soul, 
and a strong, almost irresistible desire to tell her 
father and the assembled people about God's love and 
God's mercy. 

The service concluded, Wilbur Ware strode solemnly 
from the church, few caring to come near or to speak 
to him. Scarcely had he departed from the room until 
a great change came over the audience ; with one 
accord they rushed to greet Peggy, the female mem- 
bers smothering her with kisses and embraces. Spring 
had burst again. The bleak winter wind of a few min- 
utes ago was forgotten, and Peggy's smile, her musical 
voice, her warm handclasp, her soul speaking through 
her eyes, had in one wonderful moment brought the 
Kingdom of Heaven right into their midst, and in 
that moment some of them felt a presence that they 
could not explain ; but Peggy could have told them 
that it was God, "nearer to them than hands or feet." 

It was a long time before Peggy could tear herself 
away from the heart-hungry people, but with a promise 
that she would be with them on the following Sunday 
she finally made her escape in the midst of many 
"good-byes" and "God bless you's." 

Simon, Ralph, and Virginia were waiting for her on 
the outside. In answer to her eager inquiry she was 



20 Peggy Ware; 

told that her father was impatient and had gone on 
home. 

Joyfully they followed the trail now beaten out in 
the snow; Ralph marching proudly by the side of "Big 
Sis," as he fondly called Peggy, while Simon, with 
Virginia in her accustomed place on his shoulder, kept 
step in the rear. 

As they approached the home, Peggy was seized by 
some indefinable dread. She ceased to respond to the 
prattle of the children. Her face became ashen and 
her limbs trembled until she felt that they would not 
sustain her as she moved at a rapid pace; Simon kept 
close beside her, he too feeling some impending 
disaster. 

When they arrived at the gate, they heard a strange 
voice, now hoarse and angry, and anon broken and 
pleading. They stopped in fear. What could it mean? 
Who was this stranger, and where was father? They 
listened for their mother's voice, but it was not to be 
heard. Then an awful thing happened. The man 
inside the house began to curse God, and they heard 
him say : 

"If there is a God, I hate him! I hate him! for he 
not only took my little Florence away from me, but 
now he has taken my precious wife." 

They did not wait to hear more, but rushed into the 
house. On the bed lay the mother, a beautiful smile 
parting her lips, the roses still in her cheeks, her eyes 
gently closed, the long, beautiful lashes covering them 
for the long sleep, while Wilbur Ware crouched on the 
floor, with the look of some desperately wounded wild 
animal in his face, his hair dishevelled, his eyes blood- 
shot, the veins in his neck and forehead swollen and 
black as though about to burst. 



Christmas in the Cumberland Mountains 21 

Ralph and Virginia standing in the presence of death 
for the first time did not recognize him, but called 
piteously for "mother," while Peggy, overcome with 
the greatest sorrow of her life, kissed the beloved lips 
and stroked the beautiful hair, crying, "My God, my 
God ! was it not possible for this cup of sorrow to have 
passed?" 

Old Simon, standing at the foot of the bed, his white 
head bowed low, his body shaken as by some mighty 
inward upheaval, said : "Good-bye, Til Missus ; we 
hates to gib you up, but we'll all be wid you on de 
resurrection mawnin'." 



Chapter Two 
CHRISTMAS IN BUCKS POCKET 

YES, there is a Bucks Pocket, and it is inhabited 
by real people. Not the sort of people that dwell 
in towns and other centers of population, where 
there are railroads, schools, and libraries. 

To these our brethren of Bucks Pocket would seem 
a queer people, and their world a fit dwelling place for 
Rip Van Winkle, so asleep, so benighted, so isolated 
were they. 

True, they had red blood, the purest Anglo-Saxon 
blood to be found in America. They also had big, 
human hearts, and dimly they had a belief that they 
possessed souls, but of their souls they were almost as 
unconscious as their brethren and sisters who dwell in 
the roaring towns and industrial centers. 

Few of them could read or write, and many of them 
had never gone a day's journey from the place of their 
birth. They were not only ignorant, but narrow, sus- 
picious, and superstitious. Of strangers they were 
afraid ; for new ideas or innovations they had no use. 

When once you gained their confidence, they trusted 
you as implicitly as little children. 

Their idea of Christmas was crude, almost barbarous, 
and it is no wonder that in this pocket in the moun- 
tains, the celebration of our Savior's nativity should 
have been quite different from the one taking place at 
the same time, the same night, in the home of the 
Wares, in the heart of the Cumberlands, several hun- 
dred miles away. 

22 



Christmas in Bucks Pocket 23 

Cliff Anderson was the ruling spirit of Bucks Pocket. 
He was called by every one "Cap" Anderson, but few 
could tell you the reason for this. If he had been ques- 
tioned closely, he might, reluctantly, have told his 
inquisitor that he had been offered a captain's commis- 
sion in the Confederate army for gallant and distin- 
guished services, but declined because he could neither 
read nor write, but his devoted comrades in arms 
dubbed him "Captain," and ever afterward persisted in 
addressing him by that appellation. 

On the other hand, if he had not "taken a shine" to 
his questioner, he would probably have replied gruffly : 
"It's none of your durned business." 

He was a large man, two or three inches above six 
feet, with broad shoulders, a massive head, surmounted 
by a thick growth of iron-gray hair, a grizzly mustache 
and imperial, steel-gray eyes, cold, cruel, unflinching 
in the presence of an enemy, but capable of softness 
and sympathy when confronted by a woman in distress 
or a child in tears. 

He was known far and wide as the "King of the 
Wild Catters," and his corn whisky was noted for its 
purity wherever the name of "Cap" Anderson was 
spoken. The revenue officers occasionally made raids 
in Bucks Pocket, and sometimes captured a crude still, 
but they never could find an owner. It was a common 
belief that these crude outfits were "planted" from time 
to time by the "revenoos" so that they could make a 
show of raiding Bucks Pocket and destroying "wild 
cat" operations. 

Be that as it may, it is certain that they never found 
"Cap" Anderson's distillery, or came near it, so far as 
any one knew. It was a thoroughly equipped, modern 
affair, with a large capacity for a "wild cat" outfit, and 



24 Peggy Ware 

its owner prided himself on making the best liquor to 
be had anywhere. 

When a man was offered a drink out of his friend's 
bottle and told that it was "Anderson's 'pizen'," he 
knew that no purer "pizen" was ever distilled, and 
that it had fewer rights and headaches to the gallon 
than any other brand. 

A fit companion for Cliff Anderson was his wife, 
Molly. She, too, was a product of the mountains, 
and, like him, had no "book larnin'." In fact, the 
only book she had ever seen was a Bible carried by 
the "Hard Shell" preacher who came once a month 
to preach in an old tumbledown log house in the 
"Pocket" called the "church." On his monthly visits 
he usually stopped at the home of the Anderson's, 
where he reported the news of the activities of the 
"revenoos" in the outside world, and for his kindness 
he would carry away in one side of his saddlebags 
several bottles of Anderson's "mountain dew," while 
his Bible rested securely on the other side. 

If there were any other books in the world, Molly 
Anderson had never heard of them, but she did know 
that there were almanacs, for Cliff got one every 
Spring so that she could tell when the moon was right 
for planting her garden, and it was one of the duties 
of the "hard shell" preacher, on his monthly visits, to 
look up the proper time of the moon for planting, also 
for hog killing, making boards, laying the worm of 
rail fences, and many other things that would be a 
failure if not done "in the moon." 

Molly was rather small, with a kindly face, but 
firm jaw, dark red hair, deep brown eyes, and her 
step was firm and vigorous. She was the only person 
in Bucks Pocket who dared approach Cliff Anderson 
when he was in a towering rage, which, to his credit 



Christmas in Bucks Pocket 25 

be it said, did not occur often, and then not without 
sufficient provocation. 

Completing the Anderson family, the youngest but 
by no means the least interesting, was Ruth Anderson, 
the eighteen-year-old daughter. She was the acknowl- 
edged belle of Bucks Pocket. In fact, she held sway 
as queen over a much wider territory. 

Young gentlemen with an eye to perfect beauty and 
matrimonially inclined, came from the neighboring 
county-seat towns to offer themselves upon the altar 
of matrimony, but their generous sacrifices were mag- 
nanimously declined. 

The most persistent suitor was Bud Whitman, a 
native son of Bucks Pocket. He had grown up with 
Ruth Anderson and had always intended to appro- 
priate her when he was "good and ready." 

Ruth resembled neither her father nor mother. Her 
olive complexion, her brown eyes and raven black 
hair, her arched eyebrows, her finely chiseled face 
and perfect figure did not seem to be indigenous to 
Bucks Pocket. As she grew to womanhood she felt a 
longing for something so lacking in her own life, and 
yet she could not give a name to it. 

There were no schools in Bucks Pocket, and while 
her father could have sent her away to school, he 
sturdily refused to do so. He and his wife had en- 
gaged in many stormy scenes about it, Mrs. Anderson 
insisting that Ruth should have "book larnin'," what- 
ever that might mean ; but Cliff Anderson was ada- 
mant on this point. He never allowed Ruth to go 
away from home unless she was accompanied by him 
or her mother, and always demanded that she return 
by night fall. 

His devotion to her was remarkable, and she had 
never known an unkind word from him, but she always 
stood in awe of the great, grizzled old warrior, for she 



26 Peggy Ware; 

knew that beneath all his kindness to her there lurked 
a sleeping- lion, perhaps a devil. Whatever the mo- 
tives of the father may have been for wanting to keep 
his daughter ignorant of "book larnin'," he kept to 
himself, and unless he sees fit to tell some one who 
shall disclos.e it we may never know. 

At any rate, this was the "status" of the Anderson 
family on the Christmas eve in question when all the 
lads and lassies of Bucks Pocket assembled at the 
home of "Cap" Anderson for a Christmas celebration. 
Some few came by special invitation from the outside 
world, but the pickets at the entrance to the Pocket 
made sure that no suspicious "revenoo" spy passed 
into the Pocket on this, the greatest night of the year. 

Ah, yes, about this Bucks Pocket. It is a strange, 
wild freak of nature on the west side of Sand Moun- 
tain in North Alabama. The earth seems to have 
dropped down several hundred feet, leaving sheer 
rock walls on three sides hundreds of feet high. At 
the bottom of the Pocket there are thousands of acres 
of fertile land, heavily timbered with giant white oak, 
hickory, poplar, and pine trees. Sauty Creek flows 
along on the top of Sand Mountain, which is a rolling 
plateau about twenty miles wide, until it reaches Bucks 
Pocket, where it abruptly plunges over the cliff and 
dashes, a Niagara in minature, into the pocket, or 
valley, hundreds of feet below. It then rushes furi- 
ously through the Pocket, dashing in dangerous rapids 
until it reaches the Tennessee river, where it is lost 
in the muddy waters of this historic stream. 

On the three walled sides there is but one entrance 
through a narrow, rocky defile, which has been made 
into a road so that a team of oxen can draw a wagon 
filled with barrels containing Anderson's "best." 

The corn from which "Cap" Anderson distils his 
famous whisky is brought in from the Tennessee River 



Christmas in Bucks Pocket 27 

Valley, entered from the open side of the Pocket. At 
strategic points on this open side there are cabins 
where henchmen of Anderson live, who run the block- 
ade for him and keep him informed by "grapevine"' 
telegraph if any suspicious characters are seen lurking 
in the neighborhood who require attention. 

When the guests were assembled and the master 
of ceremonies, who was none other than our friend 
Bud Whitman, announced that it was time to "cut 'em 
loose," it was perfectly safe to assume that there were 
no "strangers within the gates," but that each one 
present could qualify for a place in the fold. 

How they did "cut 'em loose" on this particular 
Christmas eve has not yet been forgotten in Bucks 
Pocket. Most of the men had imbibed freely of "Cap" 
Anderson's honest corn juice, and it brought out in 
each his hidden proclivities. The women, also, were 
not averse to an occasional sip, as it was eminently 
respectable to manufacture the joy producer, provided 
you were not haled into Uncle Sam's court, and also to 
drink it whenever and wherever you desired. 

Almost every one in Bucks Pocket drank, the nota- 
ble exceptions being Cliff Anderson, his wife, and 
daughter. However, they did not discourage drinking 
in others, for it was a source of revenue to the Ander- 
son household, and Anderson's philosophy was that if 
you had it in your system you had better drive it out 
with pure liquor than in some other way. 

Bucks Pocket had some noted fiddlers of the back- 
woods variety, and a few slugs of the pure juice of 
the corn added a wonderful skill to their manipulations 
of the bow. How the fiddles did talk! You could 
see the principals engaged in conversation when they 
struck up the "Arkansas Traveler," and visions of a 
burning forest filled the fancy when they began to 
scream forth: "Fire in the Mountains," and brogan 



28 Peggy Wars 

shoes clattered on the puncheon floor as hearts beat 
warm and passionate against brown jeans and home- 
made linsey. 

Someone had hung a bunch of mistletoe on one side 
of the great room, and when some big husky swain 
felt the warm breath and gripping hand pressure of 
his partner, and saw in the sparkling eyes a banter, 
as if she were saying: "I dare you to do it," he would 
swing her quite unresisting beneath the mistletoe, and 
then exact the penalty by planting on her red lips or 
rosy cheeks a resounding kiss, as the others gave their 
approval by shouts and loud clapping of their hands. 

Bud Whitman "called the figures," as they danced 
the old Virginia reel and other old-fashioned dances, 
the only dances in which they were skilled. He was 
a past-master at the art, and in all his glory when 
engaged in the performance of this proud function. 
He had a voice like a fog-horn, and the more he 
"called," and the more he drank, the more sonorous his 
voice grew, and the more animated his actions. His 
whole body was in rhythm with the music. He swayed 
from side to side, patting with his two big hands and 
also with his foot, all in perfect time, as he called 
"Honah yo' pardners," "All promenade," and so on 
through the "set." 

A half barrel filled with some of Anderson's two- 
year-old "corn" sat in the corner of the room, the head 
knocked out, so that when a dancer wanted to appease 
his thirst, he simply took one of the tin half-pint cups 
hung on a row of nails driven into the barrel and 
helped himself. No water was permissible to be drunk 
either with the whiskey to dilute it, or afterward as a 
"chaser." It would have been a sign of weakness 
which even the ladies scorned to exhibit. 

"Take 'er straight, boys an' gals; take 'er straight" 



Christmas in Bucks Pocket 29 

Bud would shout, and no one would have thought of 
disobeying. 

Bud had bought a pair of high-heeled, red-topped 
boots for the occasion, and was rigged out in his best 
homespun, with a store-bought red bandana hand- 
kerchief around his neck. He was very proud of his 
appearance, for he wanted to suitably impress Ruth 
Anderson with his good looks as well as his import- 
ance, for he had about made up his mind to inform 
her that he was going to marry her before very long, 
not doubting that she would be only too eager to 
accept. 

Ruth's heart never seemed to be in these wild dances, 
nor did she enjoy the ribald jests of the half drunken 
guests ; perhaps it was because she had not imbibed 
the "overjoyful" in the barrel in the corner of the 
room, or maybe it was an innate feeling of refinement 
not possesed by the others. 

As the hours went by and the revellers became more 
boisterous, a feeling of loathing for her surroundings 
and associates took possession of her, and she would 
have fled from the room, but she knew that her father 
would be offended, for he was punctilious upon the 
point that his guests should always be accorded every 
courtesy. He and his wife frequently looked in on the 
young people, and smiled their approval. 

Bud was now feeling that the world was his, and 
he seized Ruth and said : 

"You are my pardner fur the next set," and she 
yielded because she did not want to anger him. Madly 
he whirled her round and round, as the fiddles fairly 
shrieked, and the other dancers stopped as the pair 
drew nearer and nearer to the overhanging mistletoe. 
At first Ruth did not discern his purpose, but suddenly 
it dawned on her that Bud intended to get her under 



30 Peggy Ware 

the mistletoe and kiss her. A feeling of anger, indig- 
nation and loathing swept over her, and she tried to 
break away from him, but he held her as easily as a 
big grizzly bear could have done. Realizing her help- 
lessness in his embrace, she said: "Please don't; I'll 
hate you always if you do !" His answer was a big, 
coarse guffaw that caused the hot blood to mantle her 
cheeks and her eyes to blaze. The next moment he 
swung her under the mistletoe and began to rain hot, 
drunken, passionate kisses on her lips, holding her as 
in a vice, while everyone shouted and urged him on. 
With the energy of despair, Ruth, with her free hand, 
began to scratch his face like some wild animal, the 
blood flowing from the wounds, and then by one 
mighty effort she wrenched herself free and, as he came 
toward her to seize her again, she dealt him one ter- 
rific blow with all her might on his nose, and the 
blood gushed from his nostrils in two healthy streams. 

No wounded bull in the arena ever bellowed more 
hoarsely or struck out more blindly than did the half- 
drunken, humiliated Bud, now a potential beast him- 
self. He was the bully of Bucks Pocket. Almost 
every young fellow present had suffered some indignity 
at his hand, and when Ruth dealt him the blow that 
brought the blood, as some unsympathetic bystander 
said, "like a stuck hog," it is little wonder that every 
one rejoiced at his humiliation. 

Blinded with rage, the blood filling his mouth and 
eyes, forgetting that his antagonist was a woman, and 
the woman that he had determined to make his wife, 
he struck her a cruel blow and she reeled and would 
have fallen to the floor, if she had not recovered by 
throwing out her hands and striking the wall of the 
house. 

Cliff Anderson had come to the doorway just in time 



Christmas in Bucks Pocket 31 

to see the drunken bully strike Ruth, and with one 
bound he crossed the room, dealt him a terrible blow, 
as he said between his clenched teeth : "By God, I'll 
kill you !" 

Whitman fell to the floor like a log, but only for a 
moment. Rising to his knees he pulled a revolver 
from his hip pocket and was in the act of firing when 
someone knocked it from his hand, and a dozen strong 
men seized and overpowered him. As they dragged 
him from the room he filled the amosphere with his 
curses and threats. "I'll git even with you; I'll kill 
you, if it takes me ten years !'' he shouted hoarsely, as 
his voice died away in the distance. 

The dance was over, and it had come near being a 
"dance of death." 

Christmas day a few choice spirits gathered at An- 
derson's distillery and discussed the events of the pre- 
vious night. They warned Anderson to be careful, as 
Bud Whitman was a bad man, and would never rest 
until he had made his threat good. As they discussed 
the incident and drank to the health of the King of 
the Wild Catters, the firing of big guns could be heard 
coming from various parts of the Pocket. To a new- 
comer it would have meant the approach of an army of 
"revenoos," or a battle between contending feudists; 
but to the old timer it meant the celebration of 
Christmas. 

In this out of the way spot, in this year of grace, 
where there were no schools, no churches, the dwellers 
hailed the day that brought "peace on earth, good will 
to men" by the firing of murderous guns and the drink- 
ing of contraband whiskey. 

Do not condemn them, for they are the product of 
conditions over which they have had little or no con- 
trol, and when their Moses comes, as come he must to 



32 Peggy Ware; 

every soul, who knows but what Bucks Pocket may 
become a beacon light to the more highly developed 
communities. 

Who knows, or who can tell what mysterious spir- 
itual forces were at work to bring these benighted 
people into. a life of great and wonderful fullness. 

Then judge them not, those of you whose "lives have 
been cast in pleasant places," for you cannot put your- 
self in their places, and therefore you are not prepared 
to judge. Perhaps when this story is told and "finis" 
has been written, you will feel that you have played 
a poor second to the dwellers in Bucks Pocket. 



Chapter Three 
EARTH TO EARTH 

QUIETLY Simon stepped out of the presence of 
death. The weakness, helplessness, and despair 
of the other members of the Ware family was 
his strength. All the days of his life he had never 
thought of himself, but he lived, thought, and planned 
for others. Simon had crucified self so long ago that 
he rarely remembered him. Now, as always, he forgot 
his own grief in his deeper grief for Wilbur Ware, 
Peggy, Ralph, and Virginia. Gladly would he have 
borne all their griefs, if he could. Joyfully would he 
have lain down his own life, if he could have brought 
"Young Missus" back and have restored her to health 
and the bosom of her family. 

He went to the nearest neighbor and told the tragic 
news, and in a little while it spread throughout the 
settlement, and the neighbors gathered in as they do 
in the rural communities in the South, and the women 
mingled their tears with those of the heart-broken 
children, while the men, ashamed to show such wom- 
anly weakness, walked away from the scene of grief, 
and gazed toward the snow-clad peaks in the distance. 

One motherly soul carried Ralph and Virginia to 
her home, but Peggy refused to leave the presence of 
her mother for a moment. 

Some of the men tried to address Wilbur Ware, but 
his speech and manner repelled all advances. He even 
spoke harshly to Peggy as she placed her arms about 

33 



34 Peggy Ware 

him in her grief, craving his sympathy and tenderness. 
He would give no instruction about the funeral, except 
to say with what sounded like an oath that "no preacher 
should officiate at the grave." This was in answer to 
a suggestion from one of the men that he would go to 
the nearest town, some twenty miles away, and get a 
minister. 

To Peggy's pleading he was obdurate, and even 
brutal, and sensing a great mental reaction in her 
father, she became alarmed for his reason. Indeed it 
seemed to everyone that in his eyes there was the look 
of the madman. 

Simon went with some of the neighbors and selected 
a spot in the graveyard adjoining the church where 
Wilbur Ware had been the shepherd of the sheep for 
five years. It was on a little knoll, and they shoveled 
away the snow before they could begin to dig the 
frozen earth. 

While the grave was being dug, others made a coffin 
from wide pine boards that some one in the community 
always had on hand for the visits of the grim reaper. 
Someone suggested that so fine a lady as Mrs. Ware 
deserved something more than a plain box, and after 
much consultation it was decided that one of the 
women who had a black satin dress that belonged to 
her mother back in old "Virginny," before the war, 
should cut it up and use it to cover the coffin, a mark 
of unusual respect to the beloved wife of their pastor. 

All that day and through the long night, Wilbur 
Ware sat gazing into vacancy, never uttering a word, 
while the others "sitting up with the corpse" talked in 
whispers. 

Simon was everywhere, answering questions, giving 
directions, occasionally consulting with Peggy, and 
anon bringing in hickory logs and replenishing the 



Earth to Earth 35 

fire in the great wide-mouthed fireplace. At stated 
intervals he would pass around cups of coffee from the 
steaming hot coffee pot to help the watchers to "keep 
awake." 

The interminable night came to an end at last, and 
as the first streaks of dawn fell athwart the winter 
landscape, some of the neighbor women came to relieve 
the watchers, who went home to snatch a little sleep 
before the funeral, while breakfast was prepared in an 
adjoining room by some of the kindly souls. 

As for Simon, he said: "I'll jest snatch a few bites 
as I go ovah to de church, an' see ef de grabe am 
ready." 

The snowstorm had increased with the night, and 
the snow lay thick upon the ground, and every tree and 
bush wore a heavy mantle. 

The time for the funeral arrived, and the pall bearers 
carried the coffin containing the mortaLremains of Mrs. 
Ware and placed it in a wagon drawn by a team of 
mules. There were not many mule teams in the com- 
munity, but as a mark of distinguished respect, Gabe 
Houston had come ten miles with his spanking team 
so that the remains would not have to be drawn by a 
yoke of oxen. He drove proudly at the head of the 
procession, which was followed by ox wagons and per- 
sons on foot, and thus they marched to the graveyard 
a mile away, Wilbur Ware refusing to ride, but walk- 
ing in stony silence behind the wagon which was 
bearing to its last resting place the one human being 
that had helped him to keep his hold on God ; and now 
that hold was broken, and faith was dead, and hope 
buried. 

By the time they reached the open grave the snow 
was falling in blinding sheets, filling the men's eyes 
so that they could scarcely find their way as they bore 



36 Peggy W are 

the coffin from the wagon to the grave. Without a 
word they lowered it to where it was to remain as the 
countless ages roll by, and with bared heads stood 
back, looking helplessly toward each other, and then 
toward their pastor, whom they now regarded almost 
in horror. 

Was no word to be spoken, no prayer to be offered? 
There was no answer to their mute appeal save the 
sobbing of Peggy and the women and of the pathetic 
calls of Ralph and Virginia for "Mother." Finally the 
suspense became unbearable, and Wilbur Ware, in a 
harsh, unnatural voice, said: "Fill up the grave." 
Unable to restrain herself longer, Peggy, looking 
around with untold agony in her face, said : 

"Won't someone please say a word or offer a prayer?" 

No one budged. These hardy mountaineers could 
brave all kinds of weather, undergo untold hardships, 
even fight an enemy to the death, but not one of them 
could face this ordeal. Two or three of the women 
nudged their husbands, urging them in whispers, but 
to no avail. Again Wilbur Ware said: "Fill up the 
grave," and the men gathered up their shovels to be- 
gin, but Peggy stretched out her hands toward Simon, 
who stood with bowed head, the wind playing with 
his white locks, and brokenly, pleadingly, said : "Si- 
mon !" Not another word came from her lips, and all 
waited breathless. Then solemnly, reverently, with 
the halo of a saint about his white head, as some of 
these present used to declare long after he had gone 
to his reward, Simon said : 

"White folks, you won't mind ef an ig'nant old nig- 
ger says a few words at de grabe ob his 'young missus,' 
will you?" 

"You knowse, I toted her in my ahms when she wus 
a tiny li'l baby, and den I learn her how to walk, an' 



Earth to Earth 37 

I nevah seed de day when I wouldn't lay down my 
life fer her. 

"Befo' de wah I belonged to her fathah, Captain 
Lee, an' he an' ole Missus was des as good to me as 
dey wus to da own chile. Dey all teached me to lub 
God, an' dat God lubed me. An' I goin' to say heah 
dat I feel His love mo' pow'ful as I Stan' by her grabe 
dan I evah did befo'. I don't know nothin' erbout 
'ologies,' but I know dat God am heah and dat 'young 
missus' ain't lyin' in dat col' frozen groun', but dat 
she is in de sunburst ob glory wid Jesus. De house 
she libed in is lyin' dar, but her soul is free, an' she 
is eberywhah. She is wid God an' Jesus, an' she is 
heah wid us, too, and she gwine back home wid Massa 
Ware an' de blessed chilluns, an' she gwine to be a 
light to guide dar feet into de mos' wonderful ways. 
An' somehow, somehow," here his voice broke, and 
it seemed that he could never go on, and the great 
tears testified to his emotion, "some day she gwine to 
lead him," pointing to the broken, helpless preacher, 
"back to God, cause it gwine to be an unbroken fam- 
bly when dey all git over yondah, and Simon gwine to 
be dar, too." 

The old wrinkled, black face was lighted by some 
spiritual fire from within, and all felt that they stood 
in the presence of a great soul, although housed in a 
black body, and as the old negro finished, all bowed 
their heads in silent prayer to God, who did not seem 
far off in His heavens, but here in their midst. 

Silently they filled the grave, placed a plank slab 
at the head and another at the foot, and still without 
speaking a word, the procession took up the return 
march. 

Within a week after the burial of the wife and 
mother, Wilbur Ware had disposed of his earthly pos- 



38 Peggy Ware 

sessions, bought a wagon and yoke of oxen, and an- 
nounced that he had given up the ministry forever, and 
was going to the mountains of North Alabama, where 
he could homestead a hundred and sixty acres of land, 
on which he proposed to settle and build a home. 

Peggy was too stunned by the death of her mother 
and the condition of her father to ask any questions 
or make any objection. Ralph and Virginia were 
enthusiastic over the thought of traveling through the 
country in a covered wagon. Eagerly they discussed 
the possibility of passing through cities, seeing rail- 
roads and trains, and boys and girls dressed in "store 
clothes." 

As for Simon, he was ready to follow wherever the 
Wares went, and his only thought was for their com- 
fort and welfare. 

Into the wagon Wilbur Ware and Simon loaded such 
of the household goods as would be absolutely needed, 
the furniture having been sold to the neighbors. 

Peggy put all her books into the wagon without a 
protest from her father, and looking ruefully at the 
long shelves of theological works, she said : "Father, 
what are you going to do with all your books?" She 
knew that it would require a big wagon and stout yoke 
of oxen to haul the books that had cost her father a 
small fortune for a man of his means. Without an- 
swering her he began to carry the heavy volumes out 
into the yard where a big log heap had been built so 
that the large crowd of neighbors that had assembled 
to tell the Wares goodbye could keep warm, and piled 
them on the burning logs. Armful after armful he 
threw on the burning heap, the flames leaping higher 
at the addition of each load. 

The people watched, amazed, fascinated, wondering 
what evil spirit could have taken possession of their 



Earth to Earth 39 

former pastor from whom they were about to part, 
perhaps forever. 

In his face there was the look of the grim execu- 
tioner, and Peggy fled from the tragic scene, unable 
to witness what seemed to her her father's own funeral 
pyre, for she would not have been greatly surprised 
if he had thrown himself on the burning mass and per- 
ished with his beloved theological books. 

Simon, however, took a different view of the mat- 
ter, and with a very solemn face, but a merry twinkle 
in his eyes, proposed to aid the minister in his work. 
No one else interfered, for they all thought the preacher 
insane, and one by one they began to withdraw to a 
safe distance. Simon muttered to himself : "He is 
burnin' up his God." 

At last the work was completed, and all the books 
were on the burning heap, all except Wilbur Ware's 
well-worn Bible and the one that belonged to his 
wife, and which was presented to her by her mother 
on her wedding day. These he seized and threw on 
top of the burning volumes. Simon saw what he had 
done, and the spirit of the crusader took the place of 
the spirit of the servant. Disregarding the fierce lick- 
ing of the flames he leaped into their midst, seized the 
Bibles as their precious leaves were beginning to 
scorch, and with them held tightly to his breast, he 
brought them to safety. His hands were terribly 
burned, his eyebrows and hair singed, his clothing on 
fire, but he clung to the books that contained for him 
the words of life, and from which his beloved "missus" 
had so often read to him. 

At this moment Peggy appeared and discovered that 
his clothing was on fire, and began to put it out, burn- 
ing her hands. "Don't do dat, honey," said he, "don't 



40 Peggy Ware 

burn yoah little hans, fur it don't make no difference 
erbout me ef I should burn up." 

Seeing what Simon had done, Ware became greatly 
enraged and tried to snatch the Bibles from him, but 
for once in his life Simon defied him. 

"Ah nevah disobeyed you befo,' Massa Ware, but 
dis time ah's fightin' fer youah soul's salvation, an' 
you can burn my body 'long wid you 'ological books, 
but you can't burn God's word till you burn me !" 

It was a tense moment. No one present had ever 
heard a negro defy a white man without being in- 
stantly struck down, and all expected to see the en- 
raged preacher deal Simon a blow that would render 
the old man helpless. Ware drew back to strike, his 
face black with passion, but before the blow could 
descend, Peggy shielded old Simon with her body, and 
her father's arm fell helplessly to his side. His face 
twitched convulsively, he reeled as though he were 
going to fall, then covering his face with his hands, he 
staggered toward the wagon now loaded and ready to 
move, picked up the lines, spoke to the oxen, and slowly 
drove away without a single word of goodbye. 

Ralph and Virginia ran after the wagon, Ralph 
climbing up on the end of the coupling pole from 
which hung the tar bucket, and from this point of van- 
tage he reached down and grasped Virginia's out-, 
stretched hands, drew her up until she stood on the 
coupling pole, and then he climbed into the wagon and 
pulled Virginia in after him, and they cuddled down 
in the bed clothing, peeping out from the opening in 
the rear of the wagon cover. 

Peggy and Simon lingered while everyone crowded 
around to tell them goodbye. 

Although Simon was unwelcome because of his color 
when he first came among them, and there had been 



Earth to Earth 41 

various and sundry threats of "white-capping" him, 
this feeling had passed away and he was now held in 
the highest esteem by every one. Many pressed around 
him and gave his calloused hand a hearty grasp and 
wished him Godspeed. 

They all loved Peggy. She had been the inspira- 
tion for the young people, and a benediction to the 
older ones. Now that she was going out of their lives 
forever, they were disconsolate, and many expressed 
their grief in loud lamentations, while low sobs could 
be heard even among the men. No funeral could have 
been so sad. No death in the community had ever 
brought such darkness as the departure of Peggy. 
She tried to be brave. She smiled through her tears, 
and her face was never more beautiful, and in the years 
to come that sweet image enshrined in the hearts of 
these simple folk, lighted many a dark valley along 
Life's journey. 

"I'll come back to you ; I'll come back," she kept 
saying as she said goodbye to one after another. "I 
love you, every one of you, and I feel in my soul that 
God will bring me back." 

At last she tore herself away from the clinging peo- 
ple and followed Simon, who had preceded her up the 
road in the direction taken by the wagon. It had al- 
ready disappeared over a distant hill top, and when 
Peggy reached it she looked back, and the crowd had 
not dispersed. Everyone stood where she had left 
them, straining their eyes for a last glimpse of the 
one who typified to them angelic sweetness, sunshine, 
and joy. She waved them a last farewell, and disap- 
peared from view, and the crowd silently began to dis- 
perse. Once out of their sight she was overcome by 
her grief, and kneeling at the foot of a great oak tree, 
she sobbed out her agony until Simon said kindly : 



42 Peggy Ware 

"Come on, little missus, God is guidin' us, an' He 
will dry youah teahs." 

All the remainder of the day the oxen plowed on 
through the rocky, muddy mountain road, Simon fol- 
lowing behind, while Peggy, at his earnest solicitation, 
had climbed into the wagon. 

As the sun was setting, they came to a small stream 
where Wilbur Ware halted the tired oxen, and un- 
yoked them, indicating that here they would strike 
camp for the night. 

Simon took the axe and cut some dead logs and 
soon had a roaring fire, around which they all gath- 
ered to warm their half-frozen hands and feet. 

With the few cooking utensils they had brought, 
Peggy soon prepared a simple meal of corn pone, bacon 
and eggs, supplemented by a big pot of steaming cof- 
fee. The youngsters, at least, were ravenously hungry, 
and did full justice to the meal, talking excitedly and 
enthusiastically about the wonderful country they ex- 
pected to pass through on the morrow. The others 
ate sparingly and in silence, Simon waiting until they 
had finished, and then taking his food and going to 
his side of the fire, where he ate slowly and thought- 
fully. 

They had brought along several sacks of "nubbins" 
to feed the oxen, and their contented crunching testi- 
fied to their appetites. 

The bleak winter wind caused them no discomfort 
so long as their stomachs were full, for nature had 
given them a covering that furnished ample protec- 
tion. 

The flames, leaping high from the burning logs, 
threw weird shadows into the surrounding woods, and 
Ralph and Virginia enjoyed the novelty of their first 
camp fire. 



Earth to Earth 43 

Wilbur Ware's demeanor was more normal as the 
day passed. The light of madness in his eyes had 
given place to one of hopeless suffering. The founda- 
tion on which he had stood for years had been swept 
away, and now he felt an aching void that nothing 
could ever fill. 

For years it had been his custom to read from the 
Bible and offer prayer before the children retired, but 
he felt that he could never do so again. To him prayer 
would be an empty mockery, a meaningless jargon of 
words, and he would not further stultify himself by 
engaging in something in which he did not believe. 

So it was that when the bedding had been arranged 
in the great wagon and Simon had placed his blankets 
on a pile of boughs which he had heaped near the 
fire, Wilbur Ware announced that inasmuch as they 
would begin their journey at daybreak in the morn- 
ing all had better retire. 

Wistfully the children looked at their father and 
at each other, no one speaking until Virginia said : 
"Papa, ain't you going to pray? You always prayed 
when mama was here. She's in heaven now, but I 
know she wants us to pray, and she will help us, too, 
'cause she is with the angels, and is right close to God, 
and he can hear her when she asks him to answer our 
prayers." 

This simple faith of "baby" Virginia reacted on Wil- 
bur Ware as nothing else had done. It shook him to 
the very foundation of his being. He might have ar- 
gued angrily with Simon, or firmly with Peggy ; even 
Ralph he could have dismissed with some lame excuse. 
But here was his youngest, his baby, looking at him 
through those great wide-open eyes, piercing his 
gloomy soul, speaking the language of faith, of per- 
fect trust in God in whom he no longer believed, and 



44 Peggy Ware 

he found it impossible to utter a word. With her he 
could not argue or reason. His doubts meant nothing 
to her, for she was still at that age when faith is 
sublime, when life is all beauty, and everything in the 
universe is good. No truer saying did Christ ever 
utter than that we must become as little children be- 
fore we can enter the Kingdom of heaven. 

Unable to answer her, stunned as if by an unex- 
pected blow, the ex-preacher arose from his place by 
the fire and stole quietly to the wagon, where he slept 
little, being haunted by the storm clouds of doubt and 
unbelief that swept over his soul. 

Turning to Peggy, Virginia, seeming to realize fully 
for the first time the terrible change in her father, said : 
"Sister, what ails father? Is he afraid of God?" 

"Father is not well, Virginia, but he will soon be 
himself again," said Peggy. 

"Well, then," persisted Virginia, "if he is too sick to 
pray how could he walk all day in the mud and drive 
the oxen?" 

This was too much of a puzzle for Peggy to answer, 
and she made no reply. 

Once more the child's voice pleaded: "If papa is 
too sick to pray to God, then I think we ought to pray 
for him to get well." 

Overcome by the lisping of Virginia, Peggy burst, 
into tears which she hastily brushed away, saying: 
"Yes, Virginia, we will pray for our papa, and for our- 
selves, too, for we need God also." 

Then she called Simon to come over and sit with 
them near the fire, and in her wonderfully musical 
voice she repeated the twenty-third psalm, which she 
had memorized when she was no older than Ralph. 
Simon had heard it read often, but it never held out 
such beautiful promises before. Ralph and Virginia 



Earth to Earth 45 

felt that some great shepherd of the forest sent by God 
was standing near by to protect them from all harm. 
Softly, pleadingly, but confidently, the words that have 
soothed millions fell from her lips: 

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. . . . 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow 
of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; 
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." 

The psalm ended and Peggy knelt, lifting her face 
to the wintry skies where gleamed a million stars, and 
the others followed her example. "Our Heavenly 
Father," the young voice quavered, "we are just thy 
children lost in the forest, and we need the good shep- 
herd to guide us. Our dear father is sick because 
he has lost his way since mother left us. His sick- 
ness blinds him so he cannot see your face. Oh, won't 
you take him by the hand and lead him, and all of us 
in thy way? Amen." 

Peace, peace, unspeakable, filled the hearts of these 
simple worshippers, while the fires of doubt and un- 
belief raged in the soul of Wilbur Ware. No ma- 
terial hell with its fiery, brimstone billows, its burn- 
ing, quenchless thirst, could ever equal in suffering 
the anguish of the storm-tossed soul that has lost its 
faith in God. No Stygian darkness was ever one-half 
so black as the murky pall that settles over the man 
who says "there is no God, no soul, no spiritual life." 

And for the man who has once climbed to some lofty 
peak of life and viewed the promised land from afar, 
and turned back to wallowing in the mire of material 
things, thinking that the flesh pots can satisfy, there 
is no pictured hell of Dante's Inferno that can ever hold 
for him the suffering to which he is doomed by his 
own act of closing his eyes to the celestial vision. 

That night Peggy had a marvelous dream, and in 



46 Peggy Ware 

the years that followed, it was always present with 
her. She dreamed that at the end of their journey, 
they came to a place in the mountain where a stream 
of water leaped over a precipice into a narrow, rock- 
walled valley below, and that there was a rough, wind- 
ing road descending into this valley from which she 
could see the smoke ascending from the cabins. When 
her father would have passed on, she saw her mother 
beckoning to her father to follow the winding road 
into the valley, but he did not see her. 

Peggy cried to her father to look, but he was so 
blinded for some reason he could not see, and was 
driving in another direction. Then her mother showed 
great agitation, earnestly pointing in the direction of 
the valley lying far below. Peggy, greatly distressed 
because of her father's blindness, insisted so earnestly 
that he turned the oxen's head and entered the mys- 
terious valley. 

It was a new world to Peggy. She had lived among 
mountain people, but not like these. Nowhere did she 
see a school or church, but there were drunken men 
and wild revelry. Many of the women were haggard, 
and forlorn, while the younger people were barefooted 
and poorly clad. 

"Hither have I guided you," her mother told her, 
"to do a great work. It is so far-reaching I will not 
reveal it all to you at this time. You might doubt this 
vision because of its magnitude. From time to time 
as the work grows, and your vision expands, I will 
guide you. Some day the echo of your efforts here 
in this out-of-the-way, benighted, place will be heard 
around the world. Here your father will find his salva- 
tion, and his work, and peace to his soul." 

Peggy awoke in the morning with a great resolve in 
her heart. She felt that her dream was something 



Earth to Earth 47 

more than a dream — that it was a vision, and it be- 
came to her a great white light to guide her footsteps. 

As day after day passed, and they traveled through 
the mountains to their journey's end, her vision gave 
her a strength and courage she had never known be- 
fore. 

Late one afternoon she looked to the West, and be- 
hold the place of her dream ! She inquired of a pass- 
ing traveler, and he said dubiously : 

"That is Bucks Pocket, where they make wild cat 
whiskey and kill 'revenoo' officers. You don't want 
to go in there, for if you do, you may never get out 
alive." 

He went on his way, and the wagon rumbled on 
until they came to the winding road of her dream. 
Her father took another road, and Peggy pleaded with 
him to take the one leading into the mysterious valley. 
He protested, but she was so earnest, assuring him 
that she felt in her soul that it was what they ought 
to do, that he consented, having no particular objec- 
tion himself. Just as the sun was hiding behind the 
tall trees fringing the far side of the valley, they en- 
tered Bucks Pocket. 



Chapter Four 
THE UNWELCOME STRANGERS 

IT was a rocky road that led into Bucks Pocket, and 
the approach of a wagon as the wheels bounded 
from boulder to boulder, could be heard for a mile 
or more. Even a man on horseback could not travel 
that road without being betrayed by the sound of his 
horse's hoofs on the rocks. 

The Wares had not traveled far until a man, coming 
from nowhere apparently, stood in front of the wagon 
blocking further passage, and threw up his hand, giv- 
ing the signal to stop. 

"Do you all recon' as you know whar you gwine?" 
he asked in a high-pitched, drawling voice. 

He was tall, lank, dressed in homespun, wore a coon- 
skin cap, and carried a long squirrel rifle. His hair 
was long and shaggy, while a heavy beard completely 
covered his face, leaving nothing visible except his 
eyes, and they were sharp as a ferret's. 

Taken by surprise, Wilbur Ware made no answer. 

Again the stranger drawled: "I calc'late you all 
on the wrong road and you'll have to travel about a 
mile afore you kin find a place big enough to turn 
'round in." 

Ware, by this time, found his voice, and said: 

"No, we haven't taken the wrong road, and will be 
much obliged if you will direct us to a camping place." 

The stranger chuckled. "They ain't no campin' 

48 



The; Unwelcome; Strangers 49 

place in Bucks Pocket fur strangers, but I'll show you 
whare to turn round." 

"But we are not going to turn round, my good man, 
we have come to locate and live among you." 

This time the coonskin-capped man laughed. "We 
are opposed to furrin immigration," he said, "an' the 
sooner you git out, the better it will be fur all parties 
consarned. Foller me an' I'll show you whare to 
turn round." Without waiting for a reply he strode 
ahead, and there was nothing to do but follow. 

It seemed an interminable way, but the stranger 
finally stopped, and it was now so dark that the occu- 
pants of the wagon could not see him. 

"Here is whare you turn back," he said. 

"It is so dark I cannot see to turn round, even if I 
desired to," declared Ware, "and we will spend the 
night here." 

"You won't without a fight, pardner. I've been 
pow'ful gentle with you, but I'll git rough ef you make 
me." 

The children were frightened, and Virginia began to 
cry. This instantly caught the attention of the bearded 
man, and he said : "Good Lord, you ain't got yore 
brats thare in the wagon, has you?" 

"Yes," replied Ware, "I have my three children 
with me." 

"Well, I recon' that brings on more talk than I 
have language to express. So, I'll jest take you to 
the Captain, and let him try yore case." Saying which 
he produced a lantern, lighted it, and said in a gentler 
voice : 

"Foller me, pardner, and I'll take you to the real 
boss of Bucks Pocket." 

The road grew smoother and the ground more level 
as they proceeded, while the trees on both sides of the 



50 Peggy Ware 

road seemed to almost touch the sky. Finally they 
reached a clearing and could see lights twinkling. 
Soon they drew up in front of a huge, two-story, 
double log house, with great stone chimneys at each 
end. 

The man guiding the Wares entered the house, and 
shortly returned, followed by a large, soldierly built 
man and a rather small, nervous woman, evidently his 
wife. 

"Hello, stranger !" spoke the man in a short, com- 
manding tone. "Who are you and what do you want?" 

Again Virginia began crying, perhaps thinking that 
her tears might soften the hearts of these queer people. 

"Bless my heart," said the woman, "I hear a baby. 
What on earth do you mean, stranger, comin' to Bucks 
Pocket with yore kid. You must a stole it some'ers 
and come here to hide^ it. Ef you did, we don't want 
no child stealers here. I would hate one worser than 
I do the "revenoo" officers, and I guess I hate 'em 
worse 'an I do the devil," said Molly Anderson. 

"No, madam," answered Ware, "she is my child. I 
never stole a child in my life, but sixteen years ago 
some cruel monster stole my first born and I have 
never seen or heard from her since." 

"Pore man, I am sorry fer youh, and ef I could find 
the scoundrel what stole yore chile, I'd pizen him same 
as I would a rattlesnake," replied Mrs. Anderson. 

No one observed her husband as he turned a deathly 
white and clutched at the wagon wheel to steady him- 
self. His voice was husky as he spoke, and he was 
visibly agitated. 

"Molly, I guess we bettah take these kids in the 
house tonight, and the old man and the 'coon'," refer- 
ring to Simon, "can camp out, and in the mornin' I'll 
'scort them out of Bucks Pocket." 



The; Unwelcome Strangers 51 

Molly Anderson's big heart responded instantly, and 
Peggy, Ralph, and Virginia were soon inside the house 
by a roaring fire, while Ware and Simon were shown 
a place where they could leave their wagon and feed 
the oxen. 

Ruth Anderson came in from another part of the 
house. She stood looking at them, shyly, quizzically, 
until her mother said : 

"Ruth, these is some strangers what lost their way, 
an' we are gwine to keep them 'til mornin'." 

Then Ruth turned to Peggy and said: "What is 
your name?" To which Peggy responded : 

"My name is Peggy Ware, and I am so glad to 
know you, and am so happy to be here." 

"Well, my name is Ruth Anderson, and I like you 
better than any girl I ever saw." 

Impulsively Peggy threw her arms about the beauti- 
ful mountain girl and kissed her warmly. This act so 
touched Ruth that she said: 

"I'm pow'ful sorry for you, and I'm goin' to ax my 
pap ef you can't stay with us all the time. Would 
you like to?" 

"I think it would be a wonderful home, and you 
have such a lovely mother and fine father, that I am 
sure I could be very, very happy here," said Peggy. 

Cliff Anderson had entered the house unobserved, 
and as he listened to the sincere words of Peggy, the 
hard look in his face relaxed and he said : 

"Little gal, it's been many a long day sense any one 
called me a "fine man," an' ef you knowed more about 
me I am afeard you would change your mind." 

"I could never change my opinion, Mr. Anderson," 
said Peggy, "for I can look in your eyes and see that 
you are as true as steel." 



52 Peggy Ware 

His eyes shifted before Peggy's soul-searching gaze. 
His eyes, that had looked death in the face many times, 
quailed before a slender girl. Happily for his com- 
fort, his wife announced that supper was ready, and 
as she bustled the Wares into the kitchen, where the 
meals were both cooked and eaten, she ordered her 
husband to go for the children's father, who, she said, 
"must be almost froze and starved too by this time." 
"Bring the nigger in too and let him set by the fire and 
warm hisself while the white folks eat." 

Without a word the big king of the Wild Catters 
obeyed his wife, and they were all soon seated at the 
long table, with all the food heaped on big dishes in 
the center. 

"You maybe ain't used to country grub, but it's the 
best we kin do fer ye," apologized Mrs. Anderson. "I 
got nuthin' but cold hog's head and kraut, some back- 
bone and spare ribs, some cracklin' bread and sweet 
taters and some punkin pie. I made a little coffee, 
thinkin' it would warm ye all up a bit. An' I have 
some sweet and butter milk, and some of the best but- 
ter you ever tasted. And I have some biscuits bakin', 
and they will be red hot by the time you finish your 
corn pone." 

Ralph had been following with his eyes the various 
articles of food as they were named over, and by the 
time the conversation was finished, they were bulging 
with delight, for he was very much in love with his 
stomach. Rubbing this portion of his anatomy in a 
most caressing manner, he said : 

"If you will excuse me for buttin' in, I'll say that 
this is the grandest meal I ever sat down to." This 
brought forth a hearty laugh, and an agreement by 
every one that they would never die of starvation, if 
they could always have Mrs. Anderson for a cook. 



The; Unwelcome; Strange;rs 53 

After the white folks had finished, Simon was in- 
vited to the table, but he declined, saying that he pre- 
ferred to eat by the kitchen fire, where he could keep 
warm. So a generous supply of everything on the 
table was placed on the "hath," this being the Bucks 
Pocket's word for hearth, and the old darkey enjoyed 
his supper, for, as he remarked, it reminded him of the 
"good ole days in Virginny befo' de wah." 

Ruth, who had never seen a negro before, was much 
interested in Simon, and peeped in at the kitchen door 
more than once to watch him as he ate. She told 
Peggy that there never was but one "nigger" in Bucks 
Pocket, and that the Ku-Klux hung him and threw his 
body in the Tennessee River, at least this was the story 
that had been handed down ; for certain it was that he 
had disappeared, and days afterward the body of a 
negro man was found floating in the river near Decatur. 

After supper, Anderson suggested that he and the 
stranger guest retire to another room, saying: "I 
recon' we might as well talk 'turkey' tonight as any 
time." 

With their bodies warm and their appetites satisfied, 
Ralph and Virginia soon began to nod, and Peggy 
suggested that she would go with them to the wagon 
and put them to bed. To this suggestion Mrs. An- 
derson stoutly protested. 

"Sakes alive, no," she said; "you'll do nothing of the 
sort. I'll pull out the trundle bed that Ruth slept on 
until she was purty nigh grown," saying which, she 
went to the further end of the big room, where a high, 
old-fashioned bed stood, with a snow white counter- 
pane for covering, and drew from under it a trundle 
bed. 

"Me and Cliff sleeps here, and the kids will be safe 
here on the trundle bed, I recon," and she cast a 



54 Peggy Ware 

reassuring look to the arsenal of guns in the rack on 
the wall. 

Ralph and Virginia were evidently not afraid, for 
they soon were sound asleep, tired but happy that they 
had reached a haven of warmth and plenty of food. 

Left to themselves, Mrs. Anderson, Ruth, and Peggy 
found many things of mutual interest to talk about. 

"I guess you got a lot of book larnin', ain't you?" 
inquired Ruth of Peggy. 

Laughingly, Peggy said : "Well, yes ; I have studied 
many books, but I feel that I have very little learning, 
and am only a beginner. There are many things that 
you don't need books to teach you, and I sometimes 
think that the greatest things to be learned are not 
taught in books at all. I think you and your mother, 
for instance, have learned many things that people who 
dwell in cities and study many books never know any- 
thing about. I am beginning to feel that many of the 
things we learn in books really becloud and clog our 
minds so that the great truths of life are obscured from 
our vision." 

Ruth and her mother hung breathless on Peggy's 
words, although they did not fully comprehend her 
meaning. They realized that they were in the pres- 
ence of an unusual girl, and her words were like some 
wonderful elixir of life to them. 

"I recon you ain't got none of them books with you?" 
asked Ruth, fearing that the answer would be "no." 

To her great joy Peggy said : "Oh, yes, I have a lot 
of them in the wagon." 

Ruth's face lighted with an eagerness that Peggy 
was destined to see in the years to come in the eager 
faces of thousands of mountain boys and girls. 

"An' will you teach me all your book larnin'?" 
earnestly pleaded Ruth. 



The Unwelcome Strangers 55 

"I will teach you what I know, with all my heart," 
said Peggy, "if it is God's will that I remain in Bucks 
Pocket." 

"Won't you begin tonight? I want to see your books 
and larn jest a little mite before I go to bed." 

"Wait tel mornin'," said her mother. "The young 
lady is tired, and besides you don't know how yore 
pap will take it. You know he never wanted you to 
have no book larnin', and I am afeared that he won't 
stan' fer it. You know a school taughter come into 
the Pocket onct, and started a school an' the men all 
got together and whipped him, then tarred and feath- 
ered him, and put him on a raft and started him down 
the river, and nobody ain't never seed him sence." 

"Yes, I know, Ma," answered Ruth. "But they 
thought he wus a spy fer the 'revenoos,' and I know 
that they can't think that about — about— — " and she 
hesitated. 

"Call me Peggy, and I'll call you Ruth," suggested 
Peggy graciously, "and then we will feel like we are 
old friends." 

Both girls laughed, and Ruth's mother asked : "May 
I call you Peggy, too?" 

"Certainly," said Peggy, "and I'll call you Ma An- 
derson. Won't that be fine?" 

Again they laughed, and the ice was broken for- 
evermore. 

Pe g§T proposed that they go to the wagon and find 
some of her school books and bring them to the house. 
Securing a lantern, the two girls went out into the 
darkness to hunt for the precious "book larnin'." 

In the kitchen Simon nodded by the fire, now burned 
low, while in another room Anderson and Ware talked 
long and earnestly, Anderson not without suspicion 
and grave misgivings, while Ware's conversation was 



56 Peggy Ware 

that of a man laboring under some great mental strain. 
Afterward Anderson was heard to remark that he 
acted like a "locoed hoss." 

"Coming right down to turkey, pardner," said An- 
derson, when they were seated by the fire, "what's yore 
name, whare did you cum frum, what's yore business, 
an' whare you gwine?" 

"Some of your questions are easily answered," re- 
plied Ware, "and some of them will have to be answered 
later." 

"All right, pardner, jest as you like, but you will 
have to answer all of them satisfactionally before you 
stay in Bucks Pocket, an' then maybe you won't stay," 
gruffly replied Anderson. 

"I'll do the best I can, Mr. Anderson, for I assure 
you I have nothing to conceal. 

"To begin with, my name is Ware, Wilbur Ware, 
and I come from the Cumberland mountains beyond 
Knoxville. Originally I came from Virginia from the 
Shenandoah Valley. My wife died three weeks ago, 
and her death has almost killed me. It seems to me 
that the sun has never shone since, and never will 
again, and I just wanted to get away from the world. 

"I heard that there was some vacant government 
land in this section, and I thought I might homestead 
a hundred and sixty acres and build a home for my 
three children and make a living, and find a place where 
no one knew me, and where I would never meet any 
one that knew me in the old days." 

Ware's evident sincerity and distress touched the 
big heart of Cliff Anderson, and he began to cast about 
in his mind for some way to help Ware and his 
children. 

"You know, this is a quare country, Mr. Ware, and 
I don't know whuther you would ketch on to our ways. 



The Unwelcome Strangers 57 

May I ax what were yore ocypation in the "old life," 
as you call it?" 

Ware hesitated. This was the first time this ques- 
tion had been asked since he decided to give up the 
ministry. He felt ashamed to answer for some reason 
that he could not have explained. After waiting until 
the silence had become painful, and Anderson's suspi- 
cion had been once more aroused, he said : "I was a 
minister of the gospel." This was like shaking a red 
rag at a bull, for Anderson had no use for "sky pilots," 
as he contemptuously termed all ministers. 

"Oh, you wus one o' them shoutin' sky pilots, wus 
you ; snoopin' round to find somethin' to report to the 
revenoos? And be you still follerin' yore old job. 

Again Ware hesitated before the blunt questions of 
Cliff Anderson. "No, I gave up preaching when my 
wife died. I'll never open another Bible or preach 
another sermon as long as I live." 

"The hell you won't !" exclaimed Anderson. "You 
must a reformed. What got the matter with you ?" 

Should he tell this man the truth? A lie trembled 
on his lips, but he could not utter it. "Frankly, Mr. 
Anderson, I came to the conclusion that there is no 
God, that death ends all, and that all this talk about 
man's soul, the soul life and spirituality is not in 
accordance with reason." 

"By gosh, I thought you wus queer in the upper 
story, and I know it now," declared Anderson. "Any 
man that says they ain't no God, and that when a man 
dies he ain't no more'n a hoss, is a durned fool. Say, 
pardner, whare did you git all them wheels in yore 
gourd?" 

"The beginning of my doubts was sixteen years ago, 
when I was pastor of a church at Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee. It was on a Christmas day that the first great 



58 Peggy Ware 

shock came to me. I had been to church and while I 
was gone our baby, Florence, two years old, climbed 
down the steps and into the yard. She toddled out 
into the street, as we suppose, just before the time for 
me to return home, and my wife had not missed her 
until my return. In fact, she was not feeling well, as 
it was just before our second baby, Peggy, was born, 
and my wife was lying down resting in an adjoining 
room to the one where she left our little Florence 
playing. At any rate, when I came home, she was 
gone, and we have never been able to get a trace of her 
since. 

"The shock to my wife was terrible, and she never 
fully recovered. Peggy was born that night, while I 
was away searching for our lost child. A band of 
gypsies had been camping near Chattanooga for some 
weeks, and had broken camp and started east that 
morning. It is supposed that, seeing Florence in the 
street, they picked her up and concealed her in one 
of the numerous covered wagons. Four other chil- 
dren disappeared at the same time, two of them girls 
just the same age as our child. An armed posse fol- 
lowed the band of gypsies, which had divided. After 
many days we came up with them and after a fight we 
recovered all the children except Florence and one 
other girl of the same age. We could find no trace, 
of them. Returning to where the band divided, we 
followed the other, but it, too, had divided and scat- 
tered into the mountains, and I finally returned home 
heartbroken, without our child. 

"Without continuing the painful story, I will simply 
add that 1 roamed for years from place to place, fol- 
lowing every possible clew, hoping to find her, but at 
last I lost hope. And it was then I began to doubt 
everything. My wife died, still believing that Flor- 



The; Unwelcome; Strangers 59 

ence is alive, and that some day I will find her. I 
never expect to. 

"When my wife died I felt that if there was a God 
he could not be so cruel as to rob me of both wife 
and child." 

Anderson listened with many contending emotions, 
that might have been read in his face by a keen ob- 
server. Finally he said : "Mr. Ware, you have had 
lots of trouble, and I am sorry fer you, but I can't see 
how, ef you ever knowed God, you could ever doubt 
Him. That's the way I've alius felt about it. I ain't 
never knowed Him, but sometimes I have wanted to 
so bad that it hurt me in here," placing his hand 
on his heart. "Maybe you never honest-to-goodness 
knowed Him." 

Ware did not see fit to attempt to answer this last 
thrust, and the men sat silent for a long time, gazing 
into the flickering coals, each busy with his own 
thoughts. Finally Anderson, in a voice with some- 
thing of fear in it, said : 

"Ef you wus to find yore gal now, how would you 
know her? Wus they any birth marks on her?" 

"None at all," replied Ware. "I have often thought 
of that, but always felt that somehow or other I would 
just know. And besides, she resembled her mother 
and may have grown up to look like her." 

"Yes, but you could never be jest as shore as shootin' 
that it ware her or the other gal, could you?" argued 
Anderson. 

"I suppose that is true, Mr. Anderson, but I am sure 
I shall never find her and will not have to decide." 

Anderson suggested that it must be getting late, 
and both men rose and walked into the other room. 
There they were greeted by an unexpected sight. 
Ralph and Virginia were sleeping soundly in the trim- 



60 Peggy Ware 

die-bed; while Peggy was teaching Ruth the alphabet. 
She had learned quite half of her letters, and Peggy 
had written "Ruth Anderson" at Ruth's request, and 
she had traced out the letters slowly, painfully almost, 
trying to imitate Peggy's writing, and she and her 
mother were overjoyed at the result. 

Anderson was dumbfounded, and evidently dis- 
pleased. 

"I don't want my gal to have no book larnin'," he 
said angrily. 

Peggy was half frightened and quite unable to un- 
derstand this strange obsession against "book larnin'." 

"I am sure, Mr. Anderson, that what I teach her will 
do her no harm," and the earnest eyes of Peggy pleaded 
with him. He quailed before those soul-searching eyes 
as he had done once before that evening. 

"Oh, pap, I want book larnin' worser than anything 
in the world, and Peggy is gwine to teach it to me, and 
you will let her, now won't you, pap?" 

As he wavered and hesitated about replying, his wife 
came to the rescue and said : "Of course, you'll let her 
larn, Cliff." 

For answer he said : "I think you gals had better go 
to bed, and we will see about it in the mornin'." 

"You won't sleep in the wagon tonight, Ware," he 
said hospitably. "There is a good feather bed in the 
other room, and you kin sleep there, and Simon kin 
bring his blankets and sleep on the hath by the kitchen 
fire. My dad used to say that ef a nigger could sleep 
with his head to the fire he didn't keer about his feet. 
So yore nigger kin keep his head warm ef he will keep 
the fire goin'." And he laughed at his own wit. 

While Anderson was disposing of Ware and Simon, 
Mrs. Anderson had conducted Peggy and Ruth up the 
stairway to a big room over the one occupied by Ralph 



The; Unwelcome Strangers 61 

and Virginia, where she turned down the cover, expos- 
ing a pair of snow-white sheets on a great feather bed. 

After Mrs. Anderson had gone, and the girls were 
all ready to "jump in" bed, Ruth, talking excitedly 
every moment, she stopped in the middle of a sentence 
as she discovered that Peggy was kneeling by the bed, 
praying silently. She stood abashed for a moment, 
and then without a word slid down beside Peggy and 
directly she began to sob, not knowing why. Gently 
Peggy laid her hand on Ruth's head, and the wild 
mountain girl, feeling something stir her soul for the 
first time in her life, whispered : 

"Please pray fer me, Peggy. I don't know how." 
Cliff Anderson and Molly sat by the fire for a long 
time. It was past midnight, and all in the house were 
asleep except these two, and Wilbur Ware, whose 
occasional sighs, as he tossed restlessly on his bed, 
told of his perturbed spirit that would not allow him 
the balm of sleep. 

After tip-toeing softly up the stairway and returning, 
Molly Anderson said : 

"Cliff, I wonder ef God ever does anything fer folks 
like us?" To which he replied, with more feeling than 
she had ever known him to exhibit: 

"I hope so, Molly." 

Once more she climbed to the head of the stairway, 
with a lighted candle in her hand, and this time she 
whispered : "Come here, Cliff." 

Not knowing what his wife wanted, he ascended the 
stairs, his boots creaking loudly, while she warned him 
by many "shoos" and whispers to make less noise. 
Silently she pointed to the sleeping girls, and as the 
stern old Wild Catter looked long and earnestly at the 
golden head nestling on the same pillow beside the 



62 Peggy Ware 

one crowned with raven locks, the tears dimmed his 
eyes and shut out the vision for a moment. 

Slowly he descended, followed by his wife, who was 
perturbed because of his agitation. It was the first 
time she had ever seen a tear in those steel-blue, fear- 
less eyes, and she was afraid that her husband was 
not well. 

"Be you sick, Cliff," she said anxiously. 

"No, Molly, I ain't sick; it's a heap sight worser nor 
any sickness." 

"What on earth can it be, Cliff?" asked Molly, now 
thoroughly alarmed. 

"I don't know myself, Molly. Some day, ef I ever 
find out, I may tell you." He would say no more, and 
she had to be contented, for she well knew when her 
husband was through talking. 

"I am gwine to the still, Molly, and won't be back 
'til breakfast," he said.' 

Again she knew that words would be vain, so she 
said simply: 

"Take good keer of yerself, Cliff," and the big form 
of the King of the Wild Catters was swallowed up in 
the darkness. 



Chapter Five 
THE NEW LIFE BEGINS 

WILBUR WARE and Simon were astir early the 
next morning, for Ware had slept little, and 
Simon, as was his life-long custom, was up 
building fires, so that the house might be warm for the 
white folks. 

Ware was pale and haggard. In the long hours of 
the night he realized that he was like a ship without a 
rudder, trying to sail an unknown sea without a chart 
or compass. It seemed to him that his present predica- 
ment was the culmination of a life of failure. 

He was now past the meridian of life, without earthly 
possession, with three children depending on him as 
counsellor, guide, and provider ; and he, laboring under 
some strange hallucination, had come to this dark 
corner of civilization, without aim or purpose, other 
than to eke out a miserable animal existence . 

He had been uprooted from the past as if by some 
ruthless force, and he found himself unable to even 
get a glimpse of the future. He felt ready to throw 
up his hands and surrender. He had no respect for 
himself, nor did he expect anyone else to have. He 
really feared himself, and mentally he contemplated 
himself as a human derelict, drifting about until some 
unusual wave should obliterate him forever. 

No matter in which direction he looked, all was 
darkness. No north star gleamed to point the way. 
Where his God once sat upon a great throne, there 

63 



64 Peggy Ware 

was only chaos. His God was gone, his throne a mass 
of crumbling ruins, and a great, gaunt skeleton, with 
lusterless eyes brooded over the scene of desolation, 
and on his forehead there was the word "Unbelief." 

When he looked within, the blackness was even 
greater, and there sat an imp in the form of the devil 
of our childhood fancies, and his name was "Despair." 
Blindly he wondered if it would not have been better 
if his theological, materialistic God, loving, hating, 
rewarding, punishing, jealous at times, and anon angry, 
just a big super-man, had retained his throne. Then he 
would have had some sort of anchorage at least, 
whereas he now had none. 

These thoughts surged through his mind as he fed 
the oxen and wondered where his wanderings would 
next carry him. 

A bountiful breakfast, with home-made sausage, 
fried chicken, old-fashioned sorghum, and hot butter- 
milk biscuits was ready when he returned to the house. 
He inquired about his host, and was assured by 
Mrs. Anderson that he had gone for an early morning 
walk and he would be back for breakfast. A swift 
glance from Ruth indicated that she knew the cause of 
her father's absence. 

Ralph and Virginia were very much at home, and 
Mrs. Anderson was already "mothering" them, to their 
great delight. 

Peggy's face was radiant, for her mother had again 
visited her in a dream, and to her it was real. The 
vision she saw had been so indelibly written on her 
soul that it could never be erased. 

When the meal was half finished, Anderson entered 
briskly, apologizing for his tardiness, explaining that 
his walk had carried him farther than he had intended 
to go. 



The New Life: Begins 65 

His wife surveyed his countenance swiftly, and she 
must have been satisfied with what she read there, for 
she said cheerfully : "I think yore walk done you a 
heap o' good, Cliff." 

To which he replied: "I hope so, Molly." 

After breakfast they assembled about the great fire- 
place in the "settin' " room, all feeling that a crisis had 
been reached, and that the fate of the Wares was now 
trembling in the balance. Ruth hovered near Peggy, 
holding her hand, and showing by her manner an 
admiration akin to worship. 

Clearing his throat, Anderson broke the silence. "I 
took a walk, Ware, so I could figger out what to do. 
I am goin' to call you jest plain Ware, becase I am 
a plain man and am goin' to treat you as an equal. 

"I'm glad you left off bein' a parson, fur I ain't got 
no respect fur them, at least the sort of cattle I have 
seed. But I am sorry you left off God. We ain't 
gwine to quarrel about that now, case I don't know 
nothin' about Him myself, 'cept what somethin' in here 
tells me. 

"I took my walk to git way off by myself whare I 
could listen to that somethin', fur I have paid so little 
'tention to it all my life that its voice is purty weak. 
I don't know what it is, but I know that when I made 
up my mind this mornin' to do what it sed, I felt I wus 
walkin' on air. Bein' as you wus onct a parson, maybe 
you kin tell me what it is?" 

Ware shook his head sadly, whereupon Ralph held 
up his hand and said : "Sister Peggy knows." 

Turning to her with a look of intense longing in his 
face, Anderson said: "Miss Peggy, won't you tell me 
and yore pa too, fur we both need to know." 

Peggy felt the earnestness of the man, and like all 



66 Peggy Wars 

great souls, she realized the insignificance of her own 
knowledge, and it was with deep feeling that she said : 

"That is one of the greatest questions ever asked, 
Mr. Anderson, and I would not undertake to answer 
it now. If it is for the best that I should be your 
teacher, together we will find a solution to your prob- 
lem. It may require a long time, but have no fear, 
for when a man earnestly desires to know the truth, 
the knowledge always comes to him, and when he calls, 
his teacher is at hand." 

"Well," said Anderson, "I guess you are gwine to 
be my teacher ef you will, fur that somethin' what I 
ain't got no name fur told me to let you all stay in 
Bucks Pocket, an' when I said 'By gosh ! I'll do it, ef it 
takes the hide', I jest felt like shoutin', and then I said 
to myself, 'You durned old fool, you'll be gittin' religion 
the next thing you know, an' that will be the disgrace- 
fullest thing you ever 'done in yore life." 

Everyone joined in the hearty laugh that followed, 
and Ruth, unable to restrain her joy, rushed to her 
father and surprised him by kissing his weatherbeaten 
cheek, exclaiming as she did so : "Oh, daddy, daddy, I 
can have book larnin', can't I?" 

Brushing his cheek with the back of his hand, as 
though ashamed to be the subject of his daughter's, 
affection, he said: "Wall, it all depends on whuther 
the parson — I mean Ware — will take the oath or not. 
Ef he had never been a parson, I might let him off; 
but bein' as he onct had religion, he must sware an' 
sware on the Bible, too, ef you all have one, that he 
won't do no snoopin' roun' fur the revenoos. Will 
you do it, Ware?" 

"An oath is not necessary to bind me, Mr. Anderson, 
but if you desire it, I have no objection, for under no 



The New Liee Begins 67 

circumstances would I partake of your hospitality and 
then betray you." 

Peggy, accompanied by Ruth, had gone to the wagon 
and now returned, Peggy carrying her mother's Bible. 

Bidding Ware place his hand on the book, the King 
of the Wild Catters placed his hand firmly on Ware's 
and administered the Wild Catter's oath. It was a 
weird scene, and all were fascinated by the unusual 
ceremony. 

"They ain't no use havin' Miss Peggy sware," 
drawled Anderson, "becase she ain't never had no 
religion, and then somethin' in her eyes would make 
me trust her with my life any day," saying which he 
handed the Bible to Peggy. As he did so, a sheet of 
paper fell from it, on which there were some lines 
written, so faint as to be almost unintelligible. Peggy 
picked the paper from the floor, and at the first glance 
her hands began to tremble violently. Her face 
blanched, her eyes filled with tears and a sob rose in 
her throat. 

Seeing her agitation, her father, deeply concerned, 
inquired the cause. In a broken voice she said : "This 
was written by mother after she realized that the end 
was near, and she placed it in her Bible, knowing that 
we would find it. In the hurry and confusion of 
moving the book was placed where it was not easy to 
find, and a kind Providence has preserved this precious 
message until now." 

Her father, his voice husky, and his face deathly 
white, said, "Read it," while Ralph and Virginia clung 
to Peggy. 

"Dear husband and children," and Peggy had to 
stop and stifle a sob, "the end has come suddenly in 
the form of one of those hemorrhages that means but 
a few minutes for preparation. I need no time for this, 



68 Peggy Ware; 

as I am ready and unafraid. I am sorry to leave you, 
and how I do wish you were here to say good-bye. I 
am not alone, for I feel God's presence, and the room 
is full of the spirits of loved ones who are here to 
welcome me. 

"After all, dear ones, there is just a thin veil between 
this side and the other, and when your spiritual eyes 
are open, there is no veil at all. 

"I know now that I will always be near you when 
you need me, and it would be so sweet to go if I 
thought you could see me as I shall you. 

"I see our dear Florence, now a beautiful young 
woman, and I see you all happily reunited, and when 
you are I will be with you. 

"I have stopped so often to try to staunch this flow 
of blood, that I have little time left. And now good- 
bye. I leave you in God's hands. I will sit by the 
window watching the road to the last minute, hoping 
you will come before the end. 

"I will place this in my Bible, which I give to Peggy. 
And now, just a sweet good-bye, for we will meet in 
the morning." 

When she had finished, no one spoke for a long time. 
Sobs filled the room, and Wilbur Ware sat with his, 
head bowed in his hands, his grief pathetic. Con- 
trolling himself at last by a mighty effort, he said: 
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ! My 
wife, my own, lead me out of this pit of darkness to 
Him, if you have found Him on the other side and 
can hear me !" 

Looking toward Simon, who had quietly entered the 
room, and whose black face was calm and serene, Ware 
said: "I owe it to you, Simon, that you saved those 
precious words of my wife, her last message to us. I 



The New LiEE Begins 69 

must have been mad when I attempted to burn her 
Bible." 

"You sho' wus mad when you burned yore God," 
said Simon, "an' den I spec you thought dat de Bible 
wus His book an' dat you burn it too. But I knowed 
long time ergo dat yore God warn't in de Bible at all, 
and I wanted to sabe young missus' book case you 
kin find Him in her Bible bettah dan any Bible, case 
she find Him dar." 

Simon's long speech somewhat relieved the tension, 
but all waited for Anderson to speak. At length he 
said: "I know of a vacant piece of land in the Pocket 
that you kin homestead. It is one hundred and sixty 
acres of as fine timber as you ever seed, and you kin 
go ahead and build yore home, and then go to town 
and enter it. I own most all the land that is wuth 
anything 'cept this. Whenever anybody didn't suit 
me, I jest bought 'em out, and now most everybody 
lives on my land, an' I can have 'em move whenever I 
want 'em to. They is more fine timber in the Pocket 
than any other place in the State, an' I recon we 
ought to make a pile of money outen it ef we knowed 
how. 

"Jest one thing pesters me erbout our 'rangements, 
and that is him," indicating Simon by a nod of his big 
shaggy head. "You know it's a law of Bucks Pocket 
that no nigger can't let the sun go down on him here 
without riskin' his life. I have alius helped enforce 
this law, an' I don't see nuthin' to do but fur yore 
nigger to git outen these diggins quick. I'm pow'ful 
sorry, but I can't help it." 

Nothing could have thrown greater consternation 
into the Ware camp. If this decree of the master of 
Bucks Pocket had to stand, it meant that the Wares 
would have to move on. Ralph and Virginia in terror 



70 Peggy Ware 

ran to Simon and clung to him as though they feared 
that he would be forcibly torn away from them, cry- 
ing: "You shan't leave us. We'll go with you." To 
which Peggy added quietly : 

"No, Mr. Anderson, we will not allow Simon to be 
turned out into the world alone. He has been in the 
family since before the war, and his faithfulness and 
devotion is such as is found nowhere except in the 
colored race. I thank you for your hospitality and 
kindness, but we must decline to remain longer if 
Simon is not welcome." 

Peggy's father emphasized what his daughter had 
said, and the fate of the Wares seemed to be again 
trembling in the balance. 

Pathetically, almost frantically, Ruth pleaded with 
her father, and she was warmly seconded by her 
mother. 

The strong man was greatly perturbed. He knew 
the temper of his mountaineers, and dreaded to make 
an issue with them on the race question. He saw what 
an opportunity it would afford Bud Whitman to wreak 
vengeance on him and his and the Wares through 
inoffensive old Simon. 

Sensing the difficulty, Simon came to the rescue, 
offering, as always, to lay himself on the altar of sac- 
rifice. "I ain't goin' to stan' in youah way to findin' 
a home and peace. 'Corse I hates to leab you, but I 
kin go to Chattanooga an' fin' work, and maybe some- 
time Miss Peggy and Ralph and Virginny, and Massa 
Ware kin come up an' I kin ketch a glimpse ob 'em. 
An' sides all dat, I kin make bettah wages up dah an' 
send de money down to help you git started. It don't 
mattah jes' so you all is happy, case I is happy jest 
anywhar." 



The; New Life Begins 71 

The supreme unselfishness of the old man, now al- 
most eighty, stirred the big, slumbering soul of this 
kingly mountaineer, and he said : "Wall, folks, ef you 
want to resk it, I will ; but I reckon' it means the big- 
gest fight that wus ever pulled off in Bucks Pocket — 
an' I recon' it means that Cliff Anderson will be at 
the fight." 

So it was settled that Simon should remain and 
await developments. Ralph and Virginia clapped their 
hands and laughed, while the old darky turned away 
to hide his emotions. 

It was the moment of supreme happiness in Ruth's 
life. She bounded like a fawn from father to mother 
and then back to Peggy, kissing and caressing each 
in turn, not slighting Ralph and Virginia. She even 
shyly, timidly, took Wilbur Ware by the hands, giv- 
ing them a hearty pressure, and then turned to Simon 
and said : 

"Uncle Simon, I am glad you are goin' to stay. I'll 
fight a stack o' wild cats fur you ef you need me." 

It was soon settled that the Ware children, Peggy, 
Ralph and Virginia, should remain at the Andersons 
until their house could be built, and Anderson showed 
Ware and Simon the boundaries of the tract of land 
that he proposed to enter, and he and Simon began 
cutting logs for the house. This required but a few 
days, and in a short time the logs had all been hauled 
to the site selected for the erection of the home, and 
the clap boards rived out for roofing it. 

In the meantime Mrs. Anderson, Ruth and Peggy 
had been busy preparing the material for a big quilt- 
ing bee to take place on the day of the "house raising." 
Whatever spare time they could find, Peggy put in 
teaching Ruth "book larnin'," and her aptitude for 
learning was surprising. Even Cliff Anderson became 



72 Peggy Ware 

interested and said he wished he had some "book 
larnin' " himself, and his wife sighed as she, too, no 
doubt, longed for a sufficient amount to at least en- 
able her to read her almanac so she could tell when 
the moon was right for planting. 

The great day arrived, and the neighbors who had 
been invited came early to the house raising and 
quilting. While the men were raising the house, the 
women would quilt several covers for Peggy. As one 
of them said, expressing the sentiments of the others. 
"Pore thing, she ain't got no mammy, an' she looks so 
much like an angel that it would be a burnin' shame 
ef she had to do her own quiltin'." 

The house was to consist of one room, twenty by 
twenty feet, with a lean-to and a stick and dirt chim- 
ney. 

One man sat on each of the four corners of the house 
who was an expert "notcher," and when one of the 
big logs was put in place by the husky men on the 
ground, the notchers fell to work, their axes falling 
in unison, making a rhythmical music that reverber- 
ated through the forest. When the walls had risen 
sufficiently, some began to lay the puncheon floor, 
while others built the chimney of thin pieces of white 
oak, split uniformly and laid so that the cracks were 
not more than an inch wide. Into these they placed 
thick mud, smearing it solid on the inside of the chim- 
ney so that when it dried it would be safe from the 
heat and sparks from the fireplace. 

By the noon hour, the walls of the house were up 
and ready for the roof, and two quilts were completed, 
with two more on the frames. 

While some of the women had been quilting, others, 
the good cooks among them, had been preparing din- 
ner, and old Simon had been busy waiting on them, 



The New Life Begins 73 

carrying water, keeping up the fires, and by his con- 
duct the women, who had at first looked at him as- 
kance, became less afraid of him, one of them even 
remarking: "It ain't so bad to have a nigger round to 
wait on you ef you can afford it." 

When all was ready, Mrs. Anderson took down the 
horn and blew several long, shrill blasts that echoed 
and reverberated through the gorges and peaks of 
Bucks Pocket, and was easily heard a mile away where 
the men were at work raising the house. No other 
invitation was necessary, for they all understood this 
signal. There were many other signals which the 
women of Bucks Pocket knew how to give on the horn, 
which by the way was always made from the horn of 
a big ox. They all knew the warning signal when 
the revenoos were coming ^nd a different one when 
they had gone. So Mrs. Anderson knew just what 
meant to these hungry men "dinner's ready" ; and be- 
fore the echo of the last note had died away, they were 
all on the ground starting for the home of the Cap- 
tain, where each felt it a distinguished honor to be 
invited. 

How the men did eat ! They had all visited the Cap- 
tain's smoke house on the way to dinner, and each 
had a long "swig" of the boss' oldest and best corn 
whiskey, and they were as keen for food as the hound 
is for the chase. 

Anderson asked Ware if he would join the men in 
having a "horn," but he said no, which pleased Ander- 
son greatly. 

While the men ate, most of their wives visited the 
smoke house, and it was a merry hour. 

It was a wonderful dinner. There was fried ham, 
boiled ham, roast pork ribs, baked back bones, chicken 
pie, wild turkey, "possum and taters," corn pone, 



74 Peggy Wars 

"light" bread, hot biscuits, hog jowl, turnips and tur- 
nip greens, and so many sorts of pies and cakes that 
it would have taken an expert to enumerate them. 

When all had eaten, and the women told Simon to 
"set down to the table and 'jest help yoreself," there 
was still a mountain of food that he could scarcely see 
over. 

By night the house, including the lean-to, was com- 
plete, and they even had time to build a shack for 
Simon, which was done at the suggestion of Ander- 
son. This kindness touched Simon greatly, and he 
said : "White folks, you all is too good to me. I don't 
know how I kin evah pay you back." 

One of the men said: "Don't be thankin' us, old 
man, thank the big boss. We ain't got nuthin' agin 
you, but we may be runnin' you out o' Bucks Pocket 
the first thing you know." 

Some of the men laifghed, while others nodded as- 
sent, one of them remarking that there was "shore 
gwine to be trouble over that nigger when Bud Whit- 
man found out about him." 

At that moment, Bud hove into sight. He had not 
been invited to the working, as he had not made his 
peace with Anderson, and the latter had no desire that 
he should do so. He was evidently pretty "full." 
When he discovered Simon, he bellowed like a bull. 

"Whare did that d d coon come from, and what 

be you all doin' here social equalitying with him? You 
are a fine lot of white gents I should remark !" Then 
turning to Simon, he said : 

"Here, you black devil, I'll give you jest one minit 
to hit the trail." 

The men were all violently opposed to "nigger equal- 
ity," which they very much feared if negroes were al- 
lowed to reside in their community; but none of them 



The New Life Begins 75 

were ready to back Bud in his demands, nor were they 
willing to defend Simon. 

Bud repeated his threat, but Simon did not budge. 

"You, d d nigger, you act like you ain't afeared of 

me!" he shouted. 

"No, mister, I ain't 'fraid ob nobody but God," 
quietly replied Simon. 

"Well, I ain't afeard of him," screamed Bud, now 
thoroughly beside himself with rage, "an' I'll jest beat 
hell outen you !" and he raised his big fist to strike 
the gray-haired humble old soul, who did not wince. 

Before the blow could descend, Peggy, who had just 
come up with Ruth, unobserved by anyone, so absorbed 
were they, stepped between Whitman and Simon, so 
that she would receive the full force of the blow, and 
Ruth hissed through her teeth : 

"Strike another woman, Bud Whitman, you white- 
livered coward." 

The crowd now cried, "Shame ! Shame !" and Whit- 
man knew that he had lost for this time ; but as he 
mounted his horse and rode away, he turned around in 
his saddle, shook his fist at the crowd in general, and 
Simon in particular, swearing that his day would come 
and that soon. 



Chapter Six 
PEGGY FOLLOWS HER VISION 

ALL great souls have become so because they had 
a vision, believed in the vision and lived it. No 
man can be greater than his vision, but every- 
one can be just as big as he desires to be. We grow 
into the likeness and image of that which we con- 
stantly hold in our thoughts, for our thoughts are the 
most potent forces in the world. 

This great, vital truth is found in all true religions, 
and is now accepted by the world's leading scientists, 
philosophers and metaphysicians. That it is scientific 
is being demonstrated today as never before, and Peggy 
Ware, her life and work furnish proof on such a big 
scale, and has been so far-reaching, that I am con- 
strained to believe this great fundamental truth is to be 
an important factor in our education in the future. 

Whence comes this vision ; just what it is, and how 
it may guide us, can, perhaps, best be told by a simple 
narrative of Peggy Ware's life. 

The Wares moved into their new home, the next 
day after the "house raising." 

Wilbur Ware and Simon made some "Georgia" bed- 
steads, two in the big room, and one in the attic. This 
"Georgia" bedstead was made by boring two big auger 
holes in the wall of the house, into which were driven 
two pieces of timber at right angles to each other, 
the free ends being nailed to a post resting on the 
floor. Then slats were laid from the outside railing 
to a cleat nailed to the wall, and the bedstead was fin- 

76 



Peggy Follows Her Vision 77 

ished and ready for the straw tick, upon which a big 
feather bed was placed if the family was so fortunate 
as to possess one. Most of the households in Bucks 
Pocket boasted but one feather bed, which was used 
by "Pa" and "Ma," while the children slept on straw 
beds. These straw ticks were filled once a year at 
wheat-threshing time, having become little thicker 
than your hand in the meantime by reason of constant 
use. When the ticks were refilled with the new, sweet- 
smelling straw, the boys and girls enjoyed a great 
luxury. 

There were two big feather beds in the Ware family, 
and Peggy insisted that they be used by her father, 
Ralph and Virginia, while she slept on one of new 
straw given her by Mrs. Anderson. 

She reached her attic room by climbing a ladder, 
which she facetiously called her "golden stairway." 

Her first night in the attic room was a memorable 
one. The wind roared in the forest, and shrieked 
shrilly between the poorly lined cracks in the walls 
of the house, while the fine snow sifted through the 
clapboard roof, falling softly on her face and hair, but 
there was a warmth in her heart and a glow in her 
soul, no winter's storm could extinguish. 

She reviewed her past life, every event standing out 
in bold relief. When she was a child not much past 
ten, she had attended a great religious revival, and 
although she did not understand the strange doctrine 
preached by the evangelist, there was awakened in her 
soul a great longing for something that she did not 
understand, and that the preacher could not have ex- 
plained if she had gone to him in her perplexity. 

She even went to the "mourner's bench" along with 
many others whose cries and moans tortured her heart. 
The preacher told her to lay all her sins on Jesus, and 



78 Peggy Wars 

that his blood would wash them away, and God would 
forgive her and save her soul from Hell. This meant 
nothing to her, for she felt no sense of guilt, yet she 
knew there was an intense longing for something about 
which all the evangelist's words were the merest 
jargon. 

She went to her mother in her perplexity, and there 
she found one who understood and could teach her. 

"It is the cry of your soul to God, my daughter," 
her mother had told her. "You are very young to feel 
this urge of the soul, but I am not surprised. I have 
always felt that you are much further along life's jour- 
ney than most people. Souls that have experienced 
much in the past, feel this urge very early in life. 

"David likened this longing to the panting of the 
thirsty, hunted hart for the water brook. It is in- 
stinctive in every human soul, and some time, some- 
where, it must come to everyone. 

"When once felt, my child, nothing short of soul 
consciousness and the spiritual life can ever satisfy. 
When this longing grows into a great desire, the con- 
flict between the flesh, or animal man, and the soul, or 
spiritual man, begins, never to end, until there is a com- 
plete victory or mastery." 

Peggy remembered asking her mother what became 
of a man, if the animal triumphed. "Will God send 
him to Hell?" she questioned, half frightened. 

"I would be untrue to myself if I did not answer you 
truthfully as I see the light, my child. I believe that 
the soul always triumphs in the end. The conflict 
may go on for countless ages, but sometime, some- 
where, the soul overcomes, for the soul is God in us, 
and cannot be conquered by the animal part of man. 
This is contrary to the teachings of your father's the- 
ology, and I never argue with him, for it would do no 



Peggy Follows Her Vision 79 

good. I have faith that he will some day see the light 
and have a great and wonderful awakening." 

As the years passed this longing in her soul grew 
more intense, but not until she stood beside her moth- 
er's open grave, listening to the words of Simon, did 
the very heavens seem to open and she felt that her 
soul had found God. 

From that moment she was a new creature. From 
doubt and uncertainty, she had suddenly found peace 
and calm within her soul, and an assurance that God 
was with her. 

Tonight she stood again by the grave in the deso- 
late churchyard, but it did not hold her mother. Freed 
from the burdens of the flesh, the spirit of her mother 
was with her, guiding her, pointing to the vision she 
had seen the first night they spent by the camp fire, 
as they journeyed to "No Man's Land." 

She went over the events since that memorable night, 
unusual events, and felt in her soul an assurance of 
Divine guidance. 

She was now a woman with a mission. Within a 
few weeks she had leaped over years of spiritual 
growth and vision, and she knew she was standing at 
the threshold of her life's work. Her heart beat with 
enthusiasm, her soul sang for joy as her vision beck- 
oned her. 

The beginning must be small, and many difficulties 
encountered, but she doubted not the final result. 

She dared not reveal her vision in its fullness to 
others at this time. She must nurse it in her own 
heart until such time as it began to materialize and 
bear fruit. 

At last she slept, and in her sleep her soul visioned 
the completed work, now being wrought in Peggy's 
spiritual realm. 



80 Peggy Ware 

When she awoke in the morning", she looked out on 
a light fall of snow that had covered the ground dur- 
ing the night, but the clouds were gone, and the sun 
was bursting over the eastern wall of Bucks Pocket. 

It was Sunday morning, and after breakfast, she, 
Ralph and Virginia went to the house commonly called 
a church, where she was met by Ruth Anderson and a 
half dozen boys and girls who had been invited by 
Ruth to come to Sunday School. It was a novel ex- 
perience for them, and they had come clandestinely, 
fearing that their parents would not approve, for the 
"hard shell" preacher who came once a month to preach 
to them said that Sunday Schools were the work of the 
devil, but these young people, not being very much 
afraid of his Satanic majesty, were willing to take a 
chance at meeting him if he should happen to make 
his appearance at one of his gatherings. 

Peggy read to them out of her mother's Bible, and 
in a few beautiful words told them what a fine thing 
it would be if they would all live the clean, unselfish 
life taught by Jesus. 

She also taught them a simple song, and before she 
had finished, they were all joining in the chorus with 
great enthusiasm. 

She told them that she would open school in the 
building in the morning if she could obtain Mr. And- 
erson's permission, as she understood that the house 
stood on his land. 

She did not know that it was the regular day for 
the "hard shell" preacher, and was quite surprised 
when some of the older men and women of the neigh- 
borhood began to straggle in, the women taking their 
seats on one side of the house while the men sat on 
the opposite side. 

Just before she concluded a tall, gaunt, rawboned, 



Peggy Follows Her Vision 81 

hard faced man entered, carrying a pair of "saddle 
bags" across his arm. He looked daggers at Peggy 
and seemed about to speak to her, when she said 
sweetly : 

"I hope that we are not intruding, but we have been 
having a little Sunday School, and are just about 
through. I did not know that it was the day for 
church service, but I am so glad, and we will all stay 
to hear you." 

At the words "Sunday School," the "hard shell" 
preacher seemed choking with rage, and his church 
members looked at each other as if they were thinking 
"what an awful sin this young woman has committed. 
Our children must be rescued from her evil influence." 

As the preacher rose to begin his service, Cliff And- 
erson dropped in, an almost unheard of thing for him 
to do, and the preacher felt flattered by his presence. 

Anderson had overheard Ruth tell her mother that 
Peggy was going to have Sunday School, and that she 
intended to be present. So Cliff Anderson, ashamed 
to let his wife know of his weakness, slipped off like 
a big, bashful boy, to see what Peggy's Sunday School 
was like. 

Already Peggy had a power over this strong man, 
that he would have been ashamed to acknowledge to 
himself, and as he tramped the mile through the snow 
to the old weather-beaten, desolate-looking "Church 
house," he kept saying to himself: 

"It's nuthin' but idle curiosity, an' I won't never 
want to go no more." 

However, he was late, and his curiosity was not 
gratified, and he was also trapped and saw no way of 
retreat. He settled down like a big bear to listen to 
the sermon that usually occupied from two to three 
hours. 



82 Peggy Ware 

A doleful hymn was wailed by the preacher, a few 
of his hearers joining in, trailing several bars behind, 
ending each stanza with a rising falsetto. 

Then a long prayer in which he asked for the de- 
struction of the works of the devil, and all those en- 
gaged in his service. Into God's hands he committed 
the elect in such unctuous tones that no one could 
doubt that he felt that he had been called and chosen 
before the foundation of the world. 

After the prayer came the sermon. Peggy was 
amazed. She had never heard anything like it. It 
sounded to her like the weird teachings of some an- 
cient priest in the days of pre-historic man. As he 
proceeded and warmed up to his subject, his voice rose 
to a high pitch, and the words poured forth as if they 
had been shot from a catapult. 

He held his right hand up to his ear, for what ap- 
parent reason no one. could tell, unless Ralph's ex- 
planation was the correct one when he said : "He 
shouted so loud he was afraid he would break his ear 
drum, and put his hand over his ear to protect it." 

As he became exhausted for breath, he would catch 
it with an indrawing sound, ending his words where 
he paused for breath with an "Ah." 

Finally it became a monotonous sing-song that put 
half his hearers to sleep, but this did not disturb him 
any more than would have a dozen squalling babies in 
the house. He said that when his hearers got their lit- 
tle vessels full they could go to sleep, and that he en- 
joyed crying babies because it was good for his voice, 
as he was thus compelled to exercise it by shouting 
so that he could be heard above the screaming brats. 

He talked about God's seed, and the devil's seed, 
saying that each had sowed his own seed and that 
each would reap his own harvest ; and that God had 



Peggy Follows Her Vision 83 

no chance to get the devil's children, and the devil 
could not get God's children. He said that all of God's 
children were destined for heaven and eternal glory, 
and the devil's for hell and everlasting torture. He 
said that our destiny is fixed before we are ever born 
into the world, and that even those who die in infancy 
are under the same awful decree, and that hell is full 
of infants not longer than a span. 

Ralph whispered to Peggy, and said: "I don't see 
why God let the devil sow any seed." 

Now, almost exhausted, he turned his rolling eyes 
toward Peggy, a dreadful condemnation shining in 
them. 

"We have in our midst-ah," he shouted, "one of the 
devil's agents-ah, in the form of a woman-ah, teach- 
ing Sunday School-ah, and the wrath of God-ah will 
visit this community-ah, if you don't drive her from 
our midst-ah !" 

This shot was too much for Cliff' Anderson. He had 
been watching Peggy's white, pained face, and as he 
saw her wince as though struck with a whip and cower 
on the hard slab bench as if she expected the frenzied 
preacher to attempt to carry out his injunction to ex- 
pel her, he sprang from his seat, his face stern, his 
voice cold. "Hoi 'on thare, Parson, I recon' you done 
finished yore sarmon, an' I am sayin' the benediction. 
You are all dismissed, an' jackasses won't bray here 
no more as long as Cliff Anderson owns this house. 
And there will be Sunday School here every Sunday 
mornin' if Miss Peggy says so. This is her house to 
do as she pleases with, an' I am here to back her up. 

"I hain't never seed an angel, but my mother used 
to tell me about 'em, but ef Miss Peggy ain't one, then 
I never 'spect to see one; an' ef God ever did send an 
angel anywhare in this world, he has sent this one to 



84 Peggy Ware; 

Bucks Pocket, an' ef he knows what we pore devils 
are doin' down here in this world, He shore knows we 
need her. 

"Meetin' is now over." 

And when Cliff Anderson said it was over, the 
preacher knew that it was time to take his "saddle 
riders," mount his old gray mule and ride away, feel- 
ing in his heart that he had been casting his pearls 
before swine, and that Cliff Anderson and all Bucks 
Pocket belonged to the devil. 

When he had gone, Peggy recovered, and began to 
laugh, a little hysterically at first, and then they all 
laughed and the spell was broken, and the spirit of the 
devil that had been brooding over the meeting was 
exorcised. 

"I was frightened so," Peggy exclaimed. "Is the 
man insane, Mr. Anderson?" 

"Oh, no, Miss Peggy, he's jest preachin' one sort 
of theology. I understan' there are a lot of different 
brands, and to me they are all alike, becase I ain't got 
no use fer none of 'em." 

With this, he introduced everyone to Peggy, and 
all fell instantly under the spell of her remarkable 
personality. 

She asked Anderson if she could use the house for 
a school, and when told that it belonged to her to do 
as she pleased with, she said : "Oh, I am so thankful, 
Mr. Anderson, and I will begin school here in the 
morning." 

Ruth clapped her hands, and said : "I am coming, 
and will tell every one I know." 

In a few minutes the people had been lifted from 
gloom to sunshine, and each went his way with a new 
hope singing in his heart. And in Peggy's soul there 
echoed an anthem of praise like unto the music of 
the spheres. 



Chapter Seven 
CLIFF ANDERSON ATTENDS A FIGHT 

BUD Whitman had been "nursing his wrath to 
keep it warm" since his encounter with Simon 
on the day of the "house raising," and, in fact, 
since the episode of the Christmas eve dance at Cliff 
Anderson's. He fed his evil passions constantly on 
the devil's own fuel, "wild cat" whiskey. 

Bud had been a steady drinker since he was a fifteen- 
year-old lad, and now, at twenty-four, he could carry 
a bigger load and walk a chalk line straighter than any 
man in Bucks Pocket. He believed in the potency of 
"good licker," as he termed it, and he could not under- 
stand how anyone could be a full-fledged man who did 
not drink. 

He possessed a tremendous physique, which had not 
been seriously impaired by the abuse he had given it. 
He was slightly above six feet, with broad shoulders, 
a neck like a prize-fighter, and a body a fit model for 
a statue of Hercules. At the log rollings, no man 
could "pull him down" with the hand spike, and many 
of them had been brought to their knees with Bud at 
the other end of the "spike." 

In a rough and tumble fight, he was more than a 
match for the best man in the community. In fact, 
it was said by his admirers that he had whipped two 
men at once. Some believed that he had a "yellow 
streak," as all bullies do, and one old ex-confederate 
veteran said that if he had to face cold steel he would 

85 



86 Peggy Ware 

run. The old soldier, furthermore, said that when he 
was in the army, he observed that it was the quiet 
man at home who loved peace and always wanted to 
avoid a scrap that made the bravest and most daring 
soldier, while the cross-roads bully always showed the 
"white feather" when forced to face almost certain 
death. 

Along with Whitman's love for whiskey, he had in- 
herited a bitter hatred for "niggers." If asked for the 
reason of his antipathy, he could not have told you. 

"I jest ain't got no use for a d d nigger," would 

have been the extent of his explanation. And this same 
unreasonable and unreasoning hatred prevails to a 
great extent in many of the rural districts of the South. 
It was particularly so in Bucks Pocket, and so the 
ground was already well prepared for Bud's propa- 
ganda against Simon. 

It may be partially due to the fact that the negroes 
before the war called all white people who did not 
own slaves "po' white trash," feeling that they were 
much better than the poor whites because they be- 
longed to the aristocracy. 

An old couplet is attributed to them that ran some- 
thing like this : 

"My name is Sam, 

An' I don't gib a dam, 
I'd ruther be a nigger 
Than a po' white man." 

A little profane, no doubt, but it expressed a feeling 
more or less prevalent in some parts of the South be- 
fore the great conflict. 

Again the feeling may have been due in part to the 
sufferings of these same "po' whites" during and im- 
mediately after the bloody conflict between the States. 
For, be it remembered, that the "po' white trash" fur- 



Cliff Anderson Attends a Fight 87 

nished a large portion of the soldiers who fought for 
the Southern Confederacy, and they were such sol- 
diers as the world had never seen before. They were 
fighting for a sacred cause, as they were told by their 
leaders, the slave-holders, and when the South had 
grounded her arms, and the slaves were freed, and the 
ballot placed in their hands, these same "po' whites" 
had reached the conclusion that the negro was the 
cause of the war, and consequently of their sufferings. 

Whatever the cause, the fact remains, and among 
the younger generation in the South in certain com- 
munities, this feeling is as intense today, and perhaps 
more so, than at any time during or just after the war. 

Fired by that hatred and stimulated by strong whis- 
key, Bud Whitman had organized a band of white cap- 
pers for the purpose of hanging Simon, or running 
him out of the community. His intention was really 
to hang him, but he did not think it best to disclose 
this fully until the psychological moment arrived. 

As a prelude to his program he suggested that they 
leave a written warning for Simon to leave the com- 
munity, knowing that it would not be obeyed. 

He said to his followers that this would give them 
c4ear consciences in case the "coon got tangled up in 
a rope and broke his neck."' 

Bud was deputized to write the warning as he was 
the only one in the plot who had any "book larnin'." 
After long and painful labor he scrawled the following 
note, and that night stole up quietly in the dark and 
pinned it to the door of Simon's shack : 

"NOTIS 

"We all agin nigger equalizing an' won't stand fer 
it. So ef you don't git befo' temorry nite, we'll rope 
you. 

"WHITE CAPS." 



88 Peggy Ware 

Simon found the note early the next morning and 
hastened to Peggy. When she read it, her heart stood 
still, and she went in great alarm to her father. He 
had been sinking further into the slough of despond 
as the days passed, and now it would have taken an 
earthquake to arouse him. So he attempted to quiet 
her fears, and told her that it was only a practical 
joke to frighten Simon, and that nothing would come 
of it, advising her to say nothing about it, as it might 
create unnecessary commotion. 

Silenced, but not convinced, Peggy went to her 
school, while Simon aided Ware in his work of clear- 
ing land. As the day passed and Peggy enthused over 
her teaching, as she always did, the fear at her heart 
for the safety of Simon gradually left her, and by night 
she could even smile at the blundering attempt to 
frighten him and the Ware family. 

With Simon it was quite different. All day he and 
Wilbur Ware worked side by side, rarely speaking a 
word, for Ware's whole manner toward Simon had 
changed since the death of his wife. Formerly he 
took a great pleasure in conversing with the venerable 
old negro, but now he maintained a stoical silence 
upon which Simon was too tactful and too respectful 
to intrude. 

He lived over many incidents of his past life, and 
if his thoughts about the goodness of God could have 
been recorded they would have been an inspiration to 
his learned white brothers. 

Simon felt an impending danger, but not for the 
world would he have caused anyone a moment's un- 
easiness on his account. He expected the white cap- 
pers to carry out their threat, but felt no fear. 

Afterward, in talking to Peggy about his thoughts, 
he said: "I c'ncluded dat it wus the bes' way out fer 



Cliff Anderson Attends a Fight 89 

all ob us, fer you all wouldn't let me leab 'thout gwine 
yoselfs, an' I said 'You mus' stay heah whar Miss Peg- 
gy kin lead dese pore souls out ob dey sin an' ignance. 
an' Simon jest as ready to go now as he will be ef he 
lib to be as old as Methusalum, an' ef de white caps 
git 'im, dey won't git nuffin but his ole wore-out body, 
an' den his soul kin shine widout any 'structions." 

Peggy was nervous as night approached, and even 
her father stirred from his lethargy. They did not 
retire as early as usual, even Ralph and Virginia were 
wide-awake, and declared they wanted to sit up a while 
longer. Something was in the air that all could feel, 
and no one could define. 

Simon was one of the few negroes who had donned 
the Confederate uniform! and followed his master, 
Captain Lee, to the army, but he had done so through 
his great love for his master and his wife. Simon was 
not interested in the conflict further than to protect his 
"white folks," as he fondly called the Lees, and while 
he had no desire to shed the blood of his fellow man, 
he was unafraid of danger himself. 

All these years, he had preserved his uniform as a 
private soldier, never exhibiting it to anyone except 
the Ware children. He had faced death in this uni- 
form many times, and feeling that he must face him 
again tonight, he opened the box which he called his 
"chist," took out the faded gray, brushed it as though 
he were going to wear it on some great occasion, and 
put it on. And thus he waited by his fire, the coming 
of the White Caps, picking his banjo and singing 
softly : 

'Tse comin', I'se comin' 

Fur my head is bendin' low. 
Ah hear dose gentle voices callin' 
Ol' Black Joe." 



90 Peggy Ware 

A loud knock at the door caused him to lay down 
his banjo, put on the cap that belonged to his uni- 
form, and in answer to a gruff ''Come out here, nig- 
ger," he responded : 

"Yes, white folks, I'se ready." 

It was a beautiful night, the full moon casting its 
rays into the deepest recesses of the Pocket caused 
the sharp peaks that rose at various points along the 
edge of the valley to appear like giant sentinels watch- 
ing grimly over the scene below. 

The White Cappers were mounted on horses and 
wore white caps that completely covered their heads 
and faces, with small openings through which the 
wearer could see. As they lurked in the shadows of 
the trees waiting the commands of their leader, they 
made a weird, fantastic picture that might well cause 
the stoutest heart to quail. If the White Cappers had 
expected to find a cowering, cringing old negro, they 
were treated to a great surprise, for when Simon 
opened the door and walked forth into the moonlight, 
he did so with a steady step and his voice was with- 
out a tremor as he said : 

"Gen'men, please don't make no noise, case I hope 
you won't 'sturb Massa Ware an' de chilluns." 

The leader's reply was a coarse, uneasy sort of 
laugh, for the serenity of the old man nonplussed him. 
"We'd jest as soon hang the ex-parson, too, ef he butts 
in !" spoke the leader, whose voice betrayed Bud Whit- 
man. 

"Why didn't you leave when you got our warnin'?" 
he demanded. 

"Becase I'se a free American citizen, fearin' God, 
servin' my country an' doin' nobody no harm, an' doin' 
all de good I kin, an' ef I ain't got no right to lib heah, 



Cuff Anderson Attends a Fight 91 

den I got no home under de flag, an' I mout as well 
go ober yondah whare I'll be welcome." 

"All right, Mister Nigger, we'll send you over in 
three shakes of a sheep's tail," said Whitman. Produc- 
ing a rope in which the loop was already tied, he threw 
it around Simon's neck, knocking his cap off as he did 
so, and started in the direction of a near-by tree, say- 
ing, "Come on, fellers, we'll string him up to that big 
limb yonder." 

The riders had all dismounted by this time, and 
tethered their horses in the thicket near Simon's cabin. 

As Whitman was about to throw the free end of the 
rope over the limb, one of the white cappers stepped 
forward and said : 

"Hoi' on a minit, Bud, I want to ax the old man a 
few questions." 

"He ain't a man," said Bud. "He is nuthin' but a 
d d nigger, an' we ain't got no time fur questions." 

Whitman, as usual, was full of corn whiskey, and a 
good number of his followers had also imbibed freely 
for the occasion, but a few of them were sober. 

"Wall, I guess you'll take time, Bud Whitman, 
whuther you want to er not. I wus four years whare 
I smelt powder and faced bullets, fightin' fer the South, 
an' I wore the same uniform this old nigger got on, 
an' I am gwine to ax him whare he got it." 

Before Simon could reply, Wilbur Ware and Peggy 
appeared on the scene. Ralph had started down to 
Simon's cabin to tell him goodnight, as was his cus- 
tom, and seeing the White Cappers with a rope about 
Simon's neck, he fled to the house in breathless ex- 
citement, exclaiming: "They are hanging Simon!" 

"Run for Mr. Anderson !" exclaimed Peggy, "and 
we will go to Simon." 



92 Peggy Ware 

Virginia was left at the house, crying piteously, 
saying: "Oh, God, don't let them kill Uncle Simon"; 
while Ralph sped on the wings of the wind to Cliff 
Anderson's. 

Before Ralph had finished his brief story Anderson 
had seized a gun, and was bounding like a tiger toward 
the scene of danger; and Ruth, deaf to her mother's 
pleadings, was following hard upon the footsteps of 
her father, leaving Ralph far behind. 

The scene that greeted Wilbur Ware aroused him 
from his lethargy, and galvanized him into action. At 
one bound he leaped upon Bud Whitman, and al- 
though inferior in strength, the unexpected rush bore 
Bud to the ground, but only for a moment. The young 
Hercules threw off his antagonist, and sprang to his 
feet, exclaiming as he did so : "Grab him, boys !" And 
obeying the command of their leader, a half dozen men 
seized the struggling man and held him, while one 
of them produced a rope and proceeded to "hog tie" 
him. 

Thus rendered helpless, Ware began to plead with 
the mob. Whitman, thoroughly enraged, said: 

"Gag him and shet his d d mouth." 

As no one offered to obey this command, he cut a 
stick, placed it forcibly between Ware's teeth, fastened 
a cord to each end of the stick, and then brought the 
two ends of the cord to the back of his head and tied 
them. This accomplished, he once more seized the 
end of the rope that was still around Simon's neck, 
and said : "Come on !" 

In the excitement no one seemed to have observed 
Peggy. Acting swiftly, as her mind always did, she 
determined to appeal to the better self in these rough, 
half-drunken men. Mounting a low stump, so she 
could be seen, she said : 



Cliff Anderson Attends a Fight 93 

"Men, in God's name I command you to wait a min- 
ute ! You must hear me for your own soul's welfare !" 

Fearing the result of her pleading, Bud said an- 
grily : 

"We dont want no petticoat preachin' here. Come 
ahead, men, an' let's git through this job." 

At this juncture, three or four men came to the res- 
cue, and one of them, speaking for the others, said : 

"Hold on a minit, boss, an' hear what the lady has 
to say. My kids are gwine to school to her, an' they 
say she is as good as a angel ; an' I say she's gwine 
to be treated like a lady," to which a number re- 
sponded: "That's right! that's right!" 

Grumbling and cursing, Whitman reluctantly laid 
down the rope, drew a bottle out of his pocket, took a 
drink, saying: "Cut it short, Miss Smarty." 

"I want to tell you a little story, and I want you to 
listen to every word I say," and the music of her 
voice thrilled every man present. 

"Simon belonged to my grandfather before the war. 
He bought Simon just after he and my grandmother 
married, and in a few months the war broke out, and 
my grandfather went to the front, and Simon, then a 
young man, insisted on going along to take care of 
"Massa-Cap'n," as he called my grandfather, Ray- 
mond Lee, who was a cousin of General Robert E. 
Lee, whom many of you followed and loved." 

"That we did ; that's so !" exclaimed some of the 
older men present. 

"My grandfather was shot down while leading his 
company in a desperate charge, and as he lay on the 
battlefield, the bullets falling like hail, Simon, facing 
what seemed like certain death, found him, and car- 
ried him back out of the danger zone. His wound 
was a mortal one, and it was Simon who ministered 



94 Peggy Ware 

to him in his last hours, and brought his dying mes- 
sage to my grandmother. After that he became Gen- 
eral Stonewall Jackson's body servant, and was with 
that great Christian soldier when he passed over the 
river. 

"When the war was over, he returned home, no 
longer a slave, but free to go where he pleased. He 
chose to remain with my grandmother, and my mother, 
who was a little girl. 

"When my mother grew up and married my father, 
and my grandmother died, Simon cast his lot with 
them, and now he is still serving the grandchildren of 
his beloved Captain Lee. 

"He is worthy of the faded uniform he has seen fit 
to put on, and I can testify that his life has been one 
of unselfish devotion to others." 

Bud Whitman had grqwn restless. He felt that his 
followers were being swayed by Peggy. He had 
passed his bottle among the younger men, on whom 
he felt he could depend in the event of a division of 
sentiment, and he now prepared to bring an end to 
Peggy's discourse. 

Brutally he said : "All that stuff is a d — d lie ! Come 
on an' let's finish our job." 

As the words "d — d lie" fell from his lips, a man 
sprang from the protecting shadow of an immense oak 
and bounded into the center of the group like a moun- 
tain lion, and before any one could move, he leveled a 
gun at Bud's heart, and with his voice choking with 
rage, hissed : 

"Take that back, Bud Whitman, or I'll kill you 
before you kin say Jack Robinson. Nobody kin call 
Miss Peggy a d — d liar an' git by with it." 

Whitman looked at the determined man through 



Cuff Anderson Attends a Fight 95 

the peep holes in his mask and, knowing that he dare 
not trifle with him, he said in an assumed voice : 

"You are mistaken in your man, pardner. I ain't 
Bud Whitman, but I am willin' to take back what I 
said about the lady. I meant the nigger was a d— d 
liar." 

"Hold on thare, Whitman, fur I know it's you. He 
ain't no liar either," said Anderson. "I am gwine to 
tell you men what I know. 

"I been standin' thare in the shader listin' to Miss 
Peggy, hopin' that I would not have to butt in, becase 
I don't hunt no fights ef I can help it. My fightin' 
days are most over, an' I hope to live in peace the rest 
of my time. But when I heard her called a liar, it 
wuz time fur Cliff Anderson to talk. 

"I wuz a soldier myself, and wore the same gray 
uniform what Simon has on. I never knowed until 
tonight that Miss Peggy's grandfather wus Captain 
Lee. He wus my captain, too, an' I wus shot down by 
his side when he fell. He wus leadin' a charge, an' 
wus at least twenty feet ahead of his company, an' I 
wus keepin' up with him. All at once it seemed like a 
rain o' fire an' brimstone. I seed him fall an' wus 
stoopin' over to pick him up when somethin' hit me 
an' I dropped. The company wus driv back an' thare 
we lay fer a long time, the blood a-oozin' out, an' the 
sheets o' fire sweepin' over us. 

"I said : "Cap'n, are you hurt much ?" An' he says : 
"I don't know, Anderson, but I feel queer, like it's all 
over with me." 

"And then he said: "How badly are you hurt?" 
And I said: "Not much, jest shot through both legs 
an' one shoulder." Then I saw a nigger wearin' a 
gray uniform comin', an' lookin' everywhere, like he 
wus huntin' somethin'. I thought to myself, 'The 



96 Peggy Ware 

durned fool will fall in a minit; becase I didn't see how 
anything could stand up in that hail of lead. And he 
didn't dodge a single time, an' I wondered ef he wus 
deaf. 

"I had been callin' fer water, and Captain Lee said: 
'I think I got about a drink in my canteen, ef you can 
git to it, becase I think I am gwine whare there is a 
great river of water in a few minutes, becase I see it, 
and it's beautiful.' 

"I said, "No, I won't drink yore water,' but he said : 
'I am still your captain and command you !' Then I 
drank the water in his canteen, an' the next thing I 
knowed, the nigger soldier wus standin' over us, 
savin' : 

"Bless God, I done foun' you, Mass Lee. Is you 
bad hurt?" 

"And my brave captain said : 'Just slightly wounded, 
Simon ; but there is Mr. Anderson, a brave soldier who 
is badly wounded, take him to the rear, and then come 
back for me.' 

"I said, 'No,' and would rather have died than leave 
him there, but I wus too weak to help myself. So 
when he said : 'Simon, you black rascal, carry him off 
the field, and if you resist, Anderson, I'll have you 
court-martialed and shot.' 

"Simon picked me up jest like I wus a baby an' 
carried me back to the stretcher bearers, an' the last 
I ever seed of him he wus goin' back into the rainin' 
bullets for his captain. 

"And I never knowed till tonight that Simon is the 
man that carried me off the battlefield in his arms, and 
I want to say they won't be no hangin' here tonight, 
an' that Simon won't leave Bucks Pocket till he is 
good an' ready." 



Cuef Anderson Attends a Fight 97 

The gauntlet was thrown down to Bud Whitman, 
and if he did not accept it his prestige would be gone 
forever. 

One of his henchmen said: "Don't let him bluff 
you, Bud." 

For answer he said: "I guess this are a fight to a 
finish. All of you who are fer hangin' the nigger 
stand over here by me." 

About half of the crowd, composed of the young 
men, moved to their leader's side, while the older ones, 
some of them ex-confederate veterans, grouped around 
Anderson. 

Grabbing the rope once more, Whitman said : "Come 
on and let's hang him quick an' fight later." 

Without a word, Anderson leaped to Simon's side, 
snatched the rope from Whitman's hand, and removed 
the noose from Simon's neck. 

Drawing himself up to his full height, he said : "Bud 
Whitman, if you lay your hands on him again, you 
will have to whip me." 

"An' that's what I am gwine to do, you white-livered 
nigger lover," and with that Whitman lunged at An- 
derson, dealing him an unexpected blow on the chin. 
Before Anderson could recover, Whitman drew a 
"gun" from his pocket. 

Ruth had been a silent spectator to everything, 
watching every «rove as a cat would watch a mouse. 
Like a shadow she had crept up and stood just behind 
her father when Bud struck him. When Whitman 
drew his revolver, Ruth sprang on him like a wildcat 
dropping from a tree, snatched the gun from his hand 
and was in the act of shooting him before he realized 
what had happened. Her father caught the hammer of 
the revolver as it fell, thus saving the life of the leader 
of the White Cappers. 



98 Peggy Ware 

One of Whitman's followers cried, "No shootin'; 
let 'em fight it ont fair." 

Bud was now beside himself, and feeling that An- 
derson was no match for him physically, he said : 
"All right, old man, ef you will lay down yore gun, 
we will settle it — jest you an' me, and ef you whip me 
you'll be the boss, an' ef I whip you, we'll hang the 
nigger." 

"All right, Bud," responded Anderson, "but I want 
you to take your disguise off so you kin see what 
you're doin', an' so everybody kin see yore cowardly 
face." 

Anderson had already laid aside his coat, and with 
shirt sleeves rolled up, waited for his antagonist, who, 
feeling that his attempted disguise was no longer 
worth while, took off his mask, threw aside his coat 
and hat, and ran at Anderson, striking out furiously 
and blindly. 

Anderson parried his blows, and delivered one 
straight from the shoulder squarely on Whitman's jaw. 
It staggered him, and increased his rage. Again he 
plunged, and this time caught the elder man in his 
powerful arms, and in another moment they were roll- 
ing on the ground, Whitman fighting furiously, raining 
blow after blow on the face of Anderson, who seemed 
to be at the mercy of the younger man until by a 
mighty effort Anderson managed to turn Whitman on 
the bottom and fasten his powerful grasp on Whit- 
man's throat. As he choked him with one hand, he 
pounded him with his free fist, bringing the blood 
every time his hard, bony knuckles came in contact 
with Bud's face. Bud's eyes began to protrude from 
their sockets, his face to turn black, and he feebly 
whispered, "Take him off." 

"Are you licked?" Anderson inquired, as he tight- 



Cliff Anderson Attends a Fight 99 

ened his grip on "Whitman's windpipe, and Bud, unable 
to even whisper, nodded "Yes." 

As the fight progressed and Ruth was restrained 
from taking further part in it, she turned to Peggy, who 
had released her father from the rope and gag that 
bound him, and was watching with white, set face the 
only fight she had ever witnessed in her life, and said : 
"Peggy, pray fer daddy," and Peggy answered: 

"I am praying for him, Ruth, with every breath." 

Two of the men carried Bud to his horse, placed him 
on it, and, clinging to the horn of his saddle, the fallen 
bully rode slowly out of sight. 

When the echo of his horse's footsteps had died 
away, and Anderson had gotten his second wind, he 
said : 

"Men, take off your masks, fer I want to talk to you, 
an' I want to look into yore eyes." 

They all obeyed with alacrity, for in their rough 
hearts they loved Cliff Anderson. 

"Boys," he continued, "I want to say jest one word 
more about Simon and the nigger folks in gen'ral. For 
four years the North and South fought over them, and 
most of them staid at home, worked the land, took 
keer of the women and children, an' in all that four 
years there wus never a nigger outrage on a white 
woman, or a nigger that betrayed his master. 

"I wus fightin' all that time, an' my folks never 
owned any slaves, but ef they had, an' they wus sich 
as ole Simon, I'd want to build a monyment to 'em, 'en 
ef I'm livin' when ole Simon goes, I'll see that he has 
the biggest tombstone in Bucks Pocket. 

"Now, all of you that are satisfied fer Simon to stay 
here, say T." 

A mighty chorus of "IV went up as from one man. 



100 Peggy Ware 

"Jest one thing more, men," he said, "an' then I'll 
quit afore I git to be a stump speaker. You might 
want me to run fer the Legislature ef I git to be too 
much of a talker. 

"I guess I been a sort of bell-wether in Bucks Pocket, 
an' I got a feelin' sense Miss Peggy come that I ain't 
been settih' a very good example. I been pestered a 
lot of late, an' I'm thinkin' erbout turnin' over a new 
leaf, ef I warn't jest kinder ashamed to, an' afeard 
you'd all laugh at me an' say I "had religion," an' I'd 
as soon be caught with the hives. 

"I wonder ef you'd all like to see things more de- 
center here in the Pocket? All of you what would, 
hold up yore hands." With one accord every hand 
went in the air. 

"An' will you all back Miss Peggy in whatever she 
wants to do? Ef you will, take off yore hats an' place 
yore hands on yore l\earts." 

Every hat came off, and standing bare-headed in the 
moonlight, each man placed his free hand on his breast, 
thus pledging his loyal and undying support. 

Peggy, moved deeply by this pledge which meant so 
much, coming in the way it did, could only respond: 

"I thank you with all my heart, and I hope that I 
shall prove worthy of your confidence." 

"It's time to go home now," said Anderson, arid 
suiting his action to his words, he was shouldering his 
gun that had been leaning against a tree, and the 
others were getting ready to take their departure, 
when Simon said : 

"Hole on, white folks, jest a minit. I wants to ax 
you all to 'scuse me fer gibin' you so much trouble, an' 
I hope it won't neber happen no mo'." 



Chapter Eight 

THE MYSTERIOUS MAN FROM 
NOWHERE 

PEGGY'S school had grown until the old "Hard 
Shell" "meetin' " house could no longer accom- 
modate her pupils. She had conceived the idea 
of organizing a department for the adult illiterates, 
many of them far past the meridian of life. She wanted 
to teach them to read and write, and to instill into 
their minds the great fundamental principles on which 
she had founded her school. 

She conid not talk to her father about either her 
plans or perplexities. His heart was embittered, his 
vision clouded. The foundations of his old dogmatic 
theology had collapsed, and now he had gone to the 
other extreme, denouncing the Church, denying God, 
and scoffing at patriotism and unselfishness. This bur- 
den she must bear in silence, trying to show him the 
light as best she could. There was little that she could 
say or do to help him, for he had reached that stage 
where the soul must fight its great battle without 
human aid. 

Peggy turned instinctively to Cliff Anderson, the 
grim old King of the Wild Catters. One day she said 
to him : "What are we going to do about more room 
for our school, Mr. Anderson? You know it has already 
outgrown our present quarters." 

"I don't recon it's 'our school,' Miss Peggy, 'cause I 
ain't had no hand in it yit. It's yore school, but I am 

101 



102 . Peggy Wars 

willin' to help you. Ef you need more room, I'll git 
the fellers together and we'll cut the logs and build 
you a bigger house." 

"Oh, Mr. Anderson, you are just splendid!" Peggy 
exclaimed, rapturously. "Can you build a house with 
three room's?" 

"Well, ef you need one that big, we'll build it, but I 
am wond'rin' how you gwine to teach in three rooms 
at once, onless you can divide yorself up." The old 
man grinned at the thought of this difficulty. 

"I'll manage that, Mr. Anderson; I am thinking ot 
using one room for the older people — like yourself and 
Mrs. Anderson. 

The big Wild Catter laughed. He fairly roared. 
Peggy had never heard him laugh before, and few 
others had ever had that privilege. Peggy joined in 
his merriment, which pleased him greatly. 

"You don't mean to teach book larnin' to old devils 
like me, Jep Carnes, Mart Suttles an' sich like, do ye? 
It's the best joke I ever heerd in my life." 

Again he roared with laughter, and Peggy did not 
interrupt him until he assumed his usual stoical calm. 

"It may seem like a joke to you, Mr. Anderson, but 
to me it's the most beautiful, the most wonderful work 
I could possibly undertake. What a fairy land it will 
open up for you, and you will be as eager and enthusi- 
astic as one of my school boys." 

"But I don't see how you kin teach so many folks, 
Miss Peggy. You are gwine to need more help." 

"The teachers will come as we need them. God will 
provide the things we need out of His great store 
house, if we are doing His work and have faith." 

"You are a funny gal, Miss Peggy, an' I don't under- 
stand all you talk about, but I feel somethin' that 
makes me have faith in you, and I'm comin' to yore 



The Mysterious Man From Nowhere 103 

school, an' trust you. An' I'll round up every blamed 
old Wild Catter in Bucks Pocket, an' make 'em come, 
so they can't laugh at me. Ef they is any laughin', 
we'll all laugh together." 

It did not take long to build the three-room log 
house, and to seat it with crude desks and benches 
made by the men. Peggy announced that on a certain 
Monday morning her school for the older people would 
open. 

Before the appointed hour Cliff Anderson and Molly 
arrived, followed by all the "old Wild Catters" and 
their wives in Bucks Pocket. Most of the men carried 
their long squirrel rifles, which they deposited in the 
rear of the room where Peggy had erected a big black- 
board. 

The men took their seats on one side of the room, 
while the women sat on the opposite side. Peggy 
observed that the women carried their snuff boxes, 
while most of the men were chewing tobacco, but she 
made no comment. 

One of the men spat a great mouthful of tobacco 
juice on the floor, and Anderson saw him. "See here, 
Bill Suttles, they ain't gwine to be no spittin' on this 
floor. You fellers must either swaller yore ambeer or 
throw yore cuds outdoors. We ain't gwine to have 
Miss Peggy teachin' book larnin' to a lot of tobaccy 
worms. I'll jest pass the collection box an' we'll start 
right. 'Course the ladies will keep their snuff, becase 
they don't expectionate like the men." 

So saying, he picked up a small box that had been 
made to hold Peggy's chalk, and proceeded to collect 
the "cuds." 

When he had performed this service, throwing his 
collection out in the yard, and returned to his seat, 
Peggy arose and said : 



104 Peggy Ware 

"I am so glad to see so many of my dear friends 
here this morning. You don't know how it fills my 
heart with joy, for I feel that we are starting a work 
here that will bear fruit all over this beautiful land of 
ours. 

"I want to help open up to you a new world so full 
of wonderful things that I tremble with excitement as 
I stand before you. I know you will live to see the 
day when you will thank God for the step you are 
taking this morning. 

"I am going to begin our day's work just as we do 
in our school for boys and girls. The first thing we 
do is to repeat the preamble to the Constitution of the 
United States. Not one of my boys and girls had ever 
heard of it when school began, but now they know it 
by heart, and anyone of them can give you an intelli- 
gent talk on its meaning. 

"I will write it on the blackboard, read it to you, 
and then we will all repeat it together, very slowly, so 
that we can think of its meaning. 

Taking a piece of chalk, she wrote : 

"We, the people of the United States, in order to 
form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure 
domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, 
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings 
of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and 
establish this Constitution for the United States of 
America." 

She read it to them, and it did Peggy's heart good 
to see their intense interest. Then she said : "We 
will all repeat it together." 

"We, the people," rang out the sweet musical voice, 
and men and women, some aloud, some in half whispers, 
repeated, "We, the people." 

"Of the United States," said Peggy. "Of the United 



The; Mysterious Man From Nowhere; 105 

States," responded her audience, a little less scared by 
the sound of their own voices. 

When they had finished, Peggy could see a new light 
dawning in the weather-beaten, wrinkled faces of these 
men and women who had never known anything but 
poverty and hard work. 

"Don't you think that is wonderful?" asked Peggy. 

No one replied, for all were too timid to express an 
opinion, even if they had one. Besides the Big Cap'n 
had not spoken. They wanted to hear what Anderson 
had to say. He was the bell-wether, and if he jumped 
the fence most of them would follow, or break their 
necks trying. 

"I like the way it sounds, Miss Peggy," Anderson 
declared, "as fur as I understand it. It says 'we, the 
people.' Does that mean all the people, or jest the 
prohibitionists, the rich bugs, the preachers, an' the 
folks that live in cities an' make big wages, wear store 
'close', ride in automobiles, an' laugh at us when we 
go to town wearin' our homespun an' brogan shoes, 
callin' us 'Rubes' an' 'Hay Seeds'?" 

"It means just what it says, Mr. Anderson. 'We, the 
people,' means all the people — you and I, and each one 
of us. 

"When this glorious Constitution was adopted, our 
forefathers were thinking of all the people, and framed 
a document that would forever guarantee to every boy 
and girl the same equality of opportunity. Under this 
Constitution, each of us is guaranteed protection in his 
rights, and is guarded against any encroachments on 
his liberty. 

"Under this Constitution, Abraham Lincoln, the 
railsplitter, became the President of the United States, 
and most all the big men of our country have come 
from the plain, simple American homes where they 



106 Peggy Ware 

were taught to love God and revere the Constitution 
of our great country." 

"I use to sing "We'll hang Abe Lincoln to a sour 
apple tree' when I wus fightin' fer the South," Ander- 
son declared, "an' I thought he wus meaner than the 
devil. After the war a Yankee told me Lincoln wus 
once a railsplitter, wore home-made close, sold 'licker,' 
an' never had no religion, except to love the pore an' 
down-trodden, an' I said: 'I'm an Abe Lincoln man 
frum this time on, an' ef my country ever needs me, 
I'll fight jest as hard fur her as I did fur the South. 

"An' ef the Constitution wus made fur all the people, 
North an' South, rich an' pore, prohibitionists an' them 
that's agin prohibition, then I'm fur it, fust, last, an' 
all the time ; an' I'm glad our country ain't divided, so 
ef the Constitution is ever in danger the North an' 
South kin fight shoulder to shoulder to defend it. 

"What does it mean 'by securin' the blessings of lib- 
erty,' Miss Peggy?" the old man asked earnestly. 

"It means that the people of this country are the 
freest people in the world, and that this freedom can 
never be taken away from us as long as we uphold the 
Constitution. 

"For over one hundred years this inspired document 
has secured to every man the right to pursue his occu- 
pation, to live his life just as he pleased so long as he 
was decent and did not attempt to encroach on the 
rights of others. And our posterity for thousands of 
generations will continue to enjoy these blessings of 
liberty, if we do not allow the enemies of the people 
who are trying to destroy our Constitution and set up 
some other form of so-called government to divide our 
citizens into warring classes and factions, each seeking 
some selfish advantage over the other, forgetting the 
first three words in the preamble, 'We, the people'." 



The Mysterious Man From Nowhere 107 

"Well, all I got to say about a feller that would do 
that is that he ain't no good American an' needs a visit 
from the Ku-Klux." 

"We won't Ku-Klux them, Mr. Anderson ; we will 
educate them, teach them to be good Americans. 

"There never was a time in the history of the world 
when there was such a crying need for genuine men 
and women, educated in the right way. The oppor- 
tunities are limitless, the harvest is ripe, but the proper 
kind of laborers are few. 

"Our ideals are all wrong; we have lost the vision 
of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. We have set 
up a false standard of 'get more' rather than 'give 
more.' In the mad race, men have become blinded, 
and they inveigh bitterly against our country, our laws, 
our Constitution. They curse the Church, scoff at 
Jesus Christ, and deny God. 

"I am going to try to sound anew the old note of 
freedom, of reverence, of love of country, love of God, 
love of our fellow man, here in these rugged mountains, 
praying that it may help kindle afresh the music of 
human sympathy and Divine love in the souls of our 
people." 

"The first words I want you to learn to write are 
'God' and 'the Constitution,' for this is the rock on 
which we will build our school in Bucks Pocket. 

"The next part of our opening exercises consists in 
singing our national hymn. Our boys and girls know 
every word of it, and it is wonderful to hear them sing 
it each morning. I will sing it for you, and by and by 
you will all learn it." 

Ah, that golden voice. It might have proceeded 
from the angelic choir. No wonder these mountaineers 
were spellbound as Peggy sang "My country, 'tis of 
thee, Sweet land of liberty." 



108 Peggy Ware 

They had never heard it before, and to them it was 
a pean of thanksgiving, of love, of loyalty. More than 
one withered cheek was wet with tears of which no 
one seemed ashamed. 

Then followed "Nearer, my God, to Thee," and all 
heads bowed reverently as Peggy, at its close, repeated 
the Lord's prayer. When she said, "Our Father, who 
art in Heaven," each felt that Peggy was really talking 
to God, and that He stood there beside her. 
The opening services concluded, Peggy said : 
"We will now have our first lesson." She proceded 
to make the letters of the alphabet, beginning with "A." 
Then the slow process of teaching her "pupils" their 
"A B C's" began. No set of school boys or girls were 
ever more eager to learn than were these gray-haired 
men and women. A few of them learned surprisingly 
fast, while some of them had great difficulty in 
learning "A." 

"Write yore name on the board, Miss Peggy," asked 
Anderson. "I want to see ef it looks like you." 
Smilingly she complied, writing "Peggy Ware." 
"Well, it looks like you," he said, "but it ain't half 
as purty as you are." 

"Be ashamed of yoreself, Cliff," scolded his wife, as 
every one laughed, and Peggy blushed. 

"Now write his name," said Molly Anderson, indi- 
cating her husband by a nod of the head. 

Peggy wrote "Cliff Anderson," and a murmur of 
admiration went round the room. 

"Huh !" exclaimed Molly, " 'tain't half as ugly as 

Cliff is." This sally brought forth a general laugh, 

and in the midst of much merriment and good-natured 

chaining, Peggy dismissed her pupils for the day. 

Cliff Anderson lingered after the others had gone. 



The: Mysterious Man From Nowhere: 109 

"I wanted to tell you," he said to Peggy, "that I'm 
beginnin' to see things I never thought about before, 
an' it makes me want to do somethin' fer our boys an' 
gals. They ain't got no chance without some book 
larnin', and all the book larnin' in the world ain't gwine 
to make 'em good citizens onless it is the right sort. 
I think I git yore idee, that they must larn to love 
their country, an' to stand by the flag, in spite of the 
devil, because the flag stands fur liberty an' freedom. 
Givin' every one of these mountain boys an' gals jest 
as good a chance in this world as the rich bugs' kids — 
that is, ef we do our part an' give 'em an eddycation." 

"You have a wonderful grasp on the truth as I see 
it, Mr. Anderson. As a matter of fact, I believe these 
boys and girls attending the Peggy Ware School have 
an infinitely better chance in the race of life than the 
children of the rich. There is a great, fundamental, 
underlying reason for this, and some day I may put it 
into a book. In the meantime I will content myself 
by doing here what I think should be done in every 
school and every community in the land. We will 
let our light shine, and maybe its rays may guide 
others into the right way." 

"Ef yore dad would help you, he could be a power, 
with all his book larnin'. 'Pears to me he's gettin' 
quarer every day. I heerd him mutterin' to hisself 
t'other day somethin' that sounded like 'victory or 
death.' I wonder what he meant?" 

"He meant that his soul is fighting a great battle 
with unbelief, Mr. Anderson, and if his soul doesn't 
win the victory, he will die. I know his soul is going 
to triumph, otherwise I would not have the courage to 
endure the anguish of seeing him suffer. When the 
light does come, he will be a power, as you have well 
said." 



110 Peggy Ware 

"I don't know jest what light you're talkin' about, 
Miss Peggy, but ef it's the kind o' light that shines 
wharever you go, then I hope he'll find it soon, becase 
as it is whenever I see him, I says to myself, 'He's jest 
like a black cloud risin'." 

When Peggy reached home after her day's work, she 
was met by Simon, breathless and in a greater state of 
excitement than she had ever seen him. 

"Come to my cabin, quick, honey," he said ; "some- 
thin' turrible has happened!" 

Peggy's first thought was of her father, and she 
followed Simon, her heart filled with fear. 

"He's thar on the cot," whispered Simon. "I jest 
this minit got heah, an' I'se so glad you come when 
you did." 

One glance at the apparently lifeless man was suffi- 
cient to convince Peggy that it was not her father. 

His face was covered with blood, which had dried 
except where it still trickled down in a tiny stream 
from a great, gaping wound on his head. 

His raven black hair was one mass of tangled blood 
clots, now almost dried, showing that his wounds must 
have been received several hours previously. His 
breathing was scarcely perceptible, and his heart beats 
could hardly be discerned. 

Simon had placed the kettle on the fire, and at 
Peggy's suggestion, he brought a pan of warm water, 
and she began to remove the blood from the man's 
face and hair. She cleansed the wound on his head, 
and at Simon's suggestion poured into it a lotion pre- 
pared by Simon from certain "yerbs" with which he 
was familiar. 

"I alius keeps it on hand," he said, "becase chilluns 
lak Ralph an' Virginny is liable to cut dey foot or stub 



The; Mysterious Man From Nowhere; 111 

dey toenail off des any time, an' dis is de bes' medicine 
evah poured in a wound." 

Her task completed, Peggy sat down by the cot and 
took the stranger's hand in hers. He stirred uneasily, 
and she felt a slight pressure on her hand, but there 
was no other sign of consciousness. 

His was the most handsome face Peggy had ever 
seen. It showed culture and refinement, and the head 
and features bespoke the man of genius. His hands 
were those of an artist. There was an indefinable 
something about his personality that thrilled her with 
a feeling quite new to her. The touch of his hand 
sent the blood surging through her veins on a mad 
gallop, causing her to blush for shame. 

A great pity filled her soul, and she asked Simon if 
he thought they should communicate with Mr. Ander- 
son, and get him to send for a doctor. 

"It's twenty miles to de neares' doctah," said Simon, 
"an' he couldn't do no good aftah he got heah. I'se 
seen lots ob dem lak dis in de army wid a lick on de 
haid. He'll come out ob it in a few hours ef we let him 
be quiet an' gib him a little stimulant. Ef it'd been a 
niggah hit on de haid lak dat it wouldn't nevah have 
fazed him, but a white gemmen's skull ain't as thick 
as a niggah's." 

"Tell me what you know about him, Simon. Where 
did you find him, who is he, and how did he get hurt?" 

"I kin only tell you whare I find him, but as to de 
res' you knowse as much as I does. I wus comin' 
back frum de rivah in de wagon an' one ob de tires 
run off an' I wus out in de thicket on de side ob de 
road cuttin' some hickry withes to tie de tire on wid, 
when I heered somethin' lak a man groanin'. I fol- 
lered de soun' until I come to a big heap ob leabes 
wid bresh piled on top. I stopped an' den I heered 



112 Peggy Ware 

de groanin' agin, an' it wus right down undah de bresh 
heap. I frowed it off, an' rake de leabes away, an' dar 
lay de pore man. I picked him up an' toted him to de 
wagon, an' des got heah and put him on de cot when 
I see you comin' frum school." 

"Who do you suppose committed the dastardly deed, 
Simon, and what could have been the motive?" asked 
Peggy. 

"Well, ef I wus sposin', I'd spose it wus some of 
dese wild cat fellahs dat thought he was a revenoo, as 
dey call 'em, an' dey killed him, as dey beliebed. an' 
buried him undah de leabes an' bresh, aimin' to take 
him to de Tennessee rivah an' throw him in when night 
come." 

Peggy shuddered at the thought of the terrible fate 
from which Simon had rescued the stranger. Ferv- 
ently she asked God that he might recover. Her very 
soul was calling him back to life. 

"Bettah go to yore supper, chile. I'll watch him 
while youse gone." 

Peggy attempted to withdraw her hand, but the 
man gripped it convulsively, and his lips moved as if 
he were trying to speak. 

"He doesn't want me to go, Simon, and if you'll 
bring my supper I'll hold his hand until he is willing 
for me to go, if it's all night." 

The man's grip relaxed, and again his lips moved, 
but there was no sound, not even a whisper. 

After Peggy had eaten the food brought her by Si- 
mon, never releasing the stranger's hand in the mean- 
time, her father came to the cabin and took his seat 
without speaking. 

Ralph and Virginia came and peeped in, their eyes 
wide with wonder and awe. Peggy kissed them good- 



The Mysterious Man From Nowhere 113 

night, promising to tell them about the wounded man 
in the morning. 

When they had gone, she told her father the man's 
history as related to her by Simon. 

"One of those revenue officers who made a mistake 
in coming alone to Bucks Pocket," her father com- 
mented. 

"No, father, he is not a revenue officer. I don't 
know who he is or what his mission, but I am sure it 
has nothing to do with the Internal Revenue Service. 
Something tells me that he is a great soul, and was 
coming here for a purpose." 

"I wish I had your faith, Peggy, but I have none in 
anybody or anything. I trust you, but I think you are 
deluded, and some day you will awake as I have done 
to find that all your beautiful visions and dreams are 
but castles in the air to be toppled over by the first 
wind that blows." 

"Oh, my father, if you could only realize that my 
vision is the most real thing in the universe to me, 
and that it is 'being fulfilled every day.' If your eyes 
were open and you could see what I do, you would 
shout for very joy." 

"All is dark with me, my child. There is not one 
ray of light, and I have lost hope. I feel that my very 
presence is a curse, and I long to lay it all down — 
to forget — and to be no more." 

"Ah, but you cannot forget, father ; when you pass 
on your memory will be quickened a thousand fold 
and regret for your mistakes will be intensified. 

"You have now arrived where the soul in its strug- 
gle for the mastery always reaches just before the 
light comes. The Bible is full of cases like yours. All 
great literature tells of this travail of the soul. It is 
the quest for God." 



114 Peggy Ware 

Her father was silent, and Peggy waited. The si- 
lence grew into minutes, interrupted only by the 
breathing of the man on the cot. Finally Peggy spoke : 

"Father, will you do me a very great favor?" she 
said, looking at him with pained face and pleading 
eyes. 

He hesitated, shifting uneasily in his chair, his eyes 
afraid to meet hers. 

"What is it, daughter," he finally said. 

"I want you to read a certain passage from your 
Bible that Simon has been keeping for you until you 
needed it." 

At the word 'Bible, 'the hard, bitter look returned 
to his face. "I don't believe in the Bible," he said 
harshly. 

"It's the only request I have made of you in months, 
father," the voice of his child pleaded. "Surely you 
won't deny me." 

Simon had brought the Bible, and held it out toward 
the man he had loved and followed through all his 
vicissitudes. Wilbur W r are took it from Simon's hand 
reluctantly, as if still undecided. 

"Turn to the story of Jacob's wrestle with the angel, 
father. I think it is so wonderful, and I want to hear 
you read it again." 

Mechanically he turned the leaves of the book until 
he came to the passage which was familiar to him in 
the old days. In a hard, unsympathetic voice he be- 
gan : 

"And Jacob was left alone ; and there wrestled a 
man with him until the breaking of the day. And 
when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he 
touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of 
Jacob's thigh was out of joint as he wrestled with 
him. 



The; Mysterious Man From Nowhere; 115 

"And he said, let me go for the day breaketh. And 
he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 
And he said, What is thy name? And he said, 'Jacob.' 

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, 
but Israel : for as a prince hast thou power with God 
and with men, and hast prevailed. 

"And Jacob asked him, and said, 'Tell me, I pray 
thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that 
thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him 
there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, 
for I have seen God face to face and my life is pre- 
served. 

"And as he passed over Peniel, the sun rose upon 
him." 

As the reading proceeded, his voice softened, and 
a look of eager longing took the place of bitterness 
and despair. The Bible slipped from his hand and 
fell to the floor. He passed his hand over his eyes as 
though he were brushing away something that clouded 
his vision. 

Slowly he arose, crossed over to Peggy, buried his 
face in her golden hair, saying gently: 

"God bless you, my child." 

"He is waiting to bless you, father, just as he did 
Jacob. You are in the dark now. That is where self 
— the animal man always makes his last stand. When 
your soul triumphs, you will see God face to face, and 
the sun will rise upon you." 

Without making any reply, the gaunt form of the 
storm-tossed ex-preacher moved noiselessly toward 
the cabin door, and was lost in the darkness. 

The hours of the night crept slowly by. Simon nod- 
ded in the corner, awaking occasionally to replenish 
the fire with sticks of wood that he had piled on the 
hearth. 



116 Peggy Ware 

Peggy held the man's hand, always to feel that con- 
vulsive, compelling grip if she attempted to withdraw 
hers. Toward morning his breathing became deeper, 
and more regular. Finally Peggy dozed for a mo- 
ment, but in that moment she lived through many ex- 
periences. 

Her old vision came back to her, and this time a 
man had come to play a big part in her life and work. 
She saw his face, and it was the face of the stranger. 
They were happy in their work, and a new world had 
come to Bucks Pocket. The Elysian fields of Para- 
dise beckoned, and she and the man entered. The 
gates were about to close, shutting them in to an 
eternity of happiness, when a woman of wondrous 
beauty appeared and beckoned to the man. He turned 
toward her, and seemed to be hypnotized. 

"I must leave you, darling," he said, "but we'll meet 
again in a thousand years." 

He was gone — and the beautiful woman who had 
enticed him away from Paradise was Ruth Anderson. 
Heart-broken, Peggy rushed from the fields of Para- 
dise, awakening with a start to find her tears falling 
on the man's face. 

The first rays of the sun were shining through the 
cracks in Simon's cabin. The man on the cot stirred, 
opened his eyes for a moment, muttering: "I dreamed 
I was being conducted to heaven by an angel." 

"You are better now," Peggy said, placing her hand 
on his forehead. "I must leave you for a little while, 
but Simon will care for you, just as faithfully as I 
could. Do you understand?" 

For answer, the dark eyes opened once more, and 
the lips answered "Yes." 

"I must get the cob-webs out of my brain," said 



The; Mysterious Man From Nowhere 117 

Peggy, as she emerged into the morning sunlight. 
"That foolish dream has upset me, and I am trembling 
like a leaf. A walk up to Mr. Anderson's will set me 
right. I will arrange to have the stranger properly 
cared for, get my breakfast, go to my school, and get 
my feet back on solid ground." 



Chapter Nine 
THE WILD CATTER SURRENDERS 

LEAVING the sleeping man in Simon's care, feel- 
ing that he had safely passed the crisis, Peggy 
hurried to the house of Cliff Anderson. 

She was learning more and more to rely on this 
sturdy, forceful man. Beneath his rough exterior and 
brusque speech, she knew there beat a heart as tender 
as a woman's and genuine as gold. So when con- 
fronted by some new dilemma, she often went to him, 
and his native good sense usually pointed out the 
proper solution. 

Cliff Anderson was not at home, and his wife was 
plainly embarrassed when Peggy said she wanted to 
see him about a matter of great importance. 

"I am lookin' fer him every minit," she said. "He 
alius gits here fer breakfast." 

Innocently, Peggy inquired, "Where did he go, Mrs. 
Anderson?" 

"I jest can't tell you, Peggy. Cliff would be as mad 
as old Dan Tucker ef I did," said his wife. 

"Come with me, Peggy," said Ruth, "and we will 
go and meet him. I know the trail he will travel." 

"Don't go too fur, Ruth," warned her mother. "You 
know it ain't safe." 

Arm in arm the girls left the house, and were soon 
on a winding trail that led into the depths of the for- 
est. After they had gone a short distance, Ruth said : 

"Peggy, I am goin' to tell you somethin'. Pap 

118 



The Wild Catter Surrenders 119 

makes wild-cat whiskey, and this trail leads to his still. 
I dasn't take you there, for he would rather die than 
have you know what he is doin'. Since you came to 
the Pocket, I been wantin' him to quit worser than 
anything in the world, but he won't listen to me an' 
ma. He jest says: 'You tend to yore business, an' 
I'll tend to mine.' 

"Now ef you'll go up thare by yoself, an' ketch him, I 
believe he'll be so ashamed that he'll quit." 

Impulsively, Peggy said: "I'll go by myself. I 
know he will be terribly angry, but it may be my op- 
portunity." And Peggy, who was always doing what 
for other people would be the unusual, set out on the 
path, and Ruth returned to the house. 

In a little while the trail began to climb up toward 
the rock wall of the Pocket, following a small stream 
that flowed swiftly over its stony bottom. The sun 
had not yet penetrated this spot, though shining on 
the valley below. 

It was now early Spring, and the maple trees were 
clothed with green leaves, while the buds were burst- 
ing on the other timber. The dogwood bushes were 
in bloom, and also the redbuds, while the ground was 
carpeted with sweet williams, daisies and violets. A 
hundred different varieties of birds joined in one grand 
chorus of praise, led by an occasional mocking bird 
perched upon the highest tree tops. The blue of the 
sky completed the glorious spring morning which is 
nowhere more beautiful than in this mountain region. 

Peggy was greatly excited. She was about to face 
a new experience. Her pulse thrilled, and her heart 
thumped violently. 

Her sensations of the previous night still lingered 
with her. They had left her laboring under emotions 
that were wholly new to her, and she had not yet been 



120 Peggy Ware 

able to analyze her feelings. She "had intended to tell 
Ruth about the stranger, and of her watch by his side 
through the long night, but she could not bring her- 
self to mention it. When she thought that Ruth might 
soon be holding his hand as she had done, while she 
was engrossed in her work of teaching, a pain clutched 
her heart, and she stopped, steadied herself, took a 
deep draught of the ozone-laden mountain air, laughed 
lightly, saying to herself: 

"That foolish dream upset me. I am silly to think 
of it again." 

Now the trail crawled between two giant boulders 
that jutted out from the walls that rose abruptly on 
the east side of the Pocket, and she found herself in- 
side a little cove, entirely surrounded by rocky walls, 
the only opening being by way of the trail she was 
traveling. Through this opening flowed the tiny 
stream that she had been following. 

The undergrowth was dense in the cove, and but 
for the trail she could not have made her way. The 
path wound around a point of rocks, and she stopped, 
fascinated, for there just a few feet below her, at the 
fountain head of the little stream, in full operation was 
a big distillery, and Cliff Anderson, in shirt sleeves, 
his muscular arms bare, was working like a Trojan. 
For a moment she hesitated, started to turn back, then 
summoning all her courage, she said : 

"Good morning," Mr. Anderson. 

Without looking to see his intruder, he sprang for his 
rifle lying near at hand, brought it to a level with his 
shoulders, and was drawing a bead on Peggy, saying 
hoarsely: "Hands up!" before she could utter a sound, 
so swift had been his action. 

"All right, Mr. Anderson. Up they go," and suit- 



The Wild Catter Surrenders 121 

ing her action to her words, she raised her hands, and 
began to laugh in a frightened sort of way. 

Realizing for the first time that it was Peggy, the 
big Wild Catter collapsed. He dropped his gun, his 
knees trembled, his frame shook, his heart pounded, 
and, yielding to a feeling of sudden faintness, he sat 
down on a stone, the big drops of perspiration stand- 
ing on his forehead. 

"Fur God's sake, what brings you here, Miss Peggy? 
I shore come nigh shootin' you." 

Regaining her composure, and again feeling the 
thrill of being in the lair of the King of Wild Catters, 
Peggy said lightly, and in a matter-of-fact way : 

"I have been thinking of giving my boys a course 
in whiskey-making, and decided to run up this morn- 
ing and take my first lesson. Turn about is fair play, 
you know, Mr. Anderson. I have been imparting my 
knowledge to you, and now you must swap work by 
teaching me." 

"This ain't no knowledge, Miss Peggy, that ought 
to be taught, an' you shorely don't mean what you 
say?" 

"I am perfectly sincere, Mr. Anderson. I want to 
learn how it is done. I am not afraid to investigate 
anything, and if I don't like it after learning about it, 
I can leave it alone." 

"Wall, I know you won't like this business, Miss 
Peggy, so I don't advise you to try to larn it." 

"If it is good enough for you to follow, Mr. Ander- 
son, it must be all right," insisted Peggy, secretly 
amused at the suffering of Anderson. 

"You alius have yore way, an' I've alius found yore 
way right, so here goes." So saying, he proceeded to 
explain to her the whole process of making whiskey, 



122 Peggy Ware 

beginning with the "mash" and ending with the dis- 
tilled essence of the corn. 

Peggy was all enthusiasm as he told her of the 
workings of his still, which he said was the most com- 
plete one in a hundred miles. 

He explained that his helpers had gone to breakfast 
and that as soon as they returned, he would go to his 
breakfast that Molly would have waiting for him. 

After Peggy's "lesson" was finished, she said : "Let's 
sit down, Mr. Anderson, and talk a little. I am in 
trouble, and want you to help me." 

At the mention of trouble, the big man was all at- 
tention. "Ef you're in trouble, Miss Peggy, an' I kin 
help you, all you has to do is call on me." 

Peggy proceeded to tell him the story of the stranger 
whom Simon had found, left for dead in the woods, 
and now in Simon's cabin. She also told him of her 
vigil through the night.. 

Anderson said: "You ought to have sent fer me." 

"I came this morning for I need you. We have no 
suitable place for him as you know, and no one to look 
after him, as I am busy all day with my school. I 
thought perhaps you would take him to your house." 

"I recon' he's one of them nosin' revenoo officers 
an' some of the boys tried to make a finish of him, but 
under the sarcumstances they ain't nothing else to do, 
an' I'll git some of the men to help me an' we'll bring 
him up to my house, an' Molly an' Ruth kin take kere 
of him ontil he gits well." 

At the thought of Ruth "taking keer" of the stranger, 
Peggy winced, and again chided herself for being so 
foolish. Changing the subject, Peggy said: 

"Mr. Anderson, why do you make whiskey in vio- 
lation of the law? Is it because you need the money 
so badly?" 



The Wild Catter Surrenders 123 

He scratched his head, and pondered before answer- 
ing. "Wall, I'll be durned ef I know ezactly. No, I 
don't need the money. There is lots of things I kin 
do to make money that'll beat this. I spose it's the 
excitement — the resk I run. Besides I jest like to beat 
them revenoo fellers." 

"Do you drink the whiskey, yourself, Mr. Ander- 
son?" she said sweetly. 

"Law, no, Miss Peggy, I never tasted a drap in my 
life. I make it fer fools to drink." 

"Then you think no one but a fool would drink the 
stuff, do you?" 

"Most pintedly I do. Ef he ain't a fool afore he 
drinks it, he will be when he gits about a pint under 
his belt." 

"Well, then," persisted Peggy, "if you don't need the 
money, don't drink it yourself, and know that it makes 
a fool of those who do drink it, will you please tell me 
why you make it?" 

A long pause, and more head scratching. 

"Jest becase I am a durned, hard-headed old fool, 
an' never had nobody to talk to me before like you 
have." 

"And when are you going to quit, Mr. Anderson?" 
Her eyes searched his soul, and he felt it. He had 
vaguely foreseen the time when he must meet this 
issue. 

Nothing could be hidden from those eyes, and he 
dare not try to deceive her even in his thoughts, for 
he felt that she read his innermost thoughts as readily 
as she could understand his words. 

"This is kinder sudden, Miss Peggy, but you're 
alius doin' things suddin. While someone else would 
be thinkiin' you'd go an' do it. That's sorter my style 



124 Peggy Ware 

too. So I'll answer yore question by sayin' 'I done 
quit'." 

Without another word, he seized an axe and began 
chopping the worm of the big still to pieces. When 
he had finished, he turned out all the slop, burst the 
heads from the barrels of whiskey, allowing it to flow 
into the spring branch. 

When his helpers returned from breakfast, the wreck 
was complete. They were amazed, and their first 
thought was that the revenoos had raided them. When 
Anderson said : "I done it, boys," they were quite 
sure that the "Captain" had lost his mind. 

"Pile everything together, put a lot o' pine knots 
on top, an' burn her up. I don't want nuthin' left. 
Tomorrow I'll give you a decent job," said Anderson. 
"I'm gwine to Chattanooga on the next boat an' buy 
a saw mill, an' cut up this timber on my land, an' you 
kin grind your axes an' sharpen yore saws an' go to 
cuttin' logs in the mornin'. 

"When you git through here, come down an' I'll 
show you whare I am gwine to set the mill, an' you 
kin clear it off an' have the site ready by the time 
I git back." 

Too astonished to reply, the men began to carry out 
his instructions, as he and Peggy disappeared down 
the trail. 

On the way to the house, Peggy asked him what 
he was going to do with his lumber. 

"I ain't thought much about that," said Anderson. 
"I lowed mebbe you could use some of it." 

"My dreams are coming true ; my dreams are com- 
ing true !" exclaimed Peggy rapturously. 

"What dreams you talkin' about, Miss Peggy? You 
know I don't take much stock in dreams or religion." 

Hastily, enthusiastically, she sketched her plans. 



The; Wild Catter Surrenders 125 

His interest grew as she talked, and when she reached 
some point that appealed to him with unusual force, 
he would say: "Let's stop a minit. I can't think when 
I'm walkin'." 

They were a long time reaching Anderson's home, 
and he was almost as full of Peggy's plans as she her- 
self. She had told him briefly of her life among the 
mountain boys and girls, and of her interest in and 
love for them. She had seen their poverty, their ig- 
norance, and lack of opportunity. She had always 
wanted to help them in some way to get an education. 

She told him that there was no better blood in the 
world than flowed in the veins of these boys and girls 
of the mountains of the South. She said their men- 
tality was of the best, and all they lacked was oppor- 
tunity. 

She told him of her dream, when the spirit of her 
mother appeared to her and showed her Bucks Pocket. 
She said she recognized it when she first saw it, and 
that everything up to the present had taken place just 
as she dreamed. 

Growing in enthusiasm, she sketched a school where 
there would be hundreds of boys and girls gathered 
in from this mountain region — boys and girls whose 
parents were poor, or who had no parents, could find 
a home and at the same time be educated. Not the 
ordinary education of "book larnin'," but taught all 
that was good in books and useful trades besides. 
Along with this education of the head and hand, she 
also proposed as the most important thing to develop 
their souls. Not in a narrow sectarian way, but in 
the broad principles of scientific Christianity and right 
living. 

All this teaching was to be free, or at such a nom- 
inal cost that the poorest would not be debarred. In 



126 Peggy Ware 

no case would any boy or girl be turned away for lack 
of funds. 

Anderson was fascinated. In all his life he had 
never thought of anything half so big. He could see 
Bucks Pocket the most famous spot in the State, and 
the Peggy Ware School the most unique institution 
in the land. He caught the fire of Peggy's enthusiasm 
and pledged his support. 

Stopping suddenly as if he had run up against a stone 
wall, he said : "Hole on a minit, Miss Peggy, whare 
you gwine to git all the money to do it with?" 

"I have thought about that, too, Mr. Anderson, and 
asked my mother that question in my dreams, and she 
said : 'Have faith.' You know, Jesus said if we have 
faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can remove moun- 
tains, and I believe it, Mr. Anderson, believe it with 
all my soul." 

"Wall, I recon' he know'd what he wus talkin' er- 
bout, an' I know you do, an' I got faith in you ef I ain't 
in nobody else; an' I am jest goin' to foller you blind, 
trustin 'to you an' the Lord." 

They had reached the house, where Mrs. Anderson 
was scolding about the biscuits getting cold. She was 
greatly surprised when she saw Peggy with her hus- 
band, for Ruth had not informed her mother that she 
had directed Peggy to her father's still. 

"For the lan's sake," she exclaimed, "Whare did 
you all git together?" 

"She come to the still an' captured me," said And- 
erson, "an' then I destroyed the durned thing so she 
won't have no evidence agin me when she takes me to 
court." The big man chuckled, and there was a new 
light in his eyes, and a new expression on his face. 

Ruth could hardly believe her ears, but being re- 
assured by a swift glance at Peggy, she threw her arms 



The Wild Catter Surrenders 127 

around her father's neck, hid her face on his shoulder, 
and said between her sobs : "Oh, daddy, I'm so glad !" 

Looking earnestly into the clear, fearless eye of her 
spouse, his wife said: "Cliff, you shore look lak you 
got religion." 

"Ef I thought I had, I'd send fer the doctor shore," 
said Anderson. 

Peggy remained to breakfast, and it was the most 
joyous meal ever eaten in the Anderson home. After 
it was finished, Peggy explained to Mrs. Anderson and 
Ruth the presence of the wounded stranger in Simon's 
cabin, and that Mr. Anderson had agreed to give him 
shelter until he was able to travel. 

Ruth and her mother were in hearty accord with the 
suggestion, and while Anderson and some men that 
he had summoned prepared a litter, Ruth and her 
mother put the spare room in order. 

Peggy accompanied the men to Simon's cabin, where 
they found that Simon had induced the stranger to 
drink some coffee, but he was still but half conscious. 

Placing him gently on the litter, well wrapped in 
blankets, four men bore him to Anderson's home, where 
the big feather bed with snow white sheets was in 
readiness. 

Peggy insisted on accompanying the men, walking 
beside the stretcher, holding the stranger's hand as 
she had done through the long night, feeling again 
that indefinable thrill that she feared, yet loved. 

When he had been made as comfortable as possible, 
Peggy declared that she would be late at school and 
must go. 

"You better stay home today an 'take keer of the 
stranger, Ruth," said her mother, "case I got to cook 
dinner fer the men," and Ruth, already more interested 



128 Peggy Ware 

in the mysterious man than she had ever been in any- 
one in her life, eagerly consented. 

"You'll miss your lessons, Ruth," weakly suggested 
Peggy, and instantly she was ashamed of herself. 

"Oh, I'll have plenty of time for school after he's 
better," and. Ruth took the sick man's hand in hers, 
while she gently stroked it. 

Peggy felt a lump rise in her throat, her face flushed 
crimson, her loss of sleep and foolish dream had com- 
pletely upset her, and she felt an unreasoning anger 
in her heart toward Ruth. 

Ah, Peggy, where are all your visions and dreams, 
your plans for the mountain boys and girls? What 
mist is it that has shut out this beautiful vision? What 
thing is it that clutches at your heart, just as though 
you never had a vision or dream? W T hy do you linger 
on the threshold as your pupils eagerly await your 
coming and wonder why you are late? 

"I must go now. Good-bye, Ruth," and Peggy was 
gone. 

Without taking her eyes from the man's face, Ruth 
said in an absent-minded sort of way : "Good-bye, 
Peggy." 

When Peggy reached the school house, she had re- 
gained her composure. She was quite sure now that 
it was the unusual experiences through which she had 
been passing, and her nerves were a little unstrung. 
Yes, and the dream about the man — the foolish dream. 

When she told her pupils "good morning," there was 
no trace of her momentary weakness, and her smile and 
presence brought heaven into the room. 



Chapter Ten 
A MAN WITHOUT A NAME 

THE days moved swiftly for Peggy Ware, so filled 
was every hour with work. 

Every morning she inquired about the stranger, 
and she was glad when told of his gradual improve- 
ment. She had not seen him since the morning after 
her all night's vigil, although she had a constant de- 
sire to see him again. Why she hesitated to go to 
the Anderson home and ask about him, and, of course, 
see him, she did not know. Perhaps it was the thought 
of Ruth ministering to him after he returned to full 
consciousness, and the feeling that he would not re- 
member or recognize her. 

She tried to silence her desires by saying that he 
was well cared for, and that these boys and girls, as 
well as the gray-haired men and women needed all 
her time and efforts. 

Cliff Anderson's sawmill had arrived, and the for- 
est was ringing all day with the echo of the axes of the 
choppers, while the shrill whistle from the engine sent 
a new thrill to Bucks Pocket. 

Soon great stacks of lumber were piled on the mill 
yard, and Anderson began to discuss with Peggy the 
next step in the plan of development. 

One day after the close of the lesson for the older 
folks, he lingered for a talk with her. He was un- 
usually serious, and his first words were : "I got a big 

129 



130 Peggy Ware 

idy, I b'lieve, Miss Peggy, an' I want to see whut you 
think about it. 

"You know I own a whole pacel of fine timber land 
here in the Pocket, and when the timber is cut off, it 
is as good farmin' land as a crow ever flew over. I 
set my saw mill in the center of one tract that has 
about a thousand acres, an' I jest got a hunch to deed 
it, saw mill an' all, to the Peggy Ware School an' then 
be yore boss of the saw mill ef you'll have me." 

"Oh, Mr. Anderson, you are the most wonderful man 
I ever knew," warmly exclaimed Peggy. "You are 
one of God's noblemen, and I can't find words to thank 
you. Of course, you know that I could not accept 
this for myself, and if you insist on making the gift 
we will incorporate the Peggy Ware School, and yours 
will be the first donation, and you shall be the first 
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and to you, more 
than anyone, will be .due the credit for the success 
that I know is in store for us." 

"Don't talk about me gittin' credit, Miss Peggy. I 
don't desarve it. I am tryin' to pay debts, not git any 
more credit. I got more credit now than I could pay 
ef I lived to be a hundred. Why I paid fer all this 
land with money I got fer wild cat licker, an' it don't 
raley belong to me. I been lyin' awake at nights think- 
in' about it, and thinkin' lots of things that I wouldn't 
want even God to know, an' I been wondrin ef they 
wus any way I could square accounts ; an' when you 
told me about edycatin' these boys an' gals, I said to 
myself: 'Mebbe I kin help pay one of my debts this 
way." 

"Let's go to the county seat tomorrow — it's Satur- 
day, you know, and there won't be no school, an' fix 
up yore Peggy Ware School papers, an' Molly an' me 
will make the deed all while we are thare." 



A Man Without a Name: 131 

So bright and early on the following Saturday morn- 
ing, Cliff Anderson, Peggy and Molly went to the 
county seat in Anderson's new buggy, which he had 
bought at the time he purchased the saw mill. 

When they appeared at the Court House, there was 
quite a commotion among the officials. The loafers 
eyed Anderson's new buggy and harness, and Peggy 
created a sensation. Vague rumors had been filtering 
in by grape vine that great things were happening in 
Bucks Pocket, but no one had been out to investi- 
gate; and when the King of the Wild Catters drove 
into town, accompanied by his wife and a young 
woman of striking appearance and unusual personality, 
all the men who were not busy, and this included al- 
most every one, were reminded that they had urgent 
business at the Probate Judge's office. 

Over in an alcove corner, the Judge sat at his desk 
preparing the papers, while Anderson, Peggy, and 
Molly waited. 

The work, completed, the Judge congratulated And- 
erson warmly on the big thing that he had done. 

"It ain't nothin', Jedge," he said. "It's jest a starter. 
We turned over a new leaf out in Bucks Pocket, an' I 
want you to come out an' see the Peggy Ware School 
about a year frum now." 

"By turning over a new leaf, I suppose you mean 
that you have gotten religion, Cliff," said the Judge. 
"I am so glad to hear it, for that is all you ever needed." 
"Say, Jedge, I've alius been yore friend an' voted 
fer you, but ef you ever 'cuse me of havin' religion 
agin, I'll be mad as a wet hen. Why! I'd ruther 
have the seven-year itch than to ketch religion. 

"I know a preacher that had it, an' he said God 
sowed seed an' the devil sowed seed, an' ef the devil 
sowed me, I wus bound to go to Hell, an' ef God 



132 Peggy Vv'are 

sowed me I'd go to Heaven ef I wus as mean as the 
devil. 

"Then I knowed another preacher — that is, he had 
been one — an' he said he had found out they warn't no 
God, an' that when a man died he wus no more'n a 
dead ox. 

"An' I knowed two more fellers that had religion — 
lots of it. They would shout at camp meetin' so you 
could hear 'em a mile. They wus preachers, too. They 
both had little pecker-wood churches out on the moun- 
tain, an' not more'n two dozen folks to hear 'em preach. 
Well, they got up a jint discussion about baptism, an' 
open an' close communion, an' a lot more Tommy-rot, 
an' they got het up until they pulled off their coats an' 
fit like cats an' dogs, and their members got into the 
scrap — men an 'women, too — an' it wus the biggest 
hair-pullin' that ever took place on Sand Mountain. 
In about a week one of the churches burned down, an' 
in a few days the other went the same way. 

"The preachers said it wus Providence, but I think 
it wus religion that done it." 

A crowd had collected as Anderson delivered him- 
self of these sentiments, and there was much amuse- 
ment. 

One of the leading lawyers said banteringly : "An- 
derson, you are getting to be quite a stump speaker. 
You ought to make the race against me for the Leg- 
islature, and we will have joint discussions, and give 
the people lots of fun." 

"The trouble is that you are an atheist, and if you 
were elected you could not qualify, because you don't 
believe in God." The lawyer eyed the crowd for its 
approval, and a good-natured titter ran round the 
room. 

"Your'e a — a" and Anderson's face was white, his 



A Man Without a Name; 133 

eyes blazing. "You're mistaken," he said at last, re- 
gaining his composure. "I believe in God with all my 
heart, but not in this religion that makes you mean, 
sick, miserable, goin' round with long faces, tryin' to 
look sanctimonious as ef you could fool God ! No, I 
don't want religion. I want Christianity lak Miss 
Peggy here got. 

"I ain't got it, not by a jug-full, but I'm gwine to 
have it or die tryin', an' ef you all will come out to 
Bucks Pocket, you will see the difference between re- 
ligion an' Christianity." 

Peggy was greatly embarrassed at this reference to 
her, and longed to get away from the curious crowd, 
while Mrs. Anderson kept nudging her husband, finally 
saying, "Come on, Cliff, an' let's go." 

"All right, Molly, I had to git it out of my system, 
an' I want to say to Mr. Fuller that I may make up my 
mind to run agin him fer the Legislature, an' ef I do 
when we git through, he'll know he's been runnin' 
some." 

"Hurrah for Anderson !" a half dozen shouted, and 
amidst much merriment, he, Molly and Peggy started 
for Bucks Pocket. 

On the homeward road, Peggy's imagination flew 
on the wings of the wind. So rapidly was her vision 
materializing that it startled her. Mentally address- 
ing herself, she would say : 

"Peggy Ware, who is doing all this? I know it's not 
you, for you are just an ordinary sort of girl." 

And then something within seemed to say : "It is 
I, Peggy Ware — You are just "me." But I am the 
real Peggy, and I am using you for my instrument. 

"And who is this "I," that you speak of?" she would 
again question mentally, and the answer would come 
back : 



134 Peggy Ware 

"I am spirit, and to know me is to know all truth." 

As she talked of her plans, Anderson's imagination 
galloped along beside hers, and even Molly Anderson 
was not far behind. These two had caught the in- 
fection of Peggy's enthusiasm. 

The road was good until it reached a point about 
three miles from Bucks Pocket. From there on it 
could hardly be called a road, and it was a slow, pain- 
ful journey on account of its roughness. The buggy 
jolted, tilted, and threatened to upset from time to 
time. 

"By George !" impatiently exclaimed Anderson, "I 
never knowed before how rough this road wus. Mon- 
day mornin' I'll put a crew of men on it an' we'll build 
the best road in the county clean down through the 
Pocket and on to the Tennessee River. 

"This is the first buggy ever owned by anybody in 
Bucks Pocket; an' I re'ckon most of 'em never heerd 
of an automobile, much less seen one. But I got a 
feelin' that automobiles frum all over the country are 
comin' here, and I am gwine to git the road ready." 

"I am so glad to hear you say this, Mr. Anderson. 
It inspires such confidence," exclaimed Peggy. "I had 
seen all this in my vision, but sometimes I get afraid, 
and don't like to tell you all I see. So when you pro- 
pose doing what I have already seen, without a word 
from me, I just know that I am on the right track. 

"It's queer how we are afraid to have faith, don't 
you think so?" asked Peggy. No one answered, for it 
was too deep a problem for Cliff Anderson and Molly. 
Their minds were dwelling nearer the earth. 

Suddenly Mrs. Anderson said : "You an' Cliff been 

doin' all the talkin' an' I wonder ef I mout butt in?" 

"You are not 'buttin' in,' dear. I love to hear 



A Man Without a Name 135 

you talk, because you always say something practi- 
cal," said Peggy. 

"Wall, I wus thinkm' that Cliff is to be yore boss 
at the saw mill, buildin' roads and sich things, but I 
been thinkin' about who's gwine to do the cookin' fer 
all them boys an' gals that's comin' here next fall?" 

"I don't know, Mrs. Anderson. I have been think- 
ing that too, but I know God will send us someone at 
the proper time." 

"Have you prayed fer one?" Molly Anderson asked 
eagerly. 

"I have," replied Peggy. "And I have no doubt 
about it. I ask Him for everything I need, and he 
never fails me." 

"I don't know whuther it's the Lord sendin' me or 
not, Peggy, but I'd like the job ef you think I'll do." 

"Bless your heart, I'd rather have you than anyone 
in the world," said Peggy, as she kissed her until she 
was all smiles and tears. 

"She's the best cook in the county, an' they'll come 
to the Peggy Ware School fer the grub ef nothin' 
else," proudly asserted Anderson. 

"Did I hear you say the other day that you wanted 
to go back to yore old home in the Cumberland Moun- 
tains an' gether up a pacel of them boys' an gals an' 
bring 'em down an' put 'em in school this fall?" queried 
Anderson. 

"Oh, that is just one of my fancies. Some day I hope 
to do that, but not right away," answered Peggy. 

"Wall, I jest been thinkin' what a fine trip it would 
be fer you, Molly an' me. I used to go to Chattanooga 
to peddle wild-cat whiskey, but I ain't been thare fer 
sixteen years. 

"That's when you brought Ruth," began Mrs. Ander- 



136 Peggy Ware 

son, and then she stopped suddenly, frightened out of 
her wits as she looked at her husband's stern face. 

"Yes," said Anderson, "the time I brought Ruth a 
big doll," and he laughed a dry, mechanical sort of 
laugh. 

"That's jest like you, Cliff, alius takin' the words 
outen my mouth," said his wife, in an awkward sort 
of way. 

It was some time before he continued, and when 
he did so, his voice was a little shaky as though he 
were making a great effort at self-control. 

"I wus jest sayin' when Molly broke in on me, that 
I would like to go through Chattanooga in a big auto- 
mobile — the three of us, stop at the Patten hotel, and 
then go to yore old home and go out in the mountains 
an' gether up yore boys an' gals, bring 'em all to Chat- 
tanooga, put our automobile on the boat an' all the 
kids, an' steam down the old Tennessee, and have her 
dock at Peggy Ware, fer that's what we are gwine to 
call our postofnce, an' the steam boat landin' will be 
named Peggy Ware, too, an' then we'll march 'em 
all up a fine 'cadamised road to the Peggy Ware 
School." 

His enthusiasm had returned, his voice was again 
vibrant, and his eyes spoke eloquently. 

"You are not joking, Mr. Anderson?" inquired Peg- 
gy, already sensing a fulfillment of his plan. 

"I shore ain't. I got my heart set on it, an' we'll 
do it." 

"My heart is with you," said Peggy, "and Jesus said, 
'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, 
there will I be in the midst also.' And I feel His pres- 
ence." 

"May I ax' one question?" queried Mrs. Anderson. 

Being assured that she might, she said: "Cliff. 



A Man Without a Name 137 

whare are you gwine to git the money to buy that au- 
tomobile? Have you got any hid out that I don't 
know about?" she asked suspiciously. 

"Of course not," he said laughingly. "We'll trust 
the Lord like Miss Peggy does." 

After a pause, during which Molly seemed to be 
thinking profoundly, she said : "Cliff, I beleve you 
about that money, fer you never told me a lie in yore 
life." 

The big man winced visibly, and his perturbation 
surprised Peggy, but his wife evidently did not ob- 
serve it. 

"'Spose I told you that I wus the biggest liar in the 
county, what would you say?" asked Anderson. 

"I'd say you'd told a whoppin' lie," replied his wife. 

"But ef you found out that I shorely wus the biggest 
liar, what would you say?" 

"I'd say that ef Cliff Anderson is the biggest liar 
in the county, Molly Anderson is the biggest fool in 
the county fer livin' with him forty years an' never 
findin' it out." 

This sally brought forth a musical laugh from Peg- 
gy, and she was still laughing when the buggy stopped 
in front of Anderson's gate. "You must come in to 
supper, Peggy, an' Cliff can carry you home later." 

Peggy protested, but it was of no use, for when 
Molly Anderson made up her mind to have you dine 
with her, there was no getting around it. 

Peggy's heart was in her throat as she entered the 
house. She had a sinking sensation at the thought of 
the man she had not seen since that memorable night. 
She wondered if he remembered her at all. 

Anderson had told her the day before that his guest 
was better, that he could sit up and walk around as- 
sisted by Ruth. His mind seemed to be all right, ex- 



138 Peggy Ware 

cept that he had forgotten his name, and the names of 
everyone he had ever known, as well as the places 
where he had lived or visited. He could not remem- 
ber names now when told to him. 

Peggy's interest had been keenly aroused by this 
startling information, and she had been racking her 
brain for a possible solution of the mystery. 

"Come into the spare room, Peggy, while I bake 
some hot biscuits. My other supper's all cold," said 
Molly Anderson, leading the way. 

Peggy experienced the greatest embarrassment of 
her life as she stood on the threshold. 

The stranger was propped in an easy chair, reading 
to Ruth from one of Peggy's books, while Ruth's dark, 
beautiful face glowed with a light that Peggy had 
never seen before. So absorbed were they that they 
did not hear Peggy enter the open door, or note her 
presence until she said': "Good evening, Ruth." 

At the sound of her voice, Ruth sprang to her feet, 
and in another instant, she was kissing Peggy, ex- 
claiming, "Oh, I am so glad to see you. It seems like 
an age since you were here." 

"If you had been so very anxious, you might have 
come to school," and Peggy laughed uneasily. 

"I couldn't leave him," said Ruth, nodding her head 
toward the man, who had lain down his book. "Be- 
sides, he's been teachin' me, and I am learning, not 
"larnin' " faster than I did at school." 

"Quite natural," said Peggy, a twinge at her heart. 

"Miss Peggy Ware, this is Mr. " and she hesi- 
tated, evidently embarrassed. The man came to her 
rescue. 

"Mr. Man without a name," he said dryly. "I am 
pleased to know you, Miss — Miss " 



A Man Without a Name: 139 

"Oh, just call me Miss Nobody," said Peggy, "and 
then we will stand on an equal footing." 

"That's clever," he said, "and I am sure that we'll 
get along famously." 

The man-without-a-name wanted to eat his supper at 
the table with the others, but Ruth protested that he 
was not able to go. So she carried his food to him 
while the others ate in the dining room. 

After supper, the stranger was much interested in 
Peggy's work, and asked her many questions. As she 
outlined her plans, he would occasionally exclaim 
"wonderful," "marvelous." 

In his excitement he forgot that he was still a con- 
valescent, and began to walk nervously about the 
room, declining Ruth's proffered assistance, to this 
young lady's discomfiture, for she had taken complete 
possession of the man. 

"I wonder," he exclaimed, "if there was ever such 
another case as mine. Here I am on the road to re- 
covery, even impatient to be doing something, and I 
don't know how or where to begin. I don't know my 
name, where I formerly lived, or the names of anyone 
I ever knew. So far as I can tell my mind in all other 
respects is normal. I also know just what ails me — 
just what caused my present condition. I have diag- 
nosed my case as though some one else was the pa- 
tient. I also know how to cure my trouble, but it will 
take a long time. 

"In the meantime I am lost. I am worse than the 
man without a country. I am a man without a coun- 
try, a name, or a friend. 

"Then, dear people, the — the — " and he stopped, em- 
barrassed. "There is the trouble, you see. I can't 
remember names. I have to begin just where I started 
when I was a toddling, lisping infant, but I know how, 



140 Peggy Ware 

thanks to my professional training. What shall I do 
in the meantime?" he inquired piteously. 

"I need another teacher. Won't you come and help 
me in my school, and perhaps I can help you." And 
Peggy could not hide the light in her eyes, or sup- 
press the tremor in her voice. Ruth, watching keenly, 
knew that Peggy's interest was much deeper than 
she would have admitted to her own soul. However, 
Ruth had no fear, for it was a common saying in 
Bucks Pocket that "possession is nine 'pints' at law," 
and she had no intention of surrendering possession. 

Eagerly the man agreed, saying: "I will be ready 
to begin Monday." 

Again Ruth protested, but the man said : "The 
thought of becoming active, already makes me well, 
and the experiment I am going to make on my own 
brain, if successful, will be a marvelous step forward 
in mind building." 

"I am intensely interested in mind building," said 
Peggy, "and I am anxious to have the benefit of your 
theories and knowledge." 

"Gladly will I teach you all I know, and I hope that 
you will adopt it in your class rooms." 

So it was settled that the man-without-a-name 
should be the first member of Peggy's faculty. She 
did not get the full force of the idea, until she had said 
good-night and was walking home in the moonlight. 
She insisted on going alone, much against the protests 
of Mrs. Anderson, while her husband said : "A woman 
alius has her way, an' you might as well let Miss Peggy 
alone when she makes up her mind, fer she's equal to 
two women when it comes to havin' her way." 

Peggy was having her way, and it was a dim road, 
with great trees whose branches touched across it, 
leaving just an occasional opening for the moonlight. 



A Man Without a Name 141 

But beyond the road, the trees, the moonlight, she 
saw a great gate swing ajar, and beyond, a landscape 
whose beauty ravished the eyes, and whose aroma in- 
toxicated the senses, and by her side the interesting 
stranger — and then she stubbed her toe, came near 
falling, recovered herself, and exclaimed : "That fool- 
ish dream again." 



Chaptee Eleven 
THE MIND BUILDER AT WORK 

THE growth of Peggy's work filled her soul with 
a Divine flame that gave wings to her thoughts, 
and as fast as one step was taken, she was al- 
ready planning for the next. 

A feeling of guidance by some intelligence outside 
of her objective self had taken complete possession of 
her, and she felt that there was no height that she 
dare not undertake to climb. 

Around her were limitless possibilities if she fol- 
lowed the lead of this something that had been speak- 
ing to her since her mother's death. She had learned 
that its voice could bdst be heard in the silence. So 
she had stated times when she sought quietude where 
she could hold communion with this friend and guide. 

One of her shrines was the attic room where she still 
slept. Out of the window she could see the twinkling 
stars and silvery moon, and as she lay on her straw 
bed after a strenuous day's work, she listened for the 
still small voice ; the same voice that Elijah heard 
after the storm had ceased, and the fierce conflagra- 
tion had burned itself out. It is the same voice that 
has spoken to all who devoutly desire to hear it in all 
ages since man has been man. 

Tonight as Peggy sought her room after the day's 
experience, she felt the need of this sacred communion. 
Here she was overwhelmed with the evidence that her 
work was being blessed. Already her school was incor- 

142 



The; Mind Builder at Work 143 

porated, possessed a valuable tract of land, and her 
helpers were at hand as fast as she needed them. From 
a handful, her school had already grown beyond the 
capacity of the old "hard shell meeting house," and 
now threatened to tax the new building. 

She was still the superintendent of the Sunday 
School, and the sole teacher as well as choir leader. 
She also acted as her own janitor, for the school house, 
getting there an hour before the arrival of the first 
pupil, so she could have half an hour for her period of 
communion with that other Self. 

Besides this work, she cooked the meals for the 
family, did much of the household work, mended the 
clothes, darned the stockings, and made the few gar- 
ments that were necessary for Ralph and Virginia. 

And she was never tired. When the day's work was 
over, she was just as vital, just as radiant, and full of 
enthusiasm as in the early morning. 

As she sought her bed her soul was full of thank- 
fulness for all these things. Her attic room seemed 
filled by some wonderful presence. It permeated every 
fiber of her being. She felt it to her finger tips. It 
thrilled her until she vibrated in harmony with the 
mysterious presence that filled her room. These vibra- 
tions lengthened and the trees were responding. Look- 
ing toward the West, she could see bathed in the 
moonlight the great spurs of the Cumberland range, 
and they were answering to the vibrations she felt in 
her soul. 

And as she listened to the great silence, a mocking 
bird, perched just outside her window, began to pour 
forth a perfect rhapsody of music and every note was 
vibrant with this same mysterious something that 
seemed to make her a part of the trees, the rocks, the 
mountain, and the notes of the bird. Swiftly now her 



144 Peggy Ware 

consciousness seemed to travel, as though freed from 
all fetters, until she felt the moon, the stars, the sky, 
the multitudinous worlds, the hosts of earth, and the 
hosts of heaven, yea, God Himself, were all united by 
this mysterious something that penetrated all space 
and filled the universe; and that she was an inseparable 
part of the whole. In this supreme moment, she knew 
that everything in the universe was at her command 
if necessary to her work, and with tears of joy bath- 
ing her cheeks, she fell asleep, saying: "I thank thee, 
Father, for revealing thyself to me." 

Monday morning she was at the school house early 
as was her custom, but the stranger was already there 
waiting for her. 

Ruth had guided him, insisting on helping him over 
the rough places, notwithstanding he insisted that he 
was well. 

He said that he wanted to have a talk with Peggy 
before the opening of school, and Ruth proposed to 
sweep the house for Peggy, while she and the man 
discussed matters that Ruth felt were too deep for 
her comprehension. 

"Before taking up my work of teaching, Miss " 

and he hesitated. 

"Miss Nobody," laughed Peggy. "Just call me that 
for the present." 

"I think I had better explain briefly my condition 
and my theories, for you may not want to employ me 
after I have told you." 

"In the first place, this lick on the head," pointing 
to the wound now almost healed, "evidently injured a 
certain portion of my brain which is the place where 
we store away our names and names of people and 
places. No other portion of my brain was injured, 



The; Mind Builder at Work 145 

and consequently I possess all my other faculties. 
Now, while I don't know who I am, I know that I am 
a brain specialist. I wrote a book on the brain and 
its functions, but I don't recall the title, but the prin- 
icples are all perfectly familiar to me. 

"I know that the brain is not the mind any more 
than the liver is. I know that the brain is not the 
man any more than the hand or foot is. I know that 
the entire body is not the man, and all this I have 
demonstrated in the laboratory. 

"I know that the brain is simply the instrument 
which I use for expressing myself, and that I can make 
my own brains, so far as special functions or aptitudes 
are concerned, if only I have a will strong enough to 
undergo the prolonged exertion required. 

"What and who this wonderful T is that can make 
and use our brains for his expression, just how it is 
done is a matter of quite recent discovery, and yet 
when properly understood it is the most stupendous 
fact that has ever come to the consciousness of man. 

"I believe that when fully understood, it will revo- 
lutionize our educational system, and increase the 
efficiency and goodness of the human family beyond 
our wildest dreams. 

"If I can make these facts the basis for my work, I 
will gladly join you. I will take your pupils, old and 
young, and tell them in simple language just what is 
taking place while they are learning, just why it takes 
place, and precisely how to control, mold, build, and 
develop the brain, or any separate part of it along any 
lines desired. At the same time I will give them a 
practical demonstration in myself as I rebuild that area 
of my brain that was injured or destroyed by the blow, 
so that when the work is complete, I will have re- 



146 Peggy Ware 

gained my ability to remember names and places, and 
will regain my identity." 

"I am fascinated with your ideas, and feel that you 
have been sent to do this special work," said Peggy. 
"I am in perfect accord with your views, and while I 
know there is much for me to learn along this line, I 
have some little insight into it, not from the stand- 
point of a trained physician, but — well, I can't just ex- 
plain how it came to me," and she blushed in confu- 
sion. "I know that this sort of knowledge doesn't 
appeal to your scientific mind," she said, "but you must 
not laugh at me." 

"I'll not laugh, I assure you, for there is a source 
of wisdom as far above our comprehension as the 
heavens are above the earth." 

After thinking a moment, Peggy said : "If we can 
create or rebuild our brains, why can't we do the same 
thing with any part .of our bodies?" 

Before the man could reply, she said : "Who is it 
that does this brain-building?" 

He laughed, but showed that his interest in this 
mountain "school marm" was already keen. 

"You are proposing too many hard questions at 
once," he said. "As to your first question, I will con- 
fine myself to the brain, and you can apply my theory 
to the entire body if you think it will fit. 

"As to who the builder is, I will not attempt an an- 
swer now. Perhaps we may discover him laboring in 
his workshop some day." 

The pupils were arriving by this time ; Ruth had 
put the school house in order, and when all were 
seated Peggy made a neat little speech, introducing 
the first member of her faculty, explaining that he 
had forgotten his name and that she had given him a 
new one, that of "Mr. Mind Builder," as it was to be 



The Mind Builder at Work 147 

his work to tell them how to build and develop their 
minds. This created much amusement, and "Mr. Mind 
Builder" was spoken of in whispers by the curious 
pupils. 

The "Mind Builder" gracefully acknowledged the 
introduction, accepted his new name, and in a few 
sentences had won the interest and confidence of every 
one present. 

His first lesson was so important that I am going 
to quote it fully at the expense of having it called dry 
reading. 

He drew a diagram on the blackboard, showing the 
functional areas on the surface of the left hemisphere 
of the brain of a right-handed person, after which he 
said: 

"Our brains consist of two organs, exactly alike, 
called the right and left hemispheres. The brains of 
a man and a chimpanzee are identical, no one can tell 
the difference. 

"The thing that differentiates man from other ani- 
mals is his power of speech. No other creature has 
this power. But we are not born with the power of 
speech, we have to acquire it. 

"The infant can cry, but so can the lamb ; but the 
infant must be taught to talk. And after it learns to 
talk it must be taught to read, write, play music, and 
all the other things known to educated people. 

"Before the infant begins to talk, it reaches forth 
its hand for the things it wants. If it uses its right 
hand it becomes right-handed, and the left hemisphere 
of the brain is the one where the mind makes its home. 
If it is left-handed, then the seat of mind development 
is in the right hemisphere. 

"After you learn to talk, read, and do many other 
things by using the left brain, and it is injured so as 



148 Peggy Ware 

to become useless as a vehicle of expression, you can 
develop the same power in the right brain. 

"I maintain that you can rebuild the brain after it is 
injured, as well as develop the uninjured hemisphere. 

"Now what is it that develops the brain so the child 
learns to talk? The brain doesn't think any more than 
the hand or foot. The brain is not the mind, al- 
though it is the place where or through which the mind 
seems to function. 

"Back of the brain is your real Self. He is invisible, 
but none the less real. If he were not there, you would 
be no more than a monkey, and could never learn to 
talk, or know anything that we call education. 

"Your brain is the instrument on which this Real 
Self of yours plays the music. Your brain is the fid- 
dle and your Self, the fiddler. If it were not for this 
fiddler, there would be no music if you had the finest 
fiddle in the world. 

"This Self of yours can develop any part of your 
brain you desire him to. All you have to do is to will 
it with all your might, and he will do it with your 
help. 

"There is a separate apartment in your brain for each 
kind of knowledge. There is one for reading, one 
for writing, one for arithmetic, and one for music, and 
this one is divided into two rooms, one where you 
read music, and another where you execute it. 

"There is an apartment for each language that you 
may learn. So if you should learn a dozen different 
languages, there is a separate shelf in your brain where 
these are stored away. 

"Now, here is an amazing fact. You can destroy 
that compartment of your brain where is stored the 
power to read music, and while you can no longer read 
music you can execute it. Or you can have the music- 



The Mind Builder at Work 149 

playing room destroyed, and while you can read music 
perfectly, you cannot play a note. So with language. 
Suppose you learn English, Latin and Greek. These 
are all stored on separate shelves of your language 
library. If you destroy the English shelf, you can still 
speak Latin and Greek, but not a word of English. If 
you should have an injury that destroyed your Latin 
and Greek shelves, but left your English shelf intact, 
you could speak English, but would not remember one 
word of Latin and Greek. 

"What happened when I received this injury to my 
head? It disarranged or destroyed the place in which 
I kept names. Now you don't suppose that the real 
I, the personality that first put the names in this par- 
ticular portion of my brain has forgotten my name, do 
you, or that he has quit his job? 

"My accident grounded the wire over which this 
self sent the names to my brain, and he is there ready 
to send them again as soon as another house is built 
to receive them. 

"And this other fellow can build the house just as 
easily as he can place the names in it. 

"These separate rooms in my brain are so tiny you 
can hardly see them, but they can never be filled. The 
more you put into one of these rooms, the more it will 
hold! 

"Now, how am I going to induce this wonder- 
worker, this wizard, to rebuild my name-house and put 
the names back in it? 

"There is but one way, and that is by desiring it. 
If I desire it with all my heart, this genius will get 
busy and renew my name house and fill it with names. 

"Desire comes from the animal part of us. All ani- 
mals have desires. The horse gets hungry and desires 
food. A man gets hungry and desires to know, and 



150 Peggy Ware: 

this desire is flashed to man's other Self, and the 
knowledge comes back over the same wire. 

"I desire with all the power within me that my 
name house be rebuilt, and I know that the work is 
now going on, and when it is complete, this miracle 
worker will begin to put names in it — and one of these 
days, I'll probably shout my name aloud for joy. 

"Sometime you must read the wonderful story of 

the deaf and dumb and blind girl who learned to read 

and write. Her name is — you see, I can't remember." 

"Helen Kellar," suggested Peggy, "and she was 

born within a hundred miles of this spot." 

"I thank you for helping me out," he said, and con- 
tinued : 

"When nineteen months old she had an attack of 
cerebro-spinal meningitis, which left her totally blind 
and deaf, and dumb, also, for she had not yet learned 
to talk. Till her seventh year she was wholly depend- 
ent upon her senses of smell, taste, and touch, for all 
her information. 

"At this period of her life, a teacher was employed 
for her, whose effort was to teach her language by 
tracing on the palm of her hand the letters spelling 
"doll" and "cake." Finally she could make them herself 
without knowing what they meant. 

"A month from the beginning of her education, the 
awakening came. Her teacher had her hold a mug in 
her hand at a pump, and as the water filled the mug 
and ran on her hand the teacher traced the letters 
'w-a-t-e-r' on the palm of her free hand. She dropped 
the mug, and a new light came into her face. She 
spelled water several times. This blind, deaf, and 
dumb girl suddenly understood that the symbol traced 
on her palm meant 'water.' She had learned a word. 



The; Mind Builder at Work 151 

" From that instant her personality was set free, 
like a prisoner liberated from a dark dungeon. 

"The next morning she arose like a radiant fairy. 
She flitted from object to object, asking the name of 
everything, kissing her teacher for the first time in 
her gladness. 

"How she learned to talk and has become one of the 
most accomplished women of our time is known to all 
the world. Some day we will read the story of her 
life together. 

"It was her great, longing desire that reached her 
Soul, and the Soul that already knows, communicated 
its knowledge to her. 

"We want to begin our education by doing just what 
this girl did. Send out strong desires for knowledge 
to our Souls, and they will tell us all things that we 
want to know." 

He had finished, and was about to resume his seat. 

"Mr. Mind Builder, where does my soul get its 
knowledge?" asked Peggy, her cheeks aflame and her 
eyes glowing with a desire to know more of this magic 
self which the speaker had boldly called the Soul. 

"You want to get me into deep water where I might 
drown," he said, laughingly. "Perhaps, some day, 
you and I may solve that problem working together." 



Chapter Twelve 
SEEKING REST AND FINDING NONE 

SEVERAL weeks had elapsed since the "Mind 
Builder's" first lecture, but it still lingered with 
Peggy. He had given her a rational, tangible 
proof of what she had already felt in her soul, as well 
as laying down a scientific basis for proper mental 
development. 

Already the result of his teaching could be seen. 
Her pupils displayed a new enthusiasm, for they had a 
definite understanding of what they were doing, and 
their advance in knowledge was nothing short of phe- 
nomenal. Their development of character was equally 
striking, for the same*methods used for brain building 
will also build character. 

Peggy had taken the position that these methods 
would apply to body building as well, and under her 
guidance the faces of the pupils were undergoing a 
gradual change, quite in keeping with their growth of 
character. 

Noting this change, Cliff Anderson remarked to 
Peggy one day : "I declare, Miss Peggy, yore scholars 
are gittin' better lookin' every day. I believe the gals 
will be as purty as you by an' by, an' the boys as 
hansum as the 'Mind Builder.' Even these old folks 
don't look as mean as they did. 

Peggy felt more and more the importance of com- 
muning with that invisible source of her strength, and 
at her suggestion, Anderson had built a house for her 

152 



Seeking Rest and Finding None 153 

out of hickory logs with the bark on, and at one end a 
chimney of rough cobblestones with an open fireplace, 
and Simon had provided wood to be used when the 
weather was cold. In this room there was an easy 
chair, a couch which Anderson had purchased some- 
where without Peggy's knowledge, a small table, on 
which sat a vase for flowers, which Simon filled every 
morning. Beside the vase rested her mother's Bible, 
the only book in the room. Over the doorway there 
was written "Shrine of Silence," and no one ever 
crossed its threshold without Peggy's permission. 

It was built in a secluded nook, and from one win- 
dow Peggy could see a waterfall made by Sauty Creek, 
while from another she got a marvelous view of the 
winding Tennesse River, with its valley as fertile as 
that of the Nile. 

When it was complete, and Peggy had taken posses- 
sion, Cliff Anderson came to the door one day and 
said : " 'Scuse me, Miss Peggy, fer comin' up here, 
but I got to talk to you. I jest can't hold in no 
longer." 

She invited him in, but he said: "No, I ain't fit to 
come in, 'cause I know this is whare you talk to God, 
an' I ain't fitten to stand any place whare he has ever 
been. I'll jest stan' here on the outside, an' you set 
there whare I kin see you." 

"I guess you wus the beginnin' of all my trouble, 
Miss Peggy, fer my conscience had never pestered me 
much 'til you come to Bucks Pocket. Sence you come, 
somethin's got holt of me, an' I have fit it an' fit it, an' 
it ain't no use. It's about to lick me." 

"What is the trouble, Mr. Anderson?" asked Peggy, 
sympathetically. 

"It's purty hard to say it," replied Anderson, "but 



154 Peggy Ware 

I recon the easiest way is to spit it right out. I am 
the biggest liar in the State I" 

"Oh, Mr. Anderson, you don't mean it! I think you 
are the soul of truth and honor," exclaimed Peggy. 

"That's whare I got you fooled. I got Molly fooled, 
too. She don't know it, en if she did I guess she'd 
quit me afore night an' git a divorce, an' I would be 
ruint without Molly," and the big man swallowed hard. 

"I don't understand, Mr. Anderson; you'll have to 
explain." 

"They ain't much explainin' to do. I told jest one 
big lie in my life to Molly, an' it wus that big an' 
black that I feel like a wurser liar than old man Ana- 
nias the preachers talk about. 

"I didn't useter think much about it 'til you all 
come, an' then somethin' waked up in me, an' it's 
eatin' an' gnawin' day an' night, an' ef it do'nt stop, 
it's gwine to eat my heart out." 

"Won't you tell me what it is? You know you can 
trust me," pleaded Peggy. 

"Yes, I know I kin trust you, but I am afeard of 
Molly an' Ruth, an' you an' God an' everybody. You'll 
hate me, so'll Molly an' Ruth an' the whole world will, 
jest as I know God does." 

"Oh, Mr. Anderson, God doesn't hate you ; He loves 
you, no matter what you have done, and I see in you 
such a noble soul that no matter what your past may 
have been, I'd trust you with my life, and I am sure 
that Mrs. Anderson and Ruth will love you just the 
same after you tell them." 

"That's whare you don't know Molly Anderson," 
he said. "She'd never, never fergive me." 

"What I come to ax you is how to git away frum 
this thing that's eatin' me up. I thought when I quit 
makin' wildcat licker, deeded yore school all this land 



Seeking Rest and Finding None 155 

and went to work as yore boss whare I could be nigh 
you an' hear you talk, I could git over it, but it gits 
woser an' woser." 

"Mr. Anderson, there is but one course to pursue, 
and that is to make a clean confession of this wrong — 
lie as you call it — to the persons you have wronged," 
and Peggy looked at the suffering man earnestly. 

He stood there, silent for a long time, his gaze 
fixed on Peggy's face, as though he were looking at 
her for the last time. Then turning slowly away, he 
said : "Thank you, Miss Peggy, but I'd ruther die 
than tell it." 

When Peggy returned home, her father was not 
there. The children told her that he said he did not 
want supper, and that they were not to wait for him. 
Peggy's anxiety about her father had grown more 
acute of late. But for her unswerving faith, she could 
not have sustained this burden. When she most needed 
her father, he had utterly failed her. He was both a 
mill-stone about her neck and a mountain on her heart. 

Day by day she had watched him as his face grew 
more pallid, his eyes more hopeless, and his once splen- 
did physique but a pitiful reminder of what had been. 
She had talked to him, reasoned with him, prayed for 
him, wept for him in secret, and then met him with 
smiling countenance. 

She knew there was but one remedy for the storm- 
tossed spirit of her father, seeking rest and finding 
none. Nor did she doubt that he would find the haven 
of rest, even if in death ; but her soul longed to see him 
live, a new man, big, strong, forceful, helpful, his life 
a benediction to his children and the world. Ralph and 
Virginia needed him. She needed him, the world 
needed him, and most of all, he needed himself, that 
wonderful Self that was striving hard to reach him. 



156 Peggy Ware 

She remembered that she had somewhere read these 
lines: 

"Oh, better self, art thou like me astray? 
Seeking with all thy heart to find thy way to mine?" 

And these words were echoing - in her heart as she 
strolled down to Simon's cabin to inquire if he had 
seen her father. 

The door was ajar, and hearing voices within, she 
hesitated about interrupting them. 

The first sentence she heard gave her such a start 
that she was rooted to the spot, and without any 
thought of eaves-dropping, she lingered, listening to 
the conversation. 

"Simon," said her father, "I have about made up my 
mind to put an end to my miserable existence, and I 
thought I'd tell you, because there is no other person 
I dare talk to about it." 

"Pore chile, pore chile," the old darky crooned, "how 
sorry I is fer ye. Plow I wish I could take all yore 
load on my shoulders, case Pd know right whare to go 
to git rid of it." 

"I know what you are going to say, Simon, but it's 
no use. I have gone all over that ground a thousand 
times, and I come back to the same conclusion. 

"Of course, you can talk about God and His good- 
ness, but he has never afflicted you as he has me. He 
first permitted my child to be stolen, and then He took 
my wife. And if there is a God, He is cruel." 

"Massa Ware, I been wantin' to say somethin' to 
you fer a long time, but I ain't nevah said it. I knowse 
dat I ain't nuthin' but an ignant old nigger, an' I alius 
tries to keep my place, an' not be disrespec'ful, but 
dis time Pm gwine to do some plain talkin', no mattah 
what happens. 

"In de fus place, de Lawd had nothin' to do with 



Seeking Rest and Finding None 157 

takin' yore wife or baby. How any edycated white 
man kin accuse God of it gits by me. I knowed bettah 
dan dat all my life. 

"In de secon' place, you ain't had no trouble. You 
don't know what real trouble is. Let me tell you 
what I calls trouble. 

"When I wus a little boy over in Africa, de wicked 
slaver come along and stole me an' las' I evah see of 
my pa and ma they wus reachin' out dey hans tow'd 
me, screamin' an' cryin'. 

"He brought me ovah to dis great Ian' an' sole me 
to a man what use to git drunk an' beat me 'til de 
blood drip off my heels. Bimeby I fell in luv wid de 
fines' black gal in de country an' we got married, an' 
had two of de grandes' little pickaninnies you evah 
saw. One day my Alassa sole my wife an' chilluns, 
an' dey wus carried way down to de cane fields of 
Louisiana, an' I ain't nevah seen or heerd ob 'em sense. 
An' de las' I see ob 'em, dey wus holdin' out dey hans 
fer me, cryin' an' callin' me. 

"Den I carried my captain off de battlefield, an' he 
died in my ahms. He was like a fathah to me an' it 
most broke my heart. I had to go tell my Missus 
about it, an' when she sobbed and cried, an' say, 'Oh, 
Simon, I dis can't stan' it,' I felt lak I would die. An' 
den, when I stood by her chile an' see her dead, never 
to speak again, an' you suffrin' so, an' de chilluns 
weepin', I say: 'Shorely old Simon has suffered 
enough.' 

"An' den, when we put her in de frozen groun' an' 
leabe her way up dar in de Cumberland mountains all 
by herself, I say, 'Bless God, her soul not in de grabe.' 

"An' den we cum heah, an' I see you sufferin' frum 
day to day, and dat deah chile of yorn doin' more dan 
any girl in de worl', needin' you so bad, an' my ole 



158 Peggy Ware 

heart des a-breakin' case I can't help her, I say 'Bless 
God, fer Miss Peggy; she's wuth all dis pore ole nigger 
evah suffered.' 

"An' den I feel like shoutin' Glory to de Lawd, fer 
He has been so good to me, nevah hidin' His face frum 
me in de darkes' hours." 

There was a long silence, during which Simon 
seemed to be weighing his words. And then he went 
on : "In de las' place, you is selfish. Yes, you don't 
see nuthin' but yoreself, an' he gits in yore way so you 
can't see yore Peggy sufferin' an' yore little Ralph an' 
Virginny reachin' out dey tiny han's fer help, an' you 
can't see God. You think He is hidin' His face frum 
you, an' all de time it's yore own shader dat hides His 
face. 

"He nevah hide His face frum any pore soul in dis 
worl' an' He nevah will. He alius dare wid His face 
shinin', en when you step frum behin' yore shader, 
you kin see Him, an' when you do, you'll say: 'What 
a pore blin' fool I been.' " 

By the time Simon finished, Peggy heard her father 
sobbing, and she wanted to fly to him and put her 
arms around him, but on second thought she decided 
not to do so. 

No other preacher, and no other sermon could have 
melted his heart. These were the first tears he had 
shed since her mother's death, and Peggy knew that 
the opening of the flood gates to his tears meant rest 
for his spirit. How long the way, how many dark val- 
leys he must yet traverse, she did not know, but her 
soul told her that his face would be from this time on 
turned toward the light. 

Noiselessly she slipped away, leaving her father still 
shaken by his emotion, while old Simon reverently ex- 
claimed : "Thank God ! Thank God !" 



Seeking Rest and Finding None 159 

"He saved others, himself he cannot save." These 
mocking words of the Jews as Jesus hung on the cross, 
kept ringing in Peggy's ears as she gazed into the 
starry night. Her every thought had been given to 
others, without a care for herself. She slept on straw 
that others might rest on downy beds, and there was 
never a thought of self-sacrifice. She was the com- 
forter and consoler of every one in distress in Bucks 
Pocket. Her shrine of Silence was becoming the 
Mecca for storm-tossed brains or aching hearts. 

Was there a vicious tempered, unruly boy in school? 

A few minutes in Peggy's shrine, and he came out 
subdued, the tears of penitence still trembling on his 
cheeks. 

Was some rough mountaineer, smarting under some 
insult, intent on revenge? 

A visit to the Silence room, and the anger and malice 
were all gone. 

Did some poor, hard-working mother bend under her 
load? A few words, and a handclasp from Peggy, and 
she went away with a song in her heart. 

Her vision took in all ignorant, distressed souls, and 
she often felt that she would gladly give her life if by 
so doing she could pour balm into every bleeding heart, 
and banish sin and disease from the world. 

But tonight she could not save herself. Her bark 
was storm-tossed, and there was no beacon light to be 
seen. Reacting from the burdens and sorrows of 
others, she was overwhelmed by the cry of her human 
heart. 

For a time the curtain was drawn between her and 
her vision. Her work faded, and there was nothing 
left on all her horizon save the figure of a man, hand- 
some, brilliant, magnetic, to whom she felt drawn by 
an irresistible force that she had tried with all her 



160 Peggy Ware 

might to break. But tonight she felt helpless, and a 
sense of being swept out on the ocean by the pitiless 
tide, overwhelmed her. 

Ruth loved the man with all her intense, passionate 
nature, and it was evident to Peggy that the man was 
being swept off his feet by her beauty. 

Why must' she at the threshold of her life's work 
feel this cruel thorn piercing her heart? 

She cried out for someone to remove it, and heal the 
wound that it had made. 

She tossed on her bed, the fever burned her brow, 
her spirit, like her body, was storm shaken. Unable to 
sleep, she arose, lit her lamp, and picking up her Bible, 
it opened at those words of Paul that have caused so 
much speculation : 

"And lest I should be exalted above measure through 
the abundance of the revelations, there was given to 
me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to 
afflict me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 

"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it 
might depart from me. 

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for 
thee ; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 

Now she knew that this thorn would never be 
plucked from her heart, but ever and always it was to 
be a reminder of her weakness, and God's strength. 
And the pain would sweeten her life, and the suffering 
make her one with all humanity. 



Chapter Thirteen 
THE AWAKENING 

THE hour had struck for Wilbur Ware — the hour 
of death or victory. There comes to every soul, 
sometime, somewhere, that supreme moment 
when the material man and super-natural man grapple 
for the final struggle. Saint Paul called the two con- 
tending forces the natural man and the spiritual man. 

It is the darkest and most hopeless hour of a man's 
life. No other tragedy, not even death, is comparable 
to it. The sun is blotted out, the stars no longer 
twinkle in the blue, man's reason staggers like a 
wounded Cyclops, and the contest between these giant 
wrestlers takes place where no mortal eye can see and 
no friendly hand can help. 

In his extremity, Paul was totally blind, and for 
three days and nights without food or drink. When 
his soul had triumphed, the scales fell from his eyes 
and he was filled with the Holy Ghost. 

Elijah fled to a cave, and there in darkness fought 
his battle, and when the spiritual man triumphed, he 
heard the still, small voice. 

Even Jesus was not exempt from this supreme strug- 
gle. We are told that His disciples slept as He wres- 
tled with the man of flesh. As he prayed in Geth- 
semane His sweat, like great drops of blood, fell down 
to the ground. In His agony, He said: "My soul is 
exceeding sorrowful even unto death." And then He 
cried out : "O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup 

161 



162 Peggy Ware 

pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou 
wilt." When He thus made the surrender of self, an 
angel appeared strengthening Him. 

Wilbur Ware went out of Simon's cabin, groping in 
the dark. For him the light had failed. His reason 
had played him false, and now mocked him as he stum- 
bled through the darkness. Beyond the outposts of 
reason there lay an uncharted desert, which he knew 
he must cross, if he ever should find peace. The 
material man said: "It is impossible! It is nothing 
but a mirage, and what you imagine as a Paradise be- 
yond is empty nothingness. Turn back from this 
hallucination, and let me guide you to the life worth 
while." 

He dared not turn back, for that way lay the hell 
of self, of which old Simon had told him. He had 
clung on to this self, not realizing that the devil he 
had preached about during the days of his ministry, 
was none other than the man of flesh that wages con- 
stant battle against the soul. He now understood the 
reality of this devil, and the certainty of the hell in 
which he had been tormented for months. 

He fell on his face, and for the first time in his life 
really prayed. Heretofore his prayers had been words, 
words, in which he told God what he wanted. Now, 
like Christ, he said, "not my will, but thine be done." 
He nailed self to the cross, and as he did so, the devil 
was vanquished, and the fires of hell extinguished. 
Across the trackless desert there lay a friendly road, 
marked by the footprints of all great souls who had 
trod the same way. Faith burned a glorious beacon 
light, driving away the shadows of faulty reason. His 
soul had triumphed, and like Jacob at Peniel, he could 



The Awakening 163 

say, "I have seen God face to face, therefore I do not 
believe in Him, I know Him." 

Wilbur Ware was born again, born of the spirit, 
conscious of his soul, and of his oneness with God, his 
Father. 

Jesus said: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye 
must be born again." This new birth is just as essen- 
tial today as when Jesus uttered these words. It opens 
the portals to salvation, and there is no other road. 
The Master said: "He that entereth not by the door 
into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, 
the same is a thief and a robber." 

The sun's first rays kissed the tallest peaks, as Wil- 
bur Ware set his face homeward, a new light in his 
eyes, a new song in his soul, and a great love for all 
the world. 

At the threshold of his home, Peggy embraced and 
kissed him rapturously, while Ralph and Virginia fairly 
danced for joy. They did not understand the miracle, 
but felt its presence. 

Simon, unashamed of his tears of joy, exclaimed: 
"Lawd, I'se seen dy Salvation, an' Fse ready to go 
des any time you calls me !" 

Wilbur Ware was indeed and in truth a new man 
He told Peggy he was going with her to her school. 
He had never been there. In fact, he had shunned 
publicity and avoided meeting people. Those who 
happened to meet him were not drawn to him. They 
did not like him. Just why, they could not have told 
you. 

When he entered the school room there was a mild 
sensation. Cliff Anderson, who still attended Peggy's 
class for illiterates, sat in open-mouthed astonishment. 

The usual opening service concluded, Peggy said: 
"My father is going to talk to you this morning, and I 



164 Peggy Ware; 

am so glad. You don't know how happy it makes me 
to have him with us." Her radiant face gave em- 
phasis to her words. 

Wilbur Ware's words electrified his hearers. Peggy's 
soul was thrilled. This was the supreme moment for 
which she had waited and prayed so long. Her father 
was now a giant, ready to help her carry forward her 
work. All felt a tremendous force emanating from this 
newly awakened man. 

At the conclusion of his address, the older people 
gathered around to grasp his hand. 

As Cliff Anderson did so, he said : "Ware, ef I wus 
a Christian, I'd say thank the Lord, but as I ain't 
nuthin' but a has-been old Wild Catter, I'll say thank 
Miss Peggy." 

Holding the big, rough hand of Anderson firmly in 
his, looking steadily intp his fearless gray eyes, Wilbur 
Ware said: "Mr. Anderson, you are a Christian, and 
don't know it." 

Anderson, deeply touched, tried to hide his emotion. 
"It'll be a long road fer me, parson," he said, "fer I've 
been gwine the wrong way mos' all my life." 

"I have never seen a more unselfish man, Mr. An- 
derson, and the surrender of self is the crucial test 
after all." 

"That's whare you're badly fooled," exclaimed the 
old man, shaking his head slowly, "I ain't never made 
no self surrender, as you call it. I'm still a rebel, an' 
afore Cliff Anderson surrenders somethin' mo' pow'ful 
got to hit him than ever struck him yet." 

Wilbur Ware was awake for the first time in his 
life. He had found that Something, that made him a 
human dynamo. 

When we really crucify self, and allow the soul to 



Ths Awakening 165 

guide us, we come into touch with the source of all 
power and of all wisdom. The super-race will arrive 
when all men come to know and live this truth. It has 
been beclouded and befogged by man-made theology, 
and God has been placed upon a throne afar off, until 
many thinking men and women have been driven away 
from the churches, seeking for the truth elsewhere. 

Henceforth Wilbur Ware was ready to preach the 
truth, calling men and women back to the church, and 
his soul was filled with a joy and peace that he had 
never dreamed was possible. 

Throwing himself into the work, his bodily strength 
returned, and he never tired. His enthusiasm was con- 
tagious, and all of Bucks Pocket responded as it had 
already done to Peggy's vision. 

Plans were drawn for substantial school buildings, 
dormitories, and workshops, and a community church. 
The three-room log school house was to forever stand 
and be incorporated into the larger plans. The build- 
ings were to be constructed in units, so they could be 
added to as the work grew. 

When the first unit of the school building was com- 
plete, it was dedicated by appropriate ceremonies. A 
large flag was unfurled above it, there to float in the 
breeze, an earnest that the Peggy Ware school stood 
for Americanism. 

When this work was complete, Wilbur Ware planned 
to make of the church a community center for all gath- 
erings and entertainments as might be for the welfare 
of the community. 

A church was organized, without creed, dogma, or 
theology. "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and thy neighbor as thyself" was written in large let- 
ters on the walls. 



166 Peggy Wars 

At the suggestion of the "Mind Builder," a chime of 
bells had been installed, and he undertook the ringing 
of the chimes on Sunday mornings. 

On the first Sunday after their installation, he went 
to the church to ring the chimes. It was an hour 
before the time for services, and Ruth had accompanied 
him, for they had become almost inseparable. The 
music of the bells began, and Peggy, who always came 
early, slipped into a seat and listened. How wonder- 
ful it seemed to the dwellers in Bucks Pocket. No- 
where in the world perhaps is there a more remarkable 
echo than in this little Pocket in the side of the moun- 
tain. As each note pealed forth, it traveled until it 
struck one of the walls of the Pocket, and then it was 
hurled back on the opposite side, and anon it traveled 
out, out across the Tennessee, dying away, to be fol- 
lowed closely by another. 

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me," pealed forth the chimes, 
and the inhabitants lifted their eyes to the giant cliffs 
rising high above them. 

And now another tune came from the deep throated 
bells. It was that cry of the soul, "Nearer, my God, 
to thee, nearer to thee." Every note was a prayer, 
every echo a call to God. 

As the tones mounted higher and ever higher, the 
ringer had a vision of the snow-capped Alps, and 
nestling at its foot a Swiss village. He saw himself a 
barefoot boy, standing beside the old Swiss bell ringer, 
taking his first lesson. As the golden tones of the bells 
seemed to speak the words: "Even though it be a 
cross that raiseth me," his body swayed, he clasped his 
forehead with both hands, a wondrous light beamed 
from his countenance, as he shouted : "My name ! My 
name is — is Doctor John Weston ! My soul has tri- 
umphed, and my theory is proven to the world !" 



The: Awakening 167 

Ruth was overwhelmed with joy. His enthusiasm 
had caught her in its sweep, and with her hands on his 
shoulders, her soul in her eyes, she hung on his words. 

Seizing her in his arms, he drew her to him, and 
their lips met for the first time. Thus they stood, the 
man lifted out of himself by the great miracle of his 
triumphant genius, while the woman was equally 
transported by the miracle of love. 

Peggy clutched her breast with both hands. The 
wicked thorn was tearing at her heart, and at every 
beat the blood was trickling from the cruel wound. 
She staggered to her feet, and reeled blindly as she 
groped her way from the church. 

Not far away was her shrine of silence. Could she 
reach it before she fell? By a tremendous effort of the 
will, she did, and as the door closed behind her, she 
fell upon her knees, her face buried in her mother's 
open Bible, sobbing uncontrolledly. 

Slowly the storm of grief subsided ; she raised her 
tear-dimmed eyes, and they rested on a cluster of white 
roses that Simon had placed on the table. They were 
still damp with the morning dew, and as Peggy inhaled 
their fragrance, a sweet peace stole into her heart, 
albeit the pain was still there. 

She was late for church, and John Weston was 
sorely disappointed, for it was to Peggy that his 
thoughts turned when he became conscious of his 
name. To her he wanted to tell the wonderful news. 
Every one was wondering about her tardiness. She 
was always in her place, and no service would have 
been complete without Peggy. 

At last she came, and the "Mind Builder," now Dr. 
John Weston, had never seen her so radiantly beauti- 
ful. Her face was unusually pale, but this accentuated 
the brilliancy of her glorious eyes. 



168 Peggy Ware 

When she sang a solo, as was her custom, his soul 
was once more in the noble Alps, and Peggy was by 
his side. 

At the close of the service, he rushed to her, telling 
her the glad news. "I am no longer the 'Mind 
Builder'," he declared joyously, "but Doctor John Wes- 
ton, at your pleasure. And you are Miss Peggy Ware," 
he said, extending his hand in friendly greeting. 

As Peggy placed her cold fingers in his warm, palpi- 
tating palm, she said faintly : "I am so glad." Before 
he could reply she was gone. 

In alarm he followed her out of the church, Ruth 
keeping pace with him. "Are you ill, Miss Ware?" he 
inquired anxiously, when he had overtaken her. 

"No, I think not, Mr. Mind Builder — I should say, 
Doctor Weston. It must be the proof of your won- 
derful theory that has overwhelmed me. For a mo- 
ment I was lost in the most wonderful speculations, 
but I am gradually getting my feet back to earth." 
She laughed her old musical laugh, and Weston's anxi- 
ety was soon forgotten in the exhilaration of his new- 
found joy. 

"Tell me," said Peggy, "all about yourself. Who 
are you? Where did you come from? And in the lan- 
guage of Cliff Anderson, 'Where are you gwine'?" 

"There you go ! Always wanting to know the why 
of everything. I am sure I can never fully satisfy that 
inquiring, analytical mind of yours." 

"Anyway, you can tell us all about yourself, and 
that will satisfy us for the present, won't it Ruth?" 

Thus appealed to, Ruth turned her dark eyes toward 
Doctor Weston, and the telltale blushes in her cheeks 
left no doubt in the mind of Peggy that Doctor Weston 
was the most interesting subject in all the universe to 
Ruth. 



The; Awakening 169 

"To begin at the beginning-," he said, "I was born in 
Switzerland. My parents died when I was quite young, 
and I was reared by a grand old physician, who was 
also my guardian. My father left me considerable 
money, so my education was not neglected. 

"I chose medicine as my profession, and had the 
advantage of the best medical schools in Europe. My 
mind turned strongly to psychology and metaphysics, 
and the human mind became to me the most absorbing 
theme that could engage a man's attention. 

"In my study of anatomy, I tried to locate the seat 
of consciousness. In the laboratory I became con- 
vinced that so far as concerns man's body, he was no 
more than any other animal. In fact, I know that the 
atoms that compose man's body are identical with the 
atoms composing all animal and vegetable life. I fur- 
ther learned that these atoms in their last analysis are 
nothing but force, electricity, if you please. All so- 
called matter is embedded in the universal ether, so 
that it is a part and parcel of this mysterious sub- 
stance we call the universal ether, for lack of a better 
name. Back of this force, or universal ether, is mind 
— the universal mind — the all-mind — God. 

"I became convinced that matter and force are sim- 
ply forms, or manifestations, of mind, and that, inas- 
much as all so-called matter is identical, all life had a 
common origin. This common origin, to my mind, 
could have been no other than the universal mind, 
giving expression in force and matter. 

"But I found that while man's atoms and origin were 
identical with all other forms of life, there was some- 
thing that removed him from the highest forms of 
animal life as far as the heavens are above the earth. 

"My investigations and experiments led me to study 
the brain of man as the seat of his intelligence. I 



170 Peggy Ware 

became an acknowledged authority on the brain, and 
wrote a book that has been accepted as authoritative 
by the medical profession throughout Europe and this 
country. 

"In my book I took the position, as you already 
know, that the brain is but the instrument of the soul 
— the soul being the real I, the man himself, while the 
body is merely his temporary abode. 

"It was natural that I should make a study of so- 
called insanity. It was this phase of my work that 
finally brought me to the United States. The wife of 
a great fiancier had been pronounced hopelessly insane, 
and owing to the peculiar form of her malady, unlike 
any case on record, I crossed the ocean to treat her. 
Her cure was considered by the profession almost a 
miracle, but I knew that it was the application of sim- 
ple mental laws that brought about the healing. 

"I had heard of a peculiar form of insanity in the 
mountains of the South, especially among the women, 
called the "lonesome disease," and it was partly to 
study this strange phenomenon and partly for recrea- 
tion that I came to Chattanooga. 

"Here I heard of Bucks Pocket, the Peggy Ware 
School, and was also told that I could find in this 
neighborhood the genuine "lonesome" disease. So I 
boarded the steamer at Chattanooga for Bucks Pocket, 
landed at the most available point, and was proceeding 
in this direction, when two inquisitive strangers, think- 
ing me a revenue officer, proceeded to knock me on the 
head and bury me. You know my story from that 
interesting episode to the present moment. 

"I might add, by way of explanation, that when I 
was a boy I was very much attached to the old Swiss 
bell ringer who resided in our village. It was the 
height of my ambition at that stage of my life to fol- 



The Awakening 171 

low his profession. He taught me what I know about 
ringing the chimes, and having considerable musical 
talent, I was an apt pupil. Today, as I heard the 
chimes for the first time in Bucks Pocket, I seemed to 
be a boy again in the little Swiss village, standing be- 
side my dear old friend, when all at once the bells 
seemed to thunder my name in my ears. 

"This is my story, and I am the happiest man in all 
the land, for now I can take up my work where I left 
it off." 

"Which means, I suppose, that you will leave us and 
return to Switzerland," said Peggy, a catch in her voice 
and her lips once more deathly white. 

"I have no plans for the immediate future," he de- 
clared. "I haven't a relative in the world, and no 
reason for going any particular place. My work may 
be here. I am going to wait and see. I am sure I will 
know when the time comes to decide." 

"Oh, I do hope you won't go away, Doctor Weston," 
exclaimed Ruth. "Peggy and I could never live here 
after you were gone !" She threw her arms impulsively 
about Peggy and pressed her cheek to Peggy's, golden 
hair mingling with raven tresses. 

The man looked at the picture thus made by the 
two girls long and earnestly. They were both beauti- 
ful, but of a very different type. Ruth was vibrant 
with the life of the green grass, the bursting buds, the 
babbling brooks, the songs of the birds. She was the 
child of nature, and her every gesture was eloquent of 
the magnetism of her body. 

Peggy, while possessing all the charms of a red- 
blooded woman, was filled with a something that made 
you think of starry heights, the ocean's roll, the cry of 
humanity, the cross of Calvary, the crown of glory, 
and the music of the spheres. 



172 Peggy Ware 

He was spellbound as he watched the lights and 
shadows that played on the faces of these two unusual 
women — one contented, happy in her love for him, 
accepting his every word and thought as her own ; the 
other, a soul touched by the Divine spark, responding 
to his thoughts, leaping the intellectual and spiritual 
heights by his side, or perhaps preceding him and beck- 
oning him to follow. 

To Ruth the whole world revolved around Doctor 
Weston, and nothing more was to be desired ; while to 
Peggy he was a kindred spirit, a soul that had come to 
her soul out of the night, and their thoughts, their 
hopes, their aims were one, and words were unneces- 
sary between them. 

Suddenly he exclaimed : "Peggy, where have I 
known you before? I have a vision of you sitting by 
my side, holding my hand for ages. It seems that it 
was from the beginning — from the time my soul first 
awoke from its long sleep." 

Peggy did not reply. She probably could not have 
done so, if she had tried. 

He continued: "I had this peculiar feeling as I lay 
unconscious after receiving my injury — that some good 
angel had been with me through a million years of 
unconscious wanderings, and finally when I found my- 
self, this good angel," patting Ruth's head, "sat beside 
me and held my hand." 

Ruth did not tell him that it was Peggy who held his 
hand through the long night, while his soul wandered 
through strange lands, tempted never to return to his 
body, brought back, perhaps, by the longings of Peggy's 
soul. 

Peggy could not tell him; nor did she want him to 
know. She hoped that this secret would be hidden 



The Awakening 173 

from him until that day when their souls should stand 
revealed, free from the limitations of the flesh. 

They had sat down on a moss-covered bank by the 
roadside, beneath the shadow of a giant white oak, 
hundreds of years old. The spirit of God seemed to be 
brooding over Bucks Pocket, and Peggy, at least, felt 
that a great work was being wrought here in the wilds 
of nature, with Nature's untutored children. 

This feeling was shared to some extent by Dr. Wes- 
ton, who said : "I feel somehow drawn to this spot by 
an unseen force, and it may be that here, where I lost 
my name, I am to lose myself." 

"Perhaps it is here that you are to find yourself, 
Doctor Weston. Your coming here is a part of the 
great design in the weaving of life's web," said Peggy. 
"We may not be able to see, but the Weaver knows. 
The weaver is the soul, and he leaves nothing to 
chance, for the soul is an expression of the Divine intel- 
ligence that sees and knows the end from the be- 
ginning." 

A savage growl startled the little group, and, looking 
in the direction from which it proceeded, they saw two 
men of the rough mountaineer type leading a vicious- 
looking bulldog. His eyes were red and bloodshot, his 
tongue black and swollen, protruding from his mouth, 
while he was well nigh exhausted from his fierce efforts 
to break away from the two men. Each man had a 
rope about his neck, so that if he started in the direc- 
tion of one of them the other could pull him in the 
opposite direction. 

Peggy, always solicitous about anything in distress, 
even an ugly dog, asked the men to stop and tell her 
about this miserable, savage-looking animal. 

"Wall, Miss," said one of them, "this is the meanest 
dog in Bucks Pocket. He belonged to old man Renfro, 



174 Peggy Ware 

who lived up in one o' them deep gulches all by hisself, 
jest him an' the dog. They named him Satan when 
he were a pup, an' nobody would have him 'cept the ol' 
man. When he growed up, he could whopp any six 
dogs in the Pocket, an' no man wus safe to come nigh 
ol' Renfro's cabin. The ol' man died sometime back, 
we don't know jist how long, but some folks seed the 
buzzards flyin' roun' his cabin, and we decided to see 
what it all meant. We crawled up becase we wus 
afeerd of Satan, an' when we got whare we could see, 
thare lay the ol' man out in the yard, the dog settin' 
by him, an' every time a buzzard would try to light 
Satan would lunge at him like the very devil. He seed 
us, an' started at us like a mountain lion that ain't 
had nuthin' to eat in a month, an' we tore down the 
bushes gittin' away. 

"We finally got Bill Jenkins, who is a ol' cow- 
puncher, to lasso him, and when he got one lasso 
roun' his neck, and tied it to a tree, he throwed another 
one aroun' his neck, and tied it to another tree, so's 
we could git to the ol' man and plant him. Now we're 
takin' him down to the river to drown him, becase 
none of us like to shoot a dog, even ef he is as mean 
as the devil. It's bad luck, you know." 

"Won't you give him to me?" asked Peggy. "I want 
him." 

The men looked at her in speechless amazement. 
They knew and respected Peggy, and her desire would 
be to them a command in ordinary matters; but her 
wish to own Satan was little short of madness. "You 
shorely don't mean it, Miss," said the spokesman. 
"He'd kill you ef he wus turned loose, an' ef we tried 
to take the lassoes off, he'd eat us up." 

Without further argument, Peggy approached the 



The Awakening 175 

angry dog. He growled viciously, and the men pulled 
hard on their ropes. 

"Let go the ropes," she commanded, and they did 
so, hurrying to a safe distance. 

Slowly, calmly, she approached him, her eyes looking 
kindly into the lurid eyes of the dog, speaking gently, 
soothingly. He began to wag his tail, and as she 
placed one hand on his head he whined, and the tears 
came to his inflamed eyes, angry no longer, and with 
his parched tongue, he gently licked her free hand. 

She removed the ropes, and putting her arms where 
they had cut his flesh, she said : "Come home with me. 
I want you. I understand you. You have never had 
a chance, but your opportunity is coming. I am going 
to give you a new name, for you are entering on a new 
life. In the old life they called you Satan (that means 
self; but in your new life you are to be known as Hero, 
for no dog, or man either, can be a hero until he gets 
rid of Satan." 

Peggy laughed at this odd conceit of hers, and the 
others joined her, the two men going away, shaking 
their heads in bewilderment, muttering, "She ain't lak 
nobody else in this world." 

At the forks of the road Peggy told Doctor Weston 
and Ruth good-by. They watched her until she dis- 
appeared over a little hill, Hero walking lovingly by 
her side, while one of her hands rested on his head. 



Chapter Fourteen 
BACK TO THE OLD HOME 

WILBUR WARE had been consumed by a desire 
to return to his old home, but his life had been 
so full of activity since his new birth, that he 
had not at first mentioned it to Peggy. He had pur- 
chased a plain marble slab for his wife's grave, intend- 
ing to put it in place with his own hands whenever he 
could afford to make the trip. 

Finally he confided in Peggy, and she was more 
eager than her father, if possible, to carry out his plans. 

It was now the time of the summer vacation, and 
both were hoping that they might go before the open- 
ing of school in the autumn. In their perplexity, Cliff 
Anderson, as usual, came to the rescue. 

One morning, just after the family had finished break- 
fast, he burst in unceremoniously. "I jest come to tell 
you that my big automobile come down on the boat 
last night," he said, "and I brought her over an' she's 
standin' out on the front. The feller I bought it frum 
in Chattanooga showed me how to run it. Mebbe 
you'd like to look at her." 

Before he had finished, Peggy was half way to the 
front gate, followed by Ralph and Virginia, while 
Ware and Anderson brought up the rear. 

Peggy was laughing through her tears when Ander- 
son and her father came up. "What's the matter, Miss 
Peggy?" asked Anderson. "Don't you like her?" 

"I do like it, Mr. Anderson. I think it is beautiful, 

176 



Back to the; Old Home 177 

wonderful, but you should not have done that, Mr. An- 
derson." And she pointed to big letters on the body 
of the car, reading "Peggy Ware School, Bucks Pocket. 

"You have done too much already, and you must 
have the lettering removed. This car is for you, Mrs. 
Anderson, and Ruth, and I am so happy for them to 
have it. And you must not spoil it with those big 
letters." 

"Wall, now, I recon that is the purtyest part about 
the car, an' Molly an' Ruth insisted on it, an' 'corse I 
couldn't help myself." And he laughed good-naturedly. 

"She belongs to the Peggy Ware School, all right, 
but we can all ride in her, an' all I ax is that I can De 
your chawfer." 

He cut further protest short by saying: 

"When will you all be ready to go up in the Cum- 
berlands to yore old home? Me an' Molly'll be ready 
in the mornin'. I had been keepin' it as a sort of 
'sprise to you," he added, apologetically. 

"Can we be ready by morning, Peggy?" asked her 
father, trembling with excitement at this unexpected 
fulfillment of his dream. 

"We can be ready, father, but what about Ralph, 
Virginia, and Simon?" replied Peggy, her thoughts 
always of others. 

"Molly an' me done settled all that. Molly's sister 
is comin' to stay with Ruth, an' the kids can go up 
thare an' have a good time while we are gone. It'll be 
a change for 'em, an' Simon kin eat up thare an' help 
out with the chores. 

"Doctor Weston can keep things straight, an' the 
chilluns will fall in love with him, for he is the finest 
man I ever knowed. I wus suspicious of him at fust, 
an' didn't lak him, but ef thare ever wus a perfect 
man, it's him." 



178 Peggy Ware 

He looked away across the Tennessee to the Cum- 
berland range, dimly outlined in the distance, lost in 
thought for a long time, Peggy watching his face that 
had come to be so wonderful to her in its expression. 

Bringing himself out of his reverie with a great sigh, 
he said : "I jest been wonderin' whut it all means, this 
change in Bucks Pocket. I know it all started when 
Miss Peggy come, but whut brought her, I'd like to 
know?" 

"Then here comes this Doctor Weston, an' gits 
knocked on the head an' left fer dead, en, ef he hadn't, 
I guess he'd a been gone long ago, but now he's gwine 
to stay, an' he's axed Ruth to marry him. 

"Next the parson here, who didn't believe in God at 
all, has changed his mind, an' it's jest good to see him. 
An' thare's the school, an' the church, an' the bells 
makin' the mos' wonderful music on Sunday mornin', 
an' it's heaven right here in Bucks Pocket, whare it 
used to be Hell." 

" I wonder ef God really had anything to do with 
it?" and again he looked far away to his favorite moun- 
tains. "What do you think, Miss Peggy?" 

"I think, Mr. Anderson," replied Peggy, "that God 
guides every one of us, and that we all have a work to 
do in this world. Sometimes we refuse to follow His 
guidance, close our ears to the Divine voice, and fail 
to do our work, but it is never God's fault, but ours." 

"I have tried to follow the voice. I had a vision of 
this work, and deserve no credit for what little I have 
done, for I have done nothing more than my duty as I 
saw it. What I have done is so little compared to 
what you have done," and she grasped his hand, look- 
ing earnestly into his face. "You have done every- 
thing, Mr. Anderson, and it ought to be called the 
'Cliff Anderson School,' You are the big instrument 



Back to the; Old Home 179 

in God's hand, and I have been the means of getting 
the music out of the big fiddle." 

Anderson chuckled at this comparison. "You're the 
fust one that ever got any music outen me," he said. 
"An' I don't think it's me at all ; it's all you, an' I am 
jest like one of them big rock walls way up yander, 
that sends the echo of the bells back across the valley 
an' out over the Tennessee yander. Ef I kin jest echo 
yore music, Miss Peggy, it will be all I want. Jest to 
stan' lak one of them cliffs an' send back the music of 
yore soul to these mountain boys an' gals an' their 
daddies and mammies. 

"And when the old Cliff falls, sometime, jest put on 
my tombstone, 'He tried to be a good echo.' " 

Peggy's eyes were overflowing with tears. Her 
father's hand rested on the broad shoulder of the stal- 
wart ex-soldier and ex-King of the Wild Catters, and 
it was some time before the silence was broken. 

"You are one of God's noblemen, Mr. Anderson," 
spoke Wilbur Ware, with great feeling. "And if I 
can be half as big an echo as you have been to us, I 
shall be happy. 

"My life has been such a failure that I stand con- 
demned before you. With all my education and oppor- 
tunities I had at last to learn from you, Simon, and 
Peggy. To you I owe much, Mr. Anderson — more 
than I can ever repay !" 

A look of pain swept over Anderson's face. He 
shrank as from a blow. His usually steady hands shook 
like one with palsy. In a voice that seemed unnatural 
and far away, he said : "Don't talk that way. It hurts 
me. I ain't nuthin' but the meanest ol' devil in Bucks 
Pocket, an' some day you'll hate me wuser than pizen." 

Slowly he got into the new automobile, and he 
seemed to have grown old suddenly. There was a 



180 Peggy Ware 

stoop to his shoulders, a weariness to his step that 
they had not seen before. As he was leaving, he turned 
and looked back out of sad, lusterless eyes. 

"Be ready in the mornin' by six o'clock," he said, 
"fer it'll take us all day to git to Chattanooga." 

5JC * 5)5 * * ^ ♦ 

Before the sun's first rays had penetrated to the 
depths of the forest the "Peggy Ware School" auto- 
mobile was ready for its first journey. 

Cliff Anderson said: "Molly has put in grub jest 
lak they warn't nuthin' to eat outside Bucks Pocket." 

Ralph and Virginia were delighted to stay at Ander- 
son's big house. Simon's soul rejoiced because Peggy 
and her father were going back to the grave of his 
"Young Missus." 

When Peggy said, sorrowfully : "I am sorry you 
can't go, Simon," the old man replied cheerfully: 

"Don't mind me, chile. I'll be dah befo' you all gits 
dah. I foun' out long ergo to trabel widout goin' no- 
whare, an' I will be stan'in' by young Misses grabe 
when Massa Ware gwine ter preach he gran'est sar- 
mon you ebah heerd." 

He looked the prophet, with his venerable features, 
his unfathomable eyes, his snow white hair. "A black 
seer, a black saint," thought Peggy. "What vast store- 
houses of wisdom you have entered that the worldly 
wise know nothing about." 

Ruth was radiantly beautiful, and radiantly happy, 
as she stood beside Doctor Weston, waving farewell, 
and his face reflected a soul at peace. 

Molly Anderson's enthusiasm bubbled like a moun- 
tain spring, while her husband showed unusual excite- 
ment for him. 

Wilbur Ware's heart was too full for utterance. In 
the silence of his soul he communed with God. 



Back to the Old Home 181 

Peggy, whose laugh was the merriest, whose eyes 
were the brightest, whose cheeks the rosiest, the heart 
and soul of every group, shrank in her corner of the 
big automobile, tugging, tugging at the thorn in her 
heart. The more she tugged, the worse it pained her, 
until she resolved just to leave it alone and forget it. 

As they climbed the splendid road that carried them 
out of Bucks Pocket to the top of the mountain, she 
recalled their entry in an ox wagon, over an almost 
impassable trail. She drew a word picture of the 
scene, the old Wild Catter, with his long squirrel rifle, 
the beard hiding his features completely except his 
eyes, and his insistence that the Wares must not enter 
Bucks Pocket. 

"That wus Mart Suttles," said Anderson. He has 
cut them whiskers off. Got enough hair offen his face 
an' head to pad a saddle blanket, an' now he looks 
purty respectable. 

"You know he has been gwine to yore 'literate 
school, an' he kin read a lettle an' write his name, too. 
He is so proud of it that he goes around with a piece 
of chalk in his pocket, plankin' down 'Mart Suttles' 
wharever he kin find a big enuf place to write it. I 
tell you it all seems lak a dream to me. Ef it ain't no 
dream, then somethin' is leadin' us shore as yore born, 
an' ef it is somethin' leadin' us, I recon they ain't 
nothin' to do but foller. 

"I've got a strange feelin' this mornin' that some- 
thin' goin' to happen, an' I jest lak to think we're bein' 
led, 'case ef we is they can't nuthin' bad happen to us." 

No one made any reply. Anderson was not much of 
a talker, but when he got to going everyone listened, 
for he was likely to say something that you might have 
said yourself, if you had only thought about it. He 



182 Peggy Ware: 

was so abrupt and unexpected in his remarks that you 
never knew what was coming next. 

"They ain't nobody along this road 'cept us an' the 
birds, an' I want you to sing that 'Kindly Light' song 
that you sing fer us at church sometimes — the one you 
said President McKinley loved. It seems to me thay 
ain't no better place in the world to sing it." 

Without waiting to be urged, Peggy poured forth 
the words of the soul-inspiring hymn. The mocking 
birds ceased their songs to listen, and a thousand spirit 
voices seemed to take up the words and echo them 
through the forest. 

"The night is dark, and I am far from home, 
Lead Thou me on," 

And the golden voice died away, the echoes traveled 
farther and farther until you could not distinguish their 
faintest whispers, and then a thousand birds burst into 
a hallelujah anthem. 

******* 

When they reached Chattanooga, they realized for 
the first time that they were creating a sensation. 
Whether Cliff Anderson had any such idea in his head 
when he had placed in big letters "PEGGY WARE 
SCHOOL, BUCKS POCKET," on the sides of the 
automobile, was a matter of conjecture, for he kept his 
own counsel. Crowds gathered wherever they stopped 
and began to ask questions. 

A newspaper reporter, attracted by the unusual sign, 
and probably by the unusually beautiful face of Peggy 
Ware, attached himself to the party and became mas- 
ter of ceremonies. Here was a big story, and his paper 
needed it. 

Peggy protested stoutly, but for once Anderson had 
his way, and the outfit was soon photographed collec- 



Back to the Old Home 183 

tively and individually. Peggy was very beautiful, 
even if greatly embarrassed, as she posed for the pho- 
tographer. At the hotel she had to reveal her whole 
life, her work, her plans, her dreams, to this inquisi- 
tive young man. 

When he had found out all she knew, and some 
things she did not know, he turned his batteries on 
Wilbur Ware, Cliff Anderson, and Molly. 

He was told that they intended to leave early the 
following morning, but he persuaded them to remain 
over a day as the guests of his paper, promising to show 
them the Chickamauga battlefields, and many other 
places of interest. He knew that there were several 
good stories in connection with the Peggy Ware School 
and Bucks Pocket and he proposed to scoop the rival 
paper in good shape. 

When Peggy retired at the big hotel, she little 
dreamed that she would awake famous on the morrow. 
She slept late, and was finally awakened by Mrs. An- 
derson whispering through the keyhole : "Git up quick, 
Peggy, they's a whole passel of folks waitin' to see 
you. Cliff says the mayor is here an' a lot o' big bugs." 

Peggy was frightened when Mrs. Anderson spoke of 
the mayor. She opened the door and invited her in. 
"What is the trouble, Mrs. Anderson? What have we 
done?" queried Peggy, in much perplexity. 

"It wus all that cheeky newspaper feller," said 
Molly. "I can't read much, but he's got yore picter on 
the front page, an' on another one of me an' Cliff and 
yore daddy, an' the automobile with all them big let- 
ters on it. 

"An' yore pap's been readin' it to me and Cliff. He 
told all about yore school, an' yore dad's church, an' 
the thousand acres of land we deeded the school. An' 
then he told erbout Cliff bein' one time the Kingr of the 



184 Peggy Ware; 

Wild Catters, an' what good whiskey he used to make, 
an' erbout yore pap being' a preacher here in Chat- 
tanooga, whare you wus born, an' yore baby sister 
bein' stole by gypsies, an' a whole passel more I can't 
remember, and about a thousand lies, too ; some of 'em 
being about me, an' I'm gwine to tell him what I think 
of him if he comes roun' me any more, grinnin' an' 
bowin' like a jumpin' jack." 

Peggy was hurrying into her clothes, so excited that 
she hardly realized what she was doing. 

When Mrs. Anderson characterized the reporter as 
a jumping jack, Peggy laughed, and said: "What did 
he say about you, Mrs. Anderson?" 

"He said I looked meek and lowly, an' when yore 
dad read that Cliff jest roared an' said: 'Well she 
shore deceives her looks.' An' I ain't gwine to stan' 
fer any sich insult." 

Peggy was too much exicted to prolong the con- 
versation, and hastened to where her father and Cliff 
Anderson were waiting for her. 

"Has Molly told you the news?" asked Anderson. 

"Yes," replied Peggy, "she has given me a sketch of 
what the paper has to say about us ; but I don't see 
why it should interest strangers." 

"Wall, now, you jest wait a minit 'til you see that 
gang down thare in the parlor, headed by the mayor," 
said Anderson. "That newspaper kid has got 'em all 
corralled an' they are callin' fer Peggy Ware." 

"Oh, I can't face them. I'm afraid," Peggy ex- 
claimed, as she clung to her father's arm. 

Wilbur Ware's face was very grave and serious, but 
happy. "Peggy," he said gently, "it is very wonderful, 
the way God is leading you. There is nothing for you 
to fear, my child. Just follow the light, as you have 
done when your way was so dark, and all will be well." 



Back to the Old Home 185 

When she appeared at the doorway where the mayor 
and others awaited her, there was a murmur of aston- 
ishment. 

"This is my daughter, Peggy Ware," her father said, 
somewhat proudly, as every one present rose to greet 
her. 

"I am so glad you came to see me," she said sweetly; 
and the one sentence from the simple mountain girl, 
simply clad, had, made a champion of every man 
present. 

The mayor told her briefly that he had read in the 
morning paper of her school, and that he had often 
dreamed of such an institution for the boys and girls 
of the mountains, as he was a product of the mountains 
himself, but that it had been left for her to establish 
the first school where these boys and girls, no matter 
how poor, could be educated under the most favorable 
conditions in the world. He said he considered it an 
honor to meet her and to be allowed to be of some 
service to her institution. 

Deferentially, he asked how she proposed to get 
funds to maintain the school. 

Peggy looked around quite helplessly as she was 
called to answer this momentous question. Blushing 
and somewhat confused, she said: 

"I haven't thought very much about where the money 
would come from. I just know it will come when we 
need it," and her eyes were full of faith as she looked 
calmly into the eyes of the mayor. 

He was profoundly impressed, and bowing rever- 
ently before this mountain maid, he said : 

"In the language of our Master, 'I have not seen 
such faith, no not in all Israel'." 

He insisted on calling a public meeting for the bene- 



186 Peggy Ware; 

fit of the Peggy Ware School, and it was arranged that 
this meeting should be held when the Wares and An- 
dersons returned to Chattanooga on their way home. 

Peggy Ware was the sensation of Chattanooga. The 
story of her achievements seemed to electrify every 
heart, and her name was on every tongue. 

A busy day spent in sight-seeing, every moment of 
which was the opening of a new world to Molly An- 
derson, who had never traveled beyond her county- 
seat town before, and another night in the big hotel, 
from which Peggy could look down on myriads of 
dancing lights, and the party was ready for the journey 
to the old home. 

There was but little talking during the day, as no 
one seemed inclined to be communicative except Molly 
Anderson. The others were occupied with their 
thoughts. 

"You are the silentest lot I ever seed," said Mrs. An- 
derson, peevishly. "Here I am jest a-bustin' open to 
talk about all I've seen, an' you all set here an' say 
nuthin. I never knowed the world wus half so big 
before, an' I am that excited I ain't got good sense." 

As no one replied, she poked her husband in the ribs 
half angrily. "Wake up, Cliff, an' tell me sumthin'. 
Ain't this the place whare you got Ruth?" She did not 
seemingly complete the sentence, but the big man by 
her side was wide-awake now and annoyed, if not 
angry. 

"Yes," he hissed, "this is the place whare I got 
Ruth's big doll the last time I wus ever up here. I 
wonder how many more times you're gwine to ax me 
that d — d fool question." 

" 'Scuse me, Cliff, I didn't think." And she seemed 
half afraid of her husband. 



Back to the Old Home; 187 

"I ax yore pardon, all uv you," he said, shamefacedly. 
"Jest when you think you got the devil down, he rises 
up an' trips you. I guess it's a rasselin' match with a 
feller like me all his life." 

"Never mind, Mr. Anderson," said Peggy. "It 
doesn't sound half bad when you say it, and we'll all 
forget it, if you want us too." 

He turned in his seat so he could look her squarely 
in the face. 

"I'm lookin' at the best angel an' the grandest woman 
in all the world," he said. 

"Your wife and I are highly flattered, Mr. Anderson, 
for you were looking at both of us," Peggy laughingly 
replied. 

"Huh, he don't mean me," grunted his wife. "An' I 
wouldn't want him to class me with you, Peggy, 'cause 
they ain't nobody in the world in yore class." 

******* 

The news of the Wares' coming had preceded them, 
and the entire community for miles around gathered 
at the dilapidated old graveyard where Peggy's mother 
was buried. Peggy was kissed and caressed until a 
dear old soul came to the rescue. 

"Pore child," she said, "she won't have a stitch of 
clothes on ef everybody that loves her gits a chance to 
hug her, an' they won't git through afore sundown 
either." 

Of Wilbur Ware they stood in awe, for they remem- 
bered the austere doctrine he had preached to them, 
and then, after his wife's death, how he had denied 
God and burned his books. 

New earth had been heaped on the grave, and this 
was covered with flowers that had been brought by 
loving hands. The stone had been placed at the head 
of the grave, and everyone waited breathless for the 



188 Peggy Ware; 

first word from their former pastor. When he stood 
up and placed one hand on the stone, the people 
scarcely recognized him. 

His face had undergone a marvelous change. The 
corners of his mouth no longer drooped, and the hard, 
burdened, care-worn look had left his face. Peace and 
calm had taken the place of devastating doubt, and a 
radiance of love emanated from him that all could 
feel. 

"My friends," he said, "it is meet that I should come 
back to this spot to deliver my message to you and to 
the world. 

"When we were last here the clouds were lowering, 
the snow falling, and the winter wind shrieked through 
the trees, and my soul was more desolate than the 
winter, for I felt that God had hid His face from me. 

"Today it is summer. The sunshine is golden, the 
flowers are abloom,' the wind is as soft as evening 
zephyrs, and my soul rejoices because I have seen 
God face to face and know that He never hid His face 
from me, but that I hid my face from Him and refused 
to see Him. 

"When we buried my beloved wife, I refused to open 
my mouth, and you were all surprised, hurt, and indig- 
nant. I didn't know just why I did so then, but I 
understand now. I had nothing to say. I had no 
message of faith and hope, for I myself had none. 

"I had preached a dead religion to you, and when 
the great crisis came into my life, I had nothing to 
sustain me. I did not know God. My conception of 
Him was one based on man-made theology. The the- 
ology that I had learned makes God a big, all-powerful 
man, angry, revengeful, who must be propitiated in 
order to win His favor. 



Back to the; Old Home: 189 

"According to this teaching, He sits on a throne in 
His heavens, surrounded by a walled city, whose 
streets are paved with gold, ministered to by bands of 
angels who worship Him by casting their golden 
crowns at His feet, while He looks down into some 
cavernous depth where millions of poor souls are 
doomed to spend eternity, crying: 'Woe is me! Woe 
is me !' 

"I taught you that man is a poor, creeping worm of 
the dust, born to be eternally damned unless he can 
in some way appease the anger of God. The Jews did 
this by sacrificing lambs and goats, and the so-called 
heathen people all over the world did the same. More 
than seven hundred years before Christ came, God, 
speaking through His prophet Isaiah, said : 'I am full 
of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed 
beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of 
lambs or of he-goats.' 

"Almost six hundred years before Jesus came to this 
world, Buddha, a great prophet in India, said almost 
the identical words, and the priests tore down their 
altars and offered no more burnt sacrifices. 

"Moses allowed the Jews to worship God through 
the offering of their flocks, for their conception of God 
was wholly material, and they thought to obtain His 
favor by this sort of sacrifice. 

"When Christ came to the world, He proclaimed 
what Isaiah and all the prophets and seers had done, 
that God is spirit, and that we must worship Him in 
spirit. 

"A few developed souls understood Christ's message, 
and were filled with the Holy Spirit. He taught that 
we are not creeping worms of the dust, but Sons of 
God, just as He was the Son of God, and He promised 



190 Peggy Ware 

that His followers should do greater things than He 
had ever done. 

"For a time, the early church worshipped a spiritual 
God, and it was filled with a power and zeal that have 
not yet expended themselves. 

"After a time, however, the politicians and theolo- 
gians got hold of the church and dethroned the God of 
Isaiah and. Jesus, and enthroned the God of the Jews 
and the heathen world. Men of science, thinking men, 
were driven away from the church, and it lost its 
power. 

"Men even denied Christ, and mocked at the Bible, 
because the theologians had preached a materialistic 
God and given the Bible a materialistic interpretation. 

"I was as guilty as the worst of them, and when the 
light failed me. I wandered in a Hell of darkness, 
without a ray of hope. 

"At last the dawn came, and I awoke as from a hor- 
rible dream. I was born again. I was a new creature. 
I knew my divine origin — that I was a son of God, that 
His spirit dwelt in me, that He changeth not, that I 
have always been His son from before the foundation 
of the world, and that I will always be His. I know 
now that there is nothing in all God's universe to be 
afraid of, except myself, this animal self, and that when 
I crucify self, henceforth no evil thing can come nigh 
me, and life will be one anthem of praise forever and 
forever !" 

He had finished and pronounced the benediction be- 
fore his audience realized that he was done. There 
arose a great sigh as from one man, and each one 
turned to his neighbor, but no one spoke. The silence 
grew painful, but no one was willing to break it. 

Wilbur Ware was rooted to the spot, and over all 



Back to the Old Home 191 

there seemed to brood a spirit that would not let 
them go. 

Peggy was sitting near her mother's grave. She 
arose and stood beside her father. He wondered what 
she would say. 

"We used to sing a song that some of us loved in the 
old days," she said, "and I think we will sing it again. 
You can join me in the chorus." 

Then her voice rose, quavering and uncertain at first, 
but soon clear, vibrant, soul-stirring. "We shall meet 
beyond the river, Where the surges cease to roll, 
Where in all the glad forever, Sorrow ne'er shall reach 
the soul." 

A thousand voices joined in the chorus, and as they 
sang, they passed in procession, wringing Wilbur 
Ware's hand, telling him that his message had brought 
new hope to their souls. 

******* 

Peggy spent a few days gathering up the fifty boys 
and girls that she had arranged quarters for at her 
school. It was a happy lot of shy, awkward, rosy- 
cheeked youngsters that gathered at the little station 
several miles away from their mountain homes. Every- 
body came to bid them good-bye, and tears mingled 
with smiles as the last words were spoken. 

Not one of them had ever ridden on a train, and few 
had ever seen a railroad. 

The train arrived early in the morning, and was due 
in Chattanooga in the afternoon, and every mile of the 
journey held a new sensation for the enthusiastic 
children. 

None of them were under fourteen or more than six- 
teen years of age, all bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked. 
They represented pure Anglo-Saxon blood, and Peggy 
felt sure that they had in them the elements for the 



192 Peggy Ware 

development of the highest type of American, Christian 
citizenship. 

Wilbur Ware and Cliff Anderson had gone to Chat- 
tanooga a few days previously to be there when Peggy 
and Mrs. Anderson arrived with their mountain 
charges. 

When the train pulled into the station, there was 
the mayor of the city to greet them, and with him 
Peggy's father and Cliff Anderson. 

Words are inadequate to describe the emotions of 
the little group that marched down Market street. 
The boys and girls were filled with wonder. Cliff An- 
derson's stout heart beat more violently than it had 
ever done on the battlefield. Wilbur Ware's soul was 
lifted to God in thankfulness. 

Peggy was overwhelmed at this new fruition of her 
vision, and in her heart she felt herself but a little child ; 
while the Mayor, standing before her with bared head, 
paid reverence to the greatest woman in the South. 

Molly Anderson was already mother to every one 
of the fifty. "These kids got to have somethin' to 
eat," she said. "I recon' they can git enough in Chat- 
tanooga to keep 'em alive 'till we git to Bucks Pocket, 
whare I kin cook 'em somethin' fitten to eat." 

The Mayor had called a mass meeting of the citizens 
for that night, at which it was proposed to tell the 
story of the Peggy Ware School. And on the follow- 
ing morning Peggy and her party would take the 
steamer plying the Tennessee between Chattanooga 
and Decatur, Alabama. 

It was a big, curious throng that filled the auditorium 
when the Mayor called the meeting to order. Peggy 
was in ignorance about the program or the part she 
was expected to play. If she had known, it is probable 



Back to the; Old Home; 193 

that she would have shrunk from attending the meet- 
ing. 

In a few well chosen words the Mayor explained 
the object of the meeting, and told the story of what 
Peggy had already accomplished. He drew a vivid 
picture of Bucks Pocket, the isolation and lack of op- 
portunity of the mountain boys and girls. Nor did he 
fail to embellish his story with anecdotes about Cliff 
Anderson, the King of the Wild Catters, adding a few 
words about his wife, Molly. He also reminded his 
audience that Wilbur Ware, the father of Peggy, was 
at one time pastor of one of the churches at Chatta- 
nooga, and that he was well and favorably known to 
many of the old-timers. 

When he had finished, there were loud calls for 
Peggy Ware. The Mayor had anticipated this, but 
Peggy had not. 

"I cannot! Oh, I cannot!" she said, as the demand 
for her appearance grew more insistent. Taking her 
by the arm, the Mayor kindly, but firmly, drew her to 
the front of the stage, saying: 

"You must say just a word to the people who are 
clamoring for you." Then turning to the audience, he 
said: "This is Peggy Ware." 

For a moment she reeled as if she were about to 
fall, and her audience sat breathless. Pleadingly she 
looked into their kindly, eager faces, and the fear that 
clutched her heart began to release its hold. Timidly, 
with her voice little above a whisper, she uttered a few 
sentences, and the people scarcely breathed, so eager 
were they to catch her words, and so afraid that she 
was going to fail. 

Gradually her tones grew stronger, and as she told 
them of what she hoped to do, she seemed to grow in 
stature, her words came tumbling out in a tumult of 



194 Peggy Ware 

eloquence, and the audience was caught in the sweep 
of her enthusiasm, and responded as one man to her 
burning message. 

She sketched her plans for an institution that would 
accommodate hundreds of boys and girls, where they 
could be taught everything that they might wish to 
learn to make them useful citizens. 

She told them of the magnificent tract of timber land 
that she wanted to convert into things of commercial 
value, giving employment to the pupils, leaving the 
land clear for scientific agriculture, when she proposed 
to grow everything consumed by the school. She told 
briefly of her plans for a herd of high class Jersey 
cows, a poultry industry, a department for the teach- 
ing of Domestic Science. 

"And finally," she said, "we are going to teach our 
boys and girls the principles of Christianity as taught 
by Jesus Christ. In fact, this is to be the foundation 
and basis of all our work. We shall teach them that 
religion, science and philosophy are in perfect accord, 
and that Jesus is the model for all the ages, and that 
He never uttered a word that is not in accord with the 
very latest scientific discoveries." 

She resumed her seat, and it was some time before 
the Mayor could be heard above the applause. When 
quiet was restored he said : "I want you to see the 
fifty boys and girls that Miss Ware has gathered up 
in our own Tennessee mountains. She is now on her 
way to Alabama with them." 

He had placed them back of the stage, hid by a cur- 
tain, awaiting the psychological moment, for the Mayor 
knew how to handle his audience. He ordered the cur- 
tain raised, and fifty boys and girls, almost as wild as 
the foxes of their mountain fastnesses, looked with 
wondering eyes on the audience of well-dressed men 



Back to the Old Home 195 

and women. Some of them were barefooted. All of 
them were dressed in homespun, but they had splendid 
physiques and open countenances. 

This overt proof of the work of the Peggy Ware 
School aroused the enthusiasm of the audience to the 
highest pitch, and men from all parts of the auditorium 
began to shout, "What do you want us to do, Mr. 
Mayor?" 

"We are coming to that in a moment," he said. 
"But first I want you to meet Miss Ware's father." 
W'ilbur Ware's words went home to every heart, and 
his hearers proclaimed him a father worthy of such a 
daughter as Peggy. 

Then there were loud calls for Cliff Anderson, and 
he tried to hide, but was dragged from his place by 
the Mayor, and when presented to the audience there 
were howls of delight. "I ain't no speaker," he said, 
"'case I never had no book larnin'. I fit in the Con- 
federate army when I wus a big barefooted boy like 
one of these fellers here, an' when I got back home 
they warnt no schools, an' I had to work fer my 
mother an' the other kids. I might a bin somebody 
ef I had been edycated, but as it is I ain't nobody, an' 
don't know nothin'. 

"I ain't got many more years in this world, but all 
the rest of 'em an' every dollar I got is gwine to the 
Peggy Ware School to help save as many boys an' gals 
as possible frum growin' up in ignance like I done." 

The old Wild Catter had touched the soul of the 
audience, and when the Mayor called for donations, 
there was a deluge. One man who owned the finest 
herd of Jersey cattle in Tennessee gave a dozen cows. 
Another donated a full line of agricultural instruments. 
A big furniture dealer said he would furnish the school 
building and dormitories complete. Then there were 



196 Peggy Ware 

gifts of clothing, gifts of money, and gifts, gifts, until 
Molly Anderson exclaimed : "Ef they put it all on 
the steamboat, she'll sink to the bottom of the river, 
shore." 

But they did get it all on the steamer. She de- 
layed her sailing for several hours in order that noth- 
ing might be left behind. 

At last they were off — the boys and girls leaning 
over the railing, their hearts filled with a happiness 
they had never known before, and near them stood 
Peggy, waving good-bye to the friends who had gath- 
ered to see them on their voyage. 



Chapter Fifteen 
THE LONESOME FOLKS 

DOCTOR WESTON had heard weird stories 
about a peculiar form of insanity, quite com- 
mon in isolated regions of the mountains of the 
South. Having made a special study of the causes of 
so-called insanity, he was always ready to listen to 
these stories; and now, having little else to engage his 
attention for the moment, he determined to do some 
first-hand investigating. He told Ruth of these re- 
ports, and asked her if she knew of any cases of insan- 
ity in Bucks Pocket or the surrounding country. Glad 
to aid the man who stood for all the wisdom in the 
world to her, Ruth said : 

"Yes, I know of several cases. One of them is not 
far from here, an old lady now, who has been queer 
ever since I can remember. Her name is Bowen, and 
they live up in Dead Man's Gulch. I used to pass 
there sometimes hunting the cow, and she was con- 
fined in a cabin built of logs, about half the size of an 
ordinary room, with but one door, and not a single 
window. It had no chimney, and, of course, she could 
not have fire in the winter time. Her folks said if 
they allowed her to have fire she would burn herself 
to death. I was terribly afraid of her, and would creep 
up close to the cabin and listen ; when I heard a noise 
on the inside I would run as fast as I could, expect- 
ing that she would break down the door and pursue 
me. 

197 



198 PsggyWare 

"Once I peeped through the keyhole and saw her. 
She sat in the middle of the room all huddled up on 
the floor, and I could hear her mumbling to herself. 
I listened, fascinated, frightened. It was some time 
before I could understand her. Finally I made out 
that she was saying, "I am so lonesome, so lonesome," 
and it hurt me so that I began to cry, and ran away, 
and I have never been back since." 

Doctor Weston was electrified by Ruth's simple re- 
cital. Here was a condition that he had doubted 
existed anywhere in this twentieth century civiliza- 
tion. He had credited most of the stories he had heard 
as largely imaginary, but he could not doubt Ruth. 
Her recital had revealed to him her own depth of 
feeling and human sympathy, and had aroused in him 
a desire for immediate action. 

"Surely the State provides an institution where 
such unfortunates can be treated," he said. "If so, 
why do they confine her like a wild beast?" asked Dr. 
Somerville. 

"There is a place called the Asylum where insane 
people are cared for, but these mountain folks are 
queer that way. And when one of them gets this 
'lonesome disease' they never tell the proper authori- 
ties, but build a hut like the one I told you about, and 
shut the afflicted one up in it until death comes to re- 
lieve her of her loneliness." 

Doctor Weston could hardly wait for the morrow 
to visit Dead Man's Gulch, and his mind was busy 
in the meantime turning over Ruth's strange story. 

Since the departure of the Andersons, Peggy and her 
father, Ruth and Dr. Weston had been much to- 
gether. He had undertaken her education, and follow- 
ing his method of brain building, she had learned more 
in a few months than she would have learned in the 



The Lonesome; Folks 199 

old haphazard way in as many years. Her use of 
English was well nigh perfect, and her progress in 
other lines of study were equally pronounced. He 
had taught her to call him John, which was quite 
against her inclination, for she stood in such awe of 
him. To her he was her God man, and her love for 
him was akin to worship. 

As the days passed, Dr. Weston's love for this fast 
developing mountain girl grew apace, and he was sat- 
isfied and his soul was at peace. He was content to 
settle down in this haven of rest, build a home nest 
with this beautiful girl as his mate, and spend his life 
quietly laboring for the uplift of these ignorant people. 

His vision was not complete without Peggy, she 
of the golden hair and soulful eyes. Yes, Peggy was 
different. What a wonderful girl she was. So un- 
like anyone he had ever known or read about. In her 
presence he always experienced a thrill that startled 
him. Her voice electrified him, her touch caused him 
to tremble in every limb. Yes, he understood. It was 
Peggy's soul. Everyone felt it. She cast a spell over 
man and beast. He remembered how the vicious bull- 
dog surrendered to that same power that swayed him. 
Peggy was not made for love. She was too high above 
ordinary mortals for that. No man in the world was 
big enough for Peggy's love. Her love could never 
be personal; it must be universal. 

Oh, yes, his life work was to be alongside of Peggy. 
The thought thrilled him. What a glorious privilege 
to be a co-worker with one whose shoe latchets he felt 
unworthy to unloose. He heaved a great sigh, and 
Ruth, ever watchful of his changing moods, said so- 
licitously : 

"Why do you sigh, John, dear? What are you 
thinking about?" 



200 Peggy Ware 

"I am thinking of the lonely folks, Ruth; there are 
so many of them in this world." 

******* 

Ruth and John were up with the sun and ready for 
an early start to Dead Man's Gulch. It was quite a 
distance, and they planned an all day trip of explora- 
tion in the great woods, the fathomless gorges, and 
among the lonesome people in whom Doctor Weston 
was so deeply interested. 

The way led up the rocky trail that formerly led 
to Anderson's distillery. It was the month of July 
and the forests were clothed in their densest foliage, 
and in their depths, a thousand locusts and katydids 
outvied each other in raucous song, while myriads of 
insects joined in the chorus. In the shady nooks the 
dew drops would tremble on the leaves and grass until 
the sun reached its meridian. On the railroad ten 
miles away, the morning express bound for Chatta- 
nooga sent forth its shrill whistle, and the echoes re- 
verberated and pulsated through the Pocket and high 
up among the cliffs and peaks. A steamboat on the 
Tennessee blew a coarse blast, and it sounded so 
plainly that it might have been just down at the mouth 
of Sauty Creek. 

Ruth explained to Doctor Weston that this stillness 
of nature which caused sounds to travel such long 
distances foreboded rain, perhaps a thunder storm. 
He laughed at her prophecy, and pointed to a sky of 
azure blue, without a fleck of cloud on the horizon. 

As they ascended Dead Man's Gulch, the sun re- 
minded them that it was mid-summer, and the air was 
full of humidity. Doctor Weston was perspiring 
freely, and frequently stopped in the shade of a tree, 
removed his hat, and mopped his brow, to Ruth's great 
amusement. Her step over the rough boulders was 



The; Lonesome; Folks 201 

as firm and light as the mountain goat's, and she 
looked as cool as a "cowcumber," in the mountain 
vernacular. 

Finally they reached a clearing, and rounding a 
point of rocks, they saw a man plowing an ox in a 
small field surrounded by a rail fence, very much di- 
lapidated. At some places it was almost rotted away, 
and to fill these gaps so that cattle and hogs running 
at large could not enter and devour his meager crop, 
the owner had hacked down bushes and allowed them 
to fall so that these broken places would be obstructed. 

It was a rocky field, and the sound of the crude plow 
scraping the stones and rolling them about could be 
heard quite a distance, but not so far away as the 
man's voice. They had been hearing him for a mile, 
perhaps, and Doctor Weston asked Ruth if it were 
some sort of wild religious ceremony. 

"It is old Man Bowen plowing his steer," said 
Ruth. She laughed indulgently at his ignorance. 

"Gee," "Haw," "Wo come here, Buck," and then a 
fusilade of strange oaths, that Weston mistook for in- 
cantations to some heathen God, made the welkin ring. 

They waited for him at the end of the furrow, and 
when he saw Ruth and a stranger, and knew that they 
had heard his torrent of language, he was greatly 
embarrassed. 

"I recon' you all heerd me a talkin' to this steer, 
an' I am sorry ef I said somethin' I oughtn't to say 
afore ladies," and he made an awkward bow in Ruth's 
direction, "but he wus broke this way by old Bill Jones, 
an' it's the only sort of language he understands." 

"It's all right, Mr. Bowen," said Ruth, beaming 
good-naturedly on him. "It's the usual steer language 
of Bucks Pocket, and I've been used to it all my life. 
We are going to use mules, tractors, trucks, and au- 



202 Peggy Ware 

tomobiles before long, and then we will banish the 
steer language along with the steers." 

"You don't say so," replied the old man, in open- 
mouthed astonishment. "Wall, I guess I'll fall back 
fudder in the mountains when all them things come, 
case I'm too old to larn any new language, an' you 
have to cuss a steer to make him mind you." 

Ruth had the old man talking now, and she thought 
it opportune to tell him the object of their visit. She 
explained to him who Doctor Weston was, his inter- 
est in people afflicted with the lonesome disease, and 
said that the Doctor wanted to see his wife with a 
view of studying her case and curing her, if possible. 

"Ef you wan't Cliff Anderson's gal, I'd a mighty 
heap sooner take my gun to ye, but bein's youse his 
gal, I'll do anything you say, 'case I know its fer her 
good," and he jerked his thumb in the general direc- 
tion of a cabin that stood in one corner of the clear- 
ing. 

On the way to the house, Weston plied him with 
numerous questions, as he was eager for information 
about these queer people. 

"She's been that way fer twenty years, I suppose," 
he said, "but not havin' book larnin' I can't count 
time very well. I fust noticed it when our boy died. 
We buried him right up there on that knoll," and he 
pointed to a moss-grown mound where stood a crude 
wooden cross. "I used to make a crap every year down 
in the river bottoms, an' sometimes I would be gone 
a month at a time, an' she wus here all by herself, after 
he died," and again he indicated the lonely mound on 
the hillside. "She didn't have no one to talk to an' 
she'd set all day by his grave jest a starin' at nuthin'. 
Every time I'd come home I'd ketch her settin' thare 
jest that way. One time I come, an' she didn't know 



The; Lonesome; Folks 203 

me, an' she commenced to scream when she seed me, 
callin' me a devil an' sayin' I killed her boy, an' wus 
goin' to dig him up an' take him away. I called her 
by name, I talked to her, I tried to tell her who I wus, 
but it warn't no use. Then I tried to take her to the 
house, but she fit me like a wild cat, an' cussed some- 
thin' awful. I never heerd her cuss before an' it made 
my hair stand straight up, 'case she had alius been good 
sense she got religion at one o' them camp meetin's, an' 
she alius talked to me an' the kid about God, an' she 
made that cross an' put it at the head of his grave." 

The old man's wrinkled, weather beaten face was 
now working convulsively, revealing a depth of feel- 
ing beneath his rough exterior. 

"Wall, they warn't nuthin' to do but shet her up 
somers 'case she wus likely to kill me an' herself too. 
I had jest built a new crib to put my corn in, an' it 
wus the only place I could put her to be safe, 'case 
thare warn't no winders an' no fire place, an' a good 
stout door shetter so I could fasten her up when I 
had to go away to my work. I put her in thare, an' 
b'lieve me it war a man's job. I didn't have no shirt 
on, an' pow'ful little skin on my face when I got her 
in. An' fer a week, day an' night, she screamed and 
cussed an' I never slept a wink. I most went crazy, 
too. I kin hear her yet sometimes when the wind 
roars in the mountains of winter nights," and the old 
man shuddered. "I poked things in the door fer her 
to eat, an' she wouldn't tech a bite, but broke the 
dishes agin the wall until they warn't nothin' left but 
some tin cups an' plates. 

"By an' by she begin to moan like, an' it grew 
weaker an' weaker ontil it were only a whisper. Then 
one mornin' I went to carry her breakfast, an' she was 
sittin' on the floor sayin': "I'm lonesome. I'm lone- 



204 Peggy Ware 

some," an' ef she's ever spoke another word in all 
these twenty years, I ain't heerd it." 

They entered the cabin, and the bareness of the 
walls, the paucity of the furnishing, the absence of 
everything a civilized woman's heart craves chilled 
Weston's heart. To his inquiry, Bowen said : "No, 
we never had a book. She use to want a Bible, but 
I wouldn't git one 'case she couldn't read. An' when 
our boy died, she said: 'Oh, God, ef I jest had a Bible 
to bury with him !' and then I wished I had bought 
her one, but it wus too late. 

"She never wus out o' Bucks Pocket but once in 
her life, that wus when she wus a girl jest afore we 
married. She went to a pertracted meetin' out on the 
mountain an' perfessed religion, but after we married, 
she never left Dead Man's Gulch. She never seed in- 
side^ mother meetin' house, an' never knowed what a 
railroad or steamboat looked like. I never thought 
nuthin' much about it 'til she got this disease, an' I 
been studyin' a lot to figger out what it is. 

"When she got to sayin' 'I'm lonesome,' I thought 
it wus fer the boy, an' I recon' it wus somewhat that, 
but I guess it were worser'n that. I know more'n 
her in jest the same fix, an' some of 'em have a whole 
passel of chillun livin', and they git so lonesome they 
have to be locked up. Why, stranger, half these 
women never went twenty miles away frum home in 
their lives. They ain't got no book larnin', they ain't 
got no music, no stoves to cook on, no sewin' ma- 
chines, not even a washboard to rub their close on. 
The men folks git out an' work, hunt an' fish, fill up 
on wild-cat licker, an' fight sometimes, an' it keeps 'em 
from dyin' of lonesomeness. Then we go to the 'lection 
once in a while an' to Court, an' we take our cotton 
to town an' sell it and hear lots of news about what's 



The Lonesome Folks 205 

gwine on in the world. But the women jest stay home 
an' cook, an' wash, an' iron, an' make close, an' hoe 
in the field and tend to the babies, an' they come along 
jest like stair steps, an' time ones out of her arms, 
toddlin' aroun', another one done come ready to take 
its place, an' it's no wonder they git lonesome, an' their 
pore hearts jest cry out 'til they can't stan' it no 
longer an' either die or git like she is," again indicat- 
ing his wife by a backward nod of the head. 

"I wonder sometimes ef they ain't nuthin' Uncle 
Sam or somebody kin do about it," and the old man 
looked pathetically toward the corn crib where his 
wife had been confined for two decades. "I wish she'd 
a been sleepin' out thare by him all these years instead 
o' bein' so lonesome," and Ruth caught the gleam of 
tears in his hard eyes. 

At Doctor Weston's suggestion, they now visited 
the pathetic figure in the windowless cabin. To the 
presence of the visitors she paid no heed. The Doctor 
talked to her, asked her questions, but there was 
never an answer, unless it was the monotonous, "I am 
so lonesome." 

Ruth was weeping, and Weston had to fight back 
his emotions. He asked the old man if he would per- 
mit his wife to be carried to Cliff Anderson's home and 
be treated by him. 

"Kin you kore her, stranger; kin you kore her?" 
Bowen asked, trembling with excitement. 

"Yes, Mr. Bowen, with God's help I can cure her," 
and John Weston looked the inspired physician. 

"Ef you will, stranger, I'll b'lieve in God all the rest 
of my life," and the old man reverently bowed his 
head. 

It was arranged that a wagon would be sent for her 
the following day, and Weston told Kowen that he 



206 Peggy Ware 

wanted him to come down and work at the saw mill 
where he could be near his wife when needed. 



Ruth and John had not proceeded far on the return 
journey, when they were startled by a vivid flash of 
lightning, followed by a crash of thunder. Looking 
to the South, they saw a cloud rolling up like the 
boiling of a huge cauldron. Before it they saw droves 
of birds, racing to escape the coming storm, while an 
eagle could be seen mounting to dizzy heights, where 
he could bask in the sunshine, defying the raging ele- 
ments below. 

"We must hurry," said Ruth, "and find a place of 
shelter, for the cloud is traveling like a race horse." 
She led the way, speeding like a fawn, John following 
hard behind. Just as the first big rain drops began 
to patter down, they reached an overhanging shelving 
rock beneath one of the great rock walls overlooking 
the Pocket. They were hardly seated until the storm 
burst in all its fury. The sun was obscured, and but 
for the lightning, it was almost as dark as night. 
Every moment, seemingly, the cloud belched forth 
great sheets of flame, and the valley below for an in- 
stant was filled with liquid fire, and then the thunder 
crashed, peal following peal, as if all heaven's ar- 
tillery had been concentrated in this one spot. 

The rain fell in torrents, and in a little while there 
were dozens of miniature cataracts, where the water 
poured over the sides of the rock wall. Ruth's heart 
beat violently as John placed one arm about her, and 
held her close, so close that he could feel its wild 
beating." 

For a long time no word was spoken, as each hesi- 
tated to break the silence of the awe-inspiring scene. 
It was the woman who first gave utterance to her 



The Lonesome; Folks 207 

thoughts. "Why do we love each other?" she asked, 
looking shyly into the man's strong, intense face. 

"Ah, my little sweetheart, you have asked a ques- 
tion that the poets, sages, and philosophers of all the 
ages have never been able to answer," replied her 
lover. "Why do the birds mate ; why does the flower 
seek its lover; why does an atom of matter repel one 
atom that seeks it, and embraces with almost human 
intelligence another atom, exactly like the first so far 
as is revealed by the most powerful microscope? It is 
the law of attraction, and is one of God's great mys- 
teries." 

"Why did you come to Bucks Pocket?" she asked. 
"Why did Peggy Ware come? Why do things hap- 
pen in this world, anyway?" 

"You are thinking, Ruth, and I am afraid you are 
thinking too deeply for me. I am very proud of you, 
dear. You are a wonderful girl, and I love you very, 
very much." 

"It's good to hear you say that, John, but it doesn't 
answer my question. You know I have been brought 
up in ignorance just like thousands of girls in the 
mountains, and now I am hungry to know. I want 
to know where I came from. Surely you can tell me 
for you are so wise. You tell me I have a soul. I 
have never seen it, but I do feel something wonderful 
sometimes. How long has my soul lived? Is it older 
than my body? You say God is in my soul. Please 
tell me about these things," and the earnest, eager 
eyes, the tense face told him that here was no idle 
questioner. 

He was very solemn now. Here was an earnest 
soul groping for the light, and he had been sent as her 
teacher, and he realized that his was not only a sacred 
duty, but the greatest privilege that can come to any- 



208 Peggy Ware 

one. In simple language, that even a little child might 
understand, he said : 

"Ruth, it fills me with great joy to find that you 
are already on the way to what Jesus called 'life and 
life more abundant.' He was the great master, but so 
few have grasped the spiritual meaning of his teach- 
ings that the great majority of mankind are still grop- 
ing in the dark, but the light is breaking as never 
before on this planet. 

"Your soul has always lived, and for some reason it 
came to inhabit your body at birth. I do not know 
why, but somewhere in the great mysterious ether 
that fills all the universe is a complete record of all 
the past experiences of your soul, and if we could read 
this record, we would understand why we are here 
together at this moment, inhabiting these bodies. 
Some day we shall be able to read this record, for it 
is the photographic pJate on which is recorded or pho- 
tographed every thought, and every act that has ever 
been from the time when the morning stars first sang 
together. 

"Our thoughts are the most real things about us, 
for they never die. They live forever, stamped on 
this universal ether, and they are forces for either good 
or ill. Every thought I think will live throughout the 
ages and will affect me, and all other souls to a cer- 
tain degree. This is why the Masters have told us 
that we must give an account for every thought we 
think. Our thoughts are the language of the soul, and 
this is why thoughts are so much more important than 
the words of our lips. It is through our thoughts that 
we talk to God. He sees every thought recorded on 
the universal ether, and can read the record, and we in 
turn touch God, know God, see God, through this 
medium of the soul. 



The Lonesome Folks 209 

"Even the fluttering of the sparrow with broken 
wing is recorded on this mysterious ether, to remain 
there throughout the ages, and our Father sees it. 
Jesus so beautifully expressed this truth when he said : 
'Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one 
of them shall not fall on the ground without your 
Father.' This is the recording place of all that has 
gone before. 

"Ages have come and gone, civilizations have risen 
and perished, races have flourished and vanished, 
cities of might and power have stood proudly for a time 
and then sunk into utter oblivion ; continents have 
been formed, peopled and then lost beneath great tidal 
waves and not one soul left to tell the story. Worlds 
have been born out of the mind of God, whirled into 
space for untold aeons, inhabited by intelligent beings, 
some far below us, others so high above us that we 
would be like beetles by comparison, and then disin- 
tegrated to become fire mist, star dust, for other aeons, 
and again to come out of the formless void a world, 
beautiful, vibrant, pulsing with life, the home of an- 
other race of the sons of God. 

"It is unthinkable that no record has been kept of 
this stupendous history, and I have no doubt in my 
own mind, regardless of what others may think, that 
this history is all written on the Universal ether, and 
that sometime, somewhere, in God's glorious aeons of 
the future, we shall be able to read the mighty scroll." 

"What a fascinating thought," exclaimed the en- 
raptured Ruth. "Won't it be glorious to read on and 
on and never finish, for all eternity will not be long 
enough to read it all, for it will be just as far back to 
the beginning as it is to the end." 

The storm was over, the sun shone in renewed 
splendor, and the lovers emerged from their shelter 



210 Peggy Ware 

beneath the cliff, and turned homeward. A glorious 
rainbow was in the sky, both ends resting upon the 
earth, one just a little way down the trail. "I am go- 
ing to the end of the rainbow," said Ruth, "to find a 
pot of gold," and away she sped, leaving John far be- 
hind. It was resting on a clump of honeysuckle 
bushes, as Ruth thought, and she was sure she could 
stand in its gorgeous coloring when she reached the 
spot. Breathless, she stopped where the end of the 
rainbow rested, and it was a disappointed face that 
greeted John when he came up with her. 

"See, John!" she exclaimed, "It moved just as fast 
as I ran, and now it is just as far away as when I 
started." He made no reply, but she observed a look 
of sadness creep into his face. "Why are you so sad, 
dear?" she asked. "You seemed so happy just a lit- 
tle while ago." 

"I was thinking, Ruth, that the end of the rainbow 
is like our dreams of happiness, of perfection. This 
enchanted land is always just out yonder, and we run 
eagerly to reach it, thinking to sit down and say, 'Soul, 
take thine ease,' but when we get there, like the rain- 
bow's end, it is just as far away as it was before. We 
rest awhile, and start again, sure this time we can over- 
take it. We run faster than ever, and at the end make 
one tremendous leap, sure that we are in time, but, lo ! 
our fairy land has vanished. We look ahead with 
tears of disappointment dimming our eyes, and mock- 
ingly it beckons us on. I sometimes think it will be 
so through the countless ages of eternity." 

"We can be happy even if we don't find the end of 
the rainbow," said Ruth, trying to dispel his serious 
mien. "Maybe sometime when we see God, it will be 
the end of the rainbow, don't you think so, John?" 

"God knows, Ruth ; there are some things too deep 



The Lonesome; Folks 211 

for me, and you persist in getting me beyond my 
depth. Now, one more kiss, and make me forget every- 
thing in the world but you." 

Lovingly he folded her in his arms, and looking into 
her eyes, where he read the depth of a woman's love, 
he said: "Ruth, this is the end of the rainbow for 
me." 



Chapter Sixteen 

BEHOLD WHAT A FLAME A LITTLE 
SPARK KINDLETH 

PEGGY came into her shrine of silence as Simon 
was arranging a bouquet of roses on her table, 
still fresh with the morning dew on them. 
" 'Scuse me fer not bein' through," he apologized, 
"but I wus jes' foolin' along on purpose, I recon,' be- 
case I feel so nigh de Lawd heah, I likes to stay as long 
as I kin. 

"Den I wus thinkin' ob all dat evah happen to me 
sence I kin fust 'membah, an' it seemed so wonderful 
dis mawnin'. I guess I mus' be about eighty-five yeahs 
old now, 'cordin' to de way you an' Capn' Massa Lee 
figgers, an' I lib to see de grandes' school in de worl'. 
an' you doin' what nobody evah thought of doin' 
befo'." 

Without stopping for Peggy to reply, the old darkv 
continued : "Talk about havin' faith lack a grain ob 
mustahd seed an' pullin' a sycamore tree up by de 
roots an' den plantin' it in de sea, dat ain't nuthin' to 
what youse done heah in Bucks Pocket. Youse done 
moah dan pullin' up all de trees in Bucks Pocket, an' 
dammin' up de Tennessee riveh. You done made dis 
place ovah, an' it's a garden ob Eden to whut it wus 
when we fust come heah." 

"Don't say that I did it, Simon. You have been just 
as important a factor as I have. You will never know 

212 



Behold What a Flame; a Little Spark Kindllth 213 

how you have inspired me when there was no other 
earthly comfort." 

"I'se pow'ful glad ef I has been any help to youah," 
the old man said, " 'case I ain't gwine to be heah much 
longah, an' when I goes ovah yondah, it'll be pow'ful 
sweet to tell young Missus whut you says." 

"I hope it will be many, many years before you will 
deliver the message, Simon. I shall need you for a 
long time yet," and the beautiful face of Peggy glowed 
with tenderness for the venerable old negro. Only 
people of the South can sufficiently appreciate this sen- 
timent for the faithful members of the colored race. 
"Besides we don't have sickness any more in Bucks 
Pocket, and I think we won't have any more old peo- 
ple after a while. When these boys and girls grow up, 
they will understand scientific, Christian living, and 
when they are a hundred, they will possess all their 
faculties, and be just as vigorous and even more useful 
than when they were at forty or fifty." 

"When dat time comes," Simon declared eagerly, 
"how much will it lack ob bein' Heabin right heah in 
Bucks Pocket?" 

"That's a very wise suggestion, Simon. You know 
Jesus said : 'The Kingdom of God is within you,' and 
He further said that when we found this kingdom, all 
things that we needed should be added unto us." 

"An' you believes dat too, an' dat's why yore school 
has growed frum nuthin' to de bigges' thing in Ala- 
bama. An' when you needs money, all you has to 
do is to come in heah an' ax God an' He sen's it to 
you." 

"That is true, Simon. I simply take Jesus at his 
word, and as long as we do this, nothing doubting, 
there is no limitation to what we can do." 

"You means by dat you kin des go on buildin' an' 



214 Peggy Ware 

buildin' ontil de whole worl' will be full ob de same 
sort ob Heaben we got heah in Bucks Pocket?" the 
old fellow asked, looking earnestly at Peggy. 

"Well, yes, Simon, that's just what it means. If 
we would accept Christ's spiritual teachings and live 
them, it would solve all the world's problems, indus- 
trial, social, and otherwise. We would have no more 
wars, famines, strikes, or crime. Sin and sickness 
would be banished from the earth, and with these 
evils gone, there would be no more poverty." 

"An' is dat what Jesus preached when He was heah 
on dis earth?" asked Simon, trembling with excite- 
ment. 

"This was His teaching, Simon, and He promised 
its fulfillment." 

"Den why don't all de preachers talk lak He did?" 

"I suppose it is because of a lack of faith, Simon. I 
see no other reason." 

"Den dey need a mustahd plastah 'plied to dem," 
he suggested, as he quietly slipped out of the Shrine 
of Silence, hat in hand. 

When Peggy returned from her vacation bringing 
the fifty boys and girls from the Tennessee mountains, 
with a cargo of gifts from the generous people of 
Chattanooga, it marked a mighty step forward in the 
life of the Peggy Ware School. This meant an addi- 
tional financial burden, for they must all be clothed 
and fed as well as provided with books. 

Peggy's plans looked to making the school as nearly 
self-supporting as possible, and to this end, the boys 
and girls, who were all able-bodied, willing workers, 
were set to certain tasks for a period of four hours each 
day. This left ample time for study and recreation, 
and made the pupils strong, vigorous, and self-reliant. 
Peggy believed in the dignity of labor. 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark Kindleth 215 

"Boys and girls, I want you to work and love your 
work," she told her school. "It is good for your bodies, 
your minds, and your souls. I believe that every man 
and woman, no matter what their wealth or calling, 
should work with their hands out in God's air and 
sunshine for a little while each day, if it is only to 
tend a little garden, a rose bush, or take care of a small 
flock of chickens, or any one of the thousand useful, 
beautiful things that one can do. The nearer we get 
to nature, the closer we come to God." 

She always practiced what she preached, and with 
her own hands set the example for the women of 
Bucks Pocket. Her delight was a tiny rose garden, 
and every morning before the sun was up, Peggy could 
be found caring for her favorite flower with loving 
hands. 

Before she came to Bucks Pocket, there was not a 
rose to be seen except those that grew wild in the 
woods ; now in almost every yard there was an imita- 
tion of Peggy's rose garden. 

The boys were under Anderson's surpervision, and 
aided in clearing and cultivating the land, as well as 
operating the saw mill, building houses and other use- 
ful work. 

The girls made all the garments for the school. The 
old-fashioned loom and spinning wheel had not been 
banished from Bucks Pocket, and many of the women 
were experts in the making of cloth, counterpanes, and 
coverlets. From this cloth the girls fashioned the uni- 
forms for the pupils. The cloth was dyed with native 
roots, barks, and walnut hulls, with certain ingredients 
purchased from town, and the beauty and richness of 
coloring was a surprise to all who visited the Peggy 
Ware School. 

Soon after Peggy's return from her old home in the 



216 Peggy Ware 

Cumberland mountains, Doctor Weston told her of his 
discovery of the "lonesome people." 

"I am treating an old lady by the name of Bowen," 
he said. "She had been confined in a cabin all alone 
for twenty years, and the only word she uttered when 
I first discovered her was Tm lonesome.' 

"There are many more like her in these isolated sec- 
tions, and I am anxious to build a sanatorium where 
they can be properly cared for and treated. They can 
all be cured, and I understand how to do it, and feel 
that it is a part of my mission to do this work. 

"So I have been waiting for you to return to lay 
the matter before you. Of course, no one can under- 
take anything without you give your consent, because 
we all look to you for everything." 

"I am in full accord with you, Doctor Weston, and I 
am sorry you have delayed beginning the work. You 
should not have waited on me. You, my father, and 
Mr. Anderson have the same right to go ahead with 
any work you approve as I have. It would be impos- 
sible for me to disagree with you about anything in 
connection with this work." 

"I recon it wus mostly my fault, Miss Peggy," said 
Anderson. "I ain't got the faith that you got, so I 
didn't see whare all the money's comin' frum. I been 
talkin' to yore dad about buildin' you all a house, 
becase you livin' in a cabin, an' you sleepin' in the 
attic on a straw tick on a Georgia bed, an' I stood it as 
long as I'm gwine to. You don't never think about 
yourself, an' me an' yore dad has decided to think for 
you jest a lettle." 

"Tell me about the straw tick and 'Georgia' bed," 
said Weston. "I want to know about it." 

"They ain't much to tell," Anderson continued. "Ef 
you never seen one, you couldn't understand it. I 



Behold What a Flame; a Little Spark Kindleth 217 

guess you seed a straw bed when they hauled old lady 
Bowen down frum Dead Man's Gulch, becase I heerd 
Molly say they hauled her on a straw tick." 

"My God, Peggy, is it true that that you are suffer- 
ing such privations?" exclaimed Doctor Weston. "I 
had never thought of you in this way. You are always 
so bright, so joyous, so exquisite in your simple dress, 
that I associated you with a soft, dainty bed, pillows 
of down, carpeted floor, and beautiful furniture. 

"I agree with Mr. Anderson. We will defer the 
erection of our sanatorium until you have been pro- 
vided a suitable home and the comforts that you so 
richly deserve." 

"You and Mr. Anderson have worked yourselves into 
quite a sentimental state over 'Poor Peggy,' and I 
would be in tears over her sad plight, if I did not know 
the young lady much better than either of you do. 
You are judging her from the outside, gentlemen, while 
I know the inside. 

"There are two Peggy Wares, and you are thinking 
about the one that you can see. The Peggy you are 
talking about loves downy beds of ease, beautiful paint- 
ings, soft luxury, but she is not the real Peggy. The 
Peggy you don't see has learned that the sweetest 
sleep may come to those who rest on straw beds in 
sparsely furnished rooms, and that the softest pillow 
may pierce the head of the sleeper like a crown of 
thorns. 

"Now the other Peggy says go ahead with the sana- 
torium, rescue these poor souls that are languishing 
for a ray of light, and let the house for the Wares take 
care of itself. It will be built, just when we are ready 
for it. In the meantime, I will sleep as soundly and 
be as happy in my attic room as I shall ever be even 
if I live in a palace with all the trappings of royalty." 



218 Peggy Ware 

"Gentlemen, Peggy is right," fervently exclaimed her 
father, who had been listening to the conversation. 
"She always makes me ashamed of myself when I am 
tempted to have selfish thoughts or to lose my faith in 
God." 

"Ef the whole world wus like her," said Anderson, 
"they wouldn't be no use in dyin' to go to heaven." 

"My good friends, you are always saying such lovely 
things about me that I feel how insignificant I am. It 
seems to me that my mission is to inspire others, and 
then they do the work, while I sit back and enjoy it." 

"Before this conference breaks up, I want to give 
you the larger vision that comes to me about these 
'lonesome people.' We all know the underlying causes, 
and it will do little good to treat the disease unless we 
remove the cause." 

"That is very true," agreed Doctor Weston, "but 
that is a stupendous undertaking — something big 
enough for your 'Uncle Sam,' that you Americans talk 
about. 

"It takes Uncle Sam so long to wake up an' stretch 
hisself," said Anderson. "Miss Peggy would have the 
job goin' good by the time he got his eyes open, and 
when the load got too heavy, he would step in an' help 
tote it." 

"I have talked with father a great deal about estab- 
lishing community center churches in each community, 
where the people can be taught and entertained. I 
say 'taught' deliberately, for I think that all so-called 
preaching should be teaching, and that all entertain- 
ment should be based on the fundamental idea of 
instruction. 

"Let's build a chain of these community centers 
through the mountain districts of this county, and then 
extend our chain as fast and far as God wills it. 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark Kindleth 219 

"Here we will teach the people in sermons, in books, 
in pictures, in lectures, and by and by we can close 
Doctor Weston's sanitarium, for there won't be any 
more lonesome people." 

"A wonderful vision," exclaimed Weston, "but where 
will the money come from?" 

"There you go again, Doctor. The same old ques- 
tion. What am I going to do with you men? Don't 
you know that all things are possible to those that 
believe?" 

"I beg your pardon, Peggy, for this suggestion of 
weakness. I don't really mean it. It's just a habit 
that I brought over from the old life, and it's hard 
to shake off. I do believe, thank God. I have learned 
this lesson of faith from you, and I am ready to under- 
take anything in His name." 

"Amen to that statement," said Peggy's father. "In 
the faith of the most wonderful daughter in the world, 
I am ready to take charge of this branch of the work." 

"An' Cliff Anderson is ready to saw the lumber, help 
build the houses, an' do all in his power to save his 
people frum their ignance an' poverty, trustin' that 
the Lord will some day smile on him an' say, 'Cliff, 
you ain't half as bad as you think you is." 

"He is already saying that you are a great soul, 
doing a great work," said Peggy. 

"It helps me a pow'ful lot to have you say it, an' 
I'm gwine to live up to it some day, ef it takes the 
hide," the old man declared. "I recon, that's the way 
you got everybody goin' in Bucks Pocket. You don't 
preach to 'em, you don't tell 'em what not to do ; you 
jest brag on 'em, an 'tell 'em what wonderful folks 
they are, an' ef a feller's got as much pride in him as 
you could put on the pint of a needle, he's gwine to 



220 Peggy Ware 

live up to what you think about him. I think that's 
one of yore secrets, ain't it?" 

"Well, you are pretty close to the truth, Mr. Ander- 
son. "And that's the way we will build our com- 
munity centers. We'll begin by 'braggin' on every- 
body. We'll tell them what a wonderful thing their 
soul is, and when they get to believing it, they will live 
up to their belief. Then we will show them a vision of 
their community as it will be ten or twenty years 
hence, and it won't be long until everyone gets rilled 
with the vision. After that the work is easy, for we 
always grow just as big as our vision." 

After this conference, the sanitarium was speedily 
built, and Doctor Weston gathered up all the women 
in the nearby communities afflicted with the "lone- 
some disease," and began applying his method of men- 
tal and spiritual treatment. 

Wilbur Ware took up the preliminary work of the 
Community Centers ; while Anderson pushed the clear- 
ing of the land, the operation of the saw mill, and 
growing various crops. 

Peggy spent much time in her Shrine of Silence. 

"Sumpin' gwine to happen big befo' long," old Simon 
remarked to Cliff Anderson one day. 

"What makes you think so, Simon?" 

"Becase dat chile stayin' in her Sinagog whole hours 
an' hours at a time, an' when she comes out her face is 
shinin' lak a angel. She's axin' God fer sumpin' big- 
ger'n she evah ax befo', an' you min' what I tole you, 
it's gwine to happen." 

"Well, I know one thing, Simon, and that is what- 
ever Miss Peggy ax God to do he's gwine to do it. 
You kin jest bet yore bottom dollar on it." 

In a few days after this conversation, a beautiful 



Behold What a Flame; a Little Spark Kindleth 221 

automobile stopped near the school house, and two 
well dressed strangers alighted. They inquired of 
Simon, who was cultivating some flowers on the school 
grounds, for the principal of the Peggy Ware School. 

"She's up yondah, whare you see de hunysuckle vine 
clim'in' ovah de hickry log cabin, but you can't go up 
dah, lessen she say so." 

"Is she quite an elderly lady, or just an old maid?" 
one of them asked Simon. 

The old man chuckled, a merry twinkle in his eye. 
"Well, boss, she ain't as old as Methusalem, an' she 
ain't as young as a baby. When you sees her, you 
kin do yore own figgering. Give me yoah cahds, an' 
I'll see ef she will receive you." And the old man 
bowed with a dignity befitting the Lees of Virginia. 

In a few minutes he returned. "Miss Ware will 
receive you in her temple," he said. "Des foller me, 
an' I'll show you up." 

At the threshold of Peggy's shrine of Silence, Simon 
paused, hat in hand, making a sweeping gesture for the 
strangers to enter. "This is Miss Ware, gemmen, de 
president of de Peggy Ware School." 

The slight, girlish figure rose to greet them, a hand 
outstretched to each. 

"I am so glad to see you, gentlemen," she exclaimed 
with her usual enthusiasm. "Won't you please be 
seated?" 

"We were looking for the head of the Peggy Ware 
School," one of the visitors exclaimed. "I think the 
old darky misunderstood us." 

Old Simon, who was lingering outside the door, 
rubbed his hands gleefully, as was his habit when he 
was enjoying an especially good joke. "Boss, youse 
done misundahstood yosef. De ole 'darky' ain't made 



222 Peggy Ware 

no mistake ; youse makin' de bigges' mistake ob yoah 
life. You got annuder guess comin'." 

"Simon has known the president all her life, and has 
made no mistake. I am the president of the school, 
and my name is Peggy Ware." 

"I am Hubert Winslow, and this is my friend, Fred 
Cranston. I write motion picture stories, and my 
friend Cranston is one of the best known motion pic- 
ture directors in the world." 

"And my friend Winslow is one of the most emi- 
nent authors," said Cranston, "and we both feel it an 
honor to meet the celebrated Miss Ware." 

"I suppose you might call us a trio or galaxy of 
eminents," laughed Peggy, "as you gentlemen are both 
eminent, I can shine in your reflected glory, thus com- 
pleting the trio." 

"Pardon me, Miss Ware," said Winslow, "we don't 
mean to give you the impression that we really amount 
to anything. It's only in the make-believe world that 
we shine. I feel already that my light is extinguished 
as I stand in the presence of real greatness." 

"My light's out, too, and my hat is off," declared 
Cranston. 

"You quite embarrass me, gentlemen, with your com- 
pliments. I trust it is not sarcasm, but your chivalry 
and gallantry that prompts your extravagant state- 
ments. 

"I am just a plain, simple, mountain girl, trying to 
follow my vision, and I don't feel that I have yet 
attained to the slightest degree of eminence." 

"You are mistaken there," declared Winslow. "Your 
fame has gone out far and wide, and hearing of you we 
have come to see, and like the Queen of Sheba, when 
she visited the court of King Solomon, I am already 
prepared to say 'the half has not been told'." 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark Kindleth 223 

"You are a true Southerner," said Peggy. "I won- 
der if you are from Virginia?" 

"I am from Virginia, and my friend Cranston is from 
Kentucky," declared Winslow. "May I ask if you are 
a native of this section?" 

"Well, I am so nearly to the manner born that you 
can put me down as a native of our Southern moun- 
tains." 

"We have both felt irresistibly drawn to this place," 
said Winslow. "I know that I tried to resist the feel- 
ing, and Cranston did the same. We endeavored to 
laugh each other out of the idea, but it clung to us 
so tenaciously that we finally said we would come and 
see what it meant." 

"I am glad you came," exclaimed Peggy, her eyes 
bright, her cheeks aglow with enthusiasm. "To tell 
you the truth, I am not the least bit surprised. I think 
I had been expecting you." 

"Then you must be the necromancer that brought 
us here," said Cranston. "If so, then I charge you tell 
why you did so !" He struck a dramatic attitude, and 
Peggy laughed. 

"And I demand to know why you came," she ex- 
claimed, imitating his tone and gestures. 

"Since meeting you, Miss Ware," said Winslow, 
quite seriously now, "I think I have come here to write 
the story of your life and work. I have read of your 
work, and it will make a great picture. 

"As I see you, there is a soul to your story that is 
lacking in the conventional motion picture. I have 
written the other sort until I am sick and tired of it. 
I think the public is getting weary too. I believe there 
is a big field for big, vital themes, representing life as 
lived by real people, and it is my ambition to write at 
least one such story before I die." 



224 Peggy Ware 

"And I am quite as ambitious to screen it," said 
Cranston, "and I want you for my star, Miss Ware." 

"Oh, you'll need a brighter light than I am for your 
star, Mr. Cranston. It takes all of my shining for 
Bucks Pocket." 

"You are going to shine for all the world, Miss Ware, 
when I have written and Cranston has filmed your 
story." 

"I am eager to begin writing it. Won't you com- 
mence to tell us at once, give us the 'local color?' I 
want to get full of it, saturated with it, before I begin 
to write it. While I write, Cranston will get his loca- 
tions, his props, and be ready to film it." 

"We will find plenty of 'local color,' gentlemen," 
said Peggy, "and when you have absorbed this, I'll fill 
in the details of the story as you may desire." 

"I have observed that you have written over the 
portals of your 'temple,' as Simon called your retreat, 
'Shrine of Silence.' This will be a good place to begin. 
It is big local color." 

"That will be the end of the story, Mr. Winslow, as 
I propose to tell it to you. You can put it anywhere 
in the story that pleases you, but I will give it to you 
last, and you must not ask anyone about it until I get 
ready to tell you." 

"My curiosity is greatly aroused," Winslow declared, 
"but I will respect your wishes." 

"I will call Simon, and let him accompany you to 
the various places of interest, and let you meet some 
of our principal characters, and afterward I want you 
to attend our first picture show. Tomorrow we shall 
be ready to begin the serious work of preparation, I 
hope." 

Simon was in all his glory as he accompanied Wins- 
low and Cranston. It afforded him a big opportunity 



Behold What a Flame; a Little; Spark KindlETh 225 

to sing the praises of Peggy, and there was no other 
theme in all the world one-half so big. 

He conducted them through the school buildings, 
the work rooms, the factory where furniture was being 
made. They were shown the sawmill, the fields where 
but a few months previously great forest trees grew 
and now producing abundant crops. Down in the 
meadow was the herd of high class Jersey cows, which 
supplied the boys and girls with choice milk and butter. 

"Heah is de spring house, whare we keeps de milk 
des as cole as ice," explained Simon, as he escorted the 
visitors to a large rock house through which the water 
from a big spring flowed. "Did you evah drink buttah 
milk out of a goahd?" asked Simon. 

They both declared they had never done so, but 
would like to try the experiment. 

"Milk alius am bettah outen a good sweet goahd 
dan any udder way you kin drink it," the old man went 
on enthusiastically, as he proceeded to pour a big 
gourd full for each of them. As they emptied their 
gourds and called for more, he laughed softly. 

"You drinks it lak quality," he said. "You know dat 
you kin alius tell a shore 'miff Southern gemman by 
what he eats an' drinks. Dey learn dis befo, de wah, 
when de ole nigger mammies didn't hab nuthin' to do 
'cept study up sumpin' to cook fer de white folks. Dey 
learn to cook lots ob things what nobody else evah 
thought ob cookin', an' it wus de bes' eatin' in de worl'. 
Dah's possum an' taters, chitlens, hog jowl an' turnip 
greens, craklin' bread, souse, backbone an' spare ribs, 
hot biscuits an' fried chicken, an' buttah milk outen a 
goahd. When a gemman don't lak all dat, you know 
dey wus sumpin' wrong wid his eddycation." 

Alongside the field of a hundred acres or more culti- 
vated by the pupils of the Peggy Ware School, they 



226 Peggy Wake 

ran across Jeff Carries, a relic of the old Wild Cat days 
of Bucks Pocket. He was plowing, an ox hitched by a 
yoke to a crude wooden plow. 

"Dese gemmen want to talk to you, Mr. Carnes," 
said Simon, politely. 

"All right, fellers, jest fire away, fer the steer is alius 
glad of an excuse to stop an' chat, an' I don't min' it 
myself. What is youalls' business in Bucks Pocket?" 

"We are interested in motion pictures," said Wins- 
low, "and are here to write the story of the Peggy 
Ware School and make a motion picture of it." 

"See here, strangers, you can't stuff none o' that 
foolishness down me. Ef I wus guessin', I'd say you 
wus revenoos snoopin' round heah. But they ain't 
nuthin' fer you to be nosin' about. When the big 
Cap'n quit making 'er, we knowed they wus sumpin' 
up, an' we better quit, an' they ain't been a drap made 
in Bucks Pocket sence.' 

"What made the 'Captain', as you call him, quit 
making wild-cat liquor?" asked Winslow, eager for a 
story. 

"Oh, it wus that Peggy Ware gal, I recon," he 
drawled. "I ain't heerd anybody say, but she jes' 
winds Cliff Anderson aroun' her fingers like a cotton 
string, an' I think she got him to quit. I axed him one 
day, an' he comes nigh hittin' me an' said, 'You jest 
keep Miss Ware's name outen my wild catten', an' I 
ain't never said no more to him about it. 

"You talkin' about yore movin' picters. My Sal — 
she's my gal, you know, says they is gwine to be a 
movin' picter show at the church house tonight, an' 
she an' Jane, she's my wife, you know, is tryin' to git 
me to go. I tell 'em I ain't gwine to make a fool of 
myself by gwine up thare, becase they never wus no 
picter what could move onless somebody moved it. 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark KindlEth 227 

Jane says maybe it's so, an', ef it is, it proves that the 
worl' is comin' to a end, becase the Bible says, so she 
says the preacher says, that before the end of the worl' 
the people'll git weaker an' wiser. Wall, you'd haft to 
be pow'ful weak to believe that picters kin move." 

"If you will come out tonight, and the pictures don't 
move, and move faster than you ever saw a dog run, 
I'll let you hitch me to your plow tomorrow, and I'll 
pull it for you," said Cranston. 

"By gosh ! You're game, all right," declared Carnes. 
"I think I'll go you one an' come with the folks tonight, 
an' tomorrow I'll let ole Buck rest, an' I'll plow you." 
As he visioned the well-dressed stranger yoked to the 
plow, he laughed heartily. 

"You know, my Sal blieves everythin' that Ware 
gal tells her. An' she's tryin' to fix her hair and look 
jist like her. All the gals in Bucks Pocket is doin' the 
same thing. They all quit dippin' snuff an' quit goin' 
barefooted to church, an' the ole woman made me do 
without terbaccy long enough to buy Sal a pair o' 
shoes. Lordy, but it purty nigh kilt me ! But they 
warn't nuthin' else to do. When the women folks git 
the Peggy Wares, I call it, they is wus'n a locoed hoss, 
an' we men mout as well set in the shade. Trouble is, 
most all the men got the Peggy Wares too, all 'cept 
me, an' Bud Whitman an' one or two more, an' my 
Sal says I'll ketch it ef I don't look out." 

"All right, stranger, I'll be thar tonight, an' ef she 
don't move, I'll plow you tomorrow," and the old man 
chuckled as his ox ambled slowly away, dragging the 
crude plow. 

"Wait a minute," shouted Cranston. "Suppose she 
does move, then can I plow you?" 

He scratched his head, a shrewd look in his eyes. 
"The worl's gittin' wiser, stranger," he said. "I guess 



228 Peggy Wars 

not. Git up thare, Buck. See you tonight," and he 
was off down the crooked corn row, creeping at a snail's 
pace. 

"Didn't you know she wits a Lee on her mother's 
side?" Simon replied in answer to a question from 
Winslow. 

"Bless yore soul, her gran' daddy wus a cousin of 
General Robert E. Lee, an' he wus killed in de wah. I 
brung him off de battlefield. He an' Captain Anderson 
wus both shot at de same time, an' I carried Massa An- 
derson off too, but I nevah knowed who it wus tel de 
night de White Caps wus gwine to hang me, an' den 
he tole e'm about it." 

"Tell us about the White Caps, Simon," said Wins- 
low. "The plot thickens, Cranston. We are on the 
trail of the biggest story ever screened." 

"Yo don't know nuthin' yet, gemmen ; jest wait till 
you sees and heahs it jail." 

5jJ i^ JjC S[C yf- 5JC 3jC5|C 

After meeting Anderson, his wife, and Ruth, Simon 
escorted them to Doctor Weston's sanitarium. Here 
they met Wilbur Ware and Doctor Weston. 

"Peggy has already told us of your mission, gentle- 
men," said her father, "and I am more than glad you 
came. I think you will be greatly interested in Doctor 
Weston's work." 

"I am sure we shall be," said Cranston. "Everything 
here is so real that it seems refreshing to me. I sup- 
pose it is because I have lived so long in the artificial 
world — a sort of make-believe life, where everyone 
wears a mask, and attempts to conceal his identity. It 
is so different here, where people are not playing an 
assumed part, but just living their natural lives." 

"A wonderfully interesting phase of this life as I 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark Kindleth 229 

have found it, is very tragic," declared Weston. "We 
have built this place to care for and treat a class of 
people who have the 'lonesome disease,' a term these 
mountaineers use to designate a peculiar form of in- 
sanity brought on by the barren, colorless life led by 
these isolated mountain people, especially the women." 

"Ah, this is something new, something startling," 
exclaimed Winslow. "Do tell us all about it. What a 
wonderful feature it will be in our big story." 

Doctor Weston sketched the conditions that pre- 
vailed in these out-of-the-way places, and described the 
mental state resulting in the lonesome malady. 

"Can they be cured?" asked Winslow. 

"Yes, I am curing them," answered Weston. "It is 
done by the law of suggestion. They have lost the 
connection between their souls and their minds, using 
mind in the sense that it is a function of the brain. 
It is my work to re-establish this connection, or, to put 
it differently, uncross the wires. When the wires are 
uncrossed so they can receive communications from 
their souls, it is comparatively easy to bring them back 
to normal. After that, it is a question of building the 
proper brain cells. It is just as easy to grow brains 
as it is cabbage." 

Cranston and Winslow both laughed heartily at what 
they thought a pet joke of Doctor Weston's. 

"That would be the most wonderful truth in the 
world, if it were a truth," declared Winslow. 

"It is vitally true, I assure you," Weston declared 
eagerly. "Not only can you make your own brains, 
you can renew your body so that you need never grow 
old. The process is so simple that we are teaching it 
to the youngest of our boys and girls. You can build 
just such a body as you desire, with features and per- 
sonality in keeping with your thoughts." 



230 Peggy Ware 

"If I can be shown the proof of these theories," cried 
Winslow, "Cranston and I will give the world a lesson 
on the screen that will stagger the imagination." 

"Gladly will I show you the proof," declared Wes- 
ton, "for it is at the foundation of all our teaching, and 
everywhere you turn you will find living evidence. 

"Miss Ware is our most striking example, and after 
her come the others, from the greatest to the least, 
with every development from the old "Hard Shell" 
meeting house to what you see today. And this is 
only the beginning. The soul of Peggy Ware is build- 
ing, building, day and night, waking and sleeping, and 
there is going forth from here not only this great truth, 
but the living evidence to support it." 

"This is stupendous," declared Winslow," and your 
honesty and earnestness convince me that there is some 
basis for your claims. I should like to believe it, for 
it means much to me, and much to mankind." 

"If you asked me for one word that would give you 
a key word for the story you are going to write, I 
would say, 'Salvation,' declared Wilbur Ware. 

"Make this the key, and build around it the concrete 
facts as you find them here, and you will have a theme 
that the world is thirsting for." 

"Salvation just means accepting some religious 
dogma, doesn't it, Mr. Ware?" asked Cranston. 

"That is not what the Peggy Ware School means by 
Salvation, Mr. Cranston. The theological idea of sal- 
vation is that a man must say he believes a certain 
thing, and he is instantly saved. It is too easy and 
means nothing. The salvation we teach is one that 
makes man responsible for every act and thought, that 
says he must pay to the last farthing — that he cannot 
shirk the consequences of his own wrong doing. We 



Behold What a Flame a Little Spark Kindleth 231 

teach our boys and girls that they would be cowards if 
they attempted to lay their sins on someone else. 

"Knowing that they must reap what they sow, we 
have laid the foundation for salvation that begins in 
building a perfect brain in a perfect body, dominated 
by an awakened soul. The process ends when the 
animal man is crucified, and the soul is the Master of 
the life." 

"But that is a hard road, a long road," said Winslow 
very seriously. "Is there no other way?" 

"No other way, my friend, however long and painful 
the journey. It may take ages, aeons for some of us, 
but others will travel more swiftly to the same goal. 
Peggy seems to have lived ages in a single year, and 
others of us are trying to walk in her footsteps." 

"I, too, would find the way," declared Winslow. 

"And I," said Cranston solemnly. 

"It's time to go to de picter show, gemmen," de- 
clared Simon. 

"We certainly don't want to miss it," said Cranston. 
"I think we will get some fine screen material." 

The Mayor of Chattanooga had sent down on the 
boat the day before a projecting machine and full outfit 
for exhibiting motion pictures. The church had been 
fitted up and it was the night of the first performance. 

The news had spread throughout the Pocket like 
wildfire, and long before the opening hour the entire 
population was outside waiting, from babies in arms to 
old, gray-haired grandfathers and grandmothers. 

Peggy's boys and girls occupied the front seats, 
where their view would be unobstructed. Every seat 
was taken, and the aisles were packed. When the pro- 
jection machine began to click and sputter, there was 
great excitement. Not a dozen souls in the house had 
ever seen a motion picture. 



232 Peggy Ware 

At last the pictures appeared on the screen. As the 
characters actually moved, talked, laughed, fought, 
right before their eyes, bedlam broke loose. The boys 
cheered wildly, the girls clapped their hands and 
laughed, the older people expressed various degrees of 
amazement. 

Winslow and Cranston had never witnessed such a 
scene. If they only had a camera man and were pre- 
pared to "shoot it," what a sensation it would create 
in the cities. 

"Write the story, Winslow, write it just as it is, and 
we will use these natives, just as we see them tonight," 
said Cranston, "and the great director felt a thrill of 
reality he had not often experienced. 

It was a five-reel film, and when it was finished there 
were murmurs of disappointment. "Make her move 
agin," was shouted by a hundred throats ; and to please 
them Peggy ordered .the operator to run the film the 
second time. The interest and enthusiasm was greater 
than at the first showing, if possible. 

Winslow and Cranston were caught in the surging 
tide, and schemes for helping Peggy carry out her 
plans were rioting through their heads. 

Not satisfied with the second run, the crowd clam- 
ored for more. Not until Peggy assured them they 
should have a new picture the following night would 
they consent to go home. 

"That's the bigges' thing I ever seed sence the woods 
wus burnt," said one old fellow, as the crowd was filing 
slowly out of the house. 

"Huh," said his companion, "it beats a camp meetin' 
er a barbecue, an' I would lak to see one ev'ry night as 
long as I live." 

"I recon' ef we can have them movin' picters onct in 
a while, we women folks won't be so lonesome," de- 



Behold What a Flame; a Little Spark Kindleth 233 

clared a wrinkled old soul, her face well hid by her big 
sunbonnet. 

"Ain't it the truth?" exclaimed a half dozen who 
were in full accord with her. 

"Say, stranger," called Carnes to Cranston, "I turned 
old Buck out to grass an' told him he could rest to- 
morrow, but I'll have to git 'im up an' plow 'im, fer 
she shore did move, didnt she? An' I got the Peggy 
Wares as bad as my Sal." 



Chapter Seventeen 
THE SLACKER'S RENDEZVOUS 

i 'T TOXJ have never told us the secret of your 
Y "Shrine of Silence," Miss Ware, "said Hubert 
Winslow, one morning after he and Cranston 
had spent many weeks in Bucks Pocket and the sur- 
rounding mountain territory. "I have now written 
the story of your life, with its romantic activities, and 
am ready to learn from your own lips the 'why' of it. 
To my mind, the 'why' is the most important part of 
the story and everything else is detail." 

"I feel the same way about it," said Cranston. "Since 
coming here, I have slowly come into your vision — at 
least I suppose that is it — and I have a feeling that you 
possess a great secret 'that I need to learn, that the 
world needs to know, and that, somehow this secret 
that you must know, is the key that will unlock to all 
men the storehouse of happiness and abundance that 
you have evidently found. Won't you tell us all 
about it?" 

"I did not tell you at the outset, gentlemen," said 
Peggy, "fearing that you would think me some sort of 
wild-eyed fanatic, and for many reasons I did not want 
you to get that impression. To the average man of the 
world, what I am going to say to you would be the 
babbling of an imbecile. 

Saint Paul said that spiritual things must be spirit- 
ually discerned, and when one talks of the soul and 
things of the soul to those who are living and thinking 
wholly on the animal or material plane, one may expect 
ridicule and often scorn. 
234 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 235 

The great-souled Emerson said : "Every man's words 
who speaks from that life must sound vain to those 
who do not dwell in the same thought on their own 
part. I dare not speak for it. My words do not carry 
its august sense; they fall short and cold, only itself 
can inspire whom it will, and behold ! their speech 
shall be lyrical and sweet, and universal as the rising 
of the wind." 

"Since you have seen what we have accomplished, 
how sane and practical all our plans are, and know the 
story from the beginning, and are now in full accord 
with the spirit of the work, I am glad to try to tell you 
the 'why' of my work, of which the 'Shrine of Silence' 
is, to my mind, the incarnation. 

"In all ages there has been an esoteric religion, not 
known to the masses, because they were too material- 
istic to understand. The prophets and seers of all time 
have known these deeper truths, and never since man 
has been man has there been a time when God did not 
have His witnesses in the world to these truths. 

"Jesus came when materialism threatened to extin- 
guish the light of truth, and restated its principles in a 
way that no other teacher had done. He revealed the 
whole truth to his disciples in spiritual language, be- 
cause their spiritual eyes were open, but to the materi- 
alistic masses He spoke in parables. I believe the 
time is near for the revelation of the truth to the world, 
and I am so glad that here, in this out-of-the-way 
corner of God's vineyard, I may be an humble instru- 
ment in this revelation. 

"In all ages men have talked to God. They have 
realized their oneness with Him and all His creation. 
Jesus' mission was to bring all men to this realization, 
this soul consciousness, this God consciousness, for 



236 Peggy War^ 

with it comes 'power to become the Sons of God,' in 
the language of one of the apostles. 

"If I wanted to talk to my father about the most 
vital thing in my life, I should not want to do so in 
the busy marts of trade, where the clang and clamor 
would distract my mind and his attention. 

"Men have learned that in order to talk to God, their 
souls must be attuned to the Divine Spirit, and that 
this can best be done in the silence of one's own soul. 
So Jesus sought the secret places, where he could talk 
to His Father face to face. All great souls have 
done so. 

"This is the 'why' of my 'Shrine of Silence.' It is here 
that I have received wisdom, guidance, and power. It 
is here that I have found peace to my soul when it was 
tossed about by the tempest of selfishness. 

"The first condition to God's guidance is the cruci- 
fixion of self. When we have done that, we can go 
confidently into the silence where only God is. 

"Jesus said : 'Therefore, I say unto you, what things 
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive 
them, and ye shall have them.' This is the 'why' of 
my life, of the story of the Peggy Ware School. 

"It was in my Shrine of Silence that I asked God to 
send someone to help develop my vision of motion pic- 
tures for the isolated mountain people, and you came. 
Now our vision has grown and we want to take in the 
whole world with pictures that have a soul, that teach 
life. 

"From the first feeble beginning in the old Hard 
Shell church house, until today, God has guided me in 
just this way." 

"If we can get Peggy Ware's message over on the 
screen," declared Cranston, "we will set a new 
standard in motion pictures. For a long time I have 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 237 

realized that my life was lacking in something, that 
there was an eternal longing in my soul that nothing 
could satisfy. I think I am beginning to get a glimpse 
of that something, and my coming to Bucks Pocket 
marks the beginning of a new life for me." 

"You have voiced my sentiments," declared Wins- 
low, "and I feel that we have discovered a secret here 
that will help to revolutionize the motion picture 
industry. 

"It stands fourth today in magnitude in the world's 
industries, and some day it will be first, but not until 
it has undergone a great change. This change is fun- 
damental, to my mind, and before it is effected there 
is going to be a great upheaval in the motion picture 
world." 

"The fight has already begun," said Cranston. 
"There has been a big reduction in salaries and a cur- 
tailment of production. The public is turning to the 
legitimate stage in ever-increasing numbers, and even 
the long-neglected lecture is coming into favor again. 
And now the producers, the big and little stars, the 
screen writers, and directors are crying out against 
having notorious characters place the story of their 
sordid, vulgar lives on the screen." 

"These are signs of the times," said Winslow, "and 
there are others. One of the biggest is the movement 
for Sunday closing laws and censorship regulations. 
The people who are protesting against filming the lives 
of notorious characters are also much exercised about 
the enactment of blue laws. The fight for Sunday 
closing of motion-picture houses is being strenuously 
opposed by them. The fundamental cause of the 
trouble they have not grasped. The fundamental idea 
of motion pictures has heretofore been entertainment. 
Under this head, the screen has been flooded with 



238 Peggy Ware 

thousands of stories more sordid, more repulsive than 
the life of any ex-murderess now before the public, and 
some of the people who are now protesting so loudly 
against these notorious characters, and against the 
screening of their life stories, are today engaged in 
making pictures either too inane or too dirty to be 
shown in a barroom, much less in a decent motion pic- 
ture theatre. Such pictures have brought on the fight 
against the industry, and the clean people in the busi- 
ness, who are in the vast majority, should see where 
the trouble lies." 

"Speaking of barrooms," said Peggy, "suggests to 
my mind that it was the saloon that furnished the pro- 
hibitionists with most of their arguments for prohibi- 
tion. I think the motion-picture people who are pro- 
ducing the class of pictures you refer to are furnishing 
the advocates of Sunday closing and other repressive 
measures their arguments for these drastic laws. 

"I am opposed to censorship, except the censorship 
of an enlightened public conscience. I am also opposed 
to closing the picture shows on Sunday, but unless 
there is a change in the standard of pictures now being 
made, we will see the picture shows closed on Sunday, 
and also fanatical boards of censorship. 

"If the people engaged in making pictures don't 
wake up, there will be nobody to defend them. Just 
as it was with the saloon. It got so bad that no one 
dared defend it, except those engaged in the business, 
and 'bone dry' prohibition laws were the result. Those 
engaged in the motion-picture industry may well profit 
by this example." 

"They must make the basis of pictures educational 
along constructive lines," declared Winslow. "They 
need not be less entertaining, less dramatic, less beau- 
tiful. They must be pictures with a soul." 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 239 

"And they must be clean enough to exhibit in the 
churches," declared Cranston. 

"If I were a preacher," said Peggy, "I would not ob- 
ject if there was a motion-picture theatre next door to 
my church. If my message were not vital enough to 
draw an audience, then I should prefer that they attend 
the motion-picture show. 

"My idea is to combine the church and the motion- 
picture house, at least in the rural districts. That is 
what we propose doing in our community centers. 
Instead of fighting Sunday pictures, howling for cen- 
sorship, and other blue laws, the preachers, the church 
people ; in fact, all decent people, should rise up and 
take charge of this great educational industry and make 
it the most tremendous force for good in the world. 
This is the motion-picture era, and the industry must 
be rescued from those who would destroy the soul of 
the Nation for the sake of paltry dollars." 

"Our idea of pictures," said Winslow, "will be just 
as strenuously opposed by many of those now in the 
business as they are opposing blue laws, for the reason 
that they call all teaching preaching, and say that 
people can go to church to get their preaching. I think 
that depends. 

"We will give them 'Peggy Ware' as our first great 
constructive picture based on the fundamental idea of 
teaching, rather than entertainment. We will try the 
experiment and see if the public will support our views. 
If so, then we will know that people want to get away 
from the world of make believe, the world of the 
brothel, the dance hall, the saloon and the liaisons of 
either the upper or underworld." 

"We will select our characters from real life," said 
Cranston, "taking people who have lived the life they 
undertake to portray on the screen." 



240 Peggy Ware 

"How could any actress, however clever, take the 
part of Peggy Ware, who did not have her soul, her 
vision? So with the other characters in our story. We 
will have a real Doctor Weston, an old Simon, a Wil- 
bur Ware, and a Cliff Anderson. These people will 
act, not merely 'act acting.' What a joy it will be to 
see characters on the screen that act, rather than those 
that imitate acting. 

"It may be all right for people without soul, char- 
acter or vision to take part in the stories of the smart 
set, the artificial society plays, the reeking sex dramas, 
but they are incapable of playing great parts in real 
human drama." 

"We are trying a new experiment," said Winslow, 
"and I have never in my life felt such assurance, such 
enthusiasm. 

"We have commenced 'shooting' our scenes, and will 
push the work as rapidly as possible, for I am almost 
as impatient as a boy'to see the first showing of Peggy 
Ware on the screen. 

^ * * # * * ** 

Bucks Pocket had been transformed in a short time 
from the den of the Wild Catters to the dynamic center 
of activities that were attracting attention far and 
wide. The governor of Alabama came to learn at first 
hand about the Peggy Ware School. He could hardly 
realize that the most lawless spot in the State had 
become the center of a movement that promised more 
for the mountain boys and girls than anything that 
had ever been attempted. He saw the practical work- 
ings of the Peggy Ware system, and became an en- 
thusiastic convert. 

"I wish I could pledge you State aid," he said, "but 
it is not in my power. It would require a special act 
of the Legislature, and that would be difficult to get. 



The; Slacker's Rendezvous 241 

If you had a strong, forceful representative from your 
county, fully imbued with the spirit of your work, he 
might be able to sway the Legislature. If every mem- 
ber could come here and catch the spirit, as I have, 
there would be no question about it. 

"I have in mind the man to make the race for the 
Legislature," said Peggy. "He is the backbone of this 
institution, and there never could have been a Peggy 
Ware School but for him." 

Cliff Anderson began to shift from one foot to the 
other, looking about in a frightened sort of way, like 
a big boy. 

"Oh, it's you, Mr. Anderson," and it won't do any 
good for you to take stage fright this early in the 
game," declared Peggy. "There will be time enough 
for that when you meet Mr. Fuller, your opponent, in 
joint discussion." 

"Now, see here, Miss Peggy, you are trying to make 
game of me," said Anderson, dryly. "It's a good joke 
for you an' the governor, and jest as long as you don't 
mean it, it's all right," and he grinned; but there was 
an absence of mirth from his features. Plainly, he was 

uneasy. 

"But I do mean it, Mr. Anderson," Peggy persisted. 
"I mean it with all my heart." 

Anderson was frightened now. He was seized with 
what the old deer hunters called "buck aguer." 

His teeth chattered, and his lips were dry. He well 
knew that if Peggy made up her mind to have him run 
for the Legislature there was no escape. "See here, 
folks, this is gettin' serious. It all comes from that 
fool talk I had down at the court house that time when 
that slick Lawyer Fuller was draggin' me. I jist shot 
him a little hot air. O' course, I didn't mean it." 

"I remember how the crowd cheered and shouted 



242 PuggyWare 

'hurrah for Anderson !' " said Peggy, ''and I am sure 
that you can be triumphantly elected." 

"Bully! Fine!" exclaimed the governor. "Captain 
Anderson, the gallant ex-Confederate soldier, the ex- 
king of the Wild Catters, the man who fell beside the 
beloved Captain Lee, whose granddaughter is the presi- 
dent of the Peggy Ware School. It will be irresist- 
ible. You will be elected, and will be the most impos- 
ing figure in the Legislature. You will be the only 
ex-Confederate there. When you make your plea for 
a donation for this institution, you will sweep aside all 
opposition." 

"I ain't got no edycation, I ain't no speaker, I ain't 
got no character. They'll prove I'm a thief, a crook 
an' the bigges' liar in ten states," said Anderson. 

"If they prove all that, I am sure you will be elected," 
said the governor, "for everybody knows it isn't so. 
You are known as an honest man who always made 
pure whiskey, and you quit because you wanted to, and 
are now doing more for our dear boys and girls in these 
mountains than any other man in the State." 

"I have jest decided to go to France and fight fer 
my country," said Anderson. "I have been thinkin' 
about it sence we declared war with Germany, an' I'm 
gwine to France ef they will take me." 

The governor and Peggy laughed, but to Anderson 
it was no joke. "I feel like I ought to go," he con- 
tinued. "Ef they won't let me fight, I kin be a 
stretcher bearer an' carry the poor fellers off the field 
when they are shot down. I am ashamed of these 
slackers who are dodgin' the draft, layin' out in these 
bluffs an' gorges, sayin' they ain't gwine to go, that 
they will fight Uncle Sam afore they will fight Ger- 
many. It makes my blood hot, an' ef somebody will 
roun' 'em up fer me an' let me take 'em one at a time, 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 243 

I'll lick the devil out of every one of them; an' when I 
git through, they'll be pow'ful glad to put on Uncle 
Sam's uniform an' go over thare." The old man stood 
like a giant, and the Governor said admiringly : 

"Anderson, I don't doubt that you could lick every 
mother's son of them, if you had a little breathing spell 
in between times. In fact. I don't think there is one of 
them that would face you if he could see you now. I 
have heard of what happened to Bud Whitman, the 
leader of the slackers, when he led a mob to lynch old 
Simon. 

"Uncle Sam will take care of these slackers, and 
there are plenty of young men to do our fighting over 
in France. It is vastly more important that you should 
remain here and help carry on this work that has been 
so abundantly blessed by God. The big opportunity 
of your life has come in your old age, and you must not 
shrink from your duty." 

"I'd ruther fight every slacker now hidin' in Bucks 
Pocket, an' then go to France an' fight 'til we lick the 
stuffin' outen Germany, than to run fer the Legislatur, 
an' have to meet that Jim Crow lawyer on the stump." 

"You are not afraid of him, are you, Anderson?" 
banteringly asked the governor. He had hardly spoken 
the words until he regretted them. The old man was 
hurt. He shrank as if the governor had struck him, 
and his eyes showed the pain dealt his pride. 

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Anderson," exclaimed the 
governor, taking the big man's hand in his. "I just 
wanted to arouse you to a full sense of your duty." 

"It's all right, governor. I understand better than 
you do. They ain't but one thing in this world or the 
next that I'm afeard of, an' that's Cliff Anderson." 

"There is no hurry about coming to a conclusion, 
Mr. Anderson," said Peggy. "Take your time to think 



244 Peggy Ware 

it over, and you'll know what's right, and do it, for you 
are the same brave soldier that you were the day you 
fell beside my grandfather, twenty paces in advance 
of his men." 

They fell to talking about the draft evaders, for it 
had come to be a serious question. About a hundred 
of them, it was reported, were now hidden in Bucks 
Pocket. They had come from the surrounding coun- 
ties and concentrated in this Pocket, whose natural 
fortifications made it extremely dangerous for the 
officers to attempt an entrance. But a short time pre- 
viously the sheriff of the county had been seriously 
wounded, and two of his deputies killed, in an attempt 
to arrest some of the draft dodgers. 

Now they had rendezvoused in this place where one 
man could defend himself against a score, if secreted 
at some vantage point. They were provided with guns 
and ammunition, and provisions for a long siege. The 
"slackers' army," as* it was called, was made up of 
young mountaineers, wholly illiterate, with no idea of 
patriotism or love of country. They were not cowards, 
they were ignorant. Hence they were easily led by 
men like Bud Whitman and Bill Kellet, both bullies, 
but cowards at heart. These leaders pretended to be 
German sympathizers, but this was a lame excuse for 
their own cowardly, unpatriotic conduct. 

Peggy had been outspoken in her views, and had 
been active in such war work as was possible in this 
remote corner. All the old women were knitting for 
the boys over there, and all the older boys in school 
had volunteered to serve whenever their government 
could use them. 

The Stars and stripes floated proudly over every 
building on the school grounds, and Bud Whitman had 
sent word to Peggy that unless the flags were taken 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 245 

down he and his men would burn every house, includ- 
ing Wilbur Ware's and Cliff Anderson's. She had 
ignored these threats, but in her heart there was a 
dread that caused her many a sleepless night. 

Doctor Weston, Anderson, and Ware wanted to in- 
tercede with the men, but were dissuaded by Peggy. 
She knew the temper of the leaders, the ignorance of 
the men, and in the inflamed condition of their minds, 
she feared for the result. 

"I am the one to go to them," she said; but a chorus 
of "No's" greeted this declaration. 

"I am leaving tomorrow," said the governor, "and I 
will seek an interview with the men before I go." 

"It would be madness, governor," said Peggy. "They 
would kill you, just as they did the deputy sheriffs. 
We must wait the psychological moment. When it 
comes, God will direct us what to do." 

"Woman, great is thy faith," reverently exclaimed 
the governor. "I defer to your inner vision, that 
transcends my judgment and reason." 

* * ***** 

About a week after the governor left, Peggy received 
a letter from him, stating that he had represented to 
the military authorities that the civil officers could not 
cope with the organized band of slackers now hiding in 
Bucks Pocket, and had been informed that a company 
of United States soldiers would be dispatched to the 
scene to round up the "slacker army." He expressed 
the hope that Peggy would co-operate with the gov- 
ernment and prevent bloodshed, if possible. 

In a short time reports were filtering in by "grape- 
vine" telegraph that a company of soldiers had already 
arrived and that it was encamped on the mountain 
just above the "mouth" of the Pocket. Through this 
opening between the giant walls of rocks there now ran 



246 Peggy Ware 

a splendid road, where there was formerly an irregular 
trail. It would have been quite easy for the lieutenant 
in charge of the soldiers to have marched his men down 
this road, but few of them would have reached their 
journey's end alive. 

On either side, high up among the overhanging cliffs, 
Bud Whitman had posted his sharpshooters, men who 
could shoot a squirrel's ear off in the top of the tallest 
oak that grew in Bucks Pocket, without killing the 
squirrel. If one of them ever got a "bead" on a sol- 
dier, it meant certain death. 

Since the coming of the soldiers, Whitman had 
issued orders that no one be allowed to leave the 
Pocket under pain of being shot by one of his sentries. 
He told his men that the soldiers dare not fire on 
them, that their coming was all a bluff, and that if they 
did not voluntarily surrender, there would be no dan- 
ger. He assured his followers that no one had a right 
to shoot in making an arrest, but the sheriff, and by 
these false statements he reassured his men, who were 
becoming afraid they had carried their resistance too 
far. 

Peggy, her father, Anderson, and Doctor Weston, 
all realized that the crisis had been reached, and that, 
if possible, the commander of the soldiers should be 
communicated with. They knew the great danger and 
risk in attempting to do so. Each of the men volun- 
teered to undertake the task, but Peggy protested. 

Simon, who had listened to the conversation, begged 
to be allowed to go. "I ain't got much longer to stay 
heah, nohow," he said. "An' I kin sneak out tonight 
an' see de Cap'n, an' ef dey git me dey won't cheat 
me outen many yeahs." 

"My good old Simon, I could not let you go," said 
Peggy. "I'd rather go myself, but, of course, it would 



The; Slacker's Rendezvous 247 

not be quite the proper thing for a lady to do," and 
she laughed lightly. 

"I have a brilliant idea," she went on animatedly. 
"I know just the person for a messenger, one that will 
not be suspected by the slackers." 

Almost in the same breath, all of them exclaimed : 
"Who is it?" 

"Now you are inquisitive," she replied. "I cannot 
tell you until after I have interviewed the person I 
have in mind. Please do not question me further, and 
I will tell you all about it tonight. In the meantime, 
I am going up to Mr. Anderson's to see Ruth," and 
before they realized it she was gone, leaving them won- 
dering what Peggy had in mind. 

These strong men had learned to let Peggy have her 
way in all things. Not that she was willful or head- 
strong; far from it. She often sought Simon's advice, 
and welcomed suggestions from everyone, even the 
humblest. 

After she was gone, the men talked about the threats 
of Bud Whitman to burn the school buildings and the 
houses of Ware and Anderson. While they were 
earnestly discussing the danger, one of Peggy's pupils 
came in, breathless. "Where is Miss Peggy?" he 
asked, excitedly. 

"What is it, son?" gently inquired Peggy's father. 

"I don't want to tell nobody but her," he exclaimed. 

Wilbur Ware explained to him that Peggy was gone, 
and that he was Peggy's father, and urged him to con- 
fide in him. 

"I know you are her father, all right," he said, "and 
I'll tell you, but I'd ruther tell her." 

"Of course, you would, son, and I don't blame you ; 
but your message will be safe with us," and Peggy's 
father patted him kindly on the head. 



248 Peggy Ware 

Thus encouraged, he told them that he had been 
fishing up on the creek, when he saw Bud Whitman 
and Bill Kellett come down the trail, and sit down at 
the root of a big tree and begin to talk. "As they 
talked," he said, "they kept pointing toward the school 
house, and I got curious to know what they were talk- 
ing about, so I crawled up behind the tree from where 
they sat, and I heard Bud Whitman say, 'We'll burn 
her down tonight, Bill, and while everybody is excited, 
you and I will slip out of the Pocket, git to the river, 
steal a canoe, and cross over to the other side of the 
river, and leave the other fellers to take care of them- 
selves. It's gittin' too hot here for us, but before I go 
I want to do all I can to that d — d Anderson-Ware 
bunch." 

"I didn't want to hear any more," he said, "but 
crawled away and beat it here to tell Miss Peggy." 

"I want to thank yo.u, little man," said W r ilbur Ware. 
"You are a brave chap, and I'll tell Peggy all about it," 
and again he placed his hand lovingly on the boy's 
head. 

"I wish Peggy were here," anxiously exclaimed her 
father. "I always feel the need of her in a crisis." 

"So do we all," said Doctor Weston. "She is the 
soul of everything." 

"When she's aroun'," said Anderson, "I alius feel 
that nuthin' bad can happen. I wonder why it is?" 

"It's becase she trusts de Lawd, when de rest ob us 
des thinks we do," added Simon. 

Hastily they planned to guard the school buildings, 
as well as Ware's and Anderson's homes. They felt 
sure that Whitman and Kellet would not take any of 
their comrades into their confidence. Therefore they 
would have but two to deal with. 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 249 

Peggy was but a short time in reaching Anderson's 
home. Mrs. Anderson was not there, and there was 
no one to overhear what she told Ruth. 

Before she had finished, Ruth's excitement was 
greater than Peggy's. "I'll go with you, Peggy, of 
course, I will. The cowards won't dare shoot us. I 
am not afraid of the whole bunch." Ruth drew herself 
up proudly, and if the slackers could have seen her, 
they would not have doubted her fearlessness. 

Swiftly they stole away from the house, and clearing, 
anxious that no one should know their secret mission. 
Once out of danger of discovery by their friends, the 
girls threw off all restraint, and walked the road lead- 
ing up the mountain side as carelessly as if they were 
going on a picnic. 

A sort of wild recklessness seized Ruth, and at inter- 
vals, she would shout: "It's just me and Peggy, Mr. 
Slackers. Why don't you shoot?" Then she would 
burst out into song : 

"If a body meet a body, 
Comin' through the rye" 

The very audacity of the thing paralyzed the activi- 
ties of the sharpshooters, and not a man of them 
showed his face or raised a gun. It is doubtful if out 
of all that hundred draft dodgers there were more than 
two who would have harmed these beautiful girls, and 
those two were the cowardly leaders who were now 
plotting to leave their ignorant followers in the lurch. 

As they neared the top of the defile they began to 
talk. Ruth said : "Peggy, I wish you were my sister. 
Do you know, I sometimes feel just like we were sis- 
ters? It's because you have done so much for me, I 
suppose, and you are such a wonderful girl, and I love 
you so. 



250 Peggy Ware 

"Old Simon told me once that I am just like your 
mother when she was my age. I am so glad of it, for 
it will make you love me all the more." 

"I could not love you better, Ruth, if you were my 
own sister," warmly exclaimed Peggy. "I have no- 
ticed a remarkable resemblance to my mother, also, and 
I am glad you look like her, for I thought her the most 
beautiful woman in the world." 

"I wonder why Doctor Weston loved me, Peggy, 
instead of you? You are so smart, so beautiful, and 
so sweet, and I am such an ignorant thing." 

If Ruth had not been so self-centered at the moment, 
she could not have failed to observe Peggy as she 
threw out her hand as if she were grasping at some- 
thing, to prevent herself from falling. She might have 
seen a face as white as it will be when Peggy closes 
her eyes in the last long sleep. But Ruth did not see, 
and consequently did not know that she had shot 
another thorn into Peggy's wounded heart. 

"Oh, that's easy to understand, Ruth," said Peggy, 
making a brave effort at gaiety. "If I were a man, I 
would always choose you, and I think most men 
would." 

"I don't see how you kept from falling in love with 
Doctor Weston, Peggy, for he is such a noble man," 
declared Ruth, tossing her head proudly at the thought 
of soon possessing her "prince," as she frequently 
called him. 

"And suppose I did love him, Ruth, then what?" said 
Peggy, smiling enigmatically. 

"I would be so sorry for you, Peggy, that it would 
almost kill me. But I am so glad you don't." 

"I am glad, too, Ruth," and Peggy brushed the tears 
from her eyes as Ruth was looking toward the soldiers' 



The Slacker's Rendezvous 251 

encampment, that had just that moment come into the 
range of their vision. 

At their request, the soldier on sentry duty con- 
ducted them to the lieutenant's tent. He had heard of 
the "Peggy Ware School," and of its president, and was 
much flattered to have her call with Ruth, but anxious 
about their safety. 

Peggy explained to him the situation and the neces- 
sity for her immediate return to Bucks Pocket. 

Lieutenant Johnson told her that the Pocket was 
surrounded with machine guns stationed at all vantage 
points, and that unless the slackers surrendered he 
would shell them out, taking good care not to fire on 
the school buildings or the residences of any of the 
inhabitants. 

After discussing the situation fully, Lieutenant John- 
son wrote a note to the draft evaders, urging them to 
surrender peacefully and avoid bloodshed, telling them 
that they could not hope to escape. He informed them 
that if they did not hoist the white flag of surrender by 
nine o'clock the following morning from a high peak 
that stood out from the others like a lone sentinel, he 
would give the order to his gunners to fire. 

Peggy undertook to deliver the note, and she and 
Ruth started on their return journey, leaving the hand- 
some young lieutenant waving adieu as they disap- 
peared around an abrupt curve in the road. 

"Halt thare, gals," drawled a tall young mountaineer, 
as he stepped from behind a huge rock. "Don't you 
all know weuns got orders to shoot anybody passin' 
erlong this road?" 

"Yes, I know it, Billy Wooten, and I know you 
wouldn't shoot me an' Peggy to save your own life," 
said Ruth, looking at him fearlessly. 



252 Peggy Ware 

"Wall, I guess yore right thare," he said, "becase 
Bud Whitman shore would shoot me ef he knowed I 
let you all go out to the soldiers' camp. You wus 
a-carryin' on so when you passed, it kinder locoed me, 
I recon, an' I said I'd jest wait an' git you when you 
come back. Now what you all up to, anyway?" 

Peggy told him the whole story frankly, and asked 
him to carry the note to the slacker's camp. 

"Ef you all will scoot along, I'll take it, an' tell 'em 
some one drapped it over the bluff an' I picked it up. 
Ef I tole 'em the truth, my hide wouldn't hold shucks." 

Peggy urged him to use his influence with the men 
to surrender without a fight, telling him that he owed a 
duty to his country. She grew eloquent as she talked 
to him, and it was evident that he had already sur- 
rendered to her. 

"Ef you could talk to all the boys like you have to 
me, they would all give up, all 'cept Whitman an' 
Kellett. I don't think they would. 

"I'm ready to right now, but I ain't no quitter an' 
I'll go with the gang. But I see you're right. I hadn't 
never thought about it that way. I ain't afeard to 
fight. None of the boys is cowards. They are jest 
ignorant, like me. I shore do wish you could talk to 
'em," said he looking earnestly at Peggy from his wist- 
ful, honest eyes. 

"Perhaps I will," said Peggy, and she and Ruth were 
gone before he could reply. 

"She's shore the finest gal I ever seed," he muttered 
to himself, as he returned to his hiding place behind the 
rock, to remain until his comrade should come to 
relieve him. 



Chapter Eighteen 
THE SURRENDER 

WHEN Peggy returned home, she found prepara- 
tions well under way for guarding against 
the incendiarism threatened by Whitman and 
Kellett. Her father told her of the conversation over- 
heard by one of her pupils, and reported to him. 

Winslow and Cranston had volunteered to watch 
during the night. "If we could film things as they 
take place tonight, it would be fine," said Cranston, his 
professional instinct asserting itself even in the midst 
of the danger that threatened them. "We will have 
everything ready, and if they do fire any of the build- 
ings, we will 'shoot the scene.' Of course, I sincerely 
hope that we won't have the opportunity. 

"If there is a fight tomorrow between the soldiers 
and slackers, we will get it," said Winslow. 

"Suppose the slackers surrender," said Peggy. 
"Won't that make a better scene than if there is a 
fight?" 

"I think it will be much bigger, Miss Ware," said 
Cranston, "for it will typify a yielding to the demands 
of patriotism." 

"Then I advise you to get ready to film the triumph 
of law and order, for I feel that the draft evaders will 
surrender," said Peggy. 

"Miss Ware always knows, while we only hope," 
said Cranston. 

A number of hardy mountain men, some of whom 

253 



254 Peggy Ware 

had fought with Anderson in the war between the 
States, were ready to take their places for the night's 
vigil. When Peggy looked into their cold, determined 
eyes, and saw them grip their squirrel rifles, she knew 
that it boded no good to Whitman and Kellett. 

"Please, don't kill them, men," she pleaded. "I feel 
that I would never get over it, and Bucks Pocket would 
never be the same to me again if you shed their blood." 

"For your sake, Miss Peggy, we won't shoot unless 
they make us, but we won't be very hard to make, will 
we boys?" said Anderson, looking into the faces of 
the silent men who were receiving their final instruc- 
tions. 

"My gun's pow'ful easy on trigger, Cap. I keep her 
that way, an' ef I git a bead on Bud Whitman an 'git 
skeered, an' my han' shakes a little, ol' 'Betsy' is liable 
to go off," so spoke an old Wild Catter with a cold- 
blooded chuckle. 

"Please, please, be 'careful," said Peggy, laying her 
hand gently on the shoulder of the speaker, who was 
known as a desperate man, and on whose gun stock 
there were half a dozen notches, each representing an 
enemy he had sent into the next world. 

"All right, little girl, I'll try an' not git skeered," 
said he, and a softer light came into his eyes as his 
heart glowed beneath the touch of Peggy's magnetic 
hand. 

Anderson, Ware and Doctor Weston, with some of 
the "straight shooters" were posted around the school 
buildings. Winslow and Cranston took charge of the 
protection of the Ware and Anderson homes, assisted 
by men of undoubted courage and loyalty. The boys 
and girls at the dormitories were in ignorance of the 
impending danger, and retired at the usual hour. 

Ralph and Virginia sensed trouble, and refused to 



The Surrender 255 

go to bed until Peggy had retold them many of the 
stories she had been telling them from their earliest 
recollection. Finally the sleepy heads began to nod, 
and Peggy kissed them goodnight and put them to bed. 

She stole up to her attic room, put on a pair of 
heavy walking shoes, a short, thick skirt, and heavy 
wrap that she could turn up covering her head and 
hiding her features. Reverently she knelt for a few 
moments, communing with Him who had miraculously 
guided her feet along an enchanted highway. 

She arose, her face calm and serene, extinguished the 
lamp, and softly descended the stairs, stood by the 
trundle bed, looking long and earnestly at the peace- 
ful faces of Ralph and Virginia, kissed them once 
more, and went out into the darkness. 

She peered cautiously around, and seeing no one, she 
walked as lightly as a cat to Hero's kennel, unfast- 
ened the chain from his collar, patted him on the head, 
whispering, "Come with me, Hero, and don't make one 
bit of noise." 

The men were all gone, and no one had heard or 
seen her, as Peggy thought. 

In this she was mistaken. There was one whose 
love had sharpened his eyesight, and given him a wis- 
dom that comes to those who dwell much in the si- 
lence. Simon did not have to be told things. Like 
Peggy, he just knew them. When she released Hero, 
and started toward the slackers' camp, Simon was but 
a few paces behind her, and his steps fell as lightly as 
the dew. Had not his ancestors for countless ages, 
stalked the wild beasts in the jungles of Africa, and 
now love added wings to the old man's feet, and he 
could almost have walked on the air for Peggy's sake. 
He knew that his beloved Mistress would not allow 
him to accompany her, but he was willing to incur her 



256 Peggy Ware 

displeasure if needs be, to be near her, in case of 
danger. 

Peggy did not follow the road, but slipped through 
the dense forest like a shadow, Hero at her side, her 
hand resting on his head. 

She had reached the creek and crossed it on a big 
foot log that spanned the torrential stream. The roar 
of the water could be heard for a long distance, and 
there was no danger of anyone hearing her footfalls 
now. As she stepped from the foot log on the oppo- 
site bank of the stream, she was seized by rough hands, 
and before she could make an outcry, a handkerchief 
was thrust into her mouth. 

Hero, with a savage growl, sprang to the throat of 
Bud Whitman, for it was he who had seized Peggy ; 
but just as he would have fastened his teeth in a death 
grip, Bill Kellett struck him a cruel blow on the head 
with the stock of his gun, and Hero, stunned, fell at 
Peggy's feet, where he lay quivering and helpless. 

Simon, who was close behind Peggy, had cautiously 
felt his way along the foot log, and just as Hero was 
felled, he reached the spot where Whitman and Kel- 
lett were now tying Peggy with a rope. Like one of 
his ancestors of old, springing on a tiger to vanquish 
it in a hand to hand conflict, the old man leaped on 
Bud Whitman, and bore him to the ground. He was 
fastening his teeth in Whitman's shoulder and his 
fingers in his throat, when a death-dealing stroke from 
Kellett's gun caused his jaws to relax, his hand to fall 
nerveless, and the old darky tumbled over in a heap, 
lifeless to all appearances. 

"Dam him, we got him at last," said Whitman, still 
panting from his struggle with Simon. 

"What are you gwine to do with the gal?" asked 



The Surrender 257 

Kellett. "She's on her way now to the camp to beg the 
fellers to surrender." 

"It's a good time to git rid of her, too," said Whit- 
man. "She's the cause of all this highfalootin' doin's 
here in Bucks Pocket. Ef it hadn't been fer her, I'd 
a got Ruth Anderson, an' I'd ruther have her than any 
gal I ever seed, but when Peggy Ware came to the 
Pocket, Ruth and her daddy and mammy tuk the big- 
head, an' most everybody else in Bucks Pocket turned 
dam fools, an' all on account o' her," and he indi- 
cated Peggy, who was lying on the ground, bound 
hand and foot. 

"Thare's a canoe right down thare." said Bud. 
"We'll put her in it, an' turn her loose." 

"Good God, Bud, you ain't gwine to do that, are 
you?" exclaimed Kellett. "Don't you know she'll go 
over the falls and drown?" 

"I don't give a dam," said Whitman, "that's jest 
what I want. Take holt o' her feet, an' help me tote 
her." 

Afraid to disobey, Kellett did as he was commanded. 
As they descended the precipitous bank, Hero began 
to show signs of life, and now staggered to his feet, 
and commenced sniffing the air in a dazed sort of way. 

"It would be hell ef we fell in, Bud," said Kellett. 
"These rocks is pow'ful slippery, an' ef a feller's foot 
slipped an' he went in, it would be all night with him." 

"They ain't no danger, you dam fool, ef you don't 
lose your head," Whitman replied roughly. 

With much difficulty they placed Peggy in the bot- 
tom of the canoe that had been hewn from a big tree, 
and Whitman broke the lock with a stone. 

"I'll give her a big shove," he said, "an' send her on 
the way to hell a-scootin'." 



258 Peggy Ware 

The canoe shot out into the raging torent, so swift 
that no mortal man could swim across it. 

Hero, recovering from the blow, followed the foot- 
steps of Whitman and Kellett down the treacherous 
bluff, and reached the brink of the stream as Whit- 
man was bending over to shove the canoe out from 
the bank. Springing high in the air, he leaped for 
the canoe, striking Whitman as he passed over his 
shoulders, the blow causing Bud to lose his balance. 

For a moment Kellett saw Whitman reel as if he had 
lost his balance. "Ketch me, Bill !" he shouted, but it 
was no use. The boulder on which he was standing 
had been loosened, and the more he tried to balance 
himself on the rolling stone, the greater the mo- 
mentum. 

"Ketch me, Bill ! Fer God's sake, ketch me !" rang 
wildly out on the night as Bud Whitman, his eyes 
starting from their sockets, plunged headlong into the 
whirling waters of Sauty Creek. Once he rose to the 
surface for a moment, and Kellett heard him shriek : 
"Ketch me, Bill! Ketch me !" 

As he fled through the forest, that cry of "Ketch me, 
Bill !" rang in his ears long after Bud Whitman lay on 
the bottom of Sauty Creek, below the falls where he 
had intended to send Peggy to certain destruction. 

The distance from the bank was too far for the 
faithful dog to cover, and his body sank into the water, 
but with his fore feet planted in the canoe, he began 
a battle for life. As the frail craft shot down the 
stream, trembling like a shell as it leaped from cascade 
to cascade, Hero slowly pulled his body into it, where 
he lay exhausted from his struggle. 

Doctor Weston, who was stationed near the place 
spanned by the foot log, heard Whitman's cry as he 
plunged into the stream, and before the canoe had 



The Surrender 259 

disappeared from view, he reached the spot. In the 
pale moonlight, he could discern the dog holding on to 
the stern with grim determination, and he intuitively 
knew that Peggy was lying in the bottom. Without 
a moment's hesitation, he was racing along the bank 
of the creek, leaping boulders and fallen trees. He 
knew a place a half mile below where another foot- 
log spanned the stream. If he could reach it ahead of 
the wildly dashing canoe, he could leap from the log, 
and perhaps land in it. If he missed it, then he would 
sleep beside Bud Whitman at the foot of the falls. If 
he landed safely, he would be with Peggy, if indeed 
she were in the bottom of the canoe, as he had sur- 
mised. 

He knew that he could not save her, and that it 
meant the useless sacrifice of his own life. 

Ruth's face rose pleadingly before him, but his pace 
never slackened. All the world vanished, and he saw 
nothing, save the golden head, the fathomless eyes 
through which the soul of Peggy Ware had so often 
looked into his own soul. 

Death with her would be sweeter than life with all 
the world for his choosing. In the supreme moment, 
he realized that he loved Peggy, with a love that comes 
to no man but once. 

Why had he not known it before? 

How sweet it would be to die with Peggy in his 
arms, although Peggy did not love him. Ah, if he 
could die and save Peggy ! The world needed her, and 
he would gladly go on now. and wait for the soul of 
Peggy Ware after her work was done in this world. 
How wonderful it would be to wait over there in the 
Summer land, watching over her, in her schoolroom, 



260 Peggy Ware 

in her Shrine of Silence, yes, in her attic room, whis- 
pering love to her in the language of the soul. 
* * * * * * * 

Yes, thank God, he was in time. The canoe was in 
the middle of the stream. In another moment it would 
sweep beneath the foot log, and dash onward toward 
destruction. If he leaped one moment too soon or one 
moment too late, it would be fatal. If he failed by a 
hair's breadth to land in the bottom, the treacherous 
bark would overturn, and he would not even have the 
joy of dying with Peggy in his arms. 

He stood breathless, poised for the leap. 

"God help me," his lips spoke, and for a moment his 
body hung in the air, and then landed squarely in the 
middle of the trembling canoe. It rocked from side to 
side. It seemed that it must upset, but it began to 
rock less violently, then righted itself, and plunged 
forward on its mad race with death. 

Hero was gnawing -at the cords that bound Peggy. 
With his knife Dr. Weston cut the thongs that lacer- 
ated her flesh and took her in his arms. 

"It is I, Dr. Weston," he said. "We are rushing to 
certain death, but God has been good to me, and has 
permitted me to die with you." 

"Why should you want to die with me, Doctor 
Weston? You should want to live for Ruth." 

"It is because I love you, Peggy, darling, with a 
love that a man can give but once in a lifetime. Death 
with you is a thousand times sweeter than life with- 
out you." 

"My own, my own has come to me," said Peggy 
reverently. Her beautiful head nestled on his shoulder, 
their lips met in one long, last kiss as the roar of the 
falls they were now fast approaching, thundered in 
their ears. 



The Surrender 261 

"Peggy, I never dreamed you loved me," said he. 
"How long have you loved me?" 

"Since the first night you lay unconscious after your 
injury. It was I who sat by your side and held your 
hand the long night through." 

"Why did you never tell me, dear?" he asked. 

"I should never have told you, and would have car- 
ried my love hidden in my heart to the grave, but for 
the certainty of death," she said. "Li His presence, 
the soul stands naked, and as my secret will soon be 
buried from mortal eyes, it will hurt no one for me 
to confess the truth." 

"I never suspected that you loved me, John. Why 
did you never tell me?" 

"I must have been sleeping, darling," he said, "for I 
must have loved you all the while. I only awoke when 
I saw you rushing down this stream to your death. 

"We have but a moment more, dear," said Weston. 
"Let me hold your hand as you did mine through the 
night while my soul walked amongst the shadows. 
And now a last good-bye kiss. With my lips pressed 
to yours, let us meet the Unknown." 

"Not the Unknown, John, but the friend who has 
never failed me, our Heavenly Father !" 

The canoe had swung in against the bank, and 
trembled a moment, as though conscious of its precious 
cargo, giving another instant for the last handgrasp, 
the last "God, we come to Thee!" 

Ah, what an eternity in that last moment. Why did 
the frail craft still tremble on the brink of the cataract, 
refusing to take the awful plunge? What good angel 
held its prow to the bank, while the stern hung over 
the abyss? 

Above the roar of the wild waters, a growl that 
grew into a cry of agony startled Peggy and Weston. 



262 Peggy Ware 

"It's Hero. It's Hero !" cried Peggy, above the roar 
of the cataract. "See, he is holding fast to something, 
preventing us from plunging over the fall !" 

Doctor Weston crept cautiously to the prow of the 
canoe, fearing that he might upset it. Hero, with his 
feet planted firmly on the bottom, had seized a grape 
vine that swung out over the stream a little way from 
the bank, and was holding on with an almost super- 
human strength. 

Weston laid hold with both hands, and after a ter- 
rific struggle brought the end of the canoe against the 
bank and held it there until Peggy could step to the 
ground. She looped the rope with which she had been 
bound, around Doctor Weston's wrists, and com- 
manded Hero to jump ashore. She held one end of 
the rope, and Hero, following her example, seized it 
between his iron-like jaws. The canoe slipped out 
from under Weston* and shot over the falls, while 
he struggled for a moment in the water, and then with 
the combined efforts of Peggy and Hero, he stood in 
safety on the bank of the stream. 



Wilbur Ware and Cliff Anderson heard the cries of 
Whitman, and rushed to the scene as fast as possible. 
They crossed the foot log, and were horrified to find 
Simon weltering in his own blood, apparently dead, 
a great wound on his head. They were searching for 
some clue to the tragedy, when two men came up with 
Bill Kellett, badly frightened, between them. Sternly 
Anderson said: "Bill, we are in a hurry. I'll give 
you lessen five minits to tell all you know about the 
murder of this old nigger. Spit it out quick !" 

Bill's teeth were chattering, and bully like, he began 
to whine and lie. 



The Surrender 263 

"Bud Whitman knocked him on the head with the 
butt of his gun," explained Kellett. 

"Why did he do that? What was Simon doing 
here?" demanded Anderson. "Now don't lie ef you 
know what's good fer you." 

"He vvus tryin' to pertect Peggy W r are," said Bill. 

"The hell you say !" hissed Anderson, beside him- 
self with fear and rage. "Bring me the rope, boys. 
Now, tell it all in jest one minit without me havin' to 
ax you another dam question." 

"Don' hang me, Cap, fer Gawd's sake. I ain't fitten 
to die. I'll tell it all." 

In a few sentences he described the seizing of Peg- 
gy, the fight with Hero and Simon, the binding of 
Peggy with a rope and the placing of her in a canoe. 

"Bud shoved it off into the creek." said Kellett, "an' 
somehow lost his balance an' fell in hisself, an' the last 
I seed of him, he come up onct and hollered 'Ketch me, 
Bill'!" 

Anderson leaped on the foot log, and crossed it like 
a deer. "Don't hang the dam scoundrel 'til I git back," 
he shouted, and he was gone, racing down the creek 
like the wind. 

"Take Simon to Mr. Anderson's home," said Wilbur 
Ware, "and tell Mrs. Anderson and Ruth to do what- 
ever they can for him." 

Blindly he followed in the direction taken by And- 
erson, his brain burning with the old fires of unbelief. 
He ran until exhausted, and then crept along at a 
snail's pace, falling frequently over the rocks, and 
tangled undergrowth. 

He halloed until he was hoarse, but no answer came 
back to his agonized cry. 

"Peggy, Peggy," he whispered, when his voice failed 



264 Peggy Ware 

him, and the mocking night wind seemed to answer 
back, "Peggy, Peggy." 

At last he heard the roar of the cataract, and stum- 
bled on. Dimly he was conscious of the fear that 
Peggy had gone over the falls, but somehow he hoped 
that she was safe somewhere below, for she had al- 
ways believed so in God's protection. Surely He would 
not take her from her great work just in the beginning 
of her career. 

He scrambled down the high bank, and stood at the 
foot of the falls. The moon had risen to its meridian 
and looked down on the whirlpool made by the water 
pouring over the cataract. In the midst of the whirl- 
pool, going round and round in a dizzy circle he saw 
a canoe. Still he did not realize its meaning. 

He crept closer until he reached a rock that hung 
out over the whirling water, and there at its extreme 
point sat Anderson, his head bare, his face between his 
hands, sobs shaking his body as the storm sways the 
mighty oak. 

Placing his hand on Anderson's shoulder, Wilbur 
Ware said : "What is it, Anderson?" 

"She's thare at the bottom of that whirlpool, ef there 
is any bottom, an' we won't never see her no more, no 
more!" he moaned. "She wus jest too good fer this 
world, an' God needed her up yander anyway. But 
He didn't need her half as bad as we do!" And again 
the strong man wept. 

* * * * * * * 

When Peggy and Doctor Weston were almost mirac- 
ulously rescued by Hero, and stood on firm ground, 
they looked into each other's eyes, speechless. The 
reaction from the certainty of death to the duties of 
life, found them stunned. Their faculties were para- 
lyzed, their limbs were numbed, and it was the joy of 



The Surrender 265 

Hero that aroused Peggy from her lethargic state. 
He leaped upon her, licked her hands, then bounded 
away along a trail leading through the forest, to re- 
turn in a few moments and catch hold of her skirt 
and pull her in the direction taken by the path. 

"Hero seems thankful that we have been saved. I 
thank you, my noble friend, for this rebuke," said 
Peggy, patting his head. "For a moment I suffered 
the most bitter pang of disappointment of my whole 
life, but you have shown me my utter selfishness, and 
I thank God for saving me from a selfish death." 

"I, too, thank God, Peggy, for now we can live for 
each other," said Doctor Weston. "A little while ago 
we thought that we must die to have each other. Now 
a new world opens, one that I had only sensed in my 
dreams, and my soul rejoices for the experience that 
brought about the revelation of our love. Let me take 
you in my arms and feel your warm lips pressed to 
mine, not in a kiss of death, but in one plighting our 
troth." 

She shrank from him, a cry of pain escaping from her 
lips. "Don't, Doctor Weston, don't! for God's sake!" 
she exclaimed. 

He drew back, frightened. He could not divine the 
cause of her outcry. 

"Not now, my friend, oh, not now !" she cried. "Let 
us follow Hero, he will guide us out of these woods, 
and then we can find our way home. My father, Mr. 
Anderson, Ruth, and the others will be beside them- 
selves with anxiety, and Simon, dear old Simon, may 
be dead. Oh, how selfish I have been ! God forgive 
me !" 

Doctor Weston was too stunned for words by this 
sudden change in Peggy's attitude, and he followed 
her dazedly. 



266 Peggy Ware 

They had not proceeded far until they saw the gleam 
of a light toward which Hero was leading them. It 
came from the cabin of the man that halted the Ware 
family when it entered Bucks Pocket in the ox wagon. 
Mart Suttles and his wife sat by the log fire that 
burned cheerily in the wide-mouthed chimney. In 
answer to Hero's bark, he opened the door cautiously, 
his trusty rifle in one hand. Seeing Peggy, he ex- 
claimed : 

"Lawd bless yoah heart, Miss Peggy, whatever are 
you all doin' here at midnight? Come in, you look 
lak you are ready to drap. Here, ketch her, ma !" he 
said in alarm, as Peggy reeled, and would have fallen 
if Mrs. Suttles had not thrown her strong arms about 
her. 

"Come help me put her on the cot, Mart. The pore 
thing is as limp as a rag, and whiter than a sheet. 
I'll make her a cup of strong coffee here on the coals 
in a jiffy, an' it'll fetch her back. My ma used to faint 
that way, an' coffee was alius the bes' thing we could 
give her." 

Suttles explained that he was sitting up on account 
of the prospective conflict between the soldiers and 
slackers. 

"I would a been gone up to the school house afore 
now," he said, "but Miranda begged me not to go, an' 
I been persuadin' her it were my duty, an' she had jist 
about give her consent when I heered the dog 
a-barkin'." 

"That's whare you're wrong, Mart," said his wife. 
"You hed made up yore min' you wus goin', consent 
er no consent, an' when you git that way I alius give 
in." 

The coffee was now ready and the strong woman 



The Surrender 267 

took Peggy in her arms as she might have held a child. 
"Drink it, honey, it'll do you good," she said. 

Without opening her eyes or showing other signs 
of life, Peggy swallowed the strong beverage, and 
after a few spoonfuls she showed signs of returning 
consciousness. 

You feel better now, don't you, little one?" said Mrs. 
Suttles, as her kindly face beamed with pleasure. 

"Oh, I am quite well now, thank you," saying which 
Peggy closed her eyes, sighed deeply, and apparently 
fell asleep. Doctor Weston told the Suttles the ex- 
periences that brought them to their home at this hour 
of the night. 

"Good Lord," exclaimed Mrs. Suttles, "her daddy 
will be plumb skeered to death, an' you settin' here 
with yore mouth open, bakin' yore shins by a good 
warm fire. Ain't you ashamed of yoreself, Mart Sut- 
tles? You ought a been half way thare before now." 

"When she talks that a way, I alius agree with her," 
said her husband, winking slyly at Doctor Weston. 
"You all jest stay here, an' I'll go an' fetch her daddy 
an' Anderson an' a wagon to take her home." 

Suttles hung his shot pouch over his shoulder, picked 
up his gun and was gone before his wife could fire 
her parting shot. 

"Jest lak a man," she muttered, "to set aroun' an' 
talk while this pore chil's lyin' here more dead en 
alive, an' her folks skeered plumb crazy. She's the 
finest gal in the world, Mister, an' I'd ruther see half 
the folks in Bucks Pocket die than to have her go. I 
never believed in God til she came, an' a passel more 
wus jest lak me. I use to believe in hell, fer we women 
lived in hell most o' the time. My ole man'd come 
home full of pizen licker, an' beat me up, an' all the 
men done the same, but now they ain't no wild-cat 



268 Peggy Ware 

whiskey, an' they ain't no hell in Bucks Pocket, 'cept 
what them slackers is raisin', an' I gwine to make Mart 
help round 'em up, an' I am ready to do my part. I 
kin shoot," she said proudly, pointing to a long squirrel 
rifle that hung on the wall. 

Peggy ',s breathing was now long and regular, and 
Doctor Weston told Mrs. Suttles that she was sleeping 
soundly, and would probably sleep for several hours, 
and insisted that she retire and rest while he watched 
beside Peggy. 

"All right, Mister. Ef yore a doctor, you ought to 
know what's best," she said. "I'll be right in the next 
room, an' you kin call me ef you need me." 

Left alone, Weston moved his chair beside the cot, 
took Peggy's hand in his, and waited for her awaken- 
ing. 

5|C 5]C «$E !|C #)» 3f« 3f» 3|S 

"Are we alone?" -said Peggy, opening her eyes. "I 
must have slept a long time. I feel so refreshed." 

"Yes, dear, you have slept quite a while, and I am 
expecting your father and Mr. Anderson pretty soon, 
as Mr. Suttles has gone to tell them our whereabouts. 
Before they come, I think it well for us to discuss our 
new relations, after the knowledge that has come to 
us of our mutual love. Shall we tell your father to- 
night?" 

"Of course, I must inform Ruth at the first oppor- 
tunity. It is the only honorable thing to do. You 
quite agree with me, don't you, my own Peggy?" 

"Come, hold my hand, John, while I answer your 
questions," said Peggy, "for I have much to say to you, 
and I don't want you to interrupt me until I have 
finished. It must be said before my father or anyone 
arrives. 

"Tonight you and I faced death as really as we ever 



The Surrender 269 

shall, and in His presence I confessed my great love 
for you. In that supreme moment you discovered that 
your love for me was of a different sort than your love 
for Ruth. I believe you are sincere in this. I think I 
can understand how you may love her very, very much, 
and yet find in me a greater love. 

"It may seem to you tonight that your supreme 
happiness depends on having me, and that you must 
do so at all cost. This is where your self has taken 
the center of the stage, and your soul is in the shadow. 

"I was so weak a while ago, I welcomed death that 
I might die in your arms. I knew that if I lived, I 
must give you up, and I preferred death." 

He was about to say something in protest, but she 
placed her fingers on his lips. 

"I know what you are going to say, dear. The ar- 
gument you would make, and the reasons you would 
give are as old as the race, but they are so pathetically 
weak when measured by the standard of the soul. I 
am measuring by that standard now. 

"When we thought we were doomed to go over the 
falls, I was measuring by the standard of self. Oh, I 
thank Him for rescuing me from my selfish desire ! 

"I am glad the great crisis has come, John. I am 
glad that we both know. It will be a great comfort 
when the way sometimes grows dark and we feel the 
need of human sympathy. I suppose we shall feel 
this need for countless ages yet. 

"We will go back to the great world, stronger by 
reason of this knowledge, and more, because we have 
gained another victory over self. 

"By a wonderful Providence, we have been brought 
to Bucks Pocket, and our lives have met in a most un- 
usual way. We have both glimpsed the light that 
burns on the mountain of truth, and once having seen 



270 Peggy Ware 

it, a man is never the same again. He can never turn 
back if he would, and even if he tries, his soul, now 
conscious of its own being, its Divinity, will not allow 
him. 

"If you and I yielded to the cries of self and sacri- 
ficed Ruth, we would fall like Lucifer, and for weary 
ages we would tread the winding path back to the 
point where we first saw the light. The tragedy of a 
soul deliberately turning back to self makes the angels 
weep. 

"If you and I belong to each other in a spiritual 
sense, John, it would thrust us apart for aeons. If we 
took things in our own hands, ignoring the Divine 
Will, trampling on the upturned face of Ruth, a deadly 
canker worm would gnaw at our vitals, and at the 
bottom of every cup of nectar we sipped together, 
there would be a poison drop. 

"Even if this were not so — if there were no Ruth — 
I could not marry you. That is not for me now. Why, 
I do not know ; but I may know some day in God's 
good time. I do know, however, that there is a long- 
ing in my soul that you could never satisfy. In the 
moment of our supremest bliss, this longing, this soul 
passion, would cry out, and you and I would be as far 
apart as the poles. You would feel it, and it would be 
impossible for us to bridge the chasm, try as we might. 
No devotion, no words of love, no tender caresses, 
could satisfy in the slightest degree this soul longing. 

"There is only one who can answer this call of the 
soul, and that is God. I find Him in my Shrine of 
Silence, and the agony in my soul gives way to peace. 

"You could not be happy with me, and I could not 
be happy with you, for there would be a mighty gulf 
fixed between us as wide and deep as the one that 
separated Lazarus and Dives. 



The Surrender 271 

"The Wise Ones tell us that each has his soul mate, 
his complement, his other self. It may be so. I some- 
times feel that it is so, and this longing may be for 
my soul mate. If so, the time has not come for me to 
have that longing satisfied. You may be my soul 
mate. My love is so great for you that I feel that it 
may be so. If you are, then I know that I am not 
ready for you ; that I have other lives to live before 
you can be mine. 

"In my present state of development, if I really pos- 
sessed my soul mate, I should not feel my need of 
God. He would be my God, and my soul would be 
satisfied. Not until I have grown so big that I can 
have my soul mate and still have room for God, do I 
desire this consummation of a perfect love. 

"We will go back to our world as if nothing had hap- 
pened. God has already unmistakably pointed the 
way, and in His way we will walk joyfully. 

"Ruth will be waiting for you with loving heart and 
outstretched arms, while I go to follow my vision un- 
til such time as He shall say, 'Well done, good and 
faithful servant.' 

"Henceforth, you are to me Doctor Weston, and I 
am just Peggy, your most devoted friend." 

* ******* 

Not knowing the fate of Peggy, her father and And- 
erson watched the foaming waters at the foot of the 
falls. Wilbur Ware placed his hand on Anderson's 
shoulder and tried to arouse him from his despair. 
"Let us hope," he said, "that it is not so bad as we 
fear. Perhaps she has been rescued in some way. I 
cannot believe that my wonderful Peggy lies at the 
bottom of this awful whirlpool." 

"I ain't got no hope," said Anderson. "An' I don't 
want to live no longer ef she is gone, an' I don't think 



272 Peggy Ware 

I will. I hope my time'll come soon, but before I go 
I want to tell you sumpthin' that's been eatin' on me 
ever sence you come to Bucks Pocket an' brought that 
angel from heaven." 

When Anderson said, "I ain't got no hope," Wilbur 
Ware's heart withered with fear. The old fires of un- 
belief burned again in his brain. His throat was dry, 
and he licked his parched lips as you have seen a 
wounded dog famished for water. 

"If Peggy, my Peggy, lies at the bottom of this 
whirlpool, I'll sleep beside her," he cried hoarsely, his 
body swaying from side to side. 

In another moment he would have plunged head- 
long into the seething water, but he caught the sound 
of Anderson's voice, and it held him back. He heard 
Anderson say: "Ruth ain't my gal. I got her in Chat- 
tanooga when she warn't more'n two years old, I 
should judge. I wus up thare with a load of wild cat 
whiskey, an' I had peddled it out an' sold my wagon 
an' team to a band of gypsies, becase the revenoo of- 
ficers wus after me, an' I wus coming home on the 
boat an' dodge 'em." 

The light gleamed again for Wilbur Ware. Perhaps 
his Florence lived after all. God was still in his world. 
He must have rescued Peggy. Intently he listened as 
Anderson completed his story. 

"When I turned over my wagon an' got my money, 
the man I sold to an' another feller wus fussin' about 
a child, an' they wus so mad they talked right afore 
me. I soon found out it wus a white child they had 
stole, an' I stepped round to the back end of the wagon 
whare it wus hid, a cryin' lak its heart would break, 
an' picked it up an' started off. They both run at me 
with their knives, but I was a pow'ful hard hitter in 
them days, so I hauled off an' hit fust one an' then 



The Surrender 273 

tother, one lick a piece, an' the last I seed of 'em, they 
wus asleep. 

"Wall, I didn't know what to do. The officers wus 
after me, an' the boat sailed in an hour, an' I had jest 
time to ketch her. They wus no time to think, so I 
jest beat it to the steamboat landin' an' they had done 
tuk up the gang plank, an' I had to jump, an' jest did 
make it. 

"I tuk the kid home, an' tol' Molly a lie. I tol' her 
they give it to me at a orphan's home, an' she was 
that tickled becase we never had no kids of our own, 
an' Molly alius wanted one, an' I did, too. 

"I know you'll hate me, an' Molly'll git a divorce 
frum me, 'case I'm a thief an' liar both, and Ruth'll 
know I ain't her pa, an' what I done, an' she'll never 
call me 'Daddy' again. I alius felt safe ontil you come 
to Bucks Pocket, and sence then it's been hell, hell." 

The old man was the picture of despair. His 
shoulders drooped dejectedly, and he looked hopelessly 
toward the whirlpool. "Ef she wus only here," he said 
brokenly, "she would be for givin' me another chance, 
but thay ain't nobody else but her an' God would do 
that, an' God wouldn't do it fer me, but He would ef 
she asked Him." 

"I don't blame you, Mr. Anderson, far from it," 
warmly exclaimed Wilbur Ware. "I thank God, I 
thank you for saving my child from the gypsies. If 
Peggy is only safe, won't it be a happy family reunion? 
I hear a dog's bark. Let us go and find a house and 
get assistance to search for Peggy, if it be God's will 
that she is still alive. If not we will recover her pre- 
cious body." 

Slowly Anderson followed Ware's footsteps. His 
walk was that of a feeble old man. His spirit was 
broken, and his body bent. 



274 Peggy Ware 

They took up the trail leading toward Bill Suttles' 
cabin, attracted by a light in the window. 

* ******* 

It was Peggy who first heard footsteps approaching : 
"Kiss me for the last time, John, until we meet on 
another plane," she said. Their lips met in a sacri- 
ficial kiss. It was the sealing of their compact and 
the crucifixion of self. 

The door opened and Wilbur Ware, walking erect, 
followed by Anderson, feebly dragging his feet, en- 
tered. 

"My daughter, my Peggy, alive ! Thank God ! Thank 
God !" reverently spoke her father. 

Cliff Anderson was the old man no longer. The 
stoop was gone from his shoulders, the shuffle gone 
from his feet. He stood like Ajax, defying the light- 
ning. 

"Are you hurt, Miss Peggy? Are you able to be 
carried home?" he said. 

"I am not hurt one bit," she said, "and I am so 
anxious to go home." 

"Come on," said Anderson, as he took her in his 
arms, like a big doll, and strode out of the cabin. 
"Foller me, fer I know a nigh way that cuts off consid- 
erable, an' we'll be home afore that slow poke Mart 
Suttles gits thare." 

Ware and Weston had great difficulty in keep- 
ing up with him. He strode like a colossus, and to 
their offers to relieve him of his burden, he would 
say: 

"She ain't heavier than a feather, an' you fellers have 
had a purty tough time tonight, an' you got about all 
you kin do to carry yoreselves." 

Peggy insisted that she be allowed to walk, but 
Anderson would not hear of it. "This is the fust 



The Surrender 275 

chance I ever had to do anything fer you, Miss Peggy, 
an't it may be the last one," he said. 

"Why do you say the last one, Mr. Anderson?" she 
asked. 

"Becase when you know whut I tol' yore daddy to- 
night, you'll find out I been the wust old hypercrite in 
forty states." 

"I could never think that, Mr. Anderson. You 
know what I think of you. Now tell me all about it, 
and then you will feel better." 

He repeated to her the story of Ruth's abduction 
already told to Peggy's father. 

"Now, I guess you'll want me to set you down after 
you know how pizen my tech is?" The old man stop- 
ped, waiting for a reply. 

"Yes, if you please, Mr. Anderson," said Peggy, as 
the old man let her gently to the ground. 

Again his shoulders stooped, and he hung his head 
in shame. 

"I want to stand on the ground so I can put my 
arms around your neck and kiss you, and thank you for 
being such a noble father to my sister." 

Before he had time to protest, Peggy was putting 
her desire into action, and Anderson, bewildered and 
happy, said : 

"It don't look half as black to me as it has ever sence 
you came to Bucks Pocket. Mebbe you kin git Molly 
an' Ruth to see it lak you and yore daddy does." 

It was not hard for Mrs. Anderson and Ruth to get 
the same view point. 

"I told you onct I wus the bigges' liar in Bucks 
Pocket. Now what you got to say erbout it, Molly?" 
asked her husband. 

"I got to say that ef I wus big enough fool to be- 



276 Peggy Ware 

lieve it all this time, it don't make no difference," an- 
swered his wife. 

"What are you gwine to think about it, Ruth?" and 
he turned doubtfully to the excited girl. 

"I think I've got two of the best fathers in the world, 
and a mother here and one up yonder, and a sister that 
I am so proud of, and a husband that's going to be," 
looking shyly at Doctor Weston, "and I'm the happiest 
girl in all the wide world." 

Peggy's first inquiry had been about Simon. 

"He's never waked up," said Mrs. Anderson. He's 
layin' thare still as death, an' you can't tell whether 
he's breathin' or not. When they brought him in, an' 
I heerd they warn't no one to yore house, but Ralph 
and Virginia, I sent for 'em, and they wanted to set 
up with Simon, but I persuaded 'em to go to bed." 

Peggy took up her watch beside the faithful old 
hero, and would not listen to any suggestion that she 
retire for a little rest. "He wouldn't leave me," she 
said, "if I were in his place, and I'll stay with him until 
there is a change." 

Doctor Weston sat on the opposite side of the bed, 
feeling Simon's pulse, frequently, and listening for the 
faint fluttering of his heart. 

Just as the first streaks of dawn shot their arrows 
across the East, Doctor Weston whispered to Peggy 
that the end was near. "Call the others if you want 
them to be present," he said. 

W r ith a breaking heart, she told her father that 
Simon had but a few minutes to live, and he aroused 
Ralph and Virginia, and the others of the household. 

In a little while they were grouped about the bed 
where Uncle Simon lay, calm and motionless. 

"He is gone," said Doctor Weston in a solemn voice, 
holding up his hand reverently. Ralph and Virginia 



The Surrender 277 

began to cry, while sobs came from almost every mem- 
ber of the group of watchers. 

There had been no sign of emotion from Peggy. 
She stood as if transfixed, her eyes turned heavenward. 
"Come back ! Come back ! My dear old Simon, I 
need you so !" she almost shrieked, as she fell beside 
the bed, sobbing in uncontrollable grief. 

Doctor Weston, still looking at the old man's calm 
face, thought he heard a sigh. Hastily examining him 
he felt certain the heart quivered, then began to beat 
intermittently. The eyelids moved convulsively, and 
then a great indrawing of the breath, a heaving of the 
bosom, and Simon slowly opened his eyes, and smiled 
feebly. 

"Yes, honey, I heerd you, an' I done come back 
'case you said you needed me, an' 'case Massa Cap'n 
Lee said fer me to cum back, an' you knows I nevah 
disobeyed him in my life." 

"Tell us what you mean, Simon, if you feel strong 
enough to talk," said Peggy. 

"Oh, I kin talk all right," he said, "'case I'se been 
given new powah. I des slipped outen dis ole body, 
an' stood fer a minit lookin' down, but I ain't thinkin' 
much erbout you all, 'case dar wus Massa Lee, old 
Missus and Young Missus, an' de stranges' thing ob 
all wus my mammy an' daddy wus thare, an' I ain't 
see 'em sence I wus a little boy ober in Africa. Dey 
wus all so glad to see me, an' Massa Lee said : 'Wel- 
come, Simon ! You has been faithful over thare in a 
few things, an 'God has great joy fer you over heah.' 

"Den my mammy say, 'We so glad you come, little 
boy, it is gran' heah, an' we is with sho' nuff quality.' 

"'Bout dat time I look back, an' I see you all stannin' 
roun' de bed, an' me lyin' dar, an' I heah the chilluns 
cryin' an' de rest ob you sobbin', an' it made me so 



278 Peggy Ware 

sorry fer you. I tried to tell you how happy I wus, 
but nobody paid any 'tention to me. An' den I heerd 
dis heah chil' call me, an' say she needed me, an' I feel 
lak I willin' to leave heaben to come back to her. 

"I say, 'Massa Lee, what shall I do?' and he say, 
'Go back, Simon; an' ole Missus, Young Missus, my 
own daddy an' mammy all say, 'dat's right.' An' heah 
I is." 

The sun rose in a blaze of glory, and there was great 
rejoicing in the home of Cliff Anderson. It was a 
new day, and to the anxious watchers it seemed a new 
heaven and new earth had been born from the agony 
of the night. 

No one knew when Peggy slipped out of their 
midst. Some one called for her, and Ruth reported 
that she could not be found. 

She was well on the way to the slackers' encamp- 
ment. It was now almost eight o'clock, and at nine, 
unless the slackers surrendered, the fire of the ma- 
chine guns would be poured into their ranks. 

As she passed the school house, she procured a flag 
which she carried in her hand. 

"Halt," said a rough voice, as she neared the rendez- 
vous of the slackers. 

"Is it you, Miss Peggy?" said Billy Wooten. "I'm 
glad you come. I give 'em yore note, but they can't 
make up their min's what to do. Ef you want to talk 
to 'em, foller me." 

Just around a great boulder they came upon the 
camp where most of the men were gathered. 

"Whitman and Kellett is gone," said Wooten, "an' 
we ain't got no leader, so we're just a waitin', not 
knowin' what to do." 

The men eyed Peggy as though she were not a 
welcome guest. 



The Surrender 279 

"Are the men all here?" she asked Wooten. 
"No, Miss, but I kin git 'em here in three shakes of a 
sheep's tail," said Wooten. He raised a horn that 
hung at his side, placed it to his lips, gave three long 
blasts, and Peggy saw men rising up from behind 
rocks and clumps of bushes, where a moment before 
the sharpest eyes could not have discovered a human 
being. 

"They're all here now, Miss," said Wooten. "I 
think they'll listen to you." 

Mounting a boulder that gave her a slight elevation 
so the men could all see her, and she could look into 
their faces, she said : 

"Men, I think I understand this situation better than 
you do yourselves. There is not a coward among you. 
There were only two, but they are gone. You are all 
brave men and not afraid to fight, but you want to 
know why you are called on to fight. You need but one 
reason, and that is your country, your Government 
wants you. 

"No patriotic American citizen needs any other rea- 
son. Whether you sympathize with Germany or 
France and England is wholly beside the question. 
Whether you favor war at all, or not, has nothing to 
do with the issue. You may be a conscientious ob- 
jector, but that is no earthly excuse. 

"My conscience opposes war; every fiber of my be- 
ing cries out against it. The shedding of blood to me 
is horrible ; but when my Country has spoken, I have 
no more opinions, they are all submerged in the duty 
I owe my Country. 

"Some great patriot once said, when patriotism was 
a virtue, 'My Country, right or wrong.' 

"It is fashionable in some quarters today to decry 
this, but I believe it is a principle that holds good to- 



280 Peggy Ware 

day just as it did when Washington fought at Valley 
Forge. 

"I'll tell you why it's the true American doctrine, 
men. This is a Republic where a majority rules, and 
when the majority speaks, the individual must bow in 
obedience. Otherwise we would have no law, no gov- 
ernment, no country. Every man would be a law 
unto himself, and anarchy would trample our flag in 
the dust, and civilization would plunge into chaos. 

"Our Government, through our duly elected repre- 
sentatives, says to go to France and fight Germany, 
and I want every man here to go and show them the 
sort of mettle we Southern mountaineers are made of. 
Will you do it?" 

"I will," said Billy Wooten, and a chorus of "I wills" 
went up from the camp. 

"All of you who will go, stand up," said Peggy. 

Every man rose to his feet. Peggy unfurled her 
flag, and waving it high above her head, she shouted, 
"Three cheers for the stars and stripes." And the 
men joined in with hearty good will. 

"We have but twenty minutes to reach that high 
peak," she said, pointing to the lone sentinel that kept 
grim watch over Bucks Pocket. "Who will volunteer 
to go with me?" 

"I'll go," said Wooten, and they were off for a race 
with time. 

Peggy hastily looked at her watch as they neared 
the summit. "We have just five minutes," she said. 
"Let's hurry." She was breathless when they reached 
the last steep climb. 

"I can't go on," she said piteously. "Go ahead and 
wave this white flag," she said, handing Wooten her 
handkerchief. 

"Let me climb up an' then I can reach down an' pull 



The Surrender 281 

you up," said Wooten. "I want you to be thare, too." 

He scrambled up the face of the rock, threw himself 
flat on the ground, and reaching far over, cried: 
"Gimme yore hands." 

Grasping Peggy firmly by the wrists, he drew her 
up until she lay balanced over the edge of the rock. 

"Wait a minit," he said, "'til I git on my feet, an' then 
I'll help you on yorn." 

"Just one minute left," said Peggy, looking at her 
watch. "Thank God, we are in time." 

Wooten hoisted Peggy's handkerchief on the end 
of a stick he had picked up. 

"Wave it Billy! Wave it!" she shouted enthusias- 
tically. 

She snatched the stars and stripes from the ground 
where Wooten had laid the flag while he helped Peggy 
up the side of the cliff. 

Frantically she waved it, as Wooten held the flag 
of surrender high above his head. 

Looking from the valley below, everyone could see 
them. Doctor Weston had anticipated Peggy's inten- 
tions when she disappeared from Cliff Anderson's. He 
had gone to the church and was watching from the 
tower where the chime of bells hung. 

Lieutenant Johnson was also watching through his 
field glasses. When he saw Wooten waving the white 
flag, and Peggy the Stars and Stripes, his glasses 
seemed to blur, and he grumbled that "the thing 
needed cleaning." He took out his handkerchief for 
the purpose, but his orderly, afterward, in telling 
about it, said the Lieutenant wiped his eyes. 

"Fire a salute to the best American I ever saw," he 
commanded. 

As the gun boomed a salute to Peggy and the 
American flag, Doctor Weston rang the chimes : 



282 Peggy Ware 

"My country, 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, 
Of thee I sing" 

mingled with the echo of the guns. 

Looking at the slight form of Peggy, joyously wav- 
ing her flag, he said : 

"She is as high above me as the heaven is above the 
earth. If I can overtake her in a million years my soul 
will be satisfied." 



Chapter Nineteen 
CLIFF ANDERSON ENTERS POLITICS 

AFTER the surrender of the draft evaders it was 
necessary for Lieutenant Johnson and his men 
to remain for a month in the mountains, aiding 
the civil authorities in hunting out slackers secreting 
themselves in the sparsely settled communities. 

At Peggy's solicitation, the soldiers went into quar- 
ters in Bucks Pocket near the Peggy Ware School, 
and Peggy organized a special course of instruction 
for all the draft evaders that would take advantage of 
it. They were given intensive military instruction, 
for the cry was coming over from France for help, 
and the Government had planned to send relief as 
quickly as possible. So it was arranged that the men 
should attend school at night. Their enthusiasm was 
remarkable once they had taken a few lessons. 

It was Peggy's purpose to teach them to spell, read, 
and write ; and it was not long until every man could 
write his name. Their progress was much more rapid 
than that made by the men and women in Peggy's 
school for the illiterates. These were people past mid- 
dle life, some of them seventy, and their progress had 
been painfully slow. The draft dodgers were all young 
men, with strong native intellect, and at the end of 
the month they had acquired a thirst for education 
that would insure a continuance of their studies. 

Peggy talked to them on the duties of citizenship. 
She impressed on them the greatness of our form of 

283 



284 Peggy Ware 

Government, and showed them the blessed privilege 
of being an American citizen. She told them that the 
best citizenship also meant a love of God, for good 
citizenship, she said, called for the surrender of many 
natural rights that belonged to man in a purely ani- 
mal state. 

"I want you to always remember," she said, "that 
you are living souls, and that as such you are sons of 
God and brothers to all mankind. A proper recognition 
of this great truth will make you better soldiers and 
better citizens. Good citizenship in its last analysis 
means the love of God and service to our fellow man." 

When the men were bidding her goodbye, she urged 
them to write to their mothers. 

"If it is only a scrap of paper on which you write 
your name and say, 'Mother, I am thinking of you,' 
don't fail, boys, for you will never know what it will 
mean to her." 

"I ain't got no mother, Miss Peggy," said Billy 
Wooten, sadly. "My daddy and mammy died when I 
wus a little feller, an' I never had no brothers or sis- 
ters. I ain't even got a sweetheart," he said shyly, 
"so if anything happens to me it won't make no differ- 
ence." 

In spite of his brave efforts, Peggy saw the tears in 
his eyes. 

"There is someone that would care, Billy," said 
Peggy, as she held his hand in hers. "It would wring 
my heart if you did not come back, and I shall pray 
every day for your safe return." 

"You don't meant it, do you?" said he. "I didn't 
'spose you'd ever think of me agin." 

"At a certain hour every day, I'll think of you and 
pray for you, and I want you to write to me." 

"It won't be much writin', Miss Peggy. Ef you'll 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 285 

write yore name on a piece of paper, so I kin look at 
it when I go to write, it'll help me out about the spell- 
in'. I think I kin manage to write my name." 

A new light had come into his eyes, and the big 
mountain boy marched away with a firm step and light 

heart. 

* ******* 

Winslow and Cranston were working with a will on 
their masterpiece. They had filmed the soldiers and 
the slackers. They were enthusiastic over the scene 
showing the surrender. They told Peggy that her 
services would come to the notice of the authorities, 
and that she would be given signal recognition for 
her patriotic action. 

"I hope there will be no publicity," she said. "I 
don't want anyone to think that these splendid young 
mountaineers were afraid to fight. All I did was to 
put it before them in the proper light. When I did so, 
they were eager to go. Anyone could have done this 
just as well as I did. I predict that they will make a 
record in France to be proud of. 

Wilbur Ware had not been idle. Following out the 
plans already approved by Peggy, he had gone into 
a number of communities, called the people together, 
and laid before them the proposition for the establish- 
ment of a Community Center. 

Although the people were at first a little slow and 
skeptical, he had gradually won them over, until now 
there were twenty houses complete in as many com- 
munities. In some of these communities he had found 
as many as four church houses, and in most of them 
at least two. These represented as many different de- 
nominations, differing on some point of theological 
dogma, "doctrinal pints," as expressed in the moun- 
tain vernacular. 



286 Peggy Ware 

For the most part, these church houses were falling 
into decay. The windows were broken out, the 
steeples either toppled over or threatening to fall, while 
the dust of years had accumulated on the floor, benches 
and pulpits. The fierce theological strife had stifled 
all spiritual growth, and at last the congregations had 
diminished until there was no one left to pay the theo- 
logians, and they had departed to other fields. 

The churches were usually close together, on oppo- 
site sides of the road, perhaps, but close enough so 
each congregation could see what its "rival" was do- 
ing. 

In only one thing could they agree — that was in hav- 
ing a common burial plot called the "graveyard." 

When Father Time mowed them down, open com- 
munion and close communion, infant baptism and in- 
fant damnation, immersion and sprinkling were all for- 
gotten, and they mingled their tears burying their dead 
side by side, the saint and the sinner, to await the 
judgment day when they should come forth from their 
graves, the saints to be caught up into everlasting 
glory, while the sinners would be cast with all other 
goats into outer darkness. 

These graveyards reflected the religious thought 
of the community. They were desolate beyond the 
power of human language to describe. Overgrown 
with briers and broom sage, the mounds heaped above 
the graves sinking lower and lower as the years went 
by, until you could almost touch the rotting pine board 
coffin in which the poor skeleton rested. 

It was no wonder that the dwellers in these com- 
munities who had never heard any but "doctrinal" 
sermons, who never came to their graveyards except 
to lay a friend or loved one beneath the desolate sod, 
had drifted away from the churches. A religion of 



Cliff Andfrson Enters Politics 287 

gloom, of bickering, of materialism, had done its work, 
and Wilbur Ware found the unmistakable evidence in 
almost every community. 

In the twenty communities selected by him there 
had been a resurrection. The dead ones, who were 
"walking about to save funeral expenses," in the pic- 
turesque language of Cliff Anderson, had been gal- 
vanized into life. 

The old church houses had been torn down where 
that was feasible and used in the construction of Com- 
munity Center houses. These served for church, Sun- 
day School, social gatherings, for picture shows and 
other forms of educational entertainment. 

The plans had been so drawn that the main build- 
ing could be thrown into smaller rooms. These served 
as school rooms for the primary schools until such 
time as a suitable school building could be erected. 
When more lumber was needed than provided by tear- 
ing down the churches, the men of the communities 
had banded together, cut the pine trees, hauled them 
to the nearest saw mill, furnishing all the lumber re- 
quired. 

From the nearby towns of Chattanooga, Nashville, 
Birmingham, Atlanta, and many others came donations 
of hardware, doors, and windows, and the necessary 
cash for the purchase of seats, and to meet all other 
requirements. 

A friendly rivalry sprang up, and each community 
tried to outvie the other in the early completion of 
its building. 

The graveyards were cleared off, flowers planted, 
and they became beauty spots, rather than haunts of 
desolation. 

Peggy's motion-picture circuit now consisted of 
twenty houses, and she, Winslow and Cranston talked 



288 Peggy Ware 

enthusiastically of the day when there would be hun- 
dreds of places where pictures with a soul would be 
exhibited. 

Doctor Weston had given all the time to aiding in 
the establishment of the Community Centers he could 
spare from his work with the "lonesome" people. 

Cliff Anderson's life was a busy one, for he was the 
"big boss" of the farming and industrial work. 

Ruth was to remain in the Anderson home until her 
marriage to Doctor Weston. She would always retain 
the name of Ruth, given her by Molly Anderson. She 
had been told every detail of the story of her abduction 
by the gypsies, and her rescue by Cliff Anderson. She 
had also learned that another child, a girl, of the same 
age, was stolen at the same time and had never been 
recovered. This gave her much concern. She brooded 
over it until it became an obsession with her. 

"How can I be sure who I am?" she would ask her 
betrothed. "Perhaps I am the other girl. I want to 
know my parentage for a certainty." 

Old Simon often tried to comfort and assure her. 
"ChiT, they ain't no sort ob question erbout it. In 
de fust place you is de zact image of Young Missus. 
You kin see dat fer yoreself when you looks at her 
picter. Den you'se a Lee. Dey ain't no bettah blood 
in de Souf, an' you shows youah quality ebery time you 
turns aroun'." 

Cliff Anderson was now confronted with the problem 
that he had been fearing. Peggy was insistent that he 
make the race for the Legislature, and he must make 
up his mind. 

"I'd ruther be in France with them Germans shootin' 
at me an' gassin' me all at onct," he told Peggy. 
"They's jest one human bein' in the world that I'd do it 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 289 

fer, an' ef you insist, I'll give that little pecker-wood 
lawyer the durndest fight he ever had." 

The momentous question was settled, and with his 
usual energy Cliff Anderson entered the race for the 
lower house of the General Assembly, on a platform 
advocating an appropriation of ten thousand dollars a 
year for the Peggy Ware School. 

A mighty howl went up from the cross-roads politi- 
cians, and Amos Fuller, who up to this time had no 
opposition, promptly challenged Anderson to a joint 
discussion, knowing that he would make short work of 
him and his issue. 

"I've been a-feard of this jint-discussion," he told 
Peggy. "You know they are pow'ful pop'lar with we 
Southern people, an' ef I back down they'll call me a 
coward an' then I will shore git beat. So I'm gwine to 
rassel with the little bumble bee. But you must be at 
the fust speakin', Miss Peggy, becase it will help me 
pow'ful when I git the 'buck aguer,' to see you thare 
a-backin' me up. I think you better pray fer me too, 
becase I'm gwine to need all the help I kin git. You 
might help me out on my grammar a little, ef I git 
too bad balled up." 

"Your grammar is all right, Mr. Anderson," Peggy 
assured him. "Don't think about your grammar, just 
put your whole heart in what you say, and the Lord 
will inspire you to say the proper thing." 

"Wall, ef he don't, I'm a-feard I won't say much, an' 
ef that Amos Fuller gits to makin' game of me, an' I 
can't beat him talkin', I recon I kin lick him." 

Peggy laughed at the latter remark. "You will lick 
him with his own weapons, never fear," Peggy assured 
him, and the old man felt considerably relieved. 

The first meeting was to be at Flat Rock, where one 
of the Community Center churches had been built. 



290 Peggy Ware 

Fuller had demanded the right to open and close the 
discussion, expecting in his closing speech to put An- 
derson to an ignominious flight. Anderson readily 
agreed to the division of time. 

"I kin tell all I know in one speech," he said, "an' 
it won't be very long at that. When I git through, you 
kin talk 'til everybody gits tired and leaves, if you 
want to." 

The great day arrived and the crowd taxed the 
capacity of the house. Peggy, her father, Ruth, Molly 
Anderson, and Doctor Weston occupied seats in the 
"Amen corner." 

The chairman of the meeting announced the terms of 
the debate, and introduced the Honorable Amos Fuller, 
the present faithful representative of the county in the 
Legislature, seeking a re-election. There was much 
hand-clapping, and the honorable gentleman felt greatly 
flattered. 

After complimenting everybody in general, and the 
ladies in particular, he proceeded to flay Anderson 
alive. 

"My honorable opponent," he shouted, laying great 
stress on "honorable," "asks you to replace a faithful 
servant by electing him. When he asks you to do this 
unusual thing he puts himself up as a target to be shot 
at, and I propose to fill his character so full of holes 
that it won't hold shucks." 

"Hurrah for Fuller ! Give it to the old scoundrel, 
Amos," was shouted by a few of his henchmen. 

"No, fellow citizens," he continued, warming up to 
his subject, "I won't fill his character with holes, I'll 
just rub the whitewash off so you can see them." 

Much laughter greeted this sally of the speaker. 

"Cliff Anderson, the King of the Wild Catters ! How 
would that sound in the halls of your Legislature? 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 291 

He has made enough wildcat liquor to float a battle- 
ship in, and sold it for filthy lucre, debauching the 
noble youths of our land." 

The speaker was quite overcome by his emotions, 
reached for the handkerchief in his hip pocket, and 
dried his eyes. 

"Pardon me for this momentary exhibition of weak- 
ness, fellow citizens, but the evils of whiskey are so 
great that I can never discuss the subject without 
yielding to those emotions that I am sure fill every 
heart here except the reprobate heart of this old wild 
catter, who claims that he has reformed, after he got 
all the money he needs, and stands with one foot in 
the grave. 

"That ain't the worst of it," shouted the thoroughly 
excited gentleman. "He is a thief ! and I can prove it." 

"Hit 'im, Cliff! hit 'im !" some of Anderson's old 
friends urged, while others jeered, saying, "We alius 
knowed he wus crooked." 

"Prove it ! Prove it !" persisted the Fuller claquers. 

"All right, I'll do it. He stole that young lady there 
when she was just two years old," pointing a long, 
bony finger at Ruth. "If it ain't so, stand up and 
deny it. Cliff Anderson !" he fairly hissed in Ander- 
son's ear, standing on tiptoe, leaning far over, with 
his finger almost touching the tip of Anderson's nose. 

It was a moment of breathless suspense. 

Anderson was known far and wide as a dangerous 
fighting man, and everyone expected that he would 
fell his antagonist with one blow of his powerful fist. 
He did not stir ; the muscles of his face twitched con- 
vulsively, he gripped the edge of the chair on which 
he sat with both bands, and Peggy caught the glimpse 
of an angry tear stealing down his cheek. 

"Your time is up, Mr. Fuller," warned the chairman. 



292 Peggy Ware 

"I thank you, ladies and gentlemen," he obsequi- 
ously observed. "I hope you will remain and hear my 
rejoinder." 

He sat down much pleased with himself, while the 
crowd clapped their hands, stamping the floor with 
their feet. 

"Ladies- and gentlemen, this is Cliff Anderson," said 
the chairman. "He will speak for himself." 

Slowly the old man rose, and his knees were trem- 
bling violently. The perspiration stood in beads on 
his forehead, and he was forced to use his handker- 
chief frequently. His voice was husky, his hands were 
in his way, while his feet were at least twice their 
usual size. 

A pitcher of water and a glass stood on a small 
table. He seized the pitcher to pour out a drink of 
water, but in his excitement he placed it to his lips, 
took a long swallow, and set it down. The crowd 
roared, adding greatly to his confusion. 

"That's the way he used to take his liquor," said 
Fuller, derisively. The uproar increased at this fresh 
display of wit on the part of his opponent. 

"And that's whare you told a lie," said Anderson, 
looking squarely into the shifting eyes of the lawyer. 

"You had better be careful about who you call a 
liar, Mr. Anderson," weakly protested his opponent. 

"Oh, I'll be keerful enough," responded Anderson. 
"Don't worry. I never took a drink of licker in my 
life. I alius made it fer fools like you to drink, Mr. 
Fuller." 

"I don't drink, Anderson. Everybody knows I'm 
a prohibitionist," said the lawyer, looking about 
sheepishly. 

"He said I'd made enough whiskey to float a battle- 
ship in, an' mebbe I have. I've sold him enough to 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 293 

tan his hide in, if he was as big as — as an elephant. 
An' the wust part of it is he ain't paid me fer it, an' 
when I threatened to sue him he said he would plead 
the statute of limitations !" 

"Hear! Hear! Hurrah for the old tiger!" and kin- 
dred exclamations of encouragement greeted the 
speaker. 

"He's a prohibitionist all right, but he wants to pro- 
hibit the other fellow from getting licker by drinking it 
all himself, and then prohibit the man that sold it to 
him from collecting his money. Yes, he's a double- 
dyed, double-crossed sort of prohibitionist. 

"He's got a bottle of whiskey in. his inside coat 
pocket this very minute, fellow citizens." 

"You're a liar, Cliff Anderson. If I have, I'll quit 
this race." 

"All right, Mr. Fuller; let me search you." 

"Don't touch me, Anderson. I don't allow any man 
to lay his hands on me." He reached toward his pistol 
pocket, and the audience began to scramble for the 
door. 

"Keep your seats, folks," commanded Anderson, 
"he's never shot anybody yet but himself. I've seen 
him half shot many a time." 

Anderson clasped the angry man around the shoul- 
ders with his left arm, holding him like a vice, while 
with his right hand he threw back the lappel of Fuller's 
coat, exposing the neck of a bottle. 

"Here she is, fellow citizens," he said, gleefully, as 
he extracted the bottle from the pocket of the squirm- 
ing lawyer. "I'll pour it out in this glass, so's you all 
can smell it. It ain't good, like I used to make," he 
said. "I guess it's got pine tops and buckeye in it, for 
it stinks like a polecat." 



294 Peggy Ware 

Pandemonium broke loose. Anderson released his 
opponent, who grabbed his hat and made a bee-line 
for the door. "I refuse to listen further to the harangue 
of a blackguard," he shouted angrily, as he made his 
exit, followed by the hoots and jeers of the entire audi- 
ence, except his henchmen. One by one they stole 
out to join their fallen chieftain on the outside. 

When order had been restored, Anderson went on : 

"When he stooped over to pint his finger in my face," 
he said, "I saw the neck of his bottle, on his inside coat 
pocket, and I knowed I had him. 

"I'm now gwine to tell you about stealin' the child, 
and I ain't gwine to deny it. I'll tell you how it wus." 

In simple language, he told his audience of his fight 
with the two gypsies for the possession of Ruth, of 
his race to the steamboat landing to evade the revenue 
officers, and the subsequent events leading up to the 
present moment. 

"She is here," he said, "and so are her father, sister 
and husband that's goin' to be. Ef they are all fer 
me, I want 'em to stan' up." 

"We are all for you," they said in unison, as they 
rose to their feet. 

"Now everybody that feels the same way, please 
rise," he said. Everyone stood up amidst the greatest 
enthusiasm. 

"Now, I am goin' to talk about the issue for a few 
minutes, for I want all of you to know why you are 
voting for me." 

Briefly he explained the aims of the Peggy Ware 
School, and told of what had already been accomplished. 

"About a dozen of your boys and gals are down 
there at school now, and we want that many more 
next year, but in order to take care of them we need 
more money. I think the State ought to give it to 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 295 

us, because every dollar goes for your kids, and it's 
your money. So why not give it to them?" 

The meeting was over and everybody wanted to 
shake the speaker's hand and give assurance of support. 
He scarcely seemed to hear or see anyone. He was 
waiting the approval of the one whose sympathetic 
hand-clasp meant more to him than the plaudits of 
the world. 

"Nobly done, Mr. Anderson. It was the grandest 
speech I ever heard. I am proud of you !" Peggy 
held out her two hands and took Anderson's big right 
hand between them. He felt the thrill that came from 
her understanding heart. 

"It's all right now, Miss Peggy," he said. "I don't 
want to go to France. I'm going to the Legislature." 

There were no more joint discussions after the first 
meeting. Fuller conducted a "gum shoe" campaign, 
telling the people that it was beneath his dignity to 
recognize an ignorant old wild catter by engaging in a 
public controversy with him. 

Anderson continued to tell the people in a straight- 
forward, simple way the things that he advocated. 

Election day finally arrived with a sweeping victory 
for Cliff Anderson and the Peggy Ware School. 

A telephone line had been installed from the county 
seat to Bucks Pocket, and as the returns kept piling 
up Anderson's majority, there was great rejoicing. 
Only Cliff Anderson seemed depressed. 

"You don't seem to be happy over the result, Mr. 
Anderson," said Peggy. Don't you think it a glorious 
victory?" 

"That's what pesters me, Miss Peggy," he replied 
gloomily. "It is a big thing for the Peggy Ware 
School, if I can put our bill through in the Legisla- 



296 Peggy Ware 

ture. It's a pow'ful big load fer me to tote, and I 
know I ain't competent." 

"When I get down to Montgomery, amongst all them 
educated guys, most of them slick lawyers, I'm a-feard 
they'll jest laugh my bill out of countenance. I know 
they'll make all manner of fun of me, but I can stand 
that, if they will jest pass our appropriation." 

He had come up to Peggy's Shrine of Silence, which 
he had never entered, always standing outside the 
door, with head bared, while talking to Peggy. When 
invited to enter, he would say: "No, I ain't fitten." 

This time he had entered, and was seated near a 
window from which he could obtain a marvelous view 
of the Tennessee river and its broad valley, with the 
blue mountain ranges in the distance. 

"It's the most peacefulest feelin' I ever had in my 
life," said he, "as I set here, lookin' out at them moun- 
tains beyond the river. Why, I've most lost all fear 
of them fellers down at Montgomery. What is it 
makes me have this feelin', Miss Peggy?" 

"Mr. Anderson," she said, "it is because I have never 
had a thought in this room except of absolute faith in 
God. Thoughts are the most potential forces in the 
world, and this Shrine of Silence, as I am pleased to 
call it, is filled with thoughts of love, peace, joy, faith. 
It is here that I meet God face to face, just as surely 
as I shall ever meet Him in all the eternity yet to 
come, and today is just as much a part of eternity as 
any other day will ever be. 

"So I live in this thought in this room, and it is 
here I get the strength and wisdom for my work. If 
we will allow Him, God will fill us with His wisdom 
at all times, and we never need be at a loss as to the 
course to pursue." 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 297 

"That's what you call prayin', ain't it, Miss Peggy?" 
asked Anderson, looking earnestly at her, "prayin' 
without talkin'?" 

"That's the only kind of prayin' I could do, fer I 
ain't edycated well enough to talk to God. I've heard 
them long-winded prayers whare the feller would 
holler so loud you could a-heard him at least a mile, 
an' I alius said it warn't half loud enough fer God 
to hear, or it wits so loud, an' so many of 'em yellin' at 
the same time that He would stop His ears." 

"You don't need to talk to God in words," said 
Peggy. "God is a spirit, and we worship Him in 
spirit. Do you understand that, Mr. Anderson?" 

"You mean that God ain't jest a big man, but is 
somethin' I feel inside sometimes when I'm thinkin' of 
all the good things that's been done here in Bucks 
Pocket? Ef that's what you mean, then I think I 
know what prayin' is. I heerd you say once to the 
boys and gals that 'prayer is the soul's sincere desire.' 
I been turnin' that over in my mind ever sence, an' ef 
that's prayin', I'm doin' my best." 

"That's what I mean, Mr. Anderson. You under- 
stand it, and your life is showing the fruit of your 
understanding. 

"You have nothing to fear when you go to Mont- 
gomery. If it is right for the school to have this appro- 
priation, your bill will pass. If the money ought to 
come from some other source, then good and well. We 
know that we shall get it. We do our part when we 
walk in the light as we see it, and use the means at 
hand to accomplish our ends." 

"I'm goin' in that faith, Miss Peggy," said the big 
man, as he arose to take his departure, an' ef it's God's 
will, I'll bring home the bacon." 



298 Peggy Ware 

The "bringing home of the bacon" was not accom- 
plished without much difficulty, and furnishes one of 
the many interesting episodes of the early history of 
the Peggy Ware School. 

Cliff Anderson's appearance on the floor of the lower 
house of the legislative body was quite an event. He 
was the only ex-Confederate soldier, and, so far as 
known, the only ex-wild catter. 

Prohibition was a burning issue, and practically the 
entire body had been elected on a radical prohibition 
platform. Anderson had not defined his position in his 
campaign. When pressed for his views, his answer 
invariably was that no whiskey was made or drunk in 
Bucks Pocket, and if this fact did not speak for him, it 
would be useless to make any assertions as to what he 
thought about the evils of whiskey. 

Anderson still clung to his "home- spun" clothes, and 
when he appeared at the speaker's desk to take the 
oath of office, he was attired in a suit of gray jeans, 
woven and fashioned by his wife. A woolen shirt with 
a soft turn-down collar, a big black bow tie, high boots, 
in which his trousers were stuffed, and a broad- 
brimmed, soft hat completed his outfit. 

"W r ho is the big guy, still wearing home-made 
clothes?" was whispered through the galleries. 

"An old wild catter from the mountains of North 
Alabama," some one volunteered, and it was passed 
along until every one was duly informed. 

The speaker of the house was friendly to Anderson. 
He had visited the Peggy Ware School, and was favor- 
able to the appropriation, but being a shrewd politi- 
cian, he kept this to himself. He had the highest 
esteem for Anderson, because his father and Anderson 
had both fought under Lee, and Anderson had ren- 
dered his mother a service at the close of the war. 



Cuff Anderson Enters Politics 299 

He also understood the Governor's views, and it was 
through the speaker's influence that Anderson's bill 
was reported out of the committee that had it in charge. 
The report was a unanimous one against the bill, but 
it gave Anderson an opportunity to get his measure 
before the house. The speaker had told the committee 
that this doubtless would be the end of the matter, but 
it would please the old man and do no harm. 

When the bill was reported, the speaker politely 
turned to Anderson and asked him if he desired to 
discuss the measure, informing him that he would have 
the right to open and close the debate. 

Laboring under great embarrassment, Anderson 
seemed unable to find himself. His effort was a fail- 
ure, and he felt it more keenly than anyone. 

As two hours had been set apart for the discussion 
of the bill, and the author had consumed but ten min- 
utes, some of the younger members who had not had 
an opportunity to air their eloquence, took occasion to 
poke fun at Anderson and his measure. One of them 
even chided him as being a friend of whiskey. An- 
other said that he was a Rip Van Winkle, living in a 
past age, still wearing the gray home-made jeans of 
fifty years ago. 

"We have public schools for the education of the 
boys and girls," he said, "and we don't need this Peggy 
Ware School, with a slip of a girl as its president, and 
a whole lot of new fangled ideas about education, 
religion, and Heaven knows what else." 

Cliff Anderson had sat through the ridicule and mis- 
representation unmoved, outwardly ; sometimes his 
eyes were closed, and a look of peace radiated from his 
features. 

"Do you desire to say anything further before the 



300 Peggy Ware 

vote is taken," kindly inquired the speaker, as he looked 
pityingly at the old veteran. 

To the surprise of everyone, another Cliff Anderson 
stood in their midst. He was no longer awkward or 
embarrassed. His voice was strong and resonant. 
His first sentence electrified his hearers. "I've faced a 
thousand Yankee guns on the battlefield," he said, "and 
I never dodged a bullet or run a step, an' I don't know 
why I should be skeered at all you fellers because you 
are edycated and got on store clothes. Take yore 
book larnin' away frum you, and take off yore clothes, 
an' I wouldn't be a-feard of the whole bunch. 

"I'm here to talk fur the folks that ain't got no edy- 
cation or store clothes either, an' I'm going to talk to 
you, jest man to man, fer I am yore equal in every- 
thing that God can give a man. What I want is to 
make our mountain boys and gals the equal with yours 
in them things that God don't give people. 

"They ain't no better blood in the world than we've 
got up in the mountains. They ain't no purer women 
or braver men, but they ain't had no chance. 

"There are more than half the men and women that 
can't write their names, and the boys and gals, lots of 
them, are growin' up the same way. 

"The only schools that amount to anything are in 
the towns and big settlements, and that don't reach 
places like Bucks Pocket. There are thousands of 
boys and gals in our mountains that won't never see 
inside a school house, if they don't go to the Peggy 
Ware School. 

"What Peggy Ware has already done is worth more 
than all the money the Legislature would give it if it 
appropriated every year for a hundred years the amount 
I ask in this bill. If you could see the change in 
Bucks Pocket, and our mountain country, where Peggy 



Cliff Anderson Entfrs Politics 301 

Ware's influence has been felt, you would vote unani- 
mously for my bill. 

"Somethin' was said about whiskey, an' I want to 
tell you what Peggy Ware has done for Bucks Pocket. 
I recon it used to be the wust place fer wildcat licker 
in the State, an' that's about all we had there — wild- 
cat whiskey and hell. 

"They ain't a drop in ten miles of Bucks Pocket, an' 
ef a man brought a bottle into the community, he 
would be disgraced. It's all due to Peggy Ware, too. 
She ain't never preached prohibition. I never heard 
her say prohibition in my life. She jest teaches what 
she calls right thinkin', clean thinkin', and clean livin'. 
I can't explain it to you like she could, but I know it's 
cleaned out Bucks Pocket, and it's the most peaceful, 
law abiding community in the State. 

"One gentleman said that Miss Peggy had new fan- 
gled ideas, but if they work everywhere like they do 
in Bucks Pocket, I think it would be a good thing to 
spread the doctrine. This is jest what we are aimin' 
to do up thare. Spread it all over the mountains of 
our beloved South, and mebbe it will drift down into 
the towns and cities." 

As Anderson warmed to his subject, he towered like 
one of the peaks of his own mountains. One member, 
nudged another and whispered : 'He looks like a cliff, 
don't he? His name is quite appropriate." 

He was winning his way with the members, and it 
was evident that many had been won over to his sup- 
port, while others were on the fence. 

The speaker of the house, who had watched the 
change in sentiment wrought by Anderson's earnest- 
ness, now determined to throw the weight of his influ- 
ence on the side of the Peggy Ware School. 

"I am going to ask the gentleman to occupy the 



302 Peggy Ware 

speaker's chair while I address the house," he said, 
beckoning Anderson to come forward. 

Anderson stood as if he were incapable of either 
speech or motion, until the speaker stepped from the 
stand, took the old man firmly by the arm and almost 
dragged him to the speaker's chair. There was loud 
hand-clapping and cries of "Hurrah for Anderson !" 

"I want to pay a tribute to this gallant old Confed- 
erate soldier," said the speaker. "He and my father 
were both with Lee in Virginia, and my father fell 
mortally wounded the day before Lee's surrender to 
Grant. 

"Mr. Anderson belonged to the infantry, and my 
father to the cavalry, so Anderson owned no horse. He 
took charge of my father's horse, brought it to Alabama 
down to the black belt, where my mother lived, turned 
it over to her, and then walked back to his home in the 
mountains of North Alabama, a distance of over two 
hundred miles, and he'was barefooted. I plowed with 
the horse and made a crop and kept the family from 
starving. 

"Mr. Anderson might have kept the horse. No one 
would ever have known it, and made a crop for his own 
widowed mother. Instead of doing that, he plowed with 
an ox, and I want to say that no more gallant soldier 
ever wore the Confederate uniform than Cliff Ander- 
son ; and today I honor him and the gray homespun 
suit he wears, and I am going to show my respect and 
appreciation in a small way by voting for his bill. 

"I have visited the Peggy Ware School. I have 
talked to Peggy Ware, and I unhesitatingly state that 
in my humble judgment, hers is the greatest institution 
of its kind in the South, and that she is the finest, 
noblest Christian young woman I have ever met." 

The opposition vanished, the vote for the bill was 



Cliff Anderson Entfrs Politics 303 

practically unanimous, and Cliff Anderson was the 
beau ideal of the Legislature. 

When the governor signed the bill, Anderson said : 
"Let me take the pen with which you signed your 
name to Miss Peggy. I am sure she'll frame it and put 
it in her Shrine of Silence." 

"I want to congratulate you, Cliff Anderson," said 
the governor cordially. "I knew you had the right 
mettle when I urged you to make the race for the Leg- 
islature. I wish every community had a Peggy Ware 
and a Cliff Anderson. What a transformation we would 
witness." 

"It's all Miss Peggy, governor. I'd a still been makin' 
wildcat licker ef God hadn't sent her to Bucks Pocket." 

"I'm sorry you are not a prohibitionist, Anderson," 
said the governor, winking slyly at his secretary. 
"That's all you lack of being admitted into the inner 
circle." 

"Wall, governor, I hated them revenoo officers so 
long I guess I can't jest make up my mind to run with 
the gang. I don't ever think I'll feel right amongst 
all them saints and near-saints. I'll jest stay out with 
the goats and help along with the Peggy Ware School, 
where the boys and gals are not taught 'don't,' but 
'do.' There ain't a motto on the walls that says 'thou 
shalt not,' but everyone reads 'thou shalt.' If you get 
enough of 'thou shalt' in a fellow's hide, there ain't no 
room for 'white lightnin', an' he ain't got no taste for 
it either." 

"You know, governor, my county was the first one 
in the State to adopt prohibition. That was forty 
years ago. I just got my home paper today, containing 
a report of the grand jury. I want you to read it." 

There were several members of the Legislature 
gathered in the governor's office to witness the signing 



304 Peggy Ware 

of Anderson's bill. To them the governor read the 
grand jury report: 

"We have endeavored to make an extensive and 
thorough investigation of the violation of the prohibi- 
tion laws in this county, in keeping with your honor's 
charge. We find that there are illicit distilleries in 
almost every community in the county, some of them 
located almost in the shadow of the schools and 
churches of the county, and we further find that many 
citizens of this county who have heretofore enjoyed 
the confidence and the respect of the law-abiding peo- 
ple are now engaged in distilling or are lending their 
aid, directly or indirectly, to those who are violating 
the prohibition laws. We find that many distillers 
and bootleggers are selling whiskey to the boys over 
the country, some of whom are almost children in 
knee trousers. We further find prohibited liquors be- 
ing transported over the county, not by quarts and 
gallons, but by barrels, and we have discovered in 
more than one instance where it has been stored in 
large quantities. We have had many men before the 
grand jury who pose as being good, law-abiding citi- 
zens, who we have every reason to believe and know 
testified falsely for the purpose of protecting distill- 
ers and bootleggers. We have heard and seen enough 
during our investigations this week to know that the 
county is in a most deplorable condition. We find 
that men who have enjoyed public trust are using their 
automobiles and other conveyances in transporting 
whiskey over the county." 

"Ef that's the condition after forty years of bone 
dry prohibition, don't you think, Governor, that the 
Peggy Ware plan is worth tryin'?" said Anderson 
earnestly. "I ain't agin prohibition, but I'm fur pre- 
vention. The only dry spot in our county is Bucks 



Cliff Anderson Enters Politics 305 

Pocket, an' nobody ain't never made a prohibition 
speech thare. Onr boys an' gals wouldn't tech the 
stuff any more than they would pizen." 

"After all, Anderson, I think you are a pretty good 
sort of prohibitionist," said the Governor. "Goodbye 
and God bless you." 

"I recon' you might call me a preventionist," said 
Anderson as he took leave of the Governor. 



Chapter Twenty 
PEGGY GOES TO WASHINGTON 

THE filming of "Peggy Ware" had been com- 
pleted, the cutting and sub-titling was done, and 
after several showings in the projection room, 
it had been pronounced perfect. Winslow and Crans- 
ton regarded it as their masterpiece. It had been run 
in all the Community Center houses, and everywhere 
had aroused the greatest enthusiasm. They were now 
anxious to submit it to the supreme test, the verdict 
of the public. 

After spending some time in New York and Wash- 
ington, Winslow and Cranston finally determined to 
give "Peggy Ware" its premiere exhibition in one of 
the largest motion picture houses in the capitol city 
of the Nation. This conclusion was partially induced 
by reason of the fact that the President had written 
Peggy, expressing his appreciation of the patriotic 
services she had rendered her country in ending the 
slacker war in Bucks Pocket without bloodshed. 

He further stated that he had asked to be informed 
of the record of these men in France, and was pleased 
to know that there were no better soldiers serving 
overseas. 

He expressed the keenest interest in the Peggy Ware 
School, and promised his assistance in any way pos- 
sible. The letter ended with a pressing invitation to 
Peggy to visit the capitol as the guest of the White 
House. 

306 



Peggy Goes to Washington 307 

Winslow and Cranston, keenly alive to the pub- 
licity value of the patronage of the President, ar- 
ranged for a private showing of their picture at which 
the President's private secretary was present. His 
report was so favorable that the President consented 
to be present at its first exhibition, if Peggy would 
also attend as his guest. 

When this news was carried to Bucks Pocket, it 
was the cause of intense excitement. The newspapers 
published in Washington arrived in a few days filled 
with wonderful stories of the Peggy Ware School. 

Peggy was written up one side and down the other, 
her story so embellished by the imagination of the 
gifted reporters who had built a fairy structure on a 
very simple foundation, that she wanted to decline the 
invitation to the White House, and upset the entire 
plans of her managers. 

She told her father, Anderson, and Doctor Weston 
that she did not want publicity for herself, and that 
she shrank from going to Washington under the false 
glamour created by the newspaper stories. 

"I don't think the newspapers have overdrawn the 
story at all," said Doctor Weston. "You don't realize, 
Peggy, what an unusual woman you are, and what a 
romantic life yours has been. In all the realms of fic- 
tion there is nothing that surpasses it. I wish you 
could see it as I do." 

"It all seems so simple to me, Doctor Weston, that 
I don't want any great to-do about it. I have done 
no more than any other girl with the same opportuni- 
ties could have done, and this is the big fact that I 
want to keep to the fore. I don't want this lost sight 
of in the glamour of the glorification of Peggy Ware. 
You know that all I have done was to use the forces 



308 Peggy Ware 

that are available to every soul, and this is my mes- 
sage to the world." 

"Don't you think Washington City will be a good 
place to deliver that message, Peggy?" asked her 
father. "That is where the heart of the nation beats, 
and you will have an opportunity to get your mes- 
sage over where it will do the most good." 

"You kin tell 'em fer me," said Cliff Anderson, "that 
when the reporters have wrote everything about you 
and the Peggy Ware School, they kin think of, they 
ain't teched sides nor bottom of what you're doin'. 
Ef I wus writin' it, I'd say that the story can't be fin- 
ished until Gabe blows his trumpet, becase this work 
is goin' on 'til then. 

"I wus out in the center of the mill pond tother 
day, settin' on a log fishin', an' I dropped a rock in 
the water, an' it started a wave in a circle, an' it kept 
gittin' bigger an' bigger until it hit the bank on both 
sides of the creek. An' I said that's jes like the work 
bein' done here; it will jest keep on a spreadin' ontil 
it strikes the shores of Heaven." 

"That's a very beautiful thought, Mr. Anderson," 
said Peggy, "if they would leave me out of it, don't 
you understand." 

"Yes, Miss Peggy, I think I understand better than 
you do. You are the one that dropped the rock in the 
pond that started the wave, an' ef you hadn't done it, 
there wouldn't a been no wave to talk about or write 
about. So it's perfectly natural that everybody wants 
to know all about the feller that started it, and when 
that 'feller' is a beautiful young lady, the story gits 
pow'ful interestin'." 

"An' when she's as good as she's purty," chimed in 
Simon, "it's no wondah de President wants her to come 
to de White House." 



Peggy Goes to Washington 309 

"How wonderful it will be, Peggy. I almost envy 
you. Of course, I couldn't do it, because you are the 
only girl in the world that could live up to the part," 
enthusiastically declared Ruth. 

"I am afraid I cannot, Ruth. I am terribly fright- 
ened this minute, and don't know what I will do when 
I get to Washington. You know I have never been 
anywhere, and I'm afraid I won't know how to act or 
what to say." 

"Don't you remember the sermon you preached to 
me when I had to go down to Montgomery to the 
Legislature?" asked Anderson. "How you told me 
God would inspire me? I recon' He did, becase I got 
our bill through, an' ef He would help an old sinner 
like me out, I know He won't desert an angel like 
you." 

"Oh, Peggy, you always do the right thing and say 
the right thing and you'll be the sweetest, purtiest 
girl in Washington, and all the young men will be 
fallin' in love with you an' wantin' to marry you," 
said Molly Anderson with a motherly pride in her eyes. 

"Yes, and I'll wager that she'll be getting married 
and bringing her fine, handsome husband home with 
her one of these days," said Ruth, thinking of her own 
happiness and approaching nuptials. 

A look of pain swept over Peggy's face, observed 
by no one except Doctor Weston and Simon. In that 
one glimpse the faithful old negro read the tragic story 
buried in Peggy's heart. Henceforth he would carry 
her cross on his shoulders, and suffer in his own soul 
every pang she felt. 

It was finally settled that Peggy should go to Wash- 
ington. The great day for her departure arrived, and 
the entire population turned out to wish her Godspeed. 
As Ruth kissed her goodbye, she whispered : 



310 Peggy Ware 

"Remember my wedding day, and don't get so ab- 
sorbed in the pleasures of Washington society that 
you will overstay your time." 

As Peggy stepped in the automobile waiting to take 
her to the railroad, the postman handed her a special 
delivery letter, bearing a French postmark. 

"It's from Billy Wooten, I hope, and I'll have the 
pleasure of reading it on the train," she said. 

Once more Peggy ascended the mountain road lead- 
ing from Bucks Pocket just as the sun rose. She re- 
membered when she, Anderson and his wife had made 
the trip to the County Seat town in Anderson's new 
buggy, over an almost impassable road for a part of 
the way. Now it was a splendid boulevard, bordered 
with roses for the entire distance. 

Her train would arrive at the station at nine o'clock, 
and was due in Washington the next morning at seven 
o'clock. 

She would not read the letter from France until she 
was comfortably settled on the train. Then she could 
enjoy it to the fullest extent. 

Seated in the Pullman berth reserved for her to 
Washington, she listened to the click-click of the re- 
volving wheels, giving herself up to the luxurious feel- 
ing of nothing to do, and nothing to think about for 
twenty-four hours, except to follow where fancy led. 

When she had enjoyed the sensation for a little 
while, she took her letter with the French postmark 
on it from her traveling bag, and slowly opened it. 
At first glance her hand began to tremble, her face 
blanched, and when she finished, the letter slipped from 
her fingers. She buried her face in her hands, sobbing 
like a heart-broken child. 

By and by the storm subsided. She groped on the 
floor and found the letter, placed it in her bosom, and 



Peggy Goes to Washington 311 

turned her tear-stained face toward the window from 
which she could see historic Lookout Mountain on the 
East. Thus she sat through the long day as the train 
sped through the mountains of Alabama, Tennessee, 
and North Carolina, her heart heavy within her. 

Peggy was not often sad, for she had found the 
philosopher's stone of happiness, but sometimes the 
"weakness of the flesh" gets the upper hand of the 
greatest philosopher, the most advanced soul, and she 
was human after all. 

When night settled down over the lofty peaks of 
the Blue Ridge Mountains, Peggy sought her berth, 
her thoughts wandering from her mother's grave in the 
Cumberland Mountains to her loved ones in Bucks 
Pocket, and then far over the sea to a lonely grave in 
France where slept Billy Wooten. 

"Washington ! All out for Washington !" an- 
nounced the porter, the next morning as Peggy with 
wildly beating heart prepared to leave the train. 

On the platform she was met by Winslow and Crans- 
ton, smiling and happy. "It's the biggest stunt ever 
pulled off in motion pictures," Cranston announced 
proudly. 

"And you are the biggest sensation in Washing- 
ton," said Winslow, "not even barring the President." 

"Don't, please don't talk like that. I'll regret that 
I ever came if you are going to try to make a sensa- 
tion out of me." 

"We are not doing it, Miss W r are," said Cranston 
kindly. "You are a great and unusual woman, and 
don't realize it. You might as well get used to it, for 
you are already famous, and you'are just at the thresh- 
old of your career. 

"I know motion picture stars that would give a mil- 
lion dollars for the publicity that you a~e getting with- 



312 Peggy Ware 

out money, and without solicitation, but they can never 
have it because they did not lay the foundation as you 
have done." 

"If it must be as you say, and I cannot escape it, 
then I pray God it will all be for the benefit of the 
Peggy Ware School and our mountain boys and girls," 
devoutly declared Peggy. 

At the entrance to the station, a swarm of reporters 
seeking to interview Peggy and a number of camera 
men anxious for snap shots, awaited her. 

"Please don't put me in the papers," she pleaded. 

"I know United States Senators that would give 
up half a year's salary to have this sort of reception," 
one of the reporters remarked in answer to Peggy's 
protest. 

"We'll treat you fair," said another. 

"Gee, she's a beauty," remarked a third, as Peggy, 
blushing furiously, fled to a waiting taxicab. 

"Good-bye, Miss Ware, you have captured the fra- 
ternity !" they shouted, as she was whirled away to 
her hotel, where an elegant suite had been reserved 
for her. 

"This is shameful extravagance, and is entirely out 
of keeping with my former life and surroundings," she 
protested as she was ushered into the luxuriously fur- 
nished rooms at the New Willard. "I am sure I would 
be happier back home in my attic room where I could 
look out of the little window and see the winding Ten- 
nessee." 

"The die is cast, Miss Ware, and not by you. It is 
God's will that you should play a big part in this world, 
and you should be thankful that He has chosen you as 
His instrument," said Winslow. 

"Then let us thank Him," declared Peggy as she 
closed her eyes and bowed her head in silent prayer. 



Peggy Goes to Washington 313 

The great author bowed reverently, his soul filled with 
an unspeakable joy and peace he had never had a fore- 
taste of until he went to Bucks Pocket. 

"Now," he said, "for the joy that comes after labor 
well done. Accept it to the full, for you have earned 
it, and you can take back to your beloved mountains 
what you will find here." 

Cranston had w T ell said that Peggy would be the 
sensation of Washington. Everywhere she went she 
was the center of attraction. 

She put in a wonderful day, visiting the Capitol, the 
Congressional Library, the art gallery, the Washing- 
ton monument, Mount Vernon, the home of the Father 
of his country, and finally the White House, where she 
was ushered into the presence of the President. He 
received her so kindly, and was so sincerely simple 
that Peggy, who thought she would almost die of 
fright, was soon at her ease. 

For half an hour they talked animatedly of Peggy's 
work in the Southern mountains, when the President 
announced that she was to take tea at the White 
House and occupy the Presidential box that night at 
the premiere showing of "Peggy Ware." 

"I shall feel greatly honored, Miss Ware," he said, 
"by your presence. You are doing such signal service 
for your country that I am pleased to have the oppor- 
tunity of publicly showing my appreciation." 

Peggy na d not given a thought to what she would 
wear at the White House or to the picture show. 

When she saw for the first time in her life fashion- 
ably gowned women, she realized that she was attract- 
ing far more attention by the simplicity of her dress 
than she would have done by the most elaborate cos- 
tume. 

"Mr. President," she pleaded, "I am not dressed for 



314 Peggy Ware 

the occasion. I have just realized how perfectly ab- 
surd I must appear to everyone. I don't want to em- 
barrass you as well as disgrace myself. Won't you be 
kind enough to excuse me and let me return to my 
hotel and catch the first train back to the mountains 
where I belong?" 

"It is your very simplicity, Miss Ware, that adds so 
immensely to your charms," the President declared en- 
thusiastically. "Your dress is the most becoming that 
you could possibly wear. When you stand up in my 
box tonight you will be the envy of every woman in 
the audience. It will be the climax of the evening's 
entertainment. Don't allow yourself to be anxious or 
nervous. You are just like I would have you if you 
were my own daughter," he said kindly, taking her 
hands in his. 

Reassured by the President's fatherly sympathy, 
Peggy managed to get through the ordeal of tea at 
the White House, conscious that everyone except the 
President regarded her with poorly concealed amuse- 
ment. His graciousness reassured her from time to 
time, and kept her from being utterly miserable. 

Not until she peeped out from the President's box 
and scanned Washington's most fashionable audience, 
did she feel that she must slip away unnoticed, before 
she became the cynosure for all those hundreds of 
critical eyes. 

She sat huddled in the corner of the box, shrinking 
back in the shadow, trying to conceal herself behind 
the President. He addressed her from time to time, 
trying to reassure her. A hundred opera glasses swept 
the President's box, searching for Peggy Ware. The 
afternoon papers had carried the announcement in 
flowing headlines that she would be the guest of the 
President and occupy a seat in his box. Peggy felt 



Peggy Goes to Washington 315 

herself growing cold. Her hands were clammy, her 
teeth chattered, her head swam. 

"I am ill, Mr. President," she said. "Won't yon 
please send some one with me to my hotel?" 

"My dear child, trust me. I know what ails you. I 
appreciate your feelings, but wait. You are going to 
be accorded an ovation tonight such as no other Ameri- 
can girl ever had under like conditions. It will be an 
ovation to Peggy Ware, the highest type of American 
womanhood and not to her beautiful gown and splen- 
did jewels." 

Once more Peggy shrank back dejectedly in her 
corner, while the audience vainly searched the Presi- 
dent's box for Peggy Ware. 

"It was all a newspaper hoax," one man declared, 
and soon it was whispered through the audience that 
Peggy Ware had not arrived. There was great dis- 
appointment on the faces of the audience when the 
curtain rose for the performance, for Washington had 
been stirred by the thrilling stories of the lass from 
the mountains of Alabama. 

They forgot their disappointment in a little while, 
however, as the great masterpiece was flashed on the 
screen. It opened with Christmas eve in the Ware 
home in the Cumberland mountains, followed by a 
Christmas tree, Simon acting as Santa Claus. Then 
came another scene on the same night in Bucks Pocket 
in the Alabama mountains, a wild dance of the moun- 
taineers in the home of Cliff Anderson, the King of 
the Wild Catters, winding up in a drunken brawl. The 
death of Peggy Ware's mother, her burial in the deso- 
late graveyard, Simon speaking the last words, while 
Wilbur Ware sat scowling, angry with God for taking 
his wife. 

Again Wilbur Ware was shown burning his theo- 



316 Peggy Ware 

logical books, denouncing the ministry, loading his 
earthly belongings into an ox wagon, starting for the 
wilds of North Alabama, where the family encountered 
Cliff Anderson, the King of the Wild Catters. 

Then followed the story of the early struggle, the 
surrender of the King of the Wild Catters, the awak- 
ening of the people, the growth of the Peggy Ware 
School, changing the most lawless spot in Alabama 
to one of the most progressive and law-abiding. 

Finally there came the great climax when the Gov- 
ernment sent its soldiers to capture the small army of 
slackers that had fortified in Bucks Pocket, determined 
to fight all comers. 

Peggy appears in the slacker's camp, and addresses 
the men. Her words are flashed on the screen : "My 
country, right or wrong," she says, and the audience 
broke into enthusiastic applause. The men agree to 
surrender. She has 'barely time to reach the top of the 
peak from which the white flag of surrender is to be 
waved. She and Billy Wooten, one of the slackers, 
climb the side of the peak ; they reach it with but two 
minutes to spare. Billy Wooten hoists Peggy's hand- 
kerchief on a stick, while Peggy waves the stars and 
stripes. The cannon booms a salute, the chimes in 
the Community Church peal out, "My Country, 'tis of 
thee," the orchestra takes up the refrain, some one 
rushes to the front of the stage and begins to sing, the 
audience joins in the mighty anthem, and when the 
last note is reached, someone shouts: "Three cheers 
for Peggy Ware!" They were given with a hearty 
good will, the President standing in his box smiling 
his approval. 

Seizing Peggy firmly by the arm, he said: "You 
must stand up and bow your acknowledgment, Miss 



Peggy Goes to Washington 317 

Ware." Frightened until she scarcely realized what 
she was doing, Peggy arose mechanically. 

"This is Miss Ware," the President announced, as 
he led her to the front of the box. 

The audience was dumbfounded, as it gazed be- 
wildered at the shy, plainly dressed mountain girl, 
standing speechless, shrinking from the cruel publicity 
thrust on her. Something like a great sigh of sym- 
pathy swept the audience, and then it found its soul. 

Wave upon wave of applause swept the great audi- 
torium, one of the largest in the city. "A speech ! A 
speech!" they cried. "Talk to us, Peggy Ware, say 
something. We want to hear your voice." 

"Say something, child," urged the President. "They 
want to hear you." 

Thus urged, Peggy Ware raised her hand to still the 
tumult. Instantly there was a profound silence. "I 
want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," she 
began. 

Ah, the music of that voice. No Southern mocking 
bird ever sang a more liquid note. A thrill ran through 
the listening audience. They felt something that they 
could not define. 

She had the letter with the French postmark with 
her. "I want to read you a letter, from France," she 
said, "about Billy Wooten whom you saw in the pic- 
ture waving the white flag of truce. It will give you 
a true insight into the character of our Southern moun- 
taineers. They are very near my heart," she added 
naively, "for I am one of them. 

"This letter is from Lieutenant Johnson, to whom 
the draft evaders surrendered. 

"Dear Miss Ware: I know this will be a sad mes- 
sage for you. It pains me to write it, and yet I am 



318 Peggy Ware 

sure that when you know the whole story, your grief 
will find some solace. 

"When we came over to France I was thrown in 

the Rainbow Division ,and with me were most of your 
boys, for they always spoke of themselves as belong- 
ing to you. Billy Wooten was one of the finest in the 
lot, and became my orderly. He was always asking 
me how to spell words, and said he was trying to 
learn so he could write to you. He could never speak 
of you without emotion, and I have often seen tears 
in his eyes as he would tell me how thankful he was 
that you showed him his duty. 

"We had been over the top several times, and Billy 
was always at my side. He went into battle as light- 
heartedly as he would have gone on a picnic. I think 
he was the coolest man I ever saw under fire. I asked 
him about it once, and his reply was that he had no 
fear, for if a German bullet got him he would find a 
beautiful world on the other side. 'Miss Peggy told 
me so,' he would say, 'and I know it because she said 
it.' 

"Well, we went over the top once too often, and I 
fell badly wounded. Billy stopped to pick me up. The 
fire was terrific, and men were dropping like autumn 
leaves. 'Don't bother about me, Billy,' I said. 'Help 
rally the men.' 'I hate to leave you, Lieutenant,' he 
said, 'but you're the boss.' With that he sprang for- 
ward and I heard him give the wild rebel yell that you 
have often heard. 'Come on, men !' he shouted. 'Fol- 
low me !' 

"I never saw him again until he was brought to the 
hospital where I lay pretty badly wounded. A glance 
was sufficient to tell me that his days were numbered. 
One side of his face was shot away, and his body was 



Peggy Goes to Washington 319 

terribly mangled as the result of a shell that exploded 
right at him. I spoke to him and he said: 

" 'I am so glad, Lieutenant, you are here. I was 
afeard I'd die an' not get to write to her or send her 
any word. You know I promised to write when we 
started over here, an' now I'm afeard it's too late. But 
you'll write her, won't you, Lieutenant, and tell her 
that I died happy thinkin' of her and of my country. 
I'm so proud that I had this chance of fightin' fer 
Uncle Sam, and I only wish I had a hundred lives. 
I'd like to give half of them to Him, and half of them 
to Peggy Ware, fer it was she who showed me what a 
gran' Government we have.' 

"I promised him that I would write just as soon as 
I was able to sit up, and he seemed very happy. For 
a long time he seemed asleep. I thought the end was 
near, and he would never wake. In a little while, 
however, he stirred uneasily, and I heard his voice : 

" 'Lieutenant,' he said weakly, 'don't you recon' I 
could write her just a little bit of a letter. Write her 
name and sign mine, telling her it wus from me. Don't 
you recon' she would keep it always and look at it 
sometimes and think of me?' 

"I assured him that you would undoubtedly prize it 
most highly. I called a nurse and explained the situa- 
tion. She brought pen, ink and paper. She dipped 
the pen in the ink and placed it in his hand, and showed 
him where to write. 

"Slowly, painfully he began to scrawl the letters. 
'You'll have to tell me how to spell her name, Lieuten- 
ant. She wrote it fer me, but I guess I lost the paper 
it wus on when that shell blowed me up.' 

"I spelled your name for him, very slowly, and he 
followed with his pen until he had finished. 



320 Peggy Ware 

"'Now, how can I let her know it's from me?' he 
said. 

"Write the word 'from,' I told him, and then sign 
your name." 

" 'I reckon you'll have to spell that 'from' fer me, 
too. I never learned it.' 

"I spelled it, and he wrote it. 

" 'The rest is easy,' he said, 'if I can jest hold out.' 

"Quite sure of himself now, he wrote 'Billy,' and 
then started on the last part of the name. He was 
almost through now. 'Jest a little more ink, nurse,' 
he whispered. 'Better bring a light; 1 can't see.' 

" 'I'll hold your hand at the right place,' the nurse 
said gently. Slowly, more slowly, his fingers moved. 
'I am afeard I won't make it,' he said. 'Oh, but I 
must !' and he threw his vital breath into the last few 
strokes. His fingers relaxed, the pen fell from his 
hand, he closed his eyes, a smile seemed to light that 
portion of his face not torn away by the shell, and he 
whispered so weakly that the nurse had to place her 
ear to his lips to catch it. 'I tol' her I'd write her a 
letter, and I did.' 

"We looked again, and the big mountain boy with 
the heart of a lion and the soul of a woman was still 
forever." 

Again her hand sought the envelope, and she held up 
the scrap of paper on which was scrawled : 

"Miss Peggy Ware 

from 

Billy Wooten" 

"This, ladies and gentlemen, is all the epitaph I 
desire on my tomb when I have paid the same debt that 
Billy Wooten paid on Flanders fields. There are thou- 
sands of Billy Wootens in the mountains of my be- 



Peggy Goes to Washington 321 

loved Southland, and it is one of the missions of the 
Peggy Ware School to bring the light of education to 
these boys and girls." 

There are times when an audience cannot applaud. 
There was such an occasion when President Lincoln 
delivered his now world-famed Gettysburg address. 

Only sobs were heard when Peggy sat down. Final- 
ly some one said: "The President! The President!" 

"I don't want to mar the occasion," said the Presi- 
dent, "by any remarks of my own. The lesson we 
have received tonight in patriotism, in duty, in the 
joys of self-sacrifice, could not be added to by me. I 
stand reverently in the presence of this country girl 
who has shown us the way to the life that is really 
worth while. She has grasped the true meaning of 
life where so many of us have missed it. 

"She has not been ashamed to acknowledge God, and 
to live for the things of the soul, rather than the things 
of the body. When the whole nation learns this vital 
truth taught by Jesus, and the masters of all the ages, 
then will the nation find its soul. 

"One of our ex-Presidents said not long ago : 

" 'After a certain not very high level of material 
well-being has been reached, then the things that really 
count in life are the things of the spirit. Factories 
and railways are good, up to a certain point ; but cour- 
age and endurance, love of wife and child, love of home 
and country, love of lover for sweetheart, love of 
beauty of man's work and in nature, love and emula- 
tion of daring and of lofty endeavor, the homely work- 
a-day virtues and the heroic virtues — these are better 
still, and if they are lacking, no piled-up riches, no 
roaring, clanging industrialism, no feverish and many- 
sided activity shall avail either the individual or the 
nation. I do not undervalue these things of a nation's 



322 Peggy Ware 

body ; I only desire that they shall not make us forget 
that besides the nation's body there is also the nation's 
soul.' 

"I say 'Amen' to this sentiment, and to you, my fel- 
low countrymen, that the noblest example of what 
the soul-life means, and what it will do for the world 
if put into practice, we witnessed tonight as we saw it 
re-enacted on the screen." 

* ******* 

At last Peggy found herself alone in her luxurious 
room. The lights were out, the moon streamed through 
the window, her beautiful golden head sunk in a mas- 
sive pillow, and she sobbed in her sleep as you have 
often heard a little child that had gone to its mother 
weeping and fallen asleep in her arms. 



Chapter Twenty-One 
PEGGY'S GETHSEMANE 

PEGGY was glad to get away from Washington, 
where she had been the recipient of the most 
distinguished consideration. Her heart yearned 
for her own people, the simple folk who needed her. 
She appreciated the honors bestowed upon her in her 
nation's capitol, and was glad of the opportunity of 
giving the simple message to the world that she had 
learned in the solitude of her Southern mountains. 

Christ said "they that are whole need not a physi- 
cian." Peggy construed this as meaning that until a 
man realized his need of a physician, a teacher, it is 
useless to attempt to lead him into the light. 

She knew that her mountain people were seeking 
the truth, and it was her supreme desire to share with 
them the light that burned ever more brightly for her. 

She did not know the hungry hearts and longing 
souls of many of those in high places. If they had 
cared to remove their masks for a moment, what a 
tragic revelation it would have been to Peggy. She 
would have understood, as she learned later in life, 
that the same soul longing, the same need of the great 
physician, comes to prince and pauper alike, and when 
that longing comes, it obliterates all caste, all color, 
putting all mankind on the same footing. 

She would have known that some time, somewhere 
this longing comes to every human soul, and when 

323 



324 Peggy Ware 

once felt, there will never be a life worth while for 

that soul until it has found the road to salvation. 

Peg°y knew this road to salvation was a long and 
difficult one, for had she not trodden it, feeling- that 
her feet were seemingly on the path, when lo, without 
warning, self would rise up in the way, blocking her 
passage with flaming sword. It was no wonder that 
Jesus said, "Narrow is the way, and few there be that 
find it." 

Peggy's vision was to help as many as possible find 
the way on this plane in the present life, so that the 
thorny road to salvation might be shortened for as 
many souls as possible, for she felt that the millennium 
is possible only when the last soul has been saved. 

Salvation meant saving a man or woman from the 
hell of self— from the flesh, the material man. She 
believed that our social and industrial problems will 
never be soved until we have first solved our problem 
of the soul's salvation. 

It was to this work that she was bending every en- 
ergy of her splendid young womanhood. How inade- 
quate her work seemed as she reviewed it, journeying 
back to Bucks Pocket. Her soul cried out for more 
faith, more wisdom, more power. 

"I need a new baptism of the Holy Ghost every day 
of my life," she whispered to herself as she contem- 
plated the tremendous task of saving the world from 
its crass materialism. 

She stopped in Chattanooga for a few hours await- 
ing the sailing of her steamer, for she wanted to en- 
joy once more the trip down the majestic Tennessee. 
To her great surprise she was met at the station by 
the Mayor and a big crowd of people. The camera 
men and reporters were also in evidence. 



Peggy's Gethsemane 325 

"Why do the people want to see me?" she asked the 
Mayor. "How did you know I would be on the train?" 

"Miss Ware," he answered, "it is a tribute to your 
work, your life. Most of us are living for self, for 
money, but deep down in our souls we are not satis- 
fied. We know that such a life can never bring peace, 
but we go on year in and year out, quaffing the draught 
that never satisfies, that only increases our thirst. 
When a great soul comes among us that has drunk of 
the water of life, we pay our homage, although we may 
not yet be ready to pay the price. 

"We all know that we must do it by and by, but we 
wait to take one more quaff of our hell-brewed broth 
of self, until at last our throats become so parched, our 
hearts so scorched with the fires of materialism, that 
we cry out, 'Christ, give me the living water'. 

"This answers your question as to why people want 
to see you. 

"Your second question is also quite simple. You 
are now famous. You belong to the public, and every 
act of your life is of the greatest importance. 

"When you left Washington, the news was flashed 
over the wires. They know in Bucks Pocket that you 
are here, that you have just stepped from the train 
and were met by the Mayor and an enthusiastic dele- 
gation of citizens." 

"I think it's dreadful," said Peggy, "that I should 
attract so much attention. I am going back to Bucks 
Pocket and never leave it again." 

"In that event, the world will come to you. Miss 
Ware," declared the Mayor. "When one has a mes- 
sage for the world, the world will come for it, if needs 
be." 

It was difficult for Peggy to realize that she had 
really made herself an important figure in the world. 



326 Peggy Ware 

It had been so foreign to anything she had ever thought 
or dreamed of. In her vision she had never seen her- 
self, and it was slowly dawning on her that she stood 
as an incarnation of her work to the public. 

# ******* 

At last the steamer anchored at the wharf and she 
saw all the pupils of the Peggy Ware School, together 
with the population of Bucks Pocket there to greet 
her. Her heart responded with a great throb of thank- 
fulness. 

"It's so good to be back," she said, as she kissed 
Ralph, Virginia, and Molly Anderson. "I'd like to kiss 
every one of you, but it would take too long. I feel 
at home here, and don't ever want to leave again." 

"They have been phoning telegrams from the rail- 
road for a week," her father said, "from all over the 
country. They want you everywhere, to lecture, to 
preach, to act on the stage, and on the screen. It's 
wonderful, my child, and I thank God for you." 

"I thank Him for such a father, such a brother, and 
such sisters," placing her arms about Ruth, Virginia, 
and Ralph, "and for such friends as Mr. Anderson, 
Doctor Weston, and Simon, and all of you. God bless 
every one of you. I love you," and the beautiful face 
was radiant as she smiled on the assembled throng. 

"This is my other mother," she said, placing her 
cheek fondly against Molly Anderson's, "and these are 
your children," indicating the pupils of the Peggy 
Ware School. "I know you have been good to them 
while I was gone," she declared, looking at the happy, 
upturned faces. 

"She sure does feed us," one little fellow with a big 
appetite volunteered, and a chorus of "You're right 
there, kid," left no doubt in Peggy's mind on this score. 



Peggy's Gethsemane 327 

"Tell us all about Washington, the President, and 
everything," said Ralph. 

"That will take a long time," she said. "I will tell 
you a part of it each day, and you will have some- 
thing to look forward to for many days." 

It was a joyous throng that watched Anderson's big 
automobile as it sped away, carrying Peggy, the ideal 
of every man, woman, and child in Bucks Pocket. 

"Winslow and Cranston are coming to film the 
wedding," Peggy said lightly. "They say they want 
it to complete their picture." 

A painful silence greeted this announcement, which 
Peggy was at a loss to understand. 

"I thought this would be fine," she said, addressing 
Ruth. 

"Ruth has become obsessed, Peggy, by the fear that 
she is not your sister, that there may be some mistake 
about it. She wants the question settled beyond a 
doubt, she says, before she becomes my wife. It makes 
no difference to me, but when a woman gets a thing 
into her head, it's pretty hard to get it out." 

"You said somethin' then, Doctor," declared And- 
erson. "Molly taught me that a long time ago." 

"I know there is no doubt that Ruth is my sister," 
said Peggy. "She is just like my mother, and I feel 
that she is, and that's all the proof I need." 

"But there were two children stolen at the same 
time," protested Ruth. "I may be the other one." 

"You couldn't be the other one," said Mrs. Ander- 
son, laughing. "You are just you." 

"Why not make a blood test, Doctor Weston?" said 
Peggy. "You know that the Courts have accepted the 
blood test as absolute proof of parentage." 

"I have been thinking of that just to satisfy Ruth," 



328 Peg cy Ware 

he said. "I care nothing about it myself, so I had not 
mentioned it." 

"Oh, can you tell for sure?" exclaimed Ruth, greatly 
excited. "Tell me how you do it !" 

"I will take a few drops of your blood," he ex- 
plained, "and a few drops of your father's, and if the 
blood vibrates in unison then it will be proven beyond 
a peradventure." 

"How wonderful," said the excited girl. "Won't you 
please make the test right away. I must know." 

"Suppose the test should show that Mr. Ware is not 
your father?" suggested Doctor Weston. "What dif- 
ference would it make?" 

"Then I would not be obtaining property under false 
pretense," she said laughingly, "if you still persisted 
in marrying me." 

"Persisted is good," said Weston, as all joined in the 
laugh that greeted Ruth*'s statement. 

It was arranged that the test should be made at the 
sanatorium the next morning at nine o'clock. At the 
appointed hour, Ruth, Peggy, Cliff Anderson and his 
wife, Wilbur Ware, and Simon assembled in Doctor 
Weston's office to try the interesting experiment. It 
was a solemn occasion for all of them, and particularly 
so for Ruth. 

There was but little conversation, and Doctor Wes- ' 
ton silently prepared for the test. Ruth bared her 
arm, and a sufficient quantity of blood was drawn. 
From Wilbur Ware's arm a like quantity was taken, 
and then the test was arranged. Intently Weston 
watched the vibrations of the blood for a long time 
through his glass. 

"It is identical," he said. "Look for yourselves." 

Ruth was the first one to watch the uniform vibra- 



Peggy's Gethsemane 329 

tion, and the troubled look began to vanish from her 
face. 

"Oh, I am so glad, so happy," she exclaimed. "I 
know now that you are my sister," she said, kissing 
Peggy. "My father, my noble father," she sobbed, 
"how my heart goes out to you. If my mother were 
here, what a happy family reunion it would be." 

"Simon, I am so glad you are with us, too, because 
you are a part of the family," said Ruth, gently placing 
her hand on the old man's shoulder. 

"I alius knowd you wus a Lee," said Simon, "an' I 
know my Young Missus is heah, too. I feels it. An' 
dey am lots more heah, too, ef we could open our 
eyes and see 'em." 

As they gazed at the look of rapture on the old 
man's face, it was not hard to imagine that for him the 
veil was parted just a little way, allowing him to see 
his loved "white folks" who had passed over to the 
other side. 

The wedding morning dawned bright and clear. It 
was to be the great gala day in the life of Bucks Pocket. 
The Governor of the State, and the Speaker of the 
Lower House of the Legislature were to be present. 
They had made the request that they be included in 
the list of invited guests. 

\\ inslow and Cranston were already on the ground, 
preparing to film the wedding and all of its incidents, 
including the wedding supper to be served at the And- 
erson home, and the ball that was to follow. 

The wedding ceremony was to take place in the Com- 
munity Center Church, just as the sun was setting, and 
the invitation to the wedding included the entire popu- 
lation. Everybodv was there. Two hours before time 



330 Peggy Ware 

for the wedding party to arrive, they began to come in 
wagons, buggies, on horseback and afoot. 

Just as the last rays of the sun were glinting the 
highest peaks, Peggy began the wedding march, and 
the bridal party entered. Ruth was very beautiful in 
a fashionable gown. 

"She is shore enough quality," muttered Simon. 
"She steps lak a race hoss, an' hoi's her head lak a 
Lee." 

Doctor Weston was as handsome as a Greek god, 
and his manner denoted the man of superior qualities 
of mind and heart. 

Ralph and Virginia were happily excited as they 
watched the marriage of their beautiful sister to the 
distinguished Doctor Weston. 

Wilbur Ware performed the ceremony, and Cliff 
Anderson gave the bride away. 

When Doctor Weston placed the ring on Ruth's 
finger, his hand trembled so violently that it seemed 
he would never succeed in doing so. No one but 
Peggy understood the cause of his agitation. She 
saw that handsome face, white and drawn, and she 
knew that his soul was crying out for what could 
never be. 

Her own soul called for his across an abyss so wide, 
so fathomless that she knew they must build for ages 
before the yawning gulf could be spanned. 

Everyone was gone, and the last note of the wedding 
march had died away. Everyone except Peggy and 
Simon. He had stood in an alcove during the wedding 
ceremony, and from this vantage point had watched 
the people as they marched out. 

Peggy turned and looked down the deserted aisles, 
but they were filled with the shadows of the coming 



Peggy's Gethsemane 331 

twilight. Her hands fell to her sides, while her head 
rested on the keys of the organ. 

Simon, who was watching, thought she had fainted, 
and noiselessly as one of the shadows cast by the pine 
trees through the church windows, he stole to her side, 
placed his hand lightly on her shoulder, saying: 
"Chile, I'se heah, and so is God." 

"And may He always be with us, Simon," said Peg- 
gy, looking wistfully toward the great forest to the 
west. 

"I am going to write my father a note, Simon. You 
are to take it to him, and then go to your cabin and 
make me a cup of your best tea. I think I shall need 
it — and you, too, Simon," she added pathetically, as the 
old man turned away with a heavy heart to deliver the 
note she had hastily written. 

Simon understood. No words were necessary be- 
tween him and Peggy. Her every wish had always 
been to him a command, and now in the great crisis of 
her life, the faithful old man read her innermost 
thoughts, and suffered all the agony that wrung her 
soul. 

When he had gone, she slipped out into the length- 
ening shadows, and went toward her Shrine of Si- 
lence. She must be alone with the only friend to whom 
she dared pour out the secret anguish of her soul. 

Often she had gone to Him in perplexity, in doubt, 
sometimes in sorrow, and He had never failed her. To 
Him she could go in perfect confidence. 

She entered the Shrine of Silence, closed the door. 
and knelt reverently, asking God to remove the pain 
from her heart. "I love him ! I love him !" she cried. 
"Why did this cruel thing come into my life?" 

"Why must I always sacrifice my own life for oth- 



332 Peggy Ware 

ers? What have I done to merit this cruel punish- 
ment?" 

God was afar off, and no answer came to her selfish 
appeal. 

Her throat was dry, her temples throbbed, her eyes 
ached with unshed tears. Involuntarily she reached 
out her hand, and it rested on her mother's Bible. It 
lay open upon the table, and a voice out of the shad- 
ows whispered, "read, read." 

She picked it up, and had to hold it very close to 
her eyes, for the shadows were now filling the room. 
She read the first passage that encountered her vision. 

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 
Spirit against the flesh ; and these are contrary the one 
to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye 
would. . . . And they that are Christ's, have cru- 
cified the flesh with the affections and lusts." 

She had not crucified self. This truth stood up be- 
fore her, and mocked -her. She had been flattering 
herself that Peggy Ware had long ago been nailed to 
the cross, but now her soul cried out, "Crucify ! Cru- 
cify !" 

"I will not be crucified," defiantly mocked the flesh. 
"Why should I surrender all to the soul?" 

It was growing dark, and Peggy had not found God. 
Her own soul was overshadowed by a blackness 
greater than the night that now hung over the forest. 

A feeling of fear crept into her heart. God had hid- 
den His face from her, and when she could not see His 
face, she was afraid. She longed for human sympathy 
if God no longer heard her. She must have someone 
to whom she could pour out her grief. 

There was but one person in the world to whom she 
could go, but one besides God, who had forsaken her. 

She had one friend who knew without words. She 



Peggy's Gethsemane 333 

knew that Simon would understand without explana- 
tion. So would Hero. Hero could not speak, but he 
knew the language of sympathy, of brotherhood. She 
would get Hero and together they would go to Simon's 
cabin. 

It was now the hour for the wedding dinner, the 
guests were seated, but there was one vacant chair. It 
was Peggy's. Everyone was anxiously inquiring about 
her, when Wilbur Ware arose and stated that he had 
received a note from Peggy begging to be excused 
from dinner, promising to be with them for the eve- 
ning festivities. She had been called away, her father 
explained, on an important errand that would not wait. 

A shadow of gloom settled over the party so bright 
and joyous just a moment before. 

Peggy was the magnet, the soul, the sunshine of 
every gathering, and her absence, if but for a little 
while, left much more than her empty chair. 

At least one of the diners divined the cause of Peg- 
gy's absence, and Doctor Weston had to be rallied by 
Ruth about his preoccupation more than once during 
the progress of the meal. 

Peggy, on her way to Simon's cabin, went by Hero's 
kennel, and unfastened him. He greeted his mistress 
with joy, and tried to express in dog language his love 
for her. Together they entered the cabin where the 
old man sat gazing into the burning coals. 

'Tse made you de grandes' cup ob tea you evah 
drinked,' 'he said. "It's ready to pour into your china 
cup, what nobody's evah used 'cept you. I bought it 
jest fer you," the old man said proudly, "an' when I am 
gone, I want you to alius keep it, an' when you drink 
yoah tea out ob it, think ob ol' Simon ovah on tother 
side watchin' every time de gate opens fer you to come 
in." 



334 Peggy Ware 

"I hope that will be a long, long time off," said 
Peggy, "for I seem to need you more and more as the 
time goes by. Tonight I need you, Simon, just as a 
little child needs its mother." 

"Pore chile, pore deah," crooned the old man. "How 
I wish I could bear it all fer you. I'se so glad I come 
back frum de tother side dat time you called me, fer 
mebbe I kin say somethin' to help the hurt in yoah 
deah heart." 

"Oh, Simon, Simon, I just can't stand it! My heart 
is breaking, breaking," sobbed Peggy. 

Simon had never witnessed such uncontrollable 
grief. Peggy, his bright, joyous Peggy weeping. 
"Don' cry, chile, don' cry," the old man said. "I'd 
ruther die dan to see you weepin' dis way." 

The flood gates of Simon's tears burst their bounds. 
He bowed his white head between his hands, and be- 
tween his moans, sobbed, "God help dat pore li'l lamb, 
dat ain't evah done no h'arm in her life." 

Hero began to whine piteously. His cry was almost 
human. The great tears fell from his eyes to the floor, 
and he looked pityingly at the tempest-tossed form of 
his mistress. 

Peggy finally ceased to sob, and Simon quietly 
poured a cup of tea and set it on the table beside her, 
while Hero wagged his tail and kissed Peggy's hand. 

"I guess I am just a little child, after all, Simon," 
she said, "wanting the moon. You have often told me 
how I used to cry for the moon when I was small," 
she said. 

"Ef you could a had the moon, it would a stopped 
shinin'," the old man said. "Now ef you had what you 
want, the sun would stop shinin' fer lots ob folks. 

"You see, eberybody lubes you, and eberyone thinks 
you lubes him de best. You is eberybody's sweet- 



Peggy's Gsthssmane 335 

heart. Eben Hero thinks you lube him bettah dan 
you do me, an' I thinks you lube ol' Simon more'n 
you do anybody 'cept yore own folks. 

"Ef you evah got married, course I knows you 
nevah thought about sech a thing — then eberybody 
would know who you lubed bes' an' you wouldn't be 
de worl's sweetheart no more." 

"Yes, Simon, but it's so hard to crucify self," said 
Peggy. "I don't think I ever knew anyone but you 
that had done it successfully. I suppose that's why 
I come to you now when I feel that my old selfish 
self is about to get the upper hand. Tell me, Simon, 
how you did it." 

"Chil', I ain't done it, not by myself. I had a heap 
o' help. When I wus stole away frum my daddy and 
mammy in Africa I wus full ob de devil an' I hated 
eberybody. 

"Den by an' by, when I growed up an' married and 
had two ob de fines' pickaninnies you eber saw, an' 
my mastah sold my wife an' de babies an' de man whut 
bought 'em took 'em away an' I knowed I'd nevah see 
dem no moah, I had de debil, hell an' ebery evil thing 
in my heart. I wanted to kill. I laid out in de swamp 
fer a whole week, an' dey hunted me wid bloodhounds, 
an' finally dey ketched me. Den my mastah whopped 
me ontil I knowed he wus gwine to kill me, an' I shet 
my eyes an' say: 'Oh God, I gibs up; I'se whopped.' 

"An' den I see an angel. Yes, I know it wus an 
angel standin' dah, an' I don't feel no moah pain, an' 
de whop seemed to me lak it was fallin' on somebody 
else, an' not on me. 

"It wan't long ontil yore gran'fathah bought me an' 
I'se been in Heabin evah sence, an' I'se so thankful, 
I say, 'Lawd, I'se gwine to lib fer de folks what needs 
me fer de rest of mah life, an' Simon ain't no more.' 



336 Peggy Ware 

"But sometime, eben now, I wake up in de night de 
col' sweat standin' on my face, my fists shet, an' 
a-grittin' my teeth, an' my heart a-cryin' fer mah wife 
an' kids, an' I say : 'Lawd, dat's Simon 'sertin' his- 
self; help me nail him to de Cross an' keep him dah.' 

"I recon' we'll nevah finish de job ontil we lay dis 
ol' self down an' fly ovah to de udder side." 

"I think you are right, Simon. Your words are a 
great comfort to me, and now I am ready to go back 
to the world and let my light shine for all. 

"Get your banjo, and go with me." 

"I thank de Lawd," the old man said, as he picked 
up his banjo, and followed Peggy. 

The ball had been a dull affair, the dancing me- 
chanical. A splendid orchestra furnished music for 
the occasion, but the lively strains found no responsive 
chord in the hearts of the guests. 

"If Peggy would come," they kept saying to each 
other. 

"Here she is now," a dozen exclaimed at once. 
• The gloom was gone, and the sun had burst in all 
its noonday splendor. Peggy was radiant. No one 
had ever seen her so beautiful, or her eyes so glorious. 

The Governor and half a dozen others claimed her 
for the next dance. 

"I never learned to dance," she said laughingly. 
"These new-fangled dances are all beyond me." 

"Then we will have the old Virginia reel," said the 
governor. "You can dance that with me." 

"The second set is yours, Governor, the first one I 
must dance with Mr. Anderson." 

"Then I'll ask Mrs. Anderson to dance this set with 
me," said the Governor. 

"I make but one demand," said Peggy, "and that is 
that Simon pick his banjo for us to dance by. I could 



Peggy's Gethsemane 337 

not dance without Simon and his banjo," she said. 

"Play Dixie, and I'll call the figures," shouted the 
Governor. 

Simon tuned his banjo while the dancers waited 
impatiently. Then he struck up the wild strains of 
Dixie ; the Governor called, "Honor your partners !" 
and the old Virginia reel was in full swing, Ruth and 
Doctor Weston leading, followed by Peggy and Cliff 
Anderson, and after them came the Governor and 
Molly Anderson. 

Above the noise of shuffling feet and the strains of 
Simon's banjo, rang the laughter of Peggy, as joyous 
as the song of a nightingale. 

"The sun will nevah quit shinin' no moah," Simon 
muttered to himself, as he saw the light in Peggy's face 
that told him she had won her final victory. 



Chapter Twenty-Two 
CHRIST LIVETH IN ME 

"rilMON, you are looking younger than you did 

[^ when we came to Bucks Pocket. I don't be- 
lieve you will ever grow older." 

Simon had been arranging the flowers on the table 
in Peggy's Shrine of Silence, and she had entered just 
as he was saying to a beautiful rosebud : "You'se 
pow'ful sweet an' beautiful dis mawnin' an' you'll haf 
to do yore bes' to shine wid Miss Peggy." 

The old man looked up, startled at being overheard 
talking to himself. 

"Did you heah what I wus sayin'?" he inquired. 

"Well, not exactly Simon," Peggy replied, "but I 
know it was something beautiful, for it's the only lan- 
guage you know." 

"If I knowse de beautiful language, it wus you 
teached most of it to me. I'se been libin' wid yore 
flowers an' in yore sunshine so long dat I des boun' 
to git bettah an' youngah as I grow oldah." 

"That's a paradox, Simon," declared Peggy laugh- 
ing, "but it expresses a great truth. We should all 
grow younger in spirit as we grow older in years." 

"I don't know nuffin' erbout yore paraboxes, but I 
knowse dat eberybody an' eberything in Bucks Pocket 
been doin' des lak I is, an' when we hab de big fair 
an' show de worl' des what change has took place, it 
gwine to be de mos' pow'fulest lesson evah been." 

"I hope you are right, Simon, for I feel we are build- 
ing on the sure foundation for all mankind, and now 

338 



Christ Liveth in Me 339 

we have made sufficient progress to hold a fair, where 
we shall give a living demonstration of what right 
thinking will accomplish, for all these things have 
been born in the Spiritual or thought world, which 
after all, is the world of reality." 

"It's all so wond'ful, so wond'ful," Simon exclaimed, 
reverently. "Ef you could des gib de whol' worl' what 
you given to de folks in dese mountains, dey would all 
lub God an' one annudah. Ef dey could undahstand 
about de crucifixion, lak you wus readin' one day ; but 
dey don't. I wish you would read dat agin fer me." 

Peggy picked up her mother's Bible and read the 
passage: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I 
live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life 
which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the 
Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." 

"He mus' a-been talkin' erbout you," the old man 
mused, "fer you have been crucified, an' you shore do 
lib by faith." 

"Ah, Simon, I have had my battles, and you know 
about some of them ; and I have many more ahead of 
me." 

"Wall, dey won't be so hard no moah, becase de 
sun been shinin' now fer five yeahs, an' dey ain't nevah 
been one cloud as big as yoah han'." 

Peggy laughed joyously. "I know what you mean, 

Simon. That was my biggest battle. It's been five 

years, and I have tried to keep the sun shining ever 

since. 

******** 

"My name is Peggy Ware Weston, an' dis is my 
hossy," lisped a blue-eyed, golden haired fairy perched 
on the back of Hero, "an' Fse three years old today, 
an' my mamma promised me ef I would be dood I 
could turn up here and wide Hero for a burfday pres- 



340 Psggy Ware 

ent. My daddy holded me on, an' he turn to de door 
wif me." 

Simon lifted little Peggy from Hero's back, and 
she climbed on Peggy's knee. 

"I wish you many happy returns, Miss Peggy Ware 
Weston, and I hope you will always be as good and 
happy as you are today." 

"Amen to dat," said the old darky. 

"My mammy says she wants me to be des like my 
Auntie Peggy," the little child declared. 

"And your Aunty Peggy wants to be just like you," 
Peggy said, kissing the child's golden head. 

"So does I, an' I 'spec dat why you say I'se lookin' 
youngah," the old man declared, as he mounted Peggy 
Weston on her "hossy," and they took their departure 
down the trail, little Peggy looking back occasionally, 
waving goodbye with one hand as she clung to Hero 
with the other. 

The opening day of .the Peggy Ware School Fair 
arrived, and with it thousands of people came from 
the surrounding country. Many visitors were in at- 
tendance from the near-by cities, and a few from far 
away parts of the world. 

The Governor of Alabama was one of the chief fig- 
ures, and had promised to deliver an address on the 
opening day. 

The boys' band, composed of pupils of the school, 
was the most celebrated in the state, and when the 
governor arrived, he was greeted with the strains of 
"Hail to the Chief," followed by "Dixie" and "The Star 
Spangled Banner." 

The various exhibits were open to the visitors, and 
even those who had been intimately associated with 
the development of Bucks Pocket were surprised at the 
progress that had been made. 



Christ Liveth in Me; 341 

A reproduction of Cliff Anderson's Wild Cat dis- 
tillery was shown, the covered wagon drawn by a yoke 
of oxen in which the Wares entered Bucks Pocket. 
The old "Hard Shell" meeting house was rebuilt, as 
well as a cabin in which one of the lonesome souls was 
confined. 

There were old fashioned spinning wheels and hand 
looms, coonskin caps, long squirrel rifles, and hunting 
horns. 

A cabin had been built, an exact reproduction of the 
Wilbur Ware cabin with its puncheon floor, stick and 
dirt chimney, with Peggy's attic room, the "Georgia" 
bedstead and straw tick. 

The ox cart, the crude farming implements were all 
on exhibition. 

The beginning of Peggy's school was shown, with 
Peggy teaching the old folks how to spell and write 
their names. 

There was a great exhibit showing the improvement 
in agriculture, in horticulture, in handicraft work. 

The transposition stage from the ox cart to the au- 
tomobile was suitably expressed. A procession of the 
"old" and the "new" was reviewed by the Governor, 
headed by a few veterans of the Civil War wearing the 
Confederate gray, carrying a tattered Confederate bat- 
tle flag, followed by a company of Peggy Ware School 
boys clad in the khaki uniform of Uncle Sam. 

Marching behind these came boys and girls, some 
barefooted, some wearing brogans, all dressed in the 
homespun garments, ill fitting, poorly made, of the 
old days in Bucks Pocket, and then came the hundreds 
of boys and girls of the Peggy Ware School clad in 
their tasty, neat fitting uniforms. 

When the marchers were seated, the exercises were 
opened by Wilbur Ware, who offered a fervent prayer 



342 Peggy Ware; 

of thanksgiving, after which he introduced the Gov- 
ernor of Alabama. 

"This is the most significant gathering I have ever 
attended," he said, "and if I spoke until the sun goes 
down I could not say one-half that is in my heart to 
say about the Peggy Ware School, and those who have 
helped in this wonderful work." 

Briefly he sketched the work from the beginning, its 
growth and far-reaching influence, paying a lofty trib- 
ute to Peggy Ware as well as those who had so nobly 
aided in the work. 

"I am especially interested because of the class of 
people being reached by the Peggy Ware School and 
its allied activities. I love these mountains and moun- 
tain people. I am one of them, and speak their lan- 
guage. I know the goodness of their hearts, the long- 
ing of their souls, their unflinching, undying loyalty 
to any cause they may espouse. 

"They gave the worH its greatest example of hero- 
ism and sacrifice when for four long years they fought 
for what they believed was a great principle, often 
hungry, half clad, leaving the blood prints on the 
frozen ground from their bare feet. When the noble 
Lee surrendered, he told General Grant that his men 
had had nothing to eat but parched corn for several 
days, and that gallant chieftain opened his commis- 
saries to the half-starved Confederates. 

"When France sent up the Macedonian cry for help, 
Alabama sent the most dashing, daring soldiers that 
fought for the cause of righteousness, and your own 
mountain boys were always first over the top. 

"The Peggy Ware School is teaching the love of 
country, the love of our glorious Constitution. I de- 
clare most solemnly that in no part of the United States 
is there a more loyal people to our National Govern- 



Christ Liveth in Me; 343 

ment than in the South. It is the most distinctively 
American section of the land. We have no English- 
Americans, German-Americans, Irish-Americans, but 
just plain Americans, who can respond as one man to 
the sentiment, 'My country, right or wrong, but still 
my country.' 

"We have no room in the South for Bolshevists, 
Anarchists and other wild-eyed, half-baked Americans 
who would destroy our civilization by undermining the 
very foundations on which our Government stands. 

"If the time ever conies when a Godless army 
marches under a red flag shouting, 'Down with the 
Government,' the South, still filled with the spirit of 
idealism, of love of country, of faith in God, will rally 
as one man around the Stars and Stripes, and in that 
hour God have mercy on the hosts of disorder and de- 
struction, when these mountain boys give the rebel 
yell, and charge as their sires did at Gettysburg, or 
as they did on the bloody fields of France, shouting: 
'For God and Country !' 

"I pray this day may never come, and if the spirit 
of the Peggy Ware school can pervade every nook and 
corner of our beloved land, this great tragedy will not 
take place." 

The Governor took his seat amidst great applause, 
the band playing "America." 

As the last note died away, Cliff Anderson, bearing 
a huge bouquet of roses, approached the platform 
where Peggy sat. 

"I tried to git somebody else to do the talkin', but 
they put it on me," he said. "An' I guess I'm gittin' 
like a well broke ol' hoss. I work anywhare they hitch 
me. 

"This bowkay, Miss Peggy, has a rosebud from ev- 
ery member of the Peggy Ware School, an' one frum 



344 Peggy Ware 

every citizen of Bucks Pocket, an' each bud means 
more love than I could carry on my back. 

"I told 'em I couldn't make no speech, an' I guess 
they know it now." 

Peggy was greatly affected, and could scarcely find 
her voice. "Your speech, Mr. Anderson, is just as elo- 
quent as the gift is beautiful. I can only say, 'God 
bless you, one and all." 

"I am going to ask for reports from some of my 
helpers," said Peggy, "on the progress made in their 
departments. We will now hear from Dr. Weston." 

"We have no more 'lonesome folks'," he declared. 
"They have all been cured and our sanatorium has been 
converted to other purposes. We won't need it any 
more, for we have removed the causes that brought on 
the disease. 

"We have no sickness, for right thinking and right 
living means the elimination of so-called disease. We 
have taught the boys and girls, and even the older peo- 
ple, how to consciously renew and rebuild their bodies 
as well as their brains, and by and by you will hunt 
in vain for an old man or woman. 

"Growing old is a habit, and we have got out of it. 
A man should retain all his vigor and faculties unim- 
paired until he is a century old, at least, and probably 
much longer. When he has fulfilled his work here, his 
soul will long for release, and he will go over on the 
other side. 

"The Bible tells us that Enoch walked with God, 
and he was not, for God took him. 

"We are walking with 'good,' by scientific, right 
thinking, and when we reach the end of the journey, 
God will just take us. 

"Our scientific brain and body building needs no 



Christ Livkth in Me 345 

other advocate than these boys and girls whom you see 
before you today." 

"Our distinguished friend, Mr. Winslow, will tell 
us about the motion picture industry," said Peggy, as 
the well known author stepped to the front of the plat- 
form. 

"From fourth place in importance, the motion pic- 
ture industry now ranks first in the industrial and ar- 
tistic world. Tremendous changes have taken place 
since you saw your first exhibit in Bucks Pocket. The 
producers of indecent, unwholesome, suggestive pic- 
tures have been driven from the field, and today, no 
picture is made that is not fit to exhibit in any home, 
school or church in the land. The people engaged in 
the industry today are just as honest, just as respect- 
able, just as wholesome as our preachers, bankers, 
lawyers, doctors and other professional or business 
men. The business has been taken out of the specu- 
lative field, and placed on a sound commercial basis. 
The little two-by-four stars that formerly received 
more money per week than the Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court gets as a year's salary, now twinkle no 
more, or if they have survived, they don't draw quite 
as much salary as the President of the United States. 

"The reign of graft, waste, and corruption is over, 
and as a consequence, pictures are being produced on 
the same basis as a beautiful house would be built ; and 
the people can see the best pictures produced for a 
reasonable price, and the public is not bled for the 
benefit of the class who heretofore reveled in luxury 
and vice that such luxury usually brings. 

"We have found many real actors and actresses, and 
today we are not confined to a few high-priced stars 
for our leading characters. Much of the teaching in 



346 Peggy Ware 

schools is now done through pictures, and all the 
churches exhibit them. 

"Moving pictures are a greater factor for good to- 
day than any other one agency in the world, and I am 
tempted to say, than all others combined." 

"My father will tell us about the work of the Com- 
munity Centers," said Peggy. 

"We have an even hundred Community Centers 
now," stated Wilbur Ware, "where we have our Sun- 
day Schools, our church service, our lectures, and in 
general all gatherings for the public welfare. On Sun- 
day evenings we always have a high class picture show 
at a price that makes it possible for everyone to at- 
tend. 

"In the Peggy Ware School, we teach the highest 
dramatic art, and many of our boys are finished ora- 
tors and others of our pupils develop into real actors 
and actresses. So when they go back to their homes, 
they become leaders in. the Community Center work, 
and we now have many preachers, teachers and actors. 
They are helping to make life over in these hundred 
communities. 

"We have no creed, no dogma, in our churches. We 
teach that there is but one road to salvation, and that 
is the road that leads to the crucifixion of the animal 
man, and the exaltation of the soul. The road to sal- 
vation is not an easy one, and all so-called plans of 
salvation that invite to flowery paths are false trails 
and lead to nowhere. 

"Salvation means wholeness in body, mind and 
spirit. It means joy, peace, prosperity and the vast 
storehouse of God, wide open to all who desire to en- 
ter. It is heaven here and now .instead of in some 
far away future. 

"We teach men and women to be brave and fearless. 



Christ Liveth in Me 347 

No painted devil of their childhood's fancy with forked 
tail and iron pitchfork can harm them, but only the 
devil of self can bring evil to them. 

"And above all, we tell them that only God can 
satisfy the hungry, longing soul. 

"It would require volumes to recount the good that 
has been accomplished in these communities, and our 
message to the world is 'Come and see'." 

"I know we all want to hear from Mr. Anderson," 
said Peggy, and the crowd set up a lusty call for 'And- 
erson ! Anderson !' He was the hero of the boys, and 
a romantic figure to the girls. 

"I ain't got nothin' to say about myself," he de- 
clared, '"cept that I wus blind before Miss Peggy came 
to Bucks Pocket, an' now I am beginnin' to see a lit- 
tle bit. 

"I've seen it change frum the Wild Cat still and mean 
licker to this big school house an' the fines' set of boys 
an' gals in Alabama. I've seen the old trail leadin' out 
of the Pocket change to the finest road in the State, 
over which the King and Queen of Belgium traveled 
to Bucks Pocket, an' we have named it the 'Royal High- 
way.' 

"We have harnessed the water of Sauty Creek an' 
it's turnin' machinery an' furnishin' electric lights to 
the farmers fur miles an' miles. I guess I could stan' 
here an' talk to you ontil you'd all git tired of hearin' 
me, fur it's the only subject I kin speak on without 
gittin' the 'buck aguer.' 

"So I'll quit by savin' back of it all is Miss Peggy 
Ware, who is one of God's angels He sent down here 
to lead us out of our ignorance." 

"These reports fill my soul with gratitude," declared 
Peggy. "There are many others who have aided in the 
work. I should like to hear from all of them, but time 



348 Peggy Ware 

will not permit. Mrs. Anderson has played a big part 
and so has Ruth. You know of their work, and all 
join me in doing honor to them. 

"There is one other person whom I want to publicly 
honor today before this vast assemblage of people. 
You all know and love Uncle Simon. I am going to 
give him a, bouquet of these beautiful roses from the 
one you gave me, as a token of our love, and esteem 
for a man of another race whose life marks him as a 
Son of God." 

"Let me tarry it to him," said Peggy Junior, '"tause 
I love him, too." 

Peggy gave her the bouquet, and she carried it to 
the back of the platform where Simon sat, handed it 
to him, made a neat little curtsey as she said : "Dis 
is 'tause we loves you des as dood as if you warn't 
black." 

The old man rose, trembling visibly, the roses in 
his upraised hand. Little Peggy, holding the other 
hand, led him to the front of the stage. The tears 
were coursing down his black cheeks, and his voice was 
shaking with emotion. 

"White folks," he said, and it was a long time be- 
fore he could go on. "White folks, when we all git 
up yondah, an' you treat me as good as you do heah, 
it'll be all de heabin I wants." 

The audience rose to its feet as one man, and stood 
for a moment in silent homage to the venerable old 
man whose childhood harked back to the jungles of 
Africa. 

"I will speak just a few words," Peggy declared, 
"and then we will sing the national anthem. We sing 
it every morning at the opening of our school, and I 
don't believe there is an audience in the United States 



Christ Liveth in Me 349 

that can sing it with more of the spirit of understand- 
ing than this one. 

"The work done here speaks for itself more loudly 
and more eloquently than could a thousand tongues 
such as mine. Of that work I will say naught, but 
of the foundation on which it rests I would speak 
briefly. 

"The foundation on which we have built is God and 
the Constitution, with Christ as the chief cornerstone 
and faith as the pilot, and vision as our guiding star. 
Our port of destination is called compensation, and in 
that port we will each find his suitable reward. 

"I hold that we grow into the likeness and image of 
our vision, and that through faith the very portals of 
heaven are open to us, and all that belongs to the 
Father is ours. 

"We believe in the Divinity of Jesus, and also in the 
Divinity of our boys and girls. This is why I make 
bold to say that all things belong to us. 

"We owe to the sacred Constitution written by our 
forefathers the glorious privilege of working out our 
destinies here in Bucks Pocket, and therefore, I put 
it as one of the foundation stones of our institution. It 
is the bulwark of our liberties. It is the beacon light of 
the world's struggling humanity. It is the fortifica- 
tion that stands against the assaults of those who 
would destroy our individual liberties, the sacredness 
of our homes, and the holiness of the marriage tie. 

"It is the banner high over all, under which we can 
rest in peace and security, worshiping God and pro- 
mulgating to the world the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

"Destroy our Constitution and civilization will go 
back into the dark ages. Uphold it, and unfurl our 
banner to all the world on which is written in imperish- 
able letters, 'God and the Constitution,' and beneath 



350 Peggy Ware 

its ample folds all mankind can find the road to salva- 
tion and to God. 

"We will now sing America, and I want every soul 
here to take part." 

Little Peggy was perched on Simon's shoulder, a tiny 
flag in her hand, and as the audience sang, each one 
waved the stars and stripes, and high above the others 
could be seen the flag held in her tiny hand by Peggy 
Ware Weston. 

"My country 'tis of thee, 
Sweet Land of Liberty, 

Of thee I sing: 
Land where my fathers died, 
Land of the pilgrim's pride, 
From every mountainside, 

Let freedom ring." 



FINIS 



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