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although his attentions were accepted with But in so large a crowd there are always indifference, nor too little for his mortal the turbulent and unruly, and before many enemy. The result was mutual hatred and a days, pushed forward by their preachers and limited race war.
foolish women, these made trouble, and to Upon the morning succeeding the arrival test their new-found freedom began to loaf in of the military contingent the whole negro the fields. Hamp Washington stopped his plow population of Woodhaven, in response to a in the shade of a persimmon-tree one day, and summons from the major, assembled in the dropped down upon the ground. spacious back yard. It was a strange scene. « Look hyah, boy; what you doin'?» inquired Gazing down upon them from the porch were an indignant old negro. the two uniformed privates of the vast army «I'm free, an' I ain' goin' ter work 'cep'n I that had set the negro free. The hands were want ter. This produced a laugh, and a half
a all dressed in their best, and wore looks of dozen others joined him. curiosity or anxiety; and behind many a mo- « You ain' no freer 'n me,» said one; and so ther's gown were the little piccaninnies star- the little group swelled in numbers and iming in awe at «the sojers,» as Major Wor- portance until it grew to be a large group, thington delivered his first and last speech to and the work languished. his former slaves. He told them that the war When from the porch the major saw this was over, and that they were free; that free- rebellion he almost danced. He approached dom meant less for them, - less than they the rotund form of Sneifleheimer, and handdreamed, -and much for him; that he too was ing him a fresh cigar, said carelessly: free now,- free of providing for three hundred «I trust, sir, you have enjoyed the julep.» people, -and had only himself and family to A grunt expressed a satisfaction for which look after; that, however often they had been the captain could not find English. « Now, assured to the contrary,the Government would captain,» continued his host, « we Southern never support people in idleness, and that they people have an enormous problem to contend must still work for their living. With those with; and unless you Old World people, sir, who desired to remain he would make an who have been through these experiences, agreement and pay them wages, and he had come to our rescue with your assistance and brought these two soldiers representing the advice, I don't know what we are going to do. Government to see that justice was done. For instance, sir, look out yonder. I am paying They would remain as long as necessary. He those hands wages, - large wages, sir, -and did not want any man, woman, or child to stay they sleep in the shade of a tree during work who wished to go; they were all free, and the hours. Now what can I do? I ask you, sir, as world was large.
a business man, a man of travel and experiWhen the major finished, Captain Sneifle- ence, how can any system of farming survive heimer stepped promptly to the front, and such evils ? » waved his hand with a freedom born of nat- Sneifleheimer struggled to his feet. A ural dignity and a mint julep.
string of transatlantic gutturals issued from « Yah,» he said, straightening up and between his lips, his bosom heaved, and his thrusting forward the buckle of his broad cheeks flushed. He drew around him his belt; «das vas all righdt, ain't it? Mejjer loosened belt, seized his carbine, and was Verdingdon sprechen de trooth sometime al- about to let himself down the steps when the ready. Das vas so, Capt'n Sprintz, don't eet?» major checked him. There was a deep silence of more than a «No violence, captain; no violence, sir. I minute's duration. Captain Sprintz was stand- would prefer to lose my crop.” The soldier ing at « carry arms and reflecting upon the was indignant and irrepressible. «I think, proposition. He made a military salute. added the major, presently, «if you will take
« Yah, laties und shenteelmen; das vas all my horse and ride out there, your remonrighdt-all righdt,» he said.
strance will have a good effect. The horse Most of the hands temained. Many of the was ordered; but before mounting, to quiet older ones came forward with hats off, and the anxiety of his host, Captain Sneifleheimer shook hands with their late owner. Old Peter promised not to shoot anybody. When he voiced the sentiments of these when he said: dashed into the startled group and cocked
« You stood by us, Mas' Craffud, an’ we his gun there was consternation and a panic stood by you an' yourn too long to split off sufficient for a volley. now. For the first time in their lives they «Vadt for you tek Mejjer Verdingdon's saw the old gentleman turn away, unable for money und sleep mid de day? Gainse sur la a moment to speak.
vork puddy quvick, und be een a hurty mid
eet, or I 'll pblow oud your prains mid de Isam and Captain Sneifleheimer there was gun! Hoof! » This is about what the Africans open war. caught from the medley; but his gestures with Captain Sprintz no longer answered to rollthe gun were eloquent, and conscience has but call. He had received a foreign letter one day, a light task to make cowards of the newly en- had grunted for a week, drawn his money, and franchised. In thirty seconds every plow was disappeared. running.
As the major grew to be a rich man again « Oom hoo,» said the old negro who had re- he became tired of his system. The presence buked the first mutineer- «oom hoo! You fool of his officious and impatient supervisor had wid dat Yankee, nigger, an' you git er bullet become almost unbearable. He was weary of in your skin! Keep erway fom dem sort er military occupation, and willing to get back to folks, an' don't you put faith in nobody what a peace basis even upon smaller profits. Betalks down dey throats. When you hyah er sides, he could no longer maintain his counman rumble'way down yonderin es throat, hits terfeit deference. One day Isam came up and des de same as thunder down behind er cloud. stood by the major's chair in silence awhile, Fus' news you git, lightning 'll be er-reachin' and then he said pleadingly: out fer you."
« Mas' Craffud, somep'n' sorter weighin' And so it happened that the boys in blue on my mind.» rode the fields by day, and whenever indo- « Stealing ? » lence sought freedom a cocked carbine stirred « No, sah; ain't stole nothin'. But dis hyah energy into play;
and energy at play meant a Cap'n Yallerhammer-> negro at work. For this slight service they « Well? » received the deferential courtesy of Major « Sorter looks ter me like no man got any Worthington, cigars and spirits, and the best business hittin' er child es good as little Mas’ efforts of the culinary department. All this Craffud, even if he is er sojer-> time Woodhaven held a spirit that laughed « Hitting a child? Whose child ?> in silence and enjoyed life as never before. « Miss Helen's. Little Mas' Craffud. Seen The crops were never in a more splendid con- 'im do it wid my own eyes. Little Mas' Crafdition, cotton promised to bring an enormous fud des come up an' tech he nose wid er straw price in the fall, and never did slave labor when he sleepin' out hyah yestiddy, an' he up toil as did the freemen under the new system. an' slap ’im des es hard. 'Fo'Gord, I thought
« Begad! sir,» said the major one day to a he done broke de po' chile's neck. But dat neighbor who was having a hard time with his boy es game; he did 'n' cry ner holler. ner labor,« keep a standingarmy, sir; keep a stand- nothin'; he des pick up es little wagin an' let ing army. I am going to stay here and raise fly at dat white man, an' den back en de door, cotton, sir, if I have to buy some second-hand darin' 'im wid es eyes des ter come inside an’ gunboats and start me a navy on the river. tech 'im erg'in!»
Only Isam was unhappy. Poor Isam! Twice « You saw him strike the boy ? » had he met the heavy boot of Captain Sneifle- « Yes, sah; wid my own eyes. An' I'd er heimer, or, to be perfectly correct, twice had bounced 'im den and deir merse'f, but he had the heavy boot of the captain overtaken him, on es barkers, an' er nigger don't stan' no and once the angry soldier had thrown a chance wid barkers. The major, who had stool at his head. To wait upon such a man grown pale and red in an instant, reflected for was agonizing to the negro; but the major a moment or two. He knew Isam, however, only laughed when Isam complained, and ad- and the old twinkle of good humor returned vised him to resign.
So wore the times away. The soldiers re- « Isam,” he said softly, « do you reckon you ceived their military discharge, but their civil could whip him?» appointment continued at Woodhaven with «Who-me? Des lemme try him, Mas' good wages. The place now had two overseers Craffud; des lemme try him one time.) where in ante-bellumdays onlyone had reigned. « Well, so you shall. You go out yonder And these two in effect had the United States while we are at dinner, and get that bucket, government behind them. The uniforms grew and sit down by the well like you had gone to old and faded, but they were carefully patched sleep. I'll get up the fight, and give you five and finally replaced. In place of the arms and dollars if you don't get whipped.» accoutrements surrendered the major had « How 'bout dem barkers, Mas' Craffad? I bought others. Martial law still prevailed at don't wanter git mixed up wid dem, ner wid Woodhaven, although it was now 1869 and de United States nuther.» peace' reigned everywhere else; but between « You sha'n't; fair fight, fist and skull, and
to his eyes.
I'll keep the Government quiet. How are you manner of his sinking suggesting the cruelty going to take him, Isam ? »
of any necessity that compelled him to rise « Under holt, ef I c'n git hit. Ef I can't git again. The captain glanced out into the yard dat, I'm goin' ter tek what 's lef.»
to the well-house; there sat Isam asleep, the « He 'll get you if you do. He is too heavy empty bucket by his side. to throw. What you should do is to butt him; « That,» said the major, « is what comes of butt him between his eyes first, then on the freedom. That negro has n't been worth his belt, and when his head comes down throw salt since '65. I wish to the Lord somebody your weight upon his neck. That 'll get would thrash him. He needs it.» him.»
Sneifleheimer scrambled down the steps, « Den des gimme time-des gimme time. picking up a buggy-whip as he went, and
«I 'll give you all the time you want; I 'll hurried, if such corpulency could be said to sit right here until the army calls for rein- hurry, across the yard. He gave Isam one forcement, and I 'll be slow getting there blow, which, asleep though he seemed to be, then.»
he shrunk from in advance, and which acted Isam reflected a moment.
as a fine stimulant to the negro's ebbing reso« Mas' Craffud,» he said, scratching behind lution. one ear a little, « I'm goin' ter settle er heap «Gid oud, gid oud mid your schleep up! » er things dis hyah day--some er yourn an' shouted the assailant, and lifted the whip some er mine an' all of little Mas' Craffud's; again. But it did not descend; with one leap but sometimes things sorter don't work out Isam had him by both ears, and was soon 'zactly right, an' ef hit so happen ter-day you jumping up in the air, butting him between c'n come right erlong an' break up de fight.) the eyes. The third time Isam butted, the The major's laugh had so much of the old-time major's heels went over the balustrade, and heartiness in it that Isam more than smiled as he literally wallowed with mirth in his chair. he moved off.
Isam lost no time; the enemy was now stunned Now no greater injustice could be done to and almost unconscious, and suddenly Isam Isam than to accuse him of being brave: he backed, lowered his head, and rammed him was not; but he was knowing. He depended about the waist-band with terrific force. He upon his enemy's surprise, corpulence, and did not have to jump on the enemy's neck; shortness of wind for the victory. Moreover, Sneifleheimer fell like a decayed pine. In an by a little here and a little there and close instant the negro was upon him, full of the observation he had formed a very nearly cor- memory of insults and oppressions and the rect estimate of the man he was to fight, and mad excess of victory. He gouged and beat he was no longer afraid of him when the and clawed and pulled until the major terms were anything like equal.
scrambled out and drew him away. Captain Sneifleheimer was a man of habit. It was known at once that the captain would When he entered the dining-room he always have to resign; any one that Isam could whip unbuckled his belt and dropped it, pistols and would have but small influence. Even Sneifleall, upon the hall table, to be resumed only heimer himself grasped the situation corafter he had dined and smoked.
rectly. And so it was that one summer day Dinner was over, and the captain was just the slanting rays of the setting sun gilded the drawing his cigar when he was startled by a patches upon a worn and faded uniform the vigorous exclamation from the major, who back of which was toward Woodhaven. The had laboriously sunk into his chair, the very United States army was retiring from Georgia.
Harry Stillwell Edwards.
A STORY CONTAINED IN LETTERS FROM MRS. TOM DALY, OF BISUKA, IN THE NORTHWEST, TO AN
INVALID SISTER WHO IS SPENDING THE SUMMER ON THE COAST OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
BY MARY HALLOCK FOOTE,
WITH PICTURES BY THE AUTHOR.
WONDER Charles Lamb did not include in by her confiding friends in New York as soon
his list of popular fallacies the saying, « It as she arrives. She has never seen either of costs nothing to be polite.» My dear, I am pay- us, but I suppose she will hear of us from ing the price at this moment of one of my own the Percifers. That is something—enough imprudences in that line-a
chance phrase for some persons, it seems. with which I tried to round off a rather chilly The Percifers were really very nice to us leave-taking neatly, and cheaply, I flattered in New York last winter, though one must not myself. But now, listen to the sequel! flatter one's self too much; it is all in the day's
I am to have a bride on my hands, or a work for those commission men to be nice to bride-elect, for she is n't married yet. Her a good shipper and his wife when they come intended has been rustling for a home out out of the West. There was a rather impersonal here in the wilds of Idaho, while she has been note to her politeness, which made it difficult waiting in the old country for success to when we parted for me to speak of the poscrown his efforts. How much success in her sibility, to say nothing of the pleasure, of case is demanded I don't know. She is a little a visit from her. My natural «gush » was English girl, upper middle-class, which Mrs. strangled in my throat. But one must say Percifer assures me is the class to belong to something, so I put it off on any friends or in England at the present day (it is her class, fellow-Britishers of theirs who might care to I infer), and the interesting reunion is to take command us in the West; we should be so place at our house. She sailed, poor thing, happy, and so forth. And, my dear, she writes this day week, and will be forwarded to us me, quite as a matter of course (she's not im