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´╗┐Title: The Bishop and the Boogerman
Author: Harris, Joel Chandler, 1848-1908
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE BISHOP AND THE BOOGERMAN

Being the Story of a Little Truly-Girl, Who Grew Up; Her Mysterious
Companion; Her Crabbed Old Uncle; the Whish-Whish Woods; a Very Civil
Engineer, and Mr. Billy Sanders the Sage of Shady Dale

by

JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS

Drawings by Charlotte Harding



New York
Doubleday, Page & Company
1909

All Rights Reserved, Including That of Translation
into Foreign Languages, Including the Scandinavian

Copyright, 1907, by Sunny South Publishing Co.

Copyright, 1909, by Doubleday, Page & Company
Published, January, 1909



[Illustration: "They paused--then she pointed to the darkest corner"]



ILLUSTRATIONS


"They paused--then she pointed to the darkest corner"

"It seemed to Adelaide that it held a whole bushel of fried chicken and
biscuits"

"The child stared at her uncle so seriously that he was actually
embarrassed"

"Old Jonas would listen by her bedside to convince himself that she was
really breathing"

"They began to creep forward, making as little noise as possible"

"'You are pouting,' she said, 'or you'd never be sitting in this room
where nobody ever comes'"

"'That's why you see these shoes lookin' like they're spang new'"

"Mr. Sanders went from the courthouse with a sweeping stride"



THE BISHOP AND THE BOOGERMAN



PART I

    The old Pig went to wander,
    The other went far to roam
    And, at last, when night was falling,
    And a little Pig was calling
    Never a one came home.

    --_Rhunewalt's Ballads of Life_.


Adelaide and I have come to the conclusion that if you can't believe
anything at all, not even the things that are as plain as the nose on
your face--if you can't enjoy what is put here to be enjoyed--if you are
going to turn up your nose at everything we tell you, and deny things
that we know to be truly-ann-true, just because we haven't given you the
cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die sign--then it's your own fault if we
don't reply when you try to give the wipple-wappling call. And more than
that, if you know so much that you don't know anything, or less than
anything, you will have to go somewhere else to be amused and
entertained; you will have to find other play-fellows. You might
persuade us to play with you if you had something nicer than peppermint
candy, and sweeter than taffy, and then Adelaide would show you things
that you never so much as dreamed of before, and tell you things you
never heard of.

Adelaide! Doesn't the very sound of the name make you feel a little bit
better than you were feeling awhile ago? Doesn't it remind you of the
softest blue eyes in the world, and of long curly hair, spun from summer
sunbeams that were left over from last season's growing? If all these
things don't flash in your mind, like magic pictures on a white
background, then you had better turn your head away, and not bother
about the things I am saying. And another thing: Don't imagine that I am
writing of the Right-Now time, for, one day when Adelaide and I were
playing in the garden, we found Eighteen-Hundred-and-Sixty-Eight hiding
under a honeysuckle vine, where it had gone to die. Adelaide picked the
poor thing up and put it in the warm place in her apron that she keeps
for all the weaklings; and now when we want to remember a great many
things, both good and bad, we go back to the poor thing we found under
the honeysuckle vine.

It was a very good thing that old Jonas Whipple, of Shady Dale, had a
sister who married and went to Atlanta, because Adelaide was in Atlanta,
and nowhere else; it was the only place where she could have been found.
Old Jonas's sister had been in Atlanta not longer than a year, if that
long, when, one day, she found Adelaide, and appeared to be very fond of
her. At that time, Adelaide had hardly been aroused from her dreams. She
may have opened her eyes sometimes, but she seemed sleepy; and when she
snored, as the majority of people will, when they are not put to bed
right, everybody said she was crying. It was so ridiculous that she
sometimes smiled in her sleep. But the most mysterious thing about it,
was that old Jonas's sister knew she was named Adelaide almost as soon
as she found her. Now, how did old Jonas's sister know that? Adelaide
and I have often tried to figure it out when we were playing in the
garden, but no matter how many figures we made in the sand, there was
always something or other in the top row that stood for No-Time, and we
didn't know how to add that up.

One day, Adelaide's father, who had been ailing a long time, became so
ill that a great many people came to the house in carriages and took him
away so that he might get well again. Adelaide hardly had time to forget
that her father had gone away, before her mother went to bed one night,
and, after staying there a long time, was carried away by the people who
had been so kind to her, only this time there were a great many more
women in the house, and some of them went about acting as though they
had been taking snuff. And there was a very nice old gentleman, with a
smooth face, and a big ring on one of his fat fingers. As well as
Adelaide could remember, this was the Peskerwhalian Bishop, and he was
just as kind as he could be. He had a pink complexion just like a woman.
He took Adelaide in his arms, and told her all about Heaven, and
everything like that, and then he felt about in his pockets and found
some candy drops.

Adelaide knew very well that the people who came to the house were very
much concerned about her. They talked in whispers when she was in
hearing, but she knew by their sad faces that they were troubled about
something, and she wished that they would get over it, and laugh and
talk as they used to do. When she went on the street, the little girls
she met turned and looked at her curiously, and though they were very
friendly indeed, they had the inquisitive look that older people have
such a dread of. At first she thought her nose must be smutty, or her
bonnet on crooked, or her frock torn; but when it turned out that
everything about her was according to the prevailing fashions of
cleanliness and correctness, she was quite content to be the observed of
all observers in her neighbourhood.

And then, one day (can it ever be forgotten by anybody who was living at
that time?), a lovely man, looking so much like the Bishop that Adelaide
named him so, came after her and said that she was to go to Shady Dale,
and live with her Uncle Jonas. This was Mr. Sanders--Billy Sanders, of
Shady Dale. "I ain't sorry for you one bit," Mr. Sanders declared--I was
there when he said it--"bekaze the first time I saw you, you made a face
at me."

"How did I look, and what else did I say?" Adelaide asked.

"You looked this way," replied Mr. Sanders, puckering up his
countenance, "an' you said 'W-a-a-a!'"

"Then what did you say?" inquired Adelaide.

"Why, I shuck my fist at you an' said I never saw anybody look so much
like your Uncle Jonas." Adelaide took all this very seriously, as she
did most things.

It turned out that she was to go to her Uncle Jonas, and that Mr.
Sanders had come after her; and then, my goodness gracious! she was so
full of anticipation and joy that she was frightened for herself. The
kind ladies who had had charge of her told her not to be frightened, and
to be very good, but she just rolled her big blue eyes, and had long,
long thoughts about things of which she never breathed a word. She
started at last, and went with Mr. Sanders on the choo-choo train, and
such a time as the two had buying tickets to Malvern, and laughing at
the people they saw, and getting their baggage checked, and getting on
the train, and watching the station slide back away from them so they
could get a good start--such a time has hardly been repeated for anybody
from that day to this.

A man caught a cinder in his eye, and ran with such speed to the
water-cooler that he turned the whole thing over; and it came down with
such a crash that everybody was frightened except Mr. Sanders and
Adelaide. Women screamed, babies squalled, and all the time the cinder
man was saying things under his breath, and some of them sounded to
Adelaide like the words that her good friend, the Peskerwhalian Bishop,
used in his sermon, only they were not so fierce and emphatic. The child
glanced around, and remarked with a satisfied smile: "It didn't scare
Cally-Lou." "I reckon not," Mr. Sanders remarked, although he had no
idea what Adelaide meant.

Well, they reached Malvern in due time, and there, right at the station,
was the stage-coach, which was driven by John Bell. Mr. Sanders
introduced Adelaide to the driver, who took off his hat and bowed very
gravely, and after that it was only a few minutes before they were on
their way to Shady Dale. If the choo-choo train had been fine, the
stage-coach was finer; it was like getting in a swing and staying there
a long time. There were a few passengers in the coach, and they all
appeared to be very sleepy. When they nodded, as the most of them did,
they fell about somewhat promiscuously--though Adelaide didn't think of
that word--and made it somewhat uncomfortable for the child, who was
wide awake and alert. But when they came to the place where the horses
were watered, John Bell leaned from his seat, and saw at a glance what
Adelaide's trouble was. In a jiffy he had her up on the swaying seat
beside him. It would have been a frightful position for most children,
but Adelaide thought it was the grandest thing in the world. She was
seated almost directly above the two wheel horses, and not very far from
the leaders. She could see their muscles rise and fall as they whirled
the coach along; she could see the flecks of foam made by the harness,
and--well, it was just glorious! She had what Mr. Sanders called the
Christmas feeling--the feeling that is ever ready to become awe or
delight--and the swing of the stage-coach kept her alternating between
the two.

It was wonderful, too, how one man could manage four great big horses,
how he could guide them by merely touching one of the reins with the end
of a finger; and then, when John Bell gave his long whip wide play,
sending it through the air with a swish, and bringing it down as gently
as a breath of wind on the back of the horse he desired to warn,
Adelaide could have screamed with delight. There was a half-way house
where the horses were changed, and when the coach stopped for that
purpose, most of the passengers went into a near-by inn for their
dinner. One or two of them, however, had brought a lunch along. One of
them offered Adelaide a share, saying: "Won't you have some of my
dinner, Sissy?" Her mother had called her many fond names, but nothing
like that. John Bell glanced at her, and the expression on the little
face opened his eyes. "No, I thank you," he replied, "she'll go snucks
wi' me." She snuggled up to John Bell--"Did you hear him?" she asked;
"he called me Sissy." "I heard him," said John Bell; "I heard every
word, and just how he said it."

The lunch-basket that John Bell found under the seat was a wonder to
see. It seemed to Adelaide that it held a whole bushel of fried chicken
and biscuits with yellow butter on the inside of each. "Now," said John
Bell, "there ain't enough vittles here for one, much less six." "Six!"
cried Adelaide. "Yes'm; you and yourself, Mr. Sanders and his self, and
me and myself." "Ef you're countin' me in," remarked Mr. Sanders, "jest
add three more figgers to the multiplication table." "And then," said
Adelaide very solemnly, "there's Cally-Lou and herself. Cally-Lou's
herself is just big enough to be counted," she went on, "but Cally-Lou
is bigger than I am. She's sitting right here by me; you could see her
if you could turn your head quick enough. She dodges when she thinks
anybody is going to look at her, because she is neither black nor white;
she's a brown girl with straight black hair that wavies when you brush
it."

[Illustration: "It seemed to Adelaide that it held a whole bushel of
fried chicken and biscuits"]

"Why, of course," said John Bell; "I'd know her anywhere. I was afraid,
once or twice, that I'd put out her eye with my whip-lash."

"Oh, did you really see Cally-Lou?" cried Adelaide, with an ecstatic
smile.

"Didn't you hear what he said about the vittles?" remarked Mr. Sanders.
"Do you think he'd 'a' said that ef he'd 'a' seed only us three? I'll
say this much for John Bell before I eat all his chicken an'
biscuits--he's nuther stingy ner greedy. Now, then," he went on, "jest
shet you eyes, an' grab, bekaze the one that grabs the quickest will git
that big hind leg there. My goodness! I can shet my eyes an' see it!"
Whereupon Mr. Sanders and John Bell closed their eyes, and reached into
the basket, and one drew a back and a biscuit, and the other grabbed a
neck and a biscuit. "We dassent shet our eyes any more," remarked Mr.
Sanders, "bekaze if we do, Cally-Lou will git all the chicken!"

Talk about picnics or barbecues, or parties where you have to wear your
best clothes, or receptions where you have tea-cakes and ice-cream! Why,
this banquet on top of the stage-coach, where no strange person could
look over your shoulder, and no one tell you not to eat with your
fingers, and not to tuck your napkin under your chin, like--like I don't
know what--why, it was just simply a true fairy story, not one of the
make-believe kind--the kind that grows out of the weariness of
invention.

The feast was over much too soon, though all had had much more than was
good for them. John Bell covered the treasure basket with a towel, and
stowed it away in the big hollow place under the seat; then he beckoned
to a negro who was helping with the horses. "Run down to the spring and
fetch us some water, and be certain to get it out of the north side of
the spring, where it is cold and sweet." The negro did this in a jiffy,
and such water Adelaide had never before tasted. There was a whole
bucketful, too. When they had all drunk their fill, Adelaide looked at
Mr. Sanders and John Bell with a frown. "What can we do for you now,
ma'am?" Mr. Sanders asked.

"Why, I want you to turn your heads away. Cally-Lou says she is nearly
famished for water, and she won't drink when any one is looking."

All this being done, everybody was ready to go. Mr. Sanders got in the
stage, declaring that he must have his own warm place, John Bell took
the reins that were handed to him by the hostlers, gave a harmless swish
with his long whip, and away they went to Shady Dale. It was all so
strange, and so pleasant that Adelaide could have wished the journey to
continue indefinitely. But after a while, the houses they passed became
larger and more numerous, and then the stage-coach made its appearance
on the public square that was one of the features of Shady Dale. It
rolled and swung toward the old tavern, and just when Adelaide thought
that John Bell was going to drive right into the house for her benefit,
he gave a little twist to his wrist, and the leaders swung around. Even
then it seemed that they would assuredly run headlong into the big
mulberry tree, and trample to death the man who was leaning against it
in a chair; but just as the leader was about to plant his forefeet in
the man's bosom, John Bell sent another signal down the tightly held
reins, and the leaders swung around until the child could look right
into their tired faces. And, oh, the thrill of it! Adelaide felt that
she could just hug John Bell, but the man who had made such a narrow
escape from the horses' feet had an entirely different view of the
matter.

"You shorely must be tryin' to show off," he growled to John Bell; "an'
what for, I'd like to know? The next time you kill me, I'll have the law
on you!"

"Quite so," remarked John Bell, with a grin that showed his white teeth.
"But I want you to know that I've got company; let folks that ain't got
company look out for themselves! Have you seen Mr. Jonas Whipple around
here?"

"You don't want to run over old Jonas, do you?" replied the man. "All
I've got to say is, jest try it! Old Jonas is a lot tougher than what I
am."

"I'd run over him in a minnit if it would give my company any pleasure,"
said John Bell. "I've got a package for him that come all the way from
Atlanta, an' I reckon the best thing to do is to take it right straight
to his house. It's wropped in cloth, an' he's got to give me a receipt
for it!"

"Oh, I know!" cried Adelaide, pouting a little; "you are talking about
me!"

"Drive on!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders, who was sitting on the inside of the
stage-coach. "I'll have my ride out ef I have to set in here ontell
to-morrer."

"Quite so!" exclaimed John Bell, and with that, he signalled the
leaders, all the other passengers having got out by this time, and in
less than no time the coach was whirling in the direction of old Jonas
Whipple's house.

I'd like to show you how the neighbours came to their doors and stared;
I can't describe it on paper, but if you were sitting where you could
see my motions and gestures you'd laugh until you cried. The way the
horses swept down that long red hill, leading from the tavern to old
Jonas's, was assuredly a sight to see; and not only the neighbours saw
it. Old Jonas saw it, and Lucindy saw it, too. Lucindy tried hard to be
two persons that day; she'd look at old Jonas and frown, and then she'd
look at the stage-coach and smile all over her face. She was mad on one
side and glad on the other--mad because old Jonas wasn't as excited as
she was, and glad because the child was coming. But old Jonas had a very
good reason for his lack of excitement; he had such a cold that he could
hardly talk for coughing, and such a bad cough that he could hardly
cough for wheezing. And before he would come to the door, he wrapped his
neck in a piece of red flannel. He tried to smile when he saw Adelaide
waving her flower-like hand, and the smile came near strangling him. But
Lucindy, the cook, was more than equal to the emergency; she whipped off
her big apron and waved it up and down at arm's length, which was quite
as hearty a welcome as any one would wish to have. I am sure that no one
else ever received such a welcome at old Jonas's door. Up swept the
stage, around it swung, and then, "All out for Whipple's Cross-roads!"

Mr. Sanders had his head out of the window, and saw Adelaide lift her
lovely face and kiss John Bell. It must have been a great strain on John
Bell to stoop so low, for when he straightened himself he was very red
in the face.

"That," said Mr. Sanders, who was a close observer, "is the first time
anybody has kissed John Bell since he was a baby. That's what makes him
sweat so!"

"Much you know about such things," exclaimed John Bell, mopping his face
with a red bandana. Nobody knows to this day how Lucindy managed to take
the trunk from the boot of the stage, and place it in the veranda in
time to run back and seize Adelaide and pull her through the window of
the coach before any one could open the door. But such was the feat she
performed in her excitement. Mr. Sanders appeared to be so surprised
that he could do nothing but pucker up his face, pretending he was
crying, and yell out: "Lucindy's took Miss Adelaide, an' now who's gwine
to take me out'n this stage. Ef you don't come an' git me, Jonas, I'll
be took off by John Bell, an' you won't never see me no more!" Old Jonas
looked at Mr. Sanders as if he were in a dream, and had not heard
aright. Observing this, Mr. Sanders kept up the pretence, and he cried
so loudly, and to such purpose, that the neighbours on each side of the
street came running to their front doors to see what the trouble was.
And then old Jonas became furiously angry. "Take him away, John Bell!"
he commanded; "I hold you responsible! Confound you! why don't you drive
on." With that he went into the house.

Mr. Sanders cared not a whit for old Jonas's irritation, and so he
alighted from the coach and followed the rest into the house. He was
just in time to hear Adelaide begin her course of instruction to old
Jonas.

"Nunky-Punky," said she, very solemn, "why didn't you wait for
Mr.----oh, I know who he is, he's the Peskerwhalian Bishop!--why didn't
you wait for the Bishop?"

"Much he looks like a bishop!" replied old Jonas, when he could control
his cough. "Did you ever hear a bishop boo-hooing and carrying on in
that way?"

The child stared at her uncle so seriously that he was actually
embarrassed. He rubbed his hand over a sharp chin that needed a razor
very badly, and really forgot that he was angry with Mr. Sanders. Then
something quite shocking occurred to Adelaide's nimble mind.

[Illustration: "The child stared at her uncle so seriously that he was
actually embarrassed"]

"Oh, Nunky-Punky!" she cried, "you didn't kiss me when I comed, and
everybody said you would, cause I asked 'em particular."

"Honey," said Mr. Sanders, "le' me stand in Nunky-Punky's shoes while
the kissin' is gwine on, bekaze he ain't shaved in two days, and his
whiskers'll scratch your face."

But Adelaide ran to old Jonas, and held out her little arms to be lifted
up. Jonas hesitated; he looked at Lucindy, then at Mr. Sanders, and
finally allowed his glance to fall on the sweetly solemn face of the
child. He tried to say something, to make some excuse, but he could
think of none. He was not only dreadfully embarrassed, he was actually
ashamed. Not in forty years had any one ever asked to kiss him and,
whether you count it backward or forward, forty years is a long time.
Mr. Sanders tried to pilot him through the deep water--so to speak--in
which he found himself. "Sit down, Jonas, and take Miss Adelaide on your
knee, an' let the thing be done right. Kinder shet your eyes an' pucker
your mouth, and she'll do the rest."

"Sanders," said old Jonas, bristling up again, "if you really want to
hurt my feelings just say so. You have no real delicacy about you. How
do you know some one hasn't told the little girl that it is her duty to
pretend to want to kiss her uncle, whether she wants to or not? Tell me
that!" Old Jonas's eyes glistened under his overhanging brows, and if
"looks" could kill a man, Mr. Sanders would have fallen down dead.
Adelaide dropped her arms, and stood close to old Jonas's knee, looking
quite forlorn. "Well, come on, Cally-Lou, Uncle Jonas has a very bad
cold and a headache, and we mustn't bother him."

"No, no, no!" cried old Jonas, screwing up his face until it looked like
the seed-ball of a sweet-gum tree. "There are some things a man has to
do whether he's used to them or not. Come here and kiss me if you really
want to." Adelaide turned, tossing her head as if she were growner than
a grown woman, and went toward old Jonas with the queerest little smile
ever seen. Her feelings had been dreadfully hurt, but not a quiver of
mouth or eyelid disclosed the fact, and only Cally-Lou knew it. Old
Jonas sat down in his favourite chair, and took the child on his knee.
If he had to be a martyr, he would go through the performance as
gracefully as he could. Adelaide made great preparations. She felt of
his chin with one hand, while she threw the other around his neck. She
seemed to know instinctively that old Jonas was rather timid when it
came to kissing people, and she went to his rescue. "Now, I'm not going
to kiss him until all you people turn your heads away. No, that won't
do! You've got to turn clean around, and look the other way!" She waited
until she had been obeyed, and then, as nimbly as a humming-bird kisses
a flower, she kissed the grim old man, and slid from his knee.

"Ten-ten-double-ten-forty-five-fifteen!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders. "All
eyes open! I'm gwine to peep!"

Adelaide laughed joyously, and when Mr. Sanders turned around she was
standing in the middle of the floor.

"You're It!" he said to Jonas. Then the smile disappeared from his face.
"Lucindy," he said, "do you reckon Mr. Whipple would buss me ef I was to
ast him?" The question was a little too much for Lucindy, and she
disappeared in the direction of the kitchen, bent double with laughter.

"Sanders, why do you make a joke out of everything? Did you ever reflect
that there is somewhere a limit to some things?"

"I certainly do, Jonas, an' you come mighty nigh reachin' it wi' me
awhile ago. Ef you hadn't 'a' let that child kiss you when she wanted
to, I'd 'a' went out'n yon' door an' I'd 'a' never darkened it
ag'in--not in this world."

"Well, your common sense should tell you, Sanders, that people ain't
made alike. What you are keen to do I have no appetite for, and what I'm
fond of, you have no relish for. That's plain enough, I reckon."

"Ef that's a conundrum, Jonas, I thank my Maker that the answer is
plain, yes!"

Old Jonas looked hard at Mr. Sanders as though he wanted to say
something. He stuck out his chin, and looked toward the ceiling; then he
looked at the floor, and began to rub his hands briskly together. Then
his thought came out: "Sanders," he said, almost hospitably, "suppose
you stay to supper to-night; or, if you can't stay until supper's ready,
suppose you come back to supper? How will that suit you? I----"

"Well, I'll tell you the truth, Jonas: ef you think you need me for to
pertect you from that child, you're mighty much mistaken. I don't
believe that Miss Adelaide would harm a ha'r on your head, few as you've
got."

"Nonsense, Sanders! you twist every mortal thing around in your mind,
and you are never happy until you set your best friends up as a target
for your folly. Answer my question: will you take supper with--with us?"

Mr. Sanders regarded old Jonas with real interest. His mild but fearless
blue eyes studied the other's face as if they would read there the
solution to some mystery. "Yes, Jonas; I'll not stay to supper, but I'll
come back in time for supper. But don't publish it; ef the public know'd
anything about it, they might think I was tryin' for to wheedle you out
of a loan, an' then what'd happen? Why, all my creditors would come
swarmin' aroun' me like gnats aroun' a sleepin' dog. I could jest as
well stay right here tell supper time, but I'm oblidze for to git out
an' walk about a little, an' git the amazement out'n my system. Off an'
on, Jonas, I've been a-knowin' you mighty nigh thirty year, an' this is
the fust time you've ast me to take a meal in your house. I feel as
funny as a flushed pa'tridge!"

Jonas stalked out of the room pretending to be very angry, but he began
to chuckle as soon as his back was turned. "Sanders is out of his
sphere," he said to himself. "More than half the time he should have a
big tent over his head and be rigged up like a clown." Mr. Sanders
watched the door through which old Jonas had gone, as if he expected him
to come back. Then he called out to him: "Jonas! be shore to have
somethin' for supper that me an' that child can eat!"

Old Jonas heard the voice of Mr. Sanders, but he paid no attention to
its purport. He went on into the kitchen where Adelaide and Lucindy were
having a conversation. He tried to smile at the child, but he realised
that his face was not made for smiles. It may have been different in the
days of his boyhood, and probably was, but since he had devoted himself
to the heartless problems that beset a man who is money-mad, the facial
muscles that smiling brings into play had become so set in other
directions, and had been so frequently used for other purposes, that
they made but a poor success of a smile. Realising this, he turned to
Lucindy, with a business-like air. "Lucindy, Mr. Sanders is coming to
supper; I reckon he knows how you can cook, for he jumped at the
invitation. And then there's the little girl; we must have something
nice and sweet for her," he went on.

"No, Mr. Jonas!" Lucindy exclaimed; "nothin' sweet fer dis chile; des a
little bread an' milk, er maybe a little hot-water tea."

"Well, you know about that," remarked Jonas, with a sigh; "we shall have
to get a nurse for the child, I reckon."

Lucindy drew a deep breath. "A nuss fer dat chile! Whar she gwineter
stay at? Not in dis kitchen! not in dis house! not on dis lot! No, suh!
Ef she do, she'll hafter be here by herse'f. I'll drive her off, an' den
you'll go out dar on de porch an' call her back; an' wid dat, I'll say
good bye an' far'-you-well! Yes, la! I kin stan' dis chile, here, an' I
kin 'ten' ter what little ten'in' ter she'll need--but a new nigger on
de place! an' a triflin' gal at dat! No suh, no suh! you'll hafter
scuzen me dis time, an' de nex' time, too."

Old Jonas walked from one end of the kitchen to the other, his face
puckered up with anger, and looking as if he were on the point of
bursting into tears. "Well, by the livin' Jimminy! can't I do what I
please in my own house? Can't I get my own niece a nurse if I want to?"

Lucindy placed both hands under her apron, and looked as if she were
swelling up. "Yasser," she exclaimed; "yasser, an' yasser, an' yasser.
An' whiles you're gittin' a nurse, don't let it 'scape off'n your min'
dat you'll want a cook!" She turned to the child, and the tone of her
voice couldn't have been more different if it had come from the lips of
another woman: "Honey, don't git too close ter de stove; ef yo' frock
ketches afire you won't need no nuss. Mr. Billy Sanders'll be a-knockin'
at dat do' present'y, an' supper ain't nigh ready--an' dey won't be no
supper ef I got ter be crowded outer my own kitchen."

Adelaide looked and listened, and finally she said: "Aunt Lucindy,
Cally-Lou says she doesn't like to be where people are mad and
quarreling. She's afraid she'll have to go off somewhere else."

"Whar is Cally-Lou, honey? an' how big is she?"

"Oh, she's lot's bigger than me," replied Adelaide, very primly, "and
she's sitting on the floor right by me. She says that fussing gives her
nervy posteration."

"You say dat Cally-Lou is settin' on de flo' by yo' side?" Lucindy
asked, opening her eyes a little wider. "Den how come I can't see her?"

"Well," said Adelaide, turning her soft blue eyes on the negro woman,
and speaking with what seemed to be perfect seriousness, "she isn't used
to you yet, and then she has had such a bad day!"

Lucindy paused in her work and took a long look at the pretty face of
the child. "I can't see her, honey, but dat ain't no reason she ain't
dar whar you say she's at. Let 'lone dat, it's a mighty good reason why
she _is_ dar!"

After a little Adelaide went into the sitting-room, and there found her
Uncle Jonas sitting in the twilight that came dimly through the windows.
She crept to his side, and leaned her head with its long golden curls
against his arm. She may have wondered why he failed to take her on his
knee, but she said nothing, and he, being busy with some old, old
thoughts that came back to him, was as silent as the fat china dog that
sat peacefully by the fireplace.

Presently Lucindy came in to light the lamps, and saw the child standing
by old Jonas. "Honey!" she exclaimed in a startled tone, "ain't you
tired to death? Ain't yo' legs 'bout to give way fum under you? I bet
you Cally-Lou done gone ter bed----"

"No," said Adelaide; "she's very tired, but she's standing up just like
me." The next thing to happen was the entrance of Mr. Sanders, who
seemed to bring the fresh breezes with him. He seized Adelaide in his
arms, and carried her into the dining-room. When all were seated,
Adelaide waited a moment, as though she was expecting something. Then
she placed her little hands over her face, leaned her head nearly down
upon the table, and said grace silently; and but for the audible amen,
the men would never have guessed what she was doing.

"I hope you mentioned my name," said Mr. Sanders, with due solemnity.

The child paid no attention to the remark, nor did she even glance at
any one at the table, until the genial guest turned to the host and made
a polite inquiry. "Jonas, do you button these napkins on before or
behind? I don't want to make any blunder if I can help it."

At this, Adelaide looked up and saw that Mr. Sanders was trying to tie a
corner of the tablecloth around his neck. The sight was so unexpected
that she gave forth a peal of the merriest laughter ever heard, and
Lucindy gave a snort of discomfiture.

"I declar' ter gracious!" she exclaimed, "ef I ain't done gone and
fergit de napkins!"

The oversight was soon remedied, and everything went along all right
until Mr. Sanders, taking a spoon in his hand, said to the child:

"Miss Adelaide, I'll bet you and Cally-Lou can't do this."

He placed the spoon so far in his mouth that nothing could be seen but a
small part of the handle. Lucindy had to leave the room, and the child
laughed until the tears ran down her cheeks. When she could control
herself, she said, reproachfully:

"Bishop, some day you'll choke yourself--you may ask anybody--and then
what will the people do?"



PART II

    Far over the hills, the wayward,
      White feet of the children run,
    Now gleaming in the shadows,
      Now glistening in the sun--
    And always travelling dayward
      As they flit by one by one.

    --_Vanderlyn's Songs of the Past._


It was curious how much interest Mr. Sanders began to take in the home
life that the mere presence of Adelaide brought to old Jonas Whipple's
house. He would walk in without knocking, sometimes just about tea-time,
and the child would invariably ask him to stay. Then after tea, he would
challenge old Jonas for a game of checkers, and Adelaide thought it was
great fun to watch them, they were so eager to defeat each other. Mr.
Sanders had long been the champion checker-player in that part of the
country, and he was very much astonished to find that old Jonas was
himself an expert. Sometimes Adelaide would watch the game, and the two
men invariably appealed to her to settle any question or doubt that
arose, such as which of the two made the last move, or whether old Jonas
had slipped a man from the board.

Most frequently, however, Adelaide was busy with her own affairs, and
when this was the case, the two men sat quietly together, sometimes
talking and sometimes listening.

"The Bishop is here," Adelaide would say to Cally-Lou. Then it seemed
that Cally-Lou would make some reply that could only be heard through
the ears of the imagination, to which Adelaide would respond most
earnestly: "Why of course he isn't asleep, 'cause I saw him wink both
eyes just now"--and the conversation would go on, sometimes
good-humouredly, and sometimes charged with pretended indignation. If
there had been any telephones, Mr. Sanders would inevitably have said:
"You can't make me believe thar ain't some un at the other eend of the
line."

I would say it was all like a play on the stage, only it wasn't as small
as that. A play on the stage, as you well know, has its times and
places. It must come to an end within a reasonable time. The curtain
comes down, the audience files out, laughing and chatting, or wiping its
eyes--as the case may be--the actors run to their cheerless rooms to
strip off their tinsel finery, then the lights are put out, and
everything is left to the chill of emptiness and gloom. But this was not
the way with the play at old Jonas's home. It began early in the
morning--for Adelaide was a very early riser--and lasted until bed-time;
and, sometimes, longer, as Lucindy could have told you. Old Jonas had a
way of covering his bald head with a flannel night-cap, and tucking the
bed-covering about his face and ears, so that light and sound, no matter
where they came from, would have as much as they could do to reach his
eyes and ears; and, while he lay very still, as though he were sound
asleep, he was sometimes awake for a very long time, thinking old
thoughts and new ones, remembering people he had pinched in money
matters, and thinking of those he intended to pinch.

After Adelaide came to live with him he had few thoughts of this kind,
and less desire to sleep. Frequently he lay awake for hours at a time,
wondering if the child was comfortable. Adelaide slept in a poster bed,
one of the old-fashioned kind, and many a night, when everything was
still and dark as the gloomy plague that fell over Egypt, old Jonas
would slip from under his carefully tucked cover, steal into the room
where the child slept, and listen by her bedside to convince himself
that she was really breathing, so softly and shyly did she draw her
breath. And sometimes he would put out his hand and feel--oh, ever so
gently!--if she had kicked off the covering.

[Illustration: "Old Jonas would listen by her bedside to convince
himself that she was really breathing"]

Now, it frequently happened that Lucindy, the cook, had the same spells
of uneasiness, and it chanced one night that they were both at the
child's bed at the same time. Old Jonas was feeling, and Lucindy was
feeling, and their hands met; the cold hand of old Jonas touched
Lucindy's hand. This was enough! Lucindy said not a word--indeed, words
were beyond her--she said afterward that she came within one of uttering
a scream and dropping to the floor. But the fright that had weakened
her, had also given her strength to escape. She stole back to her place
on tip-toe, declaring in her mind that she would never again enter that
room at night unless she had torch-bearers to escort her.

It was contrary to all her knowledge and experience that old Jonas
should concern himself about the child at his time of life, and with his
whimsical habits and methods. In trying to account for the incident, her
mind never wandered in the direction of old Jonas at all. To imagine
that he was at the bedside of the child, investigating her comfort, was
far less plausible than any other explanation she could offer. And then
and there, the legend of Cally-Lou became charged with reality, so far
as Lucindy was concerned; and it had a larger growth in one night, from
the impetus that Lucindy gave it, than an ordinary legend could hope to
have in a century.

Lucindy lost no time in mentioning the matter to Adelaide the next day.
"La, honey! I had de idee dat you wuz des a-playin' when I hear you
talkin' to Cally-Lou; I got de idee dat she wuz des one er de
Whittle-Come-Whattles dat lives in folks' min', an' nowhar else. Dat 'uz
kaze I ain't never seed 'er; my eyeballs ain't got de right slant, I
reckon. But las' night, I tuck a notion dat you had done kick de kivver
off, an' in I went, gropin' an' creepin' 'roun' in de dark--not dish yer
common dark what you have out'n doors, but de kin' dat your Nunky-Punky
keeps in de house at night; an' de Lord knows ef I had ez much money ez
what dey say he's got, I'd have me ten candles an' a lantern lit in
eve'y blessed room. Well, I went in dar, des like I tell you, an' I put
out my han'--des so--an' I teched somebody else's han', an' 'twant
your'n, honey, kaze 'twuz ez col' ez a frog in de branch. I tell you
now, I lit out fum dar--hosses couldn't 'a' helt me--an' I come in de
back room dar whar I b'long'ded at, crope back in bed, an' shuck an'
shiver'd plum' tell sleep come down de chimberly an' sot on my eyeleds.

"Nobody nee'n'ter tell me dey aint no Cally-Lou, kaze I done gone an'
felt un her. Folks say dat feelin's lots better'n seein'. What you see
mayn't be dar, kaze yer eyeballs may be wrong, but what you feels un,
it's blidze ter be dar. Well, I done put my han' on Cally-Lou! Yes,
honey, right on 'er!" Lucindy told her experience to many, including old
Jonas, who glared at her with his ferret-like eyes, and moved his jaws
as if he were chewing a very toothsome tidbit; and the oftener she told
it, the larger it grew and the more completely she believed in
Cally-Lou.

Many shook their heads, while others openly avowed their disbelief. On
the other hand a large number of those who came in contact with Lucindy
and heard her solemn account of the affair, were greatly impressed.
Adelaide showed not the slightest surprise when Lucindy recounted her
astonishing adventure. She seemed to be glad that the cook had now
discovered for herself about Cally-Lou, but she seemed very much
distressed, and also irritated, that the Chill-Child-No-Child (as she
sometimes called her) should be so thoughtless as to wander about in the
darkness with nothing on her feet and little on her body. With both
hands Adelaide pushed back her wonderful hair that was almost hiding her
blue eyes.

"I don't know how often I have told Cally-Lou not to go gadding about
the house at night, catching cold and making Nunky-Punky pay a dollar
apiece for doctor's bills. No wonder she slept so late this morning!"

Adelaide not only talked like she was picking the words out of a big
book, as Lucindy declared, but there were times, as now, when all the
troubles and responsibilities of maternity looked out upon the world
through her eyes. Old-fashioned, and apparently as much in earnest as a
woman grown, it was no wonder that Lucindy gazed at her like one
entranced!

Adelaide made no further remark, but turned and went from the kitchen
into the house. All the doors were open, the weather being warm and
pleasant, and Lucindy presently heard her asking Cally-Lou why she
continued to disobey the only friend she had in the world. Cally-Lou
must have made some excuse, or explanation, though Lucindy couldn't hear
a word thereof, for Adelaide, speaking in a louder tone, gave the
Chill-Child-No-Child a sound rebuke.

"I don't care if you do feel that way about it," said she; "Nunky-Punky
can look after me, if he feels like it, and so can Aunt Lucindy, but I'm
the one to look after you. Be ashamed of yourself! a great big girl like
you going around in the dark, barefooted and bareheaded. Seat yourself
in that chair, and don't move out of it till I tell you, or you'll be
sorry."

Lucindy, listening with all her ears, lifted her arms in a gesture of
admiration and astonishment, exclaiming to herself, "I des wish you'd
listen! Dat sho do beat my time!"

Adelaide went off to play, and it might be supposed that she had
forgotten Cally-Lou; but a little before the hour was up, she went into
the house again, called Cally-Lou, and, after a little, came running out
again, laughing as gayly as if she had heard one of Mr. Sanders's jokes.

"What de matter, honey? Whar Cally-Lou?" Lucindy inquired.

"Why, she went fast asleep in the chair," cried Adelaide, laughing as
though it were the funniest thing imaginable, "and no wonder she fell
asleep after wandering about the house, pretending she wanted to make
sure that I was snivelling under that heavy cover. How can anybody get
cold such weather as this?"

Lucindy shook her head. "De han' dat totch mine was col', honey--stone
col'."

"Oh, Cally-Lou's hand! Well, she can sit by the fire and still be cold,"
responded Adelaide. "Cally-Lou is mighty funny," she went on, growing
confidential; "she says she is lonesome; she wants to play with growner
folks than me."

"Well, honey, I dunner whar she'll fin' um. Dar's Mr. Sanders; sholy he
ain't too young fer 'er!"

As though the mention of his name had summoned Mr. Sanders from the dim
and vague region where Cally-Lou had her place of residence, those in
the kitchen now heard his voice in the house. He had entered, as usual,
without taking the trouble to knock, and he came down the long hall,
talking and saluting imaginary persons, hoping in that way to attract
the attention of Adelaide. Nor was he unsuccessful.

"Well, I declare!" he exclaimed. "Here's Miss Sue Frierson!--an'
well-named too, bekaze ever'body knows that she'd fry a sun ef she had
one. Howdy, Miss Sue! Miss Susan-Sue! Ef you are well, why I am too! So
it's up an' hop to-day. Dr. Honeyman says she won't be well tell she's
better. She had company last night, an' she tried for to nod whiles she
was standin' up. It'd 'a' been all right ef her feet had n't 'a' gone to
sleep. Thereupon, an' likewise whatsoever--as the Peskerwhalian Bishop
says--she fell off'n her perch, an' had to be put to bed back'ards.
What? You don't know the Peskerwhalian Bishop? Well, his hardware name
is William H. Sanders, of the county aforesaid, Ashbank Deestrick, G. M.

"Cally-Lou? Well, I hain't seed the child to-day, but she's up an'
about; you'll hear her whistlin' fer company presently. Can't stay?
Well, good bye, Miss Susan-Sue; mighty glad I met you when I did. So
long, or longer!"

Bowing Miss Frierson out, though she was invisible to all eyes, Mr.
Sanders came back toward the kitchen talking to himself. "Well, well! I
hadn't seed my Susan-Sue in thirteen year, an' she's jest the same as
she was when she engaged herself to me--eyes like they had been jest
washed, an' the eend of her nose lookin' like a ripe plum! But sech is
life whar we live at. Howdy, Adelaide? Howdy, Lucindy? I hope both of
you have taken your stand among my well-wishers."

"La, Mr. Sanders, how you does run on! I b'lieve you er lots wuss'n you
used to be!"

"Well, Lucindy, it's mighty hard for to make a young hoss stand in one
place. He's uther got to go back'ards or forrerds, or jump sideways.
I've jest begun to live good. I feel a heap better sence I was born in
the country whar Miss Adelaide spends her time an' pleasure."

"Now, Bishop, tell me, please, if you were really talking to
Miss----Miss----"

"Frierson--Miss Susan-Sue Frierson." Mr. Sanders supplied the name to
Adelaide. He seemed to be filled with astonishment. "Did you hear me
talking?" he asked in a confidential whisper. "Why, I--I didn't know you
could hear me! Now, don't go and tell ever'body. She lives in our
country, an' she come for to see Cally-Lou."

"Well, I'm sorry Cally-Lou didn't see her. I had to punish her to-day,
and she's not feeling so well."

"Well, I reckon not!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders; "'specially ef you used a
cowhide, or a barrel-stave. What have you got to do to-day, and whar are
you gwine? I had a holiday comin' to me, an' so I thought I'd come down
here an' take you to the Whish-Whish Woods an' hunt for the Boogerman."

At once Adelaide was in a quiver of excitement. "Shall we camp out? Must
we take guns? How long shall we stay?"

"Guns! why, tooby shore," replied Mr. Sanders, with an expression of
ferociousness new to his countenance; "as many as we can tote wi'out
sp'ilin' our complexions; an' we'll stay ontel we git him or his hide.
Lucindy'd better fix up a lunch for two--a couple of biscuits an' a
couple of buttermilks. Thar's no tellin' when we'll git back."

Now, old Jonas Whipple had the largest and the finest garden in town. It
was such a fine garden, indeed, that the neighbours had a way of looking
at it over the fence, and wondering how Providence could be so kind to a
man so close and stingy, and so mean in money-matters. And as your
neighbours can wonder about one thing as well as another, old Jonas's
wondered where all the vegetables went to. It was out of the question
that old Jonas should use them all himself; and yet, as regularly as the
garden was planted every year, as certainly as the vegetables always
grew successfully, let the season be wet or dry, just as regularly and
just as certainly, the various crops disappeared as fast as they became
eatable--and that, too, when nearly everybody in the community had
gardens of their own. It was a very mild mystery, but in a village, such
as Shady Dale was, even a mild mystery becomes highly important until it
is solved, and then it is forgotten. Only Mr. Sanders had solved it thus
far, and this was the main reason why he "neighboured" with old Jonas.
He had discovered that the vegetables went to the maintenance of a small
colony of "tackies" that had settled near Shady Dale--"dirt-eaters" they
were called. They were so poor and improvident that the men went in rags
and the women in tatters; and only old Jonas's fine garden was free to
them. In the early morning twilight they would slip in with their bags
and their baskets, and were gone before anybody but themselves had
shaken off the shackles of sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-eight seemed to be very pale when Adelaide
and I found it under the honeysuckle vine, but in old Jonas's garden it
was particularly brilliant in its colours of green. Green is the
admiration of summer, and it has more beautiful shades than the rainbow.
Observe the marked difference between the cabbage and the corn, between
the squash and watermelon vines, between the asparagus and the cucumber,
between the red pepper plants and the tomato vines! These variations are
worth more than a day's study by any artist who is ambitious of training
his eyes to colour.

In old Jonas's garden in the summer we are speaking of, there were three
squares of corn, the finest that had ever been seen on upland. And it
was very funny, too: for old Jonas had planted early, and the frost had
come down and nipped the corn when it was about three inches high. The
negro gardener was in despair; in all his experience, and he was
gray-headed, he had never seen anything like this late frost, and he was
anxious for the corn to be ploughed up, so that it could be replanted.
Old Jonas wouldn't hear to the proposition, and the gardener went about
his business, wondering how a man could be so stingy about seed corn,
when he had seven or eight bushels stored away in the dry cellar.

But, as time went on, the gardener discovered that old Jonas had wisdom
on his side of the fence; the corn not only came up again after being
cut down, but it grew twice as fast, and almost twice as high as anybody
else's corn. In short, there had never before been seen, in that
neighbourhood, a roasting-ear patch quite as vigorous. Some of the
cornstalks were nearly fourteen feet high, and some of them had as many
as four ear-sprouts showing. The patch was so rank and healthy that it
attracted the attention of Mr. Sanders. He climbed the fence, and went
into old Jonas's garden to give it a close examination. A good breeze
was blowing at the time, and the sword-like leaves of the corn were
stirred by it, so that they waved up and down and from side to side,
whispering to one another, "Whish-whish!" That was enough for Mr.
Sanders. He thought instantly of Adelaide, and he named the roasting-ear
patch the Whish-Whish Woods, and that was where he proposed to go
hunting for the Boogerman, the awful, greedy creature that ate
Nunky-Punky's vegetables raw!

Lucindy didn't need any training in the quick-lunch line, and in less
than no time, if we may deal familiarly with the ticking of the clock,
she had cut two biscuits open and inserted in each a juicy slice of ham;
and while she was doing this, Adelaide ran to her armoury, where she
kept her weapons, offensive and defensive, and came running back with
two guns. They were cornstalk guns, but not the less dangerous on that
account. They were very long and, as Mr. Sanders said, they had about
them an appearance of violence calculated to make the Boogerman fall on
his knees and surrender the moment he was discovered. An ordinary gun
might miss fire--such things have been known before now--but a cornstalk
gun, never! All you have to do when you have a cornstalk gun, is to
point it at the destined victim, shut your eyes and say _Bang!_ in a
loud voice, and the thing is done. And if people or things--whatever and
whoever you shoot at--should be mean enough to remain unhurt, why, then,
that is their fault, and much good may their meanness do them!

Well, Adelaide and Mr. Sanders took their lunch and were about to start
on their dangerous expedition, when they bethought themselves of
something that Lucindy had forgotten.

"Why, Lucindy!" cried Adelaide, "what is the matter with you?"

"Nothin' 't all dat I knows on, honey. I'm de same ol' sev'n an' six
what I allers been."

Then Mr. Sanders came to Adelaide's support. "Well, your mind must be
wanderin'," he said, "bekaze we ast you as plain as tongue kin speak for
to put us up a couple of buttermilks."

Lucindy threw her hand above her head with a gesture of despair. "I know
it, I know it! but I ain't got but one buttermilk. Dar's a jar full, but
dat don't make but one; an' what I gwine do when dat's de case?"

"Why, ef you've got a jar full, thar must be mighty nigh a dozen
buttermilks in it." And so, after much argument and explanation, Lucindy
found a bottle and a funnel and poured two glassfuls in it, one after
the other. Mr. Sanders, very solemn, counted as she filled the glass.
"That makes one," he said, as she emptied the first glass, "an'," when
she poured in the rest--"that makes two, don't it?"

"Yasser! La, yasser! you-all got me so mixified dat I dunner know which
eend I'm a standin' on. Two! yasser, dey sho is two in dar!"

Having everything needful in hand, the hunters took their way toward the
large garden. Don't think this garden bore any resemblance to the
ordinary gardens that are to be found in cities and towns. No! it was so
large that, standing at one end you had to shade your eyes--especially
when the sun was shining--to be able to see the boundary fence at the
other end. It held not only a supply of vegetables sufficient for fifty
families, but it contained an abundance of old-fashioned flowers, the
kind you see pictured in the magazines--roses, spice pinks, primroses,
mint, with its little blue flowers, lavender--oh, and ever so much of
everything! And it was all well kept, too, stingy as old Jonas was. In
this wide garden the Whish-Whish Forest grew and flourished, and toward
this the two hunters bent their steps.

At first they pretended they were not hunting. Nothing could have been
more innocent than the careless way in which they made their way toward
the home of the Boogerman. Hiding their cornstalk guns behind them as
well as they could, they sauntered along examining the flowers, and no
one would have supposed that they were after ridding the country of the
cruel monster that had terrorised the children for miles around. In not
less than seven or seventeen counties was his name spoken in whispers
when the sun had gone to bed and tucked his cloud-quilts around him. If
a child cried at night, or if a wide-awake little one uttered a
whimpering protest when bed-time came, the nurses--not one nurse, but
all the nurses--would raise their hands warningly, and whisper in a
frightened tone, "Sh-sh! the Boogerman is standing right there by the
window; if you make a noise, he'll know right where you are--and then
what will happen?"

Presently Adelaide and Mr. Sanders (who was still the Bishop, be it
remembered) came close in their saunterings to the edge of the
Whish-Whish Woods, and then they began to creep forward, making as
little noise as possible.

[Illustration: "They began to creep forward, making as little noise as
possible"]

"Bishop," said Adelaide, in a whisper, "you slip through the Woods one
way, and I'll slip through the other way. You can be a bishop and a
Injun, too, can't you?"

"Nothin' easier," replied the Bishop, trying to whisper in return; "I'll
jest take off my coat an' turn it wrongsud-out'rds, an' thar you are!"

Adelaide's ecstasy shone in her face, and with good reason, for the
middle lining of the Bishop's coat was fiery red. This was too good to
be true, and Adelaide wished in her heart that she had worn her hat with
the big red feather--oh, you know: the one she wore to Sunday School,
where all the other little girls were simply green with envy; of course
you couldn't forget that hat and feather!

In spite of the fiery red lining of his coat, the Bishop had an idea
that he didn't look fierce enough, so he took off his felt hat, knocked
in the crown, and put it on upside down. His aspect was simply
tremendous. No hobgoblin could have a fiercer appearance than the Bishop
had, and if Adelaide didn't shriek with pure delight it was because she
put her gun across her mouth and bit it. She bit so hard that the print
of her small teeth showed on the gun. Well, of course, after the Bishop
had transformed himself into such a ferocious-looking monster, he and
Adelaide were obliged to have another consultation, and it was while
this was going on that Adelaide came near spoiling the whole thing.

"Oh, Bishop!" she cried, with a great gasp, "how do you laugh when
you're obliged to, and when----" she gave another gasp, sank to the
ground, and lay there, shaking all over.

"You put me in mind, honey, of the lady in the book that leaned ag'in
the old ellum tree and shuck wi' sobs, ever' one on 'em more'n a foot
an' a half long, wi' stickers on 'em like a wild briar. It's a sad thing
for to say, but I'm oblidze to say it. The time has come when we've got
to part. Ef we go on this way, the Boogerman will come along an' put us
both in his wallet, an' then what'll we do? Things can't go on this
a-way. It may be for years an' it may be forever, as Miss Ann Tatum says
when she begins for to squall at her peanner, but the time to part has
come. You creep up yander by the fence, so you can see the Boogerman ef
he tries for to git away, an' I'll roost aroun' in the bushes. Ef I jump
him I'll holla, an' ef he come your way, jest shet your eyes an' give
him both barrels in the neighbourhood of eyeballs an' appetite. You
can't kill the Boogerman unless you hit him in his green eye--the other
is a dark mud colour."

Well, they separated, the Bishop beating in the bushes and underbrush,
as he called the crab-grass and weeds that had begun to make their
appearance in the corn-patch, and Adelaide creeping to her post of
observation as though she were stalking some wild and wary animal. She
could hear the Bishop rustling about in the thick corn, but couldn't
catch a glimpse of him. Once she heard him sneeze as only a middle-aged
man can sneeze, and she frowned as a general frowns when his orders have
been disobeyed. Presently she heard some one coming along the side
street, which, being away from the main thoroughfares, was little
frequented. Occasionally a pedestrian, or a farmer going home, or house
servants, who lived near-by, passed along its narrow length.

The moment she heard footsteps, Adelaide shrank back in the thick corn,
and held her cornstalk gun in readiness. Her hair might have been
mistaken for a tangle of corn-silks newly sunburned as it fell over her
face. The steps drew nearer, and, in a moment, a negro came into view.
He was a stranger to Adelaide, and that fact only made it more certain
that he was the Boogerman himself, who had jumped the garden fence in
order to elude Mr. Sanders, and was now sauntering along appearing as
innocent as innocence itself. When the Boogerman came opposite
Adelaide's hiding-place, she jumped up suddenly, aimed her gun and cried
_Bang!_ in a loud voice.

Now, as it happened, the passing negro was one who could meet and beat
Adelaide on her own ground. The cornstalk gun, with its imperative
_Bang!_ carried him back to old times, though he was not old--back to
the times when he played make-believe with his young mistress and the
rest of the children. Therefore, simultaneously with Adelaide's _Bang!_
he stopped in his tracks, his face working convulsively, his arms flying
wildly about, and his legs giving way under him. He sank slowly to the
ground, and then began to flop about just as a chicken does when its
head is wrung off.

The Bishop heard a wild, exultant shout from Adelaide: "Run, Bishop,
run! I've got him! I've killed the Boogerman! Run, Bishop, run!" Mr.
Sanders ran as fast as he could; and when he saw the negro lying on the
ground, with no movement save an occasional quiver of the limbs and a
sympathetic twitching of the fingers, his amazement knew no bounds.

"Why, honey!" he cried, "what in the world have you done to him?"

"I didn't do a thing, Bishop, but shoot him with my cornstalk gun; I
didn't know it had such a heavy load in it. Anyhow, he had no business
to be the Boogerman. Do you think he's truly--ann--dead, Bishop?"

"As dead," Mr. Sanders declared solemnly, "as Hector. I dunno how dead
Hector was, but this feller is jest as dead as him--that is ef he ain't
got a conniption fit; I've heern tell of sech things."

They climbed the garden fence, and went to where the Boogerman was lying
stretched out. "When a man's dead," said Mr. Sanders, "he'll always tell
you so ef you ax him."

"Boogerman! oh, Boogerman!" cried Adelaide, going a little closer.

"Ma'am!" replied the dead one feebly.

"When the Boogerman is dead," said Adelaide, "and anybody asks him if it
is so, he lifts his left foot and rolls his eyeballs. Are you dead?"

In confirmation of that fact, the foot was lifted, and the eyeballs
began to roll. Adelaide was almost beside herself with delight. Never
had she hoped to have such an experience as this. "Where shall he be
buried, Bishop?"

"Close to the ash-hopper, right behind the kitchen," promptly responded
Mr. Sanders.

"Get up, Boogerman!" commanded Adelaide. "You have to go to your own
fumerl, you know, and you might as well go respectably." Adelaide always
uttered a deliciously musical gurgle when she used a big word.

"Yes," said Mr. Sanders; "as fur as my readin' goes, thar ain't nothin'
in the fourteenth an' fifteenth amendments ag'in it."

Now, old Jonas's side-gate opened on this street, and on this gate
Lucindy chanced to be leaning, when the Boogerman, fatally wounded by
Adelaide's cornstalk gun, sank upon the ground and began to jump around
like a chicken with its head off. She was tremendously frightened at
first; in fact she was almost paralysed. So she stayed where she was,
explaining afterward that she didn't want to be mixed up "wid any er
deze quare doin's what done got so common sence de big rucus." Then she
saw Adelaide and Mr. Sanders climb the garden fence and stand over the
fallen negro, and curiosity overcame her fright. By the time the negro
was on his feet, Lucindy had arrived. She looked at him hard, jumped at
him, threw her arms around his neck, and squeezed him so tight that the
two of them kept turning around as if they were trying to keep time to a
smothered waltz; and all the while Lucindy was moaning and groaning and
thanking the Lord that her son whom she had not seen in four long years,
had come, as it were, right straight to her bosom.

She hugged him to the point of smifflication, as Mr. Sanders declared,
and she held him at arm's length, the better to see whether he had
changed, and in what particular. Then she turned to Mr. Sanders:

"Mr. Sanders, sholy you knows dis chil'--sholy you ain't done gone an'
disremembered Randall. Des like you seed him doin' des now, dat de way
he been doin' all his born days--constantly a-playin', constantly
a-makin' out dat what ain't so is so, an' lots mo' so. Many an' many's
de time sence Miss Adelaide been here has I had de idee dat ef Randall
wuz here, he'd be mo' dan a match fer Cally-Lou an' all de rest un um
dat slips out'n dreams an' stays wid us. Yasser, I sho has. But now he's
come, I des feels in my bones dat he gwine ter git in deep trouble 'bout
dem crimes what he run away fer."

"Randall is the chap that knocked Judge Bowden's overseer crossways an'
crooked, ain't he?" inquired Mr. Sanders.

"Yasser, he done dat thing," replied Lucindy: "an how come he ter do
it--him dat wuz afear'd er his own shadder--I'll never tell you. Let
'lone dat, he ain't gwin ter tell you; kaze I done ax'd him myse'f. I
speck he'll haf ter run away ag'in."

"You know me, don't you, Randall?" inquired Mr. Sanders.

"La! yasser, Mr. Sanders, I've been knowin' you sence I could walk
good."

"That's what I thought," said Mr. Sanders. "Well, my advice to you is to
stay an' face the music. Ef the man you hit makes a move we'll have him
right whar we've been a-tryin' fer to git him for two long years!"

They went toward the house, and entered the side-gate, attracting, as
they did so, the attention of two or three of the neighbours. The Bishop
had been so absorbed in what had occurred that he forgot to turn his
coat, or to right his hat.

"Did you see old Billy Sanders?" one woman asked another over the back
fence.

"I did," replied the other, "and I like to have dropped--I believe he is
going crazy."

"Going!" exclaimed the first woman, "he's gone! Done gone!"



PART III

    O winds of the sea, that whisper,
      Will you not whisper to me
    What the marvellous strange visions
      Of a little child may be?
    O wild rose, stirred and shaken,
      By the wind that ripples the stream,
    Why are the children dreaming,
      And what are the dreams they dream?

    --_Beverly's Attitudes and Platitudes: A Drama._


"Them that slip out'n dreams an' stay with us!" said Mr. Sanders to
himself, as they went along. "Be jiggered ef that ain't a new one on me!
I'll take it home an' chew on it when I'm lonesome."

Adelaide had just cause of complaint, she thought. "Now we can't have
any fumerl, with strange folks tip-toeing about the place, and carriages
at the door, with horses snorting and pawing the ground."

"It's jest as well," remarked Mr. Sanders. "All that sort of thing will
come along lot's quicker than we want it to."

"They come'd twice to our house--two times!" said Adelaide, in the tone
of one who has a proprietary interest in such matters. "They come'd and
come'd," she went on, with the air of imparting important secret
information, "and they peeped in all the rooms, and in the closets, and
behind the doors, and pulled out all the booro draws; yes, and some of
'em looked in the safe where mother keeps her vittles!"

There was something pitiful about the child's brief recital. She had
seen and noted everything, and the report she had inadvertently made to
Mr. Sanders rang true to life, and almost humorously true to the results
of Mr. Sanders's observation. His lips twitched, as they had a way of
doing when he was in doubt whether to laugh or cry, which was often the
case.

"Well, honey," he replied, making what excuse he could for poor
humanity, "ef folks is ever gwine for to find out anything in this world
they've got to stick the'r noses in ev'ry nook an' cranny."

"That's why I wanted to put the Boogerman in the grave-yard. Lucindy is
his mother, and we could go and look under her bed, and peep in her
cubberd, and find out everything she's got, and more too."

What reply Mr. Sanders would have made to this will never be known, for
they were just going in the side gate that let them into old Jonas's
back-yard. Old Jonas himself had come out of the house, and was now
walking about in the yard with his hat pulled well down to his ears. The
opening and shutting of the gate attracted his attention, and he turned
to see who could be trespassing on his premises. When he saw Mr. Sanders
fantastically arrayed, his coat turned inside out, and his hat upside
down, old Jonas flung both hands over his head in a gesture of
amazement.

"Why, what foolery is this? Good Lord, Sanders! have you turned lunatic?
Why--why--if this kind of thing goes on much longer, I'll sue out a
writ, and have you sent to the asylum; I'll do it as sure as my name is
Whipple!"

"Please, sir, Nunky-Punky, let me off this time, and I'll never play wi'
Miss Adelaide any more. An' the Boogerman may git you for all I keer!
An' ol' Raw-Head-an'-Bloody-Bones'll crawl out from under the house whar
he lives at, an' snap his jaws an' wink his green eyes at you; an' he'll
ketch you an' put you in his wallet, an' chaw you up bone by bone--mark
my words!"

"Sanders!" said old Jonas, with less anger and more earnestness, "what
in the name of all that's sensible, is the matter with you?"

"Not a thing in the world but pyore joy, Jonas! Climb up in the waggon
and let's all take a ride. I'm dead in love wi' this little gal here;
won't you j'ine me? Nan Dorrin'ton used to be my beau-lover, but Nan's
too old, an' now Adelaide's done took her place! Slap yourself on the
hams an' crow like a rooster! Jump up an' crack your heels together
twice before you come to earth ag'in. We've ketched the Boogerman, an'
was gittin' ready for to fetch him home bekaze we had him whar he could
nuther back nor squall, but jest about that time, here come Lucindy. She
wa'n't gallopin', but she give us ez purty a sample of the ginnywine
buzzard-lope as you ever laid eyes on. She grabbed the Boogerman an'
give him the Putmon county witch-hug. Arter she'd smivelled an'
smovelled him mighty nigh to death, she helt him off from her an'
claimed him as her long-lost son; she know'd it bekaze he had a
swaller-fork in one y'ear, an' a under-bit in the other, an' a wind-gall
on the back of his neck. Her son, mind you! Well, when I know'd her son
the first letter of his name was Randall Bowden, bekaze Bowden was the
name of the man he belonged to--you remember him, Jonas?"

"He admitted me to the bar and came within one of frightening me to
death," responded old Jonas.

"Well, you're a lawyer, an' you know mighty well that a man an' a
citizen can't change his name wi'out a special law passed by the
legislatur'. Now, ef the Boogerman was a plain nigger, it wouldn't make
a bit of difference what he called hisse'f. But thar ain't no plain
niggers any more; they're all sufferin' citizens. An' here he is callin'
hisself Randall Holden. What do you think of that?"

Randall shifted from one foot to the other and looked, first, at Mr.
Sanders, and then at all of the others in turn. "Well, suh, Mr. Sanders,
I call myse'f Holden bekaze they ain't no Bowdens fer me ter be named
after. Marster's dead, Mistiss is dead, an' Miss Betty is done gone an'
changed her name by--er--gittin' married. De Holdens ain't all dead yit,
an' my mistiss wuz a Holden proceedin' the day she married marster. I
felt like I want ter be named after somebody that wuz alive."

"What have you been doing all this time?" old Jonas asked in his
sharpest and curtest tone.

"Workin' hard all day, an' studyin' hard at night, suh. I laid off ter
be a preacher. In four years, I reckon I has been to school about one
year. I can read a little, an' write a little, an' maybe do some easy
figgerin'. It looks like that books git harder the more you fool with
'em. That's what I find about 'em. I jest come ter see my mammy, suh,
an' she come up on me while I was playin' Boogerman with the little
mistiss there."

"Doing what?" snapped old Jonas; and then Mr. Sanders had to relate the
wonderful adventures that befell Adelaide and him in the Whish-Whish
Woods. How he did it must be imagined, but old Jonas listened patiently
to the end, without uttering so much as the habitual "pish-tush."

"Sanders," said old Jonas, when the narrative of the expedition was
concluded, "do you mean to stand there and tell me that you, a man old
enough to be a grandfather, got in that rig, and went trampling about in
my garden, just to give that child a little pleasure?"

"Why, no, Jonas, I can't say that I did; I sorter had the idee that I
mought git my name in your will, seein' as how you're so abominably fond
of Adelaide. That's why I come!"

It was at this point that Jonas's "pish-tush" did execution; he fired it
at Mr. Sanders with as much energy as indignation could give.

Randall, the Boogerman, was evidently somewhat in doubt of old Jonas's
disposition in regard to him, and so he said, with every appearance of
embarrassment: "I can't stay here long, suh, bekaze they's people in
this county that would Ku-Kluck me ef they know'd I was anywheres
around. I'm the one, suh, that knocked Mr. Tuttle in the head with my
hoe-handle when he was marster's overseer. I didn't go ter do it, suh,
but he pecked on me an' pecked on me twel I didn't have the sense I was
born with. It looked like somebody had flung a red cloth over my head;
ev'rything got red, an' when I come ter myse'f Mr. Tuttle was layin'
there on the ground jest as still as ef he'd a' been a log of wood. I
know'd mighty well that ef they cotch me I'd be hung, bekaze that was
the law in them times; Miss Betty tol' me so. I got away from there, an'
run home; but before I got there, I could hear white folks a-hollerin',
an' then I know'd they was after me. I run right in the big house, an'
went up stairs the back way, an' before I could stop myse'f I run right
in Miss Betty's room. She was in there combing her hair; she'd been
having a party, the first one after she come back frum college."

"Wasn't she frightened?" old Jonas inquired. "Didn't she scream and
raise a row?"

"No, suh," replied Randall, the Boogerman; "she wa'n't no more skeer'd
than what you is right now. She say, 'How dast you ter come in here?'
But by ther time she seed the blood runnin' down my face where Mr.
Tuttle had hit me, an' time she looked ag'in, I was down on my knees,
sayin' a prayer to her. I tol' her that the white folks was after me,
an' begged her not ter let 'em git me. I know'd that the way to the top
of the house led through her room, an' that was the reason I run in
there--I thought she was down stairs lookin' after her party. I begged
an' prayed so hard that she went to the door leadin' to the plunder room
under the roof, an' flung it open with, 'Go up there, an' keep still;
don't you dast to make any fuss!' Well, suh, up I went, an' I stayed
there twel I could git away. Ef any of you-all know where Miss Betty is,
an' will tell me, I'll go right whar she is an' work fer her twel she
gits tired of bein' worked fer."

"All dat's de naked trufe," exclaimed Lucindy, "kaze Miss Betty come out
ter de kitchen an' tol' me whar Randall wuz, an' gi' me de key er de
do', an' I tuck him vittles an' clean cloze plum twel he got away. I'd
'a' gone wid Miss Betty, but I know'd dat boy would come back here ef he
wa'n't dead, an' I stayed an' waited fer 'im twel des now. You may have
de idee dat I'm quare, but Randall is my own chile."

By this time, Mr. Sanders had righted his coat and hat, and was now
regarding the negro with some curiosity. "Lucindy ain't the only one
that's been a-waitin' fer you," he said. "I reckon that old Tuttle and
his crowd have been doin' some waitin' the'rselves; an' I know mighty
well that I'm one of the waiters. How much do you charge me for knockin'
ol' Tuttle in sight of the Promised Land, and how much will you charge
me for hittin' him another side-wipe?"

"No, suh, Mr. Sanders! Not me! I ain't never lost my senses sence that
day in the cotton-patch; no matter what you do, I'll never see red any
more; I've done tried myself an' know. No more red fer me--not in dis
world!"

"Old Tuttle!" snapped Mr. Jonas Whipple. "I wish the buzzards had him!"
Then he turned to Randall. "Stay, if you want to stay. I've plenty of
work for you to do. Sanders, can't you find a job for him at a pinch?"

"Mercy, yes!" replied Mr. Sanders; "I've got jobs that have grown gray
waitin' for some un to do 'em."

"Stay! stay!" cried old Jonas, in his harsh voice, "and if old Tuttle
bothers you, come to me or go to Mr. Sanders there, and we'll see who
has the longest arm!"

"Tooby shore!" assented Mr. Sanders, "an' likewise who's got the longest
money-purse. But what's betwixt you an' Tuttle?"

"Why," said old Jonas, "he borrowed a thousand dollars from me the
second year of the war, and after the surrender crawled under the
exemption act. Now if he had come to me like a man--I'll not say like a
gentleman, for that is beyond him--if he had come to me and said that he
found it impossible to pay the money I had loaned him to keep the
sheriff out of his yard, I'd have told him plainly to go on about his
business, and pay me when he could. Now, I propose to make it as hot as
pepper for him, especially since he has developed into a scalawag. The
latest report is, that he is one of the officials of the Union League."

Old Jonas paused, and his bead-like eyes glittered maliciously.
"Sanders," he went on, "it isn't often I ask a man to do me a favour,
but I'm going to ask one of you. It will pay you to do it," he added,
observing the shadow of a doubt on Mr. Sanders's face.

Adelaide's Bishop seemed to be very serious, but there was a twinkle in
his eye. He passed his hand over his mouth, in order to drive away a
smile that threatened to become insubordinate. "Would it be troublin'
you too much, Jonas," he said, "ef I was to ax you to pay me in
advance?"

"Pish-tush!" exclaimed old Jonas, with a scowl; "you should get you a
fiddle, Sanders, or a hurdy-gurdy! What I want you to do, the first
opportunity you have, is to tell old Tuttle that the nigger that laid
him low in Judge Bowden's cotton-patch is at my house. He hates me for
doing him a favour, and he hates the nigger for striking him when
striking a white man was a hanging offence. He pretends to be a
nigger-lover now because he wants office; but when you tell him that
this boy is at my house, one of two things will happen: he'll get
together a gang of men of his own kidney and try the Ku-Klux game, or
he'll have him arrested for assault with intent to murder."

"Bishop," said Adelaide, who had only a dim idea of the meaning of what
she had heard, "please don't let them get my Boogerman. I killed him,
you know, and he belongs to me."

"No, suh! no, suh!" protested the Boogerman. "I don't want Mr. Tuttle to
lay eyes on me. I jest wanted to see my mammy, an' find out where 'bouts
Miss Betty is, an' then I'll git out'n folks' way. I might stand up an'
tell Mr. Tuttle the truth frum now twel next year an' he wouldn't
b'lieve a word I said. Me see Mr. Tuttle? No, suh! When Mr. Tuttle calls
on me, I'll be gone--done gone!"

"Yasser!" cried Lucindy; "he's tellin' you de naked trufe! You reckin
I'd let my chile see ol' Tuttle? Well, not me! Maybe somebody else'd do
it, but not me! not ol' Lucindy! Don't you never b'lieve dat."

"You say you can read and write?" said old Jonas to the Boogerman.
"Well, come into the house here, and black my shoes. Then, after that
you may preach me a sermon."

"Yes!" exclaimed Adelaide, "Cally-Lou is awake now; I saw her at the
window; come in, Boogerman, and let her see you. She is seven years old,
and has never seen the Boogerman."

"First, let Lucindy give you something to eat," said old Jonas, "but
don't fail to come in and black my shoes!"

Old Jonas, Bishop Sanders, and Adelaide went into the house, while the
Boogerman went into the kitchen with his mother, where, seated by the
window, and as far away from the fireplace as ever, he told the tale of
his adventures--a tale which we are not concerned with here. Mr. Sanders
and old Jonas were soon absorbed in a game of checkers, but they were
not so completely lost in their surroundings that they failed to pay
heed to Adelaide as she went from room to room calling Cally-Lou.
Presently she seemed to find her in the parlour.

"You are pouting," she said, "or you'd never be sitting in this room
where nobody ever comes. Why, they don't have any fires in here, and
nothing to eat. Nunky-Punky says if the sun was to shine in here, the
carpet would curl up and get singed. You don't know what it is to be
singed, do you? Well, it's the way Mammy Lucindy does the chicken after
all the feathers are picked off. She kindles the fire until it blazes,
and then holds the chicken in it until all its whiskers are burnt off.
You didn't know chickens had whiskers, did you? Well, they have. You'll
never find out anything if you mope in the house and pout like this. I
didn't know any child could be so hard-headed."

[Illustration: "'You are pouting,' she said, 'or you'd never be sitting
in this room where nobody ever comes'"]

Old Jonas reached out his hand to make a move, and held it suspended in
the air while Adelaide was talking to Cally-Lou. "Sanders," he said,
after awhile, "do you suppose the child really thinks she's talking to
some one. Can she see Cally-Lou?"

"Why not?" replied Mr. Sanders placidly. "Folks ain't half as smart when
they grow up as they is when they're little children. They shet the'r
eyes to one whole side of life. Kin you fling your mind back to the time
when your heart was soft, an' your eyes sharp enough for to see what
grown people never seed? Tell me that, Jonas."

Old Jonas paused over a contemplated move, hesitated and sighed. "Did
you ever have little things happen to you," Mr. Sanders went on,
frowning a little, "that you never told to anybody? Did you ever dream
dreams when you was young that kinder rattled you for the longest, they
was so purty and true?"

"I think you have me beat, Sanders," responded old Jonas; and no one
ever knew whether he referred to the game, or to the dreams.

"You think so, maybe, but it's more; I'm a-gwine to make two more moves
and wipe you off the face of the earth!" And it happened just as Mr.
Sanders said it would; two more moves, and he captured four men, and
swept into the royal line where they crown kings. Old Jonas frowned and
pushed the men into the box where they were kept, with "I can't play
to-day, Sanders; my mind isn't on the game."

"Well," said Mr. Sanders, "that's diffunt an' I don't blame you much,
for ef that little gal was loose in my house, what games I played would
be with her."

"Sanders," said old Jonas, with some asperity, "you don't mean to say
that a little bit of a child like that would worry you!"

"Worry me!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders, with as scornful a look as he could
on his bland and benevolent face. "Worry me! why, what on earth do you
suppose I'm a-doin' in this house?"

"I thought you came to play checkers with me," old Jonas responded.

"Well," Mr. Sanders retorted, "ef you'd put your thoughts in a bag and
shake 'em up, an' then pour 'em out, you couldn't tell 'em from these
flyin' ants that was swarmin' from under your front steps awhile ago.
No, Jonas! Don't le' me shatter any fond dream you've got about me, but
sence Nan Dorrin'ton come into the state of Georgy by the Santy Claus
route, this little gal is the only human bein' that I ever wanted to
pick up an' smother wi' huggin' an' kissin'."

"Is that so, Sanders?" old Jonas inquired, straightening up, with a
queer sparkle in his little eyes. "Why, I never thought----"

"Tooby shore you didn't," Mr. Sanders interrupted. "Nobody ever thought
that you had any sech thoughts. Ef it was a crime to think 'em, an' you
was to git took up on sech a charge, the case'd be non-prosecuted by the
time it got in the courthouse. When it comes to that you've got the
majority of folks wi' you. You'll hear 'em talk an' brag how fond they
are of children, from morning tell night, but jest let one of the
youngsters make a big fuss, an' you'll see 'em flinch like the'r
feelin's is hurt. No Jonas, don't fool yourself. This world, an' not
only this world, but this town is full of children so lonesome that when
I think about it I feel right damp; an' thar's times when I set an'
think of these little things runnin' about wi' not a soul on top of the
yeth for to reely understand 'em, my heart gits so full that ef some un
was to slip up behind me an' put salt on my back, I reely believe I'd
melt an' turn to water like one of these gyarden snails. It's the honest
fact. Now, that child in thar--Adelaide--has allers had some un to
understand her an' know what she was thinkin' about; allers tell she
come here. Ef I hadn't know'd her mother, I could tell jest by lookin'
at Adelaide an' hearin' her talk, that she was one 'oman amongst ten
thousan'."

"You put me in the wrong, Sanders, indeed you do; you may not intend it,
but you certainly do me wrong."

Mr. Sanders regarded him with unfeigned astonishment: "Why, what have I
said, Jonas? Think it over! Is it doin' you wrong for me to say that
more than nine-tenths of the little children in the world is lonesome?
Does it hurt you when I say that Cordelia, your sister, was a 'oman
among ten thousand? If these sayin's hurt you, Jonas, you must have a
mortal tender conscience or a mighty thin skin. I've allers had the idee
that you ain't a bit wuss than you look to be; do you want me to change
my mind? Was thar ever under the blue sky a lonesomer gal than Cordelia,
or one easier to love? Did you love her as you ought? Did you treat her
right ever' day in the year? Did she ever have a good time of your
makin'? An' in spite of it, didn't she keep on gittin' nicer and nicer,
an' purtier an' purtier, tell bimeby, along come a young feller--as good
a man as ever trod shoe leather--an' snatched her right from under your
wing? An' didn't William H. Sanders, late of said county, show the young
fellow how, an' when, an' whar to snatch her?"

"Did--did you do that, Sanders? Well, I'm glad I didn't know it at the
time, for I am afraid I'd have shot you."

"Shot me!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders, his blue eyes beaming innocently.
"Well, I've seed a good many quare things in my day an' time, but I've
yit to see the gun that could go off ahead of mine--not when thar was
any needcessity. You say you'd 'a' shot me; an' what did I do? I holp
Cordelia to the fust an' last taste of happiness she ever had in this
world. Did you ever do that much for her? You give her her vittles an'
cloze--sech as they was--but do plain vittles an' plain cloze make
anybody happy? Ef they do, then this old ball we 're walkin' on--when we
ain't fallin' down--must be runnin' over wi' happiness. Why, Jonas, you
wouldn't let the gal have no kind of company, male or female; she
couldn't go out, bekaze she had nobody for to take her; one little
picnic was all the gwine out she done arter she fell in your hands. I
tuck her to that an' I never was as glad of anything in my life as I was
when she an' Dick Lumsden made up the'r little misunderstandin' that you
had been the occasion of, an' had connived at, an' nursed like it was a
baby.

"Well, they run away an' got married, an' went to housekeepin' not forty
yards from your door--an' you seen 'em ever' day of the world, an' yit
you done like you didn't know they was in town. An' wuss 'n that," Mr.
Sanders continued, his anger rising as he stirred the embers of
recollection--"wuss'n that, you never spoke a word to Cordelia from that
day tell the day she died--an' she your own sister! It's a mighty good
thing that Lumsden was well off while the war lasted. When it ended, he
was as poor as I was. He had land, but who kin eat land? Thar wa'n't but
one reely rich man in the community, Jonas, an' that man was you.
You had bought up all the gold for a hundred mile aroun', but not so
much as a thrip did Cordelia ever git out'n you.

"What I'm a-tellin' you, Jonas, you know as well as I do; but I jest
want to let you know that we-all ain't been asleep all this time.
Lumsden got a good job in Atlanta, an' took his wife an' baby thar. Him
an' his wife was so well suited to one another that when one died, the
other thought the best thing she could do was to go an' jine him. Both
on 'em know'd mighty well that the Lord would look arter the little gal.
Oh, I know what you want to say: you want to tell me that you was
afear'd Lumsden would turn out to be no 'count, bekaze he was wild when
a boy--an' would have his fling now an' then; but that don't go wi' me,
Jonas. You know what he turned out to be; you know what Cordelia had to
go through; you know that one kind word from you would 'a' been wuth
more to her than all the money you've got in the world; an' yit, your
pride, or your venom--you kin name it an' keep it--hender'd you from
makin' that poor child as happy as she mought 'a' been. An' I'll tell
you, Jonas, jest as shore as the Lord lives an' the sun shines on a
troubled world, you'll have to pay for it."

Several times during this remarkable tirade--remarkable because it was
delivered with some vehemence, right in old Jonas's teeth--he made an
effort to interrupt Mr. Sanders, but the latter had put him down with a
gesture that a novel writer would call imperious. Imperious or not, it
gave pause to whatever old Jonas had to say in his own behalf; and it
must have all been true, too, for the old fellow finally turned away,
pulled his hat down over his eyes, and pretended to be looking at
something interesting that he saw from the window. Mr. Sanders, when he
had concluded, was surprised to find that old Jonas seemed to be more
hurt than angry; and he would have gone into the parlour where Adelaide
was still playing with Cally-Lou, but old Jonas turned around and faced
him.

"You've said a great many things, Sanders, that nobody else would have
said, and I gather that you consider me to be a pretty mean fellow; but
did it ever occur to you that perhaps I'm not as mean as I seem to be?
Did it ever occur to you that a man could be so shy and suspicious that
he was compelled to close his mind against what you call love and
affection; and, that, with his mind thus closed, he could cease to
believe in such things? I don't suppose you follow me; but it's the
simple truth. That child in there won't be put to bed at night until she
kisses me good-night, and, even then she wont go until I kiss her. Think
of that, Sanders! No matter what you and other people may think, the
child doesn't believe that I am a mean man."

"I could tell you, Jonas, that Adelaide ain't old enough for to tell a
mean man ef she met him in the road. But I'll not do that, bekaze I know
mighty well that you ain't as mean as you try to make out. Thar never
was a man on this green globe that didn't have a tender spot in his
gizzard for them that know'd jest when an' whar to tetch it. Ef I took
you at your face value, Jonas, not only would I never put my foot in
your house, but I wouldn't speak to you on the street. I tell you that
flat an' plain."

The conversation of the two men had been carried on in a tone something
louder than was absolutely necessary, especially on the part of Mr.
Sanders. Indeed, finical folk would have said that the rosy-faced
Georgian was actually rude; but he had found an opportunity to deliver
himself of a burden that had long been a weight on his mind, and he did
it in no uncertain terms. He fully expected either to find himself in
the midst of a row, or to be ordered from old Jonas's house, and he had
prepared himself for both emergencies. But instead of offending the
lonely old money-lender, he had merely set him to thinking; and his
thoughts were not very pleasant ones. He heard every word that Mr.
Sanders said, and it was true, but even as he listened, the whole
panorama of his past life moved before him, and he could see himself in
a narrow perspective, living his cheerless childhood, his almost
friendless youth, and his lonely manhood. In those days, long gone, he
had had his dreams, even as now Adelaide had hers, but their existence
was brief, and their date inconsiderable. He pitied the child, the
youth, and the young man, but strange to say, he had no pity for the
grown man to whom Mr. Sanders was reading one of his cornfield lectures.
He knew that what he was, was the direct outgrowth and development of
all that had gone before.

His sister had never understood him, and was afraid of him. He, silent
and self-contained, never sought her confidence nor gave her his. A word
from her, a word from him, would have made clear everything that was
dark, or doubtful, or suspicious in their attitude toward each other. He
thought that her silence spelled contempt of a certain kind, and she was
sure that she had his hearty dislike. And so it went, as such matters do
in this world where no one save a chosen few see more than an inch
beyond their noses.

I could fetch Adelaide on the scene just by waving my hand, but there is
no need to, for the tone in which Mr. Sanders pitched his lecture was
quite sufficient. Her quick, firm steps sounded on the floor with such
emphasis, that any one acquainted with the lady would have known that
she was indignant. But her careful training told even here, for
composure held her irritation in check, and her refinement showed in her
attitude and gestures, giving her small person a cuteness and prettiness
quite out of the common.

"Why, good gracious me, Bishop! You don't know how many noises you're
making. How can Cally-Lou sleep in the house? She sleeps a good deal
lately, and I'm afraid she'll be sick, poor little thing, if she wakes
up quicker than she ought."

"What!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders, in a loud and an excited whisper. "Now,
don't tell me that Cally-Lou has gone and drapped off to sleep ag'in!
Why, at this rate, she'll turn night into day, an' vicy-versy, an' Time,
old an' settled as he is, will git turned wrong-sud-out'erds, an'
ever'thing'll git so tangled up that you can't tell howdy from good-bye,
ner ef the clock's tickin' backerds or forrerds; we'll git so turned
around that we can't tell grasshoppers from turkey-buzzards. I'm reely
sorry she didn't see you shoot the Boogerman, be jigger'd ef I ain't.
The sight of that would 'a' made her open her eyes wider than they've
been sence I fust know'd her."

In reply to this, Adelaide said she was afraid Cally-Lou wasn't very
well. "Won't you come in and see her, Bishop? The truly-ann Bishop used
to come to see my mother before they sent her where my papa was--the
place where people get well when they're sick. Yes! and he used to bring
things in his pocket--all sorts of goodies--gum-drops and candy kisses,
and he said that if I ate them, all by myself, he wouldn't be hoarse in
his throat any more when he had to holler loud at the sinners to keep
them from goin' to the Bad Place; and once when I ate a whole heap of
them at once, he cleared his throat, the truly-ann Bishop did, and said
he was almost cured."

"I'll shorely try that trick ef it'll he'p me for to be a truly-ann
Bishop, bekaze I've been so hoarse lately that I can't see my own voice
in the lookin'-glass, no matter how I holler. Nothin' shows up in the
glass but a little muddly mist, an' I have to wipe that off wi' my red
silk han'kcher. Speakin' of Cally-Lou, when had I oughter pay my party
call?"

"She doesn't like for anybody to see her because she isn't right white,"
Adelaide explained, "but she's asleep now, and you might come in to see
her now if you'll walk easy."

Talk about burglars! Talk about thieves in the night! Talk about wild
animals with padded feet creeping and stealing on their prey! All of
them could have taken lessons in their craftiness from Adelaide and Mr.
Sanders. Yes, and for a brief moment or two from old Jonas, for he
joined the creeping procession, impelled by some mysterious motive. They
stole into the darkened parlour, Adelaide in advance, and paused when
she waved her hand. Then she pointed to the darkest corner.

Mr. Sanders will tell you to this day that he thought he saw something
dim and dark huddled there--some wavering shape that had no outlines;
but just at the critical moment, just when they were all about to see
Cally-Lou, what should old Jonas do but stumble against a chair, as he
craned his neck forward? Well, of course, with such awkwardness as this
on the part of a man old enough to be Adelaide's grandfather, their
scheme was ruined. Cally-Lou heard the noise, opened her eyes, and fled
from the room so nimbly and with such dispatch that none of them could
see her. Even Adelaide only caught the faintest glimpse of her as she
whisked out of the room, and all she could say, was, "Did you ever see
any one so foolish?" Then she ran after Cally-Lou, pursuing her into the
sitting-room and then into the library, where she seemed to have caught
her, for the others heard her upbraiding and scolding her in the style
approved by all parents who are strict disciplinarians.

"Jonas," said Mr. Sanders, "did you see anything? Didn't you notice
somethin' in the corner--it mought 'a' been nothin' an' then, ag'in, it
mought 'a' been the biggest thing mortual eyes ever gazed on--didn't you
see somethin' like a shadder?"

Old Jonas's reply was very prompt. He smacked his lips as though he
tasted something nice. "No, Sanders! I didn't see anything, and what's
more, I didn't expect to see anything."

Mr. Sanders opened wide his eyes and stared at old Jonas as hard as if
he had been some rare kind of curiosity placed on exhibition for the
first time.

"I hope you'll know me next time you see me!" exclaimed old Jonas,
somewhat snappishly. "Do you want me to tell you I saw something, when
in fact I saw nothing?"

Mr. Sanders passed his hand over his face, as though the gesture would
better enable him to contemplate the sorrowful condition of his
companion. "Jonas," he said with a sigh as heavy as if he had been a
sleepy cow in a big pasture, "ef you'd 'a' had your two eyes put out a
quarter of an hour arter you were born, you couldn't talk any more like
a blind man than you did jest then. You said you seed nothin,'an' a
blind man could say the same, day or night."

The reply that old Jonas made was characteristic; he pulled his hat a
little further down over his ears, and said nothing. Fortunately for him
perhaps, there was a timely diversion at that moment. Some one raised
the big knocker on the door and let it fall again. Such a bang had not
been heard in the house for many a long day; it set the frightened
echoes flying. Adelaide heard them, and they must have been following
her pretty close, for she ran into the sitting-room, crying:

"Good gracious, Bishop! Gracious goodness, Nunky-Punky! what was that?
Did some one shoot at my Boogerman? He's already been kill'ded once, and
he ought not to be kill'ded again."

Neither of the men could give her any satisfaction, and so she ran into
the parlour and peeped through the blinds of a window that commanded a
view of the piazza. Almost instantly she came running back again,
pretended amazement in her eyes.

"I know who it is!" she said in a tragic whisper. "It's my wild
Injun-rubber man, and, oh, my goodness! he looks vigorous and vexified!
Where shall we hide?"

As a matter of fact, it had been such a long time since the knocker had
been used that a big fat spider had spun a silken arbour there. Old
Jonas hesitated so long about responding that Lucindy, who had heard the
noise in the kitchen, put her head in the back door, with the query:

"Did any er you-all turn loose a gun in dar? Seem like I sho heern a gun
go off!"

Lucindy's voice seemed to have a reassuring effect on old Jonas, for he
brushed some dust specks from the front of his coat, straightened
himself, and started for the front door which was the centre of the
disturbance. As he made his way along the hall, Mr. Sanders, in
obedience to an imperious gesture from Adelaide, disappeared behind a
huge rocker, while the child concealed herself behind the door. Mr.
Sanders took off his hat, whipped out his red silk handkerchief, threw
it over his head and tied it under his chin. Adelaide had a partial view
of her Bishop, and the sight she saw seemed to be too much for her: she
gave a gasp, and sank to the floor as though in great pain.

They heard old Jonas urging the visitor to come in, while the other
protested that he only wanted to say a word to Mr. Sanders, which could
be said at the door as well, if not better, than anywhere else. Old
Jonas called Mr. Sanders, but no one answered him. Then Adelaide and her
Bishop heard old Jonas and the visitor coming along the hallway. "I
don't want to trouble you at all, Mr. Whipple. They told me at the
tavern that Mr. Sanders was here, and I just wanted to put a flea in his
ear about a little matter."

"Well, just come right in," responded old Jonas, cordially. "Sanders!"
he called.

Adelaide ventured to glance at Mr. Sanders again, and this time she
could not restrain herself. She gave utterance to an ear-piercing
shriek, which was more than sustained by a blood-curdling yell from Mr.
Sanders!



PART IV

    And now, good comrades, what shall it be,
    A dungeon cell or a gallows tree?

    --_Varner's Lynching Songs._


Never, since the day you were born, have you seen such a jump, or heard
such a grunt as old Jonas gave. You would have thought the Ku-Klux had
him, for this was the year Eighteen-Hundred-and-under-the-Bushes, with
old Raw-Head-and-Bloody-Bones keeping his green eyes wide open. For one
brief and fleeting moment, old Jonas's whole body seemed to be wrenched
out of socket, as Mr. Sanders said afterward; his hat fell off, and it
was as much as he could do to keep his feet. He scowled, and then he
tried to smile, but the scowl felt very much at home on his wrinkled
countenance, and refused to be ousted by a feeble smile.

Even the visitor, whose name was Augustus Tidwell, was startled, and he
showed it in his face, but he recovered much sooner than old Jonas did.
He was one of the most prominent lawyers in that whole section, where
prominent lawyers were plentiful. He was dignified, because he had to
live up to his position, but all his dignity was dispersed by Adelaide
and her Bishop. Adelaide called Mr. Tidwell her Injun-rubber because he
wore his hair long, so that it fell in glistening waves over his coat
collar. This gave him a very romantic appearance, and when engaged in
the practice of law he always made the most of it; he could tousel his
hair and look the picture of rage; he could push it straight back from
his wide forehead, and seem to stand for innocence and virtue; and he
could ruffle it up on one side, and tell juries how they should find in
cases where the interests of his clients were concerned.

But dignity and a romantic appearance couldn't stand before Adelaide and
her Bishop. Mr. Sanders, with the red silk handkerchief thrown over his
head and tied under his chin, was a sight you would have gone far to
see. He had such marvellous control of his features that, one moment he
had the appearance of an overgrown baby, and the next, he was the living
image of an old country granny who had come to town to swap a pound of
snow-white butter for a hank or two of spun-truck. The fact is, Adelaide
was compelled to roll on the floor and kick, so acute were the paroxysms
of laughter. Mr. Sanders laughed, too, but when Adelaide glanced at him
he would wipe the smile from his face and look as solemn as a real
truly-ann Bishop; and this was worse than laughing, for Adelaide would
be compelled to roll over the floor again.

Old Jonas didn't have any of the pains that come from laughter. At first
he was frightened nearly to death at the manifestations for which
Adelaide and her Bishop were responsible; then the reaction was toward
hot anger, which finally developed into a feeling of impatient disgust
at the spectacle which Mr. Sanders presented.

"Sanders," he said, sharply and earnestly, "if I didn't know you I'd be
willing to swear you had gone crazy! Why, who under the blue sky ever
heard of a grown man indulging in such antics and capers! It's simply
scandalous, that's what it is."

"It is that-away!" blandly remarked Mr. Sanders. "An' more especially
it's a scandal when me an' that child thar can't have five minnits' fun
all by ourselves but what you come a-stickin' your head in the door, an'
try for to turn a somerset wi'out liftin' your feet off'n the floor! I
leave it to Gus Tidwell thar ef anybody in this house has cut up more
capers than what you have. I wish you could 'a' seed yourself when you
was flinging your hat on the floor, an' tryin' for to keep your feet in
a slanchindic'lar position, an' workin' an' twistin' your mouth like you
was tryin' for to git it on top of your head--ef you could 'a' seed all
that you'd agree wi' me that thar wa'n't no room in this house for youth
an' innocence."

Adelaide took advantage of the conversation to run out of the room to
see if Cally-Lou had been frightened by all the noise; and presently the
men heard her relating all the circumstances to her brown Ariel, and
laughing almost as heartily at her own recital as she laughed when Mr.
Sanders winked at her with the red handkerchief on his head.

"Who is she talking to?" Lawyer Tidwell inquired.

"Just talking to herself," responded old Jonas, with unnecessary
tartness.

"Don't you nigh believe it, Gus," said Mr. Sanders. "She ain't twins,
an' she's talkin' to some un that she can see an' we can't. Why, ef thar
wa'n't nothin' thar, she'd be the finest play-actor that ever played in
a county courthouse."

"She is certainly a wonderful child," said the lawyer. "Lucindy brought
her to see my wife the other day, and I happened to be at home. I never
enjoyed anybody's company so well on a short acquaintance as I did hers.
My wife is daft about her, and she believes with you, Mr. Sanders, that
the Cally-Lou she talks about so much is really her companion."

"Why, tooby shore, Gus. Children see an' know a heap things that they
don' say nothin' about for fear they'll be laughed at. All you've got to
do to see Cally-Lou is turn your head quick enough. I ain't limber
enough myself, an' I reckon I never will be any more."

"Speaking of Lucindy, Mr. Sanders, I wanted to see you about some little
business of hers, and it's business that she doesn't know anything
about. Moreover, she wouldn't help matters much if she knew about it. I
don't know how Mr. Whipple feels, but I know very well how you and I
feel. You don't need to be told that nearly all the negroes have fallen
out of sympathy with the whites; but there are a few we can still trust
and have a genuine friendship for--and Lucindy is one of them. Now, I
was sitting in my office to-day reading, when all of a sudden I heard
someone talking in low tones. I didn't hear everything that was said,
but I heard enough to learn that Lucindy's son Randall is somewhere in
the county."

"He shorely is for a fact!" exclaimed Mr. Sanders. "Right in the state,
county, town, an' deestrick aforesaid. Go on, Gus."

"Well you know, he's the boy that came within an ace of putting old
Tuttle out of business in 1864. But now old Tuttle is the Radical
Ordinary, elected by the niggers, and he is afraid to bring suit against
Randall in the Superior Court. But he wants the boy put out of business
if it can be done without mixing his name with the affair. I couldn't
overhear all that was said, but I heard enough to know that old Tuttle
intends to have Randall arrested on a charge of assault with intent to
murder, and run him out of the county. Now, I wouldn't care a snap of my
finger if it wasn't for the fact that Randall is Lucindy's son, and he
must be taken care of. I don't know how you gentlemen feel about it, but
that's the way I feel."

"Ef it'll do you any good to know," Mr. Sanders remarked, "me an' Jonas
feel exactly the same way; an' what's more, we don't intend that Randall
shall be run off. He's right here on this lot, an' here he's a-gwine to
stay, ef I have any sesso in the matter. I'll pay his board, Jonas, ef
that'll suit you, bekaze I've got a crow to pick wi' ol' Tuttle, an'
when I git it picked he'll have more loose feathers than he kin walk off
wi'. Jest mark that down."

"Pish-tush!" exclaimed old Jonas, smacking his thin lips, and frowning.
He rose and went to the back door, and presently the others heard him
calling Randall, who seemed to be somewhat slow in answering--so much so
that Lucindy's voice was added to his.

"Randall!" she cried, "what in de name er goodness you doin' in dar?
Don't you hear Mr. Whipple hollain' atter you? Look like you des ez
triflin' now as what you wuz when you loped off!"

Randall replied after a while, and old Jonas's command was, "Come here,
you no account scoundrel, and black my shoes!"

"Why, Jonas," said Mr. Sanders, when the former had returned to the
room, "ain't you afraid you'll take cold? You ain't had your shoes
blacked sence the war!"

The only reply old Jonas made to that was in the shape of a scowl.
Randall came running with a puzzled expression on his face. He dropped
his hat somewhere outside the door, and went in.

"They tell me," said old Jonas, somewhat curtly, "that you are studying
to be a bishop."

"That's what I laid off in my mind, suh. It come to me when I hear um
prayin' an' singin'; I allow to myself, I did, that ef it's all ez purty
an' ez nice ez that, they wa'n't nothin' gwine to keep me from bein' a
minister when the time got ripe. That's what I said to myself, suh."

"Well," remarked Mr. Sanders, reassuringly, "you've already got to be a
Boogerman, an' I reckon that's long step forrerd."

"Black my shoes!" commanded old Jonas in a tone that was almost brutal.
Randall hustled around until he found an old box of blacking that had
been in the kitchen for many years. With this and an old brush that
Lucindy found in some impossible place, he proceeded to give old Jonas's
shoes a polish that caused them to shine brightly.

"Don't you think it is beneath the dignity of a pastor to black shoes?"
old Jonas asked.

Randall chuckled. "That's the way some white folks'd feel about it," he
answered; "but me--I'm black, an' I ain't got no business for to feel
so--not me! St. Paul, or it may be St. Timothy, he says, somewhere, I
dunner 'zackly where, 'What your han' finds to do, let your heart
commend.'"

"Wa'n't it Shakespeare said that?" Mr. Sanders inquired.

"It mought 'a' been, suh," replied Randall. "All I know, it was some of
them Bible folks. They say, 'Do what yo' han' finds to do, an' do it
better'n some un else could 'a' done it.' That's why you see these shoes
lookin' like they're spang new."

[Illustration: "'That's why you see these shoes lookin' like they're
spang new'"]

"Why, I should have thought that a man who is studying to be a bishop,"
said old Jonas, sharply, "would think himself above blacking anybody's
shoes."

"It may be so, suh, in some parts of the country and amongst some
people, but it ain't that-away wid me--I may come to it, suh, but I
ain't come to it yit."

Randall finished the shoes, and offered to black those of the other men
present, but they declined, and then old Jonas fished around in his
pocket for a shin-plaster small enough to fit the job that had been
done. He found a ragged one that faintly promised to pay the bearer five
cents on demand, but Randall recoiled from it, and held up his hands in
protest. "No, suh! Oh, no, suh! It was wuth all I done jest to hear
you-all gentermens talkin' kinder friendly like. Ef you-all had all the
trouble I uv done had, all the time dodgin' an' lookin roun' cornders
fer fear er Mr. Tuttle er some er his kinnery--he's got um all up dar
whar I been--you'd be mo' than thankful for to hear some un talkin' like
de nex' minnit ain't 'gwine ter be de las'. I done got it proned inter
me that I'm gwine for to be Ku-Klucked long 'fo' I have gray ha'r. You
dunner how nice it is for to have white folks talkin' like they ain't
gwine to kill you yet awhile."

To any one who knew little of the negro race, Randall's remarks would
have sounded tremendously like a sly joke, with a little irony thrown in
for good measure; but though the negro's voice was soft and deliberate,
he was terribly in earnest, and those who heard him understood and
appreciated this simple recital of a harrowing experience already behind
him, and his lively fear of something worse to come.

"Well, when you get to be a bishop," remarked old Jonas, "I expect you
to come and black my shoes."

"I'll do it, suh, an' be glad to do it. Des take yo' stan' anywhere,
jest so it's a public place, an' holla at me, an' tell me you want yo'
shoes blacked. I'll do it, suh, in the face of ten thousand."

"I believe you would!" exclaimed old Jonas almost gleefully.

"You don't hafter b'lieve me, suh; jest holla at me, an' yo shoes'll be
blacked."

With that, Randall started out of the room, but Mr. Sanders raised his
hand. "B'ar in mind, Boogerman, that you're not to leave the lot after
dark. Old Tuttle is a rank Radical, an' a nigger-lover for what revenue
thar is in it, but he's fixin' up his tricks for to give you a taste of
the Radical-Republican movement, an' he's got to be watched. We'll do
the watchin' ef you'll do the hidin'."

"I'll be more than glad to do that, suh," said Randall, with invincible
politeness--"mo' than glad. I uv got so now, sence freedom come, that I
can hide most as good as I can eat; an' when I say that, you may know it
means sump'n."

"I reckon it does," said old Jonas, "something to me!"

Randall laughed pleasantly, and bowed himself out. In a moment the men
in the sitting-room heard him talking to Adelaide in the entry.

"My goodness, little mistiss! A little mo' an' you'd a skeer'd me
crooked--an' I ain't right straight now. I had de idee that I was to be
the Boogerman, but ef you go on this-a-way, you'll be the Boogerman."

"Oho!" laughed Adelaide; "don't you know that a young lady could never
be a Boogerman?"

"Well, I declare!" Randall exclaimed almost joyously; "that certainly is
so in these days of tribulation. But that ain't all; I uv got a bigger
Boogerman than you uv got. How is Miss Cally-Lou?"

"Oh, shucks!" replied Adelaide, "you don't have to call her miss; she
ain't right white. Don't you see her standing here by me?"

"Well, suh!" exclaimed the Boogerman in the tone of one who has just
made a remarkable discovery. "Ef I don't, I most does; an' when you git
that close to Cally-Lou it's the same as seein' her. She don't look
right well to me," said the Boogerman at a venture.

"Then you do see her," remarked Adelaide; "she hasn't been well for a
day or two."

"Make her git outdoors, an' take the fresh air," suggested the
Boogerman.

This suggestion seemed to meet the views of Adelaide, for she went out
into the yard, crying, "Come along, Cally-Lou! Come along!"

Old Jonas stirred uneasily in his chair, "Do you know, Sanders," he
said, "that my grandmother had a little mulatto girl named Cally-Lou. As
I remember her, she was the smartest little thing that ever ran about on
two legs. I wonder----" Old Jonas paused, and Mr. Sanders didn't give
him time to straighten out his thought.

"No, Jonas; you don't wonder, an' you needn't pertend to. Nuther here
nor here-arter, will that sorter thing work. When I ketch you wonderin',
I'll know you've took one of them infectious diseases that you read
about. You could see Cally-Lou, an' so could I, if our gizzards was in
the right place. But I kin say as much as that nigger did--I mighty nigh
seed her. Folks tell me that you kin see the wind ef you'll take a
handsaw at the right time of day, an' hold it so the breeze kin blow
over it. I an't got the least doubt that we could see a heap of things
that we never do see, ef we know'd when, an' whar, an' how to look."

The three men were silent a long time until Lawyer Tidwell remarked,
with something that sounded like a sigh, "I reckon we'd better be going,
Mr. Sanders." They went away, leaving old Jonas alone in the house. He
neither bade them good-bye, nor turned his head when they went. But when
he heard the door shut, he went to the window, as if to make sure they
had really gone; and when he was satisfied on this point, he shuffled to
the back porch, and called for Randall. The negro came silent, but
wondering. For years he had been in a state of uneasy expectation, and
he found it almost impossible to free himself from it now. Old Jonas was
blunt and brief.

"Go over to the courthouse, walk into the Ordinary's office, and ask if
Mr. Sanders and Lawyer Tidwell have been there. As a matter of fact,
they haven't been there, and they are not going there, but old Tuttle
will think they are coming and he'll be worried about it. I want you to
show yourself to him just once. Answer every question he asks you. Tell
him where you are staying; say that I have employed you; but pretend you
don't know him. Then walk around the public square, and through the
town, make yourself known to some of your coloured friends, and come
right back here and go to work about the lot and yard just as if you had
been here a long time."

Randall made no reply; he merely stood scratching his head, and fumbling
with his hat trying hard to come to some understanding, however dim, of
the motive and purpose that lay behind old Jonas's command; but, try as
he would, he couldn't make out the puzzle that seemed to envelope and
becloud his mind. Still fumbling with his hat, and standing on first one
foot and then the other, he remarked, with some hesitation, "Well, suh,
I'll go ef it's yo' will--but you know what St. Paul (er it may be St.
Second Timothy) tells us. He tells us, one er both, for to go not
whether we'll be treated contretemptous, not by day an' not by
night--Paul er St. Second Timothy, one er both."

Old Jonas regarded the negro with amazement; for the first time in his
life he had a whiff of the kind of education the negroes were picking up
here and there.

That, or something else irritated him, and he spoke with some heat.
"Well, confound you! do just as you please! Go or don't go--you're free,
I reckon. But if you do go, say to old Tuttle that you're glad to see
him looking so well. You are a Republican, I reckon?"

"Yes, sir," replied Randall, with some degree of hesitation; "ef you put
it that way, I speck I is. Nobody ain't never gi' me no chanst for to be
anything else. I jest did squeeze in the Northron Methodist Church; ef
I'd 'a' had on a long coat, the tail would 'a' been ketched in the crack
of the door. All these here new doin's an' new fashions makes me feel
right ticklish, an' sometimes I ketch myself laughin' when they ain't
nothin' to laugh at, an' it took me long for to find out that when you
laugh in the wrong place it's because you ought to be cryin' by good
rights. All this has been gwine on now some time, an' I done come to
that pass that when a piece of paper blows round the cornder right
sudden, I mighty nigh jump out'n my skin. I'm tellin' you the plain
truth, suh! An' now, after all this, you want me to put on what little
cloze I got an' walk right into Mr. Tuttle's jaws--the identual man that
I've been runnin' fum I dunner how long--him that I come mighty nigh
joltin' across--I done forgot what St. Luke (or maybe it wuz St.
Mark--they run so close together in the book that I skacely know t'other
fum which). Anyhow, they's a Bible name for the thing you want me to do;
an' I tell you right now, I dunner whether for to do it or not. You
white folks don't keer much what you do--I've done took notice of that;
but when it comes down to a plain nigger, why, he's got to walk as thin
as a batter cake; he's got to step like he's afeard of stickin' a needle
in his foot. I'm tellin' you the truth, suh; I been dodgin' an' hidin'
so long that when I hear anybody walkin' fast behind me, the flesh
crawls on my back--yes, suh, natchally crawls--an' I have to hol' my
breath for to keep fum breakin' loose an' runnin'. I'll go there, suh,
an' I hope it'll be all right; but I never is to forget what St. Paul
(or it may be St. Second Timothy) says on that head."

Old Jonas frowned heavily, and further betrayed his irritation by a
smothered malediction that included the entire negro race. Randall
waited for no further outbreak; he melted, as it were, from the doorway,
and disappeared as far as old Jonas was concerned, but Adelaide, who was
sitting in a little bower she had made for herself, saw him standing by
the fence gazing into space. The child after awhile turned her attention
to play, but Randall held his ground for a long time, looking into the
bright sky far beyond the bermuda hills for a proper solution of the
problem he had in his mind. But it was a problem that the windy spaces
with their blue perspective could not solve, and so, with a sigh, he
betook himself to the courthouse, where the man whose life he had nearly
taken was now holding forth as an officer of the law. The slave-driver
had become a belated Unionist, then a Republican, and was now a Radical
of the stripe and temper of poor Thaddeus Stevens, who was at that time
the centre and motor of Radical politics.

Now, Mr. Tuttle was by no means asleep; he had watched and waited for
the return of Randall. He carried in his pocket book a warrant, duly
made out and officially signed, for the arrest of the negro. The charge
was assault with intent to murder. He saw Randall long before Randall
saw him, called the deputy sheriff, who had a room across the corridor,
apprised him of the fact that a criminal was to be arrested, pulled from
his pocket-book the wrong document, and the moment the negro entered the
courthouse he found himself in custody of the dread officer of the law.
To say that he was frightened would be putting it rather mildy; he was
paralysed with sickening fear, which was only overcome by desperate rage
against the white people, all and singular, who had caused him to walk
into such a trap.

The park in which the courthouse stands was separated from the rest of
the public square by a small, neat fence, over which, at the entrances,
steps led, so that instead of opening a gate, you simply walked up the
steps, over the fence, and down on the other side. On top of the most
frequented of these stiles or steps Mr. Sanders and Lawyer Tidwell were
sitting. Lawyer Tidwell was on his way to the courthouse for the purpose
of examining some legal documents relating to a case he had on the
docket, and Mr. Sanders had accompanied him as far as the enclosure.
Their conversation grew so interesting that they finally seated
themselves on the topmost step of the stile. They may have been talking
of something serious, or they may have been relating anecdotes; but
whatever the character of their conference, it was brought to a sudden
conclusion by the appearance of the deputy sheriff with his humble and
unresisting prisoner. The deputy had a fine and high opinion of the
dignity of his position; he magnified his office. "Make way, gentlemen!"
he cried, and stood waiting for Mr. Sanders and the lawyer to move
respectfully aside.

Both men looked up, but it was left to Mr. Sanders to express the
surprise of each. "What in the confounded nation does this mean?" he
exclaimed, rising to a standing position, and facing the officer and
prisoner.

The prisoner was ahead of the deputy with a reply: "It means lots mo' to
me than what it do to anybody else, suh," Randall declared, drawing in a
deep breath, as if, in that way, he could control his emotion. "Whar I
come frum they warned me ag'in' all white folks, bofe Republican an'
Dimmycrat. They say, 'You go an' preach the straight gospel, an' let 'em
alone when they talk anything else but the Saviour an' Him crucified;
they tol' me that, an' now you see me! But for that little white child
down yander, I wouldn't be here now. But here I is, an' here I'll stay,
an' I'll be nuther the fust nor the last that was flung to the lions.
Look at Daniel, an' see what he done! Yes, suh! I'm right here!"

"Well, now, you jest hold up your head an' put your hat on sideways ef
you want to," remarked Mr. Sanders. "Gus!" he said, turning to the
lawyer, with something like a frown on his bland countenance, "here's a
whole bunch of business that's fell right in our laps. An' it's all in
your line, too; but ef you can't do nothin', why, then, I'll take up the
loose ends an' see what I kin do wi' 'em. I'll tell you right now," he
went on, turning to the deputy sheriff, "when you take this nigger to
jail, you'll take me, too--you or the man that's waitin' for your job.
Make no mistake about that!"

A number of negroes who had been talking together near the courthouse
drew nearer when they saw one of their colour held prisoner. One of them
was the negro member of the Legislature, and he was curious to know what
the trouble was--curious and sympathetic, too, for he somehow felt that
as the representative of the race in the county, he was responsible for
the welfare of each individual. When Lawyer Tidwell thought that the
negroes were near enough to hear everything that was said, he rose from
his seat on the stile, and impressively shook his leonine mane. "What do
you propose to do with this boy?" he inquired.

"I'm taking him to jail," the deputy replied, with a little relapse from
dignity due to the unwonted aspect of Mr. Tidwell and Mr. Sanders. The
lawyer demanded by what authority he had arrested the negro, and asked
to see the warrant. By this time a considerable crowd of coloured people
had gathered around, and when the warrant was produced, Mr. Tidwell
created a considerable sensation by the tone of indignation he assumed
and by the dramatic gestures with which he denounced such proceedings.

"Do you call this a warrant?" he cried, striking the document with the
back of his hand. Then with threatening forefinger, held under the
deputy's nose, he went on: "Do you mean to tell me, sir, that you arrest
people, and run them into jail with such scraps of paper as this is?
Deprive them of their rights under the constitution without giving them
a chance to be heard at a preliminary trial?" Lawyer Tidwell's voice
grew higher, and his indignation seemed to rise higher, as he
contemplated the rampant injustice of the period, of which this
proceeding was a very small part. "Mark my words!" he exclaimed; "you'll
go to jail before this boy does! You know just as well as I do that this
is no warrant. You know it isn't properly made out, nor even properly
signed. I tell you again, the man that issued it will be impeached, and
the man that served it will occupy the same cell. You'll know a thing or
two worth remembering when I get through with you!" The lawyer's whole
attitude was menacing, and it made precisely the impression he had
intended it should. He turned to Randall. "What party do you vote with?"

"Wid the party of Aberham Lincoln, suh; an' if you want to know why,
turn to St. Paul (or it may be St. Second Timothy--one or the other) an'
you'll see where the brotherin is begged an' commanded for to stand by
one another in all manner of trial an' tribulation. In them days, suh,
they grit one another wi' a holy kiss; but in these times--la! holy
kissin' is done played out like a hoss that went through the war!"

At this point the negro legislator, in order to keep up his reputation
for representing his race, spoke up. "Frien', what has you been doin',
an' what has you been tuck up fer? It look like ter me that you has got
a case fer ter fetch up in the gener'l insembly, an' ef you is, I want
ter have the handlin' un it."

It was Mr. Tidwell who replied. "Don't you remember that old Tuttle was
an overseer before the war? He had no niggers of his own, and he took
his spite out on other people's niggers. One day, when he was kicking
and cuffing this boy here, he hit him one lick too many. Randall turned
on him, and came pretty near knocking him into the middle of next week.
You-all have put old Tuttle in a place where he has a little power, and
now, after all these years, he wants to slap Randall in jail, when he
knows just as well as you know that he hit the boy a hundred times as
many licks as the boy hit him. And he sha'n't put him in jail! One of
you boys run to Mr. Whipple's and tell him that Mr. Sanders wants to see
him at the courthouse at once. Tell him that Randall is in trouble."

Not only one negro, but half a dozen negroes, went on a run to carry the
message to old Jonas.

"Ten to one he doesn't come," remarked Mr. Tidwell to his companion in
an undertone.

Mr. Sanders himself had a very small supply of undertones, and so he
spoke right out when he replied to the lawyer--"Ef he don't come I'll go
arter him, an' ef I have to do that, I'll paint him red before he gits
here! I promise you you won't know him!"

But old Jonas came fast enough; moreover, he came smiling, and this,
together with the fact that he forgot to remove his skull-cap when he
put on his hat gave him something of a new aspect in the eyes even of
those who had known him long. The rapidity with which he walked was not
so remarkable, considering the fact that Adelaide was running a little
ahead of him. The child dropped his hand when she saw Mr. Sanders and
the rest, and ran to them as hard as she could. "Bishop!" she cried to
Mr. Sanders, "the Boogerman is to come right home this minute. I've
found a new gun, and I want to shoot him! Boogerman, please come on!"
All that Randall could say was, "Well, suh!" and then he passed his hand
across his eyes, and gazed off into the far-distance, seeing whatsoever
visions the Almighty vouchsafes to the meek and lowly, who are troubled
in heart and mind. He must have seen something, and that something must
have been sufficient, for his face brightened, and when he turned his
head, and saw that all were looking at him with curiosity, he laughed
pleasantly, and, stooping down, lifted Adelaide in his arms, and held
her there, as though she would afford him the protection which he
thought he needed.

"Which a-way does you-all want me for to go?" he inquired. "Show me, an'
I'll go right straight to the place. In Galatians, Paul bragged that he
outfaced Peter, an' ef he done that, I speck I kin face what's a comin'
to me."

"I'll put your hat on the side of your head, Boogerman, so you can look
as bold as a goose," said Adelaide.

"Yes, ma'am, I kin do that an' not half try; an' ef I can't look like a
goose, I bet you I can look as sheepish as the next one." He was not
even apprehensive and those who were observing him closely wondered at
the sudden change that had come over him. "Jail," he went on, in the
tone of an exhorter--"jail was good 'nough for the 'postles, an' why not
for me? They ain't got no law long 'nough, ner no jail strong 'nough for
to prevent pra'r."

"Oh, shucks, Boogerman!" exclaimed Adelaide; "let's go to jail. I want
to see what kind of a place it is on the inside, because I may have to
send Cally-Lou there if she doesn't behaviour better than she has been
doing."

"Well, ef you're a-gwine to send Cally-Lou to that hotel," Mr. Sanders
remarked, "jest tell 'em for to gi' me a big room wi' a long bed in it."
Then they all went in the courthouse, and sought out the judge of the
Superior Court circuit, who had his office in the building. After Lawyer
Tidwell's explanation, he very readily consented to hold the commitment
trial then and there. Mr. Tidwell briefly called attention to the nature
of the warrant that had been served, and announced his intention of
bringing the impeachment proceedings against Mr. Tuttle, who was judge
of the Court of Ordinary. The Superior Court judge said he had no doubt
that such proceedings would hold, when brought at the proper time, and
in the proper way, but they had nothing to do with the case before him.
Whatever the nature of the warrant, the accused was now in charge of an
officer of the law, and it would simplify matters to have the
preliminary trial take place at once. Randall gave his version of the
affair, and when Mr. Tuttle was called to testify, it was found that the
testimony he gave was not materially different from that which the negro
had given, much of it being brought out by the close questioning of Mr.
Tidwell. The result was that Randall was placed under bond for his
appearance at the next term of the superior court to be held in that
county. Much to the surprise of all, old Jonas Whipple, instead of
making a bond for Randall, gave his check on the local bank, with the
understanding that it was to be cashed in favour of the court. The judge
said that a bond of that kind was something unusual, but he accepted it.

Randall looked hard at old Jonas, and his lip trembled as if he were
about to say something, but, instead, his glance turned to the floor,
and he stood fumbling his hat. Mr. Sanders, observing the negro's
embarrassment, told a funny story, and when the laughter to which it
gave rise had subsided the judge asked the Sage of Shady Dale if he
wanted the anecdote to be made a part of the record in the case. The
countenance of Mr. Sanders took on a peculiarly solemn expression.

"Well, judge," he replied, "it'd be a mighty good way for to improve it
some."

[Illustration: "Mr. Sanders went from the courthouse with a sweeping
stride"]

All these things were beyond Adelaide. She climbed on a chair, and from
the chair to a table, and stood poised at that dizzy height with her
eyes fixed on Mr. Sanders. "Come on, Bishop," she commanded, "and let's
go home." He backed up to the table like a trained horse in the modern
pony shows. When he came close enough Adelaide leaped on his back. Here
she perched herself, while Mr. Sanders went from the courthouse with a
sweeping stride, which, when he was out of doors, changed, first into a
trot, and then into a pretended canter.



PART V

    When the gales of peace shall scatter
    War's wild, red rubbish like chaff,
    When the mills shall renew their clatter
    Then all the people will laugh.

    --_Tunison's Industrial Hymns._


Randall celebrated his release by retiring to Lucindy's house, where he
shut himself in and remained for more than an hour. He filled the little
room with thanksgiving in the shape of song and prayer, all of which
could be heard for a considerable distance. A great burden had been
lifted from his simple mind, and he celebrated the fact in a simple and
natural way. Lucindy understood his feelings, for she shared them. While
Randall was praying and singing in her house, she was in the kitchen
with Adelaide. Even while the tears of gratitude and thankfulness were
running down her cheeks, and threatening to fall in the things she was
cooking (as the child saw), she made light of the whole matter. "I
dunner what he mean by gwine 'way off dat-a-way, an' holdin' a
pray'r-meetin' by hisself. He'll have de whole town a-stan'in' 'roun' in
de yard ef he keep on doin' like dat."

"Well, Mammy Lucindy, you are crying yourself."

"My eyes weak, honey, an' dey feels like I done stuck a splinter in bofe
un um. You des wait. When you git ol' ez what I is, I lay yo' eyes will
run water, too."

The idea of Adelaide growing old! Nobody would have thought of such a
thing but Lucindy, and the thought only came to her as a means of hiding
her own feelings. But it is a fact that the child was about to grow
older. For shortly after Randall's trouble, all of us took the road for
Eighteen-Hundred-and-Eighty-Five. We thought it was a long road, too,
and yet, somehow, it was neither long nor rough. But it was a very
peculiar thoroughfare. For though all of us tried to walk side by side,
it seemed that some of us were toiling up-hill, while others were
walking down-hill. It was so peculiar that on several occasions, I was
on the point of asking Adelaide what she thought of a road that could be
up-hill and down-hill in the same place, and at the same time; but the
child had so many quaint and beautiful thoughts of her own that I
hesitated to disturb her mind.

Moreover, she was growing so fast, and getting along so well, that I had
no real desire to put new ideas in her head. Mr. Sanders declared that
she was running up like a weed. This attracted the attention of old
Jonas, who fixed his small glittering eyes on the old humourist.

"Like a weed, Sanders?" Mr. Whipple inquired.

"Well," replied Mr. Sanders, "call the weed a sunflower, ef it suits
you; but I dunner what's the matter with a weed--the Lord made it."

Old Jonas, looking off into space, nodded his head, with "Yes, I reckon
maybe He did."

As we went along this road I have been telling you of, I thought that
perhaps old Jonas would stop to rest in a fence corner, but the further
we went, we found that he was as lively as any of the rest, though
perhaps not so nimble. As for Adelaide, she simply grew; there was no
other change in her. She carried her child nature along with her, and
she carried Cally-Lou. Not much was said of Cally-Lou, but all of us
felt that she was in hiding in that wide, clear space that is just an
inch or so beyond the short reach of our vision; and, somehow, we were
all glad to have the company of the little dream-child who was "not
quite white." I think she kept Adelaide from taking on the airs and
poses of growing girls. And this was just as well. Adelaide took in
knowledge, as though she had learned it somewhere before. When she began
to study at school (as we went along) she declared that the books caused
her to remember things that she had forgotten. Mr. Sanders said that
there never was such a scholar, and Mr. Tidwell agreed with him. Old
Jonas said nothing; his face simply wore a satisfied frown.

None of us forgot Randall, or could afford to forget him, for we were
journeying along together. His evolution was out of the usual order.
Adelaide merely fulfilled the promises of her childhood, and the
expectations of those who were in love with her; whereas, Randall outran
prophecy itself. The Boogerman developed into a full-fledged minister of
the Methodist Church, and, in the course of that development, became a
complete engine of modern industry. He went so far and so fast that he
had an abundance of time to devote to the religious enthusiasm that kept
him inwardly inflamed; and such was the power of his rude eloquence that
he attracted the admiration of whites as well as blacks. He was
ignorant, but he had a gift that education has never been able to
produce in a human being--he had the gift of eloquence. When he was in
the pulpit his rough words, his simple gestures, the play of his
features, the poise of his body, his whole attitude, were as far beyond
the compass of education as it is possible for the mind to conceive.
This gift, or power, became so well known that he had a real taste of
what is called reputation in this world. He was a pattern, a model, for
the men of his race, and, indeed, for the men of any race, for there
never was a moment when he was idle after he discovered that an honest
and industrious man can make and save money. All that he made, he gave
to old Jonas Whipple to keep for him. The more Randall worked the more
he learned how to work, so that in the course of a year or two, there
was nothing in the way of work that he couldn't do well. His credit at
the little bank was as good as that of most white men, and his simple
word was as good as a bond.

The men of his race watched him with a curious kind of awe. When one of
them asked him how he managed to accomplish the results that were plain
to every one, his reply was: "Good gracious, man! I jest goes ahead and
does it, that's how." He had a great knack of meeting opportunity before
she knocked at his door--of meeting her and hitching her to his shack of
a buggy, where she served the purpose of a family horse. He had the
confidence and sympathy of all the white people who knew him. He began
to buy tracts of land, and one of his purchases included High Falls,
where the children and grown people had their picnic grounds. Many
thought this a wild investment, especially old Jonas, who rated him
soundly for throwing away his hard-earned money; but Mr. Sanders, who,
with all his humour and nonsense, was by all odds the shrewdest business
man in all that region, declared that the time would come when the money
that Randall had paid for it would be smothered by the money he could
sell it for. Randall explained to old Jonas the reason why he had bought
this remarkable water-power; it was because the water came so free and
fell so far.

All this, by the way, as we were journeying along. We began to try to
forget Eighteen-Hundred-and-Sixty-Eight; we knew right were it was, but,
as we got farther and farther away from it, it seemed to lose some of
its importance; and, sometimes, when we couldn't help but remember it,
it came back to us as though it was the memory of a bad dream. People
began to look up and stir about, Progress, hand-in-hand with Better
Conditions, crawled out of the woods, where they had been hiding, and
began to pay visits to their old friends. Mr. Sanders said it gave him a
kind of Christmas feeling to see the hard times vanishing. Old Jonas
felt better, too. At any rate, he seemed to take more interest in
Adelaide, who, by this time, had developed into a wonderfully charming
young woman--just how charming, I leave you to imagine; for she was a
young woman and still a child. It is given to few people in this world
to have this combination and to be able to manage it as it should be
managed. I don't know whether to call it the art of living, or the
instinct that makes Everybody feel as though he were Somebody. I never
could understand the secret of it, and, indeed, I never tried, until one
day a scientist came along peddling his ideas and theories. He declared
that there was an explanation somewhere in one of his books, but so far,
I have been unable to find it. There was nothing in his dull books about
Adelaide and her individuality. It should be borne in mind that Adelaide
had, in the course of seventeen years, developed into Something that was
quite beyond art and education. Her inimitable personality, which was
hers from the first, and quite beyond the contingencies of chance or
change, continued to be inimitable. She had received all the advantages
that money could buy; but this fact only emphasised her native charm.
She was a child as well as a young woman, with the sweet unconsciousness
of the one and the dazzling loveliness of the other.

Mean as he was said to be, it was a well-known fact that old Jonas's
money would go as far as that of any man; and when it came to a question
of Adelaide, it was as free as the money of some of our modern
millionaires when they desire to advertise their benevolence. He was
determined, he said, that his niece should have all the polish the
schools could furnish. He called it polish for the reason that he had
many a hot argument with Mr. Sanders and Lawyer Tidwell with respect to
the benefits of education--the education furnished by our modern system
of public schools. He didn't believe in it; there was always too much
for some people, and not enough for others; there was no discrimination
in the scheme. Moreover, it put false ideas in some people's heads, and
made them lazy and vicious. But he had never said a word in opposition
to polish, and when he sent Adelaide to one of the most expensive
schools, it was not to educate her, he said, but to give her the
"polish" that would elevate her above ordinary people.

Adelaide received the polish, but refused to be elevated, and when she
returned home, unchanged and unspoiled, old Jonas Whipple said to
himself that his money had been spent in vain. He wanted to see her put
on airs and hold herself above people, but this she never did; and she
would have laughed heartily at old Jonas's thoughts if she had known
what they were. Mr. Whipple seemed to have an idea that culture and
refinement are things that you can put your fingers on and feel of, and
he was sure that dignity and personal pride are their accompaniments.
Yet he gave no outward sign of his disappointment if he really had any,
and he swallowed such regrets as possessed him with a straight face; for
he saw, with a secret pride and pleasure that no one suspected, that
Adelaide was the most charming young girl in all that neighbourhood. It
filled him with pride for which he could not account when he observed
that she could hold her own in any company, and that, wherever she went,
she was the centre of admiration and interest.

Now, it was not long before the promoters of a railway line from Atlanta
to Malvern came knocking at the doors of Shady Dale. Mr. Sanders and a
number of others were inclined to be more than hospitable to the
enterprise, but old Jonas Whipple was opposed to it tooth-and-nail. His
arguments in opposition to the enterprise will be thought amusing and
ridiculous in this day and time, but it is notorious, the world over,
that any man with money can have a substantial following without
resorting to bribery, and there were many in Shady Dale, who, basing
their admiration on the fact that he had been very successful as a
money-maker, in the face of the most adverse conditions, were ready to
endorse anything that old Jonas said; he was an oracle because he knew
how to make money, though it is well known that the making of money does
not depend on a very high order of intelligence. Old Jonas's objections
to a railway were not amenable to reason or argument; it was sufficient
that they were satisfactory to him. He had them all catalogued and
numbered. There were six of them, and they ran about as follows:

1. A railroad would add to the racket and riot of the neighbourhood,
when, even as things were, it was a difficult matter for decent people
to sleep in peace. 2. (This objection was impressive on account of its
originality; no one had ever thought of it). The passing of railway
trains would produce concussion, and this concussion, repeated at
regular intervals, would cause the blossoms of the fruit trees to drop
untimely off, and would no doubt have a disastrous effect on garden
vegetables. 3. The railroad would not stop in Shady Dale, but would go
on to Atlanta, thus making the little town a way-station, and drain the
whole county of its labour at a time when everybody was trying to adjust
himself to the new conditions. 4. Instead of patronising home industries
and enterprises, people would scramble for seats on the cars, and go
gadding about, spending anywhere but at home the little money they had.
5. Every business and all forms of industry in the whole section
adjacent to the line would be at the mercy of the road and its managers;
and, 6. What did people want with railroads, when a majority of the
loudest talkers had earned no more than three dollars apiece since the
war?

Mr. Sanders tried hard to destroy these objections by means of timely
and appropriate jokes. But jokes had no effect on Mr. Whipple. Moreover,
there was one fact that no jokes could change: a great body of land
belonging to old Jonas lay right across the face of the railway survey,
and there was no way to avoid it except by making a detour so wide that
Shady Dale would be left far to one side. You would think, of course,
that it was an easy matter to condemn a right of way through old Jonas's
land, and so it would have been but for one fact that could not be
ignored. There was a bitter controversy going on between the people and
the roads, and the managers were trying to be as polite as they could be
under the circumstances. The controversy referred to finally resulted in
the passage of the railway laws that are now on the statute books of the
state. The promoters of the line to Shady Dale had no desire to arouse
the serious opposition of Mr. Whipple and his friends; they had no idea
of making a serious contest in view of the state of public opinion, and
they had made up their minds that if they failed to secure the right of
way through old Jonas's lands by fair words, they would leave Shady Dale
out of their plans altogether. They had already surveyed another line
that would run six or seven miles north of the town, and work on this
would have begun promptly but for the representations of Mr. Sanders and
other substantial citizens, who declared that only a short delay would
be necessary to bring old Jonas to terms. But that result, by the
interposition of Providence, as it were, was left for others to
accomplish.

Of the contest going on between the old-fashioned, unprogressive
faction, headed by her uncle, and the spirited element of which Mr.
Sanders was the leader, Adelaide had no particular knowledge. She knew
in a general way that some question in regard to the new railroad was in
dispute. She had heard the matter discussed, and she had laughed at some
of the comments of Mr. Sanders on the obstinacy of her uncle, but the
whole matter was outside the circle of her serious thoughts and
interests until, at last, it was brought home to her in a way that the
novel writers would call romantic, though for some time it was decidedly
embarrassing.

Blushing and laughing, she told Mr. Sanders about it afterward. That
genial citizen regarded it as a good joke, and, as such, he made the
most of it. She was walking about in the garden one day, thinking of
childish things, and remembering what fine times she and Mr. Sanders had
had when she was a tiny bit of a girl. She was very old now--quite
seventeen--but her childhood was still fresh in her remembrance, and she
was quite a child in her freshness and innocence. The corn-patch was in
a new place now, but to her it was still the Whish-Whish Woods. In the
days when she brought down the Boogerman with her cornstalk gun, the
corn was growing in the garden next to a side street on which there was
very little passing to and fro; but now the corn-patch was next to a
thoroughfare that was much frequented. Remembering how delighted she had
been when Randall, the Boogerman, responded so completely to her
pretence of shooting him with her cornstalk gun, she was seized by a
whim that gave her an almost uncontrollable desire to repeat the
performance.

By a gesture which, whether magical or not, admirably served its
purpose, Adelaide became a child again. Her beautiful hair, unloosed,
fell below her waist, and her face had the same little pucker of
earnestness that it wore when, as a child, she was intent on her
business of make-believe. She found a cornstalk that suited her purpose,
stripped off the blades, and concealed herself in the Whish-Whish Woods,
holding her gun in readiness to make a victim of the first person that
passed along the street. As Providence would have it, she was not kept
waiting, for almost before she could conceal herself, she heard the
sound of feet. Whoever it was had no idea of the danger that awaited
him, for he was walking along, whistling softly to himself, showing that
he was either in high feather, or seriously uneasy with respect to
certain plans he had in his head. As he came to the ambush, Adelaide
promptly thrust her cornstalk gun forward, with a loud cry of "bang!"
The result was as surprising as, and far more embarrassing than, when
she made-believe to shoot Randall. This time the victim, instead of
falling on the ground and writhing, as a man should do if he is
seriously wounded, nearly jumped out of his skin, crying, "Good
gracious!"

The voice was strange to Adelaide's ears, and when she was in a position
to see her intended victim, she discovered that her innocent joke had
been played at the expense of a young man whom she had never seen
before; he was an utter stranger. The young man, glancing back to see
who had waylaid him, caught a glimpse of Adelaide, and politely raised
his hat. Adelaide, frightened at what seemed to be her boldness, could
hardly articulate clearly, but she managed to say, in the midst of her
confusion and embarrassment, "Oh, excuse me! I thought--" but there she
paused.

"So did I," said the young man, with a laugh, "and you are quite
excusable." Adelaide said to herself that he was making fun of her, but
she did not fail to see, in the midst of her vexation and confusion,
that he was very pleasant looking. In short he had a clear eye and a
strong face. Having seen this much, she gathered her skirts free of her
feet, and went running to the house. She couldn't resist the temptation
to stop in the kitchen and give Lucindy the story of her exciting
adventure, and in the midst of it, she paused to say how handsome the
young man was. When the narrative was concluded, Adelaide asked Lucindy
what she thought of it all. The old negro woman must have had very deep
thoughts, judging from her silence. She asked no questions and merely
nodded her head while Adelaide was talking; and then, while the excited
young woman was waiting for her to make some comment, the little-used
knocker on the front door fell with a tremendous whack.

"Whosomever it mought be," remarked Lucindy, "it look like dey er
bleedze ter git in, kaze dey er breakin' de door down!"

"Oh, I believe it's the young man I tried to shoot!" cried Adelaide in
distress, "and I wouldn't meet him again for the world! I wonder where
Uncle Jonas is--and why he don't have a bell placed on the door?" Then
the young woman asked with some indignation, "Mammy Lucindy, do you
suppose that young man is knocking at the door because I made a goose of
myself in the garden?"

"Lawsy, honey," said Lucindy, soothingly, "don't git ter frettin'; I'm
gwine ter de door--yit I lay ef you had been up ter yo' neck in de
flour-bairl, I wouldn't let you run ter de front door an' grin at
whomsomever mought be dar! I lay dat much."

"But, Mammy! I'm afraid the person at the door is the young man I was
rude to when he was passing the garden. Oh, I wish Uncle Jonas would
hire a housemaid; I can't be running to the front door all the time."

"I ain't seed you run much, honey, kaze dat's de fust time dat
door-knocker is bangded in many's de long day. You want a house-gal,
does you? Well, you better not fetch no gal in dis house fer ter make
moufs at me right 'fo' my face. She sho' won't last long; I tell you dat
right now!"

Lucindy prepared to answer the summons, but before she could wipe the
flour from her hands, Adelaide changed her mind. She said she would
answer the knock herself, and, as she went into the house, Randall came
around the corner and went into the kitchen. He was somewhat excited,
and Lucindy inquired if he was ill. "Mammy," he said, "does you know who
that is knockin' at the door? Well, it aint nobody in the roun' worl'
but ol' Marster's grandson; it's Miss Betty's boy. Of all people on top
of the ground, that's who it is."

Lucindy leaned on the kitchen table, and gazed at Randall in speechless
surprise. "De Lord he'p my soul!" she exclaimed when she could find her
voice. "What he been up ter dat he ain't never is been here befo'? He
sholy can't be much mo' dan knee-high ter a puddle-duck." She persisted
in thinking of her young mistress as she had known her a quarter of a
century before. Randall could tell her little beyond the fact that he
had "know'd the favour," and had spoken to the young man on the street,
asking if he were not kin to the Bowdens.

This simple question developed into a long conversation, with the result
that Randall was as enthusiastic about Miss Betty's boy as he was about
Miss Betty, who had saved his life. "He sho' have got the blood in 'im.
He don't look strong, like all de balance of the Bowdens, but he's got
their ways. He walks an' holds his head jest like Miss Betty."

When Adelaide opened the door, and saw standing there the young man at
whom she had aimed her cornstalk gun, she was surprised to find that she
was not at all embarrassed. She had no idea that this particular meeting
had been arranged and provided for long ages ago. But she wondered why
she should feel so cool and collected, when she should be confused and
blushing. This is the way young women act in story books, and Adelaide
had often longed for the opportunity to stammer and blush when a strange
but noble young man appeared before her; but now that the young man had
come, she felt as if she had known him a long, long time. He was the
embarrassed one, while she observed that he had nice brown eyes, to
light up his handsome countenance, and these brown eyes seemed to be
trying to apologise for something or other; and all the time the young
man was thinking that he had never seen such beautiful blue eyes as
those that were shyly glancing at him from under their long lashes. It
was a desperate moment for all concerned, but Providence was there, and
laid its calm, cool hand on the situation. The young man asked for Mr.
Whipple, but Providence had been before him, and Mr. Whipple was not to
be found in the house, though Adelaide tried hard to find him, not
knowing that if her uncle could have been found just at that particular
time, a great many possibilities would have been destroyed. Adelaide
inquired if the brown eyes wouldn't come in and wait for Uncle Jonas,
who was to be expected at any moment, and the brown eyes softly admitted
that nothing would please them better if such an arrangement were
perfectly agreeable to everybody, otherwise not for the world would they
intrude--and then, as a matter of course, the blue eyes were compelled
to see to it that the time of waiting would be made perfectly pleasant.

After awhile the sound of footsteps was heard on the veranda, and
Adelaide, with a secret regret, declared that Uncle Jonas must be
coming. But Providence was looking out for the interests of the young
fellow with a keener eye, for the footsteps they heard were those of Mr.
Sanders. He came in without knocking, as usual, and Adelaide ran to meet
him, just as she always did. "You look as flustrated as ef you had man
company," Mr. Sanders remarked, as she greeted him. She slapped him
lightly on the arm by way of warning and rebuke. "An' I'll lay I kin
guess his name: it's Winters." Adelaide was very red in the face as she
shook her head. "Then it's Somers," he declared; "I know'd it was one of
the seasons that had dropped in on you out'n season. But it happens to
be the very chap I'm arter." He stalked in to the sitting-room, and
shook hands with young Somers, calling him Jonah, though his name was
John.

Then he casually inquired as to the whereabouts of Mr. Jonas Whipple, in
spite of the fact that he already knew. "You see how it is," he remarked
to the young man; "you thought you wanted to see Jonas, but it wasn't
Jonas you wanted to see at all." Mr. Sanders pursed his mouth, and
stared at the ceiling. The remark he had made was interpreted by
Adelaide in a way he had not intended, but she was quite equal to the
emergency.

"Well, Mr. Sanders," she inquired with great dignity, "whom did Mr.
Somers desire to see?"

He turned a bland and child-like smile upon her. "Why, he wanted to see
me, of course. Who else could it 'a' been?" Adelaide's dignity was not
made of the strongest stuff, and she was compelled to laugh. "I
understood him to inquire for Uncle Jonas," she said simply, "but I may
have been mistaken."

"No; I really want to see Mr. Whipple," the young man insisted. "That is
my business here."

Mr. Sanders beamed upon him with a smile that was as broad and sweet as
a slice of pie. "I've allers took notice," he remarked, "that wimmen an'
children, an' young folks in gener'l, will ax for the identical things
they ought not to have. They're made that-a-way, I reckon."

In a little while the young man bowed himself out, followed by Mr.
Sanders. "You young fellers worry me no little," remarked the Sage of
Shady Dale, as they went along the street together. "I happen to know
about the business that fetched you here, an' I mighty nigh swallered my
goozle when I seed you makin' for Jonas's."

"Well, I really thought Mr. Whipple was the proper person to see. I was
told that he held the key to the situation," young Somers replied.

Mr. Sanders smiled benignly. "Old Jonas has been seed an' he's been
saw'd," said the elder man so drolly that Somers laughed outright. "I
reckon you've been to college, ain't you? I 'lowed as much. The trainin'
is all right, but you'll have to fergit a heap you've l'arned ef you
want travellin' for to be easy. Old as I am, I wish I had some of your
knowledge, but if you was to put it all in a hamper basket an' gi' me
the right to paw it over, you'd be surprised at what I'd pick out. My
experience is that when a feller gits through college, an' begins for to
face the hard propositions that he ain't never thought about, he allers
takes a notion that somethin's wrong somewhar.

"I reckon maybe you've got the idee that argyment, ef it's got all the
facts behind it, is the thing that's bound for to win, an' you'll have
to git bumped by a barnyard full of billy-goats before you find out that
nineteen-hundred squar' miles on 'em ain't wuth one little inch of
persuasion. It's all right in the books, whar they l'arn you how to
think an' put up a nice article of argyment, but it don't work in reel
life. You can't carry none of your p'ints wi'out doin' some mighty purty
dancin' on t'other side of the line. Now I've saved you from one of the
wust bumpin's that a young feller ever had, and the beauty about it is
you'll never have a suspicion of it ontel you're old enough for to have
grandchildren. It'll not hurt you for to hit some of the rough places as
you go slidin' through this vale of tears, but it'll never do you any
reel good for to climb four flights of sta'rs an' then jump out'n the
top window when you want to come down."

"I should think that even a fool would know that," the young man
declared.

"Well, some on 'em don't," responded Mr. Sanders. "Thar's diffunt kinds
of fools, an' diffunt kinds of houses, an' heap higher jumps, an' you'd
'a' had the experience of it ef you'd 'a' found old Jonas at home. The
next time you go thar don't ax for him. Call for Adelaide--call for
Lucindy the cook (she use' to belong to your Gran'daddy Bowden)--call
for Randall--call for any an' ever'body but old Jonas."

"But what am I to do?" the young man inquired somewhat impatiently. "It
seems that I may as well go back to Malvern or Atlanta; and when I do
that, I'll have to hunt for another job."

Mr. Sanders hummed a tune, and apparently paid no attention to the young
man's last remark. "Old Jonas is mighty quar'," he said after a pause.
"When his sister died up thar in Atlanta, you couldn't 'a' told from the
motions he made that he'd hearn the mournful news; but sence he's had
for to take keer of Adelaide, her daughter, his gizzard has kinder
softened up. Why, that man thinks that the sun rises an' sets whar
Adelaide lives at."

"Well," said the young fellow, "she certainly is charming; I don't think
I ever met a young lady that so impressed me."

"Forty years from now you'll be able for to say the same thing,"
remarked Mr. Sanders. "Well, as I was a-tellin' you, old Jonas ain't
nigh as mean as he looks to be, but when I found out that he reely had a
heart, you mought 'a' knocked me down wi' a feather. It was the time
your gran'daddy died. Why, Jonas walked the floor all night long. That
much I know bekaze I seed it wi' my own eyes. An' then thar's that
nigger Randall--thar ain't no tellin' how much Jonas has done for him,
nor how much he will do. But when it comes to makin' a fuss, Jonas ain't
in it. He's too hard-headed for to let people know him as he is. Now,
don't think I'm doin' any obiturary work, bekaze the fact is old Jonas
ain't a bit better than he ought to be. I reckon, he is too hard-headed
for to let people know him as he is, but the fact is that old Jonas is
human; he ain't a bit better than the rest on us--an' he may be wuss in
some spots. Ef you've ever took notice, the people between the best man
in the world an' the wust, make a purty fa'r average. I reckon," Mr.
Sanders went on, regarding Somers with a child-like smile, "I reckon you
ain't never played poker as a habit?"

"Not as a habit," replied the young man, laughing.

"Well, the hand I've dealt to you is known as a royal straight flush,
an' it sweeps ever'thing before it. Look it over when you git time, an'
ef anybody calls you, jes spread out the kyards on the table, an' ax 'em
what they think of the lay-out."

"I don't think I know what you mean," said the young man, with some show
of embarrassment.

"Maybe not," replied Mr. Sanders, "but I leave it to you ef that's my
fault; I've dealt you the hand, an' ef you dunno how to play it, you
can't blame me. I see Tidwell across yander, an' I want to have a talk
wi' him; maybe he'll loan me his pocket-han'kcher. So-long!"

Young Somers went to his room in the tavern and pondered long over the
problem that Mr. Sanders had presented with confident smiles. He tried
to think it out, but, somehow, he could think of nothing but a laughing
face, dimpled and sweet, blue eyes and golden hair, and lovely white
hands lifted in eloquent gesture. He could concentrate all the powers of
his mind on these, and he could think a little, just a little, of the
wonderful personality of Mr. Sanders, who had persisted in remaining a
boy, in spite of his years and large experience, but so far as puzzles
and problems were concerned, his mind refused to work.

It was the same the next day, and the next. He walked about the little
town by way of recreation, but by far the largest part of his time was
spent in his room at the tavern. On the morning of the third day of his
stay in Shady Dale, he concluded to visit the old place where his
grandfather had lived, and where his mother was born. Of the whereabouts
of the place he had not the slightest idea, though he knew it was about
a mile from the centre of the town. While he was debating whether or no
he should wander about and try to find it for himself, or whether he
should make inquiries as to the direction, he heard the rustle of skirts
behind him. Turning he beheld his vision of blue eyes and golden hair.
This, however, was the reality. The young fellow had a queer notion,
momentary but vivid, that somewhere or somehow, in some dim, mysterious
region under the stars, he had come suddenly upon this same experience,
under precisely the same conditions--and the thought gave him a thrill
the like of which he had never felt before--the kind of thrill that, as
Mr. Sanders once suggested, makes you think that you've clerked in a
dry-goods store in some other world.

Blue eyes and dimples were very gracious. "You left too soon the other
day," they declared; "Uncle Jonas came in shortly after you went away,
and you were hardly out of the house before one of your mother's old
servants came in to see you. It was Mammy Lucindy, our cook, and she was
very much disappointed to find you had gone."

"I'm sorry," the young fellow said, and he was so emphatic, and so
serious, that Adelaide laughed. "I have heard my mother speak of Lucindy
and her son Randall."

"When Uncle Jonas came in," remarked Adelaide, "I told him you had
called. He frowned and said he supposed you wanted to see him on
business; but I suggested that perhaps you had called because you were
Judge Bowden's grandson. He declared you had never thought of such a
thing; but the possibility that you might have had such a thought
pleased him greatly. I don't know when I have seen him in such high good
humour."

They were walking along as they talked, and the young man made a mental
note of old Jonas's pleasure. The sun was shining brightly, the air was
fresh and cool, the jay-birds in the China trees were hilarious, and,
somehow or other, the two young people felt very happy as they walked
along. They had no particular reason for their happiness, but they
seemed to be in the atmosphere in which happiness arises like the
sparkling dew of early morning. A deaf old lady sitting on her piazza,
on the opposite side of the street, smiled sweetly at Adelaide, and held
her trumpet to her ear, as if, by means of its echoing depths, she could
hear what the laughing young woman was saying. Adelaide did have
something to say, evidently--something that an ear-trumpet could not
interpret across the wide street, for she made a little gesture with her
head, which her companion failed to see, and she sent some signal
whirling through the air by means of a fluttering white hand. This
signal he did see, but he was unfamiliar with the code that prevails
among women-kind the world over: yet he had no difficulty in taking it
to be an ordinary salutation, especially as the smiling old lady waved
the trumpet around her head with an air of triumph. Still there was
something in it all that seemed to be a trifle beyond him--and from the
feminine point of view it was a neat and pretty piece of work.

He had small opportunity to give the matter any thought, for Adelaide,
laughing, turned toward him, and began to speak of the affection her
Uncle Jonas had felt for Judge Bowden, and the high esteem in which he
held the judge's memory. She acknowledged that it was very queer that a
man long dead should play a living part in her uncle's thoughts, but she
explained that people had wrong ideas about her uncle. "They seem to
think," she declared, "that Uncle Jonas is very mean and stingy, and
hard-hearted; but if they knew him as well as I do, they would think
differently."

The young fellow would have protested, but Adelaide stopped him with a
dignified wave of her versatile white hand. "I know what people say,"
she insisted. "Mr. Sanders tells me, and so does Randall, whose life was
saved by your mother; they tell me everything that is said about Uncle
Jonas. And I always tell him about it, but he doesn't seem to care; he
laughs as if it were a good joke, and declares that people have more
sense than he has been willing to credit them with. Really, I believe he
likes it, but it is not at all agreeable to me."

Young Somers hardly knew what to say; he had heard old Jonas described
as the meanest man in twenty states, and the promoters of the railway
enterprise who had sent him to Shady Dale were not at all backward in
expressing their opinion of the man who was causing them so much
unnecessary trouble and delay. So he walked on in silence for awhile.
Then: "Speaking of my grandfather, I was just on the point of inquiring
about the old place, but when you made your appearance just now,
dropping out of the sky, I forgot all about it. I should like very much
to see the home where my mother was born, and where my grandfather was
born and died. I have heard my mother talk about Shady Dale and about
the old home-place ever since I could understand what she said. I
remember, when I was a child, that I had a queer idea that the town was
shaped like a bowl or saucer; all the good people that chanced to come
by stumbled and fell in, there to remain, and all the bad people crawled
over the rim and fell out; and I couldn't help having a feeling of
disappointment when I found that Shady Dale is very much like other
towns."

"Now, don't say that!" protested Adelaide. "I have seen a great many
towns, but never one like this--not one as pretty."

"Why, in North Carolina----" the young fellow began, but Adelaide
interrupted him with a laugh so genuine and unaffected that it was
delightful to hear. Yet, in spite of the fact that he enjoyed the
rippling sound, he felt his face turning red. "You think North Carolina
is a joke," he went on, "but you would be surprised to know what a great
state it is."

"I was laughing at one of Mr. Sanders's jokes," said Adelaide, still
smiling. "Once there was a tobacco peddler came here driving a big
covered waggon. Mr. Sanders discovered he was from North Carolina, and
shook hands with him very cordially, and asked about a great many people
he never heard of. The tobacco man said they must have moved away, but
Mr. Sanders said he thought not, for the reason that the only three
North Carolinians he ever saw that were able to settle at the toll-gates
and ferries, made their way straight to Alabama, and formed a business
firm. He said the name of this firm was 'Tar, Pitch, and
Turkentime'--that's the way he pronounced the names. The tobacco man
didn't get angry; he laughed as loudly as anybody, and Uncle Jonas says
that was because he wasn't conceited."

Here Adelaide paused; she had come to the house of the friend she
proposed to visit, and from the gate she pointed out the trees that grew
so abundantly on the Bowden place, and her attitude seemed to say to the
young man that should he get lost, he would be safe so long as she was
within calling distance. He had been used to more dignity and less charm
on the part of most of the young women he knew, and he rather preferred
the variety which he had now come in contact with for the first time.
And yet, when he came to the old homestead, where his grandfather lived
and died, and where his mother was born, he was attacked by none of the
emotions that would have seized upon the soul of his mother. He had been
educated in a different environment, and he was essentially modern in
his sense of the importance of business affairs. As he read the friendly
inscription on the tomb of his grandfather--the family burying-ground
being not far from the picturesquely simple old house--he was conscious
of a strong desire to know whether failure or success would crown his
negotiations with Mr. Jonas Whipple.

The vagrant winds blew through the tops of trees more than two centuries
old, the house frowned grimly over the reminiscences of past
hospitality, and the whole scene appealed strongly to sentiments that
are now said not to be strictly scientific. But it must not be supposed
that the young man had no poetry in his soul, or that his nature was
free from emotions of a sentimental character. He lived entirely in the
present, and the past had no meaning for him save that which was coldly
historical. He found his inspiration in the rhythmical clatter and
cackle of intricate machinery; he was stirred by the interweaving and
interlacing business problems, and the whole movement, shape, and
pattern of huge commercial enterprises.

Nor was this a misfortune. Being modern and practical, he was wholly
free from the entanglements and misconceptions of prejudices that had
outlived the issues that gave rise to them; and he went about his
business with a mind at once clear, clean, and cheerful, bearing the
signal of hope on his forehead. As he walked about the old place, it was
characteristic of him, that he should be seeking the solution of the
puzzle which Mr. Sanders had placed before him in the shape of a "royal
straight flush," but in a matter of this kind, his mathematics availing
him nothing: nor did it occur to him that the solution was to be found
somewhere in the region from which the nations of the world draw their
not over-abundant supplies of poetical metaphor. After an interval which
he deemed seemly and proper, he turned his steps in the direction whence
he had come. The street being straight as well as wide, afforded a fine
perspective of sun and shade, to say nothing of the sand. As he went on,
he walked more and more rapidly, so that he could have been accused of
fleeing from the ghosts of his ancestors; but the propelling influence
was the sight of Adelaide, who, having completed her morning call, was
emerging from the gate-way that led to the house of her friend. She was
for moving on, but seemed suddenly to remember about the young man.
Turning, she saw him coming, and waited, sauntering slowly, her mind
full of a swarm of thoughts that had been fighting for its possession
since she first saw him.

"The sight of your mother's old home doesn't seem to have saddened you,"
she remarked, as he came up.

"No," he replied, "but that is because I have no refreshing memory of
the old place. All my ideas about it are second hand; and besides, it
seems to be a very cheerful place. I imagine that the soil round about
is still fertile."

"I never thought of that," she answered; "but men are always more
practical than women. In your place, I should have searched over the old
homestead for the favourite walks of my grandfather; and I should have
known, before I came away, where my mother ran, and hid herself when her
feelings were hurt; and where she played with her dolls, and just how
she did when she was a little bit of a girl."

The young man had an uneasy idea that Adelaide was poking fun at him,
but her face was so grave that he dismissed the idea, and it was then
that he felt himself stirred by a dim conception of the region in which
the thoughts of this beautiful young woman wandered and ranged.

"What I was really thinking of all the time," he said, with a laugh that
somehow conveyed a regret that his thoughts were on a plane so much
lower than hers, "was how I shall prevail on your uncle to convey to the
railway company a right of way through his land. It means a great deal
to me."

"Oh, _that_ is why you are here!" exclaimed Adelaide. "Well, I was
wondering." She regarded him very seriously for a moment and he felt
that he had fallen a notch in her estimation. "If you'll take my
advice," she said, "you will leave the whole affair to Randall."

"But how can I? Randall is a negro. I'm sure I don't understand what you
mean!" His pride, his self-esteem, had been wounded to the very core,
and his face was very red.

"Yes, leave it to Randall and Mr. Sanders," Adelaide replied, "and you'd
not lose anything if you could manage to introduce the ghost of your
grandfather." This was said airily, but it had far more meaning that
young Somers was able to read into it.

"I never saw just such a place as this is," he remarked somewhat
petulantly, "where the people can only help you along by means of
riddles and parables and jokes. Mr. Sanders tells me to say nothing to
your uncle about the business on which I have been sent. And then he
says that I already have a royal straight flush in my hand. What am I to
infer from that?"

Young Somers, without intending it, revealed the essential boyishness of
his nature, and Adelaide relished it immensely. "You are to infer just
what he intended you should," she declared. "The jokes of Mr. Sanders
mean a great deal more than another man's wisdom. You'll discover that
for yourself when you come to know him well."

"But you can't do business by means of jokes," the young fellow
protested.

"That's the way Mr. Sanders transacts his business," Adelaide responded,
"and he's a very prosperous man. As for your grandfather's ghost, Uncle
Jonas will raise it if you give him half an opportunity. You'll learn a
great deal from Mr. Sanders and Uncle Jonas if you stay here long
enough." The expression of her face was demureness itself, but the blue
eyes sparkled with humour.

Now, young Somers was neither slow nor dull, but the peculiar atmosphere
he found at Shady Dale was something new in his experience, and he was
compelled to tunnel through it before he could clearly understand it.
His business training, as far as it had gone, and all his business
associations, had accustomed him to methods of procedure that were not
only direct, but blunt. He never went around obstacles but through or
over them. But he knew, after giving the matter some consideration, and
after discovering that the ordinary commercial and cold-blooded methods
would be useless here, that he would have to enter into the spirit of
the place. He was a very attractive young man when at his best, and he
made himself more attractive than ever by acquiring a quick sympathy for
the things that interested the sincere and simple people about him.

He had several long talks with Mr. Sanders, during which he never once
mentioned business nor anything relating thereto. Instead, he seemed to
be very much interested in Adelaide and her personality, her nature and
individuality. On this subject Mr. Sanders was eloquent. He could
discourse on it for hours, and was only humorous when he wanted to make
people believe he was in earnest. He told Somers all about Cally-Lou,
and asked the young man what he thought about the child that was a
little more than make-believe, and yet remained on the very verge of
visibility. Now, the young man was very practical; circumstances had
made him so. His spirit had had so little exercise, his dreams remained
so persistently on the hither side of concrete things, he was so
completely invested with the cold and critical views that were the
result of his education, that his mind never ventured much beyond his
material interests, and he never tried to peep around the many corners
that life presents to a curious and sincere observer. Consequently, he
was all at sea, as the saying is, when Mr. Sanders told him about
Cally-Lou. He thought it was some form of a new joke, and he would have
had a hearty laugh had the old philosopher given him the wink.

But the wink was not forthcoming. On the contrary, much to the young
man's surprise, Mr. Sanders appeared to be very serious. But the young
man was as frank as it is possible for a youngster to be. "I'll be
honest with you, Mr. Sanders," he said. "I don't know a thing about such
matters. If I were not in Shady Dale, where everything seems to be so
different, I would say at once that you are talking nonsense--that you
are trying to play some kind of a practical joke--but, as it is, I don't
know what to think."

When the young man said that everything is different in Shady Dale, he
meant that Adelaide was different, and Mr. Sanders knew it; so he said,
"When you git so that you kin mighty nigh see Cally-Lou, you'll be wuth
lookin' at twice."

Somers took this more seriously than he would have taken it twenty-four
hours previously--and he carried it to the tavern with him, and thought
it over a long time; and then, as if that were not sufficient, he
carried it to the Bowden place in the dusk of the evening, and worried
with it until he had no difficulty in discovering where his grandfather
had walked, and where his mother had hid herself when her feelings were
hurt, and where she had played with her dolls.

The experience helped him in many ways, so much that when Adelaide saw
him only a few hours later she exclaimed, "Why, how well you are
looking! Our climate must be fine to make such a change in you." And Mr.
Sanders--"Well, well! ef you stay here long, you'll turn out to be a
purty nice lookin' chap. The home air is mighty good for folks, so I've
been told." And, somehow or other, without further explanation, the
young fellow knew what Mr. Sanders had meant by his talk about the
"royal straight flush." When he called on old Jonas, he went as the
grandson of Judge Bowden, and not as the agent of the promoter of the
new railway, and endeavoured to learn everything that the old man knew
about his grandfather.

Mr. Sanders joined the two before they had been conversing very long,
and he was surprised, as well as pleased, to find how completely old
Jonas had thawed out. There was not a frown on his face, and, on
occasion, he laughed heartily over some incident that his memory drew
from the past. And, presently, Adelaide glided in from the innermost
recesses of the house, and sat near her uncle. She was a charming
addition, and a most interesting one, for she was able to remind old
Jonas of many things he had told her about the dead judge. Mr. Sanders,
not to be outdone, contributed some of his own reminiscences, so that
the evening became a sort of memorial of a good man who had long passed
away.

When the visitors were going away, Adelaide accompanied them to the
door, and went with them on the veranda. Before Mr. Sanders could say
good-bye, she caught him by his sleeve--"Do you remember what I told you
the other day? Well, she has returned."

"What did she say?" he inquired, his finger on his chin. Adelaide
blushed, but no one could see her embarrassment. "Why, she says that
everything looks a great deal better by lamplight."

Young Somers heard the conversation, but kept on moving away. "Did you
hear that?" inquired Mr. Sanders, as he overtook the other. "She was
talking about Cally-Lou. It seems she run away the day you showed your
face here, and now she's come back." And further than that, the Sage of
Shady Dale said not a word. But the next day, he met the young fellow on
the street, and gave him a congratulatory slap on the back. "You showed
up purty strong, sonny; an' now that you've diskiver'd for yourself that
thar's a whole lot of ingineerin' that's nuther civil nor mechanical,
an' that aint got a thing in the world to do wi' figgers, you'll manage
to git along ruther better than you thought--in fact, mighty nigh
fustrate.

"But don't fergit Cally-Lou!"

And the young fellow did get along first-rate in more ways than one. The
railroad was allowed to run right through old Jonas's land, and when it
was completed there was nothing to do but to celebrate the event by a
marriage, in which the young man was aided and abetted by Adelaide. Then
when everything had settled down, he took hold of Randall's water-power
and furnished lights for the town, and power for two or three mills in
which Mr. Sanders was interested. I think this is all, but if you are in
doubt about it, and want to find out something more, just enclose a
stamp to William H. Sanders, Esq., Shady Dale, Georgia.



By JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS


    Uncle Remus--His Songs and His Sayings
    Nights with Uncle Remus
    Uncle Remus and His Friends
    Mingo
    Little Mr. Thimblefinger
    On the Plantation
    Daddy Jake, the Runaway
    Balaam and His Master
    Mr. Rabbit at Home
    The Story of Aaron
    Sister Jane
    Free Joe
    Stories of Georgia
    Aaron in the Wild Woods
    Tales of the Home Folks
    Georgia, from the Invasion of De Soto to Recent Times
    Evening Tales
    Stories of Home Folks
    Chronicles of Aunt Minerva Ann
    On the Wing of Occasions
    The Making of a Statesman
    Gabriel Tolliver
    Wally Wanderoon
    A Little Union Scout
    The Tar Baby Story and Other Rhymes of Uncle Remus
    Told by Uncle Remus
    The Yankee Hater, etc.





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