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THE KICIIMOjro PAlJCiAPlUM.AXD SUN-TELGHA3I, SUXPAT, NOVEMBER ,Ot 1P07. PAGE HSVKf? t .
Alabama was in the first rustle ej apring. The mocking birds awaken ed the lazy sleeper with their lnlmita- rnncurta nf rrnrtfih'n Thf streams were low. The swamps exhaled pre- torn lands, envious of hillsides, called for the plow. Te atmosnhere was dreamv. hot and still, as if expecting the summons of the Great Creator. Patches of pink cabins, and lifted them from the pa thos of poverty Into the glory of a vis ion. - ' .;;.. -. It seemed as If the whole wild world must burst into song; for spring and inn lnvn 01 lire nan come. fin thniieht. the rider as he turned - - . 1 v. r .1 ... 1 .. p 1. 11 a liuisu iiuui lie uuiuam ul iuc school Into the deep-rutted, red road that led to the plantation. Musingly, lie let the horse take her own rait. His iiatiiro his trainine. all the instincts Of a slave-holding ancestry had under gone a convulsion. It was as if he were a stranger in his own heart. i But soon his expression of perplexity vanished, and in the place of it stole a ;lght, as if a new religion had won sudden acceptance in a stubborn na ture. ' ' :v.v.r.v-'-- "They arc all right," he murmured, spray of 'possum-haw. ''I've give my word, an' I'll stick to em. Daa was plum wrong. Thet's the whole story," Indeed, the "whole story" was as simple and as complex as that which church people sail a conversion. . For years Pud Seagle and his elder brother had run the plantation, "baching" together In the mansion. The Beagle place was a moderately large one of about 2,500 acres. Of this 400 lay In rich bottom, from which sluices coquetted with hillsides and upr lands. It was a profitable little prop erty, bringing in from ir0 to 20i bales of cotton in annual rentals, and the brothers were prosperous and happy. Then came the school." Impossible, unspeakable men and women frouM Yankeeland bought a couple of hun dred acres of high, wornout soil at a preposterous price, put up fine build ings and opened a school for "nig gers. So Dan and Bud Seagle, whose place ndtoined the school nronprtv in talk the catastrophe over. "I tell you, Bud." said Dan, tilting back on. his rush-bottom, high-bac!ied chair, and waiving his pipe in, the fierceness of his invective, "that this country ain't no place nohow for cast. down, r.o-afcoi-nt people whom they." mansion, and wrote tnc news to his cr.hn't eland' up No'th. so they came brother. The next ten days Bud 4 down heah to make the n&gah their passed in silent misery. Jiy some mys- equal. I tell you. Bud, I I won't terious means the news of his sale trivp an inch of the road if I meet had gone all over the country, , al- them. I don't care if they do get up ?et." "I don't know whether they be low- down or not," responded Burl, with slow, judicious accent, "but Mis' Mason is right smaht han'some, an' she's got the prettiest smile in Alabama." "See , heah, Bud, ain't, you a little overtaken," with an open sneer. thoueh the roads were almost impass- j able. Vv-efe It not that his courage 'had commanded respect, and his good natured tolerance popularity, h,e would have been estraclzed by the ten white families in the little town. . "I ain't no traitor," he explained, for 1 the hundredth time, to the crowd at ;the store. "They offered me my price, i an' I sold hit. There is one thing I "Now, Brother, why do you talk that ; can say for them: They pay, and is way. rio marnea woman can sum me. You know who my sweetheart i.? as well as, I do." And Bud, who never lost his temper, strolled nocahalr.ntly over to the shack and saddled his horse. , That was a year ago. In the meanwhile, Dan Seagle sud ctnly married and went up the road twenty miles to live on a rich .planta- honest. The school trades heah with ye, Colonel. Can ye deny that?" And Col. Finger was forced ta pull his tobacco-stained white mustache and nervously assent that in money matters the school was all right. "Very well," said Bud with dignity; "when any of you gen'lemen can find a, single fault, with any of them, except ing they teach niggahs, then I'll call tion. That left Bud to sell the prop-1 mysef beat. An' I'll say right heah, erty which was known all over thejthet it's my opinion that a little moh country as the "Seagle place." Money eddication won't harm the niggahs was scarce, and Bud settled down to ! 'round heah no-how." rent and plant alone, hopeless of mak-1 With the last word reverberating ir.g a trade, when Paul Mason rode up ! from h!s lips, and in the silence of -.un- and offered to buy for the school. Paul Mason was an idealist. He was tall, near-sighted, enthusiastic, or iental. He was too absent-minded to run a parish, flad too languid to study. To him application was an impossibil ity. He would talk -at fever heat for convinced apathy, Bud passed over the railroad track to "set awhile" with Florence. Fifty years ago the family of Finger was noble; now it was plebeian. Born in the most -desolate section of the "No " matter If the whole countf . Is against -?e.y't U "I don't, care, sweetheart, for ; the whole county or the whole world, as long as I hev you with me, girl." . Th man did not luxn xL gaze from the. blossoming woods as he spoke, so he didnot see the rapture that ; his speech brought to the face of the- vo maa he loved. But she controlled her self, and asked another question.- ! "Tell me, Bud dear, do ye think them, No'therner up there.are good an' honest, or are they what they, call them around the stoah." Bud turned and looked at his sweet heart with the air of a man who, has seen a vision. . - .. .. .. i':'r "I believe," he said,' slowly, as if he were repeating a creed, "that they are better'n any of us are lioble-jlike an oughter be helped." "Then, Bud," rang out the girl's strong voice, "why don't you go an' tell them so'i" - : ' : -r . "I?" helplessly. ' ':, "You're a man my man. ; Bud an' haven't any reason to be ashamed of what ye believe." "When shall I go?" :'I'm proud of ye Bud, an' I'd admire to have ye go now." Apparently without emotion or feel ing, Florence rocked softly. As qui etly Bud Seagle arose. For a moment his hand rested caressingly, upon her seemingly unresponsive shoulder. Then he passed through the- yellow outh, Florence had grown up like a ten mjnutes intelligently, . and .then ( .beautiful Cherokee rose on a bank of j aattoauis, openea tne gate, . mounteu trrndnniiv drift into drived. But thp ' niav Ttfr PAmniPvion was us PTnufsite his horse and rode. away. Florence Rev. Paul Mason had one inspiration at youth and health could make it. that made his life worth while. Jlejller eyes were blue, and as soft aB solved the negro problem by educat-! the reflection of the sky in brow. Her ing the black man to own his home. I eyelashes were black, while her eye This was not original with him. He brows waved and curled, making an had breathed it in. Although he did ' enticing and luxurious contrast to her not know it, hin wife was tly? source violet eye3 and pearly skin. Her nose of the land scheme which revolution- was straight, her nostrils large and ized Bud Seagle's life. - vibrant. Her mouth! Ah! The South alone gives such months as hers, passion- 'Bud Seagle was a practical idealist. Side-hill ditching, th? salvation of the Southern farmer, was his f-pecialty; saj ate and proud, loving and loyal, im was the exquisite yellow jasmine that ; perious and yielding, melting and confides its delicate tendriHs to the j faithful unto death. If one may be chivalry of ; the. swmp-trees. Xo one permitted to coin the word it was a in the country knew better than he j monophilandric mouth, bestowed o-n-wJkeit; jto plarit, . wn'eu : 6 hoe, and ' when j jy on.the single-minded and the pure to pick the cotton. Alsi, no onein heart. It was a mouth that could fcnew better than he the haunts of the!011iy kiss one man, and he the choice cardinal, the thrush, or the lark. The ; Q n lifetime. plantation was his living.. and his life. So, while Bud despised Paul Mason's ignorance, he respected the clergy man's motives. He sold his homestead to the Northerner, because deep down in his soul lay a lagoon of justice and a well of right which had never been dipped into any great extent. "I done sold the Seagle place to the Xo'the'ner," he said, that evening to himself. "What will Florence say? My God, what will Florence say?" . 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FOR SALE BY .ALL DEALERS. .... , i Her whole nature, ignorant cf every thing; else in the "world, had been cast, as it were, into one projectile, to be fired, when the time should come, at a heart-shaped target marked 'love." Love was her dream, her ideal, her life, her ecstasy. Florence was now IS, as much of a miracle as the jasmine arisen from the black mud of the swamp. She Was eig;ht years younger than Bud, but within that negative period WRS packed an amount of fanatical adoration that the practical mind of her tever could not imagine, nor his dreamy nature apprehend. Little did he know that she was of the old-fashioned race of womanhood that makes her lover her god; the words of his mouth, her food; and his .decision, her law. Ile-rs was the blind faith in her choice that lifts a man out of the com mon herd, and makes him a king.Such was Bud Seagle's sweetheart. Would the type were as plentiful as the vio lets cf the field! As the man ap proached, she stopped her languid i rocking and greeted him with her I ' hand. ,-;sat there talking. She did not lift her lips. He for many minutes "without Womanlike, without looking at hirq, ; J she noted.-tbe pallor under has eyes, fjM and the dejection that comes from ; sleeplessness. Her eyes grew cold, and her If pa tightened.1 - "Has Pcpjpex tbee houndjn' ye about the Seagle place." .''Yes,, wearily. ... I "An ye did right in seliin' the school the land:" ;.-...?: : S"J kflow I wai" ..m a,Hji$'K did not turn her head, but her heart beat violently. Mrs. Paul Mason sat alone in the of fice of the colored school. She was attending to the accounts and to the thousand and one details that are the exasperation of institution life. Laura Mason was a trained - manager J An alumna of a state normal college, she taught in a city grammar school upon her graduation. When Gen. Arm strong cast "his net for the ablest and most attractive young woman of the East, he chose Laura Bingham be cause of her executive ability and cheerful vivacity. For five years she went from one department to another, until she mastered the main details of the wonderful system of instruction in Hampton. It was there she dreamed of found ing an industrial school for negroes in the darkest belt of the South. For her to dream was to accomplish. Know ing the hostility of the whites to ne gro education in a region where the black man outnumbers them twenty to one, her friends urged upon Laura the necessity of Marriage as a protection from insult. The Rev. Paul Mason ws, quite wil ling to moon- his last years away, in a semi-tropical land in the rhapsody of missionary labors. He vas a man of good, old decadent family, and tie: pro posed with a superior air of conde scension. In the name of her new field of work; and because of bis gen tlemanly harmlessness, Laura accepted him. Her educational work was her romance, her love and her -life. : The first five years cf the school were a nightmare. For two years the teachers ate no fresh meat" but i ha,t was killed on the grounds, and they had no ice. " No one would eel! to them. Upon that little red elay knoll they were shut up as tightly as if they were upon one of the Islands of the Pacific. With the exception of Inso lent' drummers, "-not; a -native white man" had yet stepped foot within the school grounds in all these five yar3. Ah. there was -the real problem in these gigantic pioneer; labors.. Laura Mason was , bending over , her desk. It was 5 o'clock- She w,as tired and discouraged. Were.-it-not for her faith, ;that was; ,bprn - ngaJix each raorftinig, i&fe school wonld jkp have lived one puny.-year.s nJSbB yeas thinking, in the setting of (he hot sun: wondering how she could possibly win the respect, if not the confidence of the few white families less than a mile away a hitherto hopeless task when a knock sounded upon the door. "Come in," she called, without spir it. The door opened, and in walked a man whose furtive glances she had in stinctively interpreted as not un friendly. His was the land the school had bought. For years Laura had hoped to capture this planter, and here he was. Bud Seagle walked in with the air of a. culprit driven to cqnfession, and dropped to a chair. After twirling his hat for a few moments in his con fusion, he glanced up with a frank smile of curiosity. In that one look (he never could explain how) the little Northern woman dissipated the last demnant of Southern suspicion, and bound his loyalty to her and to her work with forged chains. " 'Miss' Mason," he said, impulsively, holding out his hand, "I cidn't think I could ever do this, but I've come to tell you that I believe in the school, an' that ye can count on me to help ye all I can." It was the turning point of his life this simple speech. Somehow he felt its import, and he finished with a deep breuth. Thehigh color stole over Lanra Ma son's face, quickening it through in spiration. She felt that the best way to take this almost nirraculous avowal cf a new faith was to accept it simply ; as jt came. It was the victory of years pf fighting and self-sacrifice j She spoke quickly, in as much of a I matter-of-course tone as she could i assume. "I am glan Mr. Seagle, that you do not regret selling your land to the school." "I'm proud of it, ma'am. I'm proud of the fac'," Bud laid his, hat on the floor, feeling . strangely at home. "What do you expect to do now?" Mrs. Mason asked softly. "I don't know. It seems like I handn't anything to do now; but I'll vacate the mansion as soon as ye say." "I didn't mean that, Mr. Sleagle," she said with a rare smile, and bent toward him. "I mean just the oppo site. Why don't you stay here alto gether? That is" . Bud's eyes grew large in mild won der. His lips parted to question. "I mean Mr. Sleagle, I want you to be an active part of our land scheme, that's all." "It's a right smaht scheme, an I'd like ris:ht.well to see it tried; h,ut I've done sold the' place to ye, an I den't see how I can help." "I will tell you what I want." Laura llason spoke quickly. "I want an hon est, honorable Southern gentleman who. knows the people, the conditions and the land to manage the Seagle pjace for us. In short, I want you to be our rider, and stay at the mansion." Bud Seagle's, face reddened and then slowly paled at the suggestion. He started to speak. .. "Pon't answer yet. Let me talk u while and explain our plans and what we want then you can answer:" For fully half an hour Laura Mason poured forth - her " soul. Her great dream " of educating the ignorant ne gro to own his home was now on the point of realization through this man. She explained, to him with business precision how he could do all the ad I vancjes,, tlmi making a handsome prot- ! fit on his ready cash and she suggest ed to him, with womanly gentleness, the;, nobility and t&e -usefulness of life which jshe nrged upon ; him, "Why 'Mi, Seagle she said, rising in her enthusinsm," "y-ra will Lave a IffiagificeatzopjHrttinitr; - the greatest i that "ever will come to you. Think of jltlJuslUhink of:3U" - v. 1 iiiolitllietive iips quiv ered with a new emotion. "You can cheerful, bo Improvident at they, Tb count on me aa lon as you want me. j despair of the thrifty, and the prey of Make your own terms. You ar the honestest woman I ever saw." The school - bell rang joyously. It seemed to have lost ita usual etrident tones. They both started as if from a reverie. She was looking up at him, proud of her conquest, and he was gaz ing down upon her, a little ashamed of bis feeling, but very firm. "Can you come next Monday and talk over details. The planting is a little late." " I'll come, Mrs. Mason, an' befoh I forget it, I want to call Mention to Uncle Wash. You se. Uncle Wash has always lived on the place, an I promised father to look out foh hjm, the unscrupulous, they require the con stant guardianship of an honest, prac tical man. 4 The rider Is the modern overseer. H goes with advice; the overseer enforce his decision wjth the whip"; the ri$r flogs the stomach rather than pack. He cuts down the rations when a ten ant refuses to work as he direct. No oue excelled Dud Seagle In the part, et getting the most work out of his peo ple, and the uioEt profit out of a plan tation, Who could plan and order and drive better than he? Why his vt9 the cleanest cotton in the country. Yet the negroes loved him and trusted, him to a man. He. never wronged or He's a no-account nlggah an I feed t Seated them. He wus so honest, "h him regular. He's living alone In the leaned esH backward on it," a,hl old cabin. He's only about sixty, butfbrother once sa,d wItb a wry smile, he cahn't work, as his legs sorter giyejLast 'ear he rode for Bud Seagle; tfai out. an I reckon he's a little of a cot-i year he nad Pledged himself to rde ton-picker. Cahn't ye let him stay ror the negroes themselves, and teach there. I'll look out for him. Ye see. Mis Mason, I'm powerful fond pf him, an' he's right smarht troubled about the change." Mrs. Mason laughed merrily. "Oh, I know Uncle Wash well; he comes regularly for supplies. He shan't be turned out of his cabin as long as he lives." Bud Seagle did not answer. He just looked his gratitude at her, then them how to buy and pay lor their own homes! How the world had whirled in ita op. bit! "It's the same pipe, but differ ent smoke, that's all.'' he explained to himself, as he filled his corn-cob lor the second time in his joew reverie,; Then his fancy fled from farms to Florence. : In a vague, masculine he felt that the plummet of his com prehension had not yet sounded aer turned silently away, and went out,jPths. He also knew that thera into the setting of the sun. Clean, white-gowned black girls glanced at him curiously. Straight-limbed-negro boys walked with military alertness about their business. Bud gazed upon them with an air cf proprietary Inter est, still dazed by his sudden decision. How account for it? There was witchery somewhere. He Bud Sea gle a rider for a colored school! En tranced, be mounted hip horse. As he tightened on the bit. he felt a tremb ling touch upon his leg. A pitiful, emaciated face looked up with shrewd imploring eyes. The figure was in tatters, aud barefooted, "How is hit; Mass'r Seagle? Dohn't tell me I go ter go." "It's al right, Uncie Wash; you can stay as long as ye live. The School will let ye do hit. I'm going to stay, too." Bud affectionately patted the frayed coonskln cap. From the old slave's eyes hot tears of joy fell and blinded him. As ne dragged his way with his stick, his gray head bobbed, and, across the cotton-field, red-skirted children, return ing home from sctcc! beard Uncle Wash crooning in r j tLmie exultation and wondered what new religion the old paralytic had experienced. So Bud Seagle rode to the mansion would be bitter war between his ld friends and himself as soon as they found out that he was a rider for the school. He knew them well. They would jeer at bis face, and cut uner him behind bis back. The ' store keeper would try to debaneh the'tie groes, advance to them, charge them, mortgage them, and run them off tba place if he could. The only limit to his virulence would be his incapacity for ruining the work Bud had undertak en to perform. For the first time ja his life it occurred to the rider that he had better carry a gun: For, foremost among his enemies : and prosecutors was the father of the girl he loved tne man at whose beck men came and went, and negroes ' trembled. With tne exception of himself, every whits was either Col. Finger's rider or im pendent. The Colonel was the post master, th storekeeper, the owner if the only cotton-gin, nd -tea -thoqswxd acres pf Jand, and bis word ws fat ten law within a radius of twefctjr miles. He had a feudal power of ljfa and death that few in this country can easily understand. J Would FJorenca, in the final smoke of victory or defeat, follow her father and the instincts -of her race, or follow her lover aloog th new highway? In ; all aes ifomett have been inscrutable to the men ijutf love. C that was till to be his own. and as iiei passed under the great, green-fingered The spring burned into summer. Tbo pines, they whispered . to him in j roads were caked. The swamp waa tongues he knew so well, and weloom-i 6t?- Nature was fulfilling her earlier ed his return. j promises with rank prodigality. It "Rider! Why, he had been a rider was the season pf blind thunder storms, when the cotton bad receirea its second hoeing. It was glitteria- vibrant June. The wild plums and blackberries,' commonly known raa "nigger's bread,M were ripe, and ihm black man could only be driven to tha field by the sternest measures. And the school was nearly a month closed, although Paul Mason was put tering around, alone, happy In the con sciousness that at last he was ira- all his life! The . Seagle place was rented out in forty-seven one-horse farms. He knew every inch of the 'sail, every tenant. He knew bow to j ditch the barren hills; he knew how 'to deal with improvident slackness. None better understood than he when jto plow and when to wait what sort jef sweep to run. not too deep and not j too shallow when to . plant cotton, I when the corn, and where : the can so that it should not grow too thick. He discerned when to hoe the cotton. and when to pick it at its fullest white- But he had not only ; to know the Hand and judge the crops, but he must as to when and where and bow; they rshonld work, r Negroes are- only chil ) drent and if they are not told and drlv- jen, they will starve none are . so J wearily climbed his horse to go dowa j i J v. uu. vatl w u nttuiu WUV Li 1 lili iwyviiauu AiUV as a yicvu tionary measure Laura had insisted $a putting the school property as well as the land in Bud Seagle's charge when she left .on her collecting tour In the Nortk. ? 6 Bad was t&e administrator as well as the rider. He waa the be master of his people, and- prescribe thardesj jivn. wWt man in the coun ty, for he worked on honor. Exhausted, "frazzled.", wprrled,, lonv ly, and almost" discouraged, the rider