xt700000043g https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt700000043g/data/mets.xml Hagan, Francis J. 1899  books b92fh1205mo18992009 English S. Rosenthal : Cincinnati, Ohio Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky --Fiction. A mountain exile; the story of a Kentucky feud ... text A mountain exile; the story of a Kentucky feud ... 1899 2009 true xt700000043g section xt700000043g 


By Francis J. Hag an

press of





I.  The Exile Comes Home ........... 1

II. Where Time Sleeps................. 22

III. The Office Seeks the Man........ 86

IV. Blessed are the Peacemakers..... 48

V. " Love's Labor Lost"............... 55

VI. a Wild Turkey Chase.............. 68

VII. Gilbert Goes Into Business........ 7S

VIII.  The Light of Revelation ........ 92

IX. The Hunter and the Hunted..... 95

X. A Friend in Need................. lot

XL Fight of the Feudal Mountaineers IIS

XII. Abram Crenshaw Sees a "Harnt" 189

XIII. A Midnight Surprise............... 158

XIV. A Life for a Life.................. 174

XV. Clem. Hackett Serves a Warrant 17"

XVI. "A Survigrous Lookix' Manbodv".. 1ST

XVII.   Disillusion.......................... 199

XVIII.   "I Call You"....................... 219

XIX.  at Last ............................ 282 


The "Pheasant"   Ruffed Grouse.............. 3

"Let's Take A Drink "____. ............... 13

"His Three Favorite Hounds "................./5

The"Severe" Man............................ 49

"One Raw, Misty Morning In Early Spring". . 57

"That Little She-Torment".................... 63

The Wood-Duck.............................. 65

Forest In The Cuiiiher/ands................... St

"The Lithe Little Grey Form Revealed"...... 97

"lie Saw A Hart footed Girl Driving Cows". . 121

"Upon A Rock Was A Huge Rattlesnake"..... 123

"She Might Have Been A Wood. Nymph"...... 129

"He Grasped Her Trembling Hand".......... 144

"Amid The Woodland Vegetation "........... 146

" They Found Him Fishing For Bass "........ 757 
   Chapter I.

The Exile Comes Home.

HE sun had sunk behind the western range, and down a certain steep and savage slope of the Cuin-berlands the shadows began to gloom about two incongruous companions. One was a tow-headed, freckle-faced, mountain youth, with abnormally long legs; but his short body deprived him of the unusual height which was rightly his by virtue of his elongated limbs. If physical characteristics ever indicated the mental and moral traits of their possessor, then these most prominent features of his anatomy, together with his alert look, might have been taken to indicate that the distinguishing characteristic of Tom Hatfield, or "Legs," as he was commonly called, was his paramount ability to create sudden remoteness between himself and any immediate danger that might threaten. He was in that adolescent state between boyhood and manhood, or, as he himself expressed it, "had sprouted his beard, and was beginning to strut and gobble." 
   A Mountain Exile,

The other was a young man whose whole appearance, from his patent-leather shoes and neat, new, canvas leggings, to his pale face above its high collar, betrayed that he was city-bred, and foreign to the scenes about him. He sat listlessly on a log against which his gun rested, and looked down through the gathering shadows into the peaceful valley far below. Young in years, if not in the ways of the world   ways, however, which leave their imprint no less strongly marked than the hand of time   there was beneath the long lashes which shaded his dark eyes a darker shadow, as if the night, which would soon steal out from the coves, had already touched his face in passing with its pensive presentiments.

All day he had been wandering over the mountains shooting pheasants, guided by the mountaineer. It had been a disappointing day. Few of his days, it seemed to him, were otherwise. The boy had professed not only to know the mountains, but right where to go for the birds   "could n't help finding 'em." But somehow they succeeded admirably in accomplishing that impossible thing, and when the birds did turn up it was when least expected. The pheasant flushes from its form among the brown leaves, which it so closely assimilates in color, with a roaring whirr calculated to startle one whose nerves are not of steel. Once flushed, they have an inconvenient little habit of alighting in trees, where they are doubly hard to find again, or, when found, to kill. There are many fast things in Kentucky, from a race-horse to an unfounded rumor, which has long legs; but for precipitate haste the pheasant that gets a good start out of a tree-top can dis- 

A Mountain Exile,

tance them all. He startles, exhilarates, and leaves you. The hunter steals stealthily along with every sense on the alert, pausing to scan some suspicious knot on a tree, and, having satisfied himself, moves on, when that very knot starts into sudden life, and flashes away, filling the woods, like some titanic bumble-bee, with a heavy boom, and presenting to the hunter's startled vision the optical illusion of a straight streak of pheasant stretching away through the tree-tops.

He had climbed up hill, and rolled down over slippery, leaf-strewn, moss-grown ledges of rock, had crawled through thicket and briar patch, ever and anon sending a charge of number eight shot through the saplings in the direction of that booming sound that betrayed the pheasant's flight. And at rare intervals peering through the smoke of the discharge, a shower of cut twigs and feathers floating in the air had told that he had killed with the eye of faith.

It was distracting while it lasted, and furnished ocupation for his thoughts; but now for the first time, as he sat in the solemn hush broken by no sound save that of Blue Lick Creek rushing through its rocky channel far below, and seeming to strike from the shores of another world, Gilbert Garrett realized the whole impassable gulf between his club life in the city, and the future that lay before him. He felt all the loneliness and isolation of an inhabitant of another world. The night with its pensive presentiments brought with it a feeling new to him who had fathomed the depths of boredom.

His boyhood had been a wild, reckless one, and after a scrape, from which he narrowly escaped with- 
   The Story ok a Kentucky Feud.


out disgrace, he had been banished here by his father, who was a "self-made man," and whose bitterest cross it was that his son should display such aversion to business, and such little inclination to anything useful in life. Gilbert had inherited this property through his maternal grandfather, Joshua Gilbert, who had emigrated over the mountains from Virginia in pioneer days, and settled in the beautiful Blue Lick cove with an army of negro slaves, and lived and died here in patriarchal magnificence. But the tide of development had passed far away from the cove shut in by its mountains, and the property, which had finally reverted to Gilbert's mother, whose only heir he was, was practically worthless. It was the only thing, as Gilbert said, that his father ever touched that did not turn to gold; but he had cheerfully resigned all his marital rights in it to Gilbert, assuring him it was all he' should ever get from his estate, unless the leopard changed its spots. The old Gilbert patents comprised many thousand acres of worthless land in the mountains, and a comparatively small tract of arable land in the Blue Lick Valley. The mountains were clothed with hardwood forests, but the inaccessibility to market made them valueless.

But a few days before, he had come here with rather an erroneous impression of what was before him. It was plain enough now. Banished from all those pleasures that had grown so essential to his existence, to become a mere clod at the bottom of this hole in the ground, called a cove. To-day like yesterday, to-morrow a repetition of to-day. It was an awful bore, and he was dreadfully susceptible to boredom.   But it was all his own fault. 

A Mountain Exile.

He reflected bitterly upon the years he had wasted. He had brought it upon himself; but that realization did not make his lot any easier to bear. There was no use trying to stand it any longer. He would go back to town, and go to work. But what could he do?

"I can read and write," he groaned in spirit; "but that's about my limit. Bluffs do n't go in that game. You've got to show your cards, and I am not deuce high!"

For some moments his companion regarded him uneasily, if not sympathetically, and then producing a flask of pure white mountain whisky, his panacea for all earthly woes, exclaimed for the hundredth time that day, "Take a ho'n!"

Gilbert shook his head rather testily.

Undeterred by the oft reiterated refusal, the other said, "This yere 's straight goods. I cotch hit myself this mawnin' right outer the still wum. Ain't no pizen in hit, nor liniments; nuthin' but that ar burnt bit o' dried peach to gin hit flavor."

But Gilbert was proof against even this recommendation, and the mountaineer regarded him with unmistakable sympathy. "I reckon these yere well-poles o' mine has been most too much for ye," he said ,gazing at his long legs proudly. "I reckon they kin make less tracks to the mile and more to the minute than any other par o' laigs in these yere mounting-;. Whenever I gits in triberlashun. or takes aboard o' me a big skeer, I jes puts one of 'em out so, and tother past hit 'bout ten feet, and jest keep 'em a passin' each other untwell I gits comfort. The tallest travelin' I ever done was down this yere mounting two year ago, come Chrismus.   Hit were 
   The Story of a, Kentucky Feud.


'bout a mile from here whar hit's a heap breshier. I was sneakin' along wid dad's ole gun loaded with tuckey shot, lookin' for a ole gobbler that used roun' thar when I run plumb onto a big bar. I was so flustered I jes whanged away with both bar'ls as he riz up out'n a tree-top that had root-wadded. The shot must a stung him most powerful, for he fotch a loud, rusty beller that mought a been hearn a mile, an I begin a backin'. A crawfish with a hongry coon a-reachin' for him were jis nowhar. I backed into a tree, and as he reached for me I busted the gun all to flinders over his head. I got away from the tree, an' kept on a-backin', snatchin' bresh from the trees fust one side an' then tother, an' a-wearin' of 'em out on that bar. I never knowed the right use o' bresh afore that day. I reckon I were the busiest human in the mountings 'bout that time. I bet that bar thought I had a dozen hands the way that bresh was thrashed over his face. What with the shot an' the bresh he would charge in blind, an' I would git out'n his way. But I seen he was gittin' madder all the time, an' a losin' all respect for my bresh-mill, an' the next time I dodged him I jes turned an' mizzled. I got a dozen jumps on him afore he rightly seen what I was up to an' could gather himself together. Then he come down that mounting like a snowslide, a settin' to me as clost as a poor cow does to her hide in March. But I knowed ef ever that bar got in reach of me again I'd be flattened out as thin as a stepchild's bread an' butter. You oughter hearn him beller   hit were nuff to skcer a saw-mill clean oflt'n the crick, an' I jest went down that mounting like a lizzard with a tuckey hen arter him, an' beat my 

A Mountain Exile,

shadder forty yards in the fust half mile. The bar gin hit up   he had to," and the speaker gazed proudly at the unabbreviated portions of his anatomy that had served him in such good stead.

"I guess them 's the longest par o' laigs ever hung to any carcus, 'ceptin' a grandaddy spider, an' I kin beat him usin' of 'em as bad as a feather-bed kin beat a bag o' walnut shells fer sleepin' on. Well, here's how! I'm as dry as a hoss-fly arter a spider has done got through with him," and the bottom of the flask flashed in the fading light.

"Emptied hit at one run," he exclaimed, ruefully regarding the depleted bottle. "Waal, I reckon hit '11 be most night agin we git down off'n the mounting."

Arising from the log, Gilbert followed his fidus Achates of the hunting field down the steep slope; but had not proceeded far when, suddenly, with a startling whirr a pheasant sprang from the brown leaves, and darted away through the engulfing network of limbs and bushes along the mountain side. Instinctively the gun came up to his shoulder, and the barrels spouted their jets of flame. The mountaineer dropped the game he carried, and darted away to where the bird had fallen.

"Did I kill him?"

"Kill him!" the youth exclaimed triumphantly, holding it up. "The critter's deader 'n a door-nail, deader 'n Lazarus wus afore he was resurrected."

"Where did you learn about Lazarus?" Gilbert asked, surprised at the quaint simile. Gilbert had seen enough to know that the dwellers upon Blue Lick were as far removed from the benefits of even the crudest education as any in all the Cumberlands. 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud.


A day's search among them would have failed to find one that could read or write. For reply the other stooped and peered, and then stepped back and peered again down into the valley below them.

"Kin ye see that house 'way over yander 'cross ther crick   jest kin make out ther roof   thar at the eend o' that pint arunnin' down from the bald o' ther mounting; that's hit. Thar's where we has Sunday-school. I've hearn pap tell as how that cabin was built by a mighty bad man. They called him out one night an' shot him when he come to the doah, an' they ain't never nobody lived thar sence. Some folks 'lowed it was hanted, but Miss Ruth Colbert 'lowed she would drive out the evil sperrets with good ones, an' keeps Sunday-school thar now, an' I go most every Sunday. She's Mister Joe Bob Colbert's wife. I reckon you've hearn tell o' Mister Joe Bob? No! Well, he's a survigrous man, every inch of him. Thar ain't no weevil in his wheat, mighty small chance o' water in his whisky, and narey a drap o' streakid blood in his body. Ain't a-feared o' nothin' on this yearth   'ceptin', may be, his wife. I reckon a man's got to have a mighty big melt not to be a-feared o' his wife. An' squar! He's the squarest white man you ever sot eyes on   divide all he's got with you down to his last half pint   and that's jes a hon you know. Talkin' 'bout half pints 'minds me of a new suckit rider come through here right fresh from the settle-mint, with stoah clothes like you've got on, an' put up at dad's over night. Next mawnin' he took me off to one side, an' drew a little tin bottle on me    had a cork o' the same material that you screwed off an' onto its neck, like I seen you windin' up that 

A Mountain Exile,

timecounter o' yo's a while ago. "Son," sezzee, "I have a ailin' in ma innards   kin you buy me a half-pint o' liquor?" Think o' it! Half a pint foh a thirsty man ailin' for hit! Sounded like a man freezin' to death, an' askin' foh a inch o' cord-wood. Miss Ruth Colbert's powerful smart; kin read anything, print or writin'," he rambled on with the garrulity of youth, which for the first time finds a receptive auditor, and makes the most of the occasion.

"She's got funny notions 'bout some things," he continued. "I reckon she got 'em in her head whar she was eddicated. They's a place out towards the settlemint they calls ther 'mishyun,' whar they's wimmen folks as calls 'emselves 'sistern,' 'at teaches ther gals all sorts er things. They ain no sich place fer boys   least-ways not as I've hearn on," he said, with evident gratitude. "But everybody likes Miss Ruth ennyways. I tell you she's jest the top o' the pot, an' the pot a-bilin'. An'," he added, triumphantly, his eyes glistening with the anticipation, "she 'lows to giv us a Chrismus-tree. It's goin' to be somethin' scrumptious, I kin tell ye."

"That must be a noble woman," thought Gilbert. What would he not give, in looking back over his misspent life, to have done the good with his unlimited opportunities that this poor woman had in her humble sphere; to have called into a single human face the bright look of hope and expectancy that illuminated the freckle face before him at the prospect of that poor Christmas-tree in that deserted cabin. There was no one to miss him from his accustomed haunts, none to feel the worse for his passing.   The waiter who attended him at the 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud. i i

club might wonder vaguely what had become of him, and his particular chums might ask one another, "Have you heard the news   Gil's left town;" but ere this they had all doubtless forgotten his very existence. It was a shallow, heartless, unsatisfying existence. If there was anything to do here he was not so sure but that he might in time grow accustomed to his exile, as the prisoner to his chains. But that "if." the dreadful monotony of nothing to do! It had been the bane of his life in town with all its distractions; here the prospect was too hopeless to contemplate.

"Yander's yo' house, way over yander at tother end o' the cove. Jes kin make out the red bricks agin the mounting side," exclaimed the mountaineer, pausing as they came to a point in the descent, from which it was visible. "Powerful lot o' house for jes one lone man body to live in. They ain't another in the mountings nowhar kin tech one side of hit," he concluded, with the pardonable pride that all the covites shared in this architectural triumph. To their untutored minds it was a perfect palace.

Gilbert nodded assent, for the old house with its ancient style of architecture possessed a quaint charm for him. "If it was only anywhere else on earth," he sighed.

"Huh! What's the matter with its sitiwation?" grunted the mountaineer. "Ain't never heard nobody find fault with that afore. Hit'd suit me mighty well   long as hit ain't none too fur from a still 'ouse, nor too nigh a chuch or jail."

Gilbert smiled at the other's eccentric idea of the essential requisites of a desirable location. "Why, I thought you were such a regular attendant at 

A Mountain Exile,

Sunday-school," he said, with a quizzical look, "such an apt Biblical scholar, boasting a personal acquaintance with Lazarus and other lamented gentlemen of Scriptural memory, and here you couple a church and jail in the same category!"

'Well, I doan know much about chuches, 'ceptin' they 're agin drinkin' biled drinks, an dancin', an' fightin', an' other sorcial 'musements. But Sunday-schools air alright ef they have the proper trimmings; Christmus-trees an' sorcials in the winter time, an' basket picnics in the summer, with plenty of purty gals all the time. Them's the fctchingest argyments ever I seed. All the ole preachers an' ugly wimmen ever chucked inside a chuch door jes ain't nowhar side of 'em for leadin' a feller in the way of righteousness. An' Miss Ruth sorter mixes in a little sorcial 'musement of a morril natur, like a keerful man salts his cattle   barely 'nuff to bring 'em back to the lick-log. I been 'tendin' that lick-log regular as the ole bell-cow. Ole man Abram Crenshaw's middle darter, Adelaide, is Miss Ruth's prize scholar, an' I tell you what, she's 'nuff to take a feller away from a free fight at the still-house any Sunday. When she sings, 'Onward, Christian Soldier, marchin' as to war,' I feel like I could lick all them 'heathen bands' with both hands tied behind me, jes as fast as ole Satan could trot 'em out."

"Must possess very taking ways," said Gilbert, with an amused smile.  "Is she handsome?"

"Handsome! That ain't the word; sounds sorter like callin' good whisky strong water when ye air ten miles from a still-'ouse, an' your bottle broke. She's purty as a speckled fawn, an' got more takin' ways than a fawn has spots in July.   She's sixteen 

A Mountain Exile,

hands high, sound, an' without a blemish. All she wants is a cob-web shift; and butterfly wings to make her a angel. She's jes like a bumble-bee's nests, full of honey an' stings. 'Nuff ter drive a feller plumb crazy. Give yer a rale, fed-hot fever one minute, an' then the ager the next. O! durn sich gals   why ain't they all like Suke Bosler, ugly as a skinned hoss?   an' then a feller wouldn't be ever-lastin' gittin' in trouble over 'em. Less take a drink!" in his mental perturbation forgetting that the bottle was empty.

The discovery of this unfortunate condition of affairs hastened his homeward steps, and the descent of the mountain side was concluded at a gait that put Gilbert to his best pace to follow. Striking the main road that wound through the little valley, and no longer requiring the services of his youthful guide, Gilbert dismissed him with a brace of pheasants, and some small change that convinced that worthy that he had found the road to sudden wealth.

Gilbert had pursued his journey homeward but a short distance, when a sudden turn in the winding road revealed the figure of another traveler but a few paces ahead of him. Although the back was turned to him, he recognized with some surprise that the other, like himself, was foreign to the mountains. He was attired in a suit of black broadcloth of clerical cut, covered with stains of travel. The figure, although that of a man advanced in life, was erect and vigorous, and the lack of spring in his step evidenced the weariness of travel rather than the weakness of age.

"Some psalm-singing parson," thought Gilbert, "going about with staff and script.   Very worthy, 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud. 15

no doubt; but none the less a bore, as most oppressively good things unfortunately seem to be. Strange how uninteresting all good people are. Wonder how far he is going? 'Fraid I '11 have to overtake him at the gait he is hitting."

But the other, hearing foostcps behind him, suddenly turned, and the two men for a moment gazed at each other in mutual surprise. It was an impressive countenance that confronted Gilbert, with fine, strong features, whose prevailing expression was one of benignity. The glow of youthful health and vigor was upon it, contrasting strangely with the silvery, snow-white hair of age. He was the first to speak, and his most careless manner was the natural manner of courtly grace.

"Good evening. I am very glad to find I am to have the unexpected pleasure of company. Can you direct me to the home of the Colberts, which is, I believe, somewhere near?" he asked, as they walked along together.

"No," tc-plied Gilbert. "I am sorry to say I can not.   I, too, am a stranger here."

"Well, I can not agree that I am a stranger" said the other, smilingly disputing the implication in the young man's words, "although I am denied the pleasure of visiting my people here as often as I would wish." Gilbert smiled furtively, as if the idea of calling it a pleasure were exceedingly droll. "I notice, at least, that I am not so denominated by my covite parishioners, to whom all new-comers are uniformly Vtranger,' regardless of how often their names may be proclaimed. But I am called 'the Parson' by them," he concluded, as if Gilbert should be able to identify him by that designation. 

A Mountain Exile,

"And I am called 'the exile' by my late chums in town," answered Gilbert, very seriously, but in the confidence that the reverend gentleman would perceive the humor of it, and understand that it was equally as definitive as the designation he had given himself.

"We are all exiles here below; but unfortunately there is but one poor parson for my poor mountain parishioners   my name is Quintard," was the ready reply.

"My name is Gilbert Garrett. We may be all exiles in the sense you mean, Doctor, but I never discovered myself in that role until I came here, and your parishioners have not discovered their exiled condition at all. And in their case at least ignorance is bliss. I must insist, I am the only conscious exile here. Your parishioners are as much at home here as they would be in exile anywhere else. I imagine a future state would not be alluring to them which did not contemplate the charms of their primeval life, their diverting feuds, their moonshining ways, their pleasant pastime of potting each other from ambush," and in his droll manner he satirized the mountaineers mercilessly, but, noting the look of pain upon the other's face, paused rather abruptly.

"True, too true," he sighed. "The Master's work languishes here. The harvest is great, but the laborers wanting, and the precious grain goes un-garnered. But," he exclaimed, brightening up again with the warm enthusiasm which was plainly characteristic of him, "they are not criminals; they are not perverted by preference like the criminal class of our great cities; they possess barbaric virtues, as well as barbaric vices.   The blow follows quickly 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud.


upon the word of wrath, and revenge is perhaps the dominant passion of their hearts; but they are not thieves. They are simply victims of their environment. Their lives unlovely, into which no springtime ever comes, and the summer is a feverish drouth, with the winter of old age cheerless and unillumined by the bright sun of Christian hope, that shines for us above the dark sea of death. They are exiles, my young friend, from everything that should be theirs by sacred right of inheritance in the great brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God."

There was an earnestness in his voice and manner, and a modulation of the tones, that betrayed the man of eloquence. He seemed to possess a peculiar magnetic power to impress others with his own convictions, and Gilbert gazed at him in amaze to think that he should find such a man in this isolated region, engaged in a fruitless labor, when he might have been a veritable Moses among men who could appreciate him. He felt out of patience with the mistaken zeal that led to the sacrifice of such splendid gifts.

"I have just left a cabin about a mile back," the old man went on. "You should visit it. It will make you better contented with your lot. Inside it I found the winter-time of the mountaineer's life    sickness, and want, and wretchedness. About the door was the Spring-time   fair, blue-eyed, flaxen-haired mountain children. But I do not know which was the most pathetic sight   the winter within, or the blighted spring without. No toys such as charmed your infantile fancy have ever gladdened their little hearts, or awoke their dormant imagina- 

A Mountain Exile,

tions. I tried to get them to make believe the bits of wood and bark were playthings, as I used to do myself when a child, but the impenetrable ignorance which shrouds them seems to have stifled their fancy," and the old man shook his head sorrowfully.

"I can not believe with you that ignorance is bliss. I would rather believe that they are simply unfortunate exiles for a time. I would rather hope that there is a home somewhere in the great beyond, where no little child will stand shivering in cold and hunger. And some day, through God's mercy, may you be there, and see the radiant face of one of these little ones, and know that through the Divine love, and your erring help, the child of ignorance was led from darkness into light."

He paused at a diverging path, and exclaimed, "I see a light yonder; it must be the house I seek;" and he extended his hand graciously in farewell greeting.

It seemed strangely incongruous to think of this noble old man of evident culture and refinement seeking the hospitality of an ignorant mountaineer's cabin, and Gilbert earnestly urged him to favor himself with his company for the night, but was gratefully declined.

''A pleasure awaits me yonder that I am not unselfish enough to forego. It is a great comfort to know that in this sterile waste there blooms one fair flower of purest Christian charity, of noblest womanhood. Another time I will gladly accept your hospitality   you are one of my parishioners now, you know."

"Are you related, or do you know Bishop Quin- 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud. ig

tard, Doctor?" asked Gilbert, suddenly struck with the similarity of the names.

"Sometimes I think I do, and sometimes I am afraid I do not," replied the old man, with a strange, far-away look in his clear eyes. And then, noting the look of surprise in his questioner's gaze, added, smiling, "Here they call me 'the Parson,' but in the 'settlements' they call me the 'Bishop.' "

Gilbert gazed in dumb amaze after his retreating figure sturdily striding along the path leading to the mountaineer's cabin   the figure of the famous prelate of whom he had so often heard. Then, turning, he pursued his own way homeward in an altered frame of mind. Keeping on down the creek that brawled over its rocky bed to the left of the road, he came to broad and fertile fields, all around which the mountains arose in rugged, brawny masses. At the base of the great mountain, overlooking the valley, stood an old house built in the colonial style. The great iron gate opening into the yard was rusted and hanging by one hinge, the stone-flagged walk was rough and uneven, and mosses grew in the interstices between the stones. Azaleas, hollyhocks, and other shrubbery rioted in profusion over the once well-kept lawn, and encroached upon the house; the whole place wore an aspect the most mournful in houses as in men   an air of departed greatness. But it was his home   the home of his ancestors, who, beneath their grass-grown mounds, sleep in the old stone-walled graveyard in a quiet corner of the orchard. Home! What a word was there! Richer than Golconda in reflections. For the first time he realized all the sweet significance it 
   20 A Mountain Exile,

holds for the heart of man. A mere chance meeting with an old man upon a mountain road had opened his eyes to what he had been so blind to before. But, he remembered, that old man had exercised this same strange power over all with whom he came in contact, from the humblest mountaineer in his squalid home to the great generals in battle, over five hundred of whom, including the commander-in-chief of the Confederate army, he had baptized in the faith while surrounded by all the distracting horrors of war.

As he gazed about him in the gloaming, the scene was etched upon his consciousness with a rigorous distinctness of detail that seemed to partake of the significance of a crisis in his life   the old house, the disordered grounds, and in the background the graveyard with its modest headstones outlined against the fading sky, and reminding him of the strength of chiaroscuro in Dore's drawings. He an exile!   He had simply come home!

Through all the changing years, while time ran on in sun and shade, that old house had been the scene of all the acts that lie between the morn of laughter and the night of tears in the tragedy of life; had heard the cradle song drowning the drowsy prattle of a babe when, "with lips upon life's drifted font, blue-veined and fair," the heir of all the ages had come upon the stage to play its little part; had heard the old, old story told again when the one of all the world was wooed and won, and brought here a happy bride; had seen all those dear ones fall asleep, and upon their weary eyes death softly set its seal of rest.  And now, as he stood in the gather- 
   The Story of a Kentucky Feud. 21

ing shadows of the coming night, so prophetic of that longer space of null and dark futurity, it was his fondest hope that when his time came to journey on toward that horizon where the dusk is waiting for the dark, beyond the gates of the golden west, he might fall asleep, while the last embers changed from red to gray by the holy hearthstone of home. 
   Chapter II.

Where Time Sleeps.

piLBERT GARRETT was following his hounds across country one bright winter morning about a month after his coming to Blue Lick Cove. If there was one occupation for which he was preeminently fitted this was it, as many of the members of the Hillside Hunt will testify. His hard-riding cronies of that swell country club, now that he is in exile, admit over their after-dinner cups that his place as leader of the most reckless set has not been and is not likely to be filled. He had found that this was the one diversion of his old past that he could enjoy in a modified measure in his new sphere, and had procured a small but workmanlike pack of hounds to which he himself filled the