xt72804xh10c https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt72804xh10c/data/mets.xml Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922. 190618  books b92-230-31280747v4 English C. Scribner's sons, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 4) text Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 4) 1906 2002 true xt72804xh10c section xt72804xh10c 









PLANTATION

  EDITION



  VOLUME IV

 















































She gave him a rolling-pin and he set to work.
                 (P'AGE 297)



eNV i

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-&- THE NOVELS, STORIES,
SKETCHES AND POEMS OF
THOMAS NELSON PAGE ,



     RED ROCK
A CHRONICLE OF RECONSTRUCTION
           I







CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
NEW YORK, + + -1 -t 1906



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I


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Copyright, 1898, 1906, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS


  All Rights Reserved

 


















         TO
       F. L. P.
AN OLD-FASHIONED LADY

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PREFACE



THE Region where the Grays and Carys lived
lies too far from the centres of modern prog-
ress to be laid down on any map that will be
accessible. And, as "he who maps an undis-
covered country may place what boundaries
he will, " it need only be said, that it lies in the
South, somewhere in that vague region partly
in one of the old Southern States and partly
in the yet vaguer land of Memory. It will be
spoken of in this story, as Dr. Cary, General
Legaie, and the other people who used to live
there in old times, spoke of it, in warm affec-
tion, as, "the old County," or, "the Red Rock
section," or just, "My country, sir."
  It was a goodly land in those old times-a
rolling country, lying at the foot of the blue
mountain-spurs, with forests and fields; rich
meadows filled with fat cattle; watered by
                    vii

 
PREFACE



streams, sparkling and bubbling over rocks, or
winding under willows and sycamores, to where
the hills melted away in the low, alluvial lands,
where the sea once washed and still left its
memory and its name.
  The people of that section were the product
of a system of which it is the fashion now-
adays to have only words of condemnation.
Every ass that passes by kicks at the dead lion.
It was an Oligarchy, they say, which ruled and
lorded it over all but those favored ones who
belonged to it. But has one ever known the
members of a Democracy to rule so justly 
If they shone in prosperity, much more they
shone in adversity; if they bore themselves
haughtily in their day of triumph, they have
borne defeat with splendid fortitude. Their
old family seats, with everything else in the
world, were lost to them-their dignity became
grandeur. Their entire system crumbled and
fell about them in ruins-they remained un-
moved. They were subjected to the greatest
humiliation of modern times: their slaves were
                    viii

 
PREFACE



put over them-they reconquered their section
and preserved the civilization of the Anglo-
Saxon.
  No doubt the phrase "Before the war" is
at times somewhat abused. It is just possible
that there is a certain Caleb Balderstonism in
the speech at times. But for those who knew
the old County as it was then, and can contrast
it with what it has become since, no wonder it
seems that even the moonlight was richer and
mellower "before the war" than it is now.
For one thing, the moonlight as well as the
sunlight shines brighter in our youth than in
maturer age; and gold and gossamer amid the
rose-bowers reflect it better than serge and
crepe amid myrtles and bays. The great thing
is not to despond even though the brilliancy
be dimmed: in the new glitter one need not
necessarily forget the old radiance. Happily,
when one of the wise men insists that it shall
be forgotten, and that we shall be wise also,
like him, it works automatically, and we know
that he is one of those who, as has been said,
                     iLX

 
                PREFACE
avoiding the land of romance, "have missed
the title of fool at the cost of a celestial crown."
  Why should not Miss Thomasia in her faded
dress, whom you shall meet, tell us, if she
pleases, of her "dear father," and of all her
"dear cousins" to the remotest generation; and
Dr. Cary and General Legaie quote their grand-
fathers as oracles, alongside the sages of Plu-
tarch, and say "Sir" and "Madam" at the end
of their sentences   Antiquated, you say 
Provincial I)o you, young lady, observe Miss
Thomasia the next time she enters a room, or
addresses a servant; and do you, good sir, pol-
ished by travel and contact with the most fash-
ionable-second-class-society of two conti-
nents, watch General Legaie and Dr. Cary when
they meet Miss Thomasia, or greet the apple-
woman on the corner, or the wagoner on the
road. What an air suddenly comes in with
them of old Courts and polished halls when all
gentlemen bowed low before all ladies, and
wore swords to defend their honor. What an
odor, as it were, of those gardens which Wat-
                     x

 
PREFACE



teau painted, floats in as they enter! Do not
you attempt it. You cannot do it. You are
thinking of yourself, they of others and the
devoirs they owe them. You are republican
and brought up to consider yourself "as good
as any, and better than most." Sound doctrine
for the citizen, no doubt; but it spoils the bow.
Even you, Miss or Madam, for all your silks
and satins, cannot do it like Miss Thomasia.
You are imitating the duchess you saw once,
perhaps, in Hyde Park. The duchess would
have imitated Miss Thomasia. You are at best
an imitation; Miss Thomasia is the reality. Do
not laugh at her, or call her provincial. She
belongs to the realm where sincerity dwells
and the heart still rules-the realm of old-time
courtesy and high breeding, and you are the
real provincial. It is a wide realm, though;
and some day, if Heaven be good to you, you
may reach it. But it must be by the highway
of Sincerity and Truth. No other road leads
there.



xi

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                CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                      PAGE
  I IN WHICH THERE ARE SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS  .I

  II IN WHICH Two STRANGERS VISIT RED ROCK AND
       ARE INVITED TO COME AGAIN . . . . . . 17

 I11 THE VISITORS START SOUTH AGAIN. AND THEIR
       FORMER HOSTS GO TO MEET THEM  . . . . 53

IV IN WHICH A LONG JUMP IS TAKEN . . . . . .  79

v DR. CARY RETURNS FROM THE WAR. AND TAKES
       AN INVENTORY OF STOCK. . . . . . . . 90

VI A BROKEN SOLDIER COMES HOME FROM WAR  .  101

VII THE CARY CONFERENCE. . . . . . . . . . 125

VIll MR. HIRAM STILL TELLS HOW TO BRIDLE A SHY
      HORSE, AND CAPTAIN ALLEN LAYS DOWN HIS
      HOE  . .  . . . .  . . . .  . . .  . .139

IX MR. JONADAB LEECH TURNS UP WITH A CARPET-
      BAG AND OPENS HIS BUREAU  . . . . . . 155

 X THE PROVOST MAKES HIS FIRST MOVE . . . . . 173

 xl THE PROVOST CATCHES A TARTAR. AND CAPTAIN
      MIDDLETON SEEKS THE CONSOLATIONS OF RE.
      LIGION. . . .  . . . . .  . . . .  . .191

                      X..

 

                     CONTENTS
  CHAPTER                                     PAGH
  Xli CAPTAIN ALLEN TAKES THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
         AND JACQUELIN GRAY LOSES His BUTTONS AND
         SOME OLD PAPERS  . . . . . . . . . . 225

  XIII STEVE ALLEN LEARNS Miss THOMASIA'S SECRET
         AND FORSWEARS CARDS. . . . . . . . . 251

 XIv LEECH SECURES AN ORDER AND LOsES IT . . . . 263

 XV CAPTAIN MIDDLETON HAS A TEST OF PEACE, AND
         IS ORDERED WEST. . . . . . . . . . . 285

 XVI THE NEW TROOP MEETS THE ENEMY  . . . . . 303

 XVII JACQUELIN GRAY GOES ON A LONG VOYAGE AND
        RED ROCK PASSES OUT OF HIS HANDS  . . . 318

XVIII LEECH AS A STATESMAN AND DR. CARY AS A COL
        LECTOR OF BILLS. . . . . . . . . . . 338

 XIX HIRAM STILL COLLECTS His DEBTS  . . . . . . 352

 XX LEECH LOOKS HIGHER AND GETS A FALL . . .  . 372

 xxi DR. CARY MEETS AN OLD COLLEGE MATE AND
        LEARNS THAT THE ATHENIANS ALSO PRAC-
        TISE HOSPITALITY.. . . . . . . . . . 394

XXII JACQUELIN GRAY COMES HOME AND CLAIMS A
        GRAVEYARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412

XXIII TWO NEW RESIDENTS COME TO THE COUNTY . . 431

XXIV THE TRAVELLERS ARE ENTERTAINED IN A FARM-
        HOUSE ... .  . . .  . . . . . .    . . 456



xiv

 















RED ROCK
  VOL. I

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                 ILLUSTRATIONS

             From Drawings by B. West Clinedinet.


SHE GAVE HIM A ROLLING-PIN AND HE SET TO
    WORK ................... . Frontispiece.
                                             FACING PAGE
HE CARRIED OFF IN TRIUMPH A PAIR OF OLD
    HORSE-PISTOLS ................. . 200

BEFORE HIM STOOD, TALL AND GRAY, THE INDIAN-
    KLLER  . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. . . . .. . . 428



Xv

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            RED ROCK


               CHAPTER I
  IN WHICH THERE ARE SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS

THE old Gray plantation, "Red Rock," lay
T  at the highest part of the rich rolling coun-
try, before it rose too abruptly in the wooded
foothills of the blue mountains away to the west-
ward. As everybody in the country knew, who
knew anything, it took its name from the great
red stain, as big as a blanket, which appeared
on the huge bowider in the grove, beside the
family grave-yard, at the far end of the Red
Rock gardens. And as was equally well known,
or equally well believed, which amounted al-
most to the same thing, that stain was the blood
of the Indian chief who had slain the wife of
the first Jacquelin Gray who came to this part
of the world: the Jacquelin who had built the
first house at Red Rock, around the fireplace
of which the present mansion was erected, and
whose portrait, with its piercing eyes and fierce
  VOL. I.

 
                RED ROCK
look, hung in a black frame over the mantel,
and used to come down as a warning when any
peril impended above the house.
  The bereft husband had exacted swift retri-
bution of the murderer, on that very rock, and
the Indian's heart blood had left that deep stain
in the darker granite as a perpetual memorial
of the swift vengeance of the Jacquelin Grays.
  This, at least, was what was asserted and be-
lieved by the old negroes (and, perhaps, by some
of the whites, too, a little). And if the negroes
did not know, who did So Jacquelin often pon-
dered.
  Steve Allen, who was always a reckless talker,
however, used to say that the stain was nothing
but a bit of red sandstone which had outcropped
at the point where that huge fragment was
broken off, and rolled along by a glacier thou-
sands of years ago, far to the northward; but
this view was to the other children's minds
clearly untenable; for there never could have
been any glacier there-glaciers, as they knew
from their geographies, being confined to Swit-
zerland, and the world having been created only
six thousand years ago. The children were well
grounded by their mothers and Miss Thomasia
in Bible history. Besides, there was the picture
                     2

 
       SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
of the "Indian-killer," in the black frame
nailed in the wall over the fireplace in the great
hall, and one could not go anywhere in the hall
without his fierce eyes following you with a look
so intent and piercing that Mammy Celia was
wont to use it half jestingly as a threat effec-
tual with little Jacquelin when he was refrac-
tory-that if he did not mind, the "Indian-
killer" would see himn and core after him. How
often Mammy Celia employed it with Jacquelin,
and how severe she used to be with tall, reck-
less Steve, because he scoffed at the story, and
to tease her, threatened, with appropriate ges-
ture, to knock the picture out of the frame, and
see what was in the secret cabinet behind it!
What would have happened had Steve carried
out his threat, Jacquelin, as a boy, quite trem-
bled to think; for though he admired Steve, his
cousin, above all other mortals, as any small
boy admires one several years his senior, who
can ride wild horses and do things lie cannot do,
this would have been to engage in a contest with
something supernatural and not mortal. Still
he used to urge Steve to do it, with a certain
fascinating apprehensiveness that made the
chills creep up and down his back. Besides, it
would have been very interesting to know whe-
                      3

 
                 RED ROCK
ther the Indian's scalp was still in the hollow
space behind the picture, and if so, whether it
was still bleeding, and that red stain on the
bottom of the frame was really blood.
  Jacquelin Gray-the one who figures in these
pages-was born while his father, and his fa-
ther's cousin, Dr. Cary, of Birdwood, and Mr.
Legaie were in Mexico, winning renown in those
battles which helped to establish the security of
the United States. He grew up to be just what
most other boys of his station, stature, and
blood, living on a plantation, under similar con-
ditions, would have been. He was a hale, hearty
boy, who adored his cousin, Steve Allen, because
Steve was older and stronger than he; despised
Blair Cary because she was a girl; disliked
Wash Still, the overseer's son, partly because
Steve sneered at him, and partly because the
negro boys disliked him, and envied every cart-
driver and stable-boy on the place. He used
to drive with string "lines" two or four or six
of his black boon companions, giving them the
names of his father's horses in the stable; or
sometimes, even the names of those steeds of
which his Aunt Thomasia, a famous story-teller,
told him in the hour before the candles were
lighted. But if he drove the black boys in har-
                     4

       SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
ness, it was because they let him do it, and not
because he was their master. If he possessed
any privileges or power, he did not know it. If
anything, he thought the advantage rather on
their side than on his, as they could play all
the time, while he had to go to school to his
Aunt Thomasia, whose bell he thought worse
than any curfew; for that rang only at night,
while Miss Thomasia's bell was sure to tinkle
just at the moment when he was having the most
beautiful time in the world. How gladly would
he have exchanged places to mind the cows and
ride the horses to the stable, and be free all day
long; and whenever he could slip off he was with
the boys, emulating them and being adored by
them.
  Once, indeed, his mastership appeared. Wash
Still, the overseer's son, who was about Steve's
age, used to bully the smaller boys, and one day
when eJacquelin was playing about the black-
smith's shop, Wash, who was waiting for a
horse to be shod, twisted the arm of Doan, one
of Jacquelin's sable team, until the boy whim-
pered. Jacquelin never knew just how it hap-
pened, but a sudden fulness came over him; he
seized a hatchet lying by, and made an onslaught
on Wash, which came near performing on that
                    5

                 RED ROCK
youngster the same operation that Wash's au-
gust namesake performed on the celebrated
cherry-tree. Jacquelin received a tremendous
whipping from his father for his vicious attack;
but his defence saved his sable companions from
any further imposition than his own, and Wash
was shortly sent off by his father to school.
  As to learning, Jacquelin was not very apt.
It was only when Blair Cary came over one
winter and went to school to Miss Thomasia-
and he was laughed at by everyone, particularly
by Steve, because Blair, a girl several years
younger than he, could read Latin better-that
Jacquelin really tried to study. Though no one
knew it, many of the things that Jacquelin did
were done in the hope that Steve might think
well of him; and whether it was riding wild
colts, with the certainty of being thrown and
possibly hurt; diving into deep pools with the
prospect of being drowned, or doing anything
else that he was afraid to do, it was almost sure
that it was done because of Steve.
  With some natures the mere performance of
an action is sufficient reward: that man suffers
martyrdom; this one does a great act; another
lives a devoted, saint's life, impelled solely from
within, and with no other idea than to perform
                    6

        SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
nobly. But these are rare natures: the Chris-
tophers, h Kempises and Theresas of the world.
The common herd must have some more mate-
rial motive: "wine, or sleep, or praise." That
charge was led because a dark-or blonde-
haired-girl was waiting somewhere; that gate
was blown up because an army was standing by,
and a small cross might be worn on the breast
for it; that poem was written for Lalage, or
Laura, Stella, or Saccharissa. Even the saint
was crowned, because somewhere, in retired
monasteries or in distant cities, deeds were sure
to be known at last. So, now it is a big boy's
praise, and later on a fair girl's favor; now the
plaudits of the playground, and a few years
hence salvos of artillery and the thanks of the
people. And who shall say they are not worthy
motives We are but men, and only the highest
win even these rewards.
  Steve Allen had come to Red Rock before Jac-
quelin could remember-the year after Steve's
father was killed in Mexico, leading his company
up the heights of Cerro Gordo, and his mother
died of fever far down South. 1\Ir. Gray had
brought the boy home on his mother's death;
so Steve was part of Red Rock. Everybody
spoiled him, particularly Miss Thomasia, who
                    7

 
                RED ROCK
made him her especial charge and was notori-
ously partial to him, and old Peggy, Steve's
"Momma," as she was called, who had come
from the far South with him, and with her sharp
eyes and sharper tongue was ready to fight the
world for him.
  Steve was a tall, brown-haired young fellow,
as straight as a sapling, and with broad shoul-
ders; gray eyes that could smile or flash; teeth
as white as snow, and a chin that Dr. Cary used
to say he must have got from his mother. He
was as supple as an eel. He could turn back-
somersaults like a circus man, and as he was
without fear, so he was without reverence. He
would tease Miss Thomasia, and play practical
jokes on Mr. Gray and Dr. Cary. To show his
contempt for the "Indian-killer," he went alone
and spent the night on the bloody rock, and
when the other boys crept in a body to see if
he were really there, he was found by the little
party of scared searchers to be tranquilly asleep
on the "Indian-killer's" very grave. This and
similar acts gained Steve Allen, with some, the
credit of being in a sort of compact with the
spirit of darkness, and several of the old negroes
on the plantation began to tell of his wonderful
powers, a reputation which Steve was not slow
                     8

        SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
to improve; and afterward, many a strange,
unearthly sound, that scared the negroes, and
ghostly manifestations which went the rounds
of the plantation might possibly have been
traced to Steve's fertile brain.
  The only persons on the place who did not
get on well with Steve were Hiram Still, the
manager, and his son, Wash. Between them and
Steve there was declared enmity, if not open
war. Steve treated Hiram with supercilious-
ness, and Wash with open contempt. The old
negroes-who remembered Steve's father, Cap-
tain Allen, Mr. Gray's cousin, and the dislike
between him and Hiram-said it was "bred in
the bone. "
  At length Steve went off to school to Dr.
Maule, at "The Academy," as it was called, no
further designation being needed to distinguish
it, as no other academies could for a moment
have entered into competition with it, and there
was a temporary suspension of the supernatural
manifestations on the plantation. Jacquelin
missed him sorely and tried to imitate him in
many things; but he knew it was a poor imita-
tion, for often he could not help being afraid,
whilst Steve did not know what fear was. Jac-
quelin's knees would shake, and his teeth some-
                    9

                  RED ROCK
times chatter, whilst Steve performed his most
dangerous feats with mantling cheeks and dan-
cing eyes. However, the boy kept on, and began
to do things simply because he was afraid. One
day he read how a great general, named Marshal
Turenne, on being laughed at because his knees
were shaking as he mounted his horse to go into
battle, replied that if his knees knew where he
was going to take them that day they would
shake still more. This incident helped Jacque-
lin mightily, and he took his knees into many
dangerous places. In time this had its effect,
and as his knees began to shake less he began
to grow more self-confident and conceited. He
began to be very proud of himself, and to take
opportunities to show his superiority over
others, which developed with some rapidity the
character existent somewhere in most persons:
the prig.
  Blair Cary gave the first, if not the final,
shock to this development.
  She was the (laughter of Dr. Cary, Mr. Gray's
cousin, who lived a few miles off across the
river, at "Birdwood," perhaps the next most
considerable place to Red Rock in that section.
She was a slim little girl with a rather pale face,
large brown eyes, and hair that was always
blowing into them.
                     10

        SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
  She would have given her eyes, no doubt, to
have been accepted as companion by Jacquelin,
who was several years her senior; but as that
young man was now aspiring to be comrade to
Steve and to Blair's brother, Morris, he rele-
gated Blair to the companionship of his small
brother, Rupert, who was as much younger than
Blair as she was younger than himself, and
treated her with sovereign disdain. The first
shock he received was when he found how much
better Blair could read Latin than he could, and
how much Steve thought of her on that account.
After that, he actually condescended to play
with her occasionally, and, sometimes, even to
let her follow him about the plantation to admire
his feats, whilst he tried to revenge himself on
her for her superior scholastic attainments by
showing her how much more a boy could do than
a girl. It was all in vain. For, with this taunt
for a spur, she would follow him even to the tops
of trees, or the bottoms of ponds: so he deter-
mined to show his superiority by one final and
supreme act. This was to climb to the roof of
the "high barn," as it was called, and spring
off into the top of a tree which spread its
branches below. He had seen Steve do it, but
had never ventured to try it himself. He had
often climbed to the roof, and had fancied him-
                    11

                 RED ROCK
self performing this feat to escape from pur-
suing Indians, but had never really contem-
plated doing it in fact, until Blair's persistent
emulation, daunted by nothing that he at-
tempted, spurred him to undertake it. So one
day, after some boasting, he climbed to the peak
of the roof. His heart beat so as he gazed down
into the green mass far below him and saw the
patches of brown earth through the leaves, that
he wished he bad not been so boastful; but there
was Blair behind him, astride of the roof, her
eyes fastened on him with a somewhat defiant
gaze. He thought how Steve would jeer if he
knew he had turned back. So, with a call of de-
rision to Blair to see what "a man could do,"
he set his teeth, shut his eyes, and took the jump,
and landed safely below, among the boughs, his
outstretched arms gathering them in as he sank
amidst them, until they stopped his descent and
he found a limb and climbed down, his heart
bumping with excitement and pride. Blair, he
felt sure, was at last "stumped." As he sprang
to the ground and looked up he saw a sight which
made his heart give a bigger bound than it had
ever done in all his life. There was little Blair
on the very peak of the roof, the very point of
the gable, getting ready to follow him. Her
                     12

 
       SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
face was white, her lips were compressed, and
her eyes were opened so wide that he could see
them even from where he was. She was poised
like a bird ready to fly.
  "Blair! Blair!" he cried, waving her back.
"Don't! don 't!" But Blair took no heed. She
only settled herself for a firmer foothold, and
the next second, with outstretched arms, she
sprang into space. Whether it was that his cry
distracted her, or whether her hair blew into
her eyes and made her miss her step, or whether
she would have misjudged her distance anyhow,
instead of reaching the thickly leaved part
where Jacquelin had landed, she struck where
the boughs were much less thick, and came
crashing through: down, down, from bough to
bough, until she landed on the lowest limb,
where she stopped for a second, and then rolled
over and fell in a limp little bundle on the
ground, where she lay quite still. Jacquelin
never forgot the feeling he had at that moment.
He was sure she was dead, and that he was a
murderer. In a second he was down on his
knees, bending over her.
  "Blair, Blair," he cried. "Dear Blair, are
you hurt" But there was no answer. And he
began to whimper in a very unmanly fashion
                    13

 
                RED ROCK
for one who had been so boastful a moment be-
fore, and to pray, too, which is not so unmanly;
but his wits were about him, and it came to him
quite clearly that, if she were not dead, the best
thing to do was to unfasten her neck-band and
bathe her face. So off to the nearest water he
put as hard as his legs could take him, and
dipped his handkerchief in the horse-trough,
and then, grabbing up a bucket near by, filled
it and ran back with it. Blair was still mo-
tionless and white, but he wiped her little,
scratched face and bathed it again and again,
and, presently, to his inexpressible joy, she
sighed and half opened her eyes and sighed
again, and then, as he was still asking her how
she felt, said, faintly:
  "I'm all right-I did it."
  In his joy Jacquelin actually kissed her. It
seemed to him afterward to mark an epoch.
  The next quarter of an hour was passed in
getting Blair's breath back. Fortunately for
her, if not for her dress, her clothes had caught
here and there as she came crashing through
the branches, and though the breath was
knocked out of her, and she was shaken and
scratched and stunned, no bones were broken,
and she was not seriously hurt after all. She
                     14

 
       SEVERAL INTRODUCTIONS
proposed that they should say nothing about it
to anyone: she could get his Mainmy to mend
her clothes. But this magnanimous offer Jac-
quelin firmly declined. He was afraid that Blair
might be hurt some way that she did not know,
and he declared that he should go straight and
tell it at the house.
  "But I did it myself," persisted little Blair;
"you were not to blame. You called to mne not
to do it."
  "Did you hear me call Then why did you
do it"
  "Because you had done it and said I could
not. "
  "But didn 't you know you would get hurt"
  She nodded.
  "I thought so."
  Jacquelin looked at her long and seriously,
and that moment a new idea seemed to him to
enter his mind: that, after all, it might be as
brave to do a dangerous thing which you are
afraid to do, as if you are not at all afraid.
  "Blair, you are a brick," he said; "you are
braver than any boy I know-as brave as Steve.
As brave as Marshal Turenne." Which was
sweet enough to Blair to make amends for all
her bruises and scratches.
                    15

                 RED ROCK
  From that time Jacquelin made up his mind
that he would never try to stump her again, but
would guard her, and this sweetened to him the
bitterness of having to confess when he got to
the house. He did it like a man, going to his
father, of whom, at heart, he was mightily
afraid, and telling him the whole story alone
without the least reference to Blair's part in
it, taking the entire blame on himself; and it
was only after he had received the punishment
which was deemed due him that Blair's joint
responsibility was known from her own lips.
  This escapade, however, proved a little too
much for the elders, and Jacquelin was sent off
to school, to the Academy at Brutusville, under
the learned Doctor Maule, where, still emulating
Steve, who was the leader in most of the mis-
chief that went on at that famous institution of
learning, he made more reputation by the way
he constructed a trap to catch one of the mas-
ters, Mr. Eliphalet Bush, than in construing the
ancient language which was that gentleman's
particular department.



16

 








CHAPTER II



IN WHICH TWO STRANGERS VISIT RED ROCK AND
          ARE INVITED TO COME AGAIN

E VERYONE knows what a seething ferment
     there was for some tine before the great
explosion in the beginning of the Sixties-that
strange decade that changed the civilization of
the country. Red Rock, like the rest of the land,
was turned from a haunt of peace into a forum.
Politics were rampant; every meeting was a
lyceum; boys became orators; young girls wore
partisan badges; children used party-catch-
words, which they did not understand-except
one thing: that they represented "their side."
There existed an irreconcilable difference be-
tween the two sections of the country. It could
not be crushed. Hydra-headed, it appeared af-
ter every extirpation.
  One side held slavery right under the double
title of the Bible and of the Constitution. The
leader of the other side said, "If it was not
   vorL. I.          17

 
                RED ROCK
wrong, then nothing was wrong"; but declared
that he would not interfere with it.
  "Bosh!" said Major Legaie. "That is not
a man to condone what he thinks wrong. If he
is elected, it means the end of slavery." And
so said many others. Most of them, rather than
yield, were for War. To them War was only
an episode: a pageant: a threshold to glory. Dr.
Cary, who was a Whig, was opposed to it; he
had seen it, and he took the stump in opposition
to Major Legaie.
  "We could whip them with pop-guns," said
the fire-eaters. Fordyce Lambly and Hurlbut
Bail were two of them.
  "But will they fight with that weapon" asked
Dr. Cary, scornfully. He never liked Lambly
and Bail; he said they had no convictions. "A
man with convictions may be wrong; but you
know where to meet him, sir. You never know
where to find these men. "
  "Do you know what War is" he said in a
speech, in reply to a secession-speech by Major
Legaie. "War is the most terrible of all dis-
asters, except Dishonor. I do not speak of the
dangers. For every brave man must face dan-
ger as it comes, and should court glory; and
death for one's Country is glorious. I speak
                    18

 
  TWO STRANGERS VISIT RED ROCK
merely of the change that War inevitably brings.
War is the destruction of everything that exists.
You may fail or you may win, but what exists
passes, and something different takes its place.
The plough-share becomes a spear, and the
pruning-hook a sword; the poor may become
richer, but the rich must become poorer. You
are the wealthiest people in the world to-day-
not in mere riches, but in wealth. You may be-
come the poorest. No people who enter a war
wealthy and content ever come out of war so.
I do not say that this is an unanswerable rea-
son for not going to war. For war may be
right at any cost. But it is not to be entered
on unadvisedly or lightly; but in the fear of
God. It should not be undertaken from mere
enthusiasm; but deliberately, with a full recog-
nition of its cost, and resolution to support its
possible and direst consequences. "
  When he had ended, Mr. Hurlbut Bail, a
speaker from the city, who bad come to the
county to stir up the people, said:
  "Oh! Dr. Cary is nothing but a Cassandra."
  "Did Troy fall or not " asked Dr. Cary,
calmly.
  This, of course, changed no one. In times of
high feeling debate only fuses opinions into con-
                    19

 
                RED ROCK
victions; only fans the flames and makes the fire
a conflagration.
  When the war came the old Doctor flung in
his lot with his friends, and his gravity, that
had grown on him of late, was lighted up by
the old fire; he took his place and performed his
part with kindling eyes and an erecter mien.
Hurlbut Bail became an editor. This, however,
was later on.
  The constantly increasing public ferment and
the ever-enlarging and deepening cloud did not
prevent the ordinary course of life from flowing
in its accustomed channels: men planned and
performed; sowed and reaped; bought and sold,
as in ordinary times. And as i