xt7fqz22cb0m https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7fqz22cb0m/data/mets.xml Read, Opie Percival, 1852-1939. 1902  books b92-253-31804846 English Laird & Lee, : Chicago : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Starbucks  : a novel / by Opie Read ... ; illustrated. text Starbucks  : a novel / by Opie Read ... ; illustrated. 1902 2002 true xt7fqz22cb0m section xt7fqz22cb0m 







by Opie Read

  'The, 7ukl, "Old Ebenezer,"
  "-My 2T,;ng Ma rter," 'A, Tennfeif ee
  Judge',' "4 IKentueky Colonel,''
  ILen Ganset,     "On the Sawaxer
  River,'' "Emmett Bom/ore," Etc.

Chait Il.u hrahi-n,, True tj, Lifi, Repr.Ju,. ed in, C,,ra,

Lairl  Lee, (Ch'icu'o


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1902,
               BY WILLIAM H1. LEE,
  in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at
                 Washington, 1). C.



I.     The People of the Hills,
II.    Jim, the Preacher,
III.   Getting Acquainted,
IV.    At the Post Office,
V.     Couldn't Quarrel in Peace,
VI.    Hadn't Listened,.
VII.   Not So Far Out of the World,
VIII.  The Spirit that Played with Her,
IX.    At Dry Fork,
X.     Tied to a Tree,
XI.    Reading the News,
XII.   Didn't Do Anything Heroic,
XIII.  Might Wipe her Feet on Him,
XIV.   An Old Man Preached,
XV.    The Girl and the Churn,
XVI.   The Appointment Comes,
XVII.  Not to Tell Her a Lie,
XVIII. Down the Road, .
XIX.   Old Folks Left Alone,
XX.    Met it in the Road,
XXI.   Into the World beyond the Hills,
XXII.  Came to Weep,
XXIII. A Trip Not Without Incident,
XXIV. Two Fruitful Witnesses,
XXIV. Too Proud to Beg,

   .   .  !II
       . 134
           . 66
         . 207
         . 220
         . 263
         . 287
         . 296




"She was the only mother I knowed,"  .    .    Frontispiece

"Them what hain't had trouble ain't had no cause to look
    fur the Lord," .    .   .    .    .    .    .   .   48

"Yes, I d-d-d-do say so, a-a-a-atter a f-f-f-fashion." .  so

"Kotch 'em stealin' hosses, I reckon.".    .    .   .128

"Well," Margaret exclaimed, "I never was so surprised."  208

"Go on erway an' let me talk ter myse'f. You kaint
    talk."    .    .    .   .    .    .    .    .   .  240

"If you air the Jedge, I am sorter diserp'inted in you."  . 288

"Jedge, there ain't no better man than he is, an' for the
    Lord's sake don't hang him."        .       .   . 304


         "THE STARBUCKS."
       [From the Drama of the Same Name.]

                 CHAPTER I.


  In every age of the world people who live close
to nature have, by the more cultivated, been classed
as peculiar. An ignorant nation is brutal, but an
uneducated community in the midst of an enlight-
ened nation is quaint, unconsciously softened by the
cultivation and refinement of institutions that lie
far away. In such communities live poets with
lyres attuned to drollery. 'Moved by the grandeurs
of nature, the sunrise, the sunset, the storm among
the mountains, the tiller of the gullied hill-side field
is half dumb, but with those apt "few words which
are seldom spent in vain," he charicatures his own
sense of beauty, mingling rude metaphor with the
language of "manage" to a horse.
  I find that I am speaking of a certain community
in Tennessee. And perhaps no deductions drawn
from a general view of civilization would apply to



these people. Some of their feuds, it is said, may
be traced back to the highlands of Scotland, and it
is true that many of their expressions seem to come
from old books which they surely have never read,
but they do not eat oats, nor do they stand in sour
awe of Sunday. What religion they have is a pleas-
ure to them. In the log meeting-house they pray
and sing, sometimes with a half-open eye on a fel-
low to be "thrashed" on the following day for not
having voted as he agreed; "Amen" comes fer-
vently from a corner made warm by the ardor of
the repentant sinner; "Hallelujah!" is shouted from
the mourner's bench, and a woman in nervous
ecstasy pops her streaming hair; but the average
man has come to talk horse beneath the trees, and
the young fellow with sun-burnt down on his lip is
there slily to hold the hand of a maid frightened
with happiness and boastingly to whisper shy words
of love.
  "Do you like Sam Bracken" he inquires.
  "Not much."
  "If you like him much, I bet I can whup him.
Like Steve Smith"



  "Not so powerful well."
  "I can whup him."
  "Bet you can't."
  "You wait."
  And the chances are that unless she modifies her
statement the Smith boy will be compelled to an-
swer for the crime of her compliment.
  In this community, in the edge of what is known
as East Tennessee, the memory of Andrew Jack-
son is held in deepest reverence. To those people
he was as a god-like hero of antiquity. Single-
handed he defeated the British at New Orleans.
Nicholas Biddle, a great banker somewhere away
off yonder, had gathered all the money in the
land, and it was Jackson who compelled him to dis-
gorge, thus not only establishing himself as the
master of war, but as the crusher of men who op-
press the poor.

  Prominent in the neighborhood of Smithfield, a
town of three or four hundred inhabitants, was Jas-
per Starbuck. Earlier in his life he had whipped
every man who stood in need of that kind of train-



ing. Usually of a blythesome nature, he was sub-
ject to fits of melancholy, only to be relieved by
some sort of physical entanglement with an enemy.
Then, his "spell" having passed, he would betake
himself to genial affairs, help a neighbor with his
work, lend his chattels to shiftless farmers, cut
wood and haul it for widows, and gathering chil-
dren about him entertain them with stories of the
great war.
  And how dearly that war had cost him. East
Tennessee did not tear itself loose from the Union;
Andrew Johnson and Parson Brownlow, one a
statesman and the other a fanatic, strangled the
edicts of the lordly lowlanders and sent regiment
after regiment to the Federal army. Among the
first to enlist were old Jasper Starbuck and his twin
boys. The boys did not come back. In the mean-
time their heart-broken mother died, and when the
father returned to his desolate home, there was a
grave beneath the tree where he had heard a sweet
voice in the evening.
  Years passed and he married again, a poor girl
in need of a home; and at the time which serves



as the threshold of this history, he was sobered
down from his former disposition to go out upon a
"pilgrimage" of revenge. His "spells" had been
cured by grief, but nothing could kill his humor.
Drawling and peculiar, never boisterous, it was
stronger than his passion and more enduring than
the memory of a wrong. He was not a large man.
A neighbor said that he was built after the manner
of a wild-cat. He was of iron sinews and steel nerve.
His eyes were black with a glint of their youthful
devilishness. His thick hair was turning gray.
  Margaret, his wife, was a tender scold. She was
almost a foundling, but a believer in heredity could
trace in her the evidences of good blood. From
some old mansion, long years in ruin, a grace had
escaped and come to her. An Englishman, travel-
ing homeward from the defunct colony of Rugby,
declared that she was an uncultivated duchess.
  "This union was blessed,"-say the newspapers
and story-books, speaking of a marriage,-"with a
beautiful girl," or a "manly boy." Often this phrase
is flattery, but sometimes, as in this instance, it is
the truth. Lou Starbuck was beautiful. In her



earlier youth she was a delicious little riot of joy.
As she grew older, she was sometimes serious with
the thought that her father and mother had suf-
fered. She loved the truth and believed that brav-
ery was not only akin to godliness, but the right
hand of godliness.
  In Starbuck's household, or at least attached to
his log-house establishment, there were two other
persons, an old black mammy who had nursed Jas-
per, and a trifling negro named Kintchin.

  One day in summer there came two notable vis-
itors, Mrs. Mayfield, and her nephew Tom Elliott,
both from Nashville, sister and son of a United
States Judge. When they came to Jasper's house,
they decided to go no further.
  "Tom," said the woman, "this is the place we are
looking for."
  Tom caught sight of Lou Starbuck, standing in
the doorway, and replied: "Auntie, I guess you are
  The mere suggestion of taking boarders threw
the household into a flurry, but Mrs. Mayfield, tall,
graceful, handsome, threw her charm upon opposi-



tion and it faded away. Old Jasper was not over
cordial to "store clothes," at least he was not con-
fidential, and with the keen whip of his eye he
lashed Tom Elliott, but the boy appeared to be
frank and manly.
  "Of course you can stay as long as you want to,"
said Jasper, "but I reckon you'll have to put on
some homespun and a checked hickory shirt or
two, befo' you kin put up with our fare."
  "Now, please, don't worry about that," Mrs.
Mayfield spoke up. "We can eat parched corn if
necessary. We have come from the city to rest,
  "Rest," Jasper broke in, looking at the young
fellow. "Why, he don't look like he ever done any-
thin'. Never plowed a day in your life, did youK"
  "I must confess that I haven't," Tom replied.
  "Thar, I knowed it." And then speaking to Mrs.
Mayfield, he added: "All right, mam, we'll do the
best we kin fur you. Got the same names here
that you had down whar you come from"
  Tom laughed. His aunt reproved him with a
look. "Why, of course. What object would we
have in changing them"
                    -15 -



  "Don't ask me, mam. I never know what ob-
ject nobody has-ain't my business. Here, Kint-
chin," he called to the negro, "take them trunks
outen the wagin and then you may go to sleep
  Kintchin came round a corner of the house, rub-
bing his eyes. "Talkin' ter me, suh"
  "You hearn me."
  "Said suthin' erbout gwine ter sleep. I jest wan-
ter tell you dat I ain't slep' none fur er week, an' ef
you 'sinuate at me-"
  "Go on there. Now mam, ef you'll jest step in
we'll do the best we kin."
  "Oh, thank you. How courteous you are."
  "How what I reckon you better git along with-
out much o' that. Don't want nobody put on a
strain. Margaret, here are some folks," he con-
tinued as his wife made her appearance. "Jest
tell 'em howdy and let 'em alone."
  She bowed to Tom and to Mrs. Mayfield. "And
befo' you make yo'selves at home," she said, "I
hope you'll l'arn not to pay no attention to Jasper.
Lou, haven't you spoke to the folks"
  "No'm, but I can. Howdy."



                CHAPTER II.

              JIM, THE PREACHER.

  During the rest of the day the visitors were per-
mitted to amuse themselves. Lou was shy, Mar-
garet was distantly respectful and the old man went
about in leisurely attendance upon his affairs, not
yet wholly unsuspicious. A week before the arri-
val of the "folks from off yander," as the strangers
were termed, there had come to Jasper's house a
nephew, Jim Starbuck, a mountain-side preacher.
His air bespoke that gentleness resultant of pas-
sion bound and gaged. At eighteen he had been
known as the terror of the creek. Without avail
old Jasper had argued with him, with fresh scalps
dangling at his own belt. One night Jim turned
a revival meeting into a fight with bench legs,
beat a hard-hearted money lender until he was tak-
en home almost a mass of pulp. At nineteen he
turned a hapless school teacher out of the school
house, nailed up the door, and because the teacher
muttered against it, threw the pedagogue into the



creek. At twenty he seemed to hear a voice com-
ing from afar. A man going to mill said that he
saw Jim beside a log on his knees in the woods,
praying; he was called a liar, knocked down his
insulter and went on with his grist. He had spoken
the truth, for on the night following, Jim arose in
the congregation, renounced his reckless ways, and
with a defiance of the world that among the right-
eous awaked applause, he came forward and knelt
at the mourners' bench. His religion "took," they
said, as if speaking of vaccination, and before long
he entered the pulpit, ready gently to crack the irre-
ligious heads of former companions still stubborn
in the ways of iniquity. From behind a plum bush,
in the corner of the fence, he had seen Mrs. May-
field and had blinked, as if dazzled by a great light.
Nor was it till the close of day that he had the
courage to come into her presence, and then for a
moment he gazed-and vanished.    Old Jasper
found him mumbling beneath the moon.
  "Lost anythin', Jim"
  "Nothing that I ever thought I had, Uncle Jas-



  "Look like a man that is huntin' fur his ter-
  "I've quit tobacco long ago, Uncle Jasper."
  "Huh, give that up, too Then you have been
hit hard. But atter all, my boy, a lick that ain't
hard don't count fur much. Understand I believe
in vo' Book all right, but not as the most of 'em
reads it. The most of 'em reads it so as to make
you do the things you don't want to do, and what
they want you to do. A good many of 'em think
it was writ fur them ag'in you. Findin' new pic-
turs on the moon, Jim I don't see nuthin' new;
same old feller a burnin' of his bresh, allus a put-
tin' 'em on the fire an' never gittin' through."
  "I'm thinking, that's all, Uncle Jasper."
  "Comes from readin' them books up on the hill-
top, I reckon. They make me think, too, when I
git a holt of 'em, 'specially them about the war-
looks like it's a mighty hard matter for a man
to tell the truth the minit he grabs holt of a pen.
Don't see why a pen is such a liar, but it is. And
yit, the biggist liar I ever seed couldn't more than

- 19-



write his name. What do you think of them folks
in thar, Jim"
  Jim strode off, came back and standing with one
hand resting on the rail fence that surrounded the
old man's door yard, hung his head and replied:
"Old Satan sometimes puts good clothes on his
temptations, Uncle Jasper."
  "Why, you don't think that young feller's a nos-
in' round to-"
  "I don't see anything mysterious in him, Uncle
Jasper. It's the woman that-that strikes so hard."
  "Huh. I didn't think you cared anythin' about
women, Jim."
  "Oh, I don't and you musn't think I do. Did
you ever have a feller catch a spear out of the sun
with a lookin' glass and shoot it through yo' eyes
That's the way she done me, as she was a standing
there at the door."
  "Wall, as game a feller as you are ain't afeared
of a woman."
  "I don't know about that. The gamer a feller
is among men the fearder he is among women, it
seems like. But what am I talking about She


           JIM, THE PREACHER.

won't take any notice of me and in fact it won't
make any difference if she does. I tell you, though,
I don't like to be treated that way by a woman."
  "Why, how did she treat you"
  "Looked something at me that made me dis-
satisfied with myself. I reckon I must be a good
deal of a fool, Uncle Jasper."
  "Wall, I don't reckon you are as smart as old
Henry Clay was. Still you ain't no slouch. Come
on in and I'll give you a knockin' down to her.
She can't no mo' than hit you with somethin'."
  When introduced Jim shied off into a corner and
there during the evening he remained, gazing at
the woman from "off yander," with scarcely cour-
age enough to utter a word. Mrs. Mayfield in-
quired as to his church among the hills, and his
countenance flared with a silly light and old Jasper
ducked his head and snorted in the sleeve of his
home-spun shirt. But the next morning Jim had
the courage to appear at the breakfast table, still
gazing; and later when Tom and his aunt went out
for a walk, he followed along like a dog waiting to
be scolded.



  Several days later, while old black mammy was
ironing in the sitting room, Kintchin came in at the
door which always stood open, and looking about,
slowly went up to the old woman and inquired if
she needed any more wood.
  "No," she answered, not looking at him, "I's
nearly done."
  Kintchin scratched his head. 'Wall, I jest come
ter tell you dat ef you does need any mo' I knows
er man dat'll git it fur you. Me. An' w'en er man
fetches er lady de sort o' wood I'd fetch you, w'y
she kin tell right dar whut he think o' her. Does
you hyarken ter me"
  Mammy, slowly moving her iron, looked at him.
"Whut de matter wid you, man Ain't habin'
spells, is you"
  "I's in lub, lady, dat's whut de matter wid me."
  "In lub In lub wid who"
  He leaned toward her. "Wid you."
  "W'y you couldn't lub me," she said. "I's eighty
odd an' you ain't but sixty. I's too old fur you.
I doan want ter fool wid no chile."
  Kintchin came closer and made an attempt to



take her hand, shrewdly watching the hot iron slow-
ly moving over the bosom of a shirt. "I'll burn dat
black hide ef you doan git erway. You bodders
  The old rascal assumed an air of great astonish-
ment. "'Whut, er man bodder er lady dat he lubs"
  "Didn't I tole you you couldn't lub me"
  "Couldn't lub vou Ain't you been er savin' yo'
money all deze years, an' ef er man kain't lub er
lady dat's been er savin' her money, who kin he
  She gave him a look of contempt. "Oh, I knowd
dar wuz er bug in de milk pan. It's my little bit
o' money you's atter, but you ain't gwine ter git
it. Dat money's ter bury me wid." And in a self-
satisfied way she nodded at him and resumed her

  Kintchin stepped back, the word 'bury' having
thrown a temporary pall upon his cupidity, but soon
he rallied and renewed his attack. "Funny dat er
lady will save all her life long jest ter be buried.
I doan blebe in deze yere 'spensive funuls nohow.
Huh, an' you oughter hab ernuff by dis time ter
                    - 23 -



bury bof o' us. An' ef you says de word I'll be
buried side o' you ter keep vou comp'ny."
  She ceased her work and looked at himi. "I won't
need no comp'ny. I'll be busy tellin' de Lawd 'bout
de folks down yere. An, I gwine tell him, w'in I
goes home."
  She gathered up the clothes basket and went in-
to an adjoining room, leaving Kintchin to muse
alone. He heard the low whistle of a backwoods-
man's improvised tune, and looking up, saw a man
leaning against the door-facing. To the old negro
the new comer was not a stranger. Once that big
foot had kicked him out of the road, and lying in
his straw bed the poor wretch had burned with re-
sentment, cowed, helpless; and sleeping, had
dreamed of killing the brute and awoke with a tune
on his black lips. He knew Lije Peters, neighbor-
hood bully without being a coward, a born black-
mailer, a ruffian with the touch of humor, ignorant
with sometimes an allegorical cast of speech. As
he entered the room he looked about and seeing
no one else, spoke to Kintchin:
  "Whar's Jasper Starbuck"
                    - 24 --



  "I seed Miss Margaret an' Mliss Lou out yander
jest now," Kintchin answered, backing off as Peters
advanced toward him.
  "I didn't ask about them. Whew, what you got
sich a hot fire in here for"
  "Mammy's been ironin'."
  "Yes. Been a meltin iron I should think. Is
Starbuck at home Answer me, you scoundrel."
He made a threatening gesture and Kintchin, back-
ing further off, cried out, "Doan rush me, suh. Ef
I'se er scoundul you hatter give me time. Er
scoundul hatter be keerful whut he say. I seed
Mr. Starbuck dis mawnin', suh."
  Peters turned as if to go out, but halted and
looked at Kintchin. The old negro nodded. "Say,
is that young feller and that woman here yit"
  "Gimmy time-gimmy time. I's er scoundul,
you know."
  "Do you want me to mash your head"
  Kintchin put his hand to his head. "Whut, dis
one right yere No, suh, I doan blebe I does."
  "Well, then answer me. That woman and young
chap here yet"



"Yas, suh, da's yere."
  "She's his aunt, I understand."
  "Yas, suh, dat's whut you un'erstand."
  "Why did they come here What are they doin'"
  "Gimmy time. Da come caze da wanter ter, an'
now dat da's yere, da's jest er bo'din'; dat's all."
  "You are an old fool."
  "Yas, suh," replied Kintchin, "dat's whut I yere."
  Mammy came in and said to Kintchin, "De
steers broke down de fence an' is eatin' up de co'n.
See, through de winder"
  "Dat won't do," Kintchin exclaimed with hurry
in his voice but with passive feet. "No, it won't
do. Steer ain't got no right ter come roun' er eatin'
up de co'n."
  "But w'y doan you go on, man Mars Jasper'll
git arter you."
  "I's gwine. Allus suthin' ter make er man work
his j'ints," he moved off toward the door, and turn-
ing just before going out, said to Peters: "Yere
come Miss Lou now."
  The girl came in singing, but seeing Peters,
hushed, and turned to go out.
                    - 26 -


           JIM, THE PREACHER.

  "One minute, Miss Lou," said Peters, bowing
  She halted, looked at him and said, "Well"
  "Won't you sit down," said Peters, making a
great show of politeness.
  "I'm not tired," Lou replied.
  Peters smiled. "I've got suthin' I want to say
to you."
  "Then I may be tired," she said, sitting down.
  Peters stood for a moment, looking at her and
then inquired: "Did yo' father tell you suthin' I
said to him"
  Slowly rocking she looked up at him. "He al-
ways has enough talk of his own without repeatin'
what other folks say."
  "But what I told him was about you."
  "Well, if what you said wasn't good you wouldn't
be here to tell about it, so it don't concern me."
  He attempted to smile, but failed. "I don't know
about that."
  "You don't know about anything-much."
  "Enough to know what I think of you."
                    - 27 -



  "Hope you know what I think of you."
  "Ah," said Peters, "I don't reckon you think oi
me very often."
  Lou got up and went to him, looked straight into
his eyes and said: "Think of you! Why, I never
know you are on earth till you come where I am
and then I spend my time tryin' to forget you are
  "Well, now," replied Peters, "that ain't very po-
  She stepped back and looked at him in pretended
astonishment. "Was anybody ever polite to you"
  "Well, not many of the Starbucks, that's a fact-
none, come to think of it 'cept yo' cousin Jim, the
preacher, and he believes that the Lord made all
things for a purpose."
  "Yes, he believes that God made the devil."
  Peters laughed as if he really enjoyed her con-
tempt of him. He pulled at his whiskers, cleared
his throat, took a turn about the room and looking
at her again, he appeared as if he had attempted to
soften his countenance with a sentiment urgently
summoned. "Yes, that is all true, I reckon. And



now let me tell you. I mout not look like it-like
I'm hard to please, but I am. Thar ain't one wo-
man out of a hundred that can make me wake up
when I'm sleepy and think about her, but you can.
And ever sense you was a child I've said I'd never
marry till I could git you." He saw the anger in
her eyes and hesitated. "Ah, you may not think
very much of me now," he continued, "but that can
all be changed. A woman's like a mornin' glory
flower-always a changin'! an' I know you could
learn to love me."
  "Oh, you do. Well, what you know and what's
the truth won't never know each other well enough
to shake hands."
  Peters smiled upon her. "Wall, if nuthin' else
did, that of itself would prove you air old Jasper's
  Margaret Starbuck came in, with a pan of tur-
nips. Peters bowed to her. "Er good mornin',
  She put the pan on the table and giving him an
unconscious grace bade him good morning. "Is
mammy done ironin'" she asked, speaking to Lo v.
                   - 29 -



  "Yes'm, I reckon so." Then she added, speak-
ing to Peters, "Is there anythin' else you wanted"
  "Why, Lou," Margaret spoke up, "is that the
way to talk"
  "Yes'm, sometimes," and nodding at Peters she
added: "And this is one of them." She laughed,
turned away and sat down with her elbows resting
on a battered old melodeon."
  "Oh, she's jest a jokin' with me ma'm," said
Peters. "I wanted to see yo' husband. Reckon he's
out some whar on the place."
  "I think so," Margaret replied, pealing the tur-
nips. "I heard him calling the hogs just now."
  Lou looked at Peters and said: "Then why don't
you go"
  "Why, daughter," exclaimed Margaret, "you
musn't talk that way. Mr. Peters is in yo' house."
  She came forward and to the visitor bowed with
mock humility. "I beg your pardon, Mr. Peters-"
  "Oh, that's all right, Miss Lou."
  "For bein' honest with you."
  Peters cleared his throat. She returned to the
melodion and sat down with her back toward him.
                   - 30 -



Peters started out but halted and spoke to Margar-
et. "Suthin' I have been workin' fur a long time
is about to come-an app'intment I've been tryin'
to git, and when I git it there air folks that ought
to be skeered."
  Lou glanced round at him and replied, "And
then again, there are folks that won't be."
  "Ah," said Peters, "an' them that won't be air
them that ought to be." And then to Margaret he
added: "If I don't find Jasper I'll be back. When
he comes tell him I want to see him. Good day."
  When he had gone out into the road Margaret
inquired of her daughter what he had said to give
such offense.
  "He said I could learn to love him. And I as
much as told him he was a liar."
  "But, daughter, you musn't talk like that. You'll
have to be more careful with him, for in some way
he's got the upper hand of yo' father."
  "Well, I don't envy him his job."
  "Hush," said Margaret. "Here come the folks."




               CHAPTER III.
  In came Mrs. Mayfield and her nephew, with
Jim, the preacher, following them. Margaret be-
gan industriously to dust a rocking chair. She bade
them come in, if it were not too warm, "Mammy
has been ironing but the fire's dyin' down. And I
do hope she irons yo' clothes to suit you, Miz May-
field," she added.
  "Oh, yes," replied Mrs. Mayfield, glancing round
at the preacher who with hat in hand sat on the
melodeon stool, gazing at her. "I am not hard to
please," she continued, speaking to Margaret. "I
have passed that stage."
  Margaret bowed to her. "Well, I'm mighty glad
to hear it. So many folks are hard to please. There
come a woman from away off vander sometime ago
and took up over at Fetterson's and they couldn't
do a thing to please her-grumbled all the time;
the water wasn't even good, when heaven knows
we've got the best water on the yeth. So I am glad
you ain't hard to please."



  "Oh, I should indeed be finical to find fault with
anything in this delicious air," said Mrs. Mayfield,
smiling at Lou, "this. new life, among these God-
worshipping hills, these-"
  "Oh, auntie brought her romance with her," Tom
broke in, and Lou gave him a look of tender re-
  "Oh, let her talk, please. I like to hear her."
And standing beside MVIrs. Mayfield's chair she said:
"You told me you were something. What was it"
  "An echo from the world," the city woman ans-
  Lou looked at her mother who in turn gave her
a look in which the girl read an ignorance as pro-
found as her own. "Well, is sounds mighty putty,"
she said, "but what do you mean by it. I don't un-
  "W'\hy Lou!" exclaimed her mother.   "You
musn't talk that way."
  "Oh, let her go ahead," Tom spoke up. "The
fact is auntie says a good many things I'd like to
have explained to me.




  "Tom," she said, "please don't be any more way-
ward than you can help."
  At this moment old Jasper's voice was heard
without. "Git down from here. Got less sense than
any dog I ever seed, come a jumpin' on me with
yo' muddy feet. Howdy everybody, howdy," he
greeted them as he entered, with a set of harness
on his arm. Every one spoke to him and after sur-
veying the party he drew a chair out from the table,
sat down and began to tug at the harness, pulling
hard against the resistance of a rusty buckle.
"Whar's that luther string" he inquired of his wife.
  "What luther string"
  "The one I told you to put away for me some
time last fall-mebby fall a year ago. Whar is it"
  "Gracious alive Jasper, I don't know. What did
you bring that gear in here for Can't you fix it
at the stable"
  "Yes, could. Could also sleep and eat out thar,
but I don't want to."
  "Now what on the yeth do you want to talk that
way fur"
  Jasper chuckled. "Wall, a man ain't hardly



responsible for what he says when he's talkin' to a
  "Then you don't believe, Mr. Starbuck, that wo-
man inspires truth," said Mrs. Mayfield, and Jim
leaned forward, still gazing at her.
  "Oh, yes, all the putty truths," Jasper replied,
and Tom who, with Lou, was standing over near
the fire-place, sang out: "There, auntie, he is meet-
ing you on your own ground."
  Jim's countenance flared and he struck in: "Yes,
in the shade where the soft air is stirring."
  Mrs. Mayfield turned to him. "Oh, thank you
Mlr.-I shall have to call you MNr. Reverend."
  He gave her a smile and then as if afraid of too
much light shut it off; but he had the courage to
reply:  "Anything you call me, ma'm, will be
  "Oh, I tell you," said Jasper, tugging at the
buckle, "Jim ain't been preachin' ten years fur noth-
in'. Wefall, mighty fur nothin', too; for I ricolleck
that one winter all he got was a pa'r of blue jeens
britches an' fo' Da'r of wool socks. And if I don't

- 35 -



cuss this thing in a minit more I'll be about fitten
to preach."
  "Mr. Starbuck," Mrs. Mayfield inquired, "was
that you shooting so early this morning"
  "Yes'm, killin' them squirrels we had fur break-
  'And you saw the sun rise"
  He left off working with his gear and looked at
her. "Ah, hah. Ever see the sun rise"
  "I have seen the moon set," she said, half mu-
  "And so have I," said Jasper. "I have seen the
moon set and hatch out the stars."
  And still musing, Mrs. Mayfield replied: "Yes,
and they peeped at one another in their heavenly
nest until the sun, man-like, came and spoiled it all."
  Jasper and his wife looked at each other, know-
ingly in the eye; and then the old man said: "I
beg yo' pardon, ma'm, but you must have had
trouble. But don't let it bother you any mo' than
you kin help, fur my experience teaches me that
them what hain't had trouble ain't had no cause
to look fur the Lord."



  "Why, Jasper Starbuck," Margaret spoke up,
"ain't you ashamcd of yo'se'f to talk about the Lord
thatter way"
  "I ain't said a word ag'in Him. Leave it to the
preacher thar. Have I, Jim"
  "No, Uncle Jasper."
  "Much obleeged to you, Jim; and instead of stay-
in' five weeks with us as you said you 'lowed to,
I wiush you'd stay longer. I need you to prove
things by. Couldn't make it five months, could you,
  "No, Uncle Jasper, I must get back to my moun-
tain-side flock. There's many a poor old man tot-
tering along that needs me to help him walk."
  "That's a fact," said Starbuck, and turning to
Mrs. Mayfield he continued: "He settles nearly all
their troubles, ma'm; he's not only their church but
their cou't house. I've seed him preach the gospel
with one hand and with the other one tear up a law-
  Lou, standing on a chair, had taken down an old
gun which re