xt7gth8bgq6d https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7gth8bgq6d/data/mets.xml Holmes, Mary Jane, 1825-1907. 1902  books b92-211-30910160 English G.W. Dillingham Co., : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Cromptons  / by Mary J. Holmes. text Cromptons  / by Mary J. Holmes. 1902 2002 true xt7gth8bgq6d section xt7gth8bgq6d 

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TxPEse AND Bvigumam
HOxsTrEA-D  ON I D Hnas u.

Bassu s FORTUNE.

DAURNUS AwD D     -ram
DR. HATXEX's DAuauruma

"'rs. Holmes is a peculiarly pleesant and d
  writer. Her books are always entertaining, and cbe
  bas the rare faculty of enlisting the smpahby
     and affections of 'er reader-, and of hold-
     ing their attention to her pages with
          deep and absorbing intee."

   Bnlmoely bound in cloth. Price, S1O0 each.
     and sent frw by mail on receipt a ptioe.

G. W. DMilingham Co., Publishers,

               NEW YORK.




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- Here by this grave I promise all you ask "-Page 39.

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The Cromptons





                    COPYRIGHT. 1899, I1o0.

              By MRS. MARY J. HOLMES.

                    [Al rigkt reseved.]

The Cromblons.                         Issued Auguwt, qoa2.



                      PART I

CHAPTER                                          PAGE
   I.-THE STRANGER AT THE BROCK HOUSE                  9

   II.-THE PALMETTO CLEARING   .     .   .   .  .  20

 III.-TIHE INTERVIEW.   .   .   .   .   .  .   .  32

 IV.-HOPING AND WAITING .   .  .   .   .   .   .  44

 V.-Miss DORY  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .  48

 VI.-TILE SERVICES  .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .  58

 VII.-COL. CROMPTON  .   .   .  .   .   .   .  .   66

VIII.-THE CHILD OF THE CLEARING                    So

IX.-TiiE COLONEL AND JAKE                        88

  X.-EUDORA .    .  .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .102






 V.-AMy     .

 VI.-AT MRS. BIGGS'S .   .




.  .  II5

.  .  I22

   .  127

   1. 39

   . I49

   I. 60

.  . 178

  .  189

   .  199











               .  . 218

                   . 227

UMMAGE SALE.   .   . 242

                   . 256

     ..   .   .  .  26i

  .   .   .  .   . 271


  I.-THE BEGINNING OF THE END .   .   .   .    285

  II.-THE LITTLE RED CLOAK  .   .   .   .  .    294


  IV.-THE SHADOW OF DEATH   .   .  .   .  .   . 3I5

  V.-LOOKING FOR A WILL.  .   .   .   .   .     323

  VI.-IN FLORIDA .  .                            336

VII.-IN THE PALMETTO CLEARING  .                342

VIII.-THE LITTLE HAIR TRUNK                      350

IX.-WHAT HOWARD FOUND     .                   362

X.-HOWARD's TEMPTATION   .   .   .  .   .   .37I

XI.-CONCLUSION .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .  . 379

. 211



                PA RST I

                CHAPTER I


  The steamer " Hatty" which plied between Jack-
sonville and Enterprise was late, and the people who
had come down from the Brock House to the landing
had waited half an hour before a puff of smoke in the
distance told that she was coming. There had been
many conjectures as to the cause of the delay, for she
was usually on time, and those who had friends on
the boat were growing nervous, fearing an accident,
and all were getting tired, when she appeared in the
distance, the puffs of smoke increasing in volume as
she drew nearer, and the sound of her whistle echoing
across the water, which at Enterprise spreads out into
a lake. She had not met with an accident, but had
been detained at Palatka waiting for a passenger of
whom the captain had been apprised.
  " He may be a trifle late, but if he is, wait. He
must take your boat," Tom Hardy had said to the
captain when engaging passage for his friend, and
Tom Hardy was not one whose wish1es were often



disregarded. "Them Hardys does more business
with me in one year than ten other families and I
can't go agin Toni, and if he says wait for his friend,
why, there's nothing to do but wait," the captain said,
as lhe walked up and down in front of his boat, grow-
ing more and more impatient, until at last as he was
beginning to swear he'd wait no longer for all the
Hardys in Christendom, two men came slowly to-
wards the landing, talking earnestly and not seeming
to be in the least hurry, although the " Hatty " began
to scream herself hoarse as if frantic to be gone.
  " How d'ye, Cap," Tom said, in his easy, off-hand
way. " Hope we haven't kept you long. This is my
friend I told you about. I suppose his berth is
ready "
  He did not tell the name of his friend, who, as if
loath to cross the plank, held back for a few more
words. Tom gave him a little push at last, and said,
" Good-bye, you really must go. Success to you, but
don't for a moment think of carrying out that quix-
otic plan you first mentioned. Better jump into the
river. Good-bye! "
  The plank was crossed and pulled in, and a mulatto
boy came forward to take the stranger's bag and pilot
him to his stateroom, which opened from what was
called the ladies' parlor. Coiled up in a corner on the
deck was a bundle of something which stirred as they
came near to it, and began to turn over, making the
stranger start with a slight exclamation.
  " Doan you be skeert, sar," the boy said, " dat's
nottin' but Mandy Ann, an onery nigger what b'longs
to ole Miss Harris in de clarin' up ter Ent'prise. She's
been hired out a spell in Jacksonville,-nuss to a little
gal, and now she's gwine home. Miss Dory done sent




for her, 'case Jake is gone and ole Miss is wus,-never
was very peart," and turning to the girl the boy Ted
continued: " You Mandy Ann, doan you know more
manners not to skeer a gemman, rollin' round like a
punkin Get back wid yer."
  He spurned the bundle with his foot, while the
stranger stopped suddenly, as if a blow had bee;]
struck him.
  "Who did you say she was To whom does she
belong, I mean " he asked, and the boy replied,
" Mandy Ann, a no count nigger, b'longs to Miss
Harris. Poor white trash! Crackers! Dis your
stateroom, sar. Kin I do somethin' for you"
  The boy's head was held high, indicative of his
opinion of poor white trash and Crackers in general,
and Mandy Ann in particular.
  " No, thanks," the stranger said, taking his bag
and shutting himself into his stuffy little stateroom.
  "'Specs he's from de Norf; looks like it, an' dey
allus askin' who we 'longs to. In course we 'longs to
somebody. We has ter," Ted thought, as he made
his way back to Mandy Ann, who was wide-awake
and ready for any war of words which might come
up between herself and Ted, " who felt mighty smart
'case he was cabin boy on de ' Hatty.' "
  As Ted suspected, the stranger was of Northern
birth, whlich showed itself in his accent and cold,
proud bearing. He might have been thirty, and he
might have been more. His face did not show his
age. His features were regular, and his complexion
pale as a woman's. His eyes were a cross between
blue and gray, with a look in them which made you
feel that they were reading your inmost secrets, and
you involuntarily turned away - cn they were fixed




upon you. On this occasion he seemed colder and
prouder than usual, as he seated himself upon the
stool in his stateroom and looked about him,-not
at any thing that was there, for he did not see it, or
think how small and uncomfortable his quarters were,
although recommended as one of the staterooms de
luxe on the boat. His thoughts were outside, first
on Mandy Ann,-not because of anything about her
personally. He had seen nothing except a woolly
head, a dark blue dress, and two black, bare feet and
ankles, but because she was Mandy Ann, bound slave
of " ole Miss Harris, who lived in de clarin' " and for
that reason she connected him with something from
which he shrank with an indescribable loathing. At
last he concluded to try the narrow berth, but finding
it too hard and too short went out upon the rear deck,
and taking a chair where he would be most out of the
way and screened from observation, he sat until the
moon went down behind a clump of palms, and the
stars paled in the light of the sun which shone down
upon the beautiful river and the tangled mass of
shrubbery and undergrowth on either side of it.
  At last the passengers began to appear one by one,
with their cheery how dye's and good mornings, and
curious glances at this stranger in their midst, who,
although with them, did not seem to be one of them.
They were all Southerners and inclined to be friendly,
but nothing in the straniger's attitude invited socia-
bility. He was looking off upon the water in the
direction from which they had come, and never
turned his headin responseto theloud shouts,when an
alligator was seen lying upon the shore, or a big turtle
was sunning itself on a log. He was a Northerner,
they knew from his general make-up, and a friend of

I 2



Tom Hardy, the captain said, when questioned with
regard to him. This last was sufficient to atone for
any proclivities he might have antagonistic to the
South. Tom Hardy, although living in Georgia, was
well known in Florida. To be his friend was to be
somebody; and two or three attempts at conversation
were made in the course of the morning. One man,
bolder than the rest, told him it was a fine day and a
fine trip, but that the " Hatty " was getting a little
too passte for real comfort. At the word passie the
stranger looked up with something like interest, and
admitted that the boat was pass'c, and the day fine,
and the trip, too. A cigar was next offered, but
politely declined, and then the attempt at an acquaint-
ance ceased on the part of the first to make it. Later
on an old Georgian planter, garrulous and good-
humored, swore he'd find out what stuff the Yankee
was made of, and why he was down there where few
of his kind ever came. His first move was the offer
of tobacco, with the words: " How d'ye, sir Have
a chew "
  The stranger's head wsent up a little higher than its
wont, and the proud look on the pale face deepened
as he declined the tobacco civilly, as he had the cigar.
  " Wall, now, don't chew tobacky You lose a
good deal. I couldn't live without it. Sorter sooth-
in', an' keeps my jaws goin', and when I'm so full of
vim,-mad, you know,-that I'm fit to bust, why, I
spit and spit,-backy juice in course,-till I spit it
all out," the Georgian said, taking an immense chew,
and sitting down by the stranger, who gave no sign
that he knew of his proximity, but still kept his eyes
on the river as if absorbed in the scenery.
  The Georgian was not to be easily rebuffed. Cross-




ing his legs and planting his big hat on his knees,
he went on:
  " You are from the North, I calculate"
  "I thought so. We can mostly tell 'em. From
Boston, I reckon"
  "Tew York, mabby        No    Chicago   No
Wall, where in-" the Georgian stopped, checked by
a look in the bluish-gray eyes which seldom failed in
its effect.
  Evidently the stranger didn't choose to tell where
he lived, but the Georgian, though somewhat sub-
dued, was not wholly silenced, and he continued:
Ever in Florida before"
   "Wall, I s'pose you're takin' a little pleasure trip
like the rest of us"
  To this there was no response, the stranger think-
ing with bitterness that his trip was anything but one
of pleasure. There was still one chord left to pull
and that was Tom Hardy, who in a way was voucher
for this interloper, and the Georgian's next question
was: " Do you know Tom well "
  " Do you mean, Mr. Hardy " the stranger asked,
and the Georgian replied. " In course, but I allus
calls him Tom. Have known him since he wore
gowns. My plantation jines old man Hardy's."
  There was no doubt, now, that the stranger was
interested, and had his companion been a close ob-
server he would have seen the kindling light in his
eyes, and the spots of red beginning to show on his
face. Whether to talk or not was a question in his
mind. Cowardice prompted him to remain silent,




and something which defied silence prompted him at
last to talk.
  " I was with Mr. Thomas Hardy in college," he
said, " and I have visited him in his home. He is my
best friend."
  "To-be-sure !" the Georgian said, hitching nearer
to the stranger, as if there was a bond of relationship
between them.
  The man had given no inkling of the date of his
visit, and as it was some years since Tom was gradu-
ated the Georgian did not dream of associating the
visit with a few weeks before, when he had heard that
a high buck was at old man Hardy's and with
Tom was painting the neighborhood red and scandal-
izing some of the more sober citizens with his ex-
cesses. This quiet stranger with the proud face
and hard eyes never helped paint anything. It was
somebody else, whose name he had forgotten, but of
whom he went on to speak in not very complimentary
  " A high buck, I never happened to see squar in the
face," he said. " Had glimpses of him in the distance
riding ole man Hardy's sorrel, like he was crazy, and
oncet reelin' in the saddle. Yes, sar, reelin', as if he'd
took too much. I b'lieve in a drink when you are dry,
but Lord land, whar's the sense of reelin' I don't
see it, do you "
  The stranger said he didn't and the Georgian went
on, now in a lower, confidential voice.
  " I actually hearn that this chap,-what the deuce
was his name Have you an idee He was from the
North "
  If the stranger had an idee he didn't give it, and the
Georgian continued: " These two young chaps-

I 5



Tom ain't right young though, same age as you, I
reckon-called on some Cracker girls back in the
woods and the Northern feller staid thar two or three
days. Think of it-Cracker girls! Now, if 'ted been
niggers, instead of Crackers!"
  " Ugh!" the stranger exclaimed, wakened into
something like life. " Don't talk any more about that
man! He must have been a sneak and villain and a
low-lived dog, and if there is any meaner name you
can give him, do so. It will fit him well, and please
  " Call him a Cracker, but a Florida one. Georgy
is mostly better-not up to so much snuff, you know,"
the Georgian suggested, while the Northerner drew a
quick breath and thought of -andy Ann, and won-
dered where she was and if he should see her again.
  He felt as if there was not a dry thread in one of his
garments when his companion left him, and returning
to his friends reported that he hadn't made much out
of the chap. He wasn't from New York, nor Boston,
nor Chicago, and " I don't know where in thunder
he is from, nor his name nuther. I forgot to ask it,
he was so stiff and offish. He was in college with
Tom Hardy and visited him years ago; that's all I
know," the planter said, and after that the stranger
was left mostly to himself, while the passengers busied
themselves with gossip, and the scenery, and trying to
keep cool.
  The day was hot and grew hotter as the sun rose
higher in the heavens, and the stranger felt very un-
comfortable, but it was not the heat which affected
him as much as the terrible network of circumstances
which he had woven for himself. It was the harvest
he was reaping as the result of one false step, when




his brain was blurred and he was somebody besides
the elegant gentleman whom people felt it an honor
to know. He was himself now, crushed inwardly, but
carrying himself just as proudly as if no mental fire
were consuming him, making him think seriously
more than once of jumping into the river and ending
it all. He was very luxurious and fastidious in his
tastes, and would have nothing unseemly in his home
at the North, where he had only to say to his servants
come and they came, and where, if he died on his
rosewood bedstead with silken hangings, they would
make him a grand funeral-smother him with flow-
ers, and perhaps photograph him as he lay in state.
Here, if he ended his life, in the river, with alligators
and turtles, he would be fished up a sorry spectacle,
and laid upon the deck with weeds and ferns clinging
to him, and no one knowing who he was till they sent
for Tom Hardy at that moment hurrying back to his
home in Georgia, from which he had come at the
earnest request of his friend. He did not like the
looks of himself bedraggled and wet, and dead, on the
deck of the " Hatty," with that curious crowd look-
ing at him, Mandy Ann with the rest. Strange that
thoughts of Mandy Ann should flit through his mind
as he decided against the cold bath in the St. John's
and to face it, whatever it was. Occasionally some
one spoke to him, and he always answered politely,
and once offered his chair to a lady who seemed to be
looking for one. But she declined it, and he was
again left alone. Once he went to the other end of
the boat for a little exercise and change, he said to
himself, but really for a chance of seeing Mandy Ann,
who of all the passengers interested him the most.
But Mandy Ann was not in sight, nor did he see her



again till the boat was moving slowly up to the wharf
at Enterprise, and with her braided tags of hair stand-
ing up like little horns, and her worldly goods tied
up in a cotton handkerchief, she stood respectfully
behind the waiting crowd, each eager to be the first
to land.
  The Brock House was full-" not so much as a cot
or a shelf for one more," the clerk said to the stranger,
who was last at the desk. He had lingered behind the
others to watch Mandy Ann, with a half-formed reso-
lution to ask her to direct him to " ole Miss Har-
rises" if, as Ted had said,she was going there. AMandy
Ann did not seem to be in any hurry and sauntered
leisurely up the lane a little beyond the Brock House,
where she sat down and stretching out her bare feet
began to suck an orange Ted had given her at part-
ing, telling her that though she was " an onery nigger
who belonged to a Cracker, she had rather far eyes
and a mouth that couldn't be beat for sass, adding
that he reckoned that thar tall man who didn't speak
to nobody might be wantin' to buy her, as he had
done ast him oncet howv far it was to the clarin', an'
he couldn't want nobody thar but her."  Mandy
Ann had taken the orange, but had spurned what
Ted had said of the tall man's intentions. She had
been told too many times, during her brief stay in
Jacksonville as a nurse girl, that she was of no manner
of account to believe any one wished to buy her, and
she paid no attention to the tall man, except to see
that he was the last to enter the hotel, where he was
told there was no room for him.
  " But I must have a place to sleep," he said. "It
is only for the night. I return on the ' Hatty.'"




  "Why not stay on her then Some do who only
come up for the trip," was the clerk's reply.
  This was not a bad idea, although the stranger
shuddered as he thought of his ill-smelling stateroom
and short berth. Still it was better than camping out
doors, or-the clearing-where he might be accom-
modated. He shuddered again when he thought of
that possibility-thanked the clerk for his sugges-
tion-and declined the book which had been pushed
towards him for his name. No use to register if he
was not to be a guest; no use to tell his name anyway,
if he could avoid it, as he had successfully on the boat,
and wvith a polite good-evening he stepped outside
just as Mandy Ann, having finished her orange, peel
and all, gathered herself up with a view to starting
for home,




  The stranger had asked Ted on the boat, when he
came with some lemonade he had ordered, how far it
was from the Brock House to the palmetto clearing,
and if there was any conveyance to take him there.
Ted had stared at him with wonder-first, as to what
such as he could want at the clearing, and second, if
he was crazy enough to think there was a conveyance.
From being a petted cabin boy, Ted had grown to be
something of a spoiled one, and was what the pas-
sengers thought rather too 'peart" in his ways, While
some of the crew insisted that he needed " takin'
down a button hole lower," whatever that might
  " Bless yer soul, Mlas'r," he said, in reply to the
question. " Thar ain't no conveyance to the clarin'.
It's off in de woods a piece, right smart. You sticks
to de road a spell, till you comes to a grave-what
used to be-but it's done sunk in now till nuffin's thar
but de stun an' some blackb'ry bushes clamberin' over
it. Then you turns inter de wvust piece of road in
Floridy, and turns agin whar some yaller jasmine is
growin', an fore long you're dar."
  The direction was not verv lucid, and the stranger
thought of asking the clerk for something more
minute, but the surprise in Ted's eyes when he in-



quired the way to the clearing had put him on his
guard against a greater surprise in the clerk. He
would find his way somehow, and he went out into the
yard and looked in the direction of the sandy road
which led into the woods and which Mandy Ann was
taking, presumably on her way home. A second time
the thought came to him that she might direct him,
and he started rather rapidly after her, calling as he
went: " I say girl, I want you. Do you hear "
  Mandy Ann heard, gave one glance over her
shoulder, saw who was following her, and began at
once to run, her bare feet and ankles throwing up the
sand, and her sunbonnet falling from her head down
her back, where it flapped from side to side as she
ran. She remembered what Ted had said of the
stranger, who might be thinking of buying her; this
was possible after all, as he had said lie wanted her,
and though her home in the clearing was not one of
luxury, it was one of ease and indolence, and she had
no desire for a new one-certainly not with this man
whose face did not attract her. Just why she ran,
she did not know. It was of no use to appeal to ole
missus, who would not know whether she belonged
to her or some one else. Miss Dory was her only
hope. With promises of future good behavior and
abstinence from pilfering and lying, and badness gen-
erally, she might enlist her sympathy and protection
till Jake came home, when all would be right. So she
sped on like a deer, glancing back occasionally to see
the stranger following her with rapid strides which,
however, did not avail to overtake her. The after-
noon was very warm-the road sandy and uneven-
and he soon gave up the chase, wondering why the
girl ran so fast, as if afraid of him. The last sight he




had of her was of her woolly head, turning off from the
road to the right, where it disappeared behind some
thick undergrowth. Ted had said, " Turn at the
grave," and he walked on till he reached the spot,
and stood by the low railing enclosing a sunken
grave, whether of man or woman he could not tell,
the lettering on the discolored stone was so obscure.
Studying it very carefully, he thought he made out
"Mrs." before the moss-blurred name.
  " A woman," he said, with a feeling how terrible it
must be to be buried and left alone in that dreary,
sandy waste, with no human habitation nearer than
the Brock House, and no sound of life passing by,
except from the same place, unless-and he started,
as he noticed for the first time what Ted had said was
the worst road in Florida, and what was scarcely
more than a footpath leading off to the right, and to
the clearing, of course-and he must follow it past
tangled weeds and shrubs, and briers, and dwarf pal-
mettoes, stumps of wehich impeded his progress.
  Mandy Ann had entirely (lisappeared, but here and
there in the sand he saw her footprints, the toes
spread wide apart, and knew he was right. Suddenly
there came a diversion, and he leaned against a tree
and breathed hard and fast, as one does when a shock
comes unexpectedly. His ear had caught the sound
of voices at no great distance from him. A negro's
voice-IMandy Ann's, he was sure-eager, excited,
and pleading; and another, soft and low, and reassur-
ing, but wringing the sweat from him in great drops,
and making his heart beat rapidly. He knew who
was with Mandy Ann, and that she, too, was hurry-
ing on to the clearing, still in the distance. Had there
been any doubt of her identity, it would have been




swept away when, through an opening in the trees,
he caught sight of a slender girlish figure, clad in the
homely garments of what Ted called poor white trash,
and of which he had some knowledge. There was,
however, a certain grace in the movements of the
girl which moved him a little, for he was not blind
to any point of beauty in a woman, and the beauty
of this girl, hurrying on so fast, had been his ruin,
as he in one sense had been hers.
  " Eudora !" he said, with a groan, and with a half
resolve to turn back rather than go on.
  Tom Hardy in their talk while the boat waited for
them at Palatka, had told himn what not to do, and he
was there to follow Tom's advice-though, to do him
justice, there was a thought in his heart that possibly
he might (o1 what he knew he ought to do, in spite of
  "I'll wait and see, and if-" he said at last, as he
began to pick his way over the palmetto stumps and
ridges of sand till he came upon the clearing.
  It was an open space of two or three acres, cleared
from tanglewood and lwvarf palmettoes. In thecentre
was a log-house, larger and more pretentious than
many log-houses which he had seen in the South. A
Marshal Niel had climbed up one corner to the roof,
and twined itself around the chimney, giving a rather
picturesque effect to the house, and reminding the
stranger of some of the cabins he had seen in Ireland,
with ivy growing over them. There was an attempt
at a flower garden where many roses were blooming.
Some one was fond of flowers, and the thought gave
the stranger a grain of comfort, for a love of flowers
was associated in his mind with an innate refinement
in the lover, and there was for a moment a tinge of




brightness in the darkness settling upon his future.
Around the house there was no sign of life or stir,
except a brood of well-grown chickens, which, with
their mother, were huddled on the door step, evi-
dently contemplating an entrance into the house, the
door of which was open, as were the shutters to the
windows, which were minus glass, as was the fashion
of many old Florida houses in the days before the
Civil War. With a shoo to the chickens, which sent
some into the house and others flying into the yard,
the stranger stepped to the door and knocked, once
very gently, then more decidedly-then, as there
came no response, he ventured in, and driving out the
chickens, one of which had mounted upon a table
and was pecking at a few crumbs of bread left there,
he sat down and looked about him. In the loft which
could hardly be dignified with the name chamber, he
heard a low murmur of voices, and the sound of foot-
steps moving rapidly, as if some one were in a hurry.
The room in which he sat was evidently living and
dining-room both, and was destitute of everything
which he deemed necessary to comfort. He had been
in a Cracker's house before, and it seemed to him now
that his heart turned over when he recalled his visits
there, and his utter disregard of his surroundings.
  " I was a fool, and blind, then; but I can see now,"
he said to himself, as he looked around at the marks
of poverty, or shiftlessness, or both, and contrasted
them with his home in the North.
  The floor was bare, with the exception of a mat laid
before the door leading into another and larger room,
before one of the windows of which a white curtain
was gently blowing in the wind. A rough, uncovered
table pushed against the wall, three or four chairs,




and a haircloth settee completed the furniture,
with the exception of a low rocking-chair, in which
sat huddled and wrapped in a shawl a little old woman
whose yellow, wrinkled face told of the snuff habit,
and bore a strong resemblance to a mummy, except
that -the woman wore a cap with a fluted frill, and
moved her head up and down like Christmas toys of
old men and women. She was evidently asleep, as
she gave no sign of consciousness that any one was
  " Old Miss," the stranger said, and his breath again
came gaspingly, and Tom Hardy's advice looked
more and more reasonable, while he cursed himself
for the fool he had been, and would have given all he
was worth, and even half his life, to be rid of this
thing weighing him down like a nightmare from
which he could not awaken.
  He was roused at last by the sound of bare feet
on the stairs in a corner of the room. Some one was
coming, and in a moment Mandy Ann stood before
him, her eyes shining, and her teeth showing white
against the ebony of her skin. In her rush through
the woods Mandy Ann had come upon her young
mistress looking for the few berries which grew upon
the tangled bushes.
  " Miss Dory, Miss Dory !" she exclaimed, clutching
the girl's arm with such force that the pail fell to the
ground and the berries were spilled, " you ain't gwine
for ter sell me to nobody Say you ain't, an' fo' de
Lawd I'll never touch nothin', nor lie, nor sass ole
Miss, nor make faces and mumble like she does. I'll
be a fust cut nigger, an' say my prars ebery night.
I'se done got a new one down ter Jacksonville. Say
you ain't."




  In her surprise Miss Dory did not at first speak;
then, shaking Mandy Ann's hand from her arm and
pushing back her sunbonnet she said: " What do
you mean, and where did you come from The
'Hatty,' I s'pose, but she must be late. I'd given
you up. Who's gwine ter buy yer"
  " Ted done tole me mabby de man on de boat from
de Norf, what got on ter Palatka, an' done as't the
way hyar, might be after me-an'    "
  She got no further, for her own arm was now
clutched as her mistress's had been, while Miss Dory
asked, "What man How did he look Whar is
he " and her eyes, shining with expectancy, looked
eagerly around.
  Very rapidly Mandy Ann told all she knew of the
stranger, while the girl's face grew radiant as she
listened. " An' he done holler and say how he want
me an' follered me, an' when I turn off at the grave
he was still follerin' me. He's comin' hvar. You
won't sell me, shoo'," Mandy Ann said, and her mis-
tress replied, " Sell you No. It was one of Ted's
lies.  He is my friend.  He's comin' to see me.
Hurry! "
  Eudora was racing now through the briers, and
weeds, and palmetto stumps, and dragging Mandy
Ann with her. .
  " Never mind granny," she said, when they
reached the house and Mandy stopped to say how
d'ye to the old woman in the chair. " Come upstairs
with me and help me change my gown."
  " Faw de Lawd's sake, is he yer beau" Mandy
Ann asked, as she saw the excitement of her mistress,
who was tearing around the room, now laughing,
now dashing the tears away and giving the most




contradicting orders as to what she was to wear and
Mandy Ann was to get for her.
  They heard the two knocks and knew that some
one had entered the house, but Mandy Ann was too
busy blacking a pair of boots to go at once, as she
had her hands to