xt7m639k438w https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7m639k438w/data/mets.xml Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922. 190618  books b92-230-31280747v1 English C. Scribner's sons, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 1) text Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 1) 1906 2002 true xt7m639k438w section xt7m639k438w 























































                         77--'
             e               NIll
1       --

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



  IN OLE VIRGINIA










CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
NEWYORK, + + + + 1906



I

 
































Copyright, 1887, 1892, 1896, 1906, by
   CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS


      All Rights Reserved

 


















        TO
  MY PEOPLE THIS
FRAGMENTARY RECORD
  OF THEIR LIFE IS
    DEDICATED

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       INTRODUCTION TO THE
       PLANTATION EDITION


THE publication of a uniform edition gives
a writer by immemorial usage the opportunity
to address to the public an Introduction. That
the author of these works has this coveted op-
portunity would seem to him to be due to his
good fortune in selecting for his subject a phase
of life which held in itself a certain element of
interest: the old Plantation life of the South.
And if his work has any value, it is owing to his
having been fortunate enough to preserve in
some sort a picture of a civilization which, once
having sweetened the life of the South, has since
then well-nigh perished from the earth.
  Some protest has been made against the
writer's habit of picturing such old-fashioned
ladies and gentlemen as appear in his pages,
but inasmuch as they belonged to the life he has
endeavored to preserve, he is not responsible
                     vii

 
INTRODUCTION



for their creation, but only for their portraiture.
They in their day must certainly have pleaded
guilty to the charge of being old-fashioned, for
they belonged to a time when men treated women
chivalrously and women relied on men impli-
citly, when success bore no relation to wealth,
and when the seventh commandment was not
deemed a proper subject for conversation in
mixed company.
  The author is not vain enough to imagine that
any personal experiwce of his could interest the
general public, or even that limited public which
may take the trouble to glance at this introduc-
tion; but as his stories of the old Southern life
have been taken as a reasonably fair picture of
that life, he ventures to tell how they came to be
written.
  In the first place, the writer's home was on
an old Virginia plantation in the county of
Hanover, within sound of the guns of battles in
three great campaigns in which not less than
three hundred thousand men fell, and during his
boyhood and youth the recollection of the great
                    viii

 
INTRODUCTION



Civil War was the most vital thing within his
knowledge. In the autumn of 1880 a letter was
shown him which had been taken from the pocket
of a dead private in a Georgia regiment on one
of the battle-fields around Richmond. It was
written in an illiterate hand on coarse blue Con-
federate paper, and was from a young girl in
Georgia to her sweetheart. In it she told him
that she had discovered since he left home that
she loved him, and that she did not know why
she had been so cruel to him before he went
away; that, in fact, she had loved him ever since
they had gone to school together in the little
school-house in the woods, when he had been so
good to her; and that now if lie would get a fur-
lough and come home she would marry him.
This was all, except, of course, a postscript. As
if fearful that such a temptation might prove too
much even for the man she loved, across the blue
Confederate paper were scrawled these words:
" Don't come without a furlough; for if you
don't come honorable, I won't marry you. "
The date of the letter was not more than two
                    ix

 
INTRODUCTION



weeks earlier than that of the battle in which
her lover fell, and the natural comment was,
" So, he got his furlough through a bullet."
This idea took possession of me, and in about
ten days I had written "Marse Chan." This
story was promptly accepted, but was not pub-
lished until something over three years after-
wards. It was then followed by the other
stories in "In Ole Virginia," and later by the
remaining tales in this edition.
  In bringing together these writings it has
seemed best to rearrange the various stories so
as to place those together which tell of the same
period and manner of life, in the hope that when
taken together they may present a more com-
plete picture of the life they undertake to por-
tray than when scattered throughout the several
volumes. Thus, while no hard-and-fast rule has
been followed, and while the writer's first book,
"In Ole Virginia," has been assigned its proper
place at the head of the list, through the others
runs a sort of sequence, which, it is hoped, may
help to give the reader some idea of the social



x

 
INTRODUCTION



life of the old South when it was somewhat dis-
tinctive, and of the changes which war and war's
bastard offspring, Reconstruction, have brought
about.
  The writer feels that he may without impro-
priety claim that with his devotion for the South,
whose life he has tried faithfully to portray, and
his pride in the Union, which he has rejoiced to
see fully restored in his time, he has never wit-
tingly written a line which he did not hope
might tend to bring about a better understand-
ing between the North and the South, and fin-
ally lead to a more perfect Union.
  To the magazine editors I offer my frank
acknowledgments for much consideration and
many useful suggestions. But for the maga-
zines the literary men of my generation would
scarcely have found a public, and at least one of
them would probably never have found it.
  To the critics I make my best bow. Being
but mortal, all correction for the present seemeth
grievous to me. In other words, all adverse
criticism makes me angry at first; but on reflec.
                     xi

 
INTRODUCTION



tion I, for the most part, become satisfied that I
have been treated quite as well as I deserve, and
I frankly affirm that if I had to review a basket-
ful of books every week, it would have to be a
much better book than I can write which I would
not condemn to perpetual flame.
  With some of my acquaintances on the other
side of the water, the relation of author and
publisher has been not unlike that of the pit and
the orchestra in the old Dublin theatre, when
in a general row one friend is said to have called
to another, who was about to fling the "trom-
bone" out of a window, not to waste him, but
to kill a fiddler with him.
  My own relation with the publisher class there
has not been exceptional. The first edition of
"In Ole Virginia" there appeared with a flam-
ing picture of "Marse Chan" in a Federal uni-
form, clasping in his arms the Union flag: a
situation not wholly borne out by the story.
  In this country my personal experience has
been quite different. According to Sir Peter
Teazle, "We live in a damned wicked world,
                      Xii

 
INTRODUCTION



and the fewer we praise the better." But I am
unwilling to close this word to the Public, with
whom I have had dealings for now over twenty
years, without recording my obligations to
Messrs. Charles and Arthur Scribner, who had
the courage to back an unknown young writer
twenty years ago, and have by their kindness,
liberality, and wisdom since then uniformly
helped him in so many ways that the business
relation has long been quite eclipsed by that of
a delightful friendship.
                       Tuos. NELSON PAGE.

 August 11, 1906.



xI.  

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               CONTENTS

                                       PAGE
INTRODUCTION TO THE PLANTATION EDITION . . vii

MARSE CHAN. A TALE OF OLD VIRGINIA . . . . 3

"UNC' EDINBURG'S DROWNDIN'.- A PLANTATION
  ECHO.. . ........ 49

MEH LADY: A STORY OF THE WAR    .      . 97-

OLE 'STRACTED . ........      . . . . 171

"NO HAID PAWN" .......     . ..        . 199

POLLY: A CHRISTMAS RECOLLECTION .     231

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                 ILLUSTRATIONS

PORTRAIT OF THOMAS NELSON PAGE . .. ..  . Frontispiece
   From a photograph by Davis & Sanford  FACING PAGE
" NOW, SAM, FROM DIS TIME YOU BELONG TO YO' YOUNG
      MARSE CHANNIN ....... ....             .. . 8
   Drawn by W. T. Smedley.

" NEM MINE,- HE SAID. "I COMIN' RIGHT DOWN IN DE SUM-
      MER TO BUY YOU BACK ............ . . . 192
   Drawn by A. B. Frost.

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                       NOTE
THE dialect of the negroes of Eastern Virginia differs
totally from that of the Southern negroes, and in
some material points from that of those located
farther west.
  The elision is so constant that it is impossible to
produce the exact sound, and in some cases it has
been found necessary to subordinate the phonetic
arrangement to intelligibility.
  The following rules may, however, aid the reader:
  The final consonant is rarely sounded. Adverbs,
prepositions, and short words are frequently slighted,
as is the possessive. The letter r is not usually rolled
except when used as a substitute for th, but is pro-
nounced ah.
  For instance, the following is a fair representation
of the peculiarities cited:
  The sentence, "It was curious, he said, he wanted to
go into the other army," would sound: " 'Twuz cu-yus,.
he say, he wan'(t) (to) go in(to) 'turr ah-my."

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  MARSE CHAN

A TALE OF OLD VIRGINIA

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          MARSE CHIAN

      A TALE OF OLD VIRGINIA


ONE afternoon, in the autumn of 1872, I was
     r iding leisurely down the sandy road that
winds along the top of the water-shed between
two of the smaller rivers of eastern Virginia.
The road I was travelling, following " the ridge "
for miles, had just struck me as most signifi-
cant of the character of the race whose only
avenue of communication with the outside world
it had formerly been. Their once splendid
mansions, now fast falling to decay, appeared
to view from time to time, set back far from the
road, in proud seclusion, among groves of oak
and hickory, now scarlet and gold with the early
frost. Distance was nothing to this people;
time was of no consequence to them. They
desired but a level path in life, and that they
had, though the way was longer, and the outer
world strode by them as they dreamed.
  I was aroused from my reflections by hearing
                     3

 

            IN OLE VIRGINIA
some one ahead of me calling, " Ileah !-heah-
whoo-oop, heahl"
  Turning the curve in the road, I saw just
before me a negro standing, with a hoe and a
watering-pot in his hand. He had evidently
just gotten over the " worm-fence " into the road,
out of the path which led zigzag across the "old
field" and was lost to sight in the dense growth
of sassafras. When I rode up, he was looking
anxiously back down this path for his dog. So
engrossed was he that he did not even hear my
horse, and I reined in to wait until he should
turn around and satisfy my curiosity as to the
handsome old place half a mile off from the
road.
  The numerous out-buildings and the large
barns and stables told that it had once been the
seat of wealth, and the wild waste of sassafras
that covered the broad fields gave it an air of
desolation that greatly excited my interest.
Entirely oblivious of my proximity, the negro
went on calling "Whoo-oop, heah!" until along
the path, walking very slowly and with great
dignity, appeared a noble-looking old orange
and white setter, gray with age, and corpulent
with excessive feeding. As soon as he came in
sight, his master began:
                      4

 
              MARSE CHAN
  "Yes, dat you! You gittin' deaf as well as
bline, I s 'pose! Kyarnt heah me callin', I
reckon  Whyn't yo' come on, dawg e"
  The setter sauntered slowly up to the fence
and stopped, without even deigning a look at
the speaker, who immediately proceeded to take
the rails down, talking meanwhile:
  "Now, I got to pull down de gap, I s'pose!
Yo' so sp'ilt yo' kyahn hardly walk. Jes' ez
able to git over it as I is! Jes'like white folks-
think 'cuz you's white and I's black, I got to
wait on yo' all de time. Ne'in mine, I ain'
gwi' do it!"
  The fence having been pulled down sufficiently
low to suit Ilis dogship, he marched sedately
through, and, with a hardly perceptible lateral
movement of his tail, walked on down the road.
Putting up the rails carefully, the negro turned
and saw me.
  " Sarvent, marster, " he said, taking his
hat off. Then, as if apologetically for having
permitted a stranger to witness what was merely
a family affair, he added: "He know I don'
mean nothin' by what I sez. He 's Marse Chan s
dawg, an' he's so ole he kyahn git long no
pearter. He know I'se jes' prodjickin' wid
'im.''
                     5

 
           IN OLE VIRGINIA
  "Who is Marse Chan e" I asked; "and whose
place is that over there, and the one a mile or
two back-the place with the big gate and the
carved stone pillars "
  "Marse Chan," said the darky, "he's Marse
Channin '-my young marster; an' dem places-
dis one's Weall's, an' de one back dyar wid de
rock gate-pos 's is ole Cun '1 Chahmb 'lin 's. Dey
don' nobody live dyar now, 'cep' niggers. Arfter
de war some one or nurr bought our place, but
his name done kind o' slipped me. I nuver
hearn on 'im befo'; I think dey's half-strainers.
I don' ax none on 'em no odds. I lives down
de road heah, a little piece, an' I jes' steps down
of a evenin' and looks arfter de graves."
  "Well, where is Marse Chan" I asked.
  "Hi! don' you know Marse Chan, he went
in de army. I was wid 'im. Yo' know he warn'
gwine an' lef' Sam."
  "Will you tell me all about it" I said, dis-
mounting.
  Instantly, and as if by instinct, the darky
stepped forward and took my bridle. I de-
murred a little; but with a bow that would have
honored old Sir Roger, he shortened the reins,
and taking my horse from me, led him along.
  "Now tell me about Marse Chan," I said.
                    6

 
              MARSE CHAN
  "Lawd, marster, hit's so long ago, I'd a''most
forgit all about it, ef I hedn' been wid him ever
sence he wuz born. Ez 'tis, I remembers it jes'
like 'twuz yistiddy. YTo' know Marse Chan an'
me-we wuz boys togerr. I wuz older'n he wuz,
jes' de same ez he wuz whiter'n me. I wuz
born plantin' corn time, de spring arfter big
.Jim an' de six steers got washed away at de
upper ford right down dyar b 'low de quarters ez
lie wuz a bringin' de Chris'mas things home;
an' Marse Chan, he warn' born tell mos' to de
harves' arfter my sister Nancy married Cun']
Chahmb'lin's Torm, 'bout eight years arfter-
woods.
  "Well, when Marse Chan wuz born, dey wuz
de grettes' doin 's at home you ever did see.
De folks all hed holiday, jes' like in de Chris'-
mas. Ole marster (we didn' call 'im ole marster
tell arfter Marster Chan wuz born-befo' dat he
wuz jes' de marster, so) -well, ole marster, his
face fyar shine wid pleasure, an' all de folks
wuz mighty glad, too, 'cause dey all loved ole
marster, and aldo' dey did step aroun' right
peart when ole marster was lookin' at 'em, dyar
warn' nyar han' on de place but what, ef he
wanted anythin', would walk up to de back
poach, an' say he warn' to see de rnarster. An'
                    7

 
            IN OLE VIRGINIA
ev'ybody wuz talkin' 'bout de young marster,
an' de maids an' de wimmens 'bout de kitchen
wuz sayin' how 'twuz de purties' chile dey ever
see; an' at dinner-time de mens (all on 'em hed
holiday) come roun' de poach an' ax how de
missis an' de young marster wuz, an' ole mars-
ter come out on de poach an' smile wus 'n a
'possum, an' sez, 'Thankee! Bofe doin' fust
rate, boys;' an' den he stepped back in de house,
sort o' laughin' to hisse'f, an' in a minute he
come out ag 'in wid de baby in he arms, all
wrapped up in flannens an' things, an' sez,
'Hieah he is, boys.' All de folks den, dey went
up on de poach to look at 'im, drappin' dey hats
on de steps, an' scrapin' dey feets ez dey went
up. An' pres'n'y ole marster, lookin' down at
we all chil'en all packed togerr down dyah like
a parecel o' sheep-burrs, cotch sight o' me (he
knowed my name, 'cause I use' to hole he hoss
fur 'im sometimes; but he didn' know all de
chile'n by name, dey wuz so many on 'em), an'
he sez, 'Come up heah!' So up I goes tippin',
skeered like, an' old marster sez, 'Ain' you
Mymie 's son ' 'Yass, seh,' sez I. 'Well,' sez
he, 'I'm gwine to give you to yo' young Marse
Channin' to be his body-servant,' an' he put de
baby right in my arms (it's de truth I'm tellin'
                     8

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" 'Now, Sam, from dis time you belong to vo'
         young Marse Channin .'

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              MARSE CHAN
yo'!), an' yo' jes' ought to a-heard de folks
sayin', 'Lawd! marster, dat boy '11 drap dat
chile!' 'Naw, he won't,' sez marster; 'I kin
trust 'in.' And den he sez: 'Now, Sam, from
dis time you belong to yo' young Marse Chan-
nin'; I wan' you to tek keer on 'im ez long ez he
lives. You are to be his boy from dis time. An'
now,' he sez, 'carry 'imn in de house.' An' he
walks arfter me an' opens de do's fur me, an' I
kyars 'im. in my arms, an' lays 'im down on de
bed. An' from dat time I was tooken in de house
to be Marse Channin's body-servant.
  "Well, you nuver see a chile grow so.
Pres 'n 'y he growed up right big, an' ole marster
sez he must have some edication. So he sont 'im
to school to ole Miss Lawry down dyar, dis side
o' Cun '1 Chahmb 'lin 's, an' I use' to go 'long
wid 'im an' tote he books an' we all's snacks;
an' when he larnt to read an' spell right good,
an' got 'bout so-o big, ole Miss Lawry she died,
an' ole marster said he mus' have a man to teach
'im an' trounce 'im. So we all went to Mr. Hall,
whar kep' de school-house beyant de creek, an'
dyar we went ev'y day, 'cep Sat'd'ys of co'se,
an' sich days ez Marse Chan din' warn' go, an'
ole missis begged 'im off.
"Hit wuz down dyar Marse Chan fust took
                    9

 
           IN OLE VIRGINIA
notice o' Miss Anne. Mr. Hall, he taught gals
ez well ez boys, an' Cun'l Chahmb'lin he sont
his daughter (dat's Miss Anne I'm talkin'
about). She wuz a leetle bit o' gal when she fust
come. Yo' see, her ma wuz dead, an' ole Miss
Lucy Chahmb'lin, she lived wid her brurr an'
kep' house for 'im; an' he wuz so busy wid poli-
tics, he didn' have much time to spyar, so he
sont Miss Anne to Mr. Hall's by a 'ooman wid a
note. When she come dat day in de school-
house, an' all de chil'en looked at her so hard,
she tu'n right red, an' tried to pull her long
curls over her eyes, an' den put bofe de backs of
her little han's in her two eyes, an' begin to cry
to herse'f. Marse Chan he was settin' on de
een' o' de bench nigh de do', an' he jes' reached
out an' put he arm roun' her an' drawed her
up to 'im. An' he kep' whisperin' to her, an'
callin' her name, an' coddlin' her; an' pres 'n 'y
she took her han's down an' begin to laugh.
"Well, dey 'peared to tek' a gre't fancy to
each urr from dat time. Miss Anne she warn'
nuthin' but a baby hardly, an' Marse Chan he
wuz a good big boy 'bout mos' thirteen years
ole, I reckon. Hows'ever, dey sut'n'y wuz sot
on each urr an' (yo' heah me!) ole marster an'
Cun'1 Chahmb'lin dey 'peared to like it 'bout
                    10

 
              MARSE CHAN
well ez de chil'en. Yo' see, Cun'l Chahmb'lin's
place j'ined ourn, an' it looked jes' ez natural
fur dem two chil'en to marry an' mek it one
plantation, ez it did fur de creek to run down
de bottom from our place into Cun'1 Chahmb'-
lin's. I don' rightly think de chil'en thought
'bout gittin' married, not den, no mo 'n I thought
'bout marryin' Judy when she wuz a little gal
at Cun'l Chahmb'lin's, runnin' 'bout de house,
huntin' fur Miss Lucy 's spectacles; but dey wuz
good frien's from de start. Marse Chan he use'
to kyar Miss Anne's books fur her ev'y day,
an' ef de road wuz muddy or she wuz tired, he
use' to tote her; an' 'twarn' hardly a day passed
dat he didn' kyar her some'n' to school-apples
or hick'y nuts, or someu'n. He wouldn' let none
o' de chil'en tease her, nurr. Heh! One day,
one o' de boys poked he finger at Miss Anne,
and arfter school Marse Chan he axed 'im
'roun' hine de school-house out o' sight, an' ef
he didn' whop 'im!
  "Marse Chan, he wuz de peartes' scholar ole
Mr. Hall hed, an' Mr. Hall he wuz mighty proud
o ' 'im. I don' think he use' to beat 'im ez much
ez he did de urrs, aldo' he wuz de head in all
debilment dat went on, jes' ez he wuz in sayin'
he lessons.
                    11

 
           IN OLE VIRGINIA
  "Heh! one day in summer, jes' fo' de school
broke up, dyah come up a storm right sudden,
an' riz de creek (dat one yo' cross' back yon-
der), an' Marse Chan he toted Miss Anne home
on he back. He ve 'y off 'n did dat when de parf
wuz muddy. But dis day when dey come to de
creek, it had done washed all de logs 'way.
'Twuz still mighty high, so Marse Chan he put
AMiss Anne down, an' lie took a pole an' waded
right in. Hit took 'im long up to de shoulders.
Den lie waded back, an' took Miss Anne up on
his head an' kyared her right over. At fust she
wuz skeered; but lie tol' her he could swim an'
wouldn' let her git hu't, an' den she let 'im kyar
her 'cross, she hol'in' his han's. I warn' 'long
dat day, but le sut'n'y did dat thing.
  "Ole marster lie wuz so pleased 'bout it, he
giv' Marse Chan a pony; an' M-larse Chan rode
'im to school de day arfter lie come, so proud,
an' savin' how he wuz gwine to let Anne ride
behine 'im; an' when he come home dat evenin'
lie wuz walkin'. 'Hi! where 's yo' pony' said
ole marster. 'I give 'im to Anne,' says Marse
Chan. 'She liked 'im, an'-I kin walk.' 'Yes,'
sez ole marster, laughin', 'I s 'pose you's already
done giv' her yo'se'f, an' nex' thing I know
you'll be givin' her this plantation and all my
niggers.'
                    12

 
              MARSE CHAN
  "Well, about a fortnight or sich a matter
arfter dat, Cun'l Chahmb'uin sont over an' in-
vited all o ' we all over to dinner, an' Marse Chan
wuz 'spressly named in de note whar Ned
brought; an' arfter dinner he made ole Phil,
whar wuz his ker'ige-driver, bring roun' Marso
Chan's pony wid a little side-saddle on 'im, an'
a beautiful little hoss wid a bran'-new saddle
an' bridle on 'im; an ' he gits up an' meks
Marse Chan a gre't speech, an' presents 'im de
little hoss; an' den he calls Miss Anne, an' she
comes out on de poach in a little ridin' frock,
an' dey puts her on her pony, an' M'arse Chan
mounts his hoss, an' dey goes to ride, while de
grown folks is a-laughin' an' chattin' an'
smokin' dey cigars.
  "Dem wuz good ole times, marster-de bes'
Sam ever see! Dey wuz, in fac'! Niggers didn'
hed nothin' 't all to do-jes' hed to 'ten' to de
feedin' an' cleanin' de hosses, an' doin' what de
marster tell 'em to do; an' when dey wuz sick,
dey had things sont 'em out de house, an' de
same doctor come to see 'em whar 'ten' to de
white folks when dey wuz po'ly. Dyar warn'
no trouble nor nothin'.
  "Well, things tuk a change arfter dat. Marse
Chan he went to de bo'din' school, whar he use'
to write to me constant. Ole missis use' to read
                    13

 
            IN OLE VIRGINIA
me de letters, an' den I'd git Miss Anne to read
'em ag'in to me when I'd see her. He use' to
write to her too, an' she use' to write to him too.
Den Miss Anne she wuz sont off to school too.
An' in de summer time dey'd bofe come home,
an' yo' hardly knowed whether Marse Chan
lived at home or over at Cun'l Cihahmb'lin's.
He wuz over dyah constant. 'Twuz always
ridin' or fishin' down dyah in de river; or some-
times he' go over dyah, an' 'im an' she'd go
out an' set in de yard onder de trees; she settin'
up mekin' out she wuz knittin' some sort o'
bright-cullored some'n', wid de grarss growin'
all up 'g'inst her, an' her hat th'owed back on
her neck, an' he readin' to her out books; an'
sometimes dey'd bofe read out de same book,
fust one an' den todder. I use' to see 'em! Dat
wuz when dey wuz growin' up like.
  "Den ole marster he run for Congress, an'
ole Cun '1 Chahmb 'lin he wuz put up to run
'g'inst ole marster by de Dimicrats; but ole
marster he beat 'im. Yo' know he wuz gwine do
dat! Co 'se he wuz! Dat made ole Cun 'I
Chahmb'lin mighty mad, and dey stopt visitin'
each urr reg'lar, like dey had been doin' all
'long. Den Cun'l Chahmb'lin he sort o' got in
debt, an' sell some o' he niggers, an' dat's de
                    14

 
              MARSE CHAN
way de fuss begun. Dat's whar de lawsuit cum
from. Ole marster he didn' like nobody to sell
niggers, an' knowin' dat Cun'1 Chahmb'liun wuz
sellin' o' his, he writ an' offered to buy his
M 'ria an' all her chil 'en, 'cause she hed married
our Zeek'yel.   An' don' yo' think, Cun'1
Chahmb'lin axed ole marster mo' 'n th'ee nig-
gers wuz wuth fur M'ria! Befo' old marster
bought her, dough, de sheriff cumi an' levelled
on W'ria an' a whole parecel o' urr niggers.
Ole marster he went to de sale, an' bid for 'em;
but Cun'l Chahmb'lin he got some one to bid
'g'inst ole marster. Dey wuz knocked out to
ole marster dough, an' den dey hed a big lawsuit,
an' ole marster wuz agwine to co't, off an' on,
fur some years, till at lars' de co 't decided dat
W 'ra belonged to ole marster.   Ole Cun '1
Chahmb'lin den wuz so mad he sued ole marster
for a little strip o' lan' down dyah on de line
fence, whar lhe said belonged to 'ini. Evy'body
knowed hit belonged to ole marster. Ef yo' go
down dyah now, I kin show it to yo', inside de
line fence, whar it hed done bin ever since long
befo' Cun'l Chahmb'lin wuz born. But Cun'1
Chahmb 'lin wuz a mons 'us perseverin' man, an'
ole marster he wouldn' let nobody run over 'imI.
No, dat he wouldn'! So dey wuz agwine down
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            IN OLE VIRGINIA
to co 't about dat, fur I don' know how long, till
ole marster beat 'im.
  " All dis time, yo' know, Marse Chan wuz
agoin' back'ads an' for'ads to college, an' wuz
growed up a ve'y fine young man. He wuz a
ve'y likely gent'man! Miss Anne she lied done
mos' growed up too-wuz puttin' her hyar up
like ole missis use' to put hers up, an' 'twuz
jes' ez bright ez de sorrel's mane when de sun
cotch on it, an' her eyes wuz gre 't big dark eyes,
like her pa's, on'y bigger an' not so fierce, an'
'twarn' none o' de young ladies ez purty ez she
wuz. She an' Marse Chan still set a heap o'
sto' by one 'nurr, but I don' think dey wuz easy
wid each urr ez when he used to tote her home
from school on his back. Marse Chan he use' to
love de ve'y groun' she walked on, dough, in
my 'pinion. Heh! His face 'twould light up
whenever she come into chu 'ch, or anywhere,
jes' like de sun hed come th'oo a chink on it
suddenly.
  "Den' ole marster lost he eyes. D' yo' ever
heah 'bout dat Heish! Didn' yo' Well, one
night de big barn cotch fire. De stables, yo'
know, wuz under de big barn, an' all de hosses
wuz in dyah. Hit 'peared to me like 'twarn' no
time befo' all de folks an' de neighbors dey
                    16

 
              MARSE CHAN
come, an' dey wuz a-totin' water, an' a-tryin'
to save de po' critters, and dey got a heap on
'em out; but de ker'ige-hosses dey wouldn' come
out, an' dey wuz a-runnin' back'ads an' for'ads
inside de stalls, a-nikerin' an' a-screamin', like
dey knowed dey time hed come. Yo' could heah
'em so pitiful, an' pres'n'y old marster said to
Ham Fisher (he wuz de ker'ige-driver), 'Go in
dyah an' try to save 'em; don' let 'em bu'n to
death.' An' Ham he went right in. An' jest
arfter he got in, de shed whar it lied fus' coteh
fell in, an' de sparks shot 'way up in de air; an'
Ham didn' come back, an' de fire begun to lick
out under de eaves over whar de ker'ige hosses'
stalls wuz, an' all of a sudden ole marster tu 'ned
an' kissed ole missis, who wuz standin' nigh him,
wid her face jes' ez white ez a sperit's, an',
befo' anybody knowed what he wuz gwine do,
jumped right in de do', an' de smoke come po 'in'
out behine 'im. Well, seh, I nuver 'spects to
heah tell Judgment sich a soun' ez de folks set
up! Ole missis she jes' drapt down on her
knees in de mud an' prayed out loud. Hit
'peared like her pra 'r wuz heard; for in a minit,
right out de same do', kyarin' Ham Fisher in
his arms, come ole marster, wid his elo 's all
blazin'. Dey flung water on 'im, an' put 'im
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            IN OLE VIRGINIA
out; an', ef you b 'lieve me, yo' wouldn'
a-knowed 'twuz ole inarster. Yo' see, he hed
find Ham Fisher done fall down in de smoke
right by the ker'ige-hoss' stalls, whar he sont
him, an' he hed to tote 'im back in his arms
th'oo de fire what lied done cotch de front part
o' de stable, and to keep de flame from gittin'
down Ham Fisher's th'ote he hed tuk off his
own hat and mashed it all over Ham Fisher's
face, an' he lied kep' Ham Fisher from bein'
so much bu'nt; but he wuz bu'nt dreadful! His
beard an' hyar wuz all nyawed off, an' his face
an' han's an' neck wuz scorified terrible. Well,
lie jes' laid Ham Fisher down, an' then he kind
o' staggered for'ad, an' ole missis ketch' 'im
in her arms. Ham Fisber, he warn' bu'nt so
bad, an' he got out in a month to two; an' arfter
a long time, ole marster he got well, too; but
he wuz always stone blind arfter that. He
nuver could see none from dat night.
  "Marse Chan he comed home from college
toreckly, an' he sut'n'y did nuss ole marster
faithful-jes' like a 'ooman. Den he took charge
of de plantation arfter dat; an' I use' to wait
on 'im jes' like when we wuz boys togedder;
an' sometimes we'd slip off an' have a fox-hunt,
an' he'd be jes' like he wuz in ole times, befo'
                     18

 
              M.ARSE CHAN
ole marster got bline, an' Miss Anne Chahmb 'lin
stopt comin' over to our house, an' settin' onder
de trees, readin' out de same book.
  "He sut'n'y wuz good to me. Nothin' nuver
made no diffunce 'bout dat. He nuver hit me a
lick in his life-an' nuver let nobody else do it,
nurr.
  "I 'members one day, when he wuz a leetle
bit o' boy, ole marster hed done tole we all
chil'en not to slide on de straw-stacks; an' one
day me an' Marse Chan thought ole marster
hed done gone 'way from home. We watched
him git on he hoss an' ride up de road out o'
sight, an' we wuz out in de field a-slidin' an'
a-slidin', when up comes ole marster.  AVe
started to run; but he lied done see us, an' he
called us to come back; an' sich a whuppin' ez
he did gi' us!
  "Fust he took Marse Chan, an' den lie teched
ine up. He nuver hu't me, but in co'se I wuz
a-hollerin' ez hard ez I could stave it, 'cause I
knowed dat wuz gwine mek him stop. -Marse
Chan he hed'n open lie mouf long ez ole marster
wuz tunin' 'im; but soon ez he commence warm-
in' me an' I begin to holler, Marse Chan lie
bu 'st out cryin', an' stept right in befo' ole mars-
ter an' ketchin' de whup, sed:
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            IN OLE VIRGINIA
    'Stop, seh!  Yo' sha'n't whup 'im; he
b'longs to me, an' ef you hit 'im another lick
I'll set 'im free!'
  "I wish yo' hed see ole marster. Marse Chan
he warn' mo'n eight years ole, an' dyah dey
wuz-old marster stan'in' wid he whup raised
up, an' Marse Chan red an' cryin', hol'in' on to
it, an' sayin' I b'longst to 'im.
  " Ole marster, he raise' de whup, an' den he
drapt it, an' broke out in a smile over he face,
an' he chuck' Marse Chan onder de chin, an'
tu 'n right roun' an' went away, laughin' to
hisse 'f, an' I heah 'im tellin' ole missis dat
evenin', an' laughin' 'bout it.
  " 'Twan' so mighty long arfter dat when dey
fust got to talkin ' 'bout de war. Dey wuz a-dic-
tatin' back'ads an' for'ads 'bout it fur two or
th'ee years 'fo' it come sho' nuff, you know.
Ole marster, he was a Whig, an' of co'se Marse
Chan he tuk after he pa. Cun'l Cha