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Author: Street, Julian, 1879-1947
Title: American Adventures A Second Trip 'Abroad at home'
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): new orleans
Contributor(s): Morgan, Wallace [Illustrator]
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Title: American Adventures
       A Second Trip 'Abroad at home'

Author: Julian Street

Illustrator: Wallace Morgan

Release Date: May 3, 2006 [EBook #18304]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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[Illustration: Charleston is the last stronghold of a unified American
upper class; the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port
and _noblesse oblige_ are fully and widely understood, and are employed
according to the best traditions]




AMERICAN ADVENTURES

A SECOND TRIP "ABROAD AT HOME" BY

JULIAN STREET


WITH PICTORIAL SIDELIGHTS
BY
WALLACE MORGAN




NEW YORK
THE CENTURY CO.
1917




Copyright, 1917, by
THE CENTURY CO.

Copyright, 1916, 1917, by
P.F. COLLIER & SON, INC.

_Published, November, 1917_




TO MY AUNT
AND SECOND MOTHER

JULIA ROSS LOW




FOREWORD


Though much has been written of the South, it seems to me that this part
of our country is less understood than any other part. Certainly the
South, itself, feels that this is true. Its relationship to the North
makes me think of nothing so much as that of a pretty, sensitive wife,
to a big, strong, amiable, if somewhat thick-skinned husband. These two
had one great quarrel which nearly resulted in divorce. He thought her
headstrong; she thought him overbearing. The quarrel made her ill; she
has been for some time recovering. But though they have settled their
difficulties and are living again in amity together, and though he,
man-like, has half forgotten that they ever quarreled at all, now that
peace reigns in the house again, _she_ has _not_ forgotten. There still
lingers in her mind the feeling that he never really understood her,
that he never understood her problems and her struggles, and that he
never will. And it seems to me further that, as is usually the case with
wives who consider themselves misunderstood, the fault is partly, but by
no means altogether, hers. He, upon one hand, is inclined to pass the
matter off with a: "There, there! It's all over now. Just be good and
forget it!" while she, in the depths of her heart, retains a little bit
of wistfulness, a little wounded feeling, which causes her to say to
herself: "Thank God our home was not broken up, but--I wish that he
could be a little more considerate, sometimes, in view of all that I
have suffered."

For my part, I am the humble but devoted friend of the family. Having
known him first, having been from boyhood his companion, I may perhaps
have sympathized with him in the beginning. But since I have come to
know her, too, that is no longer so. And I do think I know her--proud,
sensitive, high-strung, generous, captivating beauty that she is!
Moreover, after the fashion of many another "friend of the family," I
have fallen in love with her. Loving her from afar, I send her as a
nosegay these chapters gathered in her own gardens. If some of the
flowers are of a kind for which she does not care, if some have thorns,
even if some are only weeds, I pray her to remember that from what was
growing in her gardens I was forced to make my choice, and to believe
that, whatever the defects of my bouquet, it is meant to be a bunch of
roses.

        J.S.
_October 1, 1917._

     The Author makes his grateful acknowledgments to the old friends
     and the new ones who assisted him upon this journey. And once more
     he desires to express his gratitude to the friend and
     fellow-traveler whose illustrations are far from being his only
     contribution to this volume.

        --J.S.
New York, October, 1917.




CONTENTS


THE BORDERLAND

CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

      I ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES                                 3

     II A BALTIMORE EVENING                                           13

    III WHERE THE CLIMATES MEET                                       27

     IV TRIUMPHANT DEFEAT                                             38

      V TERRAPIN AND THINGS                                           44

     VI DOUGHOREGAN MANOR AND THE CARROLLS                            53

    VII A RARE OLD TOWN                                               69

   VIII WE MEET THE HAMPTON GHOST                                     80

     IX ARE WE STANDARDIZED?                                          89

      X HARPER'S FERRY AND JOHN BROWN                                 97

     XI THE VIRGINIAS AND THE WASHINGTONS                            105

    XII I RIDE A HORSE                                               117

   XIII INTO THE OLD DOMINION                                        136

    XIV CHARLOTTESVILLE AND MONTICELLO                               150

     XV THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA                                   159

    XVI FOX-HUNTING IN VIRGINIA                                      169

   XVII "A CERTAIN PARTY"                                            186

  XVIII THE LEGACY OF HATE                                           193

    XIX "YOU-ALL" AND OTHER SECTIONAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS              203

     XX IDIOMS AND ARISTOCRACY                                       214

    XXI THE CONFEDERATE CAPITAL                                      222

   XXII RANDOM RICHMOND NOTES                                        233

  XXIII JEDGE CRUTCHFIELD'S COT                                      242

   XXIV NORFOLK AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD                                 248

    XXV COLONEL TAYLOR AND GENERAL LEE                               258


THE HEART OF THE SOUTH

   XXVI RALEIGH AND JOSEPHUS DANIELS                                 273

  XXVII ITEMS FROM "THE OLD NORTH STATE"                             285

 XXVIII UNDER ST. MICHAEL'S CHIMES                                   296

   XXIX HISTORY AND ARISTOCRACY                                      312

    XXX POLITICS, A NEWSPAPER AND ST. CECILIA                        326

   XXXI "GULLA" AND THE BACK COUNTRY                                 338

  XXXII OUT OF THE PAST                                              349

 XXXIII ALIVE ATLANTA                                                356

  XXXIV GEORGIA JOURNALISM                                           369

   XXXV SOME ATLANTA INSTITUTIONS                                    384

  XXXVI A BIT OF RURAL GEORGIA                                       392

 XXXVII A YOUNG METROPOLIS                                           403

XXXVIII BUSY BIRMINGHAM                                              417

  XXXIX AN ALLEGORY OF ACHIEVEMENT                                   426

     XL THE ROAD TO ARCADY                                           440

    XLI A MISSISSIPPI TOWN                                           447

   XLII OLD TALES AND A NEW GAME                                     458

  XLIII OUT OF THE LONG AGO                                          467

   XLIV THE GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND HIM                                  474

    XLV VICKSBURG OLD AND NEW                                        482

   XLVI SHREDS AND PATCHES                                           494

  XLVII THE BAFFLING MISSISSIPPI                                     500

 XLVIII OLD RIVER DAYS                                               508

   XLIX WHAT MEMPHIS HAS ENDURED                                     518

      L MODERN MEMPHIS                                               535


FARTHEST SOUTH

     LI BEAUTIFUL SAVANNAH                                           553

    LII MISS "JAX" AND SOME FLORIDA GOSSIP                           572

   LIII PASSIONATE PALM BEACH                                        579

    LIV ASSORTED AND RESORTED FLORIDA                                595

     LV A DAY IN MONTGOMERY                                          603

    LVI THE CITY OF THE CREOLE                                       619

   LVII HISTORY, THE CREOLE, AND HIS DUELS                           629

  LVIII FROM ANTIQUES TO PIRATES                                     648

    LIX ANTOINE'S AND MARDI GRAS                                     663

     LX FINALE                                                       675




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                             FACING PAGE
Charleston is the last stronghold of a unified American upper class;
the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port and
_noblesse oblige_ are fully and widely understood, and are employed
according to the best traditions                          _Frontispiece_

"Railroad tickets!" said the baggageman with exaggerated patience      8

Can most travellers, I wonder, enjoy as I do a solitary walk, by
night, through the mysterious streets of a strange city?              17

Coming out of my slumber with the curious and unpleasant sense of
being stared at, I found his eyes fixed upon me                       24

Mount Vernon Place is the centre of Baltimore                         32

If she is shopping for a dinner party, she may order the costly and
aristocratic diamond-back terrapin, sacred in Baltimore as is the
Sacred Cod in Boston                                                  48

Doughoregan Manor--the house was a buff-colored brick                 65

I began to realize that there was no one coming                       80

Harper's Ferry is an entrancing old town; a drowsy place piled up
beautifully yet carelessly upon terraced roads clinging to steep
hillsides                                                            100

"What's the matter with him?" I asked, stopping                      117

When I came down, dressed for riding, my companion was making a
drawing; the four young ladies were with him, none of them in riding
habits                                                               124

Claymont Court is one of the old Washington houses                   132

Chatham, the old Fitzhugh house, now the residence of Mark Sullivan  148

Monticello stands on a lofty hilltop, with vistas, between trees of
neighboring valleys, hills, and mountains                            157

Like Venice, the University of Virginia should first be seen by
moonlight                                                            168

One party was stationed on the top of an old-time mail-coach,
bearing the significant initials "F.F.V."                            180

The Piedmont Hunt Race Meet                                          189

The Southern negro is the world's peasant supreme                    200

The Country Club of Virginia, out to the west of Richmond            216

Judge Crutchfield                                                    228

Negro women squatting upon boxes in old shadowy lofts stem the
tobacco leaves                                                       237

The Judge: "What did he do, Mandy?"                                  244

Some genuine old-time New York ferryboats help to complete the
illusion that Norfolk is New York                                    253

"The Southern statesman who serves his section best, serves his
country best"                                                        280

St. Philip's is the more beautiful for the open space before it      300

Opposite St. Philip's, a perfect example of the rude architecture of
an old French village                                                305

In the doorway and gates of the Smyth house, in Legare Street, I was
struck with a Venetian suggestion                                    316

Nor is the Charleston background a mere arras of recollection        320

Charleston has a stronger, deeper-rooted city entity than all the
cities of the Middle West rolled into one                            328

The interior is the oldest looking thing in the United States--Goose
Creek Church                                                         344

A reminder of the Chicago River--Atlanta                             353

With the whole Metropolitan Orchestra playing dance music all night
long                                                                 368

The office buildings are city office buildings, and are sufficiently
numerous to look very much at home                                   376

The negro roof-garden, Odd Fellows' Building, Atlanta                385

I was never so conscious, as at the time of our visit to the Burge
Plantation, of the superlative soft sweetness of the spring          396

The planters cease their work                                        400

Birmingham--the thin veil of smoke from far-off iron furnaces
softens the city's serrated outlines                                 408

Birmingham practices unremittingly the pestilential habit of
"cutting in" at dances                                               424

Gigantic movements and mutations, Niagara-like noises, great bursts
of flame like falling fragments from the sun                         437

A shaggy, unshaven, rawboned man, gray-haired and collarless, sat
near the window                                                      444

Gaze upon the character called Daniel Voorhees Pike!                 456

The houses were full of the suggestion of an easy-going home life
and an informal hospitality                                          465

Her hands looked very white and small against his dark coat          480

As water flows down the hills of Vicksburg to the river, so the
visitor's thoughts flow down to the great spectacular, mischievous,
dominating stream                                                    485

Over the tenement roofs one catches sight of sundry other buildings
of a more self-respecting character                                  492

Vicksburg negroes                                                    497

On some of the boats negro fish-markets are conducted                504

The old Klein house                                                  512

Citizens go at midday to the square                                  520

Hanging in the air above the middle of the stream                    536

These small parks give Savannah the quality which differentiates it
from all other American cities                                       556

The Thomas house, in Franklin Square                                 561

You will see them having tea, and dancing under the palm fronds of
the cocoanut grove                                                   576

Cocktail hour at The Breakers                                        581

Nowhere is the sand more like a deep warm dust of yellow gold        588

The couples on the platform were "ragging"                           600

Harness held together by that especial Providence which watches over
negro mending                                                        613

It was a very jolly fair                                             616

The mysterious old Absinthe House, founded 1799                      620

St. Anthony's Garden                                                 632

Courtyard of the old Orleans Hotel                                   641

The little lady who sits behind the desk                             656

The lights are always lowered at Antoine's when the spectacular Cafe
Boulot Diabolique is served                                          664

Passing between the brilliantly illuminated buildings, the Mardi
Gras parades are glorious sights for children from eight to eighty
years of age                                                         672




THE BORDERLAND

    O magnet-South! O glistening, perfumed South!
    O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! good and evil!
       O all dear to me!

    WALT WHITMAN.




AMERICAN ADVENTURES




CHAPTER I

ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES

    On journeys through the States we start,
    ... We willing learners of all, teachers of all, lovers of all.

    We dwell a while in every city and town ...

    --WALT WHITMAN.



Had my companion and I never crossed the continent together, had we
never gone "abroad at home," I might have curbed my impatience at the
beginning of our second voyage. But from the time we returned from our
first journey, after having spent some months in trying, as some one put
it, to "discover America," I felt the gnawings of excited appetite. The
vast sweep of the country continually suggested to me some great
delectable repast: a banquet spread for a hundred million guests; and
having discovered myself unable, in the time first allotted, to devour
more than part of it--a strip across the table, as it were, stretching
from New York on one side to San Francisco on the other--I have hungered
impatiently for more. Indeed, to be quite honest, I should like to try
to eat it all.

Months before our actual departure for the South the day for leaving was
appointed; days before we fixed upon our train; hours before I bought my
ticket. And then, when my trunks had left the house, when my taxicab was
ordered and my faithful battered suitcase stood packed to bulging in the
hall, my companion, the Illustrator, telephoned to say that certain
drawings he must finish before leaving were not done, that he would be
unable to go with me that afternoon, as planned, but must wait until the
midnight train.

Had the first leap been a long one I should have waited for him, but the
distance from New York to the other side of Mason and Dixon's Line is
short, and I knew that he would join me on the threshold of the South
next morning. Therefore I told him I would leave that afternoon as
originally proposed, and gave him, in excuse, every reason I could think
of, save the real one: namely, my impatience. I told him that I wished
to make the initial trip by day to avoid the discomforts of the sleeping
car, that I had engaged hotel accommodations for the night by wire, that
friends were coming down to see me off.

Nor were these arguments without truth. I believe in telling the truth.
The truth is good enough for any one at any time--except, perhaps, when
there is a point to be carried, and even then some vestige of it should,
if convenient, be preserved. Thus, for example, it is quite true that I
prefer the conversation of my fellow travelers, dull though it may be,
to the stertorous sounds they make by night; so, too, if I had not
telegraphed for rooms, it was merely because I had forgotten to--and
that I remedied immediately; while as to the statement that friends were
to see me off, that was absolutely and literally accurate. Friends had,
indeed, signified their purpose to meet me at the station for last
farewells, and had, furthermore, remarked upon the very slight show of
enthusiasm with which I heard the news.

The fact is, I do not like to be seen off. Least of all, do I like to be
seen off by those who are dear to me. If the thing must be done, I
prefer it to be done by strangers--committees from chambers of commerce
and the like, who have no interest in me save the hope that I will live
to write agreeably of their city--of the civic center, the fertilizer
works, and the charming new abattoir. Seeing me off for the most
practical of reasons, such gentlemen are invariably efficient. They
provide an equipage, and there have even been times when, in the final
hurried moments, they have helped me to jam the last things into my
trunks and bags. One of them politely takes my suitcase, another kindly
checks my baggage, and all in order that a third, who is usually the
secretary of the chamber of commerce, may regale me with inspiring
statistics concerning the population of "our city," the seating capacity
of the auditorium, the number of banks, the amount of their clearings,
and the quantity of belt buckles annually manufactured. When the train
is ready we exchange polite expressions of regret at parting:
expressions reminiscent of those little speeches which the King of
England and the Emperor of Germany used to make at parting in the old
days before they found each other out and began dropping high explosives
on each other's roofs.

Such a committee, feeling no emotion (except perhaps relief) at seeing
me depart, may be useful. Not so with friends and loved ones. Useful as
they may be in the great crises of life, they are but disturbing
elements in the small ones. Those who would die for us seldom check our
trunks.

By this I do not mean to imply that either of the two delightful
creatures who came to the Pennsylvania Terminal to bid me good-by would
die for me. That one has lived for me and that both attempt to regulate
my conduct is more than enough. Hardly had I alighted from my taxicab,
hardly had the redcap seized my suitcase, when, with sweet smiles and a
twinkling of daintily shod feet, they came. Fancy their having arrived
ahead of me! Fancy their having come like a pair of angels through the
rain to see me off! Enough to turn a man's head! It did turn mine; and I
noticed that, as they approached, the heads of other men were turning
too.

Flattered to befuddlement, I greeted them and started with them
automatically in the direction of the concourse, forgetting entirely the
driver of my taxicab, who, however, took in the situation and set up a
great shout--whereat I returned hastily and overpaid him.

This accomplished, I rejoined my companions and, with a radiant
dark-haired girl at one elbow and a blonde, equally delectable, at the
other, moved across the concourse.

How gay they were as we strolled along! How amusing were their
prophecies of adventures destined to befall me in the South. Small
wonder that I took no thought of whither I was going.

Presently, having reached the wall at the other side of the great
vaulted chamber, we stopped.

"Which train, boss?" asked the porter who had meekly followed.

Train? I had forgotten about trains. The mention of the subject
distracted my attention for the moment from the _Loreleien_, stirred my
drugged sense of duty, and reminded me that I had trunks to check.

My suggestion that I leave them briefly for this purpose was lightly
brushed aside.

"Oh, no!" they cried. "We shall go with you."

I gave in at once--one always does with them--and inquired of the porter
the location of the baggage room. He looked somewhat fatigued as he
replied:

"It's away back there where we come from, boss."

It was a long walk; in a garden, with no train to catch, it would have
been delightful.

"Got your tickets?" suggested the porter as we passed the row of grilled
windows. He had evidently concluded that I was irresponsible.

As I had them, we continued on our way, and presently achieved the
baggage room, where they stood talking and laughing, telling me of the
morning's shopping expedition--hat-hunting, they called it--in the
rain. I fancy that we might have been there yet had not a baggageman,
perhaps divining that I had become a little bit distrait and that I had
business to transact, rapped smartly on the iron counter with his punch
and demanded:

"Baggage checked?"

Turning, not without reluctance, from a pair of violet eyes and a pair
of the most mysterious gray, I began to fumble in my pockets for the
claim checks.

"How long shall you stay in Baltimore?" asked the girl with the gray
eyes.

"Yes, indeed!" I answered, still searching for the checks.

"That doesn't make sense," remarked the blue-eyed girl as I found the
checks and handed them to the baggageman. "She asked how long you'd stay
in Baltimore, and you said: 'Yes, indeed.'"

"About a week I meant to say."

"Oh, I don't believe a week will be enough," said Gray-eyes.

"We can't stay longer," I declared. "We must keep pushing on. There are
so many places in the South to see."

"My sister has just been there, and she--"

"Where to?" demanded the insistent baggageman.

"Why, Baltimore, of course," I said. Had he paid attention to our
conversation he might have known.

"You were saying," reminded Violet-eyes, "that your sister--?"

"She just came home from there, and says that--"

"Railroad ticket!" said the baggageman with exaggerated patience.

I began again to feel in various pockets.

"She says," continued Gray-eyes, "that she never met more charming
people or had better things to eat. She loves the southern accent too."

I don't know how the tickets got into my upper right vest pocket; I
never carry tickets there; but that is where I found them.

"Do you like it?" asked the other girl of me.

"Like what?"

"Why, the southern accent."

"Any valuation?" the baggageman demanded.

"Yes," I answered them both at once.

"Oh, you _do_?" cried Violet-eyes, incredulously.

"Why, yes; I think--"

"Put down the amount and sign here," the baggageman directed, pushing a
slip toward me and placing a pencil in my hand.

I obeyed. The baggageman took the slip and went off to a little desk. I
judged that he had finished with me for the moment.

"But don't you think," my fair inquisitor continued, "that the southern
girls pile on the accent awfully, because they know it pleases men?"

"Perhaps," I said. "But then, what better reason could they have for
doing so?"

"Listen to that!" she cried to her companion. "Did you ever hear such
egotism?"

"He's nothing but a man," said Gray-eyes scornfully. "I wouldn't be a
man for--"

"A dollar and eighty-five cents," declared the baggageman.

I paid him.

"I wouldn't be a man for anything!" my fair friend finished as we
started to move off.

"I wouldn't have you one," I told her, opening the concourse door.

"_Hay!_" shouted the baggageman. "Here's your ticket and your checks!"

I returned, took them, and put them in my pocket. Again we proceeded
upon our way. I was glad to leave the baggageman.

This time the porter meant to take no chances.

"What train, boss?" he asked.

"The Congressional Limited."

"You got jus' four minutes."

"Goodness!" cried Gray-eyes.

"I thought," said Violet-eyes as we accelerated our pace, "that you
prided yourself on always having time to spare?"

"Usually I do," I answered, "but in this case--"

"What car?" the porter interrupted tactfully.

Again I felt for my tickets. This time they were in my change pocket. I
can't imagine how I came to put them there.

"But in this case--_what_?" The violet eyes looked threatening as their
owner put the question.

"Seat seven, car three," I told the porter firmly as we approached the
gate. Then, turning to my dangerous and lovely cross-examiner: "In this
case I am unfortunate, for there is barely time to say good-by."

There are several reasons why I don't believe in railway station kisses.
Kisses given in public are at best but skimpy little things, suggesting
the swift peck of a robin at a peach, whereas it is truer of kissing
than of many other forms of industry that what is worth doing at all is
worth doing well. Yet I knew that one of these enchantresses expected to
be kissed, and that the other very definitely didn't. Therefore I kissed
them both.

Then I bolted toward the gate.

"Tickets!" demanded the gateman, stopping me.

At last I found them in the inside pocket of my overcoat. I don't know
how they got there. I never carry tickets in that pocket.

As the train began to move I looked at my watch and, discovering it to
be three minutes fast, set it right. That is the sort of train the
Congressional Limited is. A moment later we were roaring through the
blackness of the Hudson River tunnel.

There is something fine in the abruptness of the escape from New York
City by the Pennsylvania Railroad. From the time you enter the station
you are as good as gone. There is no progress between the city's
tenements, with untidy bedding airing in some windows and fat old
slatterns leaning out from others to survey the sordidness and squalor
of the streets below. A swift plunge into darkness, some thundering
moments, and your train glides out upon the wide wastes of the New
Jersey meadows. The city is gone. You are even in another State. Far,
far behind, bathed in glimmering haze which gives them the appearance of
palaces in a mirage, you may see the tops of New York's towering
sky-scrapers, dwarfed yet beautified by distance. Outside the wide car
window the advertising sign-boards pass to the rear in steady parade,
shrieking in strong color of whiskies, tobaccos, pills, chewing gums,
cough drops, flours, hams, hotels, soaps, socks, and shows.




CHAPTER II

A BALTIMORE EVENING

    I felt her presence by its spell of might,
      Stoop o'er me from above;
    The calm, majestic presence of the night,
      As of the one I love.

    --LONGFELLOW.


Before I went to Baltimore I had but two definite impressions connected
with the place: the first was of a tunnel, filled with coal gas, through
which trains pass beneath the city; the second was that when a
southbound train left Baltimore the time had come to think of cleaning
up, preparatory to reaching Washington.

Arriving at Baltimore after dark, one gathers an impression of an
adequate though not impressive Union Station from which one emerges to a
district of good asphalted streets, the main ones wide and well lighted.
The Baltimore street lamps are large and very brilliant single globes,
mounted upon the tops of substantial metal columns. I do not remember
having seen lamps of the same pattern in any other city. It is a good
pattern, but there is one thing about it which is not good at all, and
that is the way the street names are lettered upon the sides of the
globes. Though the lettering is not large, it is large enough to be
read easily in the daytime against the globe's white surface, but to try
to read it at night is like trying to read some little legend printed
upon a blinding noon-day sun. I noticed this particularly because I
spent my first evening in wandering alone about the streets of
Baltimore, and wished to keep track of my route in order that I might
the more readily find my way back to the hotel.

Can most travelers, I wonder, enjoy as I do a solitary walk, by night,
through the mysterious streets of a strange city? Do they feel the same
detached yet keen interest in unfamiliar highways, homes, and human
beings, the same sense of being a wanderer from another world, a
"messenger from Mars," a Harun-al-Rashid, or, if not one of these, an
imaginative adventurer like Tartarin? Do they thrill at the sight of an
ill-lighted street leading into a no-man's-land of menacing dark
shadows; at the promise of a glowing window puncturing the blackness
here or there; at the invitation of some open doorway behind which
unilluminated blackness hangs, threatening and tempting? Do they rejoice
in streets the names of which they have not heard before? Do they--as I
do--delight in irregularity: in the curious forms of roofs and spires
against the sky; in streets which run up hill or down; or which, instead
of being straight, have jogs in them, or curves, or interesting
intersections, at which other streets dart off from them obliquely, as
though in a great hurry to get somewhere? Do they love to emerge from a
street which is narrow, dim, and deserted, upon one which is wide,
bright, and crowded; and do they also like to leave a brilliant street
and dive into the darkness of some somber byway? Does a long row of
lights lure them, block by block, toward distances unknown? Are they
tempted by the unfamiliar signs on passing street cars? Do they yearn to
board those cars and be transported by them into the mystic caverns of
the night? And when they see strangers who are evidently going somewhere
with some special purpose, do they wish to follow; to find out where
these beings are going, and why? Do they wish to trail them, let the
trail lead to a prize fight, to a church sociable, to a fire, to a
fashionable ball, or to the ends of the world?

For the traveler who does not know such sensations and such impulses as
these--who has not at times indulged in the joy of yielding to an
inclination of at least mildly fantastic character--I am profoundly
sorry. The blind themselves are not so blind as those who, seeing with
the physical eye, lack the eye of imagination.

Residence streets like Chase and Biddle, in the blocks near where they
cross Charles Street, midway on its course between the Union Station and
Mount Vernon Place, are at night, even more than by day, full of the
suggestion of comfortable and settled domesticity. Their brick houses,
standing wall to wall and close to the sidewalk, speak of honorable age,
and, in some cases of a fine and ancient dignity. One fancies that in
many of these houses the best of old mahogany may be found, or, if not
that, then at least the fairly old and quite creditable furniture of the
period of the sleigh-back bed, the haircloth-covered rosewood sofa, and
the tall, narrow mirror between the two front windows of the drawing
room.

Through the glass panels of street doors and beneath half-drawn window
shades the early-evening wayfarer may perceive a feeble glow as of
illuminating gas turned low; but by ten o'clock these lights have begun
to disappear, indicating--or so, at all events, I chose to believe--that
certain old ladies wearing caps and black silk gowns with old lace
fichus held in place by ancient cameos, have proceeded slowly,
rustlingly, upstairs to bed, accompanied by their cats.

At Cathedral Street, a block or two from Charles, Biddle Street performs
a jog, dashing off at a tangent from its former course, while Chase
Street not only jogs and turns at the corresponding intersection, but
does so again, where, at the next corner, it meets at once with Park
Avenue and Berkeley Street. After this it runs but a short way and dies,
as though exhausted by its own contortions.

Here, in a region of malformed city blocks--some of them pentagonal,
some irregularly quadrangular, some wedge-shaped--Howard Street sets
forth upon its way, running first southwest as far as Richmond Street,
then turning south and becoming, by degrees, an important thoroughfare.

Somewhere near the beginning of Howard Street my attention was arrested
by shadowy forms in a dark window: furniture, andirons, chinaware, and
weapons of obsolete design: unmistakable signs of a shop in which
antiquities were for sale. After making mental note of the location of
this shop, I proceeded on my way, keeping a sharp lookout for other like
establishments. Nor was I to be disappointed. These birds of a feather
bear out the truth of the proverb by flocking together in Howard Street,
as window displays, faintly visible, informed me.

Since we have come naturally to the subject of antiques, let us pause
here, under a convenient lamp-post, and discuss the matter further.

Baltimore--as I found out later--is probably the headquarters for the
South in this trade. It has at least one dealer of Fifth Avenue rank,
located on Charles Street, and a number of humbler dealers in and near
Howard Street. Among the latter, two in particular interested me. One of
these--his name is John A. Williar--I have learned to trust. Not only
did I make some purchases of him while I was in Baltimore, but I have
even gone so far, since leaving there, as to buy from him by mail,
accepting his assurance that some article which I have not seen is,
nevertheless, what I want, and that it is "worth the price."

At the other antique shop which interested me I made no purchases. The
stock on hand was very large, and if those who exhibited it to me made
no mistakes in differentiating between genuine antiques and copies, the
assortment of ancient furniture on sale in that establishment, when I
was there, would rank among the great collections of the world.

However, human judgment is not infallible, and antique dealers sometimes
make mistakes, offering, so to speak, "new lamps for old." The eyesight
of some dealers may not be so good as that of others; or perhaps one
dealer does not know so well as another the difference between, say, an
old English Chippendale chair and a New York reproduction; or again,
perhaps, some dealers may be innocently unaware that there exist, in
this land of ours, certain large establishments wherein are manufactured
most extraordinary modern copies of the furniture of long ago. I have
been in one of these manufactories, and have there seen chairs of
Chippendale and Sheraton design which, though fresh from the workman's
hands, looked older than the originals from which they had been
plagiarized; also I recall a Jacobean refectory table, the legs of which
appeared to have been eaten half away by time, but which had, in
reality, been "antiqued" with a stiff wire brush. I mention this
because, in my opinion, antique dealers have a right to know that such
factories exist.

What curious differences there are between the customs of one trade and
those of another. Compare, for instance, the dealer in old furniture
with the dealer in old automobiles. The latter, far from pronouncing a
machine of which he wishes to dispose "a genuine antique," will assure
you--and not always with a strict regard for truth--that it is
"practically as good as new." Or compare the seller of antiques with the
horse dealer. Can you imagine the latter's taking you up to some
venerable quadruped--let alone a three-year-old--and discoursing upon
its merits in some such manner as the following:

"This is the oldest and most historic horse that has ever come into my
possession. Just look at it, sir! The farmer of whom I bought it assured
me that it was brought over by his ancestors in the _Mayflower_. The
place where I found it was used as Washington's headquarters during the
Revolutionary War, and it is known that Washington himself frequently
sat on this very horse. It was a favorite of his. For he was a large man
and he liked a big, comfortable, deep-seated horse, well braced
underneath, and having strong arms, so that he could tilt it back
comfortably against the wall, with its front legs off the floor, and--"

But no! That won't do. It appears I have gotten mixed. However, you know
what I meant to indicate. I merely meant to show that a horse dealer
wouldn't talk about a horse as an antique dealer would talk about a
chair. Even if the horse was once actually ridden by the Father of his
Country, the dealer won't stress the point. You can't get him to admit
that a horse has reached years of discretion, let alone that it is one
hundred and forty-five years old, or so. It is this difference between
the horse dealer and the dealer in antiques which keeps us in the dark
to-day as to exactly which horses Washington rode and which he didn't
ride; although we know every chair he ever sat in, and every bed he ever
slept in, and every house he ever stopped in, and how he is said to have
caught his death of cold.

Having thus wandered afield, let me now resume my nocturnal walk.

Proceeding down Howard Street to Franklin, I judged by the signs I saw
about me--the conglomerate assortment of theaters, hotels, rathskellers,
bars, and brilliantly lighted drug stores--that here was the center of
the city's nighttime life.

Not far from this corner is the Academy, a very spacious and somewhat
ancient theater, and although the hour was late, into the Academy I went
with a ticket for standing room.

Arriving during an intermission, I had a good view of the auditorium. It
is reminiscent, in its interior "decoration," of the recently torn-down
Wallack's Theater in New York. The balcony is supported, after the old
fashion, by posts, and there are boxes the tops of which are draped with
tasseled curtains. It is the kind of theater which suggests traditions,
dust, and the possibility of fire and panic.

After looking about me for a time, I drew from my pocket a pamphlet
which I had picked up in the hotel, and began to gather information
about the "Monumental City," as Baltimore sometimes calls
itself--thereby misusing the word, since "monumental" means, in one
sense, "enduring," and in another "pertaining to or serving as a
monument": neither of which ideas it is intended, in this instance, to
convey. What Baltimore intends to indicate is, not that it pertains to
monuments, but that monuments pertain to it: that it is a city in which
many monuments have been erected--as is indeed the pleasing fact. My
pamphlet informed me that the first monument to Columbus and the first
to George Washington were here put up, and that among the city's other
monuments was one to Francis Scott Key. I had quite forgotten that it
was at Baltimore that Key wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner,"
and, as others may have done the same, it may be well here to recall the
details.

In 1814, after the British had burned a number of Government buildings
in Washington, including "the President's palace" (as one of their
officers expressed it), they moved on Baltimore, making an attack by
land at North Point and a naval attack at Fort McHenry on Whetstone
Point in the estuary of the Patapsco River--here practically an arm of
Chesapeake Bay. Both attacks were repulsed. Having gone on the United
States cartel ship _Minden_ (used by the government in negotiating
exchanges of prisoners) to intercede for his friend, Dr. William Beanes,
of Upper Marlborough, Maryland, who was held captive on a British
vessel, Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from the deck of
the _Minden_, and when he perceived "by the dawn's early light" that the
flag still flew over the fort, he was moved to write his famous poem.
Later it was printed and set to music; it was first sung in a restaurant
near the old Holliday Street Theater, but neither the restaurant nor the
theater exists to-day. It is sometimes stated that Key was himself a
prisoner, during the bombardment, on a British warship. That is a
mistake.

By a curious coincidence, only a few minutes after my pamphlet had
reminded me of the origin of "The Star-Spangled Banner" here in
Baltimore, I heard the air played under circumstances very different
from any which could have been anticipated by the author of the poem, or
the composer who set it to music.

The entertainment at the Academy that night was supplied by an elaborate
"show" of the burlesque variety known as "The Follies," and it so
happened that in the course of this hodgepodge of color, comedy,
scenery, song, and female anatomy, there was presented a "number" in
which actors, garbed and frescoed with intent to resemble rulers of
various lands, marched successively to the front of the stage, preceded
in each instance by a small but carefully selected guard wearing the
full-dress-uniform of Broadway Amazons. This uniform consists
principally of tights and high-heeled slippers, the different nations
being indicated, usually, by means of color combinations and various
types of soldiers' hats. No arms are presented save those provided by
nature.

The King of Italy, the Emperor of Austria, the Czar, the Mikado, the
British Monarch, the President of France, the King of the Belgians, the
Kaiser (for the United States had not then entered the war), and, I
think, some others, put in an appearance, each accompanied by his
Paphian escort, his standard, and the appropriate national air.
Apprehending that this symbolic travesty must, almost inevitably, end in
a grand orgy of Yankee-Doodleism, I was impelled to flee the place
before the thing should happen. Yet a horrid fascination held me there
to watch the working up of "patriotic" sentiment by the old, cheap,
stage tricks.

Presently, of course, the supreme moment came. When all the potentates
had taken their positions, right and left, with their silk-limbed
soldiery in double ranks behind them, there came into view upstage a
squad of little white-clad female naval officers, each, according to my
recollection, carrying the Stars and Stripes. As these marched forward
and deployed as skirmishers before the footlights, the orchestra struck
up "The Star-Spangled Banner," fortissimo, and with a liberal sounding
of the brasses. Upon this appeared at the back a counterfeit President
of the United States, guarded on either side by a female militia--or
were they perhaps secret-service agents?--in striking uniforms
consisting of pink fleshings partially draped with thin black lace.

As this incongruous parade proceeded to the footlights, American flags
came into evidence, and, though I forget whether or not Columbia
appeared, I recollect that a beautiful young woman, habited in what
appeared to be a light pink union suit of unexceptionable cut and
material, appeared above the head of the pseudo-chief executive,
suspended at the end of a wire. Never having heard that it was White
House etiquette to hang young ladies on wires above the presidential
head, I consulted my program and thereby learned that this young lady
represented that species of poultry so popular always with the late
Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, and so popular also at one time with the
President himself: namely, the Dove of Peace.

The applause was thunderous. At the sound of "The Star-Spangled Banner"
a few members of the audience arose to their feet; others soon
followed--some of them apparently with reluctance--until at last the
entire house had risen. Meanwhile the members of the company lined up
before the footlights: the mock president smirking at the center, the
half-clad girls posing, the pink young lady dangling above, the band
blaring, the Stars and Stripes awave. It was a scene, in all, about as
conducive to genuine or creditable national pride as would be the scene
of a debauch in some fabulous harem.

The difference between stupidity and satire lies, not infrequently, in
the intent with which a thing is done. Presented without essential
change upon the stage of a music hall in some foreign land, the scene
just described would, at that time, when we were playing a timid part
amongst the nations, have been accepted, not as a glorification of the
United States, but as having a precisely opposite significance. It would
have been taken for burlesque; burlesque upon our country, our
President, our national spirit, our peace policy, our army, and perhaps
also upon our women--and insulting burlesque at that.

Some years since, it was found necessary to pass a law prohibiting the
use of the flag for advertising purposes. This law should be amended to
protect it also from the even more sordid and vulgarizing associations
to which it is not infrequently submitted on the American musical-comedy
stage.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the morning, before I was awake, my companion arrived at the hotel,
and, going to his room, opened the door connecting it with mine. Coming
out of my slumber with that curious and not altogether pleasant sense of
being stared at, I found his eyes fixed upon me, and noticed immediately
about him the air of virtuous superiority which is assumed by all who
have risen early, whether they have done so by choice or have been
shaken awake.

"Hello," I said. "Had breakfast?"

"No. I thought we could breakfast together if you felt like getting up."

Though the phraseology of this remark was unexceptionable, I knew what
it meant. What it really meant was: "Shame on you, lying there so lazy
after sunup! Look at _me_, all dressed and ready to begin!"

I arose at once.

For all that I don't like to get up early, it recalled old times, and
was very pleasant, to be away with him again upon our travels; to be in
a strange city and a strange hotel, preparing to set forth on
explorations. For he is the best, the most charming, the most observant
of companions, and also one of the most patient.

That is one of his greatest qualities--his patience. Throughout our
other trip he always kept on being patient with me, no matter what I
did. Many a time instead of pushing me down an elevator shaft, drowning
me in my bath, or coming in at night and smothering me with a pillow, he
has merely sighed, dropped into a chair, and sat there shaking his head
and staring at me with a melancholy, ruminative, hopeless
expression--such an expression as may come into the face of a dumb man
when he looks at a waiter who has spilled an oyster cocktail on him.

All this is good for me. It has a chastening effect.

Therefore in a spirit happy yet not exuberant, eager yet controlled,
hopeful yet a little bit afraid, I dressed myself hurriedly, breakfasted
with him (eating ham and eggs because he approves of ham and eggs), and
after breakfast set out in his society to obtain what--despite my walk
of the night before--I felt was not alone my first real view of
Baltimore, but my first glimpse over the threshold of the South: into
the land of aristocracy and hospitality, of mules and mammies, of
plantations, porticos, and proud, flirtatious belles, of colonels,
cotton, chivalry, and colored cooking.




CHAPTER III

WHERE THE CLIMATES MEET

    Here, where the climates meet,
    That each may make the other's lack complete--

    --SIDNEY LANIER.


Because Baltimore was built, like Rome, on seven hills, and because
trains run under it instead of through, the passing traveler sees but
little of the city, his view from the train window being restricted
first to a suburban district, then to a black tunnel, then to a glimpse
upward from the railway cut, in which the station stands. These facts, I
think, combine to leave upon his mind an impression which, if not
actually unfavorable, is at least negative; for certainly he has
obtained no just idea of the metropolis of Maryland.

Let it be declared at the outset, then, that Baltimore is not in any
sense to be regarded as a suburb of Washington. Indeed, considering the
two merely as cities situated side by side, and eliminating the highly
specialized features of Washington, Baltimore becomes, according to the
standards by which American cities are usually compared, the more
important city of the two, being greater both in population and in
commerce. In this aspect Baltimore may, perhaps, be pictured as the
commercial half of Washington. And while Washington, as capital of the
United States, has certain physical and cosmopolitan advantages, not
only over Baltimore, but over every other city on this continent, it
must not be forgotten that, upon the other hand, every other city has
one vast advantage over Washington, namely, a comparative freedom from
politicians. To be sure, Congress did once move over to Baltimore and
sit there for several weeks, but that was in 1776, when the British
approached the Delaware in the days before the pork barrel was invented.

As a city Baltimore has marked characteristics. Though south of Mason
and Dixon's Line, and though sometimes referred to as the "metropolis of
the South" (as is New Orleans also), it is in character neither a city
entirely northern nor entirely southern, but one which partakes of the
qualities of both; where, in the words of Sidney Lanier, "the climates
meet," and where northern and southern thought and custom meet, as well.
This has long been the case. Thus, although slaves were held in
Baltimore before the Civil War, a strong abolitionist society was formed
there during Washington's first Administration, and the sentiment of the
city was thereafter divided on the slavery question. Thus also, while
the two candidates of the divided Democratic party who ran against
Lincoln for the presidency in 1860 were nominated at Baltimore, Lincoln
himself was nominated there by the Union-Republican party in 1864.

Speaking of the blending of North and South in Baltimore, you will, of
course, remember that the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment was attacked by a
mob as it passed through the city on the way to the Civil War. The
regiment arrived in Baltimore at the old President Street Station, which
was then the main station of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and which, now
used as a freight station, looks like an old war-time woodcut out of
_Harper's Weekly_. It was the custom in those days to hitch horses to
passenger coaches which were going through and draw them across town to
the Baltimore & Ohio Station; but when it was attempted thus to
transport the northern troops a mob gathered and blocked the Pratt
Street bridge over Jones's Falls, forcing the soldiers to leave the cars
and march through Pratt Street, along the water front, where they were
attacked. It is, however, a noteworthy fact that Mayor Brown of
Baltimore bravely preceded the troops and attempted to stop the rioting.
A few days later the city was occupied by northern troops, and the
warship _Harriet Lane_ anchored at a point off Calvert Street, whence
her guns commanded the business part of town. After this there was no
more serious trouble. Moreover, it will be remembered that though
Maryland was represented by regiments in both armies, the State, torn as
it was by conflicting feeling, nevertheless held to the Union.

A pretty sequel to the historic attack on the Sixth Massachusetts
occurred when the same regiment passed through Baltimore in 1898, on its
way to the Spanish War. On this occasion it was "attacked" again in the
streets of the city, but the missiles thrown, instead of paving-stones
and bricks, were flowers.

Continuing the category of contrasts, one may observe that while the
general appearance of Baltimore suggests a northern city rather than a
southern one--Philadelphia, for instance, rather than
Richmond--Baltimore society is strongly flavored with the tradition and
the soft pronunciation of the South; particularly of Virginia and the
"Eastern Shore."

So, too, the city's position on the border line is reflected in its
handling of the negro. Of American cities, Washington has the largest
negro population, 94,446, New York and New Orleans follow with almost as
many, and Baltimore comes fourth with 84,749, according to the last
census. New York has one negro to every fifty-one whites, Philadelphia
one to every seventeen whites, Baltimore one to every six, Washington a
negro to every two and a half whites, and Richmond not quite two whites
to every negro. But, although Baltimore follows southern practice in
maintaining separate schools for negro children, and in segregating
negro residences to certain blocks, she follows northern practice in
casting a considerable negro vote at elections, and also in not
providing separate seats for negroes in her street cars.

Have you ever noticed how cities sometimes seem to have their own
especial colors? Paris is white and green--even more so, I think, than
Washington. Chicago is gray; so is London usually, though I have seen
it buff at the beginning of a heavy fog. New York used to be a brown
sandstone city, but is now turning to one of cream-colored brick and
tile; Naples is brilliant with pink and blue and green and white and
yellow; while as for Baltimore, her old houses and her new are, as
Baedeker puts it, of "cheerful red brick"--not always, of course, but
often enough to establish the color of red brick as the city's
predominating hue. And with the red-brick houses--particularly the older
ones--go clean white marble steps, on the bottom one of which, at the
side, may usually be found an old-fashioned iron "scraper," doubtless
left over from the time (not very long ago) when the city pavements had
not reached their present excellence.

The color of red brick is not confined to the center of the city, but
spreads to the suburbs, fashionable and unfashionable. At one margin of
the town I was shown solid blocks of pleasant red-brick houses which, I
was told, were occupied by workmen and their families, and were to be
had at a rental of from ten to twenty dollars a month. For though
Baltimore has a lower East Side which, like the lower East Side of New
York, encompasses the Ghetto and Italian quarter, she has not tenements
in the New York sense; one sees no tall, cheap flat houses draped with
fire escapes and built to make herding places for the poor. Many of the
houses in this section are instead the former homes of fashionables who
have moved to other quarters of the city--handsome old homesteads with
here and there a lovely, though battered, doorway sadly reminiscent of
an earlier elegance. So, also, red brick permeates the prosperous
suburbs, such as Roland Park and Guilford, where, in a sweetly rolling
country which lends itself to the arrangement of graceful winding roads
and softly contoured plantings, stand quantities of pleasing homes,
lately built, many of them colonial houses of red brick. Indeed, it
struck us that the only parts of Baltimore in which red brick was not
the dominant note were the downtown business section and Mount Vernon
Place.

Mount Vernon Place is the center of Baltimore. Everything begins there,
including Baedeker, who, in his little red book, gives it the asterisk
of his approval, says that it "suggests Paris in its tasteful monuments
and surrounding buildings," and recommends the view from the top of the
Washington Monument.

This monument, standing upon an eminence at the point where Charles and
Monument Streets would cross each other were not their courses
interrupted by the pleasing parked space of Mount Vernon Place, is a
gray stone column, surmounted by a figure of Washington--or, rather, by
the point of a lightning rod under which the figure stands. Other
monuments are known as this monument or that, but when "the monument" is
spoken of, the Washington Monument is inevitably meant. This is quite
natural, for it is not only the most simple and picturesque old monument
in Baltimore, but also the largest, the oldest, and the most
conspicuous: its proud head, rising high in air, having for nearly a
century dominated the city. One catches glimpses of it down this street
or that, or sees it from afar over the housetops; and sometimes, when
the column is concealed from view by intervening buildings, and only the
surmounting statue shows above them, one is struck by a sudden
apparition of the Father of his Country strolling fantastically upon
some distant roof.

Though it may be true that Mount Vernon Place, with its symmetrical
parked center and its admirable bronzes (several of them by Barye),
suggests Paris, and though it is certainly true that it is more like a
Parisian square than a London square, nevertheless it is in reality an
American square--perhaps the finest of its kind in the United States. If
it were Parisian, it would have more trees and the surrounding buildings
would be uniform in color and in cornice height. It is perhaps as much
like Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia as any other, and that
resemblance is of the slightest, for Mount Vernon Place has a quality
altogether its own. It has no skyscrapers or semi-skyscrapers to throw
it out of balance; and though the structures which surround it are of
white stone, brown stone, and red brick, and of anything but homogeneous
architecture, nevertheless a comparative uniformity of height, a
universal solidity of construction, and a general grace about them,
combine to give the Place an air of equilibrium and dignity and
elegance.

Including the Washington Monument, Baltimore has three lofty landmarks,
likely to be particularly noticed by the roving visitor. Of the
remaining two, one is the old brick shot-tower in the lower part of
town, which legend tells us was put up without the use of scaffolding
nearly a hundred years ago; while the other, a more modern, if less
modest structure, proudly surmounts a large commercial building and is
itself capped by the gigantic effigy of a bottle. This bottle is very
conspicuous because of its emplacement, because it revolves, and because
it is illuminated at night. You can never get away from it.

One evening I asked a man what the bottle meant up there.

"It's a memorial to Emerson," he told me.

"Are they so fond of Emerson down here?"

"I don't know as they are so all-fired fond of him," he answered.

"But they _must_ be fond of him to put up such a big memorial. Why, even
in Boston, where he was born, they have no such memorial as that."

"He put it up himself," said the man.

That struck me as strange. It seemed somehow out of character with the
great philosopher. Also, I could not see why, if he did wish to raise a
memorial to himself, he had elected to fashion it in the form of a
bottle and put it on top of an office building.

"I suppose there is some sort of symbolism about it?" I suggested.

"Now you got it," approved the man.

I gazed at the tower for a while in thought. Then I said:

"Do you suppose that Emerson meant something like this: that human life
or, indeed, the soul, may be likened to the contents of a bottle; that
day by day we use up some portion of the contents--call it, if you like,
the nectar of existence--until the fluid of life runs low, and at last
is gone entirely, leaving only the husk, as it were--or, to make the
metaphor more perfect, the shell, or empty bottle: the container of what
Emerson himself called, if I recollect correctly, 'the soul that maketh
all'--do you suppose he meant to teach us some such thing as that?"

The man looked a little confused by this deep and beautiful thought.

"He _might_ of meant that," he said, somewhat dubiously. "But they tell
me Captain Emerson's a practical man, and I reckon what he _mainly_
meant was that he made his money out of this-here Bromo Seltzer, and he
was darn glad of it, so he thought he'd put him up a big Bromo Seltzer
bottle as a kind of cross between a monument and an ad."

If the bottle tower represents certain modern concepts of what is
suitable in architecture, it is nevertheless pleasant to record the fact
that many honorable old buildings--most of them residences--survive in
Baltimore, and that, because of their survival, the city looks older
than New York and fully as old as either Philadelphia or Boston. But in
this, appearances are misleading, for New York and Boston were a
century old, and Philadelphia half a century, when Baltimore was first
laid out as a town. Efforts to start a settlement near the city's
present site were, it is true, being made before William Penn and his
Quakers established Philadelphia, but a letter written in 1687 by
Charles Calvert, third Baron Baltimore, explains that: "The people there
[are] not affecting to build nere each other but soe as to have their
houses nere the watters for conveniencye of trade and their lands on
each side of and behynde their houses, by which it happens that in most
places there are not fifty houses in the space of thirty myles."[1]

[1] From "Historic Towns of the Southern States."

The difficulty experienced by the Barons Baltimore, Lords Proprietary of
Maryland, in building up communities in their demesne was not a local
problem, but one which confronted those interested in the development of
the entire portion of this continent now occupied by the Southern
States. Generally speaking, towns came into being more slowly in the
South than in the North, and it seems probable that one of the principal
reasons for this may be found in the fact that settlers throughout the
South lived generally at peace with the Indians, whereas the northern
settlers were obliged to congregate in towns for mutual protection.
Thus, in colonial days, while the many cities of New York and New
England were coming into being, the South was developing its vast and
isolated plantations. Farms on the St. Lawrence River and on the
Detroit River, where the French were settling, were very narrow and very
deep, the idea being to range the houses close together on the river
front; but on such rivers as the Potomac, the Rappahannock and the
James, no element of early fear is to be traced in the form of the broad
baronial plantations.

Nevertheless, when Baltimore began at last to grow, she became a
prodigy, not only among American cities, but among the cities of the
world. Her first town directory was published in 1796, and she began the
next year as an incorporated city, with a mayor, a population of about
twenty thousand, and a curiously assorted early history containing such
odd items as that the first umbrella carried in the United States was
brought from India and unfurled in Baltimore in 1772; that the town had
for some time possessed such other useful articles as a fire engine, a
brick theater, a newspaper, and policemen; that the streets were lighted
with oil lamps; that such proud signs of metropolitanism as riot and
epidemic were not unknown; that before the Revolution bachelors were
taxed for the benefit of his Britannic Majesty; and that at fair time
the "lid was off," and the citizen or visitor who wished to get himself
arrested must needs be diligent indeed.




CHAPTER IV

TRIUMPHANT DEFEAT

    There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.

    --MONTAIGNE.


Following the incorporation of the city, Baltimore grew much as Chicago
was destined to grow more than a century later; within less than thirty
years, when Chicago was a tiny village, Baltimore had become the third
city in the United States: a city of wealthy merchants engaged in an
extensive foreign trade; for in those days there was an American
merchant marine, and the swift, rakish Baltimore clippers were known the
seven seas over.

The story of modern Baltimore is entirely unrelated to the city's early
history. It consists in a simple but inspiring record of regeneration
springing from disaster. It is the story of Chicago, of San Francisco,
of Galveston, of Dayton, and of many a smaller town: a cataclysm, a few
days of despair, a return of courage, and another beginning.

Imagine yourself being tucked into bed one night by your valet or your
maid, as the case may be, calm in the feeling that all was secure: that
your business was returning a handsome income, that your stocks and
bonds were safe in the strong box, that the prosperity of your
descendants was assured. Then imagine ruin coming like lightning in the
night. In the morning you are poor. Your business, your investments,
your very hopes, are gone. Everything is wiped out. The labor of a
lifetime must be begun again.

Such an experience was that of Baltimore in the fire of 1904.

On the sickening morning following the conflagration two Baltimore men,
friends of mine, walked down Charles Street to a point as near the
ruined region as it was possible to go.

"Well," said one, surveying the smoking crater, "what do you think of
it?"

"Baltimore is gone," was the response. "We are off the map."

How many citizens of Chicago, of San Francisco, of Galveston, of Dayton
have known the anguish of that first aftermath of hopelessness! How many
citizens of Baltimore knew it that day! And yet how bravely and with
what magic swiftness have these cities risen from their ruins! Was not
Rome burned? Was not London? And is it not, then, time for men to learn
from the history of other men and other cities that disaster does not
spell the end, but is oftentimes another name for opportunity?

Always, after disaster to a city, come improvements, but because
disaster not only cleans the slate but simultaneously stuns the mind, a
portion of the opportunity is invariably lost. The task of rebuilding,
of widening a few streets, looks large enough to him who stands amidst
destruction--and there, consequently, improvement usually stops. That is
why the downtown boulevard system of Chicago has yet to be completed, in
spite of the fact that it might with little difficulty have been
completed after the Chicago fire (although it is only just to add that
city planning was almost an unknown art in America at that time); and
that also is why the hills of San Francisco are not terraced, as it was
suggested they should be after the fire, but remain to-day inaccessible
to frontal attack by even the maddest mountain goat of a taxi driver.

These matters are not mentioned in the way of criticism: I have only
admiration for the devastated cities and for those who built them up
again. I call attention to lost opportunities with something like
reluctance, and only in the wish to emphasize the fact that our crippled
or destroyed cities do invariably rise again, and that if the next
American city to sustain disaster shall but have this simple lesson
learned in advance, it may thereby register a new high mark in municipal
intelligence and a new record among the rebuilt cities, by making more
sweet than any other city ever made them, the uses of adversity.

The fire of 1904 found Baltimore a town of narrow highways, old
buildings, bad pavements, and open gutter drains. The streets were laid
in what is known as "southern cobble," which is the next thing to no
pavement at all, being made of irregular stones, large and small, laid
in the dirt and tamped down. For bumps and ruts there is no pavement in
the world to be compared with it. There were no city sewers. Outside a
few affluent neighborhoods, the citizens of which clubbed together to
build private sewers, the cesspool was in general use, while domestic
drainage emptied into the roadside gutters. These were made passable, at
crossings, by stepping stones, about the bases of which passed
interesting armadas of potato peelings, floating, upon wash days, in
water having the fine Mediterranean hue which comes from diluted
blueing. Everybody seemed to find the entire system adequate; for, it
was argued, the hilly contours of the city caused the drainage quickly
to be carried off, while as for typhoid and mosquitoes--well, there had
always been typhoid and mosquitoes, just as there had always been these
open gutters. It was all quite good enough.

Then the fire.

And then the upbuilding of the city--not only of the acres and acres
comprising the burned section, in which streets were widened and
skyscrapers arose where fire-traps had been--but outside the fire zone,
where sewers were put down and pavements laid. Nor was the change merely
physical. With the old buildings, the old spirit of _laissez faire_ went
up in smoke, and in the embers a municipal conscience was born. Almost
as though by the light of the flames which engulfed it, the city began
to see itself as it had never seen itself before: to take account of
stock, to plan broadly for the future.

Nor has the new-born spirit died. Only last year an extensive red-light
district was closed effectively and once for all. Baltimore is to-day
free from flagrant commercialized vice. And if not quite all the old
cobble pavements and open-gutter drains have been eliminated, there are
but few of them left--left almost as though for purposes of
contrast--and the Baltimorean who takes you to the Ghetto and shows you
these ancient remnants may immediately thereafter escort you to the
Fallsway, where the other side of the picture is presented.

The Fallsway is a brand-new boulevard of pleasing aspect, the peculiar
feature of which is that it is nothing more or less than a cover over
the top of Jones's Falls, which figured in the early history of
Baltimore as a water course, but which later came to figure as a great,
open, trunk sewer.

Every one in Baltimore is proud of the Fallsway, but particularly so are
the city engineers who carried the work through. While in Baltimore I
had the pleasure of meeting one of these gentlemen, and I can assure you
that no young head of a family was ever more delighted with his new
cottage in a suburb, his wife, his children, his garden, and his collie
puppy, than was this engineer with his boulevard sewer. Like a lover, he
carried pictures of it in his pocket, and like a lover he would assure
you that it was "not like other sewers." Nor could he speak of it
without beginning to wish to take you out to see it--not merely for a
motor ride along the top of it, either. No, his hospitality did not
stop there. When _he_ invited you to a sewer he invited you _in_. And if
you went in with him, no one could make you come out until you wanted
to.

As he told my companion and me of the three great tubes, the walks
beside them, the conduits for gas and electricity, and all the other
wonders of the place, I began to wish that we might go with him, for,
though we have been to a good many places together, this was something
new: it was the first time we had ever been invited to drop into a sewer
and make ourselves as much at home as though we lived there.

My companion, however, seemed unsympathetic to the project.

"Sewers, you know," he said, when I taxed him with indifference, "have
come to have a very definite place in both the literary and the graphic
arts. How do you propose to treat it?"

"What do you mean?"

"When you write about it: Are you going to write about it as a realist,
a mystic, or a romanticist?"

I said I didn't know.

"Well, a man who is going to write of a sewer _ought_ to know," he told
me severely. "You're not up to sewers yet. They're too big for you. If
you take my advice you'll keep out of the sewers for the present and
stick to the gutters."

So I did.




CHAPTER V

TERRAPIN AND THINGS


Baltimore society has a Maryland and Virginia base, but is seasoned with
families of Acadian descent, and with others descended from the
Pennsylvania Dutch--those "Dutch" who, by the way, are not Dutch at all,
being of Saxon and Bavarian extraction. Many Virginians settled in
Baltimore after the war, and it may be in part owing to this fact, that
fox-hunting with horse and hound, as practised for three centuries past
in England, and for nearly two centuries by Virginia's country
gentlemen, is carried on extensively in the neighborhood of Baltimore,
by the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, the Elkridge Fox-Hunting Club and
some others--which brings me to the subject of clubs in general.

The Baltimore Country Club, at Roland Park, just beyond the city limits,
has a large, well-set clubhouse, an active membership, and charming
rolling golf links, one peculiarity of the course being that a part of
the city's water-supply system has been utilized for hazards.

The two characteristic clubs of the city itself, the Maryland Club and
the Baltimore Club, are known the country over. The former occupies a
position in Baltimore comparable with that of the Union Club in New
York, the Chicago Club in Chicago, or the Pacific Union in San
Francisco, and has to its credit at least one famous dish: Terrapin,
Maryland Club Style.

The Baltimore Club is used by a younger group of men and has a
particularly pleasant home in a large mansion, formerly the residence of
the Abell family, long known in connection with that noteworthy old
sheet, the Baltimore "Sun," which, it may be remarked in passing, is
curiously referred to by many Baltimoreans, not as the "Sun," but as the
"Sun-paper."

This odd item reminds me of another: In the Balti-telephone book I
chanced to notice under the letter "F" the entry:

Fisher, Frank, of J.

Upon inquiry I learned that the significance of this was that, there
being more than one gentleman of the name of Frank Fisher in the city,
this Mr. Frank Fisher added "of J" to his name (meaning "son of John")
for purposes of differentiation. I was informed further that this custom
is not uncommon in Baltimore, in cases where a name is duplicated, and I
was shown another example: that of Mr. John Fyfe Symington of S.

A typically southern institution of long standing, and highly
characteristic of the social life of Baltimore, is the Bachelors'
Cotillion, one of the oldest dancing clubs in the country. During the
season this organization gives a series of some half-dozen balls which
are the events of the fashionable year.

The organization and general character of the Bachelors' Cotillion is
not unlike that of the celebrated St. Cecilia Society of Charleston. The
cost of membership is so slight that almost any eligible young man can
easily afford it. There is, however, a long waiting-list. The club is
controlled by a board of governors, the members of which hold office for
life, and who, instead of being elected by the organization are selected
_in camera_ by the board itself, when vacancies occur.

The balls given by this society are known as the Monday Germans, and at
these balls, which are held in the Lyric Theater, the city's debutantes
are presented to society. As in all southern cities, much is made of
debutantes in Baltimore. On the occasion of their first Monday German
all their friends send them flowers, and they appear flower-laden at the
ball, followed by their relatives who are freighted down with their
darlings' superfluous bouquets. The modern steps are danced at these
balls, but there are usually a few cotillion figures, albeit without
"favors." And perhaps the best part of it all is that the first ball of
the season, and the Christmas ball, end at one o'clock, and that all the
others end at midnight. That seems to me a humane arrangement, although
the opinion may only signify that I am growing old.

Another very characteristic phase of Baltimore life, and of southern
life--at least in many cities--is that, instead of dealing with the
baker, and the grocer, and the fish-market man around the corner, all
Baltimore women go to the great market-sheds and do their own selecting
under what amounts to one great roof.

The Lexington Market, to which my companion and I had the good fortune
to be taken by a Baltimore lady, is comparable, in its picturesqueness
with _Les Halles_ of Paris, or the fascinating market in Seattle, where
the Japanese pile up their fresh vegetables with such charming show of
taste. The great sheds cover three long blocks, and in the countless
stall-like shops which they contain may be found everything for the
table, including flowers to trim it and after-dinner sweets. I doubt
that any northern housewife knows such a market or such a profusion of
comestibles. In one stall may be purchased meat, in the next vegetables,
in the next fish, in the next bread and cake, in the next butter and
buttermilk, in the next fruit, or game, or flowers, or--at Christmas
time--tree trimmings. These stalls, with their contents, are duplicated
over and over again; and if your fair guide be shopping for a dinner
party, at which two men from out of town are to be initiated into the
delights of the Baltimore cuisine, she may order up the costly and
aristocratic _Malacoclemmys_, the diamond-back terrapin, sacred in
Baltimore as is the Sacred Cod himself in Boston.

The admirable encyclopedia of Messrs. Funk & Wagnall's informs me that
"the diamond-back salt-water terrapin ... is caught in salt marshes
along the coast from New England to Texas, _the finest being those of
the Massachusetts and the northern coasts_." The italics are mine; and
upon the italicized passage I expect the mayor and town council of
Baltimore, or even the Government of the State of Maryland, to proceed
against Messrs. Funk & Wagnalls, whose valuable volumes should forthwith
be placed upon the State's _index expurgatorius_.

Of a marketman I obtained the following lore concerning the tortoise of
the terrapin species:

In the Baltimore markets four kinds of terrapin are sold--not counting
muskrat, which is sometimes disguised with sauce and sherry and served
as a substitute. The cheapest and toughest terrapin is known as the
"slider." Slightly superior to the "slider" is the "fat-back,"
measuring, usually, about nine or ten inches in length, and costing, at
retail, fifty cents to a dollar, according to season and demand.
Somewhat better than the "fat-back," but of about the same size and
cost, is the "golden-stripe" terrapin; but all these are the merest poor
relations of the diamond-back. Some diamond-back terrapin are supplied
for the Baltimore market from North Carolina, but these, my marketman
assured me, are inferior to those of Chesapeake Bay. (Everything in, or
from, North Carolina seems to be inferior, according to the people of
the other Southern States.)

Although there is a closed season for terrapin, the value of the
diamond-back causes him to be relentlessly hunted during the open
season, with the result that, like the delectable lobster, he is
passing. As the foolish lobster-fishermen of northern New England are
killing the goose--or, rather, the crustacean--that lays the golden
eggs, so are the terrapin hunters of the Chesapeake. Two or three
decades ago, lobster and terrapin alike were eaten in the regions of
their abundance as cheap food. One Baltimore lady told me that her
father's slaves, on an Eastern Shore plantation, used to eat terrapin.
Yet behold the cost of the precious diamond-back to-day! In his smaller
sizes, according to my marketman, he is worth about a dollar an inch,
while when grown to fair proportions he costs as much as a railroad
ticket from Baltimore to Chicago. And for my part I would about as soon
eat the ticket as the terrapin.

Of a number of other odd items which help to give Baltimore distinct
flavor I find the following in my notebooks:

There are good street railways; also 'bus lines operated by the United
Railways Company. Under the terms of its charter this company was
originally obliged to turn over to the city thirteen per cent. of its
gross income, to be expended upon the upkeep of parks. Of late years the
amount has been reduced to nine per cent. The parks are admirable.

Freight rates from the west to Baltimore are, I am informed, enough
lower than freight rates to New York, Boston, or Philadelphia, to give
Baltimore a decided advantage as a point of export. Also she is
admirably situated as to sources of coal supply. (I do not care much
for the last two items, myself, but put them in to please the Chamber of
Commerce.)

       *       *       *       *       *

It is the habit of my companion and myself, when visiting strange
cities, to ask for interesting eating-places of one sort or another. In
Baltimore there seems to be no choice but to take meals in
hotels--unless one may wish to go to the Dutch Tea room or the Woman's
Exchange for a shoppers' lunch, and to see (in the latter establishment)
great numbers of ladies sitting upon tall stools and eating at a
lunch-counter--a somewhat curious spectacle, perhaps, but neither
pleasing to the eye nor thrilling to the senses.

The nearest thing to "character" which I found in a Baltimore
eating-place was at an establishment known as Kelly's Oyster House, a
place in a dark quarter of the town. It had the all-night look about it,
and the negro waiters showed themselves not unacquainted with certain of
the city's gilded youth. Kelly's is a sort of southern version of
"Jack's"--if you know Jack's. But I don't think Jack's has any flight of
stairs to fall down, such as Kelly's has.

The dining rooms of the various hotels are considerably used, one
judges, by the citizens of Baltimore. The Kernan Hotel, which we visited
one night after the theater, looked like Broadway. Tables were crowded
together and there was dancing between them--and between mouthfuls. So,
too, at the Belvedere, which is used considerably by Baltimore's gay
and fashionable people.

My companion and I stayed at the Belvedere and found it a good hotel,
albeit one which has, I think, become a shade too well accustomed to
being called good. Perhaps because of a city ordinance, perhaps because
the waiters want to go to bed, they have a trick, in the Belvedere
dining-room, during the cold weather, of opening the windows and
freezing out such dilatory supper-guests as would fain sit up and talk.
This is a system even more effective than the ancient one of mopping up
the floors, piling chairs upon the tables, and turning out enough lights
to make the room dull. A good post-midnight conversationalist--and
Baltimore is not without them--can stand mops, buckets, and dim lights,
but turn cold drafts upon his back and he gives up, sends for his coat,
buttons it about his paunch and goes sadly home.

It is fitting that last of all should be mentioned the man who views you
with keen eye as you arrive in Baltimore, and who watches you depart. If
you are in Baltimore he knows it. And when you go away he knows that,
too. Also, during racing season, he knows whether you bet, and whether
you won or lost. He is always at the station and always at the race
track, and if you don't belong in Baltimore he is aware of it the
instant he sets eyes upon you, because he knows every man, woman, child,
and dog in Baltimore, and they all know him. If you are a Baltimorean
you are already aware that I refer to the sapient McNeal, policeman at
the Union Station.

McNeal and Cardinal Gibbons are, I take it, the two preeminent figures
of the city. Their duties, I admit, are not alike, but each performs his
duties with discretion, with devotion, with distinction. The latter has
already celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of his nomination as
cardinal, but the former is well on the way toward his fortieth
anniversary as officer at the Union Station.

McNeal is an artist. He loves his work. And when his day off comes and
he puts on citizen's clothing and goes out for a good time, where do you
suppose he goes?

Why down to the station, of course, to talk things over with the man who
is relieving him!




CHAPTER VI

DOUGHOREGAN MANOR AND THE CARROLLS


If I am to be honest about the South, and about myself--and I propose to
be--I must admit that, though I approached the fabled land in a most
friendly spirit, I had nevertheless become a little tired of the
southern family tree, the southern ancestral hall, and the old southern
negro servant of stage and story, and just a little skeptical about
them. Almost unconsciously, at first, I had begun to wonder whether,
instead of being things of actuality, they were not, rather, a mere set
of romantic trade-marks, so to speak; symbols signifying the South as
the butler with side whiskers signifies English comedy; as "Her" visit
to "His" rooms, in the third act, signifies English drama; or as double
doorways in a paneled "set" signify French farce.

Furthermore, it had occurred to me that of persons of southern accent,
or merely southern extraction, whom I had encountered in the North, a
strangely high percentage were not only of "fine old southern family,"
but of peculiarly tenacious purpose in respect to having the matter
understood.

I cannot pretend to say when the "professional Southerner," as we know
him in New York, began to operate, nor shall I attempt to place the
literary blame for his existence--as Mark Twain attempted to place upon
Sir Walter Scott the blame for southern "chivalry," and almost for the
Civil War itself. Let me merely say, then, that I should not be
surprised to learn that "Colonel Carter of Cartersville"--that lovable
old fraud who did not mean to be a fraud at all, but whose naivete
passed the bounds of human credulity--was not far removed from the
bottom of the matter.

In the tenor of these sentiments my companion shared--though I should
add that he complained bitterly about agreeing with me, saying that with
hats alike, and overcoats alike, and trunks alike, and suitcases alike,
we already resembled two members of a minstrel troupe, and that now
since we were beginning to think alike, through traveling so much
together, our friends would not be able to tell us apart when we got
home again--in spite of this he admitted to the same suspicion of the
South as I expressed. Wherefore we entered the region like a pair of
agnostics entering the great beyond: skeptical, but ready to be "shown."

It was with the generous purpose of "showing" us that a Baltimore friend
of ours called for us one day with his motor car and was presently
wafting us over the good oiled roads of Maryland, through sweet, rolling
country, which seemed to have been made to be ridden over upon
horseback.

It was autumn, but though the chill of northern autumn was in the air,
the coloring was not so high in key as in New York or New England, the
foliage being less brilliant, but rich with subtle harmonies of brown
and green, blending softly together as in a faded tapestry, and giving
the landscape an expression of brooding tenderness.

After passing through Ellicott City, an old, shambling town quite out of
character with its new-sounding name, which has such a western ring to
it, we traversed for several miles the old Frederick Turnpike--formerly
a national highway between East and West--swooping up and down over a
series of little hills and vales, and at length turned off into a
private road winding through a venerable forest, which was like an old
Gothic cathedral with its pavement of brown leaves and its tree-trunk
columns, tall, gray, and slender.

When we had progressed for perhaps a mile, we emerged upon a slight
eminence commanding a broad view of meadow and of woodland, and in turn
commanded by a great house.

The house was of buff-colored brick. It was low and very long, with
wings extending from its central structure like beautiful arms flung
wide in welcome, and at the end of each a building like an ornament
balanced in an outstretched hand. The graceful central portico, rising
by several easy steps from the driveway level, the long line of cornice,
the window sashes, the delicate wooden railing surmounting the roof, the
charming little tower which so gracefully held its place above the
geometrical center of the house, the bell tower crowning one wing at its
extremity--all these were white.

No combination of colors can be lovelier, in such a house, than
yellow-buff and white, provided they be brightened by some notes of
green; and these notes were not lacking, for several aged elms,
occupying symmetrical positions with regard to the house, seemed to gaze
down upon it with the adoration of a group of mothers, aunts, and
grandmothers, as they held their soft draperies protectively above it.
The green of the low terrace--called a "haha," supposedly with reference
to the mirth-provoking possibilities of an accidental step over the
edge--did not reach the base of the buff walls, but was lost in a fringe
of clustering shrubbery, from which patches of lustrous English ivy
clambered upward over the brick, to lay strong, mischievous fingers upon
the blinds of certain second-story windows. The blinds were of course
green; green blinds being as necessary to an American window as
eyelashes to an eye.

Immediately before the portico and centering upon it the drive swung in
a spacious circle, from which there broke, at a point directly opposite
the portico, an avenue, straight and long as a rifle range, and lovely
as the loveliest of New England village greens. Down the middle of this
broad way, between grass borders each as wide as a great boulevard, and
double rows of patriarchal trees, ran a road which, in the old days,
continued straight to Annapolis, thirty or more miles away, where was
the town house of the builder of this manor. As it stands to-day the
avenue is less than half a mile long, but whatever its length, and
whether one look down it from the house, or up the gentle grade from the
far end, to where the converging lines of grass and foliage and sky melt
into the house, it has about it something of unreality, something of
enchantment, something of that quality one finds in the rhapsodic
landscapes of those poet painters who dream of distant shimmering
palaces and supernal vistas peopled by fauns and nymphs dancing amid the
trunks of giant trees whose luxuriant dark tops are contoured like the
cumulus white clouds floating above them.

There is nothing "baronial," nothing arrogant, about Doughoregan Manor,
for though the house is noble, its nobility, consisting in spaciousness,
simplicity, and grace combined with age, fits well into what, it seems
to me, should be the architectural ideals of a republic. No house could
be freer of unessential embellishment; in detail it is plain almost to
severity; yet the full impression that it gives, far from being austere,
is of friendliness and hospitality. An approachable sort of house, a
"homelike" house, it is perhaps less "imposing" than some other
mansions, coeval with it, in Virginia, in Annapolis, and in Charleston;
and yet it is as impressive, in its own way, as Warwick Castle, or
Hurstmonceaux, or Loches, or Chinon, or Chenonceaux, or Heidelberg--not
that it is so vast, that it has glowering battlements, or that it stuns
the eye, but for precisely opposite reasons: because it is a consummate
expression of republican cultivation, of a fine old American home, and
of the fine old American gentleman who built it, and whose descendants
inhabit it to-day: Charles Carroll of Carrollton, last to survive of
those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

The first Charles Carroll, known in the family as "the Settler," came
from Ireland in 1688, and became a great landowner in Maryland. He was a
highly educated gentleman and a Roman Catholic, as have also been his
descendants. He acted as agent for Lord Baltimore.

His son, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, or "Breakneck Carroll" (so called
because he was killed by a fall from the steps of his house), built the
Carroll mansion at Annapolis, now the property of the Redemptionist
Order.

The third and most famous member of the family was Charles Carroll of
Carrollton, "the Signer," builder of the manor house at
Doughoregan--which, by the way, derives its name from a combination of
the old Irish words _dough_, meaning "house" or "court," and _O'Ragan_,
meaning "of the King"; the whole being pronounced, as with a slight
brogue, "Doo-ray-gan," the accent falling on the middle syllable--this
Charles Carroll, "the Signer," most famous of his line, was
"Breakneck's" only son. When eight years old he was sent to France to be
educated by the Jesuits. He spent six years at Saint-Omer, one at
Rheims, two at the College of Louis le Grand, one at Bourges, where he
studied civil law, and after some further time in college in Paris went
to London, entered the Middle Temple and there worked at the common law
until his return to Maryland in 1765.

Although Maryland was founded by the Roman Catholic Baron Baltimore on a
basis of religious toleration, the Church of England had later come to
be the established church in the British colonies in America, and Roman
Catholics were unjustly used, being disfranchised, taxed for the support
of the English Church, and denied the right to establish schools or
churches of their own, to celebrate the Mass, or to bear arms--the
bearing of arms having been "at that time the insignia of social
position and gentle breeding."

Finding this situation well-nigh intolerable, Carroll of Carrollton,
already a man of great wealth, joined with his cousin, Father John
Carroll, who later became first Archbishop of Baltimore (for many years
the only Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, embracing all
States and Territories), in an appeal to the King of France for a grant
of land in what is now Arkansas, but was then a part of Louisiana, this
land to be used as a refuge for Roman Catholics and Jesuits, whom the
Carrolls proposed to lead thither precisely as Cecilius Calvert, Lord
Baltimore, had led them to Maryland to escape persecution.

The Roman Catholics were not, however, by this time the only American
colonists who felt themselves abused; the whole country was chafing, and
the seeds of revolution were beginning to show their red sprouts.

It might have been expected that Mr. Carroll, being the richest man in
the country, would hesitate at rebellion, but he did not. Unlike some of
our present-day citizens of foreign extraction, and in circumstances
involving not merely sentiment, but property and perhaps life, he showed
no tendency to split his Americanism, but boldly threw his noble old
cocked hat into the ring. Nor did he require a Roosevelt to make his
duty clear to him.

In 1775 Mr. Carroll was a delegate to the Revolutionary Convention of
Maryland; in 1776 he went with three other commissioners (Benjamin
Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Father John Carroll) to try to induce the
Canadian colonies to join in the revolt; and soon after his return from
this unsuccessful journey he signed the Declaration of Independence. Of
the circumstances of the signing the late Robert C. Winthrop of Boston
gave the following description:

     "Will you sign?" said Hancock to Charles Carroll.

     "Most willingly," was the reply.

     "There goes two millions with the dash of a pen," says one of those
     standing by; while another remarks: "Oh, Carroll, you will get off,
     there are so many Charles Carrolls."

     And then we may see him stepping back to the desk and putting that
     addition "of Carrollton" to his name, which will designate him
     forever, and be a prouder title of nobility than those in the
     peerage of Great Britain, which were afterward adorned by his
     accomplished and fascinating granddaughters.

Some doubt has been cast upon this tale by the fact that papers in
possession of the Carroll family prove that Mr. Carroll was wont to sign
as "of Carrollton" long before the Declaration. Further, it is recorded
that John H.B. Latrobe, Mr. Carroll's contemporaneous biographer, never
heard the story from the subject of his writings.

Nevertheless, I believe that it is true, for it seems to me likely that
though Mr. Carroll used the subscription "of Carrollton" in conducting
his affairs at home, where there was chance for confusion between his
son Charles, his cousin Charles, and himself, he might well have been
inclined to omit it from a public document, as to the signers of which
there could be no confusion. Further, the fact that he never told the
story to Latrobe does not invalidate it, for as every man (and every
man's wife) knows, men do not remember to tell everything to their
wives, and it is still less likely that they tell everything to their
biographers. Further still, Mr. Winthrop visited Mr. Carroll just before
the latter's death, and as he certainly did not invent the story it
seems probable that he got it from "the Signer" himself. Last, I like
the story and intend to believe it anyway--which, it occurs to me, is
the best reason of all, and the one most resembling my reason for being
more or less Episcopalian and Republican.

Latrobe tells us that Mr. Carroll was, in his old age, "a small,
attenuated old man, with a prominent nose and somewhat receding chin,
and small eyes that sparkled when he was interested in conversation. His
head was small and his hair white, rather long and silky, while his face
and forehead were seamed with wrinkles."

From the same source, and others, we glean the information that he was a
charming and courteous gentleman, that he practised early rising and
early retiring, was regular at meals, and at morning and evening prayer
in the chapel, that he took cold baths and rode horseback, and that for
several hours each day he read the Greek, Latin, English, or French
classics.

At the age of eighty-three he rode a horse in a procession in Baltimore,
carrying in one hand a copy of the Declaration of Independence; and six
years later, when by that strange freak of chance ex-Presidents Adams
and Jefferson died simultaneously on July 4, leaving Mr. Carroll the
last surviving signer of the Declaration, he took part in a memorial
parade and service in their memory. In 1826, at the age of eighty-nine,
he was elected a director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, and
at the age of ninety he laid the foundation stone marking the
commencement of that railroad--the first important one in the United
States. We are told that at this time Mr. Carroll was erect in carriage
and that he could see and hear as well as most men. In 1832, having
lived to within five years of a full century, having been active in the
Revolution, having seen the War of 1812, he died less than thirty years
before the outbreak of the Civil War, and was buried in the chapel of
the manor house.

This chapel, the like of which does not, so far as I know, exist in any
other American house, is the burial place of a number of the Carrolls.
It is used to-day, regular Sunday services being held for the people of
the neighborhood. An alcove to the south of the chancel contains seats
for members of the family, and has access to the main portion of the
house by a passageway which passes the bedroom known as the Cardinal's
room, a large chamber furnished with massive old pieces of mahogany and
decorated in red. This room has been occupied by Lafayette, by John
Carroll, cousin of "the Signer" and first archbishop of Baltimore, and
by Cardinal Gibbons. It is on the ground floor and its windows command
the series of terraces, with their plantings of old box, which slope
away to gardens more than a century old.

Viewed in one light Doughoregan Manor is a monument, in another it is a
treasure house of ancient portraits and furniture and silver, but above
all it is a home. The beautifully proportioned dining-room, the wide
hall which passes through the house from the front portico to another
overlooking the terraces and gardens at the back, the old shadowy
library with its tree-calf bindings, the sunny breakfast room, the
spacious bedchambers with their four-posters and their cheerful
chintzes, the big bright shiny pantries and kitchens, all have that
pleasant, easy air which comes of being lived in, and which is never
attained in a "show place" which is merely a "show place" and nothing
more. No dining table at which great personages have dined in the past
has the charm of one the use of which has been steadily continued; no
old chair but is better for being sat in; no ancient Sheffield tea
service but gains immeasurably in charm from being used for tea to-day;
no old Venetian mirror but what is lovelier for reflecting the beauties
of the present as it reflected those of the past; no little old-time
crib but what is better for a modern baby in it. It is pleasant,
therefore, to report that, like all other things the house contains, the
crib at Doughoregan Manor was being used when we were there, for in it
rested the baby son of the house; by name Charles, and of his line the
ninth. Further, it may be observed that from his youthful parents, Mr.
and Mrs. Charles Bancroft Carroll, present master and mistress of the
place, Master Charles seemed to have inherited certain amiable traits.
Indeed, in some respects, he outdoes his parents. For example, where the
father and mother were cordial, the son chewed ruminatively upon his
fingers and fastened upon my companion a gaze not merely interested, but
expressive of enraptured astonishment. Likewise, though his parents
received us kindly, they did not crow and gurgle with delight; and
though, on our departure, they said that we might come again, they
neither waved their hands nor yet blew bubbles.

Though the house has been "done over" four times, and though the
paneling was torn out of one room to make way for wall paper when wall
paper came into style, everything has now been restored, and the place
stands to-day to all intents and purposes exactly as it was. That so few
changes were ever made in it, that it weathered successfully, with its
contents, the disastrous period of Eastlake furniture and the American
mansard roof, is a great credit to the Carroll family, and it is
delightful to see such a house in the possession of those who can love
it as it deserves to be loved, and preserve it as it deserves to be
preserved.

Mr. Charles Bancroft Carroll, who is a graduate of Annapolis and a
grandson of the late Governor John Lee Carroll of Maryland, now farms
some twenty-four hundred acres of the five or six thousand which
surround the manor house. He raises blooded cattle and horses, and,
though he rides with the Elkridge Hunt, also keeps his own pack and is
starting the Howard County Hounds, an organization that will hunt the
country around the manor, which is full of foxes.

Of the innumerable family portraits contained in the house not a few are
valuable and almost all are pleasing. When I remarked upon the high
average of good looks among his progenitors, Mr. Carroll smiled in
agreement, saying: "Yes, I'm proud of these pictures of my ancestors;
most people's ancestors seem to have looked like the dickens."

Among these noteworthy family portraits I recollect one of "the Signer"
as a boy, standing on the shore and watching a ship sail out to sea; one
of the three beautiful Caton sisters, his granddaughters, who lived at
Brooklandwood, in the Green Spring Valley, now the home of Mr. Isaac
Emerson; one of Charles Carroll of Homewood, son of "the Signer"; and
one of Governor John Lee Carroll, who was born at Homewood.

The Caton sisters and Charles Carroll of Homewood supply to the Carroll
family archives that picturesqueness which the history of every old
family should possess; the former contributing beauty, the latter dash
and extravagance, those qualities so annoying in a living relative, but
so delightfully suggestive in an ancestor long defunct. If anything more
be needed to round out the composition, it is furnished by the ghosts of
Doughoregan Manor: an old housekeeper with jingling keys, and an
invisible coach, the wheels of which are heard upon the driveway before
the death of any member of the family.

Of the Caton sisters there were four, but because one of them, Mrs.
McTavish, stayed at home and made the life of her grandfather happy, we
do not hear so much of her as of the other three, who were
internationally famous for their pulchritude, and were known in England
as "the Three American Graces." All three married British peers, one
becoming Marchioness of Wellesley, another Duchess of Leeds, while the
third became the wife of Lord Stafford, one of the noblemen embalmed in
verse by Fitz-Greene Halleck:

    Lord Stafford mines for coal and salt,
    The Duke of Norfolk deals in malt,
    The Douglas in red herrings.

As for Charles Carroll of Homewood, he was handsome, charming, and
athletic, and, as indicated in letters written to him by his father,
caused that old gentleman a good deal of anxiety. It is said that at
one time--perhaps during some period of estrangment from his wealthy
parent--he acted as a fencing master in Baltimore.

At the age of twenty-five he settled down--or let us hope he did--for he
married Harriet Chew, whose sister "Peggy," Mrs. John Eager Howard of
Baltimore, was a celebrated belle, and of whose own charm we may judge
by the fact that General Washington asked her to remain in the room
while he sat to Gilbert Stuart, declaring that her presence there would
cause his countenance to "wear its most agreeable expression." The
famous portrait painted under these felicitous conditions hung in the
White House when, in 1814, the British marched on Washington; but when
they took the city and burned the White House, the portrait did not
perish with it, for history records that Dolly Madison carried it to
safety, and along with it the original draft of the Declaration of
Independence.

Charles Carroll of Homewood died before his father, "the Signer," but
the house, Homewood, which the latter built for his son and
daughter-in-law in 1809, stands to-day near the Baltimore city limits,
at the side of Charles Street Boulevard, amid pleasant modern houses,
many of which are of a design not out of harmony with the old mansion.
Though not comparable in size with the manor house at Doughoregan,
Homewood is an even more perfect house, being one of the finest examples
of Georgian architecture to be found in the entire country. The fate of
this house is hardly less fortunate than that of the paternal manor,
for, with its surrounding lands, it has come into the possession of
Johns Hopkins University. The fields of Homewood now form the campus and
grounds of that excellent seat of learning, and the trustees of the
university have not merely preserved the residence, using it as a
faculty club, but have had the inspiration to find in it the
architectural motif for the entire group of new college buildings, so
that the campus may be likened to a bracelet wrought as a setting for
this jewel of a house.




CHAPTER VII

A RARE OLD TOWN


The drive from Baltimore to the sweet, slumbering city of Annapolis is
over a good road, but through barren country. Taken in the crisp days of
autumn, by a northern visitor sufficiently misguided to have supposed
that beyond Mason and Dixon's Line the winters are tropical it may prove
an uncomfortable drive--unless he be able to borrow a fur overcoat. It
was on this drive that my disillusionment concerning the fall and winter
climate of the South began, for, wearing two cloth overcoats, one over
the other, I yet suffered agonies from cold. The sun shone down upon the
open automobile in which we tore along, but its rays were no competitors
for the biting wind. Through lap robes, cloth caps, and successive
layers of clothing, and around the edges of goggles, fine little frozen
fangs found their way, like the pliable beaks of a race of gigantic,
fabulous mosquitoes from the Arctic regions. I have driven an open car
over the New England snows for miles in zero weather, and been warm by
comparison, because I was prepared.

My former erroneous ideas as to the southern climate may be shared by
others, and it is therefore well, perhaps, to enlarge a little bit upon
the subject. Never, except during a winter passed in a stone
tile-floored villa on the island of Capri, whither I went to escape the
cold, have I been so conscious of it, as during fall, winter, and spring
in the South.

In the hotels of the South one may keep warm in cold weather, but in
private homes it is not always possible to do so, for the popular
illusion that the "sunny South" is of a uniformly temperate climate in
the winter persists nowhere more violently than in the South itself.
Many a house in Virginia, let alone the other States farther down the
map, is without a furnace, and winter life in such houses, with their
ineffectual wood fires, is like life in a refrigerator tempered by the
glow of a safety match. As in Italy and Spain, so in the South it is
often warmer outdoors than in; more than once during my southern voyage
I was tempted to resume the habit, acquired in Capri, of wearing an
overcoat in the house and taking it off on going out into the sunshine.
True, in Capri we had roses blooming in the garden on Christmas Day, but
that circumstance, far from proving warmth, merely proved the hardiness
of roses. So, in the far South--excepting Florida and perhaps a strip of
the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama--the blooming of
flowers in the winter does not prove that "Palm Beach suits" and panama
hats invariably make a desirable uniform.

Furthermore, I am inclined to believe that because some southern winter
days are warm and others cold, a Northerner feels cold in the South
more than he feels the corresponding temperature at home--on somewhat
the principle which caused the Italians who went with the Duke of the
Abruzzi on his polar expedition to withstand cold more successfully than
did the Scandinavians.

Of the southern summer I have no experience, but I have been repeatedly
assured that certain of the southern beaches are nearly, if not quite,
as comfortable in hot weather as are those of New Jersey or Long Island,
while in numerous southern mountain retreats one may be fairly cool
through the hot months--a fact which spells fortune for the hotel
keepers of such high-perched resorts as Asheville, White Sulphur
Springs, and the Hot Springs of Virginia, who have their houses full of
Northerners in winter and Southerners in summer.

       *       *       *       *       *

The experience of arrival in Annapolis, delightful in any weather and at
any time of year, gives one a satisfaction almost ecstatic after a cold,
windy automobile ride such as we had suffered. To ache for the shelter
of almost any town, or any sort of building, and, with such yearnings,
to arrive in this dreamy city, whose mild air seems to be compounded
from fresh winds off a glittering blue sea, arrested by the barricade of
ancient hospitable-looking houses, warmed by the glow of their sun-baked
red brick, and freighted with a ghostly fragrance, as from the phantoms
of the rose gardens of a century or two ago--to arrive, frigid and
forlorn in such a haven, to drink a cup of tea in the old Paca house
(now a hotel), is to experience heaven after purgatory. For there is no
town that I know whose very house fronts hold out to the stranger that
warm, old-fashioned welcome that Annapolis seems to give.

The Paca house, which as a hotel has acquired the name Carvel Hall, is
the house that Winston Churchill had in mind as the Manners house, of
his novel "Richard Carvel." A good idea of the house, as it was, may be
obtained by visiting the Brice house, next door, for the two are almost
twins. When Mr. Churchill was a cadet at Annapolis, before the modern
part of the Carvel Hall hotel was built, there were the remains of
terraced gardens back of the old mansion, stepping down to an old spring
house, and a rivulet which flowed through the grounds was full of
watercress. The book describes a party at the house and in these
gardens. The Chase house on Maryland Avenue was the one Mr. Churchill
thought of as the home of Lionel Carvel, and he described the view from
upper windows of this house, over the Harwood house, across the way, to
the Severn.

Annapolis, Baedeker tells me, was the first chartered city in the United
States, having been granted its charter by Queen Anne considerably more
than two centuries ago. It is, as every little boy and girl should know,
the capital of Maryland, and is built around a little hill upon the top
of which stands the old State House in which Washington surrendered his
commission and in which met the first Constitutional Convention.

In its prime Annapolis was nearly as large a city as it is to-day, but
that is not saying a great deal, for at the present time it has not so
many inhabitants as Amarillo, Texas, or Brazil, Indiana.

Nevertheless, the life of Annapolis in colonial days, and in the days
which followed them, was very brilliant, and we learn from the diary of
General Washington and from the writings of amazed Englishmen and
Frenchmen who visited the city in its period of glory that there were
dinners and balls night after night, that the theater was encouraged in
Annapolis more than in any other city, that the race meets compared with
English race meets both as to the quality of the horses and of the
fashionable attendance, that there were sixteen clubs, that the women of
the city were beautiful, charming, and superbly dressed, that slaves in
sumptuous liveries were to be seen about the streets, that certain
gentlemen paid calls in barges which were rowed by half a dozen or more
blacks, in uniform, and that the perpetual hospitality of the great
houses was gorgeous and extravagant.

The houses hint of these things. If you have seen the best old brick
mansions of New England, and will imagine them more beautifully
proportioned, set off by balancing wings and having infinitely finer
details as to doorways, windows, porticos, and also as to wood carvings
and fixtures within--as, for instance, the beautiful silver latches and
hinges of the Chase house at Annapolis--you will gather something of the
flavor of these old Southern homes. For though such venerable mansions
as the Chase, Paca, Brice, Hammond, Ridout, and Bordley houses, in
Annapolis, are not without family resemblance to the best New England
colonial houses, the resemblance is of a kind to emphasize the
differences, not only between the mansions of the North and South, but
between the builders of them. The contrast is subtle, but marked.

Your New England house, beautiful as it is, is stamped with austere
simplicity. The man who built it was probably a scholar but he was
almost certainly a Calvinist. He habited himself in black and was served
by serving maids, instead of slaves in livery. If a woman was not
flat-chested and forlorn, he was prone to regard her as the devil
masquerading for the downfall of man--and no doubt with some justice,
too. Night and morning he presided at family prayers, the purpose of
which was to impress upon his family and servants that to have a good
time was wicked, and that to be gay in this life meant hell-fire and
damnation in the next.

Upon this pious person his cousin of Annapolis looked with something not
unlike contempt; for the latter, though he too was a scholar, possessed
the sort of scholarliness which takes into account beauty and the lore
of cosmopolitanism. He may have been religious or he may not have been,
but if religious he demanded something handsome, something stylish, in
his religion, as he did also in his residence, in his wife, his sons,
his daughters, his horses, coaches, dinners, wines, and slaves. He did
things with a flourish, and was not beset by a perpetual consciousness
and fear of hell. He approved of pretty women; he made love to them; he
married them; he was the father of them. His pretty daughters married
men who also admired pretty women, and became the mothers of other
pretty women, who became, in turn, the mothers and grandmothers of the
pretty women of the South to-day.

Your old-time Annapolis gentleman's ideas of a republic were far indeed
from those now current, for he understood perfectly the difference
between a republic and a democracy--a difference which is not now so
well understood. He believed that the people should elect the heads of
the government, but he also believed that these heads should be elected
from his own class, and that, having voted, the people should go about
their business, trusting their betters to run the country as it should
be run.

This, at least, is my picture of the old aristocrats of Maryland,
Virginia, and South Carolina, as conveyed to me by what I have seen of
their houses and possessions and what I have read of their mode of life.
They were the early princes of the Republic and by all odds its most
picturesque figures.

       *       *       *       *       *

Very different from the spirit of appreciation and emulation shown by
the trustees of Johns Hopkins University with regard to the old house,
Homewood, in Baltimore, is that manifested in the architecture of the
Naval Academy at Annapolis, where, in a city fairly flooded with
examples of buildings, both beautiful and typically American,
architectural hints were ignored, and there were erected great stone
structures whose chief characteristics are size, solidity, and the look
of being "government property." The main buildings of the Academy, with
the exception of the chapel, suggest the sort of sublimated penitentiary
that Mr. Thomas Mott Osborne might, one fancies, construct under a
carte-blanche authorization, while the chapel, the huge dome of which is
visible to all the country round, makes one think of a monstrous wedding
cake fashioned in the form of a building and covered with white and
yellow frosting in ornamental patterns.

This chapel, one imagines, may have been inspired by the Invalides in
Paris, but of the Invalides it falls far short. I know nothing of the
history of the building, but it is easy to believe that the original
intention may have been to place at the center of it, under the dome, a
great well, over the parapet of which might have been seen the
sarcophagus of John Paul Jones, in the crypt. One prefers to think that
the architect had some such plan; for the crypt, as at present arranged,
is hardly more than a dark cellar, approached by what seems to be a
flight of humble back stairs. To descend into it, and find there the
great marble coffin with its bronze dolphins, is not unlike going down
into the cellar of a residence and there discovering the family silver
reposing in the coal-bin.

In this connection it is interesting to recall the fact that our
sometimes piratical and always brilliant Revolutionary naval hero died
in Paris, and that until a few years ago his resting place was unknown.
The reader will remember that while General Horace Porter was American
ambassador to France a search was instituted for the remains of John
Paul Jones, the greater part of the work having been conducted by
Colonel H. Baily Blanchard, then first secretary of the Embassy,
assisted by the ambassador and Mr. Henry Vignaud, dean of secretaries of
embassy. The resting place of Jones was finally discovered in an
abandoned cemetery in the city of Paris, over which houses had been
built. The body was contained in a leaden casket and was preserved in
alcohol so that identification was easily accomplished by means of a
contemporaneous likeness of Jones, and also by means of measurements
taken from Houdin's bust. The remains were accorded military honors in
Paris, and were brought to this country on a war vessel.

Why the crypt at Annapolis is as it is, I do not know, but in my own
purely imaginary picture of what happened, I see the architect's plans
for a heroic display of Jones's tomb knocked on the head by some
"practical man," some worthy dunce in the Navy Department, whom I can
imagine as protesting: "But no! We can't take up space at the center of
the chapel for any such purpose. It must be floored over to make room
for pews. Otherwise where will the cadets sit?"

So, although the grounds of the academy, with their lawns, and aged
trees, and squirrels, and cadets, are charming, and although the solemn
and industrious Baedeker assures me that the academy is the "chief lion"
of Annapolis, and although I know that it is a great school, and that we
need another like it in order properly to officer our navy, I prefer the
old town with its old houses, and old streets bearing such reminiscent
names as Hanover, Prince George, and Duke of Gloucester.

For certain slang expressions used by cadets I am indebted to a member
of the corps. From this admiral-to-be I learn that a "bird" or "wazzo"
is a man or boy; that a "pap sheet" is a report covering delinquencies,
and that to "hit the pap" is to be reported for delinquency; that
"steam" is marine engineering, and to be "bilged for juice" is to fail
in examinations in electrical engineering--to get an "unsat," or
unsatisfactory mark, or even a "zip" or "swabo," which is a zero. Cadets
do not escort girls to dances, but "drag" them; a girl is a "drag," and
a "heavy drag" or "brick" is an unattractive girl who must be taken to a
dance. A "sleuth" or "jimmylegs" is a night watchman, and to be "ragged"
is to be caught. Mess-hall waiters are sometimes called "mokes," while
at other times the names of certain exalted dignitaries of the Navy
Department, or of the academy, are applied to them.

       *       *       *       *       *

I shall never cease to regret that dread of the cold kept us from seeing
ancient Whitehall, a few miles from Annapolis, which was the residence
of Governor Horatio Sharpe, and is one of the finest of historic
American homes; nor shall I, on the other hand, ever cease to rejoice
that, in spite of cold we did, upon another day, visit Hampton, the rare
old mansion of the Ridgelys, of Maryland, which stands amid its own five
thousand acres some dozen miles or so to the north of Baltimore. The
Ridgelys were, it appears, the great Protestant land barons of this
region as the Carrolls were the great Catholics, and, like the Carrolls,
they remain to-day the proprietors of a vast estate and an incomparable
house.




CHAPTER VIII

WE MEET THE HAMPTON GHOST

    There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple;
    If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
    Good things will strive to dwell with 't.

    --THE TEMPEST.


Hampton is probably the largest of Maryland's old mansions, and the
beauty of it is more theatrical than the beauty of Doughoregan Manor;
for although the latter is the older of the two, the former is not only
spectacular by reason of its spaciousness, the delicacy of its
architectural details, and the splendor of its dreamlike terraced
gardens, but also for a look of beautiful, dignified, yet somehow tragic
age--a look which makes one think of a wonderful old lady; a belle of
the days of minuets and powdered wigs and patches; a woman no less
wonderful in her declining years than in her youth, but wonderful in
another way; a proud old aristocrat, erect and spirited to the last; her
bedchamber a storehouse of ivory lace and ancient jewelry, her memory a
storehouse of recollections, like chapters from romantic novels of the
days when all men were gallant, and all women beautiful: recollections
of journeys made in the old coach, which is still in the stable, though
its outriders have been buried in the slaves' burying ground these many
years; recollections of the opening of Hampton, when, as the story
goes, gay Captain Charles Ridgely, builder of the house, held a card
party in the attic to celebrate the event, while his wife, Rebecca
Dorsey Ridgely, a lady of religious turn, marked the occasion
simultaneously with a prayer-meeting in the drawing room; of the ball
given by the Ridgelys in honor of Charles Carroll's granddaughters, the
exquisite Caton sisters; of hunt meets here, long, long ago, and hunt
balls which succeeded them; of breakneck rides; of love-making in that
garden peopled with the ghosts of more than a century of lovers; of
duels fought at dawn. Of such vague, thrilling tales the old house seems
to whisper.

Never, from the moment we turned into the tree-lined avenue, leading to
Hampton, from the moment when I saw the fox hounds rise resentfully out
of beds which they had dug in drifts of oak leaves in the drive, from
the moment when I stood beneath the stately portico and heard the bars
of the shuttered doors being flung back for our admittance--never, from
my first glimpse of the place, have I been able to dispel the sense of
unreality I felt while there, and which makes me feel, now, that Hampton
is not a house that I have seen, but one built by my imagination in the
course of a particularly charming and convincing dream.

Stained glass windows bearing the Ridgely coat of arms flank the front
doorway, and likewise the opposing doorway at the end of the enormous
hall upon which one enters, and the light from these windows gives the
hall a subdued yet glowing illumination, so that there is something
spectral about the old chairs and the old portraits with which the walls
are solidly covered. There are portraits here by Gilbert Stuart and
other distinguished painters of times gone by, and I particularly
remember one large canvas showing a beautiful young woman in evening
dress, her hair hanging in curls beside her cheeks, her tapering fingers
touching the strings of a harp. She was young then; yet the portrait is
that of the great-grandmother, or great-great-grandmother, of present
Ridgelys, and she has lain long in the brick-walled family burying
ground below the garden. But there beneath the portrait stands the harp
on which she played.

One might tell endlessly of paneling, of the delicate carving of mantels
and overmantels, of chairs, tables, desks, and sofas of Chippendale,
Hepplewhite, Phyfe and Sheraton, yet giving such an inventory one might
fail utterly to suggest the feeling of that great house, with its sense
of homelike emptiness, its wealth of old furniture and portraits,
blending together, in the dim light of a late October afternoon, to form
shadowy backgrounds for autumnal reverie, or for silent, solitary
listening--listening to the tales told by the soughing wind outside, to
the whisper of embers in the fireplace, the slow somber tick of the tall
clock telling of ages past and passing, the ghostly murmur of the old
house talking softly to itself.

From the windows of the great dining-room one looks away toward Hampton
Gate, a favorite meeting place for the Elkridge Hunt, or, at another
angle, toward the stables where the hunters are kept, the old slave
cabins, and the overseer's house, with its bell tower--a house nearly
two hundred years old. But the library is perhaps the more natural
resting place for the guest, and it looks out over the garden, with its
enormous descending terraces, its geometrical walks and steps, its
beautiful old trees, and arbors of ancient box. Such terraces as these
were never built by paid labor.

We were given tea in the library, our hostess at this function being a
young lady of five or six years--a granddaughter of Captain John
Ridgely, present master of Hampton--who, with her pink cheeks, her
serious eyes and demeanor, looked like a canvas by Sir Joshua come to
life, as she sat in a large chair and ate a large red apple.

Nor did Bryan, Captain Ridgely's negro butler, fit less admirably into
the pervasive atmosphere of fiction which enveloped the place. In the
absence of his master, Bryan did the honors of the old house with a
style which was not "put on," because it did not have to be put
on--nature and a good bringing-up having supplied all needs in this
respect. There was about him none of that affectation of being a graven
image, which one so often notices in white butlers and footmen imported
from Europe by rich Americans, and which, of all shams, is one of the
most false and absurd, as carried out on both sides--for we pretend to
think these functionaries the deft mechanisms, incapable of thought,
that they pretend to be; yet all the time we know--and they know we
know--that they see and hear and think as we do, and that, moreover,
they are often enough observant cynics whose elaborate gentility is
assumed for hire, like the signboard of a sandwich man.

Bryan was without these artificial graces. His manner, in showing us the
house, in telling us about the various portraits, indicated some true
appreciation of the place and of its contents; and the air he wore of
natural dignity and courtesy--of being at once acting-host and
servitor--constituted as graceful a performance in a not altogether easy
role as I have ever seen, and satisfied me, once for all, as to the
verity of legends concerning the admirable qualities of old-time negro
servants in the South.

After tea, when fading twilight had deepened the shadows in the house,
we went up the stairway, past the landing with its window containing the
armorial bearings of the family in stained glass, and, achieving the
upper hall, crossed to a great bedchamber, the principal guest room, and
paused just inside the door.

And now, because of what I am about to relate, I shall give the names of
those who were present. We were: Dr. Murray P. Brush, A.B., Ph.D.,
acting Dean of Johns Hopkins University; Dr. John McF. Bergland of
Baltimore; my companion, Wallace Morgan, illustrator; and myself.

The light had, by this time, melted to a mere faint grayness sifting
like mist through the many oblong panes of several large windows.
Nevertheless I could discern that it was a spacious room, and from the
color of it and certain shadowy lines upon the walls, I judged that it
was paneled to the ceiling in white-painted wood. I am under the
impression that it contained a fireplace, and that the great four-post
bed, standing to the right of the doorway, was placed upon a low
platform, a step or two above the floor--though of this I am not quite
certain, the bulk of the bed and the dim light having, perhaps, deceived
me. The rest of the furniture in the room was dark in color, and massed
in heavy vague spots against the lighter background of the walls.

Directly before the door, at about the center of the wall against which
it was backed, stood something which loomed tall and dark, and which I
took to be either a gigantic clothespress or a closet built into the
room. Looking past the front of this obstruction, I saw one of the
windows; the piece of furniture was therefore exhibited sidewise, in
silhouette.

I do not think that I had definitely thought of ghost stories before,
and I know that ghosts had not been spoken of, but as I looked into this
room, and reflected on the long series of persons who had occupied it,
and on where they were now, and on all the stories that the room must
have heard, there entered my mind thoughts of the supernatural.

Having taken a step or two into the room, I was a little in advance of
my three friends, and as these fancies came strongly to me, I spoke over
my shoulder to one of them, who was at my right and a little behind me,
saying, half playfully:

"There ought to be ghosts in a room like this."

Hardly had I spoken when without a sound, and swinging very slowly, the
door of the large piece of furniture before me gently opened. My first
idea was that the thing must be a closet, built against the wall, with a
door at the back opening on a passageway, or into the next room, and
that the little girl whom we had met downstairs had opened it from the
other side and was coming in.

I fully expected to see her enter. But she did not enter, for, as I
learned presently, she was in the nursery at the time.

After waiting for an instant to see who was coming, I began to realize
that there was no one coming; that no one had opened the door; that,
like an actor picking up a cue, the door had begun to swing immediately
upon my saying the word "ghosts."

The appropriateness of the coincidence was striking. I turned quickly to
my friends, who were in conversation behind me, and asked:

"Speaking of ghosts--did you see that door open?"

It is my recollection that none of them had seen it. Certainly not more
than one of them had, for I remember my feeling of disappointment that
any one present should have missed so strange a circumstance. Some one
may have asked what I had seen; at all events I was full of the idea,
and, indicating the open door, I began to tell what I had seen,
when--exactly as though the thing were done deliberately to
circumstantiate my story--with the slow, steady movement of a heavy door
pushed by a feeble hand, the other portal of the huge cabinet swung
open.

This time all four of us were looking.

Presently, as we moved across the wide hall to go downstairs again,
Bryan came from one of the other chambers, whither, I think, he had
carried the young lady's supper on a tray.

"Are there supposed to be any ghosts in this house?" I asked him.

Bryan showed his white teeth in the semi-darkness. Whether he believed
in ghosts or not, evidently he did not fear them.

"Yes, sir," he said. "We're supposed to have a ghost here."

"Where?"

"In that room over there," he answered, indicating the bedroom from
which we had come.

We listened attentively to Bryan while he told how the daughter of
Governor Swan had come to attend a ball at Hampton, and how she had died
in the four-post bed in that old shadowy guest room, and of how, since
then, she had been seen from time to time.

"They's several people say they saw her," he finished. "She comes out
and combs her hair in front of the long mirror."

However, as we drove back to Baltimore that evening, we repeatedly
assured one another that we did not believe in ghosts.




CHAPTER IX

ARE WE STANDARDIZED?


Almost all modern European critics of the United States agree in
complaining that our telephones and sleeping cars are objectionable, and
that we are "standardized" in everything. Their criticism of the
telephone seems to be that the state of perfection to which it has been
brought in this country causes it to be widely used, while their
disapproval of our sleeping cars is invariably based on the assumption
that they have no compartments--which is not the fact, since most of the
great transcontinental railroads do run compartment cars, and much
better ones than the best _wagons lits_, and since, also, all our
sleeping cars have drawing-rooms which are incomparably better than the
most comfortable European compartments.

The charge of standardization will, however, bear a little thought. It
is true that most American cities have a general family
resemblance--that a business street in Atlanta or Memphis looks much
like a business street in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee, St.
Paul, Kansas City, or St. Louis--and that much the same thing may be
said of residence streets. Houses and office buildings in one city are
likely to resemble those of corresponding grade in another; the men who
live in the houses and go daily to the offices are also similar; so are
the trolley cars in which they journey to and fro; still more so the
Fords which many of them use; the clothing of one man is like that of
another, and all have similar conventions concerning the date at
which--without regard to temperature--straw hats should be discarded.
Their womenfolk, also, are more or less alike, as are the department
stores in which they shop and the dresses they buy. And the same is true
of their children, the costumes of those children, and the schools they
attend.

Every American city has social groups corresponding to similar groups in
other cities. There is always the small, affluent group, made up of
people who keep butlers and several automobiles, and who travel
extensively. In this group there are always some snobs: ladies who give
much time to societies founded on ancestry, and have a Junkerish feeling
about "social leadership."

Every city has also its "fast" group: people who consider themselves
"unconventional," who drink more than is good for them, and make much
noise. Some members of this group may belong to the first group, as
well, but in the fast group they have a following of well-dressed
hangers-on: unmarried men and women, youngish rather than young, who,
with little money, yet manage to dress well and to be seen eating and
drinking and dancing in public places. There is usually to be found in
this group a hectic widow or two--be it grass or sod--and a few pretty
girls who, having been given too much freedom at eighteen, begin to
wonder at twenty-eight, why, though they have always been "good
fellows," none of the dozens of men who take them about have married
them. To this aggregation drift also those restless husbands and wives
whose glances rove hopefully away from their mates, a few well-bred
drunkards, and a few men and women who are trying to forget things they
cannot forget.

Then there is always the young married group--a nice group for the most
part--living in comfortable new houses or apartments, and keeping,
usually, both a small automobile and a baby carriage. They also go to
the Country Club on Saturday nights, leave their motors standing in the
drive, eat a lukewarm supper that tastes like papier-mache, and dance
themselves to wiltedness.

Another group is entirely masculine, being made up of husbands of
various ages, their mutual bond being the downtown club to which they go
daily, and in which the subjects discussed are politics, golf, and the
evils of prohibition. To this group always belong the black-sheep
husbands who, after taking their wives to the Country Club, disappear
and remain away until they are sent for because it is time to go home,
when they come back shamefaced and scented with Scotch.

Every American city has also what Don Marquis calls its "little group of
serious thinkers"--women, most of them--possessed of an ardent desire to
"keep abreast of the times." These women belong to clubs and literary
societies which are more serious than war. They are always reading
papers or attending lectures, and at these lectures they get a strange
assortment of "cultural" information and misinformation, delivered with
ghastly assurance by heterogeneous gentlemen in cutaway coats, who go
about and spout for pay. If you meet these ladies, and they suspect you
of being infested by the germs of "culture," they will open fire on you
with a "thought," about which you may detect a curious ghostly
fragrance, as of Alfred Noyes's lecture, last week, or of "the New
Republic" or the "Literary Digest." The most "liberal" of them may even
take "The Masses," precisely as people rather like them used to take
"The Philistine," a generation or two ago. Among the members of this
group are the women who work violently for suffrage--something in which
I personally believe, but which, merely because I believe in it, I do
not necessarily like to take in my coffee as a substitute for sugar, on
my bread as a substitute for butter, and in my ear as a substitute for
pleasant general conversation.

I do not wish to seem to speak disparagingly of women of this type, for
they are doing good, and they will do more good when they have become
more accustomed to possessing minds. Having but recently discovered
their minds, they are playing with them enthusiastically, like children
who have just discovered their new toys on Christmas morning. It is
delightful to watch them. It is diverting to have them pop ideas at you
with that bright-eyed, efficient, assertive look which seems to say:
"See! I am a liberal woman--a woman of the new type. I meet men on their
own ground. Do you wish to talk of birth control, social hygiene, and
sex attraction? Or shall we reverse the order? Or shall I show you how
much I know about Brieux, and household economics, and Ellen Key, and
eugenics, and George Meredith, and post-impressionism, and "Roberts'
Rules of Order," and theosophy, and conditions in the Sixteenth Ward?"

When one thinks of these city groups, and of mail-order houses, and
Fords, one may begin to fear it is indeed true that we are becoming
standardized, but when one lets one's mind drift over the country as the
eye drifts over a map; when one thinks of the quantities of modest,
thoughtful, gentle, generous, intelligent, sound American families which
are to be found in every city and every town, and thinks again, in a
twinkling, of sheriffs and mining-camp policemen in the Far West, of
boys going to Harvard, and other boys going to the University of Kansas,
others to the old Southern universities, so rich in tradition, and still
others to Annapolis or West Point; when one thinks of the snow
glittering on the Rocky Mountain wall, back of Denver; of sleepy little
towns drowsing in the sun beside the Mississippi; of Charles W. Eliot of
Cambridge, and Hy Gill of Seattle; of Dr. Lyman Abbott of New York and
Tom Watson of Georgia; of General Leonard Wood and Colonel William
Jennings Bryan; of ex-slaves living in their cabins behind Virginia
manor houses, and Filipino and Kanaka fishermen living in villages
built on stilts beside the bayous below New Orleans; of the dry salt
desert of Utah, and two great rivers meeting between green rocky hills,
at Harper's Ferry; of men working in offices at the top of the Woolworth
Building in New York, and other men working thousands of feet below the
ground, in the copper mines of Butte and the iron and coal mines of
Birmingham--when one thinks of these things one quickly ceases to fear
that the United States is standardized, and instead begins to fear that
few Americans will ever know the varied wonder of their country, and the
varied character of its inhabitants, their problems, hopes, and views.

If I lived somewhere in the region of Boston, New York, or Philadelphia
and wished quickly to learn whether the country were really standardized
or not, I should get into my automobile--or into some one else's--and
take an autumn tour through Baltimore, past Doughoregan Manor, some
miles to the west of Baltimore, on to Frederick, Maryland (where they
dispute, quite justly, I believe, the truth of the Barbara Frietchie
legend), and thence "over the mountain wall" and down into the
northeastern corner of the most irregularly shaped State in the Union,
West Virginia. I should strike for Harper's Ferry, and from there run to
Charles Town, a few miles distant (where John Brown was tried and
executed for the Harper's Ferry raid), and after circulating about that
corner of the State, I should go down into Virginia by the good highway
which leads from Charles Town to Berryville--"Bur'v'l," they pronounce
it--and to "Winchester twenty miles away" (where they say that
Sheridan's Ride was nothing to make such a lot of talk about!), and then
back, by way of Berryville, and over the Blue Ridge Mountains into the
great fox-hunting counties of Virginia: Clark, Loudon, and Fauquier.
Here I should see a hunt meet or a race meet. There are many other
places to which I might go after that, but as I meant only to suggest an
easy little tour, I shall stop at this point, contenting myself with
saying that not far to the south is Charlottesville, where Jefferson
built that most beautiful of all universities, the University of
Virginia, and his wonderful house Monticello; that Staunton (pronounced
as without the "u"), where Woodrow Wilson was born, lies west of
Charlottesville, while Fredericksburg, where Washington's mother lived,
lies to the northeast.

Some such trip as this I should take instead of a conventional New
England tour. And before starting I should buy a copy of Louise Closser
Hale's delightful book, "Into the Old Dominion."

One beauty of the trip that I suggest is that it isn't all the same. In
one place you get a fair country hotel, in another an inn, and somewhere
along the way you may have to spend a night in a private house. Also,
though the roads through Maryland, and the part of West Virginia I speak
of, are generally good, my experience of Virginia roads, especially
through the mountains, leads me to conclude that in respect to highways
Virginia remains a backward State. But who wants to ride always over
oiled roads, always to hotels with marble lobbies, or big white porches
full of hungry-eyed young women, and old ladies, knitting? Only the
standardized tourist. And I am not addressing him.

I am talking to the motorist who is not ossified in habit, who has a
love of strangeness and the picturesque--not only in scenery but in
houses and people and the kind of life those people lead. For it is
quite true that, as Professor Roland C. Usher said in his "Pan
Americanism," "the information in New York about Buenos Aires is more
extended, accurate, and contemporaneous than the notions in Maine about
Alabama.... Isolation is more a matter of time than of space, and common
interests are due to the ease of transportation and communication more
often than geographical location."




CHAPTER X

HARPER'S FERRY AND JOHN BROWN

            Mad Old Brown,
            Osawatomie Brown,
    With his eighteen other crazy men, went in and took the town.

    --EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.


Three States meet at Harper's Ferry, and the line dividing two of them
is indicated where it crosses the station platform. If you alight at the
rear end of the train, you are in Maryland; at the front, you are in
West Virginia. This I like. I have always liked important but invisible
boundaries--boundaries of states or, better yet, of countries. When I
cross them I am disposed to step high, as though not to trip upon them,
and then to pause with one foot in one land and one in another, trying
to imagine that I feel the division running through my body.

Harper's Ferry is an entrancing old town; a drowsy place, piled up
beautifully, yet carelessly, upon terraced roads clinging to steep
hills, which slope on one side to the Potomac, on the other to the
Shenandoah, and come to a point, like the prow of a great ship, at the
confluence of the two.

There is something foreign in the appearance of the place. Many times,
as I looked at old stone houses, a story or two high on one side, three
or four stories on the other, seeming to set their claws into the cliffs
and cling there for dear life, I thought of houses in Capri and Amalfi,
and in some towns in France; and again there were low cottages built of
blocks of shale covered with a thin veneer of white plaster showing the
outlines of the stones beneath, which, squatting down amid their trees
and flowers, resembled peasant cottages in Normandy or Brittany, or in
Ireland.

It is a town in which to ramble for an hour, uphill, down and around;
stopping now to delight in a crumbling stone wall, tied together with
Kenilworth ivy; now to watch a woman making apple butter in a great iron
pot; now to see an old negro clamber slowly into his rickety wagon, take
up the rope reins, and start his skinny horse with the surprising words:
"Come hither!"; now to look at an old tangled garden, terraced rudely up
a hillside; now to read the sign, on a telegraph pole in the village,
bearing the frank threat: "If you Hitch your Horses Here they will be
Turned Loose." Now you will come upon a terraced road, at one side of
which stands an old house draped over the rocks in such a way as to
provide entrance from the ground level, on any one of three stories; or
an unexpected view down a steep roadway, or over ancient moss-grown
housetops to where, as an old book I found there puts it, "between two
ramparts, in a gorge of savage grandeur, the lordly Potomac takes to his
embrace the beautiful Shenandoah."

The liaison between the rivers, described in this Rabelaisian manner by
the author of "The Annals of Harper's Ferry," has been going on for a
long time with all the brazen publicity of a love scene on a park bench.
I recommend the matter to the attention of the Society for the
Suppression of Vice, which once took action to prohibit a novel by Mr.
Theodore Dreiser. A great many people wish to read Mr. Dreiser's books
yet no one has to read them if he does not want to. But it is a
different matter with these rivers. Sensitive citizens of Harper's Ferry
and pure-minded passengers on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad are obliged
daily to witness what is going on.

Before the days of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, and of the
late Anthony Comstock, when we had no one to make it clear to us exactly
what was shocking, little was thought of the public scandal between the
Potomac and the Shenandoah. Thomas Jefferson seems to have rather liked
it; there is a point above the town, known as Jefferson's Rock, at
which, it is said, the author of the Declaration of Independence stood
and uttered a sentiment about the spectacle. Everybody in Harper's Ferry
agrees that Jefferson stood at Jefferson's Rock and said something
appropriate, and any one of them will try to tell you what he said, but
each version will be different.

A young lady told me that he said: "This view is worth a trip across the
Atlantic Ocean."

A young man in a blue felt hat of the fried-egg variety said that
Jefferson declared, with his well-known simplicity: "This is the
grandest view I ever seen."

An old man who had to go through the tobacco chewer's pre-conversational
rite before replying to my question gave it as: "Pfst!--They ain't
nothin' in Europe ner Switzerland ner nowheres else, I reckon', to beat
this-here scenery."

The man at the drug store quoted differently alleging the saying to have
been: "Europe has nothing on this": whereas the livery stable man's
version was: "This has that famous German river--the Rhine River don't
they call it?--skinned to death."

Whatever Jefferson's remark was, there has been added to the spectacle
at Harper's Ferry, since his day, a new feature, which, could he have
but seen it, must have struck him forcibly, and might perhaps have
caused him to say more.

At a lofty point upon the steep wall of Maryland Heights, across the
Potomac from the town, far, far up upon the side of the cliff,
commanding a view not only of both rivers, but of their meeting place
and their joint course below, and of the lovely contours of the Blue
Ridge Mountains, fading to smoky coloring in the remote distance, there
has, of late years, appeared the outline of a gigantic face, which looks
out from its emplacement like some Teutonic god in vast effigy, its huge
luxuriant mustaches pointing East and West as though in symbolism of the
conquest of a continent. A blue and yellow background, tempered somewhat
by the elements, serves to attract attention to the face and to the
legend which accompanies it, but the thing one sees above all else, the
thing one recognizes, is the face itself, with its look half tragic,
half resigned, yet always so inscrutable: for it is none other than the
beautiful brooding countenance of Gerhard Mennen, the talcum-powder
gentleman.

       *       *       *       *       *

The great story of Harper's Ferry is of course the John Brown story.
Joseph I.C. Clarke, writing in the New York "Sun" of Sir Roger
Casement's execution for treason in connection with the Irish rebellion,
compared him with John Brown and also with Don Quixote. The spiritual
likeness between these three bearded figures is striking enough. All
were idealists; all were fanatics. Brown's ideal was a noble one--that
of freedom--but his manner of attempting to translate it into actuality
was that of a madman. He believed not only that the slaves should be
freed, but that the blood of slaveholders should be shed in atonement.
In "bleeding Kansas" he led the Ossawatomie massacre, and committed
cold-blooded murders under the delusion that the sword of the Lord was
in his hand.

In October, 1859, Brown, who had for some time been living under an
assumed name in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry, led a score of his
followers, some of them negroes, in a surprise attack upon the
Government arsenal at this place, capturing the watchmen and taking
possession of the buildings. It was his idea to get the weapons the
arsenal contained and give them to the slaves that they might rise and
free themselves. Before this plan could be executed, however, Brown and
his men were besieged in the armory, and here, after a day or two of
bloody fighting, with a number of deaths on both sides, he was captured
with his few surviving men, by Colonel (later General) Robert E. Lee,
whose aide, upon this occasion, was J.E.B. Stuart, later the Confederate
cavalry leader. Stuart had been in Kansas, and it was he who recognized
the leader of the raid as Brown of Ossawatomie.

It is said that Brown's violent anti-slavery feeling was engendered by
his having seen, in his youth, a colored boy of about his own age
cruelly misused. He brooded over the wrongs of the blacks until, as some
students of his life believe, he became insane on this subject. His
utterances show that he was willing to give up his life and those of his
sons and other followers, if by such action he could merely draw
attention to the cause which had taken possession of his soul. In the
course of the fighting he saw his two sons mortally wounded, and was
himself stabbed and cut. Throughout the fight and his subsequent trial
at Charles Town he remained imperturbable; when taken to the gallows he
sat upon his coffin, in a wagon, and he not only mounted the scaffold
without a tremor, but actually stood there, apparently unmoved, for ten
or fifteen minutes, with the noose around his neck, while the troops
which had formed his escort were marched to their positions.

A large number of troops were present at the execution, for it was then
believed in the South that the Brown raid was not the mere suicidal
stroke of an individual fanatic, but an organized movement on the part
of the Republican party; an effort to rescue Brown was therefore
apprehended. This idea was later shown to be a fallacy, Brown having
made his own plans, and been financed by a few northern friends, headed
by Gerrit Smith of New York.

There has been a tendency in the North to make a saint of John Brown,
and in the South to make a devil of him. As a matter of fact he was a
poor, misguided zealot, with a wild light in his eye, who had set out to
do a frightful thing; for, bad though slavery was, its evils were not
comparable with the horrors which would have resulted from a slave
rebellion.

It must be conceded, however, that those who would canonize John Brown
have upon their side a strange and impressive piece of evidence. The
jail where he was lodged in Charles Town and the courthouse where he was
tried, still stand, and it is the actual fact that, when the snow falls,
it always miraculously melts in a path which leads diagonally across the
street from the one to the other. That this is true I have unimpeachable
testimony. _Snow will not stand on the path by which John Brown crossed
back and forth from the jail to the court-house._ There will be snow
over all the rest of the street, but not on that path; there you can see
it melting.

But, as with certain other "miracles," this one is not so difficult to
understand if you know how it is brought about. The courthouse is heated
from the jail, and the hot pipes run under the pavement.




CHAPTER XI

THE VIRGINIAS AND THE WASHINGTONS


In colonial times, and long thereafter, the present State of West
Virginia was a part of Virginia. Virginia, in the old days, used to have
no western borders to her most westerly counties, which, in theory, ran
out to infinity. As the western part of the State became settled, county
lines were drawn, and new counties were started farther back from the
coast. For this reason, towns which are now in Jefferson County, West
Virginia, used to be in that county of Virginia which lies to the east
of Jefferson County, and some towns have been in several different
counties in the course of their history.

The people in the eastern part of West Virginia are, so far as I am
capable of judging, precisely like Virginians. The old houses, when
built, were in Virginia, the names of the people are Virginian names,
and customs and points of view are Virginian. Until I went there I was
not aware how very much this means.

I do not know who wrote the school history I studied as a boy, but I do
know now that it was written by a lopsided historian, and that his
"lop," like that of many another of his kind, led him to enlarge upon
American naval and military victories, to minimize American defeats, to
give an impression that the all-important early colonies were those of
New England, and that the all-important one of them was Massachusetts.
From this bias I judge that the historian was a Boston man. It takes a
Bostonian to think in that way. They do it still.

From my school history I gathered the idea that although Sir Walter
Raleigh and Captain John Smith were so foolish as to dally more or less
in the remote fastnesses of Virginia, and although there was a little
ineffectual settlement at Jamestown, all the important colonizing of
this country occurred in New England. I read about Peregrine White, but
not about Virginia Dare; I read much of Miles Standish, but nothing of
Christopher Newport; I read a great deal of the _Mayflower_, but not a
word of the _Susan Constant_.

Yet Virginia Dare, if she lived, must have been nearing young ladyhood
when Peregrine White was born; Captain Christopher Newport passed the
Virginia capes when Miles Standish was hardly more than a youth, in
Lancashire; and the _Susan Constant_ landed the Jamestown settlers more
than a dozen years before the _Mayflower_ landed her shipload of eminent
furniture owners at Plymouth. Even Plymouth itself had been visited
years before by John Smith, and it was he, not the Pilgrims, who named
the place.

I find that some boys, to-day, know these things. But though that fact
is encouraging, I am not writing for boys, but for their comparatively
ignorant parents.

Not only did the first English colony establish itself in Virginia, and
the first known tobacco come from there--a point the importance of which
cannot be overstated--but the history of the Old Dominion is in every
way more romantic and heroic than that of any other State. The first
popular government existed there long before the Revolution, and at the
time of the break with the mother country Virginia was the most wealthy
and populous of the Colonies. Some historians say that slavery was first
introduced there when some Dutchmen sold to the colonists a shipload of
negroes, but I believe this point is disputed. The Declaration of
Independence was, of course, written by a Virginian, and made good by
the sword of one. The first President of the United States was a
Virginian, and so is the present Chief Executive. The whole of New
England has produced but four presidents; Ohio has produced six; but
Virginia has given us eight. The first British army to land on this
continent (Braddock's) landed in Virginia, and in that State our two
greatest wars were terminated by the surrenders of Cornwallis and of
Lee. And, last, the gallant Lee himself was a Virginian of the
Virginians--a son of the distinguished Henry Lee who said of Washington
that he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of
his countrymen."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the pleasant drive of perhaps a dozen miles, from Harper's Ferry to
Charles Town, I noticed here and there, at the roadside, pyramidal
stones, suggesting monuments, but bearing no inscription save that each
had a number. On inquiry I learned that these were indeed Confederate
monuments, but that to find out what they marked it was necessary to go
to the county courthouse at Charles Town and look up the numbers in a
book, of which there is but one copy. These monuments were set out three
or four years ago. They appeared suddenly, almost as though they had
grown overnight, and many people wondered, as I had, what they meant.

"Eloise," one Charles Town young lady asked another, "what's that
monument out in front of your house with the number twenty-one on it?"

"Oh," replied Eloise, "that's where all my suitors are buried."

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the things which gives Jefferson County, West Virginia, its
Virginian flavor is the collection of fine old houses which adorn it.
Many of these houses are the homes of families bearing the name of
Washington, or having in their veins the blood of the Washingtons. It is
said that there is more Washington blood in Charles Town (which, by the
way, should not be confused with Charleston, capital of the same State),
than in any other place, if not in all the rest of the world together.
The nearest competitors to Charles Town in this respect are Westmoreland
County, Virginia, and the town of Kankakee, Illinois, where resides the
Spottswood Augustine Washington family, said to be the only Washington
group to have taken the Union side in the Civil War. It is rumored also
that all the Washingtons are Democrats, although that fact is hard to
reconcile, at the present time, with the statement that, among the five
thousand of them, there is but a single Federal officeholder.

The settling of the Washingtons in Jefferson County, West Virginia, came
about through the fact that George Washington, when a youth of sixteen
or seventeen, became acquainted with that part of what was then
Virginia, through having gone to survey for Lord Fairfax, who had
acquired an enormous tract of land in the neighboring county of Clarke,
which is still in the mother State. To this estate, called Greenaway
Court, his lordship, it is recorded, came from England to isolate
himself because a woman with whom he was in love refused to marry him.

In this general neighborhood George Washington lived for three years,
and local enthusiasts affirm that to his having drunk the
lime-impregnated waters of this valley was due his great stature. The
man who informed me of this theory had lived there aways. He was about
five feet three inches tall, and had drunk the waters all his
life--plain and otherwise.

Washington's accounts of the region so interested his brothers that they
finally moved there, acquired large tracts of land, and built homes.
Charles Town, indeed, was laid out on the land of Charles Washington,
and was named for him, and there is evidence that George Washington,
who certainly gave the lines for the roads about the place, also laid
out the town.

Another brother, John Augustine, left a large family, while Samuel, the
oldest, described as "a rollicking country squire," was several years
short of fifty when he died, but for all that had managed to marry five
times and to find, nevertheless, spare moments in which to lay out the
historic estate of Harewood, not far from Charles Town. It is said that
George Washington was his brother's partner in this enterprise, but
excepting in its interior, which is very beautiful, there is no sign,
about the building, of his graceful architectural touch.

George Washington spent much time at Harewood, Lafayette and his son
visited there, and there the sprightly widow, Dolly Todd, married James
Madison. This wedding was attended by President Washington and his wife
and by many other national figures; the bride made the journey to
Harewood in Jefferson's coach, escorted by Madison and a group of his
friends on horseback, and history makes mention of a very large and very
gay company.

This is all very well until you see Harewood; for, substantial though
the house is, with its two-foot stone walls, it has but five rooms: two
downstairs and three up.

Where did they all sleep?

The question was put by the practical young lady whom I accompanied to
Harewood, but the wife of the farmer to whom the place is rented could
only smile and shake her head.

The bedroom now occupied by this farmer and his wife has doubtless been
occupied also by the first President of the United States and his wife,
the fourth President and his wife, by Lafayette, and by a King of
France--for Louis-Philippe, and his brothers, the Duc de Montpensier and
the Comte de Beaujolais, spent some time at Harewood during their period
of exile.

Having read in an extract from the Baltimore "Sun" that Harewood, which
is still owned in the Washington family, was a place in which all
Washingtons took great and proper pride, that it was "the lodestone
which draws the wandering Washingtons back to the old haunts," I was
greatly shocked on visiting the house to see the shameful state of
dilapidation into which it has been allowed to pass. The porches and
steps have fallen down, the garden is a disreputable tangle, and the
graves in the yard are heaped with tumble-down stones about which the
cattle graze. The only parts of the building in good repair are those
parts which time has not yet succeeded in destroying. The drawing-room,
containing a mantelpiece given to Washington by Lafayette, and the
finest wood paneling I have seen in any American house, has held its own
fairly well, as has also the old stairway, imported by Washington from
England. But that these things are not in ruins, like the porches, is no
credit to the Washingtons who own the property to-day, and who, having
rented the place, actually leave family portraits hanging on the walls
to crack and rot through the cold winter.

If there are indeed five thousand Washingtons, and if they are proud of
their descent, a good way for them to show it would be to contribute
twenty-five cents each to be expended on putting Harewood in respectable
condition.

The last member of the Washington family to own Mount Vernon was John
Augustine Washington, of Charles Town, who sold the former home of his
distinguished collateral ancestor. This Mr. Washington was a Confederate
officer in the Civil War. He had a son named George, whose widow, if I
mistake not, is the Mrs. George Washington of Charles Town, of whom I
heard an amusing story.

With another Charles Town lady this Mrs. Washington went to the
Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the two attended the Fair together
on Washington Day. On this occasion Mrs. Washington made a purchase in
one of the buildings, and ordered it sent to her home in Charles Town.

"What name?" asked the clerk.

"Mrs. George Washington."

The clerk concluded that she was joking.

"I want your _real_ name," he insisted with a smile.

"But," plaintively protested the gentle Mrs. Washington, "that is the
only name I _have_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most charming of the old houses in the neighborhood of
Charles Town, and one of the few which is still occupied by the
descendants of its builder, is Piedmont, the residence of the Briscoe
family. It is a brick house, nearly a century and a half old, with a
lovely old portico, and it contains two of the most interesting relics I
saw on my entire journey in the South. The first of these is the wall
paper of the drawing-room, upon which is depicted, not in pattern, but
in a series of pictures with landscape backgrounds, various scenes
representing the adventures of Telemachus on his search for his father.
I remember having seen on the walls of the parlor of an old hotel at
South Berwick, Maine, some early wall paper of this character, but the
pictures on that paper were done in various shades of gray, whereas the
Piedmont wall paper is in many colors. The other relic is a letter which
Mrs. Briscoe drew from her desk quite as though it had been a note
received that morning from a friend. It was written on tough
buff-colored paper, and, though the ink was brown with age, the
handwriting was clear and legible and the paper was not broken at the
folds. It was dated "Odiham, Sept. 1st, 1633," and ran as follows:

     To Dr. John Briscoe, _Greetings_.

     Dear Sir: As the Privy Council have decided that I shall not be
     disturbed or dispossessed of the charter granted by his
     Majesty--the _Ark_ and Pinnace _Dove_ will sail from Gravesend
     about the 1st of October, and if you are of the same mind as when I
     conversed with you, I would be glad to have you join the colony.

    With high esteem,    Your most obedient servant,
        Cecilius Baltimore.

This letter from the second Lord Baltimore refers to the historic voyage
which resulted in the first settlement of Maryland, thirteen years after
the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. As for Dr. Briscoe, to whom the
letter was written, he was one of the three hundred original colonists,
but after settling in St. Mary's, near the mouth of the Potomac, removed
to the place where his descendants still reside.

Farther out in Jefferson County the motorist may pass through two
curious hamlets which, though not many miles from Charles Town, have the
air of being completely removed from the world. One of these was known,
many years ago, as Middleway, and later as Smithfield, but is now called
Clip--and for a curious reason.

When the stagecoaches were running, the town was quite a place, as its
several good old houses indicate; but the railroads, when they were
built, ignored the town, but killed the stage lines, with the result
that the little settlement dried up. Even before this an old
plaster-covered house, still standing, became haunted. The witches who
resided in it developed the unpleasant custom of flying out at night and
cutting pieces from the clothing of passers-by. And that is how the town
came to be called Clip.

A century or so ago, when the rudeness of the witches had long annoyed
the inhabitants of Clip, and had proved very detrimental to their
clothing, a Roman Catholic priest came along and told them that if they
would give him a certain field, he would rid them of the evil spirits.
This struck the worthy citizens of Clip as a good bargain; they gave the
priest his field (it is still known as the Priest's Field, and is now
used as a place for basket picnics) and forthwith the operations of the
witches ceased. So, at least, the story goes.

Not far beyond Clip lies the hamlet of Leetown, taking its name from
that General Charles Lee who commanded an American army in the
Revolutionary War, but who was suspected by Washington of being a
traitor, and was finally court-martialed and cashiered from the army.
The old stone house which Lee built at Leetown, and in which he lived
after his disgrace, still remains. Instead of having partitions in his
house the old general lived in one large room, upon the floor of which
he made chalk marks to indicate different chambers. Here he dwelt
surrounded by innumerable dogs, and here he was frequently visited by
Generals Horatio Gates and Adam Stephen, who were neighbors and cronies
of his, and met at his house to drink wine and exchange stories.

It is said that upon one of these occasions Lee got up and declared:

"The county of Berkeley is to be congratulated upon having as citizens
three noted generals of the Revolution, each of whom was ignominiously
cashiered. You, Stephen, for getting drunk when you should have been
sober; you, Gates, for advancing when you should have retreated; and
your humble servant for retreating when he should have advanced."

Lee was a turbulent, insubordinate, hard-drinking rascal, and nothing
could be more characteristic than the will, written in his own
handwriting, filed by the old reprobate with the clerk of the Berkeley
County Court, and expressing the following sentiments:

     I desire most earnestly that I may not be buried in any church or
     churchyard, or within a mile of any Presbyterian or Anabaptist
     meeting house, for since I have resided in this county I have kept
     so much bad company when living that I do not desire to continue it
     when dead.

During Lee's life there, Leetown was probably a livelier place than it
is to-day. Something of its present state may be gathered from the fact
that when a lady of my acquaintance stopped her motor there recently,
and asked some men what time it was, they stared blankly at her for a
moment, after which one of them said seriously:

"We don't know. We don't have time here."




CHAPTER XII

I RIDE A HORSE

    And vaulted with such ease into his seat
    As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
    To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus
    And witch the world with noble horsemanship.

    --KING HENRY IV.


Claymont Court, near Charles Town, the house in which my companion and I
were so fortunate as to be guests during our visit to this part of the
country, is one of the old Washington houses, having been built by
Bushrod Corbin Washington, a nephew of the first President. It is a
beautiful brick building, with courts at either end, the brick walls of
which, connecting with the house, extend its lines with peculiar grace,
and tie to the main structure the twin buildings which balance it,
according to the delightful fashion of early Virginia architecture. The
hexagonal brick tile of the front walk at Claymont Court, and the square
stone pavement of the portico, resemble exactly those at Mount Vernon,
and are said to have been imported at the same time; and it is believed
also that the Claymont box trees were brought over with those growing at
Mount Vernon.

The estate was sold out of the Washington family in 1870, when it was
acquired by a Colonel March, who later sold it to a gentleman whose wild
performances at Claymont are not only remembered, but are commemorated
in the house. In the cellar, for instance, bricked up in a room barely
large enough to hold it, whence it cannot be removed except by tearing
down a heavy wall, stands a huge carved sideboard to which the young man
took a dislike, and which he therefore caused to be carried to the
cellar and immured, despite the protests of his family. It is said that
upon another occasion he conceived the picturesque idea of riding his
horse upstairs and hitching it to his bedpost; and that he did so is
witnessed by definite marks of horseshoes on the oak treads of the
stair. Later Frank R. Stockton purchased the place, and there he wrote
his story "The Captain of the Toll-Gate," which was published
posthumously.

But in all its history this glorious old house has never been a happier
home, or a more interesting one, than it is to-day. For now it is the
residence of four young ladies, sisters, who, because of their divergent
tastes and their complete congeniality, continually suggest the fancy
that they have stepped out of a novel. One of them is the Efficient
Sister, who runs the automobile and the farm of two or three hundred
acres, sells the produce, keeps the accounts, and pays off the men;
another is the Domestic Sister, who conducts the admirable menage;
another is the Sociological and Artistic Sister, who draws and plays and
thinks about the masses; while the fourth is the Sprightly Sister Who
Likes to Dance.

Never had my companion or I seen a more charming, a more varied
household, an establishment more self-contained, more complete in all
things from vegetables to brains. No need to leave the place for
anything. Yet if one wished to look about the country, there was the
motor, and there were the saddle horses in the stable--all of them
members of old Virginian families--and there were four equestrian young
ladies.

"Would you-all like to ride to-day?" one of the sisters asked us at
breakfast.

To my companion, horseback riding is comparatively a new thing. He had
taken it up a year before--partly because of appeals from me, partly
because of changes which he had begun to notice in his topography.
Compared with him I was a veteran horseman, for it was then a year and
three months since I had begun my riding lessons.

I said that I would like to ride, but he declared that he must stay
behind and make a drawing.

Sometimes, in the past, I had thought I would prefer to make my living
as a painter or an illustrator than as a writer, but at this juncture it
occurred to me that, though the writer's medium of expression is a less
agreeable one than that of the graphic artist, it is much pleasanter to
ride about with pretty girls than to sit alone and draw a picture of
their house. I began to feel sorry for my companion: the thought of our
riding gaily off, and leaving him at work, made him seem pathetic. My
appeals, however, made no impression upon his inflexible sense of duty,
and I soon ceased trying to persuade him to join us, and began to
speculate, instead, as to whether all four sisters would accompany me,
or whether only two or three of them would go--and if so, which.

"What kind of horse do you like?" asked one.

Such a question always troubles me. It is embarrassing. Imagine saying
to a young lady who likes to ride thoroughbred hunters across fields and
over ditches and fences: "I should like a handsome horse, one that will
cause me to appear to advantage, one that looks spirited but is in
reality tame."

Such an admission would be out of character with the whole idea of
riding. One could hardly make it to one's most intimate male friend, let
alone to a girl who knows all about withers and hocks and pastern
joints, and talks about "paneled country," and takes the "Racing
Calendar."

To such a young lady it is impossible to say: "I have ridden for a
little more than a year; the horses with which I am acquainted are
benevolent creatures from a riding school near Central Park; they go
around the reservoir twice, and return automatically, and they sigh
deeply when one mounts and again when one gets off."

No; that sort of thing will not do at all; for the horse--besides having
been placed in a position more aristocratic than ever, through the
philanthropies of Henry Ford--is essentially "sporty." You must be a
"sport" or you must keep away from him. You must approach him with dash
or you must not approach him at all. And when a young lady inquires what
kind of horse you like, there is but one way to reply.

"It doesn't matter at all," I answered. "Any horse will do for me."
Then, after a little pause, I added, as though it were merely an amusing
afterthought: "I suppose I shall be stiff after my ride. I haven't been
on a horse in nearly two months."

"Then," said the sympathetic young lady, "you'll want an easy ride."

"I suppose it _might_ be more sensible," I conceded.

"Better give him the black mare," put in the Efficient Sister.

"She hasn't been out lately," said the other. "You know how she acts
when she hasn't been ridden enough. He might not know just how to take
her. I was thinking of giving him 'Dr. Bell.'"

"Dr. Bell's too gentle," said the Efficient Sister.

"Which horse do you think you'd like?" the other asked me. "Dr. Bell has
plenty of life, but he's gentle. The black mare's a little bit flighty
at first, but if you can ride her she soon finds it out and settles
down."

I want to ask: "What happens if she finds out that you _can't_ ride her?
What does she do then?" But I refrained.

"She's never thrown anybody but a stable boy and a man who came up here
to visit--and neither one of them could ride worth a cent," said the
Efficient Sister.

Meanwhile I had been thinking hard.

"What color is Dr. Bell?" I asked.

"He's a sorrel."

"Then," I said, "I believe I'd rather ride Dr. Bell. I don't like black
horses. It is simply one of those peculiar aversions one gets."

They seemed to accept this statement, and so the matter was agreeably
settled.

When, at ten o'clock, I came down dressed for riding, my companion was
out in front of the house, making a drawing; the four young ladies were
with him, all seemingly enchanted with his work, and none of them in
riding habits.

"Who's going with me?" I asked as I strolled toward them.

They looked at one another inquiringly. Then the Efficient Sister said:
"I'd like to go, but this is pay day and I can't leave the place."

"I have to go to town for some supplies," said the Domestic Sister.

"I want to stay and watch this," said the Sociological and Artistic
Sister. (She made a gesture toward my companion, but I think she
referred to his drawing.)

"I'm going away to a house party," said the Sprightly Sister who Likes
to Dance. "I must pack."

"You can't get lost," said the Domestic Sister.

"Even if you should," put in the Efficient Sister, "Dr. Bell would bring
you home."

During this conversation my companion did not look up from his work,
neither did he speak; yet upon his back there was an expression of
derisive glee which made me hope, vindictively, that he would smudge his
drawing. However inscrutable his face, I have never known a man with a
back so expressive.

"Here comes Dr. Bell," remarked the Sociological and Artistic Sister, as
a negro groom appeared leading the sorrel steed.

"Well," I said, trying to speak debonairely as I started toward the
drive, "I'll be going."

I wished to leave them where they were and go around to the other side
of the house to mount. I had noticed a stone block there and meant to
use it if no one but the groom were present; also I intended to tip the
groom and ask him a few casual questions about the ways of Dr. Bell.

I might have managed this but for a sudden manifestation of interest on
the part of my companion.

"Come on," he said to the young ladies, "let's go and see him off." It
seemed to me that he emphasized the word "off" unpleasantly. However I
tried to seem calm as we moved toward the drive.

Dr. Bell had a bright brown eye; there was something alert in the gaze
with which he watched us moving toward him. However, to my great relief
he stood quite still while two of the sisters who preceded me by a few
steps, went up and patted him. Evidently he liked to be patted. I
decided that I would pat him also.

I had approached him from the left and in order to mount I now found it
necessary to circle around, in front of him. I was determined that if
the horse would but remain stationary I should step up to him, speak to
him, give him a quick pat on the neck, gather the reins in my hand,
place my foot swiftly in the stirrup, take a good hop, and be on his
back before any one had time to notice.

Dr. Bell, however, caused me to alter these plans; for though he had
stood docile as a dog while the sisters patted him, his manner underwent
a change on sight of me. I do not think this change was caused by any
personal dislike for me. I believe he would have done the same had any
stranger appeared before him in riding boots. The trouble was, probably,
that he had expected to be ridden by one of the young ladies, and was
shocked by the abrupt discovery that a total stranger was to ride him.
This is merely my surmise. I do not claim deep understanding of the
mental workings of any horse, for there is no logic about them or their
performances. They are like crafty lunatics, reasoning, if they reason
at all, in a manner too treacherous and devious for human comprehension.
Their very usefulness, the service they render man, is founded on their
own folly; were it not for that, man could not even catch them, let
alone force them to submit, like weak-minded giants, to his will.

The fact is that, excepting barnyard fowls, the horse is the most
idiotic of all animals, and, pound for pound, even the miserable hen is
his intellectual superior. Indeed, if horses had brains no better than
those of hens, but proportionately larger, they would not be drawing
wagons, and carrying men upon their backs, but would be lecturing to
women's clubs, and holding chairs in universities, and writing essays on
the Development of the Short Story in America.

Horse lovers, who are among the most prejudiced of all prejudiced
people, and who regard horses with an amiable but fatuous admiration
such as young parents have for their babies, will try to tell you that
these great creatures which they love are not mentally deficient. Ask
them why the horse, with his superior strength, submits to man, and they
will tell you that the horse's eye magnifies, and that, to the horse,
man consequently appears to be two or three times his actual size.

Nonsense! There is but one reason for the yielding of the horse: he is
an utter fool.

Everything proves him a fool. He will charge into battle, he will walk
cheerfully beside a precipice, he will break his back pulling a heavy
wagon, or break his leg or his neck in jumping a hurdle; yet he will go
into a frenzy of fright at the sight of a running child, a roadside
rock, or the shadow of a branch across the path, and not even a German
chancellor could shy as he will at a scrap of paper.

As I passed in front of Dr. Bell he rolled his eyes at me horribly, and
rose upon his hind legs, almost upsetting the groom as he went up and
barely missing him with his fore feet as he brought them to earth again.

"What's the matter with him?" I asked, stopping.

"I guess he just feels good," said the Efficient Sister.

"Yassuh, tha 's all," said the groom cheerfully. "_He's_ aw' right.
Gentle ath a lamb."

As he made this statement, I took another step in the direction of the
horse, whereat he reared again.

"_Well_, now!" said the groom, patting Dr. Bell upon the neck. "Feelin'
pretty good 's mawnin', is you? There, there!"

Dr. Bell, however, paid little attention to his attendant, but gazed
steadily at me with an evil look.

"Does he always do like that?" I asked the Domestic Sister.

"I never saw him do it before," she said.

"Maybe he doesn't admire the cut of your riding breeches," suggested my
companion.

"Oh, no, suh," protested the groom. "It 's jes' his li'l way tryin' t'
tell you he likes de ladies t' ride him better 'n he likes de gemmen."

"He means he doesn't want me to ride him?"

"Yassuh, da 's jes' his li'l idee 't he 's got _now_. He be all right
once you in de saddle."

"But how am I to get in the saddle if he keeps doing that?"

"I hold 'im all right," said the groom. "You jes' get on 'im, suh. He
soon find out who 's boss."

"I think he will," said my heartless companion.

"Nevvah you feah, suh," the man said to me. "Ah knowed the minute Ah saw
yo' laigs 't you was a _horse_man. Yassuh! Ah says t' ole Gawge, Ah
says, 'Dat gemman's certain'y been 'n de cava'ry, he has, wid dem fine
crooked laigs o' hisn.'"

"You should have told that to Dr. Bell, instead," suggested my
companion.

At this every one laughed. Even the groom laughed a wheezy, cackling
negro laugh. The situation was becoming unbearable. Clearly I must try
to mount. Perhaps I should not succeed, but I must try. As I was
endeavoring to adjust my mind to this unpleasant fact the Efficient
Sister spoke.

"That horse is going to be ridden," she said firmly, "if I have to go
upstairs and dress and ride him myself."

That settled it.

"Now you hold him down," I said to the groom, and stepped forward.

As I did so Dr. Bell reared again, simultaneously drawing back sidewise
and turning his flank away from me, but this time the Efficient Sister
hit him with a crop she had found somewhere, and he came down hastily,
and began to dance a sort of double clog with all four feet.

After several efforts I managed to get beside him. Gathering the reins
in my left hand I put my foot up swiftly, found the stirrup, and with a
hop, managed to board the beast.

As I did so, the groom let him go. Both stirrups were short, but it was
too late to discuss that, for by the time I was adjusted to my seat we
had traveled, at a run, over a considerable part of the lawn and through
most of the flowerbeds. The shortness of the stirrups made me bounce,
and I had a feeling that I might do better to remove my feet from them
entirely, but as I had never ridden without stirrups I hesitated to try
it now. Therefore I merely dug my knees desperately into the saddle
flaps and awaited what should come, while endeavoring to check the
animal. He, however, kept his head down, which not only made it
difficult to stop him, but also gave me an unpleasant sense as of riding
on the cowcatcher of a locomotive with nothing but space in front of me.
Once, with a jerk, I managed to get his head up, but when I did that he
reared. I do not care for rearing.

To add to my delight, one of the dogs now ran out and began to bark and
circle around us, jumping up at the horse's nose and nipping at his
heels. This brought on new activities, for now Dr. Bell not only reared
but elevated himself suddenly behind, to kick at the dog. However, there
was one good result. We stopped running and began to trot rapidly about
in circles, dodging the dog, and this finally brought us back toward the
house.

"My stirrups are too short!" I shouted to the groom.

"Ride oveh heah, suh," he called back.

I tried to do it, but Dr. Bell continued to move in circles. At last,
however, the man managed to catch us by advancing with his hand
extended, as though offering a lump of sugar, at the same time talking
gently to my steed. Then, while my companion held the bit the negro
adjusted the stirrup leathers. I was glad of the breathing spell. I
wished that it took longer to adjust stirrups.

"You'd better go out by the drive this time," said the Efficient Sister.

"I intended to before," I told her, "but he didn't seem to understand
the signals."

"You've got spurs on. Give him the spur."

As a matter of fact, I had hesitated to give him the spur. It seemed to
me that he was annoyed with me anyway, and that the spur would only
serve to increase his prejudice. I wanted to rule him not by brute force
but by kindness. I wished that I could somehow make him know that I was
a regular subscriber to the S.P.C.A., that I loved children and animals
and all helpless creatures, both great and small, that I used the dumb
brutes gently and only asked in return that they do the same by me. But
how is one to communicate such humanitarian ideas to a big, stupid,
wilful, perverse, diabolical creature like a horse?

I was determined that when we started again we should not run over the
lawn if I could possibly prevent it. Therefore I had the groom head the
horse down the drive, and the moment he released him, I touched Dr. Bell
with the spurs. The result was magical. He started on a run but kept in
the road where I wanted him to be, giving me, for the moment, a sense of
having something almost like control over him. At the foot of the drive
was a gate which I knew could be opened without dismounting, by pulling
a rope, and as no horse, unless quite out of his mind, will deliberately
run into a gate, I had reason to hope that Dr. Bell would stop when he
got there. Imagine my feelings, then, when on sight of the gate he not
only failed to slacken his pace, but actually dashed at it faster than
ever. Within a few feet of the barrier he seemed to pause momentarily,
hunching himself in a peculiar and alarming manner: then he arose,
sailed through the air like a swallow, came down beyond like a load of
trunks falling off from a truck, and galloped down the highway,
seemingly quite indifferent to the fact that the stirrups were flapping
at his sides and that I had moved from the saddle to a point near the
base of his neck.

My position at the moment was one of considerable insecurity. By holding
on to his mane and wriggling backward I hoped to stay on, provided he
did not put down his head. If he did that, I was lost. Fortunately for
me, however, Dr. Bell did not realize with what ease he could have
dropped me at that moment, and by dint of cautious but eager gymnastics,
I managed to regain the saddle and the stirrups, although in doing so I
pricked him several times with the spurs, with the result that, though
he ran faster than ever for a time, he must have presently concluded
that I didn't care how fast he went; at all events, he slackened his
pace to a canter, from which, shortly, I managed to draw him down to a
trot and then to a walk.

I am glad to say that not until now had we met any vehicle. Even while
he was running, even while I was engaged in maintaining a precarious
seat upon his neck, I had found time to hope fervently that we should
not encounter an automobile. I was afraid that he would jump it if we
did.

Now, however, I saw a motor approaching. Dr. Bell saw it, too, and
pricked up his ears. Seizing the reins firmly in one hand, I waved with
the other, signalling to the motorist to stop, which he did, pulling out
into the ditch. Meanwhile I talked to Dr. Bell, patting him on the neck
and telling him to go on and not to be afraid, because it was all right.
Dr. Bell did go on. He went up to the front of the motor, past the side
of it, and on behind it, without showing the least sign of alarm. He did
not mind it at all. But the man in the motor minded. Annoyed with me for
having stopped him unnecessarily, he shouted something after me. But I
paid no attention to him. Under the circumstances, it seemed the only
thing to do. I might have gotten off; I might conceivably have beaten
him; but I never could have held the horse while doing it, or have
gotten on again.

Presently, when I was changing the position of the reins, which were
hurting my fingers because I had gripped them so tight, I accidentally
shifted the gears in some way, so to speak, sending Dr. Bell off at a
pace which was neither a trot nor a canter, but which carried us along
at a sort of smooth, rapid glide. At first I took this gait to be a
swift trot, and attempted to post to it; then, as that did not work, I
sat still in the saddle and, finding the posture comfortable, concluded
that Dr. Bell must be single-footing. I had never single-footed before.
Just as I was beginning to like it, however, he changed to a trot, then
back to single-footing again, and so on, in a curious puzzling manner.

Except for the changes of gait, we were now going on rather well, and I
had begun, for the first time, to feel a little security, when all of a
sudden he swerved off and galloped with me up a driveway leading toward
a white house which stood on a hill two or three hundred yards from the
road. Again I tried to stop him, but when I pulled on the reins he shook
his head savagely from side to side and snorted in a loud and
threatening manner.

As we neared the house I saw that two ladies were sitting on the porch
regarding our approach with interest. I hoped that Dr. Bell would find
some way of keeping on past the house and into the fields, but he had no
such intention. Instead of going by, he swung around the circle before
the porch, and stopped at the steps, upon which the two ladies were
sitting.

One of them was a white-haired woman of gentle mien; the other was a
girl of eighteen or twenty with pretty, mischievous eyes.

Both the ladies looked up inquiringly as Dr. Bell and I stopped.

I lifted my hat. It was the only thing I could think of to do at the
moment. At this they both nodded gravely. Then we sat and stared at one
another.

"Well?" said the old lady, when the silence had become embarrassing.

I felt that I must say something, so I remarked: "This is a very pretty
place you have here."

At this, though the statement was quite true, they looked perplexed.

"Is there any message?" asked the young woman, after another pause.

"Oh, no," I answered lightly. "I was riding by and thought I'd take the
liberty of coming up and telling you--telling you that although I am a
Northerner and a stranger here, I love the South, the quaint old
Southern customs, the lovely old houses, the delicious waffles, the--"

"That is very gratifying," said she "I am sorry to say we are all out of
waffles at present."

"Oh, I don't want any now," I replied politely.

"Well, if you don't mind my asking, what _do_ you want?"

"I want," I said, desperately, "to see your groom for a moment, if
possible."

"He's gone to town," she replied. "Is there anything I can do? I see
that your stirrup leather is twisted." With that she arose, came down,
removed my foot from the stirrup, in a businesslike manner, reversed the
iron, and put my foot back for me.

I thanked her.

"Anything else?" she asked, her wicked eye twinkling.

"Perhaps," I ventured, "perhaps you know how to make a horse
single-foot?"

"There are different ways," she said. "With Dr. Bell you might try using
the curb gently, working it from side to side."

"I will," I said. "Thank you very much."

"And," said the girl, "if he ever takes a notion to bolt with you, or to
go up to some house where you don't want him to go, just touch him with
the curb. That will fix him. He's very soft-bitted."

"But I tried that," I protested.

She looked at my reins, then shook her head.

"No," she said, "you've got your curb rein and your snaffle rein mixed."

"I am very much indebted to you," I said, as I changed the position of
the reins between my fingers.

"Not at all," said she. "I hope you'll get safely back to the Claymont.
If you want to jump him, give him his head. He'll take off all right."

"Thanks," I returned. "I don't want to jump him."

Then lifting my hat and thanking her again, I wiggled the curb gently
from side to side, as directed, and departed, singlefooting comfortably.

Dr. Bell and I got home very nicely. He wanted to jump the gate again,
but I checked him with the curb. After pulling the rope to open the gate
I must have got the reins mixed once more, for as I was nearing the
house, calm in the feeling that I had mastered the animal, and intent
upon cantering up to the porch in fine style, Dr. Bell swerved suddenly
off to the stable, went into the door, and, before I could stop him,
entered his stall.

There I dismounted in absolute privacy. It was quite easy. I had only to
climb on to the partition and drop down into the next stall, which, by
good fortune, was vacant.

With a single exception, this was the only riding I did in the South,
and on the one other occasion of which I speak I did not ride alone, but
had, surrounding me, the entire Eleventh United States Cavalry.




CHAPTER XIII

INTO THE OLD DOMINION


When two men are traveling together on an equal footing, and it becomes
necessary to decide between two rooms in a hotel, how is the decision to
be made? Which man is to take the big, bright corner room, and which the
little room that faces on the court and is fragrant of the bakery below?
Or again, which man shall occupy the lower berth in a Pullman
drawing-room, and which shall try to sleep upon the shelf-like couch? Or
when there is but one lower left, which shall take the upper? If an
extra kit bag be required for the use of both, who shall pay for it and
own it at the journey's end? Who shall pay for this meal and who for
that? Or yet again, if there be but one cheap heavy overcoat in a shop,
and both desire to own that coat, which one shall have the right of
purchase? Who shall tip the bell boy for bringing up the bags, or the
porter for taking down the trunks? Who shall take home from a dance the
girl both want to take, and who shall escort the unattractive one who
resides in a remote suburb?

Between two able-bodied men there is no uncomfortable complication of
politeness in such matters. On a brief journey there might be, but on a
long journey the thin veil of factitious courtesy is cast aside; each
wants his fair share of what is best and makes no pretense to the
contrary.

Upon our first long journey together, some years ago, my companion and I
established a custom of settling all such questions by matching coins,
and we have maintained this habit ever since. Upon the whole it has
worked well. We have matched for everything except railroad fares and
hotel bills, and though fortune has sometimes favored one or the other
for a time, I believe that, had we kept accounts, we should find
ourselves to-day practically even.

Our system of matching has some correlated customs. Now and then, for
instance, when one of us is unlucky and has been "stuck" for a series of
meals, the other, in partial reparation, will declare a "party."
Birthdays and holidays also call for parties, and sometimes there will
be a party for no particular reason other than that we feel like having
one.

Two of our parties on this journey have been given in the basement cafe
of the Shoreham Hotel in Washington. Both were supper parties. The first
I gave in honor of my companion, for the reason that we both like the
Shoreham cafe, and that a party seemed to be about due. That party
brought on the other, which occurred a few nights later and was given by
us jointly in honor of a very beautiful and talented young actress. And
this one, we agree, was, in a way, the most amusing of all the parties
we have had together.

It was early in the morning, when we were leaving the cafe after the
first party, that we encountered the lady who caused the second one. I
had never met her, but I was aware that my companion knew her, for he
talked about her in his sleep. She was having supper with a gentleman at
a table near the door, and had you seen her it would be unnecessary for
me to tell you that my companion stopped to speak to her, and that I
hung around until he introduced me.

After we had stood beside her, for a time, talking and gazing down into
her beautiful world-wise eyes, the gentleman with whom she was supping
took pity upon us, and upon the waiters, whose passageway we blocked,
and invited us to sit down.

It was doubly delightful to meet her there in Washington, for besides
being beautiful and celebrated, she had just come from New York and was
able to give us news of mutual friends, bringing us up to date on suits
for separation, alimony, and alienation of affections, on divorces and
remarriages, and all the little items one loses track of when one has
been away for a fortnight.

"I shall be playing in Washington all this week," she said as we were
about to leave. "I hope that we may see each other again."

Whom did she mean by "we"? True, she looked at my companion as she
spoke, but he was seated at one side of her and I at the other, and even
with such eyes as hers, she could not have looked at both of us at
once. Certainly the hope she had expressed was shared by me. _I_ hoped
that "we" might meet again, and it seemed to me desirable at the moment
that she should understand (and that my companion should be reminded)
that he and I were as Damon and Pythias, as Castor and Pollux, as
Pylades and Orestes, and all that sort of thing. Therefore I leaped
quickly at the word "we," and, before my companion had time to answer,
replied:

"I hope so too."

This brought her eyes to me. She looked surprised, I thought, but what
of that? Don't women like to be surprised? Don't they like men to be
strong, resolute, determined, like heroes in the moving pictures? Don't
they like to see a man handle matters with dash? I was determined to be
dashing.

"We are off to Virginia to-morrow morning," I continued. "We are going
to Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, and into the fox-hunting country.
If we can get back here Saturday night let's have a party."

I spoke of the hunting country debonairely. I did not care what she
thought my companion was going to the hunting country for, but I did not
wish her to think that I was going only to look on. On the contrary, I
desired her to suppose that I should presently be wearing a pair of
beautiful, slim-legged riding boots and a pink coat, and leaping a
thoroughbred mount over fences and gates. I wished her to believe me a
wild, reckless, devil of a fellow, and to worry throughout the week
lest I be killed in a fall from my horse, and she never see me
more--poor girl!

That she felt such emotions I have since had reason to doubt. However,
the idea of a party after the play on Saturday night seemed to appeal to
her, and it was arranged that my companion and I should endeavor to get
back to Washington after the Piedmont Hunt races, which we were to
attend on Saturday afternoon, and that if we could get back we should
telegraph to her.

We kept our agreement--but I shall come to that later.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next morning we took train for Fredericksburg.

The city manager who runs the town is a good housekeeper; his streets
are wide, pretty, and clean; and though there are many historic
buildings--including the home of Washington's mother and the house in
which Washington became a Mason--there are enough good new ones to give
the place a progressive look.

In the days of the State's magnificence Fredericksburg was the center
for all this part of northeastern Virginia, and particularly for the
Rappahannock Valley; and from pre-Revolutionary times, when tobacco was
legal tender and ministers got roaring drunk, down to the Civil War,
there came rolling into the town the coaches of the great plantation
owners of the region, who used Fredericksburg as a headquarters for
drinking, gambling, and business. Among these probably the most famous
was "King" Carter, who not only owned miles upon miles of land and a
thousand slaves, but was the husband of five (successive) Mrs. Carters.

Falmouth, a river town a mile above Fredericksburg, where a few
scattered houses stand to-day, was in early times a busy place. It is
said that the first flour mill in America stood there, and that one
Gordon, who made his money by shipping flour and tobacco direct from his
wharf to England, and bringing back bricks as ballast for his ships, was
the first American millionaire.

Besides having known intimately such historic figures as Washington,
Monroe, and Robert E. Lee, and having been the scene of sanguinary
fighting in the Civil War, the neighborhood of Fredericksburg boasts the
birth-place of a man of whom I wish to speak briefly here, for the
reason that he was a great man, that he has been partially overlooked by
history, and that it is said in the South that the fame which should
justly be his has been deliberately withheld by historians and
politicians for the sole reason that as a naval officer he espoused the
southern cause in the Civil War.

Every one who has heard of Robert Fulton, certainly every one who has
heard of S.F.B. Morse or Cyrus W. Field, ought also to have heard of
Matthew Fontaine Maury. But that is not the case. For myself, I must
confess that, until I visited Virginia, I was ignorant of the fact that
such a person had existed; nor have northern schoolboys, to whom I have
spoken of Maury, so much as heard his name. Yet there is no one living
in the United States, or in any civilized country, whose daily life is
not affected through the scientific researches and attainments of this
man.

Maury's claim to fame rests on his eminent services to navigation and
meteorology. If Humboldt's work, published in 1817, was the first great
contribution to meteorological science, it remained for Maury to make
that science exact.

While it is perhaps an exaggeration to say that Maury alone laid the
foundation for our present Weather Bureau, he certainly shares with
Professors Redfield, Espy, Loomis, Joseph Henry, Dr. Increase Lapham,
and others, the honor of having been one of the first to suggest the
feasibility of our present systematic storm warnings.

Maury was born in 1806. When nineteen years of age he secured a
midshipman's warrant, and, as there was no naval academy at Annapolis
then, was immediately assigned to a man-of-war. Within six years he was
master of an American war vessel. Before starting on a voyage to the
Pacific he sought information on the winds and currents, and finding
that it was not available, determined himself to gather it for general
publication. This he did, issuing a book upon the subject.

When a broken leg, the result of a stage-coach accident, caused his
retirement from active service at sea, he continued his studies, and, in
recognition of his services to navigation, was given charge of the Depot
of Charts and Instruments at Washington. There he found stored away the
log books of American naval vessels, and from the vast number of
observations they contained, began the compilation of the Wind and
Currents Charts known to all mariners.

A monograph on Maury, issued by N.W. Ayer & Son, of Philadelphia, says
of these charts:

"They were, at first, received with indifference and incredulity.
Finally, a Captain Jackson determined to trust the new chart absolutely.
As a result he made a round trip to Rio de Janeiro in the time often
required for the outward passage alone. Later, four clipper ships
started from New York for San Francisco, via Cape Horn. These vessels
arrived at their destination in the order determined by the degree of
fidelity with which they had followed the directions of Maury's charts.
The arrival of these ships in San Francisco marked, likewise, the
arrival of Maury's Wind and Currents Charts in the lasting favor of the
mariners of the world. The average voyage to San Francisco was reduced,
by use of the charts, from one hundred and eighty-three to one hundred
and thirty-five days, a saving of forty-eight days.

"Soon after this, the ship _San Francisco_, with hundreds of United
States troops on board, foundered in an Atlantic hurricane. The rumor
reached port that there was need of help. Maury was called upon to
indicate her probable location. He set to work to show where the wind
and currents would combine to place a helpless wreck, and marked the
place with a blue pencil. There the relief was sent, and there the
survivors of the wreck were found. From that day to this, Maury's word
has been accepted without challenge by the matter-of-fact men of the
sea.

"These charts, only a few in number, are among the most wonderful and
useful productions of the human mind. One of them combined the result of
1,159,353 separate observations on the force and direction of the wind,
and upward of 100,000 observations on the height of the barometer, at
sea. As the value of such observations was recognized, more of them were
made. Through the genius and devotion of one man, Commander Maury, every
ship became a floating observatory, keeping careful records of winds,
currents, limits of fogs, icebergs, rain areas, temperature, soundings,
etc., while every maritime nation of the world cooeperated in a work that
was to redound to the benefit of commerce and navigation, the increase
of knowledge, the good of all.

"In 1853, at the instance of Commander Maury, the United States called
the celebrated Brussels Conference for the cooeperation of nations in
matters pertaining to maritime affairs. At this conference, Maury
advocated the extension of the system of meteorological observation to
the land, thus forming a weather bureau helpful to agriculture. This he
urged in papers and addresses to the close of his life. Our present
Weather Bureau and Signal Service are largely the outcome of his
perception and advocacy."

Maury's "Physical Geography of the Sea," the work by which he is best
known, was published in 1855. He discovered, among other things, the
causes of the Gulf Stream, and the existence of the still-water plateau
of the North Atlantic which made possible the laying of the first cable.
Cyrus W. Field said, with reference to Maury's work in this connection:
"Maury furnished the brains, England gave the money, and I did the
work."

Maury was decorated by many foreign governments but not by his own.
Owing, it is said, to his having taken up the Confederate cause,
national honors were withheld from him, not only during the remainder of
his life, but until 1916, when one of the large buildings at the Naval
Academy--the establishment of which, by the way, Maury was one of the
first to advocate--was named for him, and Congress passed a bill
appropriating funds for the erection of a monument to the "Pathfinder of
the Sea," in Washington.

Maury died in 1873, one of the most loved and honored men in the State
of Virginia.

It is recorded that, near the end, he asked his son: "Am I dragging my
anchors?"

And when the latter replied in the affirmative, the father gave a brave
sailor's answer:

"All's well," he said.

       *       *       *       *       *

Across the river from Fredericksburg stands Chatham, the old Fitzhugh
house, one of the most charming of early Virginian mansions. Chatham was
built in 1728, and it is thought that the plans for it were drawn by
Sir Christopher Wren at the order of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and
sent by the latter to William Fitzhugh, who had been his classmate at
Eton and Oxford. Not only does the name of the house lend color to the
tale, but so do its proportions, which are very beautiful, reminding one
somewhat of those of Doughoregan Manor. Chatham, however, has the
advantage of being (as the Hon. Charles Augustus Murray wrote of it in
his quaint "Travels in North America," published in 1839) "situated on
an eminence commanding a view of the town, and of the bold, sweeping
course of the Rappahannoc." Murray also tells of the beautiful garden,
with its great box trees and its huge slave-built terraces, stepping
down to the water like a giant's stairway.

In this house my companion and I were guests, and as I won the toss for
the choice of rooms, mine was the privilege of sleeping in the historic
west bedchamber, the principal guest room, and of opening my eyes, in
the morning, upon a lovely wall all paneled in white-painted wood.

I shall always remember the delightful experience of awakening in that
room, so vast, dignified, and beautiful, and of lying there a little
drowsy, and thinking of those who had been there before me. This was the
room occupied by George and Martha Washington when they stopped for a
few days at Chatham on their wedding journey; this was the room occupied
by Madison, by Monroe, by Washington Irving, and by Robert E. Lee when
he visited Chatham and courted Mary Custis, who became his wife. And,
most wonderful of all to me, this was the room occupied by Lincoln when
he came to Fredericksburg to review the army, while Chatham was Union
headquarters, and the embattled Lee had headquarters in the old house
known as Brompton, still standing on Marye's Heights back of the river
and the town. It is said that Lee during the siege of Fredericksburg
never trained his guns on Chatham, because of his sentiment for the
place. As I lay there in the morning I wondered if Lee had been aware,
at the time, that Lincoln was under the roof of Chatham, and whether
Lincoln knew, when he slept in "my" room, that Washington and Lee had
both been there before him.

War, I thought, not only makes strange bedfellows, but strange
combinations in the histories of bedrooms.

Then the maid rapped for the second time upon my door, and though this
time I got up at once, my ruminations made me scandalously late for
breakfast.

After breakfast came the motor, which was to take us to the
battlefields, its driver a thin dry-looking, dry-talking man, with the
air of one a little tired of the story he told to tourists day in and
day out, yet conscientiously resolved to go through with it. Before the
huge cemetery which overlooks the site of the most violent fighting that
occurred in the bloody and useless Battle of Fredericksburg, he paused
briefly; then drove us to the field of Chancellorsville, to that of the
Battles of the Wilderness, and finally to the region of Spottsylvania
Courthouse; and at each important spot he stopped and told us what had
happened there. He knew all about the Civil War, that man, and he had a
way of passing out his information with a calm assumption that his
hearers knew nothing about it whatever. This irritated my companion, who
also knows all about the War, having once passed three days in the
neighborhood of a Soldiers' Home. Consequently he kept cutting in,
supplying additional details--such, for instance, as that Stonewall
Jackson, who died in a house which the driver pointed out, was shot by
some of his own men, who took him for a Yankee as he was returning from
a reconnaissance.

Either one of these competitive historians alone, I could have stood,
but the way they picked each other up, fighting the old-time battles
over again, got on my nerves. Besides, it was cold, and as I have taken
occasion to remark before, I do not like cold motor rides. Indeed, as I
think it over, it seems to me I do not like battlefields, either. At all
events, I became more and more morose as we traversed that bleak
Virginia landscape, and I am afraid that before the day was over I was
downright sulky.

As we drove back to Fredericksburg and to the train which was to take us
to Charlottesville, my companion made remarks of a general character
about people who were trivial minded, and who didn't take a proper
interest in the scenes of great historical occurrences. When he had
continued for some time in this vein, I remarked feebly that I loved to
read about battles; but that, far from mitigating his severity, only
caused him to change his theme. He said that physical laziness was a
terrible thing because it not only made the body soft but by degrees
softened the brain, as well. He said that when people didn't want to see
battlefields, preferring to lie in bed and read about them, that was a
sign of the beginning of the end.

On various occasions throughout the week he brought this subject up
again, and I was glad indeed when, as the time for our party with the
beautiful young actress, in Washington, drew near, he began to forget
about my shortcomings and think of more agreeable things.




CHAPTER XIV

CHARLOTTESVILLE AND MONTICELLO


When Virginians speak of "the university," they do not mean Harvard,
Princeton, Yale, or even Washington and Lee, but always the University
of Virginia, which is at Charlottesville.

The city of Charlottesville, in its downtown parts, is no more and no
less dingy and dismal than many another town of six or seven thousand
inhabitants, be it North or South. It has a long main street, lined with
little shops and moving-picture shows, and the theatrical posters which
thrill one at first sight with hopes of evening entertainment, prove, on
inspection, to have survived long after the "show" they advertise has
come and gone, or else to presage the "show" that is coming for one
night, week after next.

Nor is this scarcity of theatrical entertainment confined alone to small
towns of the South. Not all important stars and important theatrical
productions visit even the largest cities, for the South is not regarded
by theatrical managers as particularly profitable territory. It would be
interesting to know whether anaemia of the theater in the South, as well
as the falling off generally of theatergoing in lesser American
cities--usually attributed to the popularity and cheapness of the
"movies"--is not due in large measure to the folly of managers
themselves in sending out inferior companies. Any one who has seen a
theatrical entertainment in New York and seen it later "on the road" is
likely to be struck by the fact that even the larger American cities do
not always get the full New York cast, while smaller cities seldom if
ever get any part of it. The South suffers particularly in this respect.
The little "river shows," which arrive now and then in river towns, and
which are more or less characteristic of the South, have the excuse of
real picturesqueness, however bad the entertainment given, for the
players live and have their theater on flatboats, which tie up at the
wharf. But the plain fact about the ordinary little southern "road show"
is that it does not deserve to make money.

The life of a poor player touring the South must be very wretched, for
generally, excepting in large cities, hotels are poor. Before we had
gone far upon our way, my companion and I learned to inquire carefully
in advance as to the best hotels, and when we found in any small city
one which was not a fire trap, and which was clean, we were surprised,
while if the service was fairly good, and the meals were not very bad,
we considered it a matter for rejoicing.

We were advised to stop, in Charlottesville, at the New Gleason, and
when we alighted at the dingy old brick railroad station--a station
quite as unprepossessing as that at New Haven, Connecticut--we began to
feel that all was not for the best. A large gray horse hitched to the
hack in which we rode to the Gleason evidently felt the same, for at
first he balked, and later tried to run away.

The hotel lobby was a perfect example of its kind. There were several
drummers writing at the little desks, and several more sitting idly in
chairs adjacent to brass cuspidors. All of them looked despondent with a
despondency suggesting pie for breakfast. Behind the desk was a
sleepy-looking old clerk who, as we arrived, was very busy over a
financial transaction involving change of ownership in a two-cent stamp.
This enterprise concluded, he assigned us rooms.

Never have I wished to win the toss for rooms as I wished it when I saw
the two allotted to us, for though the larger one could not by a flight
of fancy be termed cheerful, the sight of the lesser chamber filled me
with thoughts of madness.

Of course I lost.

Never shall I forget that room. It was too small to accommodate my
trunks with any comfort, so I left them downstairs with the porter,
descending, now and then, to get such articles as I required. The
furniture, what there was of it, was of yellow pine; the top of the
dresser was scarred with the marks of many glasses and many bottles; the
lace window curtains were long, hard and of a wiry stiffness, and the
wall-paper was of a scrambled pattern all in bilious brown. During the
evening I persuaded my companion to walk with me through the town, and
once I got him out I kept him going on and on through shadowy streets
unknown to us, until, exhausted, he insisted upon returning to our
hostelry. I fancy that there are picturesque old houses on the outskirts
of the town, but with that wall paper and a terrible nostalgia occupying
my mind, I was in no state to judge of what was there.

On reaching the hotel my companion went to bed, but I remained until
late in the office, writing letters, doing anything rather than go up to
my room. When at last I did ascend I planned to read, but the
arrangement of the light was bad, so presently I put it out and lay
there sleepless and miserable, thinking of foolish things that I have
said and done during a life rich with such items, and having chills and
fever over each separate recollection. How I drifted off to sleep at
last I do not know; all I remember is waking up next morning, leaping
out of bed and dressing in frantic haste to get out of my room. There
was but one thing in it which did not utterly offend the eye: that was
the steam pipe which ascended from floor to ceiling at one corner, and
which, being a simple, honest metal tube, was not objectionable.

As we passed through the office on our way to breakfast, the bus man
entered, and in a loud, retarded chant proclaimed: "Train for the
South!"

The impressive tones in which this announcement was delivered seemed to
call for a sudden stir, a rush for bags and coats, a general exodus,
but no one in the office moved, and I remember feeling sorry for the bus
man as he turned and went out in the midst of a crushing anti-climax.

"I wonder," I said to my companion, "if anybody ever gets up and goes
when that man calls out the trains."

"I don't believe so," he replied. "I don't think he calls trains for any
such purpose. He only warns people so they will expect to hear the
train, and not be frightened when it goes through."

       *       *       *       *       *

Thomas Jefferson is most widely remembered, I suppose, as the author of
the Declaration of Independence, the third President, the purchaser of
Louisiana, and the unfortunate individual upon whom the Democratic party
casts the blame for its existence, precisely as the Republican party
blames itself on Washington and Lincoln--although the lamentable state
into which both parties have fallen is actually the fault of living men.

It is significant, however, that of this trio of Jeffersonian items,
Jefferson himself selected but one to be included in the inscription
which he wrote for his tombstone--a modest obelisk on the grounds at
Monticello. The inscription mentions but three of his achievements: the
authorship of the Declaration, that of the Virginia statute for
religious freedom, and the fact that he was "Father of the University of
Virginia."

Regardless of other accomplishments, the man who built the university
and the house at Monticello was great. It is more true of these
buildings than of any others I have seen that they are the
autobiography, in brick and stone, of their architect. To see them, to
see some of the exquisitely margined manuscript in Jefferson's clean
handwriting, preserved in the university library, and to read the
Declaration, is to gain a grasp of certain sides of Jefferson's nature
which can be achieved in no other way.

Monticello stands on a lofty hilltop, with vistas, between trees, of
neighboring valleys, hills, and mountains. It is a supremely lovely
house, unlike any other, and, while it is too much to say that one would
recognize it as the house of the writer of the Declaration, it is not
too much to say that, once one does know it, one can trace a clear
affinity resulting from a common origin--an affinity much more apparent,
by the way, than may be traced between the work of Michelangelo on St.
Peter's at Rome, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and in his
"David."

The introductory paragraph to the Declaration ascends into the body of
the document as gracefully and as certainly as the wide flights of easy
steps ascend to the doors of Monticello; the long and beautifully
balanced paragraph which follows, building word upon word and sentence
upon sentence into a central statement, has a form as definite and
graceful as that of the finely proportioned house; the numbered
paragraphs which follow, setting forth separate details, are like rooms
within the house, and--I have just come upon the coincidence with a
pleasant start such as might be felt by the discoverer of some complex
and important cipher--as there are twenty-seven of the numbered
paragraphs in the Declaration, so there are twenty-seven rooms in
Monticello. Last of all there are two little phrases in the Declaration
(the phrases stating that we shall hold our British brethren in future
as we hold the rest of mankind--"enemies in war; in peace, friends"),
which I would liken to the small twin buildings, one of them Jefferson's
office, the other that of the overseer, which stand on either side of
the lawn at Monticello, at some distance from the house. These office
buildings face, and balance upon each other, and upon the mansion, but
they are so much smaller that to put them there required daring, while
to make them "compose" (as painters say) with the great house, required
the almost superhuman sense of symmetry which Jefferson assuredly
possessed.

The present owner of Monticello is Mr. Jefferson Monroe Levy, former
United States congressman from New York. Mr. Levy is a Democrat and a
bachelor, according to the Congressional Directory, which states further
that he inherited Monticello from an uncle, Commodore Uriah P. Levy,
U.S.N., and that the latter purchased the place in 1830 "at the
suggestion of President Jackson."

Dorothy Dix, writing in "Good Housekeeping," tells a tale which I have
heard repeatedly of the acquisition of Monticello by Uriah Levy. Says
Miss Dix:

"Monticello was sold to a stranger, and Jefferson's only daughter, Mrs.
Randolph, widowed and with eleven children, was left homeless.... A
subscription of three thousand dollars was raised ... to buy back the
house ... and this money was intrusted to a young relative of the
Jeffersons' to convey to Charlottesville. Traveling in the stagecoach
with the young man was Captain Uriah P. Levy, to whom he confided his
mission. The young man became intoxicated and dallied, but Captain Levy
hastened on to Charlottesville, and purchased Monticello for two
thousand five hundred dollars. The next day the repentant and sober
young man arrived and besought Captain Levy to take the three thousand
dollars ... and let Monticello go back to the Jefferson family. Captain
Levy refused to part with his bargain, but at his death he willed
Monticello to 'the people of the United States to be held as a memorial
of Thomas Jefferson'.... The Levy heirs contested the will, and it was
finally decided upon a technicality that 'the people of the United
States' was too indefinite a term to make the bequest binding, and the
estate passed into the hands of the Levys, and so to its present
owner...."

In a biographical note upon the latter, the Congressional Directory
states that the house is "kept open to the public all the year." My
companion and I were admitted to the grounds, but were informed that,
though the building was unoccupied, no one was permitted to enter. While
we were in the vicinity of the house we were attended by one of the men
employed on the place, who told us that when people were allowed to
roam about at will, there had been much vandalism; ivy had been pulled
from the walls, shrubbery broken, pieces of brick chipped out of the
steps, and teeth knocked from the heads of the marble lions which flank
them.

Of recent years there has been on foot a movement, launched, I believe,
by Mrs. Martin W. Littleton, of New York, to influence the Government to
purchase Monticello from its present owner. It is difficult to see
precisely how Mr. Levy could be forced to part with his property, if he
did not wish to. Nevertheless public sentiment on this subject has
become so strong that he has agreed to let the Government have
Monticello "at a price"--so, at least, I was informed in
Charlottesville.




CHAPTER XV

THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

     The opening of the University of Virginia was an event of prime
     importance for the higher education in the whole country, and
     really marks a new era.

     --CHARLES FORSTER SMITH.


Like Monticello, the buildings of the University of Virginia are those
of an intellectual, a classicist, a purist, and, like it, they might
have been austere but for the warmth of their red brick and the glow of
their white-columned porticos. But they are cheerful buildings, which,
individually and as a group, attain a geometrical yet soft perfection, a
supreme harmony of form and color.

The principal buildings are grouped about a large campus, called the
Lawn, which is dominated by the rotunda, suggesting in its outlines the
Pantheon at Rome. From the rotunda, at either side, starts a
white-columned arcade connecting the various houses which are
distributed at graceful intervals along the margins of the rectangular
lawn, above which loom the tops of even rows of beautiful old trees.
Flanking the buildings of the lawn, and reached by brick walks which
pass between the famous serpentine walls (walls but one brick thick
which support themselves on the snake-fence principle, by progressing in
a series of reverse curves), are the "ranges": solid rows of one-story
student dormitories built of brick and fronted by colonnades which
command other lawns and other trees.

With a single exception, restorations and additions to the university
have been made with reverence and taste, and the Brooks Museum, the one
architectural horror of the place, fortunately does not stand upon the
lawn. Since it is said that beauty could not exist were there not
ugliness for contrast, this building may have its uses; certainly, after
a glance at it, one looks back with renewed delight at the structures of
the central group.

Most superb of all, always there hangs at night, above the buildings and
the tree-tops, a glorious full moon. At least I suppose it always hangs
there, for though it seemed to us very wonderful, every one else seemed
used to it.

Like Venice, the University of Virginia should first be seen by
moonlight. There could not have been a finer moonlit night, I thought,
than that cold, crisp one upon which my companion stood for two hours
beside the rotunda, gazing at the lawn and drawing it, its frosty grass
and trees decked with diamonds, its white columns standing out softly
from their shadow backgrounds like phosphorescent ghosts in the luminous
blue darkness. Until I was nearly frozen I stayed there with him. That
drawing cost him one of the worst colds he ever had.

The university ought to have, and has, many traditions, and life there
ought to be, and is, different from life in any other college. Jefferson
brought from Italy the men who carved the capitals of the columns (the
descendants of some of these Italian workmen live in Charlottesville
to-day), and when the columns were in place he brought from Europe the
professors to form the faculty, creating what was practically a small
English university in the United States. Never until, a dozen years ago,
Dr. E.A. Alderman became president, had there been such an office;
before that time the university had a rector, and the duties of
president were performed by a chairman of the faculty, elected by the
faculty from among its members. This was the first university to adopt
the elective system, permitting the students, as Jefferson wrote,
"uncontrolled choice in the lectures they shall attend," instead of
prescribing one course of reading for all. No less important, the
University of Virginia was the first college to introduce (1842) the
honor system, and still has the most complete honor system to be found
among American colleges. This system is an outgrowth of the Jeffersonian
idea of student self-government; under it each student signs, with
examination papers, a pledge that he has neither given nor received
assistance. That is found sufficient; students are not watched, nor need
they be. With time this system has been extended, so that it now covers
not only examinations, but many departments of college life, eliminating
professionalism in athletics and plagiarism in literary work, and
resulting in a delightful mutual confidence between the student body and
the faculty.

Madison and Monroe were active members of the university's first board
of visitors; the first college Y.M.C.A. was started there; and among
many famous men who have attended the university may be mentioned Edgar
Allan Poe, Thomas Nelson Page, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson, whose name
appears thus upon the "University Magazine" for 1879-80, as one of its
three editors. The ill-starred Poe attended the university for only one
year, at the end of which time his adopted father, Mr. Allan, of
Richmond, withdrew him because of debts he had contracted while
acquiring his education in gambling and drinking champagne. Poe's former
room, No. 13 West Range, is now the office of the magazine.

The clean, lovely manuscript in Jefferson's handwriting, of the first
Anglo-Saxon grammar written in the United States, is to be seen in the
university library; Jefferson was Vice-President of the United States
when he wrote it; he put Anglo-Saxon in the first curriculum of the
university, and it has been taught there ever since. In a note which is
a part of the manuscript, he advocates the study of Anglo-Saxon as an
introduction to modern English on the ground that though about half the
words in our present language are derived from Latin and Greek, these
being the scholarly words, the other half, the words we use most often,
are Anglo-Saxon.

Before the war it was not uncommon for students at the university to
have their negro body servants with them, and it has occasionally
happened since that some young sprig of southern aristocracy has come
to college thus attended.

Perhaps the most striking and characteristic feature of student life
to-day, from the point of view of the stray visitor, is the formal
attitude of students toward one another. There is no easy-going
casualness between them, no calling back and forth, no "hello," by way
of greeting. They pass each other on the walks either without speaking
(men have been punished at the university by being ignored by the entire
student body), or if they do greet each other the customary salutation
is "How are you, sir?" or "How are you, gentlemen?" First-year men are
expected to wear hats, and not to speak to upper classmen until they
have been spoken to; and, though there is no hazing at the university,
woe betide them if they do not heed these rules.

In the early days of the university there was an effort to exercise
restraint over students, to make them account for their goings and
comings, and to prevent their going to taverns or betting upon horse
races. Also they were obliged to wear a uniform. The severity was so
great that they appealed to Jefferson, who sided with them. He, however,
died in the same year, and friction prevailed for perhaps a decade
longer, with many student disorders, culminating in the shooting of a
professor by a student. In 1840 the students were at last granted full
freedom, and two years later the honor system was adopted.

During the university's first years young men from the far South, where
dueling was especially prevalent, did not come in large numbers to the
University of Virginia, but went, as a rule, to the northern colleges,
but about the middle of the century, as feeling between North and South
over taxation, States' Rights and slavery became more acute, these men
began to flock to the college at Charlottesville. Between 1850 and 1860
the university almost doubled in size, and at about the same time there
developed a good deal of dueling between students.

When the War ended many men who had gone into the Confederate army at
sixteen or seventeen years of age came to Charlottesville to complete
their education. The hard life of the army had made some of these into a
wild lot, and there was a great deal of gambling and drinking during
their time, and also after it, for several succeeding generations of
students looked up to the ex-soldiers as heroes, and carried on the
unfortunate traditions left by them at the university. In the nineties,
however, a change came, and though there is still some drinking and
gambling, it is doubtful whether such vices are now more prevalent at
the University of Virginia than at many other colleges. The honor system
has never been extended to cover these points.

It is related that, in Poe's time, gambling became such a serious
obstacle to discipline and work that the university authorities set the
town marshal after a score or so of gambling students, Poe among them,
whereupon these students fled to the Ragged Mountains, near by, and
remained for two weeks, during which time Poe is said to have mightily
entertained them with stories and prophecies, including a forecast of
the Civil War, in which, he declared, two of the youths present would
fight on opposite sides.

The Poe tradition is kept vigorously alive at the university. Not long
ago a member of the Raven Society, one of the rather too numerous
student organizations, discovered the burial place of Poe's mother, who
was an actress, and who died penniless in Richmond at the age of
twenty-four and was buried with the destitute. By a happy inspiration a
fund was raised among the students for the erection of a monument to
her--an example of fine and chivalrous sentiment on the part of these
young men, which, one feels, is somehow delicately intertwined with the
traditions of the honor system.

The Poe professor of English at the university, when we were there, was
Dr. C. Alphonso Smith, who has since taken the professorship of English
at the United States Naval Academy. By a coincidence which has proved a
happy one for those who love the stories of the late Sidney Porter (O.
Henry), Dr. Smith grew up as a boy with Porter, in Greensboro, North
Carolina. Because of this, and also because of Dr. Smith's own gifts as
a writer and an analyst, it is peculiarly fitting that he should have
undertaken the work which has occupied him for several years past, the
result of which has recently been given to us in the form "The O. Henry
Biography."

Dr. Smith was Roosevelt exchange professor at the University of Berlin
in 1910-11, holding the chair of American History and Institutions.
While occupying that professorship he met the Kaiser.

"I talked with him twice," he said, "and upon the second occasion under
very delightful circumstances, for I was invited to dinner at the Palace
at Potsdam, and was the only guest, the Kaiser, Kaiserin, and Princess
Victoria Luise being present.

"The Kaiser is, of course, a very magnetic man. His eyes are his most
remarkable feature. They are very large, brilliant, and sparkling, and
he rolls them in a manner most unusual. While he is always the king and
the soldier, he can be genial and charming. One might expect a man in
his position to be blase, but that, most of all, is what he is not. He
is like a boy in his vitality and vividness, and he has a great and
persistent intellectual curiosity. It is this, I think, which used to
cause him to be compared with Colonel Roosevelt. Both would like to know
all things, and both have had, and have exercised more, perhaps, than
any other two living men, the power to bring to themselves the central
figures in all manner of world events, and thus learn at first hand,
from acknowledged authorities, about the subjects that interest
them--which is to say, everything.

"He frankly admired America. I don't mean that he said so for the sake
of courtesy to me, but that he has--or did have, then--an immense and
rather romantic interest in this country. A great many Germans used to
resent this trait in him. America held in his mind the same romantic
position that the idea of monarchy did in the minds of some of us. I
mean that the average American went for romance to stories of monarchy,
but that the Kaiser, being used to the monarchial idea, found his
romance over here. (I am, of course, speaking of him as he was five or
six years ago.) He wished to come to America, but was never able to do
so, since German law forbids it. And, perhaps because he could not come,
America was the more a sort of dream to him.

"He asked me about some of the things in Berlin which I had noticed as
being different from things at home, and when I mentioned the way that
history was kept alive in the very streets of Berlin, his eyes danced,
and he said that was one of the things he had tried to accomplish by the
erection of the numerous monuments which have been placed in Berlin
during his reign. He told me of other means by which history was kept
alive in Germany: among them that every officer has to know in detail
the history of his regiment, and that German regiments always celebrate
the anniversaries of their great days.

"He speaks English without an accent, though we might say that he spoke
it with an English accent. He told me that he had learned English before
he learned German, and had also caused his children to learn it first.
He reads Mark Twain, or had read him, and he enjoyed him, but he said
that when he met Mark Twain the latter had little or nothing to say, and
that it was only with the greatest difficulty that he got him to talk at
all. He subscribed, he told me, to 'Harper's Magazine,' and he was in
the habit of reading short stories aloud to his family, in English. He
admired the American short story, and I remember that he declared: 'The
Americans know how to plunge into a short story. We Germans are too
long-winded.'"

When Professor Smith talks about the Kaiser, you say to yourself: "I
know that it is growing late, but I cannot bear to leave until I have
heard the rest of this"; when he drifts presently to O. Henry, you say
the same; and so it is always, no matter what his subject. At last,
however, the grandfather's clock in the hall below his study sends up a
stern message which is not to be mistaken, whereupon you arise
reluctantly from your comfortable chair, spill the cigar ashes out of
your lap onto the rug, dust off your clothing, and take your leave. Nor
is your regret at departing lessened by the fact that you must go to
your bilious-colored bedroom in the New Gleason, and that you will not
see the university, or Professor C. Alphonso Smith, or Mrs. Smith again,
because you are leaving upon the morrow.

So it must always be with the itinerant illustrator and writer. They are
forever finding new and lovely scenes only to leave them; forever making
new and charming friends only to part with them, faring forth again into
the unknown.




CHAPTER XVI

FOX-HUNTING IN VIRGINIA

    Better to hunt in fields for health unbought
    Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.
    The wise for cure on exercise depend;
    God never made his work for man to mend.

    --DRYDEN.


It is my impression that the dining-car conductor on the Chesapeake &
Ohio train by which we left Charlottesville was puzzled when I asked his
name; but if he sees this and remembers the incident he will now know
that I did so because I wished here to mention him as a humane citizen.
His name is C.G. Mitchell, and he was so accommodating as to serve a
light meal, after hours, when he did not have to, to two hungry men who
needed it. If travel has taught my companion and me anything, it has
taught us that not all dining-car conductors are like that. Nor, I
judge, can all dining-car conductors play the violin, pleasantly, in off
hours, as does Mr. Mitchell. Better one merciful dining-car conductor
than twenty who wear white carnations at their left lapels, but wear no
hearts below them!

The road by which we drove from the railroad into the fastnesses of
Loudon County, where, near the little settlement of Upperville, the race
meet of the Piedmont Hunt was to be held, suggested other times and
other manners, for though we rode in a motor car, and though we passed
another now and then, machines were far outnumbered by the horses which,
under saddle, or hitched to buggies, surreys, and carts of all
descriptions, were heading toward the meeting place.

On these roads, one felt, the motor was an outsider; this was the
kingdom of the horse that we were visiting; soft dirt roads were there
for him to trot and gallop on, and fences of wood or stone, free from
barbed wire, were everywhere, for him to jump.

Throughout the week we had looked forward to this day, and even more,
perhaps, to the party which, if we could get back to Washington that
night, was to follow it; wherefore the first thing we did on reaching a
place where information was obtainable was to inquire about facilities
for leaving. Herein my companion had the advantage of me, for there was
nothing to prevent his departing immediately after the races, whereas I
must remain behind for an hour or two, to learn something of fox-hunting
as practised in this region.

By motoring immediately after the races to a neighboring town--Bluemont
if I remember rightly--and there taking an interurban trolley to some
other place, and changing cars, and going without his dinner, my
companion found that he could get to Washington by nine o'clock. My case
was different. Should I be delayed more than two hours I could not get
away at all that night, but must miss the much anticipated party
altogether; and, though my companion seemed to view this possibility
with perfect equanimity, my memories of the charming lady whom we were
to meet at the stage door, after the performance, were too clear to
permit of indifference in me. The trolley my companion meant to catch
was, however, the last one; my only hope, therefore, was to motor a
distance of perhaps a dozen miles, over roads which I was frankly told
were "middling to bad," and try to catch a train at The Plains station.
If I missed this train, I was lost, and must spend a solitary night in
such a room as I might be able to find in a strange village. That
possibility did not appeal to me. I began to wish that there was no such
thing as fox-hunting, or that, there being such a thing, I had chosen to
ignore it.

"Now," said my companion cheerfully, "we'll telegraph her."

At a telegraph office he seized the pencil and wrote the following
message:

     _Will call for you to-night after performance._

To this he signed his own name.

"What about me?" I suggested, after glancing over his shoulder at the
message.

"Oh, well," said he, "there's no use in going into all that in a
telegram. It's sufficient to let her know that one of us is coming."

"But I proposed this party."

"Well," he gave in, with an air of pained patience, "what shall I say,
then? Shall I add that you are unavoidably detained?"

"Not by a jugful!" I returned. "Add that I hope to get there too, and
will make every effort to do so."

He wrote it out, sighing as he did so. Then, by careful cutting, he got
it down to fourteen words. By that time the operator couldn't read it,
so he wrote it out again--gloomily.

This accomplished, we matched coins to see who should pay for the
message. He lost.

"All right!" he said. "I'll pay for it, but it's all foolishness to send
such a long telegram."

"No," I returned, as we left the office and got into the machine, "it is
not foolishness. If I can make life a little brighter for a beautiful
woman, by adding a few words to a telegram, and sticking you for it, I
shall do it every time."

He looked away over the fields and did not answer me. So we drove on in
silence to where stands the beautiful manor house called Huntland, which
is the residence of Mr. Joseph B. Thomas, M.F.H. of the Piedmont Hunt.

There is, I have been told, no important hunt in the United States in
which the master of foxhounds is not the chief financial supporter, the
sport being a very costly one. Of American hunts, the Middlesex, in
Massachusetts, of which Mr. A. Henry Higginson is M.F.H., has the
reputation of being the best appointed. The Piedmont Hunt is, however,
one of the half dozen leading organizations of the kind, and it is
difficult indeed to imagine a finer.

In a well-kept park near Mr. Thomas's house stand extensive
English-looking buildings of brick and stucco, which, viewed from a
distance, suggest a beautiful country house, and which, visited, teach
one that certain favored hounds and horses in this world live much
better than certain human beings. One building is given over to the
kennels, the other the stables; each has a large sunlit court, and each
is as beautiful and as clean as a fine house--a house full of trophies,
hunting equipment, and the pleasant smell of well-cared-for saddlery. In
a rolling meadow, not far distant, is the race course, all green turf,
and here, soon after luncheon, gathered an extraordinary diversified
crowd.

For the most part the crowd was a fashionable one: men and women of the
type whose photographs appear in "Vogue" and "Vanity Fair," and whose
costumes were like fashion suggestions for "sport clothes" in those
publications. One party was stationed on the top of an old-time mail
coach, the boot of which bore the significant initials
"F.F.V."--standing, as even benighted Northerners must be aware, for
"First Families of Virginia"; others were in a line of motors and
heterogeneous horse-drawn vehicles, parked beside the course; and
scattered through the gathering, like brushmarks on an impressionist
canvas, one saw the brilliant color of pink coats. Handsome hunters
were being ridden or led about by negro grooms, and others kept
arriving, ridden in by farmers and breeders, while here and there one
saw a woman rider, her hair tightly drawn back under a mannish derby
hat, her figure slender and graceful in a severely-cut habit coat.
Jumbled together in a great green meadow under a sweet autumnal sun,
these things made a picture of what, I am persuaded, is the ultimate in
extravagant American country life. There was something, too, about this
blending of fashionables and farmers, which made me think of the
theater; for there is, in truth, a distinct note of histrionism about
many of the rich Americans who "go in for" elaborate ruralness, and
there is a touch of it very often, also, about "horsey" people. They
like to "look the part," and they dress it with no less care than they
exercise, at other seasons, in dressing the parts of opera-going
cosmopolites, or wealthy loungers at the beaches. In other words, these
fashionables had the overtrained New York look all over them, and the
local rustics set them off as effectively as the villainous young squire
of the Drury Lane melodrama is set off by contrast with honest old
Jasper, the miller, who wears a smock, and comes to the Great House to
beg the Young Master to "make an honest woman" of poor Rose, the fairest
lass in all Hampshire.

About the races themselves there was something fascinatingly
nonprofessional. They bore the same relation to great races on great
tracks that a very fine performance of a play by amateurs might bear to
a professional performance.

First came a two-mile steeplechase, with brush hurdles. Then, after a
couple of minor events, a four-mile point-to-point race for hunters
ridden by gentlemen in hunt uniform. This was as stiff a race for both
horses and riders as I have ever seen, and it was very picturesque to
watch the pink coats careering up hill and down dale, now over a tall
stone wall, now over a brook or a snake fence; and when a rider went
head over heels, and lay still upon the ground where he fell, while his
horse cantered along after the field, in that aimless and pathetic way
that riderless horses have, one had a real sensation--which was the
pleasanter for knowing, a few minutes later, that the horseman had only
broken an arm.

Next was run a rollicking race for horses owned by farmers, and others,
whose land is hunted over by the Piedmont and Middleburg foxhounds; and
last occurred a great comedy event--a mule race, free for all, in which
one of the hunting men, in uniform, made such a handsome showing against
a rabble of white and colored boys, all of them yelling, all of them
beating their long-eared animals with sticks, that he would have won,
had he not deliberately pulled his mount and "thrown" the race.

The last event was not yet finished when my companion, who had become
nervous about his interurban trolley, got into a machine to drive to
Bluemont.

"Of course," he said as we parted, "we'll miss you to-night."

"Oh," I said, "I hope not. I expect to get there."

"I don't see how you can make it," said he. "You have a lot of material
to gather."

"I shall work fast."

"Well," said he, trying to speak like the voice of Conscience, "I hope
you won't forget your _duty_--that's all."

"I proposed this party to-night. It is my duty to be there."

"You didn't make any definite engagement," said he, "and, besides, your
first duty is to your editors and your readers."

Having tossed me this disgusting thought, he departed in a cloud of
dust, leaving me sad and alone, but not yet altogether in despair.

The last race over, I hastened to Mr. Thomas's house, which, by this
time, looked like an old English hunting print come to life, for it was
now crowded with pink coats. For most of the technical information
contained in this chapter I am indebted to various gentlemen whom I
encountered there.

In Virginia--which is the oldest fox-hunting State in the Union, the
sport having been practised there for nearly two centuries--the words
"hunt" or "hunting" never by any chance apply to shooting, but always
refer to hunting the fox with horse and hounds. A "hunter" is not a man
but a horse; a huntsman is not a member of the hunt but a hunt-servant;
the "field" may be the terrain ridden over by the hunt, or it may be
the group of riders following the hounds--"hunt followers," "hunting
men," and "hunting women."

The following items, from "Baily's Hunting Directory," a British annual,
give some idea of certain primary formalities and practicalities of
hunting:

     HINTS TO BEGINNERS

     Buy the best horses you can afford; but remember that a workably
     sound horse, though blemished or a bit gone in the wind, will give
     you plenty of fun, if you do not knock him about.

     Obey the Master's orders without argument; in the field he is
     supreme.

     Hold up your hat if you view the fox away; do not halloa. If none
     of the hunt servants see your uplifted hat, go and tell the nearest
     of them.

     Ride fast at water; if hounds clear a brook a horse has a good
     chance of doing so. Steady your horse and let him take his own pace
     at big timber.

     Keep well away from hounds, and down wind of them at a check. The
     steam from heated horses adds a fresh difficulty to recovery of
     lost scent. Look out for signs that may indicate the whereabouts or
     passing of the fox. Huddling sheep, staring cattle, chattering
     magpies, circling rooks, may mean that they see, or have just seen,
     the fox.

     Never lark over fences; it tires your horse needlessly and may
     cause damage and annoy the farmer.

     Never take a short cut through a covert that is likely to be drawn
     during the day; and keep well away from a covert that hounds are
     drawing if you start for home before the day's sport is over, lest
     you head the fox.

     Always await your turn at a gate or gap; do not try and push
     forward in a crowd.

     If you follow a pilot, do not "ride in his pocket"; give him plenty
     of room, say fifteen lengths, at fences, or if he falls you might
     jump on him.

     If your horse kicks, tie a knot of red ribbon in his tail. N.B.--Do
     not be guilty of using this "rogue's badge" for the sake of getting
     room in a crowd, as some men have been known to do.

     If a man is down and in danger of being kicked, put your own saddle
     over his head.


     HINTS CONCERNING THE HUNTER

     It should be remembered that in the ordinary routine the horse is
     fed three or four times a day. On a hunting day he gets one good
     feed early in the morning and loses one or two feeds. Moreover, he
     is doing hard work for hours together, with a weight on his back.
     Carry a couple of forage biscuits in your pocket to give him during
     the day. Also get off and relieve him of your weight when you can
     do so.

     When he is brought home, put him in his stall or box, slack the
     girths, take off the bridle and give him his gruel at once. Throw a
     rug over his loins and pull his ears for a minute or two.

     An old horse needs more clothing than a young one.

     Condition is a matter of seasons, not of months; a horse in hard
     condition can take without injury a fall that would disable a soft
     one for weeks.

In old times many of Virginia's country gentlemen kept their own packs,
but though some followed the hounds according to the English tradition,
there developed a less sportsmanlike style of hunting called
"hilltopping," under which the hunting men rode to an elevated point and
watched the hounds run the fox, without themselves attempting to follow
across country and be in at the kill. As a result, the fox was, if
caught, torn to pieces by the hounds, and the brush and head were
infrequently saved.

Under the traditions of English fox-hunting--traditions the strictness
of which can hardly be exaggerated--"hilltopping" is a more than
doubtful sport, and, since organized fox-hunting in the United States is
taken entirely from the English idea, the practice is tabooed on
first-class hunting regions.

The origin of hilltopping is, however, easily understood. The old
fox-hunters simply did not, as a rule, have horses adequate to negotiate
the country, hunters not having been developed to any great extent in
America in early times.

The perfect type of hunter is of thoroughbred stock. By the term
"thoroughbred" horsemen do not mean highly bred horses of any kind, as
is sometimes supposed, but only running horses. All such horses come
originally of British stock, for it is in Great Britain that the breed
has been developed, although it traces back, through a number of
centuries, to a foundation of Arabian blood. I am informed that climatic
and other conditions in a certain part of Ireland are for some reason
peculiarly favorable to the development of hunters and that these
conditions are duplicated in the Piedmont section of Virginia, and
nowhere else in the whole world. Only the stanchest, bravest, fastest
type of horse is suited for hunting in Virginia, and for this reason the
more experienced riders to hounds prefer the thoroughbred, though
half-bred and three-quarter-bred horses are also used to some extent,
the thoroughbred often being too mettlesome, when he becomes excited,
for any but the best riders. The finest qualities of a horse are brought
out in hunting in the Piedmont section, for the pace here is very
fast--much faster than in England, though it should be added that in the
English hunting country there are more hedges than over here, and that
the jumps are, upon the whole, stiffer.

The speed of the Piedmont Hunt and other hunts in Virginia is doubtless
due to the use of southern hounds, these being American hounds, smaller
and faster than English hounds, from which, however, they were
originally bred. The desirable qualities in a pack of hounds are
uniformity of type, substance, speed, and color. These points have to do
not only with the style of a pack, but also with its hunting quality.
Thus in the Piedmont pack they breed for a red hound with white
markings, so that the pack may have an individual appearance, but in all
packs a great effort is made to secure even speed, for a slow hound
lags, while a fast one becomes an individual hunter. The unusual hound
is therefore likely to be "drafted" from the pack.

There has been a long controversy as to whether the English or American
type of hound is best suited for hunting in this country, and the matter
seems still to remain one of opinion. Probably the best English pack in
the United States is that of Mr. A. Henry Higginson. Some years since,
Mr. Higginson and Mr. Harry Worcester Smith, of Worcester,
Massachusetts, master of the Grafton pack, made a bet of $5000 a side,
each backing his own hounds, the question being that of the general
suitability of the American versus the English hound for American
country. The trials were made in the Piedmont region of Virginia, and
Mr. Smith's American hounds won the wager for him.

In the last ten or twenty years hunting in the United States has been
organized under the Hunts Committee of the National Steeplechase
Association. Practically all the important hunting organizations are
members of this association, there being forty of these: eleven in
Virginia, nine in Pennsylvania, six in New York, four in Massachusetts,
three each in Maryland and New Jersey, and one each in Connecticut,
Vermont, Ohio, and Michigan--the Grosse Pointe Hounds, near Detroit,
being the most westerly of recognized hunts, although there is some
unrecognized hunting near Chicago.

An idea of the comparative importance of hunting in the United States
and in England may be gathered from the fact that in England and Wales
alone there are more than 180 packs of foxhounds, 88 packs of beagles,
and 16 packs of staghounds, while Ireland and Scotland have many also.
The war, however, has struck hard at hunting in the British Isles.
Baily's Hunting Directory for 1915-16, says:

"Hunting has given her best, for of those who have gone from the hunting
field to join the colors, the masters lead, as they have led in more
happy days, with a tale of over 80 per cent. of their number, the hunt
secretaries following with over 50 per cent., while the hunt servants
show over 30 per cent. No exact data are available to tell of the
multitude from the rank and file that has followed this magnificent
lead, excepting that from all the hunts there comes the same report,
that practically every man fit for service has responded to the call."

It is estimated that 17,000 horses were drafted from hunting for the
cavalry in England at the beginning of the war; and it is to be noticed
that so soon after the outbreak as July, 1915, the "Directory" published
a list of names of well-known hunting men killed in action, which
occupied more than seven large pages printed in small type.

Under the heading "Incidents of the 1914-15 Season" are to be found many
items of curious early war-time interest, a few of which I quote:

     Lady Stalbridge announces willingness to act as field master of the
     South and West Wilts Hounds during her husband's absence in France.

     Lieutenant Charles Romer Williams took out to the front a pack of
     beagles, with which the officers of the Second Cavalry Brigade
     hoped to hunt Belgian hares.

     Capt. E.K. Bradbury, a member of the Cahir Harriers, earned the
     V.C. at Nery, but died from wounds.

     The Grafton Hounds have seventy-six followers with the colors.

     Admiral Sir David Beatty, of North Sea fame, has a hunting box at
     Brooksby Hall, in the Melton Mowbray country.

     Five members of the Crawley and Horsham Hounds have been killed,
     three wounded, and two are missing.

     Quorn fields down to about 30, instead of 300 last season.

     Captain the Honorable R.B.F. Robertson (Twenty-first Lancers) a
     prisoner of war. He took over the North Tipperary Hounds in May,
     and, of course, did not get a chance to have any sport.

     We now learn that the French authorities have discouraged
     fox-hunting behind the fighting lines. So did the Germans. One day
     British hounds took up the scent on their own initiative. The usual
     followers had bigger game afoot, and were in the thick of an
     engagement. The Germans gained ground and occupied the kennels.
     When the hounds returned from their chase and challenged the
     intruders they were shot down one by one.

Such is the lore I had acquired when the motor came for me; whereupon,
taking a few sandwiches to sustain me until supper time, I set forth
through the night by Ford, for the station at The Plains.

       *       *       *       *       *

The publication of the larger part of the foregoing chapter on fox
hunting, in "Collier's Weekly," brought me a number of letters
containing hunting anecdotes.

Mr. J.R. Smith of Martinsville, Virginia, calls my attention to marked
difference in character between the red fox and the gray. The red fox,
he says, depends upon his legs to elude the hounds, and will sometimes
lead the hunt twenty-five miles from the place where he gets up, but the
gray fox depends on cunning, and is more prone to run a few miles and
"tack."

Mr. Smith tells the following story illustrative of the gray fox's
amazing artfulness:

"We had started a fox on three different occasions," he writes, "running
him a warm chase for about four miles and losing him every time in a
sheep pasture. Finally we stationed a servant in that pasture to see
what became of the fox. We started him again and he took the same route
to the pasture. There the mystery was solved. The fox jumped on the back
of a large ram, which, in fright, ran off about half a mile. The fox
then jumped off and continued his run. When the hounds came up we urged
them on to the point where the fox dismounted, and soon had his brush."

       *       *       *       *       *

Another correspondent calls my attention to the fact that, in Virginia,
hunting is not merely the sport of the rich, but that the farmers are
enthusiastic members of the field--sometimes at the expense of their
cattle and crops. He relates the following story illustrative of the
point of view of the sporting Virginia farmer:

"A man from the Department of Agriculture came down into our section to
look over farms and give advice to farmers. He went to see one farmer
in my county and found that he had absolutely nothing growing, and that
his livestock consisted of three hunters and thirty-two couples of
hounds. The agricultural expert was scandalized. He told the farmer he
ought to begin at once to raise hogs. 'You can feed them what you feed
the dogs,' he said, 'and have good meat for your family aside from what
you sell.'

"After hearing his visitor out, the farmer looked off across the country
and spat ruminatively.

"'I ain't never seen no hawg that could catch a fox,' he said, and with
that turned and went into the barn, evidently regarding the matter as
closed. Clearly he did not share the view of the Irishman who dismissed
fox hunting with the remark that a fox was 'damned hard to catch and no
good when you got him.'"




CHAPTER XVII

"A CERTAIN PARTY"

    Kind are her answers,
    But her performance keeps no day;
    Breaks time, as dancers
    From their own music when they stray.

    Lost is our freedom
    When we submit to women so:
    Why do we need 'em
    When, in their best, they work our woe?

    --THOMAS CAMPION.


The motor ride to The Plains was a cold and rough one. I remember that
we had to ford a stream or two, and that once, where the mud had been
churned up and made deep by the wheels of many vehicles, we almost
stuck. Excepting at the fords, the road was dusty, and the dust was kept
in circulation by the feet of countless saddle horses, on which men from
the country to the south of Upperville were riding home from the races.
All the way to The Plains our lights kept picking up these riders,
sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, all of them going our way, we
taking their dust until we overhauled them, then giving them ours.

Dust was over me like a close-fitting gray veil when I reached the
railroad station only to find that the train was late. I had a magazine
in my bag, but the light in the waiting-room was poor, so I took a place
near the stove and gave myself up to anticipations of a bath, a
comfortable room, clean clothing, and a good supper with my
companion--and another companion much more beautiful.

I tried to picture her as she would look. She would be in evening dress,
of course. After thinking over different colors, and trying them upon
her in my mind, I decided that her gown should be of a delicate pink,
and should be made of some frail, beautiful material which would float
about her like gossamer when she moved, and shimmer like the light of
dawn upon the dew. You know the sort of gown I mean: one of those gowns
upon which a man is afraid to lay his finger-tips lest the material melt
away beneath them; a gown which, he feels, was never touched by
seamstress of the human species, but was made by fairies out of woven
moonlight, star dust, afterglow, and the fragrance of flowers. Such a
gown upon a lovely woman is man's proof that woman is indeed the thing
which so often he believes her--that she is more goddess than earthly
being; for man knows well that he himself is earthly, and that a costume
made from such dream stuffs and placed on him, would not last out the
hour. He has but to look up at the stars to realize the infinity of
space, and, similarly, but to look at her in her evening gown to realize
the divinity of woman.

And that is where she has him. For it isn't so!

At last came the train--just the dingy train to stop at such a station.
I boarded it, found a seat, and continued to dream dreams as we rattled
on toward Washington.

Even when I found myself walking through that great terminal by which
all railroads enter the capital, I hardly believed that I was there, nor
did I feel entirely myself until I had reached my room in the New
Willard.

Having started my bath, I went and knocked upon the door of the near-by
room where the clerk had told me I should find my fellow traveler.

"Oh," he said, without enthusiasm as he discovered me. "You're here, are
you?"

He looked imposing and severe in his evening dress. I felt
correspondingly dirty and humble.

"Yes," I replied meekly. "Any news?"

"None," he replied. "I've reserved a table at Harvey's. They dance
there. At first they said there was not a table to be had--Saturday
night, you know--but I told them who was to be with us, and they changed
their minds."

"Good. I'll be dressed in a little while. Silk hats?"

He nodded. I returned to my own room.

Less than an hour later, my toilet completed, I rejoined him, and
together we descended, in full regalia, to the lobby.

"Shall we take a taxi?" he suggested, as we passed out of the side
entrance.

"How far away is the theater?"

"I don't know."

We asked the carriage starter. He said it was only two or three blocks.

"Let's walk," I said.

"I don't feel like walking," he returned.

We rode.

The theater was just emptying when we arrived.

"I suppose we'd better let the cab go?" I said. "There'll be quite a
while to wait while she's changing."

"Better keep it," he disagreed. "Might not find another."

We kept it.

At the stage door there was confusion. Having completed its week in
Washington, the play was about to move elsewhere, and furniture was
already coming out into the narrow passage, and being piled up to be
taken on wagons to the train. It took us some time to find the doorman,
and it took the doorman--as it always does take doormen--a long, long
time to depart into the unknown region of dressing rooms, with the cards
we gave him, and a still longer time to return.

"Says to wait," he grunted when he came back.

Meanwhile more and more furniture had come out, menacing our shins and
our beautifully polished hats in passing, and leaving us less room in
which to stand.

We waited.

After ten minutes had passed, I remarked:

"I wish we had let the taxi go."

After twenty minutes I remarked:

"I always feel like an idiot when I have to wait at a stage door."

"I don't see why you do it, then," said he.

"And I hate it worse when I'm in evening dress. I hate the way the
actors look at us, when they come out. They think we're a couple of
Johnnies."

"And supposing they do?"

I do not know how long this unsatisfactory dialogue might have continued
had not some one come to the inside of the stage door and spoken to the
doorman, whereat he indicated us with a gesture and said:

"There they are."

At this a woman emerged. The light was dim, but I saw that she wore no
hat and had on an apron. As she came toward us we advanced.

"You wait for madame?" she asked, with the accent of a Frenchwoman.

"Yes."

"Madame receive your telegram only this afternoon," she said. "All week,
she say, she wait to hear. This morning she have receive a telegram from
Mr. Woods that say she mus' come to New York. She think you not coming,
so she say 'Yes.' Then she receive your message. She don't know where to
reach you. She can do nossing. She is desolated! She mus' fly to the
train. She is ver' sorry. She hope that maybe the gentlemans will be in
Baltimore nex' week? Yes?"

"You mean she can't come to-night?"

"Yes, monsieur. She cannot. She are fill with regret. She--"

"Perhaps," said my companion, recovering, "we can drive her to the
train?"

The maid, however, did not seem to wish to discuss this point. She shook
her head and said:

"Madame ver' sorry she cannot come."

"But I say," repeated my companion, "that we shall be delighted to drive
her to the train if she wishes."

"She ver' sorry," persisted the maid negatively.

"Oh, I see," he said. "Very well. Please say to her that we are sorry,
too."

"Yes, monsieur." The maid retired.

"I want something to eat," I remarked as we passed down the long
furniture-piled passage leading to the street.

"So do I. We have that table at Harvey's."

"I know; but--"

"That's a fact," he put in. "I mentioned her name. We can't very well go
there without her."

"And all dressed up like a pair of goats."

"No."

"There's always the hotel."

"I don't want to go back there--not now."

"Neither do I. Let's make it the Shoreham," I suggested as we emerged
upon the street.

"All right." Then, looking across the sidewalk, he added: "There's that
damned taxi!"

"Yes. We'll drive around there in it."

"No," said he, "send it away. I don't feel like riding."

We walked to the Shoreham. The cafe looked cheerful, as it always does.
We ordered an extensive supper. It was good. There were pretty women in
the room, but we looked at them with the austere eyes of disillusioned
men, and talked cynically of life. I cannot recall any of the things we
said, though I remember thinking at the time that both of us were being
rather brilliant, in an icy way. I suppose it was mainly about women.
That was to be expected. Women, indeed! What were women to us? Nothing!
And pretty women, least of all. Ah, pretty women! Pretty women!... Yes,
yes!

I had ordered fruit to finish off the meal, and I remember that as the
dish was set upon the table, it occurred to me that we had made a very
pleasant party of it after all.

"Do you know," I said, as I helped myself to some hothouse grapes, "I've
had a bully evening. It has been fine to sit here and have a party all
to ourselves. I'm not so sorry that she did not come!"

Then I ate a grape or two.

They were very handsome grapes, but they were sour.




CHAPTER XVIII

THE LEGACY OF HATE

    ... Immortal hate,
    And courage never to submit or yield.

    --PARADISE LOST.


The last time I went abroad, a Briton on the boat told me a story about
an American tourist who asked an old English gardener how they made such
splendid lawns over there.

"First we cut the grass," said the gardener, "and then we roll it. Then
we cut it, and then we roll it."

"That's just what we do," said the American.

"Ah," returned the gardener, "but over here we've been doing it five
hundred years!"

In Liverpool another Englishman told me the same story. Three or four
others told it to me in London. In Kent I heard it twice, and in Sussex
five or six times. After going to Oxford and the Thames I lost count.

In the South my companion and I had a similar experience with the story
about that daughter of the Confederacy who declared she had always
thought "damn Yankee" one word. In Maryland that story amused us, in
Virginia it seemed to lose a little of its edge, and we are proud to
this day because, in the far southern States, we managed to grin and
bear it.

Doubtless the young lady likewise thought that "you-all" was one word.
However I refrained from suggesting that, lest it be taken for an
attempt at retaliation. And really there was no occasion to retaliate,
for the story was always told with good-humored appreciation not only of
the dig at "Yankees"--collectively all Northerners are "Yankees" in the
South--but also of the sweet absurdity of the "unreconstructed" point of
view.

Speaking broadly of the South, I believe that there survives little real
bitterness over the Civil War and the destructive and grotesquely named
period of "reconstruction." When a southern belle of to-day damns
Yankees, she means by it, I judge, about as much, and about as little,
as she does by the kisses she gives young men who bear to her the
felicitous southern relationship of "kissing cousins."

Even from old Confederate soldiers I heard no expressions of violent
feeling. They spoke gently, handsomely and often humorously of the war,
but never harshly. Real hate, I think, remains chiefly in one quarter:
in the hearts of some old ladies, the wives and widows of Confederate
soldiers--for there are but few mothers of the soldiers left. The wonder
is that more of the old ladies of the South have not held to their
resentment, for, as I have heard many a soldier say, women are the
greatest sufferers from war. One veteran said to me: "My arm was
shattered and had to be amputated at the shoulder. There was no
anesthetic. Of course I suffered, but I never suffered as my mother did
when she learned what I had endured."

Be they haters of the North or not, the old ladies of the South are
among its chief glories, and it should be added that another of those
glories is the appreciation that the South has for the white-haired
heroines who are its mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers, and
the unfailing natural homage that it pays them. I do not mean by this
merely that children and grandchildren have been taught to treat their
elders with respect. I do not mean merely that they love them. The thing
of which I speak is beyond family feeling, beyond the respect of youth
for age. It is a strong, superb sentiment, something as great as it is
subtle, which floods the South, causing it to love and reverence its old
ladies collectively, and with a kind of national spirit, like the love
and reverence of a proud people for its flag.

Among young men, I met many who told me, with suitable pride, of the
parts played by their fathers and uncles in the war. Of these only one
spoke with heat. He was a Georgian, and when I mentioned to him that, in
all my inquiries, I had heard of no cases of atrocious attacks upon
women by soldiers--such attacks as we heard of at the time of the German
invasion of Belgium and France--he replied with a great show of feeling
that I had been misinformed, and that many women had been outraged by
northern soldiers in the course of Sherman's march to the sea. At this
my heart sank, for I had treasured the belief that, despite the
roughness of war, unprotected women had generally been safe from the
soldiers of North and South alike. What was my relief, then, on later
receiving from this same young man a letter in which he declared that he
had been mistaken, and that after many inquiries in Georgia he had been
unable to learn of a single case of such crime. If it is indeed true
that such things did not occur in the Civil War--and I believe
confidently that it is true--then we have occasion, in the light of the
European War, to revise the popular belief that of all wars civil war is
the most horrible.

The attitude of the modern South (the "New South" which, by the way, one
Southerner described to me as meaning "northern capital and smoke")
toward its own "unreconstructed" citizens, for all its sympathy and
tenderness, is not without a glint of gentle humor. More than once, when
my companion and I were received in southern homes with a cordiality
that precluded any thought of sectional feeling, we were nevertheless
warned by members of the younger generation--and their eyes would
twinkle as they said it--to "look out for mother; she's
unreconstructed." And you may be sure that when we were so warned we did
"look out." It was well to do so! For though the mother might be a frail
old lady, past seventy, with the face of an angel and the normal
demeanor of a saint, we could see her bridle, as we were presented to
her, over the thought there here were two Yankees in her
home--Yankees!--we could see the light come flashing up into her eyes
as they encountered ours, and could feel beneath the veil of her austere
civility the dagger points of an eternal enmity. By dint of self-control
on her part, and the utmost effort upon ours to be tactful, the
presentation ceremony was got over with, and after some formal speeches,
resembling those which, one fancies, may be exchanged by opposing
generals under a flag of truce, we would be rescued from her, removed
from the room, before her forbearance should be strained, by our
presence, to the point of breaking. A baleful look would follow us as we
withdrew, and we would retire with a better understanding of the flaming
spirit which, through that long, bloody conflict against overwhelming
odds in wealth, supplies, and men, sustained the South, and which at
last enabled it to accept defeat as nobly as it had accepted earlier
victories.... How one loves a gentle old lady who can hate like that!

In this chapter, when it appeared originally, in "Collier's Weekly," I
made the statement that I had seldom spent an hour in conversation with
a Southerner without hearing some mention of the Civil War, and that I
had heard other Northerners remark upon this matter, and express
surprise at the tenacity with which the war holds its place in the
foreground of the southern mind.

This, like many another of my southern observations, brought me letters
from readers of "Collier's," residing in the South. A great number of
the letters thus elicited, as well as comments made upon these chapters
by the southern press, have been of no small interest to me. On at
least one subject (the question discussed in the next chapter, as to
whether the expression "you-all" is ever used in the singular) my
correspondents have convinced me that my earlier statement was an error,
while on other subjects they have modified my views, and on still others
made my convictions more profound. Where it has been possible, and where
it has seemed, for one reason or another, to be worth while, I have
endeavored, while revising the story of my southern wanderings for this
book, to make note of the other fellow's point of view, especially in
cases where he disagrees with me.

The following, then, is from a letter written on the stationery of
Washington and Lee University, and applies to certain statements
contained in this chapter:

     In 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote to a newspaper publisher: "Were I
     the publisher of a paper, instead of the usual division into
     Foreign, Domestic, etc., I think I should distribute everything
     under the following heads: 1. True. 2. Probable. 3. Wanting
     confirmation. 4. Lies, and be careful in subsequent papers to
     correct all errors in preceding ones."

     Allow me to suggest that your story might, under Mr. Jefferson's
     category, be placed under "2." Perhaps you went to see "The Birth
     of a Nation" before you wrote it. It has been my experience that my
     acquaintances among the F.F.V.'s have been far more interested in
     whether Boston or Brooklyn would win the pennant than in discussing
     the Civil War. By the young men of the South the War was forgotten
     long ago.

This letter has caused me to wonder whether the frequency with which my
companion and I heard the Civil War discussed, may not, perhaps, have
been due, at least in part, to our own inquiries, resulting from the
consuming interest that we had in hearing of the War from those who
lived where it was fought.

Yet, after all, it seems to me most natural that the South should
remember, while the North forgets. Not all Northerners were in the war.
But all Southerners were; if a boy was big enough to carry a gun, he
went. The North almost completely escaped invasion, and upon one
occasion when a southern army did march through northern territory, the
conduct of the invading troops toward the civilian population (the false
Barbara Frietchie legend to the contrary notwithstanding) was so
exemplary as to set a record which is probably unequaled in history.[2]
The South, upon the other hand, was constantly under invasion, and the
record of destruction wrought by northern armies in the valley of the
Shenandoah, on the March to the Sea, and in some other instances, is
writ in poverty and mourning unto this day.

[2] See chapter on Colonel Taylor and General Lee.

Thus, except politically, the North now feels not the least effect from
the war. But the South knew the terrors of invasion and the pangs of
conquest, and is only growing strong again after having been ruined--as
instanced by the fact, which I came across the other day, that the tax
returns from one of the southern States have, for the first time since
the Civil War, reached the point at which they stood when it began.

So, very naturally, while the War has begun to take its place in the
northern mind along with the Revolutionary War, as something to be
studied in school under the heading "United States History," it has not,
in southern eyes, become altogether "book history," but is history that
lives--in swords hanging upon the walls of many homes, in old faded
letters, in sacks of worthless Confederate bills, in the ruins of great
houses, in lovingly preserved gray uniforms, in southern battle fields,
and in southern burial grounds where rows upon rows of tombstones, drawn
up in company front, stand like gray armies forever on parade.

Small wonder if, amid its countless tragic memorials, the South does not
forget. The strange thing is that bitterness has gone so soon; that
remembering the agonies of war and the abuses of reconstruction, the
South does not to-day hate the North as violently as ever. If to err is
human, the North has, in its treatment of the South, richly proved its
humanness; and if forgiveness is divine, the South has, by the same
token, attained something like divinity.

Had the numbskull North understood these things as it should have
understood them, there would not now be a solid Democratic South.

Such rancor as remains is, I believe, strongest in the smaller towns in
those States which suffered the greatest hardships. I know, for
instance, of one lady, from a little city in Virginia, who refused to
enter the Massachusetts Building at the Chicago World's Fair, and there
are still to be found, in Virginia, ladies who do not leave their houses
on the Fourth of July because they prefer not to look upon the Stars and
Stripes. The Confederate flag is still, in a sense, the flag of the
South. Southerners love it as one loves a pressed flower from a mother's
bridal wreath. When the Eleventh Cavalry rode from Fort Oglethorpe,
Georgia, to Winchester, Virginia, a few years since, they saw many
Confederate flags, but only one Union flag, and that in the hands of a
negro child. However, war had not then broken out in Europe. It would be
different now.

A Virginia lady told me of having gone to a dentist in Winchester,
Virginia, and having taken her little niece with her. The child watched
the dentist put a rubber dam in her aunt's mouth, and then, childlike,
began to ask questions. She was a northern child, and she had evidently
heard some one in the town speak of Sheridan's ride.

"Auntie," she said, "was Sheridan a Northerner or a Southerner?"

Owing to the rubber dam the aunt was unable to reply, but the dentist
answered for her. "He was a drunken Yankee!" he declared vehemently.

When, later, the rubber dam was removed, the aunt protested.

"Doctor," she reproved, "you should not have said such a thing to my
niece. She is from New York."

"Then," returned the unrepentant dentist, "she has heard the truth for
once!"

Doubtless this man was an inheritor of hate, like the descendants of one
uncompromisingly bitter old Southerner whose will, to be seen among the
records of the Hanover County courthouse, in Virginia, bequeaths to his
"children and grandchildren and their descendants throughout all future
generations, the bitter hatred and everlasting malignity of my heart and
soul against the Yankees, including all people north of Mason and
Dixon's line."




CHAPTER XIX

"YOU-ALL" AND OTHER SECTIONAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS

    Let us make an honorable retreat.

    --AS YOU LIKE IT.


Those who write school histories and wish them adopted by southern
schools have to handle the Civil War with gloves. Such words as "rebel"
and "rebellion" are resented in the South, and the historian must go
softly in discussing slavery, though he may put on the loud pedal in
speaking of State Rights, the fact being that the South not only knows
now, but, as evidenced by the utterances of her leading men, from
Jefferson to Lee, knew long before the war that slavery was a great
curse; whereas, on the question of State Rights, including the
theoretical right to secede from the Union--this being the actual
question over which the South took up arms--there is much to be said on
the southern side. Colonel Robert Bingham, superintendent of the Bingham
School, Asheville, North Carolina, has made an exhaustive study of the
question of secession, and has set forth his findings in several
scholarly and temperately written booklets.

Colonel Bingham proves absolutely, by quotation of their own words,
that the framers of the Constitution regarded that document as a
_compact_ between the several States. He shows that three of the States
(Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island) joined in this compact
_conditionally_, with the clear purpose of resuming their independent
sovereignty as States, should the general government use its power for
the oppression of the States; that up to the time of the Mexican War the
New England States contended for, not against, the right to secede; that
John Quincy Adams went so far as to negotiate with England with a view
to the secession of the New England States, because of Jefferson's
Embargo Act, and moreover that up to 1840 the United States Government
used as a textbook for cadets at West Point, Rawle's "View of the
Constitution," a book which teaches that the Union is dissoluble. Robert
E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, were, therefore, in all probability, given
this book as students at West Point, and consequently, if we would have
honest history, we must face the astonishing fact that there is evidence
to show _that they learned the doctrine of secession at the United
States Military Academy_.

Colonel Bingham, who, it may be remarked, served with distinction in the
Confederate Army, has very kindly supplemented, in a letter to me, his
published statements. He writes:

     Secession was legal _theoretically_, but practically the conditions
     on which the thirteen Independent Republics, covering a little
     strip on the Atlantic coast, came to an agreement, could not
     possibly be applied to the great inter-Oceanic Empire into which
     these thirteen Independent Republics had developed.

     "Theory is a good horse in the stable, but may make an arrant jade
     on the journey"--to paraphrase Goldsmith--and the only way in which
     these irreconcilable differences could be settled was by bullet and
     bayonet, which settled them right and finally.

Once such matters as these are fully understood in the North, there will
be left but one grave issue between North and South, that issue being
over the question of whether or not Southerners, under any
circumstances, use the phrase "you-all" in the singular.

"Whatever you write of the South," said our hostess at a dinner party in
Virginia, "don't make the mistake of representing any one from this paht
of the country, white oh black, educated oh ignorant, as saying
'you-all' meaning one person only."

When I remarked mildly that it seemed to me I had often seen the phrase
so used in books, and heard it in plays, eight or ten southern ladies
and gentlemen at the table pounced upon me, all at once. "Yes!" they
agreed, with a kind of polite violence, "books and plays by Yankees!"

"If," one of the gentlemen explained, "you write to a friend who has a
family, and say, according to the northern practice, 'I hope to see you
when you come to my town,' you write something which is really
ambiguous, since the word 'you' may refer only to your friend, or may
refer also to his family. Our southern 'you-all' makes it explicit."

I told him that in the North we also used the word "all" in connection
with "you," though we accented the two evenly, and did not compound
them, but he seemed to believe that "you" followed by "all" belonged
exclusively to the South.

The argument continued almost constantly throughout the meal. Not until
coffee was served did the subject seem to be exhausted. But it was not,
for after pouring a demi-tasse our hostess lifted a lump of sugar in the
tongs, and looking me directly in the eye inquired: "Do you-all take
sugah?"

Undoubtedly it would have been wiser, and politer, to let this pass, but
the discussion had filled me with curiosity, not only because of my
interest in the localism, but also because of the amazing intensity with
which it had been discussed.

"But," I exclaimed, "you just said 'you-all,' apparently addressing me.
Didn't you use it in the singular?"

No sooner had I spoken than I was sorry. Every one looked disconcerted.
There was silence for a moment. I was very much ashamed.

"Oh, no," she said at last. "When I said 'you-all' I meant you and Mr.
Morgan." (She pronounced it "Moh-gan," with a lovely drawl.) As she made
this statement, she blushed, poor lady!

Being to blame for her discomfiture, I could not bear to see her blush,
and looked away, but only to catch the eye of my companion, and to read
in its evil gleam the thought: "Of course they use it in the singular.
But aren't you ashamed of having tripped up such a pretty creature on a
point of dialect?"

Though my interest in the southern idiom had caused me to forget about
the sugar, my hostess had not forgotten.

"Well," she said, still balancing the lump above the cup, and continuing
gamely to put the question in the same form, and to me: "Do you-all take
sugah, oh not?"

I had no idea how my companion took his coffee, but it seemed to me that
tardy politeness now demanded that I tacitly--or at least
demi-tacitly--accede to the alleged plural intent of the question.
Therefore, I replied: "Mr. Morgan takes two lumps. I don't take any,
thanks."

Late that night as we were returning to our hotel, my companion said to
me somewhat tartly: "In case such a thing comes up again, I wish you
would remember that sugar in my coffee makes me ill."

"Well, why didn't you say so?"

"Because," he returned, "I thought that you-all ought to do the
answering. It seemed best for me-all to keep quiet and try to look
plural under the singular conditions."

       *       *       *       *       *

No single thing I ever wrote has brought to me so many letters, nor
letters so uniform in sentiment (albeit widely different in expression),
as the foregoing, seemingly unimportant tale, printed originally in
"Collier's Weekly."

Some one has pointed out that various communities have "fighting words,"
and as the letters poured in I began to realize that in discussing
"you-all" I had inadvertently hit upon a term which aroused the ire of
the South--or rather, that I had aroused ire by implying that the
expression is sometimes used in the singular--the Solid South to the
contrary notwithstanding.

Never, upon any subject, have I known people to agree as my southern
correspondents did on this. The unanimity of their dissent was an
impressive thing. So was the violence some of them displayed.

For a time, indeed, the heat with which they wrote, obscured the issue.
That is to say, most of them instead of explaining merely denied, and
added comments, more or less unflattering, concerning me.

Wrote a lady from Lexington, Kentucky:

     I have lived in Kentucky all of my life, and have never yet heard
     "you-all" used in the singular, not even among the negroes. My
     grandparents and friends say they have never heard it, either.

     It was needless for you to tell your Virginia hostess that
     "you-all" (meaning you and your friend) were Yankees. The fact that
     you criticized her language proved it. Southern people pride
     themselves on their tact, and no doubt, at the time, she was
     struggling to conceal a smile because of some of your own
     localisms.

Many of the letters were more severe than this one, and most of them
made the point that I had been impolite to my hostess, and that, in all
probability, when she looked at me and asked, "Do you-all take sugah?"
she was playing a joke upon me, apropos the discussion which had
preceded the question. For example, this, from a gentleman of Pell City,
Alabama:

     My wife is the residuary legatee of Virginia's language, inherited,
     acquired and affected varieties, including the vanishing _y_;
     annihilated _g_; long-distance _a_, and irresistible drawl.

     To quell the unfortunate tumult that has arisen in our household as
     a result of your last article in "Collier's" I am commanded to
     advise you that the use of "you-all" in the singular is
     absodamnlutely _non est factum_ in Virginia, save, perhaps, among
     the hill people of the Blue Ridge.

     Also, take notice that when your hostess, with apparent
     inadvertence, used the expression in connection with sugar in your
     demi-tasse, the subsequent blush was due to your failure to catch
     her witticism, ignorantly mistaking it for a lapse of hers.

     My wife was going to write to you herself, but I managed to divert
     this cruel determination by promising to uphold the honor of the
     Old Dominion. There is already too much blood being shed in the
     world without spilling that of non-combatants as would have been
     "you-all's" fate had she gone after you with a weapon more mighty
     than the sword when in the hands of Mr. Wilson or an outraged
     woman.

In face of all this and much more, however, my conviction was unshaken.
I talked it over with my companion. He remembered the episode of the
dinner table exactly as I did. Moreover, I still had my notes, made in
the hotel that night. The lady looked at me. My companion was several
places removed from her at the other side of the table. How could she
have meant to include him? And how could she have expected me to say how
he took his after-dinner coffee?

At last, to reassure myself, I wrote to the wisest, cleverest, most
trustworthy lady in the South, and asked her what it all meant.

"Well," she wrote back from Atlanta, "I will tell you, but I am not sure
that you will understand me. The answer is: _She did, but she didn't_.
She looked at and spoke to you and, of course, by all rules of logic she
could not have been intending to make you Morg's keeper in the matter of
coffee dressing. _But_ she never would have said 'you-all' if Morg had
not been in her mind as joined with you. The response, according to her
thought-connotation, would have been from you _and_ from him."

This was disconcerting. So was a letter, received in the same mail, from
a gentleman in Charleston:

     It is as plain as the nose on your face that you are not yet
     convinced that we in the South _never_ use "you-all" with reference
     to one person. The case you mentioned proves nothing at all. The
     very fact that there were _two_ strangers present justified the use
     of the expression; we continually use the expression in that way,
     and in such cases we expect an answer from _both_ persons so
     addressed. To illustrate: just a few days ago I "carried" two girls
     into an "ice-cream parlor." After we were seated, I looked at the
     one nearest me, and said: "Well, what will you-all have?"

     Physically we are so constructed that unless a person is cross-eyed
     it is impossible to look at two persons at once; the mere fact that
     I looked at the one nearest me did not mean that I was not
     addressing both. I expected an answer from both, and I got it, too
     (as is generally the case where ice-cream is concerned).

     The subject is one to which I have devoted the most careful
     attention for many years. I have been so interested in it that
     almost unconsciously, whenever I myself use the expression
     "you-all," or hear any one else use it, I note whether it is
     intended to refer to one or to more than one person. I have heard
     thousands of persons, white, black and indifferent, use the
     expression, and the only ones I have ever heard use it incorrectly
     are what we might call "professional Southerners." For instance,
     last week I went to a vaudeville show, and part of the performance
     was given by two "black-face" comedians, calling themselves "The
     Georgia Blossoms." Their dialect was excellent, with the single
     exception that one of them _twice_ used the expression "you-all"
     where it could not _possibly_ have meant more than one person. And
     I no sooner heard it than I said to myself: "There is _one_ blossom
     that never bloomed in Georgia!"

     Another instance is the following: I was once approached by a
     beggar in Atlanta, who saluted me thus: "Say, mister, can't you-all
     give me a nickel?" Had I been accompanied it would have been all
     right, but I was alone, and there was no other person near me
     except the hobo. Did I give him the nickel? I should say not! I
     said to myself: "He is a damned Yankee trying to pass himself off
     for a Southerner."

Horrid glimmerings began to filter dimly through. And yet--

Next day came a letter calling my attention to an article, written years
ago by Joel Chandler Harris and Thomas Nelson Page, jointly, in which
they plead with northern writers not to misuse the disputed expression
by applying it in the singular.

That was another shock. I felt conviction tottering.... But she _did_
look at me.... She _didn't_ expect an answer from my companion....

And then behold! a missive from Mr. H.E. Jones, a member--and a worthy
one--of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education, and a resident of
Dadeville, Alabama. Mr. Jones' educational activities reach far beyond
Tallapoosa County, and far beyond the confines of his State, for he has
educated me. He has made me see the light.

"I want to straighten you out," he wrote, kindly. "We never use
'you-all' in the singular. Not even the most ignorant do so. But, as you
know," (Ah, that was mercifully said!) "there are some peculiar, almost
unexplainable, shades of meaning in local idioms of speech, which are
not easy for a stranger to understand. I have a friend who was reared in
Milwaukee and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, who tells me
he would have argued the 'you-all' point with all comers for some years
following his taking up his residence here, but he is at this time as
ready as I to deny the allegation and 'chaw the alligator.'

"When your young lady, in Virginia, asked, 'Do you-all take sugar?' she
mentally included Mr. Morgan, and perhaps all other Yankees. I would ask
my local grocer, 'Will you-all sell me some sugar this morning?' meaning
his establishment, collectively, although I addressed him personally;
but I would _not_ ask my only servant, 'Have you-all milked the cow?'"

And that is the exact truth.

I was absolutely wrong. And though, having printed the ghastly falsehood
in my original article, I can hardly hope now for absolution from the
outraged South, I can at least retract, as I hereby do, and can,
moreover, thank Mr. H.E. Jones, of Tallapoosa County, Alabama, for
having saved me from a double sin; for had he not given me the simple
illustration of the grocery store, I might have repeated, now, my
earlier misstatement.




CHAPTER XX

IDIOMS AND ARISTOCRACY


Southerners have told me that they can tell from what part of the South
a person comes, by his speech, just as an Easterner can distinguish, by
the same means a New Englander, a New Yorker, a Middle-Westerner, and a
Brooklynite. I cannot pretend to have become an authority upon southern
dialect, but it is obvious to me that the speech of New Orleans is
unlike that of Charleston, and that of Charleston unlike that of
Virginia.

The chief characteristic of the Virginian dialect is the famous and
fascinating localism which Professor C. Alphonso Smith has called the
"vanishing _y_"--a _y_ sound which causes words like "car" and "garden"
to be pronounced "cyar" and "gyarden"--or, as Professor Smith prefers to
indicate it: "C^{y}ar" and "g^{y}arden." I am told that in years gone by
the "vanishing _y_" was common to all Virginians, but though it is still
common enough among members of the old generation, and is used also by
some young people--particularly, I fancy, young ladies, who realize its
fetching quality--there can be no doubt that it is, in both senses,
vanishing, and that not half the Virginians of the present day
pronounce "cigar" as "segyar," "carpet" as "cya'pet," and "Carter," as
"Cyahtah."

In Virginia and many other parts of the South one hears such words as
"aunt" correctly pronounced with the broad _a_, and such words as "tube"
and "new" properly given the full _u_ sound (instead of "toobe," and
"noo," as in some parts of the North); but, on the other hand, while the
South gives the short _o_ sound in such words as "log" and "fog," it
invariably calls a dog a "dawg." "Your" is often pronounced "yore,"
"sure" as "shore," and, not infrequently, "to" as "toe."

The South also uses the word "carry" in a way that strikes Northerners
as strange. If a Southerner offers to "carry" you to the station, or
over his plantation, he does not signify that he intends to transport
you by means of physical strength, but that he will escort you. If he
"carries you to the run" you will find that the "run" is what
Northerners call a creek; if to the "branch," or "dreen," that is what
we call a brook.

This use of the word "carry," far from being a corruption, is pure old
English, and is used in the Bible, and by Smollett, though it is amusing
to note that the "Georgia Gazetteer" for 1837, mentions as a lamentable
provincialism such an application of the word as "to _carry_ (instead of
_lead_) a horse to water." If the "Gazetteer" were indeed correct in
this, then the Book of Genesis contains an American provincialism.

The customary use of the word in the North, as "to _carry_ a cane, or a
bag," is equally but no more correct than the southern usage. I am
informed by Mr. W.T. Hall, Editor of the Dothan (Alabama) "Eagle," that
the word used in his part of the country, as signifying "to bear on the
back, or shoulder," is "tote." "Tote" is a word not altogether unknown
in the North, and it has recently found its way into some dictionaries,
though the old "Georgia Gazetteer" disapproved of it. Even this word has
some excuse for being, in that it is a deformed member of a good family,
having come from the Latin, _tollit_, been transformed into the early
English "tolt," and thus into what I believe to be a purely American
word.

Other expressions which struck me as being characteristic of the South
are "stop by," as for instance, "I will stop by for you," meaning, "I
will call for you in passing"; "don't guess," as "I don't guess I'll
come"; and "Yes indeedy!" which seems to be a kind of emphatic "Yes
indeed."

"As I look back over the old South," said one white-haired Virginian,
"there were two things it was above. One was accounts and the other was
grammar. Tradesmen in prosperous neighborhoods were always in distress
because of the long credits, though gambling debts were, of course,
always punctiliously paid. As to the English spoken in old Virginia--and
indeed in the whole South--there is absolutely no doubt that its
softness and its peculiarities in pronunciation are due to the influence
of the negro voice and speech on the white race. Some of the young
people seem to wish to dispute this, but we older ones used to take the
view--half humorously, of course--that if a Southerner spoke perfect
English, it showed he wasn't a gentleman; "that he hadn't been raised
with niggers around him.""

"Oh, you shouldn't tell him that!" broke in a lady who was present.

"Why not?" demanded the old gentleman.

"He'll print it!" she said.

"Well," he answered, "ain't it true? What's the harm in it?"

"There!" she exclaimed. "You said '_ain't_.' He'll print that Virginians
say 'ain't'!"

"Well," he answered, "I reckon we do, don't we?"

She laughed and gave up. "I remember," she told me, "the very spot on
the turnpike going out to Ripon, where I made up my mind to break myself
of saying 'ain't.' But I want to tell you that we are talking much
better English than we used to. Even the negroes are. You don't hear
many white people saying 'gwine' for 'going' any more, for instance, and
the young people don't say 'set' for 'sit' and 'git' for 'get,' as their
fathers did."

"I've heard folks say, though," put in the old gentleman, "that they'd
ruther speak like a Virginian than speak correctly. The old talk was
pretty nice, after all. I don't hold to all these new improvements.
They've been going too far in this Commonwealth."

"What have they been doing?" I asked.

"Doing!" he returned, "Why, they're gradually taking the cuspidors out
of the church pews!"

Before the question of dialect is dropped, it should be said that those
who do not believe the soft southern pronunciation is derived from
negroes, can make out an interesting case. If, they ask, the negro has
corrupted the English of the South, why is it that he has not also
corrupted the language of the West Indies--British and French? French
negroes speak like French persons of white blood, and British West
Indian negroes often speak the cockney dialect, without a trace of
"nigger." Moreover, it is pointed out that in southern countries, the
world over, there is a tendency to soften the harsh sounds of language,
to elide, and drop out consonants. The Andalusians speak a Spanish
comparable in many of its peculiarities with the English of our own
South, and the south-Italians exhibit similar dialectic traits. Nor do
the parallels between the north and south of Spain and Italy, and of the
United States, end there. The north-Italians and north-Spaniards are the
"Yankees" of their respective countries--the shrewd, cold business
people--whereas the south-Italians and south-Spaniards are more poetic,
more dashing, more temperamental. The merchants are of the north of
Spain, but the dancers and bull-fighters are Andalusians. And just as
our Americans of the North admire the lazy dialect of the South, so the
north-Spaniards admire the dialect of Andalusia, and even imitate it
because they think it has a fashionable sound--quite as British
fashionables cultivate the habit of dropping final _g_'s, as in
"huntin'" for "hunting."

Virginia, more than any other State I know of, feels its entity as a
State. If you meet a Virginian traveling outside his State, and ask
where he is from, he will not mention the name of the city in which he
resides, but will reply: "I'm from Va'ginia." If, on the other hand, you
are in Virginia, and ask him the same question, he will proudly reply:
"I'm from Fauquier," or "I'm from Westmoreland," or whatever the name of
his county may be. The chances are, also, that his trunks and traveling
bags will be marked with his initials, followed not by the name of his
town, but by the abbreviation, "Va."

I was told of one old unreconstructed Virginian who had to go to Boston
on business. The gentleman he went to see there was exceedingly polite
to him, asking him to his house, putting him up at his club, and showing
him innumerable courtesies. The old Confederate, writing to his wife,
indicated his amazement: "Although he is not a Virginian," he declared,
"I must confess that he lives like a gentleman."

The name of his Bostonian acquaintance was John Quincy Adams.

I heard this story from a northern lady who has a country place near a
small town in Virginia. In the North this lady's family is far from
being unknown, but in Virginia, she assured me, all persons originating
outside the State are looked upon as vague beings without "family."

"They seem to think," she said, "that Northerners have no parents--that
they are made chemically."

This does not imply, however, that well-bred Northerners are excluded
from society. Even if they are well off they may get into society; for
though money does not count in one's favor in such a town, it does not
count against one. The social requirement of the place is simple. If
people are "nice people," that is enough.

Of course, however, it is one thing to be admitted to Virginia society
and another to belong to it by right. A case in point is that of a lady
visiting in a Virginia city who, while calling at the house of some
"F.F.V's," was asked by a little girl, the daughter of the house, where
she had been born.

"Mawtha," said the little girl's mother, after the caller had departed,
"you must not ask people where they were bo'n. If they were bo'n in
Va'ginia they will tell you so without asking, and if they weren't bo'n
in Va'ginia it's very embarrassing."

Some of the old families of the inner circle are in a tragic state of
decay, owing to inbreeding; others, in a more wholesome physical and
mental condition, are perpetually wrestling with the heritage of poverty
left over from the War--"too proud to whitewash and too poor to
paint"--clinging desperately to the old acres, and to the old houses
which are like beautiful, tired ancestral ghosts.

Until a few years ago the one resource of Virginian gentlewomen in need
of funds was to take boarders, but more lately the daughters of
distinguished but poverty-stricken families have found that they may
work in offices. Thus, in the town of which I speak, several ladies who
are very much "in society," support themselves by entertaining "paying
guests," while others are stenographers. The former, I was told, by the
way, make it a practice to avoid first-hand business contacts with their
guests by sending them their bills through the mail, and requiring that
response be made by means of the same impersonal channel.




CHAPTER XXI

THE CONFEDERATE CAPITAL

     The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each
     and every town or city.

     --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.


Richmond is the Boston of Virginia; Norfolk its New York. The comparison
does not, of course, hold in all particulars, Richmond being, for
instance, larger than Norfolk, and not a seaport. Yet, on the other
hand, Boston manages, more than any seaport that I know of, to conceal
from the visitor the signs of its maritime life; wherefore Richmond
looks about as much like a port as does the familiar part of Boston.

The houses on the principal residence streets of Richmond are not built
in such close ranks as Boston houses; they have more elbow-room; numbers
of them have yards and gardens; and there is not about Richmond houses
the Bostonian insistence upon red brick; nevertheless many houses of
both cities give off the same suggestion of having long been lived in by
the descendants of their builders. So, too, though the Capitol at
Richmond has little architectural resemblance to Boston's gold-domed
State House--the former having been copied by Thomas Jefferson from the
Maison Carree at Nimes, and being a better building than the
Massachusetts State House, and better placed--the two do, nevertheless,
suggest each other in their gray granite solidity.

It is perhaps in the quality of solidity--architectural, commercial,
social, even spiritual--that Richmond and Boston are most alike.
Substantialness, conservatism, tradition, and prosperity rest like gray
mantles over both.

Broad Street in Richmond is two or three times as wide as Granby Street,
Norfolk's chief shopping street, and for this reason, doubtless, its
traffic seems less, though I believe it is in fact greater. A fine
street to look upon at night, with its long, even rows of clustered
boulevard lights, and its bright windows, Broad Street in the daytime is
a disappointment, because, for all its fine spaciousness, it lacks good
buildings. I must confess, too, that I was disappointed in the
appearance of the women in the shopping crowds on Broad Street; for, as
every one knows, Richmond has been famous for its beauties. In vain I
looked for young women fitted to inherit the debutante mantles of such
nationally celebrated beauties as Miss Irene Langhorne (Mrs. Charles
Dana Gibson), Miss May Handy (Mrs. James Brown Potter), Miss Lizzie
Bridges (Mrs. Hobson), and Miss Sally Bruce (Mrs. Arthur B. Kinsolving).

In the ten years between 1900 and 1910 the population of Richmond
increased 50 per cent. Her population by the last census was about
130,000, of which a third is colored. Norfolk's population is about
70,000, with approximately the same percentage of negroes. In both
cities there is much new building--offices downtown, and pretty new
brick homes in outlying suburban tracts. Likewise, in both, the charming
signs of other days are here and there to be seen.

Richmond is again like its ancient enemy, Boston, in the wealth of its
historical associations, and I know of no city which gives the
respectful heed to its own history that Richmond does, and no State
which in this matter equals the State of Virginia. If Richmond was the
center of the South during the Civil War, Capitol Square was, as it is
to-day, the center of that center. In this square, in the shadow of
Jefferson's beautiful classic capitol building, which has the glowing
gray tone of one of those water colors done on tinted paper by Jules
Guerin, Confederate soldiers were mustered into service under Lee and
Jackson. Within the old building the Confederate Congress met, Aaron
Burr was tried for treason, and George Washington saw, in its present
position, his own statue by Houdon. Across the way from the square,
where the post office now stands, was the Treasury Building of the
Confederate States, and there Jefferson Davis appeared seven times, to
be tried for treason, only to have his case postponed by the Federal
Government, and finally dismissed. East of the square is the State
Library, containing a remarkable collection of portraits and documents,
including likenesses of all governors of Virginia from John Smith to
Tyler, a portrait of Pocahontas, and the bail bond of Jefferson Davis,
signed by Horace Greeley, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Gerrit Smith, and
seventeen other distinguished men of the day. To the west of the square
is old St. Paul's Church, with the pews of Lee and Davis. It was while
attending service in this church, on Sunday, April 2, 1865, that Davis
received Lee's telegram from Petersburg, saying that Richmond must be
evacuated. A block or two west of the church, in East Franklin Street,
is a former residence of Lee. It was given by the late Mrs. Joseph Bryan
and her sisters to the Virginia Historical Society, and is now,
appropriately enough, the home of that organization.

In the old drawing room, now the office of the Historical Society, I
found Mr. William G. Stanard, the corresponding secretary, and from him
heard something of Lee's life there immediately after the War.

By the Northerners in Richmond at that time, including the Federal
troops stationed in the city, Lee was of course respected and admired,
while by the whole South he was, and is to-day, adored. As for his own
ex-soldiers, they could not see him without emotion, and because of the
demonstrations which invariably attended his appearance on the Richmond
streets, he went out but little, passing much time upon the back porch
of the house. Here most of the familiar Brady photographs of him were
taken. Brady sent a young photographer to Richmond to get the
photographs. Lee was at first disposed to refuse to be taken, but his
family persuaded him to submit, on the ground that if there were any
impertinence in the request it was not the fault of the young man, and
that the latter might lose his position if he failed to obtain the
desired pictures.

Finding the continued attention of the crowds too much for him, the
general left Richmond after two months, removing to a small house in
Cumberland County, on the James, and it was there that he was residing
when called to the presidency of Washington College--now Washington and
Lee University--at Lexington, Virginia. As is well known, he accepted
this offer, built up the institution, remained its president until the
time of his death, and now lies buried in the university chapel.

To Mr. Stanard I am also indebted for the following information
regarding John Smith and Pocahontas:

About a mile below Richmond, in what is now the brickyard region, there
used to stand the residence of the Mayo family, a place known as
Powhatan. This place has long been pointed out as the scene of the
saving of Smith by the Indian girl, but late research indicates that,
though Smith did come up the James to the present site of Richmond, his
capture by the Indians did not occur here, but in the vicinity of
Jamestown. Then Indians took him first to one of their villages on York
River, near the present site of West Point, Virginia, and thence to a
place, on the same stream, in the county of Gloucester, where the tribal
chief resided. I was under the impression that this worthy's name was
Powhatan, but Mr. Stanard declared "powhatan" was not a proper name,
but an Indian word meaning "chief."

The Virginia Historical Society is satisfied that Smith was rescued by
Pocahontas at a point about nine miles from Williamsburg on the west
side of York River, but there are historians who contend that the whole
story of the rescue is a fiction. One of these is Dr. Albert Bushnell
Hart, of Harvard, who lists Smith among "Historical Liars." Virginians,
who regard Smith as one of their proudest historical possessions, are
somewhat disposed to resent this view, but it appears to me that there
is at least some ground for it. Matthew Page Andrews, another historian,
himself a Virginian, points out that many of our ideas of the Jamestown
colony have been obtained from Smith's history of the settlement, which
he wrote in England, some years after leaving Virginia.

"From these accounts," says Mr. Andrews, "we get an unfavorable
impression of Smith's associates in the colony and of the management of
the men composing the popular or people's party in the London Company.
As we now know that this party in the London Company was composed of
very able and patriotic Englishmen, we are inclined to think that
Captain Smith not only overrated his achievement, but was very unjust to
his fellow-colonists and the Company."

The story of the rescue of Smith by Pocahontas, with the strong
implication that the Indian girl was in love with him, comes to us from
Smith himself. We know that when Pocahontas was nineteen years of age
(seven years after the Smith rescue is said to have occurred), she
married John Rolfe--the first Englishman to begin the cultivation of the
tobacco plant. We know that she was taken to England, that she was
welcomed at court as a princess, that she had a son born in England, and
that she herself died there in 1617. We know also that her son, Thomas
Rolfe, settled in Virginia, and that through him a number of Virginians
trace descent from Pocahontas. (Mr. Andrews points out that in 1915 one
of these descendants became the wife of the President of the United
States.)

But we know also that John Smith, brave and daring though he was, was
not above twisting and embroidering a tale to his own glorification.
While, therefore, it is too much to affirm that his rescue story is
false, it is well to remember that Pocahontas was but twelve years old
when the rescue is said to have occurred, and that Smith waited until
after she had become famous, and had died, to promulgate his romantic
story.

       *       *       *       *       *

Immediately to the north of Capitol Square stands the City Hall, an ugly
building, in the cellar of which is the Police Court presided over by
the celebrated and highly entertaining Judge Crutchfield, otherwise
known as "One John" and "the Cadi"--of whom more presently. A few blocks
beyond the City Hall, in the old mansion at the corner of East Clay and
Twelfth Streets, which was the "White House of the Confederacy," the
official residence of Jefferson Davis during the war, is the
Confederate Museum--one of the most fascinating museums I ever visited.

Not the least part of the charm of this museum is the fact that it is
not of great size, and that one may consequently visit it without
fatigue; but the chief fascination of the place is the dramatic
personalness of its exhibits. To me there is always something peculiarly
engaging about intimate relics of historic figures, and it is of such
relics that the greater part of the collection of the Confederate Museum
consists. In one show case, for example, are the saddle and bridle of
General Lee, and the uniform he wore when he surrendered. The effects of
General Joseph E. Johnston are shown in another case, and in still
another those of the picturesque J.E.B. Stuart, who, as here one may
see, loved the little touch of individuality and dash which came of
wearing a feather in a campaign hat. So also one learns something of
Stonewall Jackson when one sees in the cabinet, along with his old blue
hat and other possessions, the gold spurs which were given to him by the
ladies of Baltimore, beside the steel spurs that he _wore_. All
Jackson's personal effects were very simple.

One of the most striking relics in the museum is the Great Seal of the
Confederacy, which was only returned to Richmond within the last few
years, after having been lost track of for nearly half a century--a
strange chapter in the annals of the Civil War.

Records in the Library of Congress, including the Confederate state
papers purchased by the United States Government in 1872, of William J.
Bromwell, formerly a clerk in the Confederate State Department, brought
to light, a few years ago, the fact that the seal was in the possession
of Rear Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge, U.S.N., retired.

At the time of the evacuation of Richmond, Bromwell carried off a number
of the Confederate state papers, and Mrs. Bromwell took charge of the
seal, transporting it through the lines in her bustle. When later,
through Colonel John T. Pickett, Bromwell sold the papers to the
Government, Rear Admiral Selfridge--then a captain--was the officer
assigned to go to Hamilton, Ontario, to inventory and receive them. It
is said that Pickett gave the seal to Selfridge at about this time,
first, however, having a duplicate made. This duplicate, or a copy of
it, was later offered for sale as the original, but was found to be
spurious. When examination of the Pickett papers by Gaillard Hunt, of
the Library of Congress, finally traced the original seal to Rear
Admiral Selfridge, an effort was made to buy it back. In 1912 three
Richmond gentlemen, Messrs. Eppa Hunton, Jr., William H. White and
Thomas P. Bryan, purchased the Seal of the admiral for three thousand
dollars, subject to proof of its authenticity. Mr. St. George Bryan and
Mr. William Gray, of Richmond, then took the seal to London, where the
makers are still well-known engravers. Here, by means of hall marks, the
identification was made complete.

No less appealing than the relics of the deceased government and great
generals who are gone, are some of the humbler items connected with the
deaths of privates in the ranks of North and South alike. One of the
most pathetic was a small daguerreotype of a beautiful young girl. On a
card, beside the picture, is the story of it, so far as that story is
ever likely to be known:

     Picture found on the dead body of an unidentified Federal soldier.

     Presented by C.C. Calvert, Upperville, Va.

"We have always hoped," said Miss Susan B. Harrison, house regent of the
museum, "that some day some one would come in and recognize this little
picture, and that it would find its way back to those who ought to have
it, and who might by this means at last discover what became of the
soldier who was dear to them."

An even more tragic souvenir is a letter addressed to A.V. Montgomery,
Camden, Madison County, Mississippi, in which a mortally wounded soldier
of Confederacy bids a last good-by to his father. The letter was
originally inclosed with one from Lieutenant Ethelbert Fairfax, C.S.A.,
informing the father that his son passed away soon after he had written.
The text, pitiful and heroic as it is, can give but the faintest idea of
the original, with its feeble, laborious writing, and the dark-brown
spots dappling the three sheets of paper where blood from the boy's
mangled shoulder dripped upon them while he wrote:

            Spotsylvania County, Va.
                       May 10, 1864.

     Dear Father:

     This is my last letter to you. I went into battle this evening as
     courier for Gen'l Heth. I have been struck by a piece of shell and
     my right shoulder is horribly mangled & I know death is inevitable.
     I am very weak but I write to you because I know you would be
     delighted to read a word from your dying son. I know death is near,
     that I will die far from home and friends of my early youth, but I
     have friends here, too, who are kind to me. My Friend Fairfax will
     write you at my request and give you the particulars of my death.
     My grave will be marked so that you may visit it if you desire to
     do so, but it is optionary with you whether you let my remains rest
     here or in Mississippi. I would like to rest in the graveyard with
     my dear mother and brothers, but it is a matter of minor
     importance. Let us all try to reunite in heaven. I pray my God to
     forgive my sins & I feel that his promises are true, that he will
     forgive me and save me. Give my love to all my friends. My strength
     fails me. My horse & my equipments will be left for you. Again a
     long farewell to you. May we meet in heaven.

       Your Dying Son,
            J.R. Montgomery.




CHAPTER XXII

RANDOM RICHMOND NOTES


Richmond may again be likened to Boston as a literary center. In an
article published some years ago in "Book News" Alice M. Tyler refers to
Colonel William Byrd, who founded Richmond in 1733, as the sprightliest
and most genial native American writer before Franklin. In the time of
Chief Justice Marshall, Richmond had a considerable group of novelists,
historians and essayists, but the great literary name connected with the
place is that of Edgar Allan Poe, who spent much of his boyhood in the
city and later edited the "Southern Literary Messenger." Matthew
Fontaine Maury, the great scientist, mentioned in an earlier chapter,
was, at another time, editor of the same periodical, as was also John
Reuben Thompson, "Poet of the Confederacy," who wrote, among other
poems, "Music in Camp," and who translated Gustave Nadaud's familiar
poem, "Carcassonne."

Thomas Nelson Page made his home in Richmond for thirty years; Amelie
Rives was born there and still maintains her residence in Albemarle
County, Virginia, while among other writers of the present time
connected with the city either by birth or long association are, Henry
Sydnor Harrison, Mary Johnston, Ellen Glasgow, Marion Harland, Kate
Langley Bosher, James Branch Cabell, Edward Peple, dramatist, J.H.
Whitty, biographer of Poe, and Colonel W. Gordon McCabe, soldier,
historian, essayist, and local character--a gentleman upon whose
shoulders such imported expressions as _litterateur_, _bon viveur_, and
_raconteur_ alight as naturally as doves on friendly shoulders.

Colonel McCabe is a link between present-day Richmond and the traditions
and associations of England. He was the friend of Lord Roberts, he
introduced Lord Tennyson to Bull Durham tobacco, and, as is fitting
under the circumstances, he speaks and writes of a hotel as "_an_
hotel."

Henry Sydnor Harrison did his first writing as book reviewer on the
Richmond "Times-Dispatch," of which paper he later became paragrapher
and daily poet, and still later editor in chief. It is commonly reported
in Richmond that the characters in his novel "Queed," the scenes of
which are laid in Richmond, were "drawn from life." I asked Mr. Harrison
about this.

"When the book appeared," he said, "I was much embarrassed by the
disposition of Richmond people--human and natural, I suppose, when you
'know the author'--to identify all the imaginary persons with various
local characters. Some characteristics of the political boss in my story
were in a degree suggested by a local celebrity; Stewart Bryan is
indicated, in passing, as Stewart Byrd; and the bare bones of a historic
case, altered at will, were employed in another connection. But I think
I am stating the literal truth when I say that no figure in the book is
borrowed from life."

       *       *       *       *       *

The recent residential development in Richmond has been to the west of
the city in the neighborhood of Monument Avenue, a fine double drive,
with a parked center, lined with substantial new homes, and having at
intervals monuments to southern heroes: Lee, Davis, and J.E.B. Stuart.

The parks are on the outskirts of the city and, as in most other cities,
it is in these outlying regions that new homes are springing up, thanks
in no small degree to the automobile. The Country Club of Virginia is
out to the west of the town, in what is known as Westhampton, and is one
of the most charming clubs of its kind in the South or, indeed, in the
country.

Richmond has one of the most beautiful and several of the most curious
cemeteries I have ever seen. Hollywood Cemetery stands upon rolling
bluffs overlooking the James, and under its majestic trees are the tombs
of many famous men, including James Monroe, John Tyler, Jefferson Davis
and Fitzhugh Lee. An inscription on the Davis monument, which was
erected by the widow and daughter of the President of the Confederacy,
describes him as "an American soldier and defender of the Constitution."
At the back of the pedestal is another inscription:

  PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE
  STATES OF AMERICA 1861-1865.
FAITHFUL TO ALL TRUSTS, A MARTYR
         TO PRINCIPLE.
   HE LIVED AND DIED THE MOST
CONSISTENT OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS
         AND STATESMEN.

It occasionally happens that, instead of having monuments because in
life they were famous, men are made famous after death, by the
inscriptions placed upon their tombstones. Such is the case with James
E. Valentine, a locomotive engineer killed in a collision many years
ago. The Valentine monument in Hollywood Cemetery is almost as well
known as the monuments erected in memory of the great, the reason for
this being embodied in the following verse adorning the stone:

    Until the brakes are turned on Time,
    Life's throttle valve shut down,
    He wakes to pilot in the crew
    That wear the martyr's crown.

    On schedule time on upper grade
    Along the homeward section,
    He lands his train at God's roundhouse
    The morn of resurrection.

    His time all full, no wages docked;
    His name on God's pay roll.
    And transportation through to Heaven,
    A free pass for his soul.

In the burial ground of old St. John's Church--the building in which
Patrick Henry delivered his "Give me Liberty or give me Death"
oration--are a number of old gravestones bearing strange inscriptions
which appeal to the imagination, and also, alas! elicit sad thoughts
concerning those who wrote the old-time gravestone doggerel.

The custodian of the church is glad to indicate the interesting stones,
but is much more taken up with his own gift of oratory, as displayed
when, on getting visitors inside the church, he takes his place on the
spot where Patrick Henry stood, and delivers the famous oration. Having
done this to us--or perhaps it would seem more generous to say _for_
us--the caretaker told us that many persons who had heard him had
declared that Patrick Henry himself would have had a hard time doing it
better. But when he threatened, for contrast, to deliver the oration as
a less gifted elocutionist might speak it, my companion, in whom I had
already observed signs of restlessness, interrupted with the statement
that we were late for an engagement, and fled from the place, followed
by me.

       *       *       *       *       *

In certain parts of the city, often at a considerable distance from the
warehouse and factory sections, one may occasionally catch upon the
breeze the faint, spicy fragrance of tobacco; and should one trace these
pleasant scents to their sources, one would come to a region of
factories in which rich brown leaves are transformed into pipe tobacco,
plug tobacco, or cigarettes. In the simpler processes of this work,
negro men and women are employed, and these with their natural
picturesqueness of pose and costume, and their singing, in the setting
of an old shadowy loft, make a tobacco factory a fascinating place. In
one loft you will see negro men and boys handling the tobacco leaves
with pitchforks, much as farm hands handle hay; in another, negro women
squatting upon boxes, stemming the leaves, or "pulling up ends," their
black faces blending mysteriously with the dark shadows of beams and
rafters. Here the air is laden not only with the sweet tobacco smell,
mixed with a faint scent of licorice and of fruit, but is freighted also
with a fine brown dust which is revealed where bars of sunlight strike
in through the windows, and which seems, as it shifts and sparkles, to
be a visible expression of the smell.

In the busy season "street niggers" are generally used for stemming,
which is, perhaps, the leading part of the tobacco industry in Richmond,
and these "street niggers," a wild yet childlike lot, who lead a
hand-to-mouth existence all year round, bring to the tobacco trade a
wealth of semi-barbaric color. To give us an idea of the character of a
Richmond "street nigger" the gentleman who took my companion and me
through the factory told us of having wanted a piece of light work done,
and having asked one of these negroes: "Want to earn a quarter?"

To which the latter replied without moving from his comfortable place
beside a sun-baked brick wall: "No, boss, Ah _got_ a quahtah."

The singing of the negroes is a great feature of the stemming department
in a tobacco factory. Some of the singers become locally famous; also, I
was told by the superintendent, they become independent, and for that
reason have frequently to be dismissed. The wonderful part of this
singing, aside from the fascinating harmonies made by the sweet,
untrained negro voices, is the utter lack of prearrangement that there
is about it. Now there will be silence in the loft; then there will come
a strange, half-savage cry from some dark corner, musical, yet seemingly
meaningless; soon a faint humming will begin, and will be taken up by
men and women all over the loft; the humming will swell into a chant to
which the workers rock as their black hands travel swiftly among the
brown leaves; then, presently, it will die away, and there will be
silence until they are again moved to song.

From shadowy room to shadowy room, past great dark bins filled with the
leaves, past big black steaming vats, oozing sweet-smelling substances,
past moist fragrant barrels, always among the almost spectral forms of
negroes, treading out leaves with bare feet, working over great wicker
baskets stained to tobacco color, piling up wooden frames, or operating
the powerful hydraulic presses which convert the soft tobacco into plugs
of concrete hardness--so one goes on through the factory. The browns and
blacks of these interiors are the browns and blacks of etchings; the
color of the leaves, the old dark timbers, the black faces and hands,
and the ragged clothing, combined with the humming of negro voices, the
tobacco fragrance, and the golden dust upon the air, make an
indescribably complete harmony of shade, sound, and scent.

The department in which the pipe tobacco is packed in tins is a very
different sort of place; here white labor is employed: a great many
girls seated side by side at benches working with great digital
dexterity: measuring out the tobacco, folding wax paper cartons, filling
them, and slipping them into the narrow tins, all at a rate of speed so
great as to defy the sight, giving a sense of fingers flickering above
the bench with a strange, almost supernatural sureness, like the fingers
of a magician who makes things disappear before your eyes; or like the
pictures in which post-impressionist and cubist painters attempt to
express motion.

"May I speak to one of them?" I asked the superintendent.

"Sure," said he.

I went up to a young woman who was working, if anything, more rapidly
than the other girls at the same bench.

"Can you think, while you are doing this?" I asked.

"Yes," she replied, without looking up, while her fingers flashed on
ceaselessly.

"About other things?"

"Certainly."

"How many cans do you fill in a day?"

"About thirty-four to thirty-five hundred on the average."

"May I ask your name?" She gave it.

I took up one of the small identification slips which she put into each
package, and wrote her name upon the back of it. The number on the
slip--for the purpose of identifying the girl who packed the tin--was
220. Let the reader, therefore, be informed that if he smokes Edgeworth
Ready Rubbed, and finds in a tin a slip bearing that number, he has been
served by no less a person than Miss Katie Wise, of the astonishingly
speedy fingers.




CHAPTER XXIII

JEDGE CRUTCHFIELD'S CO'T

    Dar's a pow'ful rassle 'twix de Good en de Bad,
      En de Bad's got de all-under holt;
    En w'en de wuss come, she come i'on-clad,
      En you hatter holt yo' bref fer de jolt.

    --UNCLE REMUS.


My companion and I had not traveled far into the South before we
discovered that our comfort was likely to be considerably enhanced if,
in hotels, we singled out an intelligent bell boy and, as far as
possible, let this one boy serve us. Our mainstay in the Jefferson Hotel
was Charles Jackson, No. 144, or, when Charles was "off," his "side
partner," whom we knew as Bob.

Having one day noticed a negro in convict's stripes, but without a
guard, raking up leaves in Capitol Square, I asked Charles about the
matter.

"Do they let the convicts go around unguarded?" I inquired.

"They 's some of 'em can," said he. "Those is trustees."

This talk of "trustees" led to other things and finally to a strong
recommendation, by Charles, of the Richmond Police Court, as a place of
entertainment.

"Is it interesting?" I asked.

"Inter-_resting_? Yes, _suh_! Judge Crutchfield he suttinly _is_. He
done chahge me twenty-six dollahs and fo'ty cents. My brothah, he got in
fight down street, heah. Some niggers set on him. I went to he'p him an'
p'leeceman got me. He say I was resistin' p'leece. I ain't resisted no
p'leece! No, _suh_! Not _me_! But Judge Crutchfield, you can't tell him
nothin'. 'Tain't no use to have a lawyer, nuther. Judge Crutchfield
don't want no lawyers in his co't. Like 's not he cha'ge you _mo'_ fo'
_havin'_ lawyer. Then you got pay lawyer, too.

"Friend mine name Billy. One night Billy he wake up and heah some one
come pushin' in his house. He hollah: 'Who thar?'

"Othah nigger he kep' pushin' on in. He say: 'This Gawge.'

"Billy, he say: 'Git on out heah, niggah! Ain't no Gawge live heah!'

"Othah niggah, he say: 'Don't make no diff'unce Gawge live heah o' not.
He sure comin' right in! Ain't nobody heah kin stop ol' Gawge! He eat
'em alive, Gawge do! He de boss of Jackson Ward. Bettah say yo' prayehs,
niggah, fo' yo' time--has--come!'

"Billy he don't want hit nobody, but this-heah Gawge he drunk, an' Billy
_have_ t' hit 'im. Well, suh, what you think this Gawge done? He go have
Billy 'rested. _Yes_, suh! But you can't tell Judge Crutchfield nothin'.
Next mo'nin' in p'leece co't he say to Billy: 'I fine you twenty-five
dollahs, fo' hittin' this old gray-haihed man.' Yes, _suh_! 'at 's a way
Judge Crutchfield is. Can't tell _him_ nothin'. He jes' set up theh on
de bench, an' he chaw tobacco, an' he heah de cases, an' he spit, an'
evvy time he spit he spit a fine. Yes, _suh_! He spit like dis: 'Pfst!
Five dollahs!'--'Pfst! Ten dollahs!'--'Pfst! Fifteen dollahs!'--just how
he feel. He suttinly is some judge, 'at man."

Encouraged by this account of police court justice as meted out to the
Richmond negro, my companion and I did visit Justice Crutchfield's
court.

The room in the basement of the City Hall was crowded. All the benches
were occupied and many persons, white and black, were standing up. Among
the members of the audience--for the performance is more like a
vaudeville show with the judge as headliner than like a serious
tribunal--I noticed several actors and actresses from a company which
was playing in Richmond at the time--these doubtless drawn to the place
by the fact that Walter C. Kelly, billed in vaudeville as "The Virginia
Judge," is commonly reported to have taken Judge Crutchfield as a model
for his exceedingly amusing monologue. Mr. Kelly himself has, however,
told me that his inspiration came from hearing the late Judge J.D.G.
Brown, of Newport News, hold court.

At the back of the room, in what appeared to be a sort of steel cage,
were assembled the prisoners, all of them, on this occasion, negroes;
while at the head of the chamber behind the usual police-court bulwark,
sat the judge--a white-haired, hook-nosed man of more than seventy,
peering over the top of his eyeglasses with a look of shrewd, merciless
divination.

"William Taylor!" calls a court officer.

A negro is brought from the cage to the bar of justice. He is a sad
spectacle, his face adorned with a long strip of surgeon's plaster. The
judge looks at him over his glasses. The hearing proceeds as follows:

COURT OFFICER (to prisoner)--Get over there! (Prisoner obeys.)

JUDGE CRUTCHFIELD--Sunday drunk--Five dollars.

It is over.

The next prisoner is already on his way to the bar. He is a short, wide
negro, very black and tattered. A large black negress, evidently his
consort, arises as witness against him. The case goes as follows:

JUDGE CRUTCHFIELD--Drunk?

THE WIFE (looking contemptuously at her spouse)--Drunk? Yass, Jedge,
drunk. _Always_ drunk.

THE PRISONER (meekly)--I ain't been drunk, Jedge.

THE JUDGE--Yes, you have. I can see you've got your sign up this
morning. (Looking toward cage at back of room): Make them niggers stop
talkin' back there! (To the wife): What did he do, Mandy?

THE WIFE (angrily)--Jedge, he come bustin' in, and he come so fast he
untook the do' off'n de hinges; den 'e begins--

THE JUDGE (to the prisoner, sarcastically)--You wasn't drunk, eh?

THE PRISONER (weakly)--I might of had a drink oh two.

THE JUDGE (severely)--Was--you--_drunk_?

THE PRISONER--No, suh, Jedge. Ah wasn't drunk. Ah don't think no man's
drunk s' long 's he can navigate, Jedge. I don't--

THE JUDGE--Oh, yes, he can be! He can navigate and navigate mighty
mean!--Ten dollars.

(At this point an officer speaks in a low tone to the judge, evidently
interceding for the prisoner.)

THE JUDGE (loudly)--No. That fine's very small. If it ain't worth ten
dollars to get drunk, it ain't worth nothing at all. Next case!

(While the next prisoner is being brought up, the judge entertains his
audience with one of the humorous monologues for which he is famous, and
which, together with the summary "justice" he metes out, keeps ripples
of laughter running through the room): I'm going to get drunk myself,
some day, and see what it does to me. [Laughter.] Mebbe I'll take a
little cocaine, too.

A NEGRO VOICE (from back of room, deep bass, and very fervent)--Oh,
_no-o-o_! Don't do dat, Jedge! [More laughter.]

THE JUDGE--Where's that prisoner? If he was a Baptist, he wouldn't be so
slow.

(The prisoner, a yellow negro, is brought to the bar. His trousers are
mended with a large safety pin and his other equipment is to match.)

THE JUDGE (inspecting the prisoner sharply)--You ain't a Richmond
nigger. I can tell that to look at you.

THE PRISONER--No, suh, Jedge. That's right.

THE JUDGE--Where you from? You're from No'th Ca'lina, ain't you?

THE PRISONER--Yas, suh, Jedge.

THE JUDGE--Six months!

(A great laugh rises from the courtroom at this. On inquiry we learn
that the "joke" depends upon the judge's well-known aversion for negroes
from North Carolina.)

Only recently I have heard Walter C. Kelly as "The Virginia Judge." Save
for a certain gentle side which Mr. Kelly indicates, and of which I saw
no signs in Judge Crutchfield, I should say that, even though Judge
Crutchfield is not his model, the suggestion of him is strongly there.
Two of Mr. Kelly's "cases" are particularly reminiscent of the Richmond
Police Court. One is as follows:

THE JUDGE--First case--Sadie Anderson.

THE PRISONER--Yassir! That's me!

THE JUDGE--Thirty days in jail. That's me! Next case.

The other:

THE JUDGE--What's your name?

THE PRISONER--Sam Williams.

THE JUDGE--How old are you, Sam?

THE PRISONER--Just twenty-four.

THE JUDGE--You'll be just twenty-five when you get out. Next case!




CHAPTER XXIV

NORFOLK AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD


Just as New York looks newer than Boston, but is actually older, Norfolk
looks newer than Richmond. Business and population grow in Richmond, but
you do not feel them growing as you do in Norfolk. You feel that
Richmond business men already have money, whereas in Norfolk there is
less old wealth and a great deal more scrambling for new dollars. Also
you feel that law and order count for more in Richmond than in Norfolk,
and that the strict prohibition law which not long ago became effective
in Virginia will be more easily enforced in the capital than in the
seaport. Norfolk, in short, likes the things New York likes. It likes
tall office buildings, and it dotes on the signs of commercial activity
by day and social activity by night. Furthermore, from the tops of some
of the high buildings the place actually looks like a miniature New
York: the Elizabeth River masquerading as the East River; Portsmouth,
with its navy yard, pretending to be Brooklyn, while some old-time New
York ferryboats, running between the two cities, assist in completing
the illusion. In the neighboring city of Newport News, Norfolk has its
equivalent for Jersey City and Hoboken, while Willoughby Spit protrudes
into Hampton Roads like Sandy Hook reduced to miniature.

The principal shopping streets of Norfolk and Richmond are as unlike as
possible. Broad Street, Richmond, is very wide, and is never
overcrowded, whereas Granby Street, Norfolk (advertised by local
enthusiasts as "the livest street in Virginia," and appropriately
spanned, at close intervals, by arches of incandescent lights), is none
too wide for the traffic it carries, with the result that, during the
afternoon and evening, it is truly very much alive. To look upon it at
the crowded hours is to get a suggestion of a much larger city than
Norfolk actually is--a suggestion which is in part accounted for by the
fact that Norfolk's spending population, drawn from surrounding towns
and cities, is much greater than the number of its inhabitants.

Norfolk's extraordinary growth in the last two or three decades may be
traced to several causes: to the fertility of the soil of the
surrounding region, which, intensively cultivated, produces rich
market-garden crops, making Norfolk a great shipping point for "truck";
to the development of the trade in peanuts, which are grown in large
quantities in this corner of Virginia; to a great trade in oysters and
other sea-food, and to the continually increasing importance of the
Norfolk navy yard.

In connection with the navy Norfolk has always figured prominently,
Hampton Roads having been a favorite naval rendezvous since the early
days of the American fleet. Now, however, it is announced that the cry
of our navy for a real naval base--something we have never had, though
all other important navies have them, Britain alone having three--has
been heard in Washington, and that Norfolk has been selected as the site
for a base. This is an important event not only for the Virginia
seaport, but for the United States.

Farmers who think they are in a poor business will do well to
investigate Norfolk's recent history. The "trucking" industry of Norfolk
is said to amount in the aggregate to twelve or fourteen million dollars
annually, and many fortunes have been made from it. The pioneer
"trucker" of the region was Mr. Richard Cox. A good many years ago Mr.
Cox employed a German boy, a blacksmith by trade, named Henry Kern. Kern
finally branched out for himself. When, in 1915, he died, his real
estate holdings in Norfolk and Portsmouth were valued at two million
dollars, all of which had been made from garden truck. He was but one of
a considerable class of wealthy men whose fortunes have sprung from the
same source.

Many of the truck farms have access to the water. The farmers bring
their produce to the city in their own boats, giving the port a
picturesque note. At Norfolk it is transferred to steamers which carry
it to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Providence, Baltimore and
Washington. Lately a considerable amount of truck has been shipped west
by rail, as well.

Hundreds of acres of ground in the vicinity of the city are under glass
and large crops of winter vegetables are raised. Kale and spinach are
being grown and harvested throughout the cold months; strawberries,
potatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce and other vegetables
follow through the spring and summer, running on into the fall, when the
corn crop becomes important. Corn is raised chiefly by the peanut
farmer, whose peanuts grow between his corn-rows.

While the banks are "carrying" the peanut farmers, pending their fall
harvest, the activities of the "truckers" are at their height, so that
the money loaned to one class of agriculturist is replaced by the
deposits of the other class; and by the same token, of course, the
peanut farmers are depositing money in the banks when the "truckers"
want to borrow. This situation, one judges, is not found objectionable
by Norfolk and Portsmouth bankers, and I have been told that, as a
corollary, these banks have never been forced, even in times of dire
panic, to issue clearing house certificates, but have always paid cash.

Norfolk has grown so fast and has so rapidly replaced the old with the
new, that the visitor must keep his eyes open if he would not miss
entirely such lovely souvenirs of an earlier and easier life, as still
remain. Who would imagine, seeing it to-day, that busy Granby Street had
ever been a street of fine residences? Yet a very few years have passed
since the old Newton, Tazwell, Dickson and Taylor residences surrendered
to advancing commerce and gave place to stores and office
buildings--the two last mentioned having been replaced by the Dickson
Building and the Taylor Building, erected less than fifteen years ago.

Freemason Street is the highway which, more than any other, tells of
olden times. For though the downtown end of this lovely old thoroughfare
has lapsed into decay, many beautiful mansions, dating from long ago,
are to be seen a few blocks out from the busier portion of the city.
Among these should be mentioned the Whittle house, the H.N. Castle
house, and particularly the exquisite ivy-covered residence of Mr.
Barton Myers, at the corner of Bank Street. The city of Norfolk ought, I
think, to attempt to acquire this house and preserve it (using it
perhaps as a memorial museum to contain historical relics) to show what
has been, in Norfolk, as against what is, and to preach a silent sermon
on the high estate of beauty from which a fine old city may fall, in the
name of progress and commercial growth.

To the credit of Norfolk be it said that old St. Paul's Church, with its
picturesque churchyard and tombs, is excellently cared for and properly
valued as a pre-Revolutionary relic. The church was built in 1730, and
was struck by a British cannon-ball when Lord Dunmore bombarded the
place in 1776. Baedeker tells me, however, that the cannon-ball now
resting in the indentation in the wall of the church is "not the
original."

When I say that St. Paul's is properly valued I mean that many citizens
told my companion and me to be sure to visit. I observe, however--and I
take it as a sign of the times in Norfolk--that an extensive,
well-printed and much illustrated book on Norfolk, issued by the Chamber
of Commerce, contains pictures of banks, docks, breweries, mills, office
buildings, truck farms, peanut farms, battleships, clubhouses, hotels,
hospitals, factories, and innumerable new residences, but no picture of
the church, or of the lovely old homes of Freemason Street. Nor do I
find in the booklet any mention of the history of the city or the
surrounding region--although that region includes places of the greatest
beauty and interest: among them the glorious old manor houses of the
James River; the ancient and charming town of Williamsburg, second
capital of the Virginia colony, and seat of William and Mary College,
the oldest college in the United States excepting Harvard; Yorktown,
"Waterloo of the Revolution"; many important battlefields of the Civil
War; Hampton Institute, the famous negro industrial school at Hampton,
nearby; the lovely stretch of water on which the _Monitor_ met the
_Merrimac_[3]; the site of the first English settlement in America at
Jamestown, and, for mystery and desolation, the Dismal Swamp with Lake
Drummond at its heart. But then, I suppose it is natural that the
Chamber of Commerce mind should thrust aside such things in favor of the
mighty "goober," which is a thing of to-day, a thing for which Norfolk
is said to be the greatest of all markets. For is not history dead, and
is not the man who made a fortune out of a device for shelling peanuts
without causing the nuts to drop in two, still living?

[3] The _Merrimac_, originally a Federal vessel of wooden construction,
was sunk by the Union forces when they abandoned Norfolk. A Confederate
captain, John M. Brooke, raised her, equipped her with a ram, and
covered her with boiler plate and railroad rails. She is called the
first ironclad. While she was being reconstructed John Ericsson was
building his _Monitor_ in New York. The turret was first used on this
vessel. It is worth noting that at the time of the engagement between
these two ships the _Monitor_ was not the property of the Federal
Government, but belonged to C.S. Bushnell, of New Haven, who built her
at his own expense, in spite of the opposition of the Navy Department of
that day. The Government paid for her long after the fight. It should
also be noted that the _Merrimac_ did not fight under that name, but as
a Confederate ship had been rechristened _Virginia_. The patriotic
action of Mr. Bushnell is recalled by the fact that, only recently, Mr.
Godfrey L. Cabot, of Boston, has agreed to furnish funds to build the
torpedoplane designed by Admiral Fiske as a weapon wherewith to attack
the German fleet within its defenses at Kiel.

And yet the modernness on which Norfolk so evidently prides herself is
not something to be lightly valued. Fine schools, fine churches and
miles of pleasant, recently built homes are things for any American city
to rejoice in. Therefore Norfolk rejoices in Ghent, her chief modern
residence district, which is penetrated by arms of the Elizabeth River,
so that many of the houses in this part of the city look out upon pretty
lagoons, dotted over with all manner of pleasure craft. Less than twenty
years ago, the whole of what is now Ghent was a farm, and there are
other suburban settlements, such as Edgewater, Larchmont, Winona and
Lochhaven, out in the direction of Hampton Roads, which have grown up in
the last six or eight years. The Country Club of Norfolk, with a very
pleasing club-house on the water, and an eighteen-hole golf course, is
at Lochhaven, and the new naval base is, I believe, to be located
somewhat farther out, on the site of the Jamestown Exposition.

Norfolk is well provided with nearby seaside recreation places, of which
probably the most attractive is Virginia Beach, facing the ocean. Ocean
View, so called, is on Chesapeake Bay, and there are summer cottage
colonies at Willoughby Spit and Cape Henry. On the bay side of Cape
Henry is Lynnhaven Inlet connecting Lynnhaven Bay and River with
Chesapeake Bay. From Lynnhaven Bay come the famous oysters of that name,
now to be had in most of the large cities of the East, but which seemed
to me to taste a little better at the Virginia Club, in Norfolk, than
oysters ever tasted anywhere. Perhaps that was because they were real
Lynnhavens, just as the Virginia Club's Smithfield ham is real
Smithfield ham from the little town of Smithfield, Virginia, a few miles
distant. On the bank of the Lynnhaven River is situated the Old Donation
farm with a ruined church, and an ancient dwelling house which was used
as the first courthouse in Princess Anne County; and not far distant
from this place is Witch Duck Point, where Grace Sherwood, after having
been three times tried, and finally convicted as a witch, was thrown
into the river.

The several waterside places I have mentioned are more or less local in
character, but there is nothing local about Fortress Monroe, on Old
Point Comfort, just across Hampton Roads, which has for many years been
one of the most beautiful and highly individualized idling places on the
Atlantic Coast.

The old moated fortress, the interior of which is more like some lovely
garden of the last century than a military post, remains an important
coast artillery station, and is a no less lovely spot now than when our
grandparents went there on their wedding journeys, stopping at the old
Hygiea Hotel, long since gone the way of old hotels.

The huge Chamberlin Hotel, however, remains apparently unchanged, and is
to-day as spacious, comfortable and homelike as when our fathers and
mothers, or perhaps we ourselves, stopped there years ago. The
Chamberlin, indeed, seems to have the gift of perennial youth. I
remember a ball which was given there in honor of Admiral Sampson and
the officers of his fleet, after the Spanish War. The ballroom was so
full of naval and military uniforms that I, in my somber civilian
clothing, felt wan and lonely. Most of the evening I passed in modest
retirement, looking out upon the brilliant scene from behind a potted
palm. And yet, when my companion and I, now in our dotage, recently
visited the Chamberlin, there stood the same potted palm in the same
place. Or if it was not the same, it was one exactly like it.

The Chamberlin is of course a great headquarters for army and navy
people, and we observed, moreover, that honeymooning couples continue to
infest it--for Fortress Monroe has long ranked with Washington and
Niagara Falls as a scene to be visited upon the wedding journey.

There they all were, as of old: the young husband scowling behind his
newspaper and pretending to read and not to be thinking of his pretty
little wife across the breakfast table; the fat blonde bride being
continually photographed by her adoring mate--now leaning against a pile
on the pier, now seated on a wall, with her feet crossed, now standing
under a live-oak within the fortress; also there was the inevitable
young pair who simply couldn't keep their hands off from each other; we
came upon them constantly--in the sun-parlor, where she would be seated
on the arm of his chair, running her hand through his hair; wandering in
the eventide along the shore, with arms about each other, or going in to
meals, she leading him down the long corridor by his "ickle finger".

       *       *       *       *       *

I recall that it was as we were going back to Norfolk from Old Point
Comfort, having dinner on a most excellent large steamer, running to
Norfolk and Cape Charles, that my companion remarked to me, out of a
clear sky, that he had made up his mind, once for all, that, come what
might, he would never, never, never get married. No, never!




CHAPTER XXV

COLONEL TAYLOR AND GENERAL LEE

    Forth from its scabbard all in vain
      Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
    'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
    It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
    Defeated, yet without a stain,
      Proudly and peacefully.

    --ABRAM J. RYAN.


Though I had often heard, before going into the South, of the devotion
of that section to the memory of General Robert E. Lee, I never fully
realized the extent of that devotion until I began to become a little
bit acquainted with Virginia. I remember being struck, while in Norfolk,
with the fact that portraits of General Lee were to be seen in many
offices and homes, much as one might expect, at the present time, to
find portraits of Joffre and Nivelle in the homes of France, or of Haig
in the homes of Britain. It is not enough to say that the memory of Lee
is to the South like that of Napoleon I to France, for it is more. The
feeling of France for Napoleon is one of admiration, of delight in a
national military genius, of hero-worship, but there is not intermingled
with it the quality of pure affection which fully justifies the use of
the word _love_, in characterizing the feeling of the South for its
great military leader--the man of whom Lord Wolseley said: "He was a
being apart and superior to all others in every way; a man with whom
none I ever knew, and very few of whom I ever read are worthy to be
compared; a man who was cast in a grander mould and made of finer metal
than all other men."

Nor is this love surprising, for whereas Napoleon was a self-seeking
man, and one whose personal character was not altogether admirable in
other respects, and whereas he could hardly be said to typify France's
ideal of everything a gentleman should be, Lee sought nothing for
himself, was a man of great nobility of character, and was in perfection
a Virginia gentleman. At the end, moreover, where Napoleon's defeat was
that of an aspirant to conquest, glory and empire, Lee's defeat was that
of a cause, and the cause was regarded in the entire South as almost
holy, so that, in defeat, the South felt itself martyred, and came to
look upon its great general with a love and veneration unequaled in
history, and much more resembling the feeling of France for the
canonized Joan of Arc, than for the ambitious Corsican.

When, therefore, my companion and I heard, while in Norfolk, that
Colonel Walter H. Taylor, president of the Marine Bank of that city, had
served through the Civil War on General Lee's staff, we naturally became
very anxious to meet him; and I am glad to say that Colonel Taylor,
though at the time indisposed and confined to his home, was so kind as
to receive us.

He was seated in a large chair in his library, on the second floor of
his residence, a pleasant old-fashioned brick house at the corner of
York and Yarmouth Streets--a slender man, not very tall, I judged
(though I did not see him standing), not very strong at the moment, but
with nothing of the decrepitude of old age about him, for all his
seventy-seven years. Upon the contrary he was, in appearance and manner,
delightfully alert, with the sort of alertness which lends to some men
and women, regardless of their years, a suggestion of perpetual
youthfulness. Such alertness, in those who have lived a long time, is
most often the result of persistent intellectual activity, and the sign
of it is usually to be read in the eyes. Colonel Taylor's keen, dark,
observant, yet kindly eyes, were perhaps his finest feature, though,
indeed, all his features were fine, and his head, with its well-trimmed
white hair and mustache, was one of great distinction.

Mrs. Taylor (of whom we had previously been warned to beware, because
she had not yet forgiven the "Yankees" for their sins) was also present:
a beautiful old lady of unquenchable spirit, in whose manner, though she
received us with politeness, we detected lurking danger.

And why not? Do not women remember some things longer than men remember
them? Do not the sweethearts who stayed at home remember the continual
dull dread they suffered while the men they loved faced danger, whereas
the absent lovers were at least in part compensated for the risks they
ran, by the continual sense of high adventure and achievement?

Mrs. Taylor was Miss Elizabeth Selden Saunders, daughter of Captain John
L. Saunders of Virginia, who died in 1860, in the service of his
country, a commander in the United States Navy. When the war broke out
Miss Saunders, wishing to serve the Confederate Government, became a
clerk in the Surgeon General's office, at Richmond, and there she
remained while Colonel Taylor, whose training at the Virginia Military
Institute, coupled with his native ability, made him valuable as an
officer, followed the fortunes of General Lee, part of the time as the
general's aide-de-camp, and the rest of the time as adjutant-general and
chief of staff of the Army of Northern Virginia, in which capacities he
was present at all general engagements of the army, under Lee.

On April 2, 1865, when Lee's gallant but fast dwindling army, short of
supplies, and so reduced in numbers as to be no longer able to stand
against the powerful forces of Grant, was evacuating its lines at
Petersburg, when it was evident that the capital of the Confederacy was
about to fall, and the orders for retreat had been despatched by Colonel
Taylor, in his capacity as adjutant--then the colonel went to his
commander and asked for leave of absence over night, for the purpose of
going to Richmond and being married. He tells the story in his
exceedingly interesting and valuable book, "General Lee--His Campaigns
in Virginia":

     At the close of the day's work, when all was in readiness for the
     evacuation of our lines under cover of the darkness of night, I
     asked permission of General Lee to ride over to Richmond and to
     rejoin him early the next morning, telling him that my mother and
     sisters were in Richmond and that I would like to say good-by to
     them, and that my sweetheart was there, and we had arranged, if
     practicable, to be married that night. He expressed some surprise
     at my entertaining such a purpose at that time, but when I
     explained to him that the home of my bride-elect was in the enemy's
     lines, that she was alone in Richmond and employed in one of the
     departments of the government, and wished to follow the fortunes of
     the Confederacy should our lines be reestablished farther South, he
     promptly gave his assent to my plans. I galloped to the railroad
     station, then at Dunlops, on the north side of the river, where I
     found a locomotive and several cars, constituting the "ambulance
     train," designed to carry to Richmond the last of the wounded of
     our army requiring hospital treatment. I asked the agent if he had
     another engine, when, pointing to one rapidly receding in the
     direction of Richmond, he replied, "Yonder goes the only locomotive
     we have besides the one attached to this train." Turning my horse
     over to the courier who accompanied me, with directions to join me
     in Richmond as soon as he could, I mounted the locomotive in
     waiting, directed the engineer to detach it from the cars and to
     proceed to overtake the engine ahead of us. It was what the sailors
     call a stern chase and a long one. We did not overtake the other
     locomotive until it had reached Falling Creek, about three-fourths
     of the distance, when I transferred to it and sent the other back
     to Petersburg. I reached Richmond without further incident, and
     soon after midnight I was married to Elizabeth Selden Saunders....
     As will be readily understood, the occasion was not one of great
     hilarity, though I was very happy; my eyes were the only dry ones
     in the company....

     The people of Richmond were greatly excited and in despair in the
     contemplation of the abandonment of their beautiful city by our
     troops. General Lee had for so long a time thwarted the designs of
     his powerful adversaries for the capture of the city, and seemed so
     unfailing and resourceful in his efforts to hold them at bay, that
     the good people found it difficult to realize that he was compelled
     at last to give way. There was universal gloom and despair at the
     thought that at the next rising of the sun the detested Federal
     soldiers would take possession of the city and occupy its streets.
     The transportation companies were busily engaged in arranging for
     the removal of the public stores and of the archives of the
     government. A fire in the lower part of the city was fiercely
     raging, and added greatly to the excitement.

     Somewhere near four o'clock on the morning of the 3d of April I
     bade farewell to all my dear ones, and in company with my
     brother-in-law, Colonel John S. Saunders, proceeded toward Mayo's
     Bridge, which we crossed to the south side of the James, in the
     lurid glare of the fire, and within the sound of several heavy
     explosions that we took to be the final scene in the career of the
     Confederate navy, then disappearing in smoke on the James River,
     near Rockets.

Before we departed from the colonel's library, which we felt obliged to
do much sooner than we wished to, owing to the condition of his health,
he called our attention to an oil portrait of his old commander, which
occupied the place of honor above the mantelpiece, and asked his
daughters to let us see his scrap-book, containing personal letters from
General Lee, Jefferson Davis, and other distinguished men, as well as
various war documents of unusual interest.

We felt it a great privilege to handle these old letters and to read
them, and the charm of them was the greater for the affection in which
the general held Colonel Taylor, as evidenced by the tone in which he
wrote. To us it was a wonderful evening.... And it still seems to me
wonderful to think that I have met and talked with a man who issued
Lee's orders, who rode forth with Lee when he went to meet Grant in
conference at Appomattox, just before the surrender, who once slept
under the same blanket with Lee, who knew Lee as well perhaps as one man
can know another, and under conditions calculated to try men to the
utmost.

As adjutant, Colonel Taylor took an active part in arranging details of
surrender and parole. He says:

     Each officer and soldier was furnished for his protection from
     arrest or annoyance with a slip of paper containing his parole,
     signed by his commander and countersigned by an officer of the
     Federal army.

     I signed these paroles for all members of the staff, and when my
     own case was reached I requested General Lee to sign mine, which I
     have retained to the present time.

This document, with Colonel Taylor's name and title in his own
handwriting, and the signature of General Lee, I am able to reproduce
here through the courtesy of the colonel's daughters, Mrs. William B.
Baldwin and Miss Taylor, of Norfolk. It is the only parole which was
signed personally by General Lee.

[Illustration]

On the back of the little slip, which is of about the size of a bank
check, is the countersignature of George H. Sharpe, Assistant Provost
Marshal general:

[Illustration]

Following his parole Colonel Taylor rode with General Lee to Richmond.
The general seemed to be in a philosophical frame of mind, but thought
much of the future. The subject of the surrender and its consequences
was about exhausted. The Colonel tells of one incident:

     On the route General Lee stopped for the night near the residence
     of his brother, Mr. Carter Lee, in Powhatan County; and although
     importuned by his brother to pass the night under his roof, the
     general persisted in pitching his tent by the side of the road and
     going into camp as usual. This continued self-denial can only be
     explained upon the hypothesis that he desired to have his men know
     that he shared their privations to the very last.

This was perfectly in character with Lee. Throughout the War, we learn
from Colonel Taylor's book, the general used the army ration, and lived
the army life. He would not take up his quarters in a house, because he
wished to share the lot of his men, and also because he feared that, in
the event of the house falling into the hands of the enemy, the very
fact of its having been occupied by him might possibly cause its
destruction. It was only during the last year of the War, when his
health was somewhat impaired, that he consented sometimes to vary this
rule.

Lee's chivalrous nature is well shown forth in his famous General
Orders, No. 73, issued at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a few days before
Gettysburg.

After congratulating the troops on their good conduct the general
continued as follows:

     There have, however, been instances of forgetfulness on the part of
     some that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the
     army, and that the duties exacted of us by civilization and
     Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy
     than in our own.

     The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could
     befall the army, and through it our whole people, than the
     perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed and
     defenseless, and the wanton destruction of private property, that
     have marked the course of the enemy in our own country.

     Such proceedings not only degrade the perpetrators and all
     connected with them, but are subversive to the discipline and
     efficiency of the army, and destructive of the ends of our present
     movement. It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed
     men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people
     have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose
     abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies, and
     offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth, without whose
     favor and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The
     commanding general, therefore, earnestly exhorts the troops to
     abstain with most scrupulous care from unnecessary or wanton injury
     to private property, and he enjoins upon all officers to arrest and
     bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against
     the orders on this subject.

        R.E. Lee,
            General.

Truly, a document to serve as a model for warriors of all future
generations, albeit one showing an utter lack of "Kultur"!

Said Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts: "I doubt if a hostile
force ever advanced into an enemy's country, or fell back from it in
retreat, leaving behind it less cause of hate and bitterness than did
the Army of Northern Virginia in that memorable campaign."

After the war, Colonel Taylor and his wife settled in Norfolk, where,
within a very short time, a United States grand jury indicted Jefferson
Davis and General Lee for treason--this, in the case of Lee, being in
direct violation of the terms of surrender. When Grant learned of the
shameful action of the grand jury he complained to Washington and caused
the proceedings against Lee to be dropped.

In Colonel Taylor's scrap-book I found a letter written by Lee before
the indictment had been quashed, referring to the subject:

            Richmond, Va.
                June 17, 1865.

     My dear Colonel:

     I am very much obliged to you for your letter of the 13th. I had
     heard of the indictment by the grand jury at Norfolk, and made up
     my mind to let the authorities take their course. I have no wish to
     avoid any trial the government may order, and cannot flee. I hope
     others may be unmolested, and that you at least may be undisturbed.

     I am sorry to hear that our returned soldiers cannot obtain
     employment. Tell them they must all set to work, and if they cannot
     do what they prefer, do what they can. Virginia wants all their
     aid, all their support, and the presence of all her sons to sustain
     and recuperate her. They must therefore put themselves in a
     position to take part in her government, and not be deterred by
     obstacles in their way. There is much to be done which they only
     can do.

        Very truly yours,
            R.E. Lee.

As time went on, and the more gaping wounds began to heal, Colonel
Taylor's letters from the general took in many cases a lighter and
happier tone. After some years, when four daughters had been born to
Colonel and Mrs. Taylor, while yet they had no son, the general chaffed
them gently on the subject: "Give my congratulations to Mrs. Taylor," he
wrote. "Tell her I hope that when her fancy for girls is satisfied (mine
is exorbitant) she will begin upon the boys. We must have somebody to
work for them."

One of the colonel's sons was present when I came upon this letter.

"And you see," he smiled, "my father obeyed his old commander to the
last, for the next baby was a boy, and the next, and the next, and the
next, until there were as many boys as girls in our family."

       *       *       *       *       *

Colonel Taylor died at his home in Norfolk, March 1, 1916, and on the
subsequent June 15, was followed by his wife.

His death leaves but three members of Lee's staff surviving, namely,
Rev. Giles B. Cooke, of Portsmouth, Virginia, Inspector General; Major
Henry E. Young, of Charleston, South Carolina, Judge Advocate General;
and Colonel T.M.R. Talcott, of Richmond, Virginia, Aide-de-Camp. Of
these officers only the first two surrendered with General Lee, Colonel
Talcott having left the staff by promotion in 1863.

Yes, two of them surrendered, but if we are to believe Charles Francis
Adams we cannot say that Lee and his forces were actually vanquished,
for as the Massachusetts soldier-author put it:

"Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia never sustained defeat. Finally
succumbing to exhaustion, to the end they were not overthrown in
fight."




THE HEART OF THE SOUTH




CHAPTER XXVI

RALEIGH AND JOSEPHUS DANIELS

    Jedge Crutchfield give de No'th Ca'lina nigger frown;
    De mahkets says ouh tehapin am secon'-rate,
    An' Mistuh Daniels, he call Raleigh his hum town.
    --I wondah what kin be de mattuh wid ouh State?


Just as it is the fashion in the Middle West to speak jestingly of
Kansas, it is the fashion in the South to treat lightly the State of
North Carolina. And just as my companion and I, long ago, on another
voyage of discovery, were eager to get into Kansas and find out what
that fabulous Commonwealth was really like, so we became anxious, as we
heard the gossip about the "Old North State," to enter it and form our
own conclusions. The great drawback to an attempt to see North Carolina,
however, lies in the fact that North Carolina is, so to speak, spread
very thin. It has no great solid central city occupying a place in its
thoughts and its affairs corresponding to that occupied by Richmond, in
its relation to Virginia. Like Mississippi, it is a State of small towns
and small cities. Its metropolis, Charlotte, had, by the 1910 census,
less than 35,000 inhabitants; its seaport, Wilmington, a little more
than 25,000; its capital, Raleigh, less than 20,000; its beautiful
mountain resort, Asheville, fourth city in the State, less than 19,000.

I hasten to add that the next census will undoubtedly show considerable
growth in all these cities. In Raleigh I found every one insistent on
this point. The town is growing; it is a going place; a great deal of
new building is in progress; and when you ask about the population,
progressive citizens are prepared to do much better by their city than
the census takers did, some years ago. They talk thirty thousand,
instead of twenty, and they are ready with astonishing statistics about
the number of students in the schools and colleges as compared with the
total population of the city--statistics showing that though Raleigh is
not large she is progressive. Which is quite true.

I recollect that Judge Francis D. Winston, former Lieutenant Governor of
the State, United States District Attorney, and the most engaging
raconteur in the Carolinas, contributed a story to a discussion of
Raleigh's population, which occurred, one evening, at a dinner at the
Country Club.

"A promoter," he said, "was once trying to borrow money on a boom town.
He went to a banker and showed him a map, not of what the town was, but
of what he claimed it was going to be. 'Here,' he said, 'is where the
town hall will stand. In this lot will be the opera house. Over here we
are going to have a beautiful park. And on this corner we are going to
erect a tall granite office building.'

"'But,' said the banker, coldly, 'we lend money only on the basis of
population.'

"'That's all right,' returned the promoter. 'Measured by any known
standard except an actual _count_, we have a population of two hundred
thousand.'"

I shall not attempt to point this tale more than to recommend it to the
attention of the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce in every city in
the United States.

       *       *       *       *       *

Raleigh is situated within seven miles of the exact center of North
Carolina. The land on which the city stands was purchased by the State,
in 1792, from a man named Joel Lane, whose former house still stands.
The town was then laid out in a one mile square, with the site selected
for the State Capitol directly at the center of it, and lots were sold
off by the State to individuals, the proceeds of these sales being used
to build the Capitol. As a result the parks, streets and sidewalks of
the original old town still belong to the State of North Carolina, and
the city has jurisdiction over them only by courtesy of the State
government. Raleigh has, of course, much outgrown its original
dimensions, and the government of the town, outside the original square
mile at the center, is as in other towns.

While Raleigh has not the look of age which characterizes many old
southern cities, causing them to delight the eye and the imagination,
its broad streets have here and there a building old enough to remove
from the town any air of raw newness, and to make it a homelike looking
place. The sidewalks are wide; when we were in Raleigh those of the
principal streets were paved largely with soft-colored old red bricks,
which, however, were being taken up and replaced with cement. Not being
a resident of Raleigh, and consequently not having been obliged to tread
the rough brick pavements daily, I was sorry to witness this victory of
utility over beauty.

One of the pleasant old buildings is the Yarborough Hotel, at which my
companion and I stayed. The Yarborough is an exceedingly good hotel for
a city of the size of Raleigh, especially, it may be added, when that
city is in the South. The Capitol, standing among trees in a small park,
also gathers a fine flavor from age. In one of the many simple dignified
apartments of this building my companion and I were introduced to the
gentleman who was governor of the State at the time of our visit. It
seemed to me that he had a look both worn and apprehensive, and that,
while we talked, he was waiting for something. I don't know how I
gathered this impression, but it came to me definitely. After we had
departed from the executive chamber I asked the gentleman who had taken
us there if the governor was ill.

"No," he replied. "All our governors look like that after they have been
in office for a while."

"From overwork?"

"No, from an overworked jest--the jest about 'what the Governor of North
Carolina said to the Governor of South Carolina.' Every one who meets
the governor thinks of that joke and believes confidently that no one
has ever before thought of this application of it. So they all pull it
on him. For the first few months our governors stand it pretty well, but
after that they begin to break down. They feel they ought to smile, but
they can't. They begin to dread meeting strangers, and to show it in
their bearing. When in private life our governor had a very pleasant
expression, but like all the others, he has acquired, in office, the
expression of an iron dog."

Raleigh's most widely-known citizen is Josephus Daniels, Secretary of
the Navy, and publisher of the Raleigh "News and Observer." This paper,
published in the morning, and the "Times," a rival paper, published in
the afternoon, are, I believe, the only dailies in the city.

Mr. Daniels has been so much discussed that I was greatly interested in
hearing what Raleigh had to say of him. Every one knew him personally.
The men on his paper seemed to be very fond of him; others held various
opinions.

In 1894 Mr. Daniels came from Washington, D.C., where he had been chief
clerk in the Department of the Interior, when Hoke Smith was Secretary,
and acquired the newspaper of which he has since been proprietor. In its
first years under Mr. Daniels, the paper is said to have gone through
severe financial struggles, and there is an amusing story current, about
the way the payroll was met upon one occasion. According to this tale,
the business manager of the paper came to Mr. Daniels, one day, and
informed him that he needed sixty dollars more to make the payroll, and
didn't know where he was going to get it. The only ready asset in sight,
it is related, was several cases of a patent medicine known as "Mrs. Joe
Persons' Remedy," which had been taken by the "News and Observer" in
payment for advertising space. Mr. Daniels had a few dollars, and his
business manager had a railroad pass. With these resources the latter
went out on the road and sold the patent medicine for enough to make up
the deficit.

Until Mr. Daniels was appointed Secretary of the Navy he seems to have
been regarded by many citizens of Raleigh, as a good, earnest,
hard-working man, possessed of considerable personal magnetism and a
good political nose--a man who could scent how the pack was running,
take a short-cut, and presently appear to be leading. In other words an
opportunist. Though he has not much education, and though as a writer he
is far from polished, it is said that he has written powerful
editorials. "When his editorials have been good," said one gentleman,
"it is because he has been stirred up over something, and because he
manages sometimes to get into his writing the intensity of his own
personality." His office used to be, and still is, when he is in
Raleigh, a sort of political headquarters, and he used to be able to
write editorials while half a dozen politicians were sitting around his
desk, talking.

With his paper he has done much good in the State, notably by fighting
consistently for prohibition and for greater public educational
advantages. The strong educational movement in North Carolina began with
a group of men chief among whom were the late Governor Charles B.
Aycock, called "the educational governor"; Dr. E.A. Alderman, who,
though president of the University of Virginia, is a North Carolinian
and was formerly president of the University of that State; Dr. Charles
D. McKeever who committed the State to the principle of higher education
for women, and other men of similar high purpose. A gentleman who was
far from an unqualified admirer of Mr. Daniels, told me that without his
aid the great educational advance which the state has certainly made of
recent years could hardly have been accomplished, and that the same
thing applies in the case of prohibition--which has been adopted in
North Carolina.

"What sort of man is he?" I asked this gentleman.

"He is the old type of Methodist," he said. "He is the kind of man who
believes that the whale swallowed Jonah. He has the same concept of
religion that he had as a child. I differ with his policies, his
politics, his mental methods, but I don't think anybody here doubts that
he is trying, not only to do the moral thing himself, but to force
others to adopt, as rules for public conduct, the exact code in which he
personally believes, and which he certainly follows. His mental
processes are often crude, yet he has much native shrewdness and the
ability to grasp situations as they arise.

"He does not come of the aristocratic class, which probably accounts for
his failure, when he first became secretary, to perceive the necessity
for discipline in the navy, and the benefits of naval tradition.

"He was an ardent follower--I might say swallower--of Bryan, gobbling
whole all of the "Great Commoner's" vagaries. It has been said, more or
less humorously, but doubtless with a foundation of fact, that he was
"Secretary of War in all of Bryan's cabinets." That shows where Bryan
placed him. Yet when Bryan broke with Wilson and made his exit from the
Cabinet, Daniels found it perfectly simple, apparently, to drop the
Bryanism which had, hitherto, been the very essence of his life, and
become a no less ardent supporter of the President.

"When he was first taken into the cabinet he evidently regarded the
finer social amenities as matters of no consequence, or even as
effeminacies. He had but little sense of the fitness of things, and was,
in consequence, continually making _faux pas_; but he is observant; he
has learned a great deal in the course of his life as a cabinet member,
both as to his work in the Department, and as to the niceties of formal
social life."

At the time of our visit to Raleigh I had not met Mr. Daniels, nor heard
him speak. Since that time I have heard him several times and have
talked with him. Also I have talked of him with a number of men who have
been thrown more or less closely in contact with him. As is well known,
naval officers detested him with peculiar unanimity. This was true up
to the time of our entering the War. Whether matters have changed
greatly since then I am unable to say. One officer, well known in the
navy, said to me quite seriously that he believed the navy would be
better off without its two best dreadnoughts if in losing them it could
also lose Mr. Daniels. Such sentiments were peculiarly unanimous among
officers. On the other hand, however, a high officer, who has been quite
close to the Secretary, informs me that it is indeed true that he has
improved as experience has come to him. This officer stated that when
Mr. Daniels first took office he seemed to be definitely antagonistic to
officers of the navy. "He appeared to suspect them of pulling political
wires and working in their own interests. That was in the days when he
seemed almost to encourage insubordination among the enlisted men, by
his attitude toward them, in contrast to his attitude towards their
superiors. Of course it was demoralizing to the service. But there has
been a marked change in the Secretary since Bryan left the Cabinet."
From several sources I have heard the same evidence. I never heard any
one say that Mr. Daniels was really an able Secretary of the Navy, but I
have heard many say that he improved.

Personally he is a very likable man. His face is kind and gentle; his
features are interestingly irregular and there are heavy wrinkles about
his mouth and eyes--the former adding something to the already humorous
twinkle of the eyes. His voice has a _timbre_ reminding me of George M.
Cohan's voice. He is hardly an orator in the sense that Bryan is, yet he
is not without simple oratorical tricks--as for example a tremolo, as of
emotion, which I have heard him use in uttering such a phrase as "the
grea-_a-a-at_ Daniel _Web_-ster!" Also, he wears a low turnover collar
and a black string tie--a fact which would not be worth noting did these
not form a part of what amounts almost to a uniform worn by politicians
of more or less the Bryan type. Almost invariably there seems to be
something of the minister and something of the actor in such men.

Once I asked one of the famous Washington correspondents what manner of
man Mr. Daniels was.

"He's a man," he said, "that you'd like to go with on a hunting trip in
his native North Carolina. He would be a good companion and would have a
lot of funny stories. He is full of kind intentions. Had you known him
before the War, and had he liked you, and had you wished to take a ride
upon a battleship, he would be disposed to order up a battleship and
send you for a ride, even if, by doing so, he muddled up the fleet a
little. That would be in line with his fixing it for moving picture
people to act scenes on a battleship's deck--which he permitted. He saw
no reason why that was not proper, and the kind of people who admire him
most are those who, likewise, see no reason why it was not proper. The
great lack in his nature is that of personal dignity--or even the
dignity which should be his because of his position. If you are sitting
beside him and he is amiably disposed toward you, he may throw his arm
over your shoulder, or massage your knee while talking with you.

"But if some friend of his were to go to him and convince him that he
lacked dignity, he is the kind of man who, in my judgment, would become
so much the worse. That is, if he attempted to attain dignity he would
not achieve it, but would merely grow arbitrary. That, to my mind, shows
his great ineradicable weakness, for it not only reveals him as a man
too little for his job, but prevents his comprehending the basic thing
upon which naval discipline is founded. Nevertheless, as a man you like
him. It is as Secretary of the Navy, and particularly as a War
Secretary, that you very definitely don't."

Some time after our visit to Raleigh my companion and I heard Secretary
Daniels speak in Charleston. He told a funny story and talked
generalities about the navy. That was before the United States entered
the War. I do not know what he meant the speech for, but what it
actually was, was a speech against preparedness. So was the speech made
on the same occasion by Lemuel P. Padgett, chairman of the House
Committee on Naval Affairs. It was a disingenuous speech, a speech to
lull the country into confidence, a speech which, alone, should have
been sufficient to prove Mr. Padgett's unfitness to serve on that
committee. Mr. Daniels argued that "Germany's preparedness had not kept
Germany out of war"; that seemed enough, but there was one thing he
said which utterly dumbfounded me. It was this:

"_The Southern statesman who serves his section best, serves the country
best._"

Let the reader reflect for a moment upon such an utterance. Carried a
little farther what would it mean? Would it not be equally logical to
say that the man who serves himself best serves the country best? It is
the theory of narrow sectionalism, and by implication, at least, the
theory of individualism as well. And sectionalism and individualism are
two of the great curses of the United States.

Compare with Mr. Daniels' words those of John Hay who, veiling fine
patriotism beneath a web of delicate humor, said:

"_In my bewilderment of origin and experience I can only put on an
aspect of deep humility in any gathering of favorite sons, and confess
that I am nothing but an American._"

Or again, compare with them the famous words of Patrick Henry:

"_I am not a Virginian, but an American._"

Clearly, one point of view or the other is wrong. Perhaps Mr. Daniels
has more light on sectional questions than had Patrick Henry or John
Hay. At all events, the Charleston audience applauded.




CHAPTER XXVII

ITEMS FROM "THE OLD NORTH STATE"


Two of the most interesting things we saw in Raleigh were the model jail
on the top floor of the new County Court House, where a lot of very
honest looking rustics were confined to await trial for making
"blockade" (otherwise moonshine) whisky, and the North Carolina Hall of
History, which occupies a floor in the fine new State Administration
Building, opposite the Capitol. At the head of the first stair landing
in the Administration Building is a memorial tablet to William Sidney
Porter ("O Henry"), who was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a
bust of the author, in relief, by Lorado Taft. Porter, it may be
mentioned, was a connection of Worth Bagley, the young ensign who was
the only American naval officer killed in the Spanish-American War.
Bagley was a brother of Mrs. Josephus Daniels. A monument to him stands
in the park before the Capitol. Aside from Porter, the only author well
known in our time whom I heard mentioned in connection with North
Carolina, was the Rev. Thomas Dixon, whose name is most familiar,
perhaps, in connection with the moving-picture called "The Birth of a
Nation," taken from one of his novels. Mr. Dixon was born in the town of
Shelby, North Carolina, and was for some years pastor of the Tabernacle
Baptist Church, Raleigh.

The Hall of History, containing a great variety of State relics, is one
of the most fascinating museums I ever visited. Too much praise cannot
be given Colonel Fred A. Olds and Mr. Marshall De Lancey Haywood, of the
North Carolina Historical Society, for making it what it is. As with the
Confederate Museum in Richmond, so, here, it is impossible to give more
than a faint idea of the interest of the museum's contents. Among the
exhibits of which I made note, I shall, however, mention a few. There
was a letter written from Paris in the handwriting of John Paul Jones,
requesting a copy of the Constitution of North Carolina; there was the
Ku Klux warning issued to one Ben Turner of Northampton County; and
there was an old newspaper advertisement signed by James J. Selby, a
tailor, dated at Raleigh, June 24, 1824, offering a reward of ten
dollars for the capture and return of two runaways: "apprentice boys,
legally bound, named William and Andrew Johnson." The last named boy was
the same Andrew Johnson who later became a distinctly second-rate
President of the United States. Also there was a peculiarly tragic Civil
War memento, consisting of a note which was found clasped in the dead
hand of Colonel Isaac Avery, of the 6th North Carolina Regiment, who was
killed while commanding a brigade on the second day at Gettysburg.

     _Tell my father I died with my face to the enemy._

These words were written by the fallen officer with his left hand, his
right arm having been rendered useless by his mortal wound. For ink he
used his own life blood.

Also in the museum may be seen the chart-book of Blackbeard, the pirate,
who, one of the curators of the museum informed me, was the same person
as Edward Teach. Blackbeard, who is commemorated in the name of
Blackbeard's Island, off the coast of South Georgia, met his fate when
he encountered a cruiser fitted out by Governor Spotswood of Virginia
and commanded by Lieutenant Maynard. Maynard found Blackbeard's ship at
Okracoke Inlet, on the North Carolina coast. Before he and his men could
board the pirate vessel the pirates came and boarded them. Severe
fighting ensued, but the pirates were defeated, Maynard himself killing
Blackbeard in single combat with swords. The legend around Okracoke is
that Blackbeard's bad fortune on this occasion came to him because of
the unlucky number of his matrimonial adventures, the story being that
he had thirteen wives. It is said also that his vanquishers cut off his
head and hung it at the yard-arm of their ship, throwing his body into
the sea, and that as soon as the body struck the water the head began to
call, "Come on, Edward!" whereupon the headless body swam three times
around the ship. Personally I think there may be some slight doubt about
the authenticity of this part of the story. For, while from one point of
view we might say that to swim about in such aimless fashion would be
the very thing a man without a head might do, yet from another point of
view the question arises: Would a man whose head had just been severed
from his body feel like taking such a long swim?

And what a rich lot of other historic treasures!

Did you know, for instance, that Flora Macdonald, the Scottish heroine,
who helped Prince Charles Edward to escape, dressed as a maidservant,
after the Battle of Culloden, in 1746, came to America with her husband
and many relatives just before the Revolutionary War and settled at
Cross Creek (now Fayetteville), North Carolina? When General Donald
Macdonald raised the Royal standard at the time of the Revolution, her
husband and many of her kinsmen joined him, and these were later
captured at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, in 1776, and taken as
prisoners to Philadelphia. Yes; and Flora Macdonald's garter-buckles are
now in the museum at Raleigh.

A portrait of Captain James J. Waddell, C.S.N., who was a member of a
famous North Carolina family, recalls the story of his post-bellum
cruise, in command of the _Shenandoah_, when, not knowing that the War
was over, he preyed for months on Federal commerce in the South Seas.

The museum of course contains many uniforms worn by distinguished
soldiers of the Confederacy and many old flags, among them one said to
be the original flag of the Confederacy. This flag was designed by Orren
R. Smith of Louisburg, North Carolina, and was made in that town. The
journals of the Confederate Congress show that countless designs for a
flag were submitted, that the Committee on a Flag reported that all
designs had been rejected and returned, the committee having adopted one
of its own; nevertheless Mr. Smith's claim to have designed the flag
finally adopted is so well supported that the Confederate Veterans, at
their General Reunion held in Richmond in 1915, passed a resolution
endorsing it.

Also in the museum is the shot-riddled smokestack of the Confederate ram
_Albemarle_, which was built on the farm of Peter E. Smith, on Roanoke
River, and is said to have been the first vessel ever launched sidewise.
The _Albemarle_, after a glorious career, was sunk by Lieutenant
Cushing, U.S.N., in his famous exploit with a torpedo carried on a pole
at the bow of a launch. It will be remembered that the launch was sunk
by the shock and that only Cushing and one member of his crew survived,
swimming away under fire.

North Carolina also claims--and not without some justice--that the first
English settlement on this continent was not that at Jamestown, but the
one made by Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition, under Amadas and Barlowe,
which landed at Roanoke Island, August 4, 1584, and remained there for
some weeks. The Jamestown Colony, say the North Carolinians, was merely
the first to _stick_.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across the sound from Roanoke Island, is the
site of the first flight of a man in an aeroplane, the Wright brothers
having tried out their first crude plane there, among the Kill-Devil
sand dunes. A part of the original plane is preserved in the museum. Nor
must I leave the museum without mentioning the bullet-riddled hat of
General W.R. Cox, and his gray military coat, with a blood-stained gash
in front, where a solid shell ripped across. General Cox's son, Mr.
Albert Cox, was with us in the museum when we stopped to look at this
grim souvenir. "It tore father open in front," he said, "spoiled a coat
which had cost him $550, Confederate, and damaged his watchchain.
Nevertheless he lived to take part in the last charge at Appomattox, and
the watchchain wasn't so badly spoiled but what, with the addition of
some new links, it could be worn." And he showed us where the chain,
which he himself was wearing at the time, had been repaired.

I must say something, also, of the North Carolina College of Agriculture
and Mechanic Arts, an institution doing splendid work, and doing it
efficiently, both in its own buildings and through extension courses.
Fifty-two per cent. of the students at this college earn their way
through, either wholly or in part. And better yet, eighty-three per
cent. of the graduates stick to the practical work afterwards--an
unusually high record.

The president of the college, Dr. D.H. Hill, is a son of the Confederate
general of the same name, who has been called "the Ironsides of the
South."

There are a number of other important educational institutions in and
about Raleigh, and there is one which, if not important, is at all
events, a curio. This is "Latta University," consisting of a few flimsy
shacks in the negro village of Oberlin, on the outskirts of Raleigh.

"Professor" Latta is one of the rare negroes who combines the habit with
white folks of the old fashioned southern darky, and the astuteness of
the "new issue" in high finance. Years ago he conceived the idea of
establishing a negro school near Raleigh, to which he gave the above
mentioned name. He had no funds, no credit and little or no education.
Nevertheless he had ideas, the central one of which was that New England
was the land of plenty. With the "university" in his head, and with a
miscellaneous collection of photographs, he managed to make a tour of
northern cities, and came back with his pockets lined. As a result he
procured a little land, put up frame buildings, gathered a few youths
about him, and was fully launched on his career as a university
president.

So long as the money held out, Latta was content to drift along with his
school. When he came to the bottom of the bag he invested the last of
his savings in another ticket north and, armed with his title of
"president," made addresses to northern audiences and replenished his
finances with their contributions.

Finally, as the great act of his career, Latta managed to get passage to
Europe and was gone for several months. When he came back he had added a
manuscript to his possessions: "The History of My Life and Work," which
he published, and which is one of the most curious volumes I have ever
seen.

It is illustrated--largely with photographs of the author. One of the
pictures is entitled, "Rev. M.L. Latta when he first commenced to build
Latta University." This shows Latta with the tips of his fingers resting
on a small table. Another picture shows him posed with one hand raised
and the other resting on what is unmistakably the same little table. The
latter picture, however, has the caption, "Rev. M.L. Latta making a
speech in Pawtucket, R.I., at Y.M.C.A." Both pictures were all too
clearly taken in a photographer's studio. Another page shows us, "Rev.
M.L. Latta and three of his Admirable Presidents." In this case Latta
merely takes for himself the upper right-hand corner, the other eminent
persons pictured being ex-Presidents Roosevelt, McKinley and Cleveland.
The star illustration, however, is a "made up" picture, in which a
photograph of Latta, looking spick-and-span, has been pasted onto what
is very obviously a painted picture of a hall full of people in evening
dress, all of them gazing at Latta, who stands upon the stage,
dignified, suave, impressive, and all dressed-up by the brush of the
"re-toucher." This picture is called: "In the Auditorium at London, in
1894." Similar artfulness is shown in pictures of the "university"
buildings, where the same frame structure, photographed from opposite
ends, appears in one case as, "Young Ladies' Dormitory," and in the
other as, "Chapel and Young Men's Dormitory."

In his autobiography, Latta tells how, in the course of getting his own
schooling, he raised money by teaching a district school during
vacation. He says:

     After paying my expenses, I had nearly a hundred dollars to return
     to school with. When I returned I was able to dress very neatly
     indeed, and the young ladies received me very cordially on the
     green during social hour. Before I taught school it was a common
     saying among the young ladies and young men "Latta"; but after I
     returned with a hundred dollars it was "Mr. Latta" all over the
     campus. I would hear the young ladies saying among themselves, "I
     bet Mr. Latta will not go with you--he will correspond with me this
     afternoon." I paid no attention to it. I said to myself, "Don't you
     see what a hundred dollars will do?"

In another place the Professor reveals how he came to write his book:
"Professor King, one of the teachers at Latta University said to me, 'If
I had done what you have done I would have wrote a history of my life
several years ago.'"

The best part of the book, however, gives us Latta's account of his
doings in London:

     Just before I left the city of London I was invited by a
     distinguished friend, a close relation to Queen Victoria, to make a
     speech. He told me there would be a meeting in one of the large
     halls in that city. I can't just think of the name of the hall. He
     invited me to be present. The distinguished friend that I have just
     mentioned presided over the meeting. There was an immense audience
     present. If memory serves me right, I was the only Negro in the
     hall. The gentleman came to me and asked if I would make a speech.
     I told him I had already delivered one address, besides several
     sermons I had preached, and I thought that I would not speak again
     during my stay. I accepted the invitation, however, and spoke.

The Professor then tells how he was introduced as one whose addresses
were "among the ablest ever delivered in London." Also he gives his
speech in full. Great events followed. His distinguished unnamed friend,
the "close relation of the Queen," came to him soon after, he says, and
asked him if he had "ever been to the palace."

Continues Latta:

     He said to me, "If you will come over before you leave the city,
     and call to see me, I will take you to the palace with me and
     introduce you to the Queen." I told him I would do so, that I had
     heard a good deal about the royal throne, and I would be very much
     interested to see the palace. He said he thought I would, because
     the government was very different from ours.

     I called at his residence as I had promised, and he went with me to
     the palace. The Queen knew him, of course. He was received very
     cordially. Everything shined so much like gold in the palace that I
     had to stop and think where I was. He introduced me to the Queen,
     and told her I was from North America. He told her that I spoke at
     a meeting he presided over, and he enjoyed my speech very much. He
     told her we had an immense audience, and all the people were well
     pleased with the speech. The Queen said she was more than glad to
     meet me, and she would have liked very much to have been present,
     and heard the speech that her cousin said I made.... She told me
     she hoped that would not be the last visit I would make to their
     city. I shook hands with her and bade her good-bye. The
     distinguished friend carried me and showed me the different
     departments of the palace, and I bade him good-bye.

In Raleigh, I think, they rather like Latta. It amuses them to see him
go north and get money, and it is said that he appreciates the situation
himself. He ought to. Not many southern negroes have such comfortable
homes as "Latta University's" best kept-up building--the residence of
the President.




CHAPTER XXVIII

UNDER ST. MICHAEL'S CHIMES

    And where St. Michael's chimes
    The fragrant hours exquisitely tell,
    Making the world one loveliness, like a true poet's rhymes.

    --RICHARD WATSON GILDER.


It has been said--by Mrs. T.P. O'Connor, I think--that whereas
twenty-five letters of introduction for New York may produce one
invitation to dinner, one letter of introduction for Charleston will
produce twenty-five dinner invitations. If this be an exaggeration it
is, at least, exaggeration in the right direction; that is, along the
lines of truth. For though Charleston's famed "exclusiveness" is very
real, making letters of introduction very necessary to strangers
desiring to see something of the city's social life, such letters
produce, in Charleston, as Mrs. O'Connor suggests, results definite and
delightful.

Immediately upon our arrival, my companion and I sent out several
letters we had brought with us, and presently calling cards began to
arrive for us at the hotel. Also there came courteous little notes,
delivered in most cases by hand, according to the old Charleston
custom--a custom surviving pleasantly from times when there were no
postal arrangements, but plenty of slaves to run errands. Even to this
day, I am told, invitations to Charleston's famous St. Cecilia balls are
delivered by hand.

One of the notes we received revealed to us a characteristic custom of
the city. It contained an invitation to occupy places in the pew of a
distinguished family, at St. Michael's Church, on the approaching Sunday
morning. In order to realize the significance of such an invitation one
must understand that St. Michael's is to Charleston, socially, what St.
George's, Hanover Square, is to London. A beautiful old building,
surrounded by a historic burial ground and surmounted by a delicate
white spire containing fine chimes, it strongly suggests the
architectural touch of Sir Christopher Wren; but it is not by Wren, for
he died a number of years before 1752, when the cornerstone of St.
Michael's was laid. When the British left Charleston--or Charles Town,
as the name of the place stands in the early records--after occupying it
during the Revolutionary War, they took with them, to the horror of the
city, the bells of St. Michael's, and the church books. The silver,
however, was saved, having been concealed on a plantation some miles
from Charleston. Later the bells were returned.

Pre-Revolutionary Charleston was divided into two parishes: St.
Michael's below Broad Street, and St. Philip's above. Under governmental
regulation citizens were not allowed to hold pews in both churches
unless they owned houses in both parishes. St. Michael's, being nearer
the battery, in which region are the finest old houses, had, perhaps,
the wealthier congregation, but St. Philip's is, to my mind, the more
beautiful church of the two, largely because of the open space before
it, and the graceful outward bend of Church Street in deference to the
projecting portico.

When the Civil War broke out St. Philip's bells were melted and made
into cannon, but those of St. Michael's were left in place until
cannonballs from the blockading fleet struck the church, when they were
taken down and sent, together with the silver plate, to Columbia, South
Carolina, for safe-keeping. But Columbia was, as matters turned out, the
worst place to which they could have been sent. The silver was looted by
troops under Sherman, and the bells were destroyed when the city was
burned. The fragments were, however, collected and sent to England,
whence the bells originally came, and there they were recast. Their
music--perhaps the most characteristic of all the city's characteristic
sounds--has been called "the voice of Charleston." Of the silver only a
few fragments have been returned. One piece was found in a pawn shop in
New York, and another in a small town in Ohio. _Mais que voulez-vous?
C'est la guerre!_

In mentioning Charleston churches one becomes involved in a large
matter. In 1801, when St. Mary's, the first Roman Catholic church in the
city, was erected, there were already eighteen churches in existence,
among them the present Huguenot Church, at the corner of Church and
Queen Streets, which, though a very old building, is nevertheless the
second Huguenot Church to occupy the same site, the first, built in
1687, having been destroyed in the great conflagration of 1796, which
very nearly destroyed St. Philip's, as well. A number of the old
Huguenot families long ago became Episcopalians, and the descendants of
many of the early French settlers of Charleston, buried in the Huguenot
churchyard, are now parishioners of St. Michael's and St. Philip's. The
Huguenot Church in Charleston is the only church of this denomination in
America; its liturgy is translated from the French, and services are
held in French on the third Sunday of November, January and March. A
Unitarian Church was established in 1817, as an offshoot of the Scotch
Presbyterian Church, the old White Meeting House of which (built 1685,
used by the British as a granary, during the Revolution, and torn down
1806) gave Meeting Street its name. Early in the history of the
Unitarian Church, the home of which was a former Presbyterian Church
building, in Archdale Street, Dr. Samuel Gilman, a young minister from
Gloucester, Massachusetts, became its pastor. This was the same Dr.
Gilman who wrote "Fair Harvard."

       *       *       *       *       *

In only one instance did the letters of introduction we sent out produce
a response of the kind one would not be surprised at receiving in some
rushing city of the North: a telephone call. A lady, not a native
Charlestonian, but one who has lived actively about the world, rang us
up, bade us welcome, and invited us to dinner.

But she was a very modern sort of lady, as witness not only her use of
the telephone--an instrument which seems in Charleston almost an
anachronism; as, for that matter, the automobile does, too--but her
dinner hour, which was eight o'clock. Very few Charleston families dine
at night. Dinner invitations are usually for three, or perhaps half-past
three or four, in the afternoon, and there is a light supper in the
evening. I judge that this custom holds also in some other cities of the
region, for I remember calling at the office of a large investment
company in Wilmington, North Carolina, to find it wearing, at three in
the afternoon, the deserted look of a New York office between twelve and
one o'clock. Every one had gone home to dinner. Mr. W.D. Howells, in his
charming essay on Charleston, makes mention of this matter:

"The place," he says, "has its own laws and usages, and does not trouble
itself to conform to those of other aristocracies. In London the best
society dines at eight o'clock, and in Madrid at nine, but in Charleston
it dines at four.... It makes morning calls as well as afternoon calls,
but as the summer approaches the midday heat must invite rather to the
airy leisure of the verandas, and the cool quiescence of interiors
darkened against the fly in the morning and the mosquito at
night-fall."

The household fly is a year-round resident of Charleston, by grace of a
climate which permits--barely permits, at its coldest--the use of the
open surrey as a public vehicle in all seasons. Sometimes, during a
winter cold-snap, when a ride in a surrey is not a pleasant thing to
contemplate, when residents of old mansions have shut themselves into a
room or two heated by grate fires, then the fly seems to have
disappeared, but let the cold abate a little and out he comes again like
some rogue who, after brief and spurious penance, resumes the evil of
his ways.

The stranger going to a humble Charleston house will find on the gate a
coiled spring at the end of which hangs a bell. By touching the spring
and causing the bell to jingle he makes his presence known. The larger
houses have upon their gates bell-pulls or buttons which cause bells to
ring within. This is true of all houses which have front gardens. The
garden gate constitutes, by custom, a barrier comparable in a degree
with the front door of a Northern house; a usage arising, doubtless, out
of the fact that almost all important Charleston houses have not only
gardens, but first and second story galleries, and that in hot weather
these galleries become, as it were, exterior rooms, in which no small
part of the family life goes on. Many Charleston houses have their
gardens to the rear, and themselves abut upon the sidewalk. Calling at
such houses, you ring at what seems to be an ordinary front door, but
when the door is opened you find yourself entering not upon a hall, but
upon an exterior gallery running to the full depth of the house, down
which you walk to the actual house door. In still other houses--and this
is true of some of the most notable mansions of the city, including the
Pringle, Huger, and Rhett houses--admittance is by a street door of the
normal sort, opening upon a hall, and the galleries and gardens are at
the side or back, the position of the galleries in relation to the house
depending upon what point of the compass the house faces, the desirable
thing being to get the breezes which are prevalently from the southwest
and the westward.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charleston is very definitely two things: It is old, and it is a city.

There is the story of a young lady who asked a stranger if he did not
consider it a unique town.

He agreed that it was, and inquired whether she knew the derivation of
the word "unique."

When she replied negatively he informed her that the word came from the
Latin _unus_, meaning "one," and _equus_, meaning "a horse"; otherwise
"a one-horse town."

This tale, however, is a libel, for despite the general superstition of
chambers of commerce to the contrary, the estate of cityhood is not
necessarily a matter of population nor yet of commerce. That is one of
the things which, if we were unaware of it before, we may learn from
Charleston. Charleston is not great in population; it is not very great,
as seaports go, in trade. Were cities able to talk with one another as
men can, and as foolishly as men often do, I have no doubt that many a
hustling middle-western city would patronize Charleston, precisely as a
parvenue might patronize a professor of astronomy; nevertheless,
Charleston has a stronger, deeper-rooted city entity than all the cities
of the Middle West rolled into one. This is no exaggeration. Where
modern American cities strive to be like one another, Charleston strives
to be like nothing whatsoever. She does not have to strive to _be_
something. She _is_ something. She understands what most other American
cities do not understand, and what, in view of our almost unrestricted
immigration laws, it seems the National Government cannot be made to
understand: namely, that mere numbers do not count for everything; that
there is the matter of quality of population to be considered.
Therefore, though Charleston's white population is no greater than that
of many a place which would own itself frankly a small town, Charleston
knows that by reason of the character of its population it is a great
city. And that is precisely the case. Charleston people are city people
_par excellence_. They have the virtues of city people, the vices of
city people, and the civilization and sophistication of those who reside
in the most aristocratic capitals. For that is another thing that
Charleston is; it is unqualifiedly the aristocratic capital of the
United States; the last stronghold of a unified American upper class;
the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port and
_noblesse oblige_ are fully and widely understood, and are employed
according to the best traditions.

I have been told of a lady who remarked that Charleston was "the biggest
little place" she ever saw. I say the same. The littleness of the place,
it is sometimes pointed out, is expressed by the "vast cousinship" which
constitutes Charleston society, but it is to my mind expressed much
better in the way bicyclists leave their machines leaning against the
curb at the busiest parts of main shopping streets. Its bigness, upon
the other hand, is expressed by the homes from which some of those
bicyclists come, by the cultivation which exists in those homes, and has
existed there for generations, by the amenities of life as they are
comprehended and observed, by the wealth of the city's tradition and the
richness of its background. Nor is that background a mere arras of
recollection. It exists everywhere in the wood and brick and stone of
ancient and beautiful buildings, in iron grilles and balconies
absolutely unrivaled in any other American city, and equaled only in
European cities most famous for their artistry in wrought iron. It
exists also in venerable institutions--the first orphanage established
in the United States; the William Enston Home; the Public Library, one
of the first and now one of the best libraries in the country; the art
museum, the St. Cecilia Society, and various old clubs. More intimately
it exists within innumerable old homes, which are treasure-houses of
fine old English and early American furniture and of
portraits--portraits by Sir Joshua, by Stuart, Copley, Trumbull, and
most of the other portrait painters who painted from the time the
Colonies began to become civilized to the time of the Civil War--among
them S.F.B. Morse, who, I believe it is not generally known, made a
considerable reputation as a portrait painter, in Charleston, before he
made himself a world figure by inventing the telegraph.

Even without seeing these private treasures the visitor to Charleston
will see enough to convince him that Charleston is indeed
"unique"--though not in the sense implied in the story--that it is the
most intimately beautiful city upon the American continent.

To call Charleston "unique," and immediately thereafter to liken it to
other places may seem paradoxical. These likenesses are, however,
evanescent. It is not that Charleston is actually like other places, but
that here in a church building, there in an old tile roof, wrought iron
gate, or narrow cobbled street, the visitor will find himself delicately
reminded of Old World towns and cities. Mr. Howells, for example, found
on the East Battery a faint suggestion of Venetian palaces, and in the
doorway and gates of the Smyth house, in Legare Street, I was struck,
also, with a Venetian suggestion so strange and subtle that I could not
quite account for it. At night some of the old narrow streets, between
Meeting Street and Bay, made me think of streets in the old part of
Paris, on the left bank of the Seine; or again I would stop before an
ancient brick house which was Flemish, or which--in the case of houses
diagonally opposite St. Philip's Church--exampled the rude architecture
of an old French village, stucco walls colored and chipped, red tile
roof and all. The busy part of King Street, on a Saturday night when the
fleet was in, made me think of Havana, and the bluejackets seemed to me,
for the moment, to be American sailors in a foreign port; and once, on
the same evening's walk, when I chanced to look to the westward across
Marion Square, I found myself transported to the central _place_ of a
Belgian city, with a slope-shouldered church across the way masquerading
as a _hotel de ville_, and the sidewalk lights at either side figuring
in my imagination as those of pleasant terrace cafes. So it was always.
The very hotel in which we stayed--the Charleston--is like no other
hotel in the United States, though it has about it something which
caused me to think of the old Southern, in St. Louis. Still, it is not
like the Southern. It is more like some old hotel in a provincial city
of France--large and white, with a pleasing unevenness of floor, and,
best of all, a great inner court which, in provincial France, might be a
_remise_, but is here a garden. If I mistake not, carriages and coaches
did in earlier times drive through the arched entrance, now the main
doorway, and into this courtyard, where passengers alighted and baggage
was taken down. The Planter's Hotel, now a ruin, opposite the Huguenot
Church, antedates all others in the city, and used to be the fashionable
gathering place for wealthy Carolinians and their families who came to
Charleston annually for the racing season.

The fact that Charleston has a rather important art museum and that its
library is one of the four oldest town libraries in the country, no less
than the fact that the city was, in its day, a great racing center,
contribute to an understanding of the spirit of the place. The present
Charleston Library is not the first public library started in the city.
Not by any means! For it was founded as late as 1748, and the original
public library of Charleston was the first one of the kind in the
country, having been started about the beginning of the 18th century.
Old records of this library still exist, showing that citizens voted so
many skins to its support. Probably the most valuable possession of the
present library are its files of Charleston newspapers, dating from 1732
to the present time, including three files covering the War of 1812, and
two covering the Civil War. These files are consulted by persons from
all over the United States, for historical material. The library has
recently moved into a good modern building. In the old building there
was a separate entrance at the back for ladies, and it is only lately
that ladies have been allowed full membership in the Library Society,
and have entered by the front door. The former custom, I suppose,
represented certain old-school sentiments as to "woman's place" such as
I find expressed in "Reminiscences of Charleston," by Charles Fraser,
published in 1854. Declares Mr. Fraser:

     The ambition for literary distinction is now very prevalent with
     the sex. But without any disposition to undervalue their claims,
     whenever I hear of a female traveler clambering the Alps, or
     describing the classic grounds of Greece and Italy, publishing her
     musings in the holy land, or revealing the mysteries of the harem,
     I cannot but think that for every success obtained some appropriate
     duty has been neglected.

     I except the poetess, for hers are the effusions of the heart and
     the imagination, prompted by nature and uttered because they are
     irrepressible. Many females travel for the purpose of writing and
     publishing books--whilst Mrs. Heman's, Mrs. Osgood's, and Mrs.
     Sigourney's volumes may be regarded as grateful offerings to the
     muse in return for her inspiration.

It is hard not to be irritated, even now, with the man who wrote that,
especially in view of the fact that the two most interesting books to
come out of the Carolinas of recent years are both by women: one of them
being "Charleston--the Place and the People," by Mrs. St. Julien
Ravenel, a volume any chapter of which is worth the whole of Mr.
Fraser's "Reminiscences," and the other "A Woman Rice-Planter," by
"Patience Pennington," otherwise Mrs. John Julius Pringle (nee Alston),
who lives on her plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina.

The Carolina Jockey Club subscribed regularly to the support of the
library, and now that that club is no more, its chief memorial may be
said to rest there. This club was probably the first racing club in the
country, and it is interesting to note that the old cement pillars from
the Washington Race Course at Charleston were taken, when that course
was abandoned, and set up at the Belmont Park course, near New York.

The turf history of Carolina began (according to the "South Carolina
Gazette," dated February 1, 1734) in that same year, on the first
Tuesday in February. One of the prizes was a saddle and bridle valued at
L20. The riders were white men and the course was a green at Charleston
Neck, near where the lower depot of the South Carolina Railroad now
stands. In a "History of the Turf in South Carolina," which I found in
the library, I learned that Mr. Daniel Ravenel bred fine horses on his
plantation, Wantoot, in St. John's Parish, as early as 1761, that Mr.
Frank Huger had imported an Arabian horse, and that many other gentlemen
were importing British running horses, and were engaged in breeding. The
book refers to the old York Course, later called the New Market Course.
A long search did not, however, enable me to establish the date on which
the Jockey Club was founded. It was clearly a going institution in 1792,
for under date of Wednesday, February 15, in that year, I found the
record of a race for the Jockey Club Purse--"four mile-heats--weight for
age--won by Mr. Lynch's _Foxhunter_, after a well contested race of four
heats, beating Mr. Sumter's _Ugly_, who won the first heat; Col.
Washington's _Rosetta_, who won the second heat; Capt. Alston's _Betsy
Baker_," etc., etc.

The Civil War practically ended the Jockey Club, though a feeble effort
was, for a time, made to carry it on. In 1900 the club properties and
the funds remaining in the club treasury were transferred as an
endowment to the Charleston Library Society. The proceeds from this
endowment add to the library's income by about two thousand dollars
annually. Other items of interest in connection with the Carolina Jockey
Club are that Episcopal Church conventions used to be held in Charleston
during the racing season, so that the attending parsons might take in
the races; that the Jockey Club Ball used to be the great ball of the
Charleston season, as the second St. Cecilia Ball became later and now
is; that the Charleston Club, a most delightful club, founded in 1852,
was an outgrowth of the Jockey Club; and that the Jockey Club's old
Sherries, Ports and Madeiras went to New York where they were purchased
by Delmonico--among them a Calderon de la Barca Madeira of 1848, and a
Peter Domecq Sherry of 1818.

Mr. S.A. Nies, one of the old employees of Delmonico's, tells me that
the Calderon de la Barca of the above mentioned year is all gone, but
that Delmonico's still has a few bottles of the same wine of the vintage
of 1851.

"This wine," Mr. Nies said, "is listed on our wine card at $6.00 per
bottle. It is not the best Madeira that we have, although it is a very
fine one. Recently we served a bottle of Thompson's Auction Madeira, of
which the year is not recognizable on the label, but which to my
knowledge was an old wine forty years ago. This wine brought $25.00 a
bottle and was worth it.

"The Peter Domecq Sherry of 1818 does not figure on our wine list as we
have but a few bottles left. It is $20.00 a bottle.

"The prices brought to-day by old Madeiras and Sherries do not represent
their real values. One has but to look at the compound interest of
savings banks to realize that these wines should be selling at four
times the price they are; but unfortunately, since the advent of Scotch
whisky in the American market, the American palate seems to have
deteriorated, and if the wines were listed at the price they ought to
bring, we could not sell them. As it is, the demand for the very rare
old wines is irregular and infrequent. We keep them principally to
preserve our reputation; not for the money there is in it."




CHAPTER XXIX

HISTORY AND ARISTOCRACY

    The cool shade of aristocracy....

    --SIR W.F.P. NAPIER.


Just now, when we are being unpleasantly awakened to the fact that our
vaunted American melting-pot has not been doing its work; when some of
us are perhaps wondering whether the quality of metal produced by the
crucible will ever be of the best; it is comforting to reflect that a
city whose history, traditions and great names are so completely
involved with Americanism in its highest forms, a city we think of as
ultra-American, is peculiarly a melting-pot product.

The original Charleston colonists were English and Irish, sent out under
Colonel Sayle, in 1669, by the Lords Proprietors, to whom Charles II had
granted a tract of land in the New World, embracing the present States
of Georgia and North and South Carolina. These colonists touched at Port
Royal--where the Marine Barracks now are (and ought not to be)--but
settled on the west side of the Ashley River, across from where
Charleston stands. It was not until 1680 that they transferred their
settlement to the present site of the city, naming the place Charles
Town in honor of the King. In 1671 the colony contained 263 men able to
bear arms, 69 women and 59 children. In 1674, when New York was taken by
the English from the Dutch, a number of the latter moved down to the
Carolina colony. French Protestants had, at that time, already begun to
arrive, and more came after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in
1685. In 1680 Germans came. By 1684 there were four Huguenot settlements
in Carolina. In 1696 a Quaker was governor for a short time, and in the
same year a body of New Englanders arrived from Dorchester,
Massachusetts, establishing a town which they called Dorchester, near
the present town of Summerville, a few miles from Charleston. At that
time a number of Scottish immigrants had already arrived, though more
came in 1715 and 1745, after the defeat of the Highlanders. From 1730 to
1750 new colonists came from Switzerland, Holland and Germany. As early
as 1740 there were several Jewish families in Charleston, and some of
the oldest and most respected Jewish families in the United States still
reside there. Also, when the English drove the Acadians from Canada in
1755, twelve hundred of them immigrated to Carolina. By 1790, then, the
city had a population of a little more than 15,000, which was about half
the number of inhabitants then contained in the city of New York. In the
case of Charleston, however, more than one half her people, at that
time, were negroes, slavery having been introduced by Sir John Yeamans,
an early British governor. By 1850 the city had about 20,000 white
citizens and 23,000 blacks, and by 1880 some 7,500 more, of which
additional number two thirds were negroes. The present population is
estimated at 65,000, which makes Charleston a place of about the size of
Rockford, Illinois, Sioux City, Iowa, or Covington, Kentucky; but as, in
the case of Charleston, more than half this number is colored,
Charleston is, if the white population only is considered, a place of
approximately 30,000 inhabitants, or, roughly speaking, about the size
of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., or Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In area, also, Charleston is small, covering less than four square
miles. This is due to the position of the city on a peninsula formed by
the convergence and confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which
meet at Charleston's beautiful Battery precisely as the Hudson River and
the East River meet at the Battery in New York. The shape of Charleston,
indeed, greatly resembles that of Manhattan Island, and though her
harbor and her rivers are neither so large nor so deep as those of the
port of New York, they are altogether adequate to a considerable
maritime activity.

The Charleston Chamber of Commerce (which, like everything else in
Charleston dates from long ago, having been founded in 1748) quotes
President Taft as calling this port the most convenient one to Panama--a
statement which the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce is in position to
dispute. The fact remains, however, that Charleston's position on the
map justifies the Chamber of Commerce's alliterative designation of the
place as "The Plumb-line Port to Panama." This is so true that if
Charleston should one day be shaken loose from its moorings by an
earthquake--something not unknown there--and should fall due south upon
the map, it would choke up the mouth of the Canal, were not Cuba
interposed, to catch the debris.

Before the Civil War, Charleston was the greatest cotton shipping port
of the country, and it still handles large amounts of cotton and rice.
Until a few years ago South Carolina was the chief rice producing State
in the Union, and history records that the first rice planted in the
Carolinas, if not in the country, was secured and sown by an early
governor of Carolina, Thomas Smith, who died in 1694. It may be noted in
passing that this Thomas Smith bore the title "Landgrave," the Lords
Proprietors, in their plan of government for the colony--which, by the
way, was drawn up by the philosopher Locke--having provided for a
colonial nobility with titles. The titles "Baron" and "Landgrave" were
hereditary in several Charleston families, and constitute, so far as I
know, the only purely American titles of nobility that ever existed.
Descendants of the old Landgraves still reside in Charleston, and in at
least one instance continue to use the word "Landgrave" in connection
with the family name.

The prosperity of Charleston since the Civil War has depended more,
perhaps, than on any other single product, upon the trade in phosphate,
large deposits of which underlie this region.

The real wonder of Charleston, the importance of the place among
American cities, cannot, however, be said to have resulted primarily
from commerce (though her commerce is growing), or from greatness of
population (though Charleston is the metropolis of the Carolinas), but
is involved with matters of history, tradition and beauty. The mantle of
greatness was assumed by this city in colonial times, and has never been
laid aside. Among the most distinguished early Americans were many
Charlestonians, and in not a few instances the old blood still endures
there, and even the old names: such names as Washington, Pinckney, Bull,
Pringle, Rutledge, Middleton, Drayton, Alston, Huger, Agassiz, Ravenel,
Izard, Gadsden, Rhett, Calhoun, Read, De Saussure, Lamar and Brawley, to
mention but a few.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charleston's early history is rich in pirate stories of the most
thrilling moving-picture variety. Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet and other
disciples of the Jolly Roger preyed upon Charleston shipping. Bonnet
once held a Mr. Samuel Wragg of Charleston prisoner aboard his ship
threatening to send his head to the city unless the unfortunate man
should be ransomed--the demand being for medicines of various kinds.
Colonel Rhett, of Charleston, captured Bonnet and his ship after a
savage fight, but Bonnet soon after escaped from the city in woman's
clothing. Still later he was retaken, hanged, as he deserved to be, and
buried along with forty of his band at a point now covered by the
Battery Garden, that exquisite little park at the tip of the city, which
is the favorite promenade of Charlestonians. In another fight which
occurred just off Charleston bar, a crew of citizens under Governor
Robert Johnson defeated the pirate Richard Worley, who was killed in the
action, and captured his ship, which, when the hatches were opened
proved to be full of prisoners, thirty-six of them women. Even as late
as the period of the War of 1812--a war which did not affect Charleston
save in the way of destroying her shipping and causing poverty and
distress--a case of brutal piracy is recorded. The daughter of Aaron
Burr, Theodosia by name, was married to Governor Joseph Alston. After
her father's trial for high treason, when he was disgraced and broken,
she tried to comfort him, for the two were peculiarly devoted. Intending
to visit him she set sail from Charleston for New York in a ship which
was never heard from again. Somewhere I have read a description of the
distraught father's long vigils at New York, where he would stand gazing
out to sea long after all hope had been abandoned by others. Mrs. St.
Julien Ravenel tells us in her charming book, that thirty years later an
old sailor, dying in a village of the North Carolina coast, confessed
that he had been one of a pirate crew which had captured the ship and
compelled the passengers to walk the plank. This story is also given by
Charles Gayarre, who says the pirate chief was none other than Dominick
You, who fought under Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, and is
buried in that city. The husband and father of Mrs. Alston were spared
the ghastly tale, Mrs. Ravenel says, since both were already in their
graves when the sailor's deathbed confession solved the mystery.

In the Revolution, Charleston played an important part. Men of
Charleston were, of course, among the signers of the Declaration of
Independence. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who gave us the immortal
maxim: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!" who was on
Washington's staff, was later Ambassador to France and president-general
of the Sons of the Cincinnati, was a Charlestonian of the
Charlestonians, and lies buried in St. Michael's. Such Revolutionary
names as Marion, Laurens, William Washington, Greene, Hampton, Moultrie
and Sumter are associated with the place, and two of these are reechoed
in the names of those famous forts in Charleston harbor on which
attention was fixed at the outbreak of the Civil War: Moultrie and
Sumter--the latter, target for the first shot fired in the conflict.

Nearly thirty years before the Civil War, Charleston had distinguished
herself in the arts of peace by producing the first locomotive tried in
the United States, and by constructing the first consecutive hundred
miles of railroad ever built in the world, and now, with the War, she
distinguished herself by initiating other mechanical devices of very
different character--a semi-submersible torpedo boat and the first
submarine to torpedo a hostile war vessel. True, David Bushnell of
Connecticut did construct a crude sort of submarine during the
Revolutionary War, and succeeded in getting under a British ship with
the machine, but he was unable to fasten his charge of powder and his
effort consequently failed. Robert Fulton also experimented with
submarines, or "plunging boats" as he called them, and was encouraged
for a time by Napoleon I. The little _David_ of the Confederate navy is
sometimes referred to as the first submarine but the _David_ was not
actually an underwater boat, but a torpedo boat which could run awash,
with her funnels and upper works slightly out of water. She was a
cigar-shaped vessel thirty-three feet long, built of wood, propelled by
steam, and carrying her torpedo on a pole, forward. Dr. St. Julien
Ravenel of Charleston and Captain Theodore Stoney devised the craft, and
she was built by funds subscribed by Charleston merchants. In command of
Lieutenant W.T. Glassell, C.S.N., and with three other men aboard, she
torpedoed the United States ship _New Ironsides_, flagship of the fleet
blockading Charleston. The _New Ironsides_ was crippled, but not lost.
After this United States vessels blockading Charleston protected
themselves with booms. This resulted in the construction of an actual
undersea torpedo boat, the _Hunley_. This extraordinary vessel has been
spoken of as having had the appearance of a huge iron coffin, as well as
the attributes of one, for she proved a death-trap for successive crews
on three trial trips. As there were no electric motors or gasoline
engines in those days, she was run by hand, eight men crowded together
turning a crank-shaft which operated her propeller. After repeated
sinkings, she was raised, manned by new men, and sent forth again.
Finally, in Charleston harbor she succeeded in destroying the United
States man-o'-war _Housatonic_, but at the same time went down, herself,
drowning or suffocating all on board. A memorial drinking fountain on
the Battery, at the foot of Meeting Street, commemorates "the men of the
Confederate Army and Navy, first in marine warfare to employ torpedo
boats--1863-1865." On this memorial are given the names of sixteen men
who perished in torpedo attacks on the blockading fleet, among them
Horace L. Hunley, set down as inventor of the submarine boat. The names
of fourteen others who were lost are unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord William Campbell, younger son of the Duke of Argyll, was British
governor at Charleston when the Revolution broke out. He had married a
Miss Izard, of Charleston, who brought him a dowry of fifty thousand
pounds, a large sum in those times. Their home was in a famous old house
which stands on Meeting Street, and it was from the back yard of this
house that Lord William fled in a rowboat to a British man-o'-war, when
it became evident that Charleston was no longer hospitable to
representatives of the Crown. Later his wife followed him to Great
Britain, where they remained.

The Pringle House, as it is now called, formerly the Brewton house,
perhaps the most superb old residence in the city, was the headquarters
of General Sir Henry Clinton, after he had captured Charleston, and was
the residence of Lord Rawdon, the unpleasant British commander who
succeeded Clinton. Cornwallis lived outside the town at Drayton Hall,
which still stands, on the Ashley River. After his capture Cornwallis
was exchanged for Henry Laurens, a distinguished Charlestonian, who,
though he wept over the Declaration of Independence, was before long
president of the Continental Congress, and later went to France, where
he was associated with Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams in
negotiating the treaty of peace and independence for America.

Mrs. Ravenel says in her book that Sherman destroyed all but one of the
superb old houses on the Ashley River, and when we consider that
Sherman's troops invested Charleston just before the end of the War, and
reflect upon the general's notorious "carelessness with fire," we have
cause for national rejoicing that Charleston, with its unmatched
buildings and their splendid contents, was not laid in ashes, as were
Atlanta and Columbia. Had Sherman burned Charleston it would be hard for
even a Yankee to forgive him.

Even without the aid of the Northern general, the city has been able to
furnish disastrous conflagrations of her own, over a period of two
centuries and more, and I find in the quaint reminiscences of Charles
Fraser, already alluded to, a lamentation that, because of fires, many
of the old landmarks have disappeared, and the city is "losing its look
of picturesque antiquity." To make matters worse, there came, in 1886,
an earthquake, rendering seven eighths of the houses uninhabitable until
repairs aggregating some millions of dollars had been made. Up to the
time of the earthquake the old mansion from which Lord William Campbell
fled at the beginning of the Revolution, was adorned by a battlemented
roof. It is recorded that when the shock came, an Englishman was in the
house, and that in his eagerness to get outdoors he pushed others aside.
As he reached the front steps, however, the battlements came crashing
down. He was the one person from that house who perished, and his only
monument is the patch of comparatively new stone where the broken steps
have been repaired.

       *       *       *       *       *

My companion and I achieved entrance to one of the famous old Charleston
houses which we had been particularly anxious to see, through the
kindness of a lady to whom we had a letter of introduction, who happened
to be a relative of the owner of the house.

It seems necessary to explain, at this juncture, that in Charleston,
many proper names of foreign origin have been corrupted in
pronunciation. A few examples will suffice: The Dutch name Vanderhorst,
conspicuous in the early annals of the city, has come to be pronounced
"Van-Dross"; Legare, the name of another distinguished old family,
commemorated in the name of Legare Street, is pronounced "Legree"; De
Saussure has become "Dess-a-sore," with the accent on the first
syllable, and Prioleau is called "Pray-low."

I was unaware of these matters when my companion and I visited the
ancient house I speak of. Though I had heard the name of the proprietor
of the mansion spoken many times, and recognized it as a distinguished
Charleston name, I had never seen it written; however, without having
given the matter much thought, I had, unfortunately, reached my own
conclusions as to how it was spelled. Still more unfortunately, while I
was delighting in the drawing-room of that wonderful old house, with the
portraits of ladies in powdered hair and men in cocked hats and periwigs
looking down upon me from the walls, I was impelled to reassure myself
as to the spelling of the name. Let us assume that the name sounded like
"Bowfee." That was not it but it will suffice for illustration.

"I suppose," I said to our charming cicerone, "that the family name is
spelled 'B-o-w-f-e-e'?"

I had no sooner spoken than I realized, with a sudden access of horror
what I had done. In guessing I had sinned, but in guessing wrong I had
ruined myself. All this came to me instantly and positively, as by a
psychic message of unparalleled definiteness from the dead ancestors
whose portraits hung upon the paneling. It was as though they had joined
in a great ghostly shout of execration, which was the more awful because
it was a silent shout that jarred upon the senses rather than the ear
drums. Then, before the lady replied, while the sound of my own voice
saying "B-o-w-f-e-e" seemed to reverberate through the apartment, I
suddenly comprehended the spirit of Charleston: understood that,
compared with Charleston, Boston is as a rough mining camp, while New
York hardly exists at all, being a mere miasma of vulgarity.

There was a long silence, in which the lady to whom I had spoken gazed
from the window at the rainy twilight. Her silence, I am persuaded, was
not intended to rebuke me; she was not desirous of crushing me; she was
merely stunned. Indeed, when at last she spoke, there was in her tone
something of gentleness.

"The name," she said, "is Beaufoy--B-e-a-u-f-o-y. It is of Huguenot
origin."

Passionately I wished for an earthquake--one that might cause the floor
to open beneath me, or the roof to fall through and blot me from her
sight. How to get away?--that was my one thought. To cover my
embarrassment, I tried to make small-talk about a medallion of an
Emperor of France, which hung upon the paneling. The lady said it had
been given to an ancestor of the Beaufoys by the Emperor himself. That,
for some reason, seemed to make things rather worse. I wished I had not
dragged the Emperor into the conversation.

"It is getting dark," I said. "It is time we were going."

This the lady did not dispute.

Of our actual farewells and exit from that house, I remember not a
detail, save that, as we departed, I knew that we should never see this
lady again; that for her I no longer existed, and that in my downfall I
had dragged my companion with me. The next thing I definitely recollect
is walking swiftly up Meeting Street beside him, in the rain and
darkness of late afternoon. All the way back to the hotel we strode side
by side in pregnant silence; neither did we speak as we ascended to our
rooms.

Some time later, while I was dressing for dinner, he entered my
bedchamber. At the moment, as it happened, I was putting cuff-links into
a dress shirt. With this task I busied myself, dreading to look up. In
the meantime I felt his eyes fixed upon me. When the links were in, I
delayed meeting his gaze by buttoning the little button in one
sleeve-vent, above the cuff.

"Do you mean to say you button those idiotic little buttons?" he
demanded. "I didn't know that anybody ever did that!"

"I don't always," I answered apologetically.

"I should hope not!" he returned. Then he continued: "Do you remember
where we are to be taken to-morrow?"

"Yes," I said. "To the Pringle house."

"Well," said he, "I just came in to ask you, as a favor, not to get off
any fanciful ideas that you may have thought up, about the way to spell
Pringle."




CHAPTER XXX

POLITICS, A NEWSPAPER AND ST. CECILIA


Charleston is very definitely a part of South Carolina. That is not
always the case with a State and its chief city. It is not the case with
the State and the City of New York. New York City has about the same
relation to New York State as a goldpiece has to a large table-top on
one corner of which it lies. Charleston, on the other hand, harmonizes
into its state setting, as a beautiful ancient vase harmonizes into the
setting afforded by some rare old cabinet. Moreover, Charleston's
individuality amongst cities is more or less duplicated in South
Carolina's individuality amongst States. South Carolina is a State as
definitely marked--though in altogether different ways--as Kansas or
California. It is a State that does nothing by halves. It has
rattlesnakes larger and more venomous than other rattlesnakes, and it
has twice had the disgraceful Cole Blease, otherwise
"To-hell-with-the-Constitution" Blease, as governor. For senator it has
the old war-horse Tillman, a man so admired for his power that, in our
easy-going way, we almost forgive his dives into the pork-barrel.
Tillman has been to South Carolina more or less what the late Senator
Hale was to his section of New England. Hale grabbed a navy yard for
Kittery, Maine (the Portsmouth yard), where there never should have been
a navy yard; Tillman performed a like service, under like circumstances,
for Charleston. Both are purely political yards. Naval officers opposed
them, but were overridden by politicians, as so often happens. For in
time of peace the army and the navy are political footballs, and it is
only when war comes that the politicians cease kicking them about and
cry: "Now, football, turn into a cannon-ball, and save your country and
your country's flag!" For obviously, if the flag cannot be saved, the
politicians will be without a "starry banner" to gesture at and roar
about.

Now, of course, with war upon us, any navy yard is a blessing, and the
Charleston yard is being used, as it should be, to the utmost. But in
time of peace the yard comes in for much criticism from the navy, the
contention being that it is not favorably located from a strategic point
of view, and that, owing to bars in the Cooper River, up which it is
situated, it cannot be entered by large ships. The point is also made
that while labor is cheaper at this yard than at any other, skilled
metal-workers are hard to get. Friends of the yard contend, upon the
other hand, that it is desirable because of its convenience to the
Caribbean Sea, where, according to naval theory, this country will some
day have to fight a battle in defense of the Panama Canal. The Pensacola
yard, it is pointed out, is exposed and can be bombarded, whereas the
Charleston yard is far enough inland to be safe from sea attack. As to
the channel, it is navigable for destroyers and other small
craft--though whether it would be so to a large destroyer which had been
injured and was drawing more water than usual, I do not know. The
practical situation of the navy, with regard to this and some of the
other political yards, is like that of some man who has been left a lot
of heterogeneous houses, scattered about town, none of them suited to
his purposes, and who is obliged to scatter his family amongst them as
best he can, or else abandon them and build a new house. We have been
following the former course, and are only now preparing to adopt the
latter, by establishing a naval base at Norfolk, as mentioned in an
earlier chapter.

Charleston politics have been peculiar. Until a few years ago the
government of the city had long rested in the hands of a few old
families, among them the Gadsdens and the Rhetts. The overthrow of this
ancient and aristocratic rule by the election to the mayoralty of John
P. Grace, an alleged "friend of the people," was spoken of by the New
York "Sun," as being not a mere change in municipal government, but the
fall of a dynasty which had controlled the city politically, financially
and socially for a century and a half. Mr. Grace may be dismissed with
the remark that he supported Blease and that he is editor of the
recently founded Charleston "American," which I have heard called a
Hearst newspaper, and which certainly wears the Hearst look about it.

On January 19, 1917, this newspaper printed a full account of the ball
of the St. Cecilia Society, Charleston's most sacred social
organization. Never before in the history of the St. Cecilia Society,
covering a period of a century and a half, had an account of one of its
balls, and the names of those attending, been printed. The publication
caused a great stir in the city and resulted in an editorial, said to
have been written by Grace, which appeared next day, and which reveals
something of Charleston tradition and something of Grace, as well. It
was headed "The Saint Cecilia Ball," and ran as follows:

     We carried on yesterday a full account of the famous Saint Cecilia
     Ball. From the foundation of Charleston until the present moment it
     has been regarded as an unwritten law that the annual events of
     this ancient society shall not be touched upon.

     Of course it was permissible for the thirty-five thousand poor
     white people of Charleston to talk about the Saint Cecilia, and to
     indulge in the thrilling sensation that comes to the proverbial cat
     when she looks at a queen. Some of them, moved by curiosity, even
     ventured within half a block of the Hibernian Hall to observe from
     afar the gay festivities.

     The press being forbidden to cover Saint Cecilia events, there grew
     up in the vulgar mind weird stories of what went on behind the
     scenes. While the Saint Cecilia has enjoyed the happy privilege of
     journalistic silence, it has, therefore, correspondingly suffered
     on the tongue of gossip. The truth is that we always knew that the
     Saint Cecilia was just about the same as every other social
     collection of human beings--a little gaiety flavored with a little
     frivolity; nothing more, nothing less.

     There was a time when this society was the extreme limit of social
     exclusiveness. It was an anachronism on American soil, a matter of
     pure heredity, the right to membership in which was as fixed as
     Median law, but transcendently above the median line. Now, however,
     since the society, in keeping with the spirit of the age, has
     relaxed its rules to admit from year to year (if, indeed, only a
     few now and then) members whose blood is far from indigo, we think
     it perfectly legitimate for the newspaper, which represents ALL
     classes of people, to invade the quondam sanctity of its functions
     which are now being OPENED to all classes.

Following this, the editorial quoted from Don Seitz's book, telling how
the elder James Gordon Bennett was in the habit of mocking "events to
which he was not invited," and how, in 1840, he managed to get one of
his reporters into "Henry I Brevoort's fancy dress ball, the social
event of the period." The quotation from Mr. Seitz's book ends with the
following: "A far cry from this to 1894, when Ward McAlister, arbiter of
the '400' at Mrs. Astor's famous ball, became a leader on social topics
for the New York 'World.' It took many years for this umbrage at the
reporting of social events to wear off and make the reporter welcome.
Indeed, there is one place yet on the map where it is not even now
permitted to record a social event, though the editors and owners of
papers may be among those present. That is Charleston, South
Carolina...."

The Charleston editor then resumes his own reflections in this wise:

     We regret to say, and it is the regret of our life, that we were
     not one of the editors present at the Saint Cecilia. This,
     therefore, relieves us of the implied condition to adhere any
     longer to this silly and absurd custom which, in the language of
     this great newspaper man, has made its last stand "on the map" at
     Charleston. We are glad that we have forever nailed, in the opinion
     of one hundred million ordinary people who make the American
     nation, the absurdity that there is any social event so sacred, any
     people so DIFFERENT from the rest of us poor human beings, that we
     dare not speak of them.

Just why private social events should be, as Mr. Grace seems to assume,
particularly the property of the press, it is somewhat difficult to
explain, unless we do so by accepting as fundamental the theory that the
press is justified in invading personal privacy purely in order to
pander, on the one hand to the new breed of vulgar rich which thrives on
"publicity," and on the other, to the breed of vulgar poor which enjoys
reading that supremest of American inanities, the "society page."

What Mr. Seitz said in his book as to the reticence of Charleston
newspapers, where society is concerned, is, however, generally
true--amazingly so to one who has become hardened to the attitude of the
metropolitan press elsewhere. The society columns of Charleston papers
hardly ever print the names of the city's real aristocrats, and in the
past they have gone much farther than this, for they have been known to
suppress important news stories in which prominent citizens were
unpleasantly involved. It may be added that earthquakes are evidently
classed as members of the aristocracy, since occasional tremors felt in
the city are pointedly ignored by the press. Whether or not the paper
edited by the fearless Mr. Grace ignores these manifestations I am
unable to say. One can easily fancy his taking a courageous stand on
such a subject as well as upon social matters. Indeed, with a few slight
changes, his editorial upon the St. Cecilia ball, might be made to serve
equally well after an earthquake shock. He might say:

     The press being forbidden to cover earthquakes, there grew up in
     the vulgar mind weird stories of what went on behind the scenes.
     While the earthquakes have enjoyed the happy privilege of
     journalistic silence, they have, therefore, correspondingly
     suffered on the tongue of gossip.

He could also make the point that since, "in keeping with the spirit of
the age," the earthquake shakes people "(if indeed only a few of them
now and then), whose blood is far from indigo, we think it perfectly
legitimate for the newspaper, which represents ALL classes of people, to
invade the quondam sanctity of its functions which are now being OPENED
to all classes."

But of course, where the editor of such a paper is concerned, there is
always the element of natural delicacy and nicety of feeling to be
considered. Mr. Grace felt that because he was not present at the St.
Cecilia ball, he was free to print things about it. An earthquake would
not be like the St. Cecilia Society--it would not draw the line at Mr.
Grace. At a Charleston earthquake he would undoubtedly be present. The
question therefore arises: Having been PRESENT, might his AMOUR PROPRE
make him feel that to REPORT the event would not be altogether in GOOD
TASTE?

The St. Cecilia Society began in 1737 with a concert given on St.
Cecilia's day, and continued for many years to give concerts at which
the musicians were both amateurs and professionals. Josiah Quincy, in
his "Journal," tells of having attended one of these concerts in 1773,
and speaks of the richness of the men's apparel, noting that there were
"many with swords on."

When, in 1819, difficulty was experienced in obtaining performers, it
was proposed that a ball be held in place of a concert, and by 1822 the
society was definitely transformed from a musical to a dancing
organization, which it has remained ever since.

The statement in the "American" editorial that St. Cecilia balls have
been the subject of scandalous gossip is, I believe, quite false, as is
also the statement that the balls are now "being opened to all classes."

Mrs. Ravenel in her book tells how the organization is run. Members are
elected, and all are men, though the names of the ladies of a member's
household are placed on the club list. "Only death or removal from the
city erases them--change of fortune affects them not at all." A man
whose progenitors have belonged to the society is almost certain of
election, though there have been cases in which undesirables of good
family have been blackballed. Two blackballs are sufficient to cause the
rejection of a candidate. Men who are not of old Charleston stock are
carefully investigated before they can be elected, but of late years not
a few such, having been considered desirable, have become members. The
members elect officers and a board of managers, and these have entire
control of the society. Three balls are given each year, one in January
and two in February. Until a few years ago the hall in which the balls
are given was lighted by innumerable candelabra; only lately has
electricity been used. The society owns its own plate, damask, china and
glassware, and used to own a good stock of wines. Of late years, I
believe, wines have not been served, the beverage of the evening
consisting of coffee, hot and iced. The greatest decorum is observed at
the balls. Young ladies go invariably with chaperones; following each
dance there is a brief promenade, whereafter the young ladies are
returned to their duennas--who, if they be Charleston dowagers in
perfection, usually carry turkey-feather fans. Cards are filled months
in advance. As lately as the year 1912 every other dance was a square
dance; since then, however, I believe that square dances have gone the
way of candle-light. The society has an endowment and membership is
inexpensive, costing but fifteen dollars a year, including the three
balls. This enables young men starting in life to be members without
going into extravagance, and is in accord with the best social tradition
of Charleston, where the difference between an aristocracy and a
plutocracy is well understood. Most of the rules of the organization are
unwritten. One is that men shall not smoke on the premises during a
ball; another is that divorced persons shall not be members or guests of
the society. In this respect the St. Cecilia Society may be said, in
effect, to be applying, socially, the South Carolina law; for South
Carolina is the only State in the Union in which divorces are not
granted for any cause whatsoever.

This reminds me that the State has an anti-tipping law. The Pullman
porter is required to hang up copies of the law in his car when it
enters South Carolina, and copies of it are displayed on the doors of
hotel bedrooms. The penalty for giving or receiving a tip is a fine of
from ten to one hundred dollars, or thirty days in jail. Perhaps the law
is observed. I know, at least, that no one offered me a tip while I was
in that State.

       *       *       *       *       *

The old grandees of Charleston were usually sent to Oxford or Cambridge
for an education and English tradition still remains, I fancy, the
foundation for what Charleston social life is to-day. I thought at first
that Charlestonians spoke like the English, but later came to the
conclusion that there is in the pronunciation of some of them a quality
resembling a very faint brogue--a brogue such as might be possessed by a
cultivated Irishman who had moved to England in his boyhood, and had
been educated there. The "vanishing _y_" of tidewater Virginia is also
used by some Charlestonians, I am told, though I do not remember hearing
it.

Generalizations on the subject of dialectic peculiarities are dangerous,
as I have good reason to know. Naturally, not all Charlestonians speak
alike. I should say, however, that the first _a_ in the words "Papa"
and "Mama" is frequently given a short sound, as _a_ in "hat"; also
that many one-syllable words are strung out into two. For instance,
"eight" is heard as "ay-et" ("ay" as in "gray"); "where" as "whey-uh,"
or "way-uh," and "hair" as "hay-uh." "Why?" sometimes sounds like "Woi?"
Such words as "calm" and "palm" are sometimes given the short _a_: "cam"
and "pam"--which, of course, occurs elsewhere, too. The name "Ralph" is
pronounced as "Rafe" (_a_ as in "rate")--which I believe is Old English;
and the names "Saunders" and "Sanders" are pronounced exactly alike,
both being called "Sanders." Tomatoes are sometimes called "tomatters."
Two dishes I never heard of before are "Hopping John," which is rice
cooked with peas, and "Limping Kate," which is some other rice
combination. What we, in the North, call an "ice-cream freezer" becomes
in Charleston an "ice-cream _churn_." "Good morning" is the salutation
up to three P.M., whereas in other parts of the South "Good evening" is
said for the Northern "Good afternoon." Charlestonians speak of being
"parrot-toed"--not "pigeon-toed." Where, in the North, we would ask a
friend, "How are things out your way?" a Charlestonian may inquire, "How
are things out your _side_?" The expression "going out" means to go to
St. Cecilia Balls, and I have been told that it is never used in any
other way. That is, if a lady is asked: "Are you going out this winter?"
it means definitely, "Are you going to the St. Cecilia balls?" If you
heard it said that some one was "_on_ Mount Pleasant," you might
suppose that Mount Pleasant was an island; but it is not; it is a
village on the mainland across the Cooper River. And what is to me one
of the most curious expressions I ever heard is "do don't," as when a
lady called to her daughter, "Martha, _do_ don't slam that door again!"

How generally these peculiarities crop out in the speech of Charleston I
cannot say. It occurs to me, however, that, assembled and catalogued in
this way, they may create the idea that slovenly English is generally
spoken in the city. If so they give an impression which I should not
wish to convey, since Charleston has no more peculiarities of language
than New York or Boston, and not nearly so many as a number of other
cities. Cultivated Charlestonians have, moreover, the finest voices I
have heard in any American city.




CHAPTER XXXI

"GULLA" AND THE BACK COUNTRY


The most extraordinary negro dialect I know of is the "gulla" (sometimes
spelled "gullah") of the rice plantation negroes of South Carolina and
of the islands off the South Carolina and Georgia coast. I believe that
the region of Charleston is headquarters for "gulla niggers," though I
have heard the argot spoken as far south as Sepeloe Island, off the town
of Darien, Georgia, near the Florida line. Gulla is such an extreme
dialect as to be almost a language by itself. Whence it came I do not
know, but I judge that it is a combination of English with the primitive
tongues of African tribes, just as the dialect of old Creole negroes, in
Louisiana, is a combination of African tribal tongues with French.

A Charleston lady tells me that negroes on different rice
plantations--even on adjoining plantations--speak dialects which differ
somewhat, and I know of my own knowledge that thick gulla is almost
incomprehensible to white persons who have not learned, by long
practice, to understand it.

A lady sent a gulla negro with a message to a friend. This is the
message as it was delivered:

"Missis seh all dem turrah folk done come shum. Enty you duh gwine come
shum?" (To get the gulla effect the sounds should be uttered very
rapidly.)

Translated, this means: "Mistress says all them other folks have come to
see her. Aren't you coming to see her?"

"Shum" is a good gulla word. It means all kinds of things having to do
with seeing--_to see her_, _to see him_, _to see it_. Thus, "You shum,
enty?" may mean, _You see him_--_her_--or _it_? or _You see what
he_--_she_--or _it_--_is doing_, or _has done_? For gulla has no genders
and no tenses. "Enty" is a general question: _Aren't you? Didn't you?
Isn't it?_ etc. Another common gulla word is "Buckra" which means _a
white man of the upper class_, in contradistinction to a poor white. I
have known a negro to refer to "de frame o' de bud," meaning the
carcass, or frame, of a fowl. "Ay ain' day" means "They aren't (ain't)
there."

A friend of mine who resided at Bluffton, South Carolina, has told me of
an old gulla fisherman who spoke in parables.

A lady would ask him: "Have you any fish to-day?" To which, if replying
affirmatively, he would answer: "Missis, de gate open"; meaning, "The
door (of the 'car,' or fish-box) is open to you." If he had no fish he
would reply: "Missis, ebb-tide done tack (take) crick"; signifying: "The
tide has turned and it is too late to go to catch fish." This old man
called whisky "muhgundy smash," the term evidently derived from some
idea of the word "burgundy" combined with the word "mash."

Here is a gulla dialect story, with a line-for-line translation. A train
has killed a cow, and a negro witness is being examined by a justice of
the peace:

JUSTICE--Uncle John, did you see
what killed Sam's cow?

NEGRO--Co'ose Uh shum.                   (Of) course I saw him.

JUSTICE--What was it, Uncle
John?

NEGRO--Dat black debble you-all          (It was) that black devil you-all
runnin' tru we lan'. Nigga duh           (are) running through our land.
                                         (A) nigger (fireman) he
stan' deh, duh po' coal                  stands there (and) he pours coal
in eh stomach.                           into its stomach.
Buckra duh sit up on eh seat,            (A) white man (engineer)
                                         he sits up on his seat.
duh smoke eh cigah, an' ebry             (and) he smokes his cigar, and every
tahme eh twis' eh tail eh run fasteh.    time he twists its (engine's) tail it
An'                                      runs faster. And
eh screams dis lak uh pantuh. Eben       it screams just like a panther. Even
w'en eh git tuh de station, eh stan'     when it gets to the station, it stands
tuh de station an' seh: "_Kyan_-stop!    at the station and says: "_Can't_-stop!
_Kyan_-stop! _Kyan_-stop!"               _Can't_-stop! _Can't_-stop!"

Sam cow binna browse down deh            Sam's cow was browsing down there
tuh Bull Head Crick. Eh ram eh           to (at) Bull Head Creek. It (engine)
                                         rammed its
nose innum, an' eh bussum wahde          nose into it (the cow), and it
                                         busted him wide
loose. Eh t'row eh intrus on de          loose (open). It threw its entrails
                                         on the
reyel on de cross-tie, an' clean-up      rails, on the cross-ties, and clean up
on de tele_gram_ pole.                   on the telegraph pole.

Mrs. Leiding (Harriette Kershaw Leiding), of Charleston, has done a fine
service to lovers of Old Charleston, and its ways, in collecting and
publishing in pamphlet form a number of the cries of the negro street
vendors. Of these I shall rob Mrs. Leiding's booklet of but one
example--the cry of a little negro boy, a peddler of shrimp ("swimp"),
who stood under a window in the early morning and sang:

[Music:

An' a Daw-try Daw! an' a swimp-y raw! an' a Daw-try Daw-try Daw-try Raw Swimp.]

While on the subject of the Charleston negro I must not neglect two of
his superstitions. One is his belief that a two-dollar bill is unlucky.
The curse may be removed only by tearing off a corner of the bill. The
other is that it is unlucky to hand any one a pin. A Charleston lady
told me that when she was motoring and wished to pin her hat or her
veil, she could never get her negro chauffeur to hand her pins. Instead
he would stick them in the laprobe, or in the sleeve of his coat, whence
she could pick them out herself. Another lady told me of the case of an
old black slave who lived years ago on a plantation on the Santee River,
owned by her family. This slave, who was a very powerful, taciturn and
high-tempered man, had a curious habit of disappearing for about half an
hour each day. He would go into the swamp, and for many years no one
ever followed him, the other negroes being afraid to do so because of
his temper and his strength. At last, however, they did spy upon him and
discovered that in the swamp there stood a cypress tree on which were
strange rude carvings, before which he prostrated himself. No one ever
learned the exact significance of this, but it was assumed that the man
practised some barbaric form of worship, brought from Africa.

       *       *       *       *       *

The country back of Charleston is very lovely and is rich in interest,
even though most of the houses on the old estates have been destroyed.
Drayton Hall, however, stands, and the old Drayton estate, Magnolia, not
far distant from the Hall (which was on another estate), has one of the
most famous gardens in the world. Seven persons touching fingertips can
barely encircle the trunks of some of the live-oaks at Magnolia; there
are camellias more than twenty feet high, and a rose tree nearly as
large, but the great glory of the garden is its huge azaleas--ninety-two
varieties, it is said--which, when they blossom in the spring, are so
wonderful that people make long journeys for no other purpose than to
see them.

In "Harper's Magazine" for December, 1875, I find an account of the
gardens which were, at that time, far from new. The azaleas were then
twelve and thirteen feet tall; now, I am told, they reach to a height of
more than twenty feet, with a corresponding spread.

"It is almost impossible," says the anonymous writer of the article, "to
give a Northerner any idea of the affluence of color in this garden when
its flowers are in bloom. Imagine a long walk with the moss-draped
live-oaks overhead, a fairy lake and a bridge in the distance, and on
each side the great fluffy masses of rose and pink and crimson,
reaching far above your head, thousands upon tens of thousands of
blossoms packed close together, with no green to mar the intensity of
their color, rounding out in swelling curves of bloom down to the turf
below, not pausing a few inches above it and showing bare stems or
trunk, but spreading over the velvet, and trailing out like the rich
robes of an empress. Stand on one side and look across the lawn; it is
like a mad artist's dream of hues; it is like the Arabian nights; eyes
that have never had color enough find here a full feast, and go away
satisfied at last. And with all their gorgeousness, the hues are
delicately mingled; the magic effect is produced not by unbroken banks
of crude reds, but by blended shades, like the rich Oriental patterns of
India shawls, which the European designers, with all their efforts, can
never imitate."

Another remarkable garden, though not the equal of Magnolia, is at
Middleton Place, not many miles away, and still another is at the
pleasant winter resort town of Summerville, something more than twenty
miles above Charleston. The latter, called the Pinehurst Tea Garden, is
said to be the only tea garden in the United States. It is asserted that
the teas produced here are better than those of China and Japan, and are
equal to those of India. The Government is cooeperating with the owners
of this garden with a view to introducing tea planting in the country in
a large way.

The finest grade of tea raised here is known as "Shelter Tea," and is
sold only at the gardens, the price being five dollars per pound. It is
a tea of the Assam species grown under shelters of wire mesh and pine
straw. This type of tea is known in Japan, where it originated, as
"sugar tea," because, owing to the fact that it is grown in the shade,
the sap of the bush, which is of starchy quality, is turned chemically
into sugar, giving the leaf an exceedingly delicate flavor.

From the superintendent in charge of the gardens I learned something of
the bare facts of the tea growing industry. I had always been under the
impression that the name "pekoe" referred to a certain type of tea, but
he told me that the word is Chinese for "eyelash," and came to be used
because the tip leaves of tea bushes, when rolled and dried, resemble
eyelashes. These leaves--"pekoe tips"--make the most choice tea. The
second leaves make the tea called "orange pekoe," while the third leaves
produce a grade of tea called simply "pekoe." In China it is customary
to send three groups of children, successively, to pick the leaves, the
first group picking only the tips, the second group the second leaves,
and the third group the plain pekoe leaves. At the Pinehurst Tea Gardens
the picking is done by colored children, ranging from eight to fifteen
years of age. All the leaves are picked together and are later separated
by machinery.

Summerville itself seems a lovely lazy town. It is the kind of place to
which I should like to retire in the winter if I had a book to write.
One could be very comfortable, and there would be no radical
distractions--unless one chanced to see the Most Beautiful Girl in the
World, who has been known to spend winters at that place.

On the way from Charleston to Summerville, if you go by motor, you pass
The Oaks, an estate with a new colonial house standing where an ancient
mansion used to stand. A long avenue bordered by enormous live-oaks,
leading to this house, gives the place its name, and affords a truly
noble approach. Here, in Revolutionary times, Marion, "the Swamp Fox,"
used to camp.

Not far distant from the old gate at The Oaks is Goose Creek Church--the
most interesting church I have ever seen. The Parish of St. James, Goose
Creek, was established by act of the Assembly, November 30, 1706, and
the present church, a brick building of crudely simple architecture, was
built about 1713. The interior of the church, though in good condition,
is the oldest looking thing, I think, in the United States. The memorial
tablets in the walls, with their foreign names and antique lettering,
the curious old box pews, the odd little gallery at the back, the tall
pulpit, with its winding stair, above all the Royal Arms of Great
Britain done in relief on the chancel wall and brilliantly colored--all
these make Goose Creek Church more like some little Norman church in
England, than like anything one might reasonably expect to find on this
side of the world.

Countless items of curious interest hang about the church and parish.
Michaux, the French botanist who came to this country in 1786, lived for
a time at Goose Creek. He brought with him the first four camellias
seen in the United States, planting them at Middleton Place above
Drayton Hall, where, I believe, they still stand, having reached a great
height. A British officer known as Mad Archy Campbell was married at
Goose Creek Church during the Revolution, under romantic circumstances.
Miss Paulina Phelps, a young lady of the parish, was a great beauty and
a great coquette, who amused herself alike with American and British
officers. Campbell met and fell desperately in love with her, and it is
said that she encouraged him, though without serious intent. One day he
induced her to go horseback-riding with him and on the ride made love to
her so vehemently that she was "intimidated into accepting him." They
rode to the rectory, and Campbell, meeting the rector, demanded that he
should marry them at once. The dominie replied that he would do so "with
the consent of the young lady and her mother," but Campbell proposed to
await no such formalities. Drawing his pistol he gave the minister the
choice of performing the ceremony then and there, or perishing. This
argument proved conclusive and the two were promptly wed.

When Goose Creek was within the British lines it is said that the
minister proceeded, upon one occasion, to utter the prayer for the King
of England, in the Litany. At the end of the prayer there were no
"Amens," the congregation having been composed almost entirely, as the
story goes, of believers in American independence. Into the awkward
pause after the prayer one voice from the congregation was at last
injected. It was the voice of old Ralph Izard, saying heartily, not
"Amen," but "Good Lord, deliver us!" There is a tablet in the church to
the memory of this worthy.

The story is told, also, of an old gentleman, a member of the
congregation in Revolutionary times, who informed the minister that if
he again read the prayer for the King he would throw his prayer-book at
his head. The minister took this for a jest, but when he began to read
the prayer on the following Sunday, he found that it was not, for sure
enough the prayer-book came hurtling through the air. Prayer-books were
heavier then than they are now, and it is said that as a result of this
episode, the minister refused to hold service thereafter.

The church is not now used regularly, an occasional memorial service
only being held there.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charleston is a hard place to leave. Wherever one may be going from
there, the change is likely to be for the worse. Nevertheless, it is
impossible to stay forever; so at last you muster up your resignation
and your resources, buy tickets, and reluctantly prepare to leave. If
you depart as we did, you go by rail, driving to the station in the
venerable bus of the Charleston Transfer Company--a conveyance which,
one judges, may be coeval with the city's oldest mansions. Little as we
wished to leave Charleston we did not wish to defer our departure
through any such banality as the unnecessary missing of a train.
Therefore as we waited for the bus, on the night of leaving, and as
train time drew nearer and nearer, with no sign of the lumbering old
vehicle, we became somewhat concerned.

When the bus did come at last there was little time to spare;
nevertheless the conductor, an easygoing man of great volubility,
consumed some precious minutes in gossiping with the hotel porter, and
then with arranging and rearranging the baggage on the roof of the bus.
His manner was that of an amateur bus conductor, trying a new
experiment. After watching his performances for a time, looking
occasionally at my watch, by way of giving him a hint, I broke out into
expostulation at the unnecessary delay.

"What's the matter?" asked the man in a gentle, almost grieved tone.

"There's very little time!" I returned. "We don't wish to miss the
train."

"Oh, all right," said the bus conductor, making more haste, as though
the information I had given him put a different face on matters
generally.

Presently we started. After a time he collected our fares. I have
forgotten whether the amount was twenty-five or fifty cents. At all
events, as he took the money from my hand he said to me reassuringly:

"Don't you worry, sir! If I don't get you to the train I'll give you
this money back. That's fair, ain't it?"




CHAPTER XXXII

OUT OF THE PAST


By no means all the leading citizens of Atlanta were in a frame of mind
to welcome General Sherman when, ten or a dozen years after the Civil
War, he revisited the city. Captain Evan P. Howell, a former Confederate
officer, then publisher of the Atlanta "Constitution," was, however, not
one of the Atlantans who ignored the general's visit. Taking his young
son, Clark, he called upon the general at the old Kimball House (later
destroyed by fire), and had an interesting talk with him. Clark Howell,
who has since succeeded his father as publisher of the "Constitution,"
was born while the latter was fighting at Chickamauga, and was
consequently old enough, at the time of the call on Sherman, to remember
much of what was said. He heard the general tell Captain Howell why he
had made such a point of taking Atlanta, and as Sherman's military
reasons for desiring possession of the Georgia city explain, to a large
extent, Atlanta's subsequent development, I shall quote them as Clark
Howell gave them to me.

First however, it is perhaps worth while to remind the reader of the
bare circumstances preceding the fall of Atlanta. After the defeat of
the Confederate forces at Chattanooga, General Joseph E. Johnston's army
fell back slowly on Atlanta, much as the French fell back on Paris at
the beginning of the European War, shortening their own lines of
communication while those of the advancing Germans were being
continually attenuated. As the Germans kept after the French, Sherman
kept after Johnston; and as Joffre was beginning to be criticized for
failing to make a stand against the enemy, so was Johnston criticized as
he continued to retire without giving battle. One of the chief
differences between Joffre's retirement and Johnston's lies, however, in
the length of time consumed; for whereas the French retreat on Paris
covered a few days only, the Confederate retreat on Atlanta covered
weeks and months, giving the Confederate Government time to become
impatient with Johnston and finally to remove him from command before
the time arrived when, in his judgment, the stand against Sherman should
be made. Nor is it inconceivable that, had the French retreat lasted as
long as Johnston's, Joffre would have been removed and would have lost
the opportunity to justify his Fabian policy, as he did so gloriously at
the Battle of the Marne.

Though Atlanta was, at the time of the war, a city of less than 10,000
inhabitants, it was the chief base of supply for men and munitions in
the Far South.

"When my father asked him why all his effort and power had been
centered, after Chickamauga, on the capture of Atlanta," said Clark
Howell, "I remember that General Sherman extended one hand with the
fingers spread apart, explaining the strategic situation by imagining
Atlanta as occupying a position where the wrist joins the hand, while
the thumb and fingers represented, successively, New Orleans, Mobile,
Savannah, Charleston, and Norfolk. 'If I held Atlanta,' he said, 'I was
only one day's journey from these chief cities of the South.'"

In spite, therefore, of the assertion, which I have heard made, that the
prosperity of Atlanta is "founded on insurance premiums, coca-cola, and
hot air," it seems to me that it is founded on something very much more
solid. Nor do I refer to the layer of granite which underlies the city.
The prosperity of Atlanta is based upon the very feature which made its
capture seem to Sherman so desirable: its strategic position as a
central point in the Far South.

Neither in Atlanta nor in any other part of Georgia is General Sherman
remembered with a feeling that can properly be described as
affectionate, though it may be added that Atlanta has good reason for
remembering him warmly. The burning of Atlanta by Sherman did not,
however, prove an unalloyed disaster, for the war came to an end soon
after, and the rebuilding of the city supplied work for thousands of
former Confederate soldiers, and also drew to Atlanta many of the strong
men who played leading parts in the subsequent commercial upbuilding of
the place: such men as the late General Alfred Austell, Captain James W.
English, and the three Inman brothers, Samuel, John, and Hugh--to
mention but a few names. The First National Bank, established by General
Austell, is, I believe, Atlanta's largest bank to-day, and was literally
the first national bank established in Georgia, if not in the whole
South, after the war.

Woodrow Wilson was admitted to the bar in Atlanta, and, if I mistake
not, practised law in an office not far from that meeting place of
highways called Five Points. Here, at Five Points, two important trails
crossed, long before there was any Atlanta: the north-and-south trail
between Savannah and Ross's Landing, and the east-and-west trail, which
followed the old Indian trails between Charleston and New Orleans. When
people from this part of the country wished to go to Ohio, Indiana, or
the Mississippi Valley, they would take the old north-and-south trail to
Ross's Landing, follow the Tennessee River to where it empties into the
Ohio, near Paducah, Kentucky, and proceed thence to Mississippi.

In the thirties, Atlanta--or rather the site of Atlanta, for the city
was not founded until 1840--was on the border of white civilization in
northern Georgia, all the country to the north of the Chattahoochee
River, which flows a few miles distant from the city, having belonged to
the Cherokee Indians, who had been moved there from Florida. Even in
those times the Cherokees were civilized, as Indians go, for they lived
in huts and practised agriculture. Of course, however, their
civilization was not comparable with that of the white man. If they had
been as civilized as he, they might have driven him out of Florida,
instead of having been themselves driven out, and they might have driven
him out of Georgia, too, instead of having been pushed on, as they were,
to the Indian Territory--eighteen thousand of them, under military
supervision, on boats from Ross's Landing--leaving the beautiful white
Cherokee rose, which grows wild and in great profusion, in the spring,
as almost their sole memorial on Georgia soil.

As Georgia became settled the trails developed into wagon and stage
routes, and later they were followed, approximately, by the railroads.
After three railroads had reached Atlanta, the State of Georgia engaged
in what may have been the first adventure, in this country, along the
lines of government-owned railroads: namely, the building of the Western
& Atlantic, from Atlanta to Chattanooga, to form a link between the
lower South and the rapidly developing West. This road was built in the
forties, and it was along its line that Johnston retreated before
Sherman, from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Though it is now leased and
operated by the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad Company, it
is still owned by the State of Georgia. The lease, however, expires
soon, and (an interesting fact in view of the continued agitation in
other parts of the country for government ownership of corporations)
there is a strong sentiment in Georgia in favor of selling the railroad;
for it is estimated that, at a fair price, it would yield a sum
sufficient not only to wipe out the entire bonded indebtedness of the
State ($7,000,000), but to leave ten or twelve millions clear in the
State treasury.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Roswell, Georgia, a sleepy little hamlet in the hills, not many miles
from Atlanta, stands Bulloch Hall, where Martha ("Mittie") Bulloch,
later Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, mother of the President, was born.
Roswell was originally settled, long ago, by people from Savannah,
Darien, and other towns of the flat, hot country near the coast, who
drove there in their carriages and remained during the summer. After a
time, however, three prosperous families--the Bullochs, Dunwoodys, and
Barrington Kings--made their permanent homes at Roswell.

Bulloch Hall is one of those old white southern colonial houses the
whole front of which consists of a great pillared portico, in the Greek
style, giving a look of dignity and hospitality. Almost all such houses
are, as they should be, surrounded by fine old trees; those at Bulloch
Hall are especially fine: tall cedars, ancient white oaks, giant osage
oranges, and a pair of holly trees, one at either side of the walk near
the front door.

Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., and Mittie Bulloch met here when they were
respectively seventeen and fifteen years of age. A half sister of Miss
Mittie had married a relative of the Roosevelts and gone from Roswell to
live in Philadelphia, and it was while visiting at her home that young
Roosevelt, hearing a great deal of the South, conceived a desire to go
there. This resulted in his first visit to Bulloch Hall, and his
meeting with Mittie Bulloch. On his return to the North he was sent
abroad, but two or three years later when he went again to visit his
relatives in Philadelphia, Miss Mittie was also a guest at their house,
and this time the two became engaged.

Save that the Bulloch furniture is no longer there, the interior of the
old Georgia residence stands practically as it was when Theodore
Roosevelt and Mittie Bulloch were married in the dining room. Through
the center, from front to back, runs a wide hall, on either side of
which is a pair of spacious square rooms, each with a fireplace, each
with large windows looking out over the beautiful hilly country which
spreads all about. It is a lovely house in a lovely setting, and, though
the Bullochs reside there no longer, Miss Mittie Bulloch is not
forgotten in Roswell, for one of her bridesmaids, Miss Evelyn King, now
Mrs. Baker, still resides in Barrington Hall, not far distant from the
old Bulloch homestead.




CHAPTER XXXIII

ALIVE ATLANTA


An army officer, a man of broad sympathies, familiar with the whole
United States, warned me before I went south that I must not judge the
South by northern standards.

"On the side of picturesqueness and charm," he said, "the South can more
than hold its own against the rest of the country; likewise on the side
of office-holding and flowery oratory; but you must not expect southern
cities to have the energy you are accustomed to in the North."

As to the picturesqueness, charm, officeholding, and oratory, I found
his judgments substantially correct, but though I did perceive a certain
lack of energy in some small cities, I should not call that trait a
leading one in the larger southern cities to-day. On the contrary, I was
impressed, in almost every large center that I visited, with the fact
that, in the South more, perhaps, than in any other part of the country,
a great awakening is in progress. The dormant period of the South is
past, and all manner of developments are everywhere in progress. Nor do
I know of any city which better exemplifies southern growth and progress
than Atlanta.

My Baedeker, dated 1909, opens its description of Atlanta with the
statement that the German consul there is Dr. E. Zoepffel. I doubt
it--but let us pass over that. It describes Atlanta as "a prosperous
commercial and industrial city and an important railroad center, well
situated, 1030-1175 feet above the sea, enjoying a healthy and bracing
climate." That is true. Atlanta is, if I mistake not, the highest
important city east of Denver, and I believe her climate is in part
responsible for her energy, as it is also for the fact that her
vegetation is more like that of a northern than a southern city, elms
and maples rather than magnolias, being the trees of the Atlanta
streets.

Baedeker gave Atlanta about 90,000 inhabitants in 1909, but the census
of 1910 jumped her up to more than 150,000, while the estimate of 1917
in the "World Almanac" credits her with about 180,000. Moreover, in the
almanac's list of the largest cities of the earth, Atlanta comes
twentieth from the top. It is my duty, perhaps, to add that the list is
arranged alphabetically--which reminds me that some cynic has suggested
that there may have been an alphabetical arrangement of names, also, in
the celebrated list in which Abou Ben Adhem's "name led all the rest."
Nevertheless, it may be stated that, according to the almanac's
population figures, Atlanta is larger than the much more ancient city of
Athens (I refer to Athens, Greece; not Athens, Georgia), as well as such
considerable cities as Bari, Bochum, Graz, Kokand, and Omsk. Atlanta is,
in short, a city of about the size of Goteborg, and if she has not yet
achieved the dimensions of Baku, Belem, Changsha, Tashkent, or West Ham,
she is growing rapidly, and may some day surpass them all; yes, and even
that thriving metropolis, Yekaterinoslav.

As to the "healthy and bracing climate," I know that Atlanta is cool and
lovely in the spring, and I am told that her prosperous families do not
make it a practice to absent themselves from home during the summer,
according to the custom of the corresponding class in many other cities,
northern as well as southern.

Atlanta is one of the few large inland cities located neither upon a
river nor a lake. When the city was founded, the customs of life in
Georgia were such that no one ever dreamed that the State might some day
go dry. Having plenty of other things to drink, the early settlers gave
no thought to water. But, as time went on, and prohibition became a more
and more important issue, the citizens of Atlanta began to perceive
that, in emergency, the Chattahoochee River might, after all, have its
uses. Water was, consequently, piped from the river to the city, and is
now generally--albeit in some quarters mournfully--used. Though I am
informed by an expert in Indian languages that the Cherokee word
"chattahoochee" is short for "muddy," the water is filtered before it
reaches the city pipes, and is thoroughly palatable, whether taken plain
or mixed.

Well-off though Atlanta is, she would esteem herself better off, in a
material sense at least, had she a navigable stream; for her chief
industrial drawback consists in railroad freight rates unmodified by
water competition. She has, to be sure, a number of factories, including
a Ford automobile plant, but she has not so many factories as her
strategic position, stated by General Sherman, would seem to justify, or
as her own industrial ambitions cause her to desire. For does not every
progressive American city yearn to bristle with factory chimneys, even
as a summer resort folder bristles with exclamation points? And is not
soot a measure of success?

Atlanta's line of business is largely office business; many great
corporations have their headquarters or their general southern branches
in the city; one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks is there, and there
are many strong banks. Indeed, I suppose Atlanta has more bankers, in
proportion to her population, than any other city in the United States.
Some of these bankers are active citizens and permanent residents of the
city; others have given up banking for the time being and are in
temporary residence at the Federal Penitentiary.

The character of commerce carried on, naturally brings to Atlanta large
numbers of prosperous and able men--corporation officials, branch
managers, manufacturers' agents, and the like--who, with their families,
give Atlanta a somewhat individual social flavor. This class of
population also accounts for the fact that the enterprisingness so
characteristic of Atlanta is not the mere rough, ebullient spirit of "go
to it!" to be found in so many hustling cities of the Middle West and
West, but is, oftentimes, an informed and cultivated kind of
enterprisingness, which causes Atlanta not only to "do things," but to
do things showing vision, and, furthermore, to do them with an "air."

This is illustrated in various ways. It is shown, for example, in
Atlanta's principal hotels, which are not small-town hotels, or
good-enough hotels, but would do credit to any city, however great. The
office buildings are city office buildings, and in the downtown section
they are sufficiently numerous to look very much at home, instead of
appearing a little bit exotic, self-conscious, and lonesome, as new
skyscrapers do in so many cities of Atlanta's size. Even the smoke with
which the skyscrapers are streaked is city smoke. Chicago herself could
hardly produce smoke of more metropolitan texture--certainly not on the
Lake Front, where the Illinois Central trains send up their black
clouds; for Atlanta's downtown smoke, like Chicago's, comes in large
part from railroads piercing the heart of the city. Where downtown
business streets cross the railroad tracks, the latter are depressed,
the highways passing above on steel bridges resembling the bridges over
the Chicago River. The railroad's right of way is, furthermore, just
about as wide as the Chicago River, and rows of smoke-stained brick
buildings turn their backs upon it, precisely as similar buildings turn
theirs upon Chicago's busy, narrow stream. I wonder if all travelers,
familiar with Chicago, are so persistently reminded of that portion of
the city which is near the river, as I was by that portion of Atlanta
abutting on the tracks by which the Seaboard Air Line enters the city.

Generally speaking, railroads in the South have not been so prosperous
as leading roads in the North, and with the exception of the most
important through trains, their passenger equipment is, therefore, not
so good. The Seaboard Air Line, however, runs an all-steel train between
Atlanta and Birmingham which, in point of equipment, may be compared
with the best limited trains anywhere. The last car in this train,
instead of being part sleeping car and part observation car, is a
combination dining and observation car--a very pleasant arrangement, for
men are allowed to smoke in the observation end after dinner. This is,
to my mind, an improvement over the practice of most railroads, which
obliges men who wish to smoke to leave the ladies with whom they may be
traveling. All Seaboard dining cars offer, aside from regular a la carte
service, a sixty-cent dinner known as the "Blue Plate Special." This
dinner has many advantages over the usual dining-car repast. In the
first place, though it does not comprise bread and butter, coffee or
tea, or dessert, it provides an ample supply of meat and vegetables at a
moderate price. In the second place, though served at a fixed price, it
bears no resemblance to the old-style dining car table d'hote, but, upon
the contrary, looks and tastes like food. The food, furthermore, instead
of representing a great variety of viands served in microscopic helpings
on innumerable platters and "side dishes," comes on one great plate,
with recesses for vegetables. The "Blue Plate Special" furnishes, in
short, the chief items in a "good home meal."

This is, perhaps, as convenient a place as any in which to speak of
certain points concerning various railroads in the South. The Central of
Georgia Railway, running between Atlanta and Savannah, instead of
operating Pullmans, has its own sleeping cars. This is the only railroad
I know of in the country on which the tenant of a lower berth, below an
unoccupied upper, may have the upper closed without paying for it. One
likes the Central of Georgia for this humane dispensation. The
locomotives of the Western & Atlantic carry as a distinguishing mark a
red band at the top of the smokestack. The Southern Railway assigns
engineers to individual engines, instead of "pooling power," as is the
practice, I believe, on many railroads. Because of this, engineers on
the Southern regard the locomotives to which they are regularly
assigned, as their personal property, and exercise their individual
taste in embellishing them. Brass bands, brass flagstaffs, brass eagles
over the headlight, and similar adornments are therefore often seen on
the engines of this road, giving the most elaborate of them a carnival
appearance, by contrast with the somber black to which most of us are
accustomed, and hinting that not all the individuality has been
unionized out of locomotive engineers--an impression heightened by the
Southern Railway's further pleasant custom of painting the names of its
older and more expert engineers upon the cabs of their locomotives.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some cities are like lumbering old farm horses, plugging along a dusty
country road. When another horse overtakes them, if they be not
altogether wanting in spirit, they may be encouraged to jog a little
faster for a moment, stimulated by example. If, besides being stupid,
they are mean, then they want to kick or bite at the speedier animal
going by. Some cities are like that, too. If an energetic city overtakes
them, they are not spurred on to emulation, but lay back their ears, so
to speak. Again, there are tough, sturdy little cities like buckskin
ponies. There are skittish cities which seem to have been badly broken.
There are old cities with a worn-out kind of elegance, like that of
superannuated horses of good breed, hitched to an old-fashioned
barouche. There are bad, bucking cities, like Butte, Montana. And here
and there are cities, like Atlanta, reminding one of thoroughbred
hunters. There is a brave, sporting something in the spirit of Atlanta
which makes it rush courageously at big jumps, and clear them, and land
clean on the other side, and be off again. Like a thoroughbred, she
loves the chase. She goes in to win. She doesn't stop to worry about
whether she can win or not. She knows she will. And as the thoroughbred,
loving large and astonishing achievement, lacks the humbler virtues of
the reliable family carriage horse, Atlanta, it cannot be denied, has
"_les defauts de ses qualites_." For whereas, on the side of dashing
performance, Atlanta held a stock fair which, in one year, surpassed any
other held in the South, and secured the grand circuit of races, on the
other side she is careless about hospitals and charities; and whereas,
on the one side, she has raised millions for the building of two new
universities (which, by the way, would be much better as one great
university, but cannot be, because of sectarian domination), on the
other, she is deficient as to schools; and again, whereas she is the
only secondary city to have an annual season of Metropolitan grand opera
(and to make it pay!) she is behind many other cities, including her
neighbors, New Orleans and Savannah, in caring for the public health.

I am by no means sure that the regular spring visit of the Metropolitan
Grand Opera Company may be taken as a sign that Atlanta is peculiarly a
music-loving community. Indeed, I was told by one Atlanta lady, herself
a musician, that the city did not contain more than a thousand persons
of real musical appreciation, that a number of these could not afford to
attend the operatic performances, and that opera week was, consequently,
in reality more an occasion of great social festivity than of devout
homage to art.

"Our opera week," she told me, "bears the same relation to the life of
Atlanta as Mardi Gras does to that of New Orleans. It is an
advertisement for the city, and an excuse for every one to have a good
time. Every night after the performance there are suppers and dances,
which the opera stars attend. They always seem to enjoy coming here.
They act as though they were off on a picnic, skylarking about the
hotel, snap-shotting one another, and playing all manner of pranks. And,
of course, while they are here they own the town. Caruso draws his
little caricatures for the Atlanta girls, and Atlanta men have been
dazzled, in successive seasons, by such gorgeous beings as Geraldine
Farrar, Alma Gluck, and Maria Barrientos--not only across the footlights
of the auditorium, mind you, but at close range; as, for instance, at
dances at the Driving Club, with Chinese lanterns strung on the terrace,
a full moon above, and--one year--with the whole Metropolitan Orchestra
playing dance music all night long!"

Another lady, endeavoring to picture to me the strain involved in the
week's gaieties, informed me that when it was all over she went for a
rest to New York, where she attended "a house party at the Waldorf"!

       *       *       *       *       *

Of all Atlanta's undertakings, planned or accomplished, that which most
interested my companion and me was the one for turning a mountain into a
sculptured monument to the Confederacy.

Sixteen miles to the east of the city the layer of granite which
underlies the region stuck its back up, so to speak, forming a great
smooth granite hump, known as Stone Mountain. This mountain is one of
America's natural wonders. In form it may be compared with a
round-backed fish, such as a whale or porpoise, lying on its belly,
partly imbedded in a beach, and some conception of its dimensions may be
gathered from the fact that from nose to tail it measures about two
miles, while the center of its back is as high as the Woolworth Building
in New York. Moreover, there is not a fissure in it; monoliths a
thousand feet long have been quarried from it; it is as solid as the
Solid South.

The perpendicular streaks of light and dark gray and gray-green, made by
the elements upon the face of the rock, coupled with the waterfall-like
curve of that face, make one think of a sort of sublimated petrified
Niagara--a fancy enhanced, on windy days, by the roar of the gale-lashed
forest at the mountain's foot.

The idea of turning the mountain into a Confederate memorial originated
with Mr. William H. Terrell of Atlanta. It was taken up with inspired
energy by Mrs. C. Helen Plane, an Atlanta lady, now eighty-seven years
of age, who is honorary president of the United Daughters of the
Confederacy and president of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.
Mrs. Plane presented the memorial plan to Mr. Samuel H. Venable of
Venable Brothers, owners of the mountain, and Mr. Venable promptly
turned over the whole face of the mountain to the Memorial Association.
The exact form the memorial was to take had not at that time been
developed. Gutzon Borglum was, however, called in, and worked out a
stupendous idea, which he has since been commissioned to execute. On the
side of the mountain, about four hundred feet above the ground, a
roadway is to be gouged out of the granite. On this roadway will be
carved, in gigantic outlines, a Confederate army, headed by Lee and
Jackson on horseback. Other generals will follow, and will, in turn, be
followed by infantry, cavalry and artillery. The leading groups will be
in full relief and the equestrian figures will be fifty or more feet
tall. This means that the faces of the chief figures will measure almost
the height of a man. The figures to the rear of the long column will,
according to present plans, be in bas-relief, and the whole procession
will cover a strip perhaps a mile long, all of it carved out of the
solid mountainside.

A considerable tract of forest land at the foot of the great rock has
already been dedicated as a park. Here, concealed by the trees, at a
point below the main group of figures, a temple, with thirteen columns
representing the thirteen Confederate States, is to be hewn out of the
mountain, to be used as a place for the safe-keeping of Confederate
relics and archives.

Two million dollars is the sum spoken of to cover the total cost, and
one of the finest things about the plans for raising this money is that
contributions from the entire country are being accepted, so that not
only the South, but the whole nation, may have a share in the creation
of a memorial to that dead government which the South so poetically
adores, yet which it would not willingly resurrect, and in the
realization of a work resembling nothing so much as Kipling's conception
of the artist in heaven, who paints on "a ten-league canvas, with
brushes of comet's hair."

Until the Stone Mountain Memorial is completed, Atlanta's most
celebrated monument will continue to be that of Jack Smith. The Jack
Smith monument stands in Oakland Cemetery, not over the grave of Jack
Smith, but over the grave that local character intends some day to
occupy. Mr. Smith is reputed to be rich. He built the downtown office
building known as "The House that Jack Built." As befits the owner of an
office building, he wears a silk hat, but a certain democratic
simplicity may be observed in the rest of his attire, especially about
the region of the neck, for though he apparently believes in the
convention concerning the wearing of collars, he has a prejudice against
the concealing of a portion of the collar by that useless and snobbish
adornment, the necktie. Each spring, I am informed, it is his custom to
visit his cemetery lot and inspect the statue of himself which a
commendable foresight has caused him to erect over his proposed final
resting place. It is said that upon the occasion of last season's vernal
visit he was annoyed at finding his effigy cravated by a vine which had
grown up and encircled the neck. This he caused to be removed; and it is
to be hoped that when, at last, his monument achieves its ultimate
purpose, those who care for the cemetery will see to it that leafy
tendrils be not permitted to mount to the marble collar of the figure,
to form a necktie, or to obscure the nobly sculptured collar button.




CHAPTER XXXIV

GEORGIA JOURNALISM


In journalism Atlanta is far in advance of many cities of her size,
North or South. The Atlanta "Constitution," founded nearly half a
century ago, is one of the country's most distinguished newspapers. The
"Constitution" came into its greatest fame in the early eighties, when
Captain Evan P. Howell--the same Captain Howell who commanded a battery
at the battle of Peachtree Creek, in the defense of Atlanta, and who
later called, with his son, on General Sherman, as already
recorded--became its editor, and Henry W. Grady its managing editor.
Like William Allen White and Walt Mason of the Emporia (Kansas)
"Gazette," who work side by side, admire each other, but disagree on
every subject save that of the infallibility of the ground hog as a
weather prophet, Howell and Grady worked side by side and were devoted
friends, while disagreeing personally, and in print, on prohibition and
many other subjects. Grady would speak at prohibition rallies and,
sometimes on the same night, Howell would speak at anti-prohibition
rallies. In their speeches they would attack each other. The accounts of
these speeches, as well as conflicting articles written by the two,
would always appear in the "Constitution."

Of the pair of public monuments to individuals which I remember having
seen in Atlanta, one was the pleasing memorial, in Piedmont Park, to
Sidney Lanier (who was peculiarly a Georgia poet, having been born in
Macon, in that State, and having written some of his most beautiful
lines under the spell of Georgia scenes), and the other the statue of
Henry W. Grady, which stands downtown in Marietta Street.

The Grady monument--one regrets to say it--is less fortunate as a work
of art than as a deserved symbol of remembrance. Grady not only ought to
have a monument, but as one whose writings prove him to have been a man
of taste, he ought to have a better one than this poor mid-Victorian
thing, placed in the middle of a wide, busy street, with Fords parked
all day long about its base.

Says the inscription:

    HE NEVER SOUGHT A PUBLIC OFFICE.
     WHEN HE DIED HE WAS LITERALLY
      LOVING A NATION INTO PEACE.

On another side of the base is chiseled a characteristic extract from
one of Grady's speeches. This speech was made in 1899, in Boston, and
one hopes that it may have been heard by the late Charles Francis Adams,
who labored in Massachusetts for the cause of intersectional harmony,
just as Grady worked for it in Georgia.

     This hour [said Grady] little needs the loyalty that is loyal to
     one section and yet holds the other in enduring suspicion and
     estrangement. Give us the broad and perfect loyalty that loves and
     trusts Georgia alike with Massachusetts--that knows no South, no
     North, no East, no West; but endears with equal and patriotic love
     every foot of our soil, every State in our Union.

Grady could not only write and say stirring things; he could be witty.
He once spoke at a dinner of the New England Society, in New York, at
which General Sherman was also present.

"Down in Georgia," he said, "we think of General Sherman as a great
general; but it seems to us he was a little careless with fire."

Nor was Grady less brilliant as managing editor than upon the platform.
He had the kind of enterprise which made James Gordon Bennett such a
dashing figure in newspaper life, and the New York "Herald" such a
complete _news_paper--the kind of enterprise that charters special
trains, and at all hazards gets the story it is after. Back in the early
eighties Grady was running the Atlanta "Constitution" in just that way.
If a big story "broke" in any of the territory around Atlanta, Grady
would not wait upon train schedules, but would hire an engine and send
his men to the scene. Once, following a sensational murder, he learned
that the Birmingham "Age-Herald" had a big story dealing with
developments in the case. He wired the "Age-Herald" offering a large
price for the story. When his offer was refused Grady knew that if he
could not devise a way to get the story, Atlanta would be flooded next
day with "Age-Heralds" containing the "beat" on the "Constitution." He
at once chartered a locomotive and rushed two reporters and four
telegraph operators down the line toward Birmingham. At Aniston,
Alabama, the locomotive met the train which was bringing "Age-Heralds"
to Atlanta. A copy of the paper was secured. The "Constitution" men then
broke into a telegraph office and wired the whole story in to their
paper, with the result that the "Constitution" was out with it before
the Birmingham papers reached Atlanta.

Atlanta was at that time a town of only about 40,000 inhabitants, but
the "Constitution," in the days of Howell and Grady, had a circulation
four times greater than the total population of the city--a situation
almost unheard of in journalism. Something of the breadth of its
influence may be gathered from the fact that in several counties in
Texas, where the law provided that whatever newspaper had the largest
circulation in the county should be the county organ, the county organ
was the Atlanta "Constitution."

An Atlanta lady tells of having called upon Grady to complain about an
article which she did not think the "Constitution" should have printed.

"Why did you put that objectionable article in your paper?" she asked
him.

"Did you read it?" he inquired.

"Yes, I did."

"Then," said Grady, "that's why I put it there."

Grady and Howell always ran a lively sporting department. Away back in
the days of bare-knuckle prize fights--such as those between Sullivan
and Ryan, and Sullivan and Kilrain--a "Constitution" reporter was always
at the ringside, no matter where the fight might take place. For a
newspaper in a town of forty or fifty thousand inhabitants, a large
percentage of them colored illiterates, this was real enterprise.

A favorite claim of Grady's was that his reporters were the greatest
"leg artists" in the world. He used to organize walking matches for
reporters, offering large prizes and charging admission. This developed,
in the middle eighties, a general craze for such matches, and resulted
in the holding of many inter-city contests, in which teams, four men to
a side, took part. One of the "Constitution's" champion "leg artists"
was Sam W. Small, now an evangelist and member of the "flying squadron"
of the Anti-Saloon League of America.

The most widely celebrated individual ever connected with the
"Constitution" was Joel Chandler Harris, many of whose "Uncle Remus"
stories--those negro folk tales still supreme in their field--appeared
originally in that paper. In view of Mr. Harris's achievement it is
pleasant to recall that there was paid to him during his life one of the
finest tributes that an author can receive. As with "Mr. Dooley" of our
day, he came, himself, to be affectionately referred to by the name of
the chief character in his works. "Uncle Remus" he was, and "Uncle
Remus" he will always be. Mr. Harris's eldest son, Julian, widely known
as a journalist, is said to have been the little boy to whom "Uncle
Remus" told his tales.

Though there is, as yet, no public monument in Atlanta to Joel Chandler
Harris, the "Wren's Nest," his former home, at 214 Gordon Street, is
fittingly preserved as a memorial. Visitors may see the old letter box
fastened to a tree by the gate--that box in which a wren built her nest,
giving the house its name. It is a simple old house with the air of a
home about it, and the intimate possessions of the author lie about as
he left them. His bed is made up, his umbrella hangs upon the
mantelshelf, his old felt hat rests upon the rack, the photograph of his
friend James Whitcomb Riley looks down from the bedroom wall, and on the
table, by the window, stands his typewriter--the confidant first to know
his new productions.

The presence of these personal belongings keeps alive the illusion that
"Uncle Remus" has merely stepped out for a little while--is hiding in
the garden, waiting for us to go away. It would be like him, for he was
among the most modest and retiring of men, as there are many amusing
anecdotes to indicate. Once when some one had persuaded him to attend a
large dinner in New York, they say, he got as far as New York, but as
the dinner hour approached could not bear to face the adulation awaiting
him, and incontinently fled back to Atlanta.

Frank L. Stanton, poet laureate of Georgia, and of the "Constitution,"
joined the "Constitution" staff through the efforts of Mr. Harris, one
of whose closest intimates he was. Speaking of Mr. Harris's gift for
negro dialect, Mr. Stanton told me that there was one negro exclamation
which "Uncle Remus" always wished to reproduce, but which he never quite
felt could be expressed, in writing, to those unfamiliar with the negro
at first hand: that is the exclamation of amazement, which has the
sound, "mmm--_mh!_"--the first syllable being long and the last sharp
and exclamatory.

Mr. Stanton has for years conducted a column of verse and humorous
paragraphic comment, under the heading "Just from Georgia," on the
editorial page of the "Constitution." Some idea of the high estimation
in which he is held in his State is to be gathered from the fact that
"Frank L. Stanton Day" is annually celebrated in the Georgia schools.

Mr. Stanton began his newspaper career as a country editor in the town
of Smithville, Georgia. Mr. Harris, then a member of the
"Constitution's" editorial staff, began reprinting in that journal
verses and paragraphs written by Stanton, with the result that the
Smithville paper became known all over the country. Later Stanton moved
to Rome, Georgia, becoming an editorial writer on a paper there--the
"Tribune," edited at that time by John Temple Graves, if I am not
mistaken. Still later he removed to Atlanta, joined the staff of the
"Constitution," and started the department which has now continued for
more than twenty-five years.

Joel Chandler Harris used to tell a story about Stanton's first days in
the "Constitution" office. According to this story, the paper on which
Stanton had worked in Rome had not been prosperous, and salaries were
uncertain. When the business manager went out to try to raise money in
the town, he never returned without first reading the signals placed by
his assistant in the office window. If a red flag was shown, it
signified that a collector was waiting in the office. In that event the
business manager would not come in, but would circle about until the
collector became tired of waiting and departed--a circumstance indicated
by the withdrawal of the red flag and the substitution of a white one.
According to the story, as it was told to me, reporters on the paper
were seldom paid; if one of them made bold to ask for his salary, he was
likely to be discharged. It was from this uncertain existence that
Stanton was lured to the "Constitution" by an offer of $22.50 per week.
When he had been on the "Constitution" for three weeks Mr. Harris
discovered that he had drawn no salary. This surprised him--as indeed it
would any man who had had newspaper experience.

"Stanton," he said, "you are the only newspaper man I have ever seen who
is so rich he doesn't need to draw his pay."

But, as it turned out, Stanton was not so prosperous as Harris perhaps
supposed. He was down to his last dime, and had been wondering how he
could manage to get along; for his training on the Rome paper had
taught him never to ask for money lest he lose his job.

"Well," he said to Harris, "I could use _some_ of my salary--if you're
sure it won't be any inconvenience?"

Those familiar with the works of Mr. Stanton, Mr. Harris, and James
Whitcomb Riley, Indiana's great poet, will perceive that certain similar
tastes and feelings inform their writings, and will not be surprised to
learn, if not already aware of it, that the three were friends. Mr.
Stanton's only absence from Atlanta since he joined the "Constitution,"
was on the occasion of a visit he paid Mr. Riley at the latter's home in
Indianapolis. The best of Stanton's work must have appealed to Riley,
for it contains not a little of the kindly, homely, humorous
truthfulness, and warmth of sentiment, of which Riley was himself such a
master. Among the most widely familiar verses of the Georgia poet are
those of his "Mighty Like a Rose," set to music by Ethelbert Nevin, and
"Just a-Wearying for You," with music by Carrie Jacobs Bond. "Money" is
a verse in hilarious key, which many will remember for the comical vigor
of the last three lines in its first stanza:

    When a fellow has spent
    His last red cent
    The world looks blue, you bet!
    But give him a dollar
    And you'll hear him holler:
    "There's life in the old land yet!"

Richly humorous though Stanton is, he can also reach the heart. The
former Governor of a Western State picked up Stanton's book, "Songs of
the Soil," and after reading "Hanging Bill Jones," and "A Tragedy,"
therein, commuted the sentence of a man who was to have been executed
next day. One hopes the man deserved to escape. In another case an
individual who was about to commit suicide chanced to see in an old
newspaper Stanton's encouraging verses called "Keep a-Goin'," and was
stimulated by them to have a fresh try at life on earth instead of
elsewhere.

Joel Chandler Harris wrote the introduction to "Songs of the Soil."
Other collections of Stanton's works are "Songs of Dixie Land," and
"Comes One With a Song." The danger in starting to quote from these
books--which, by the way, are chiefly made up of measures that appeared
originally in the "Constitution"--is that one does not like to stop. I
have, however, limited myself to but one more theft, and instead of
making my own choice, have left the selection to a friend of Mr.
Stanton's, who has suggested the lines entitled "A Poor Unfortunate":

    His hoss went dead, an' his mule went lame,
    He lost six cows in a poker game;
    A harricane come on a summer's day
    An' carried the house whar he lived away,
    Then a earthquake come when _that_ wuz gone
    An' swallered the land that the house stood on!
    An' the tax collector, he come roun'
    An' charged him up fer the hole in the groun'!
    An' the city marshal he come in view
    An' said he wanted his street tax, too!

    Did he moan an' sigh? Did he set an' cry
    An' cuss the harricane sweepin' by?
    Did he grieve that his old friends failed to call
    When the earthquake come and swallered all?
    Never a word o' blame he said,
    With all them troubles on top his head!
    Not him! He climbed on top o' the hill
    Whar stan'in' room wuz left him still,
    An', barrin' his head, here's what he said:
    "I reckon it's time to git up an' git,
    But, Lord, I hain't had the measles yit!"

Among those who have been on the staff of the "Constitution" and have
become widely known, may be mentioned the gifted Corra Harris, many of
whose stories have Georgia backgrounds, and who still keeps as a country
home in the State where she was born, a log cabin, known as "In the
Valley," at Pine Log, Georgia; also the perhaps equally (though
differently) talented Robert Adamson, whose administration as fire
commissioner of the City of New York was so able as to result in a
reduction of insurance rates.

Atlanta reporters, it would seem, run to the New York Fire Department,
for Joseph Johnson, who preceded Mr. Adamson as commissioner, was once a
reporter on the Atlanta "Journal." The latter paper used to belong to
Hoke Smith. It was at one time edited by John Temple Graves, who later
edited the Atlanta "Georgian," and is now a member of the forces of
William Randolph Hearst, in New York. The late Jacques Futrelle, the
author, who went down with the _Titanic_, was a Georgian, and worked for
years on the "Journal." Don Marquis, one of the most brilliant American
newspaper "columnists," now in charge of the department known as "The
Sun Dial" on the New York "Evening Sun," was also at one time on the
"Journal," as was likewise Grantland Rice, America's most widely read
sporting writer. Lollie Belle Wiley, whose poetry has a distinct
southern quality, is, I believe, a member of the "Journal's" staff. As
the eminent Ty Cobb once wrote a book, it seems fair to mention him also
among Georgian authors, though so far as I know he never worked on an
Atlanta paper. And if Atlanta's three celebrated golfers have not
written for the papers, they have at least supplied the sporting page
with much material. Miss Alexa Sterling of Atlanta, a young lady under
twenty, is one of the best women golfers in the United States; Perry
Adair also figures in national golf, and Robert T. ("Bobby") Jones, Jr.,
who was southern champion at the age of fourteen, is, perhaps, an
unprecedented marvel at the game--so at least my golfing friends inform
me.

The continued militancy of the "Constitution," under the editorship of
Clark Howell, who sits in his father's old chair, with a bust of Grady
at his elbow, is evidenced not only by its frequent editorials against
lynching, but by its fearless campaign against another Georgia
specialty--the "paper colonel." The ranks of the "paper colonels" in
the South are chiefly made up of lawyers who "have been colonelized by
custom for no other reason than that they have led their clients to
victory in legal battles." Some of the real colonels have been objecting
to the paper kind, and the "Constitution" has bravely backed up the
objection.

The liveliness of journalism in Georgia does not begin and end in
Atlanta. The Savannah "Morning News" has an able editorial page, and
there are many others in the State. Some of the small-town papers are,
moreover, well worth reading for that kind of breeziness which we
usually associate with the West rather than the South. Consider, for
example, the following, in which the Dahlonega (Georgia) "Nugget,"
published up in the mountains, in the section where gold is mined,
discusses the failings of one Billie Adams, the editor's own son-in-law:

     On Saturday last, Billie Adams and his wife waylaid the public road
     over on Crown Mountain, where this sorry piece of humanity stood
     and cursed while his wife knocked down and beat her sister, Emma.
     He is a son-in-law of ours, but if the Lord had anything to do with
     him, He must have made a mistake and thought He was breathing the
     breath of life into a dog.

     He is too lazy to work and lays around and waits for his wife to
     get what she can procure on credit, until she can get nothing more
     for him and the children to eat. Recently he claimed to be gone to
     Tennessee in search of work. Upon hearing that his family had
     nothing to eat, we had Carl Brooksher send over nearly four
     dollars' worth of provisions. In he came and sat there and feasted
     until every bite was gone. But this ends it with us.

     There are a lot of people who have sorry kinfolks, but in this
     instance if there were prizes offered, we would certainly win the
     first.

     Last year, thinking he would scare his mother-in-law and
     sister-in-law off from where they live, so he could get the place,
     he shot two holes through their window, turned their mule out of
     the stable, and tried to run it into the bean patch, besides
     hanging up a bunch of switches at the drawbars. Then their fence
     was set afire twice. This is said to be the work of his wife. Then,
     after carrying home meat, flour, lard, and vegetables to eat for
     her mother and sister, he whipped the latter because she refused to
     give him two of the wagon wheels.

     The city made a case against both for the whipping, and the wife,
     although coming to town alone frequently during the day, brought
     her baby and everything to the council room, plead guilty and was
     fined one and costs. Billie didn't appear, but if he stays in this
     country Marshal Wimpy will have him, when all these things will
     come to light, both in the council chamber and grand jury room.

The scandal of newspaperdom in Georgia is, of course, Tom Watson, who
publishes the "Jeffersonian"--a misnamed paper if there ever was one--in
the town of Thomson. Many years ago, when Edward P. Thomas, now
assistant to the president of the United States Steel Corporation, was a
little boy in Atlanta, complaining about having his ears washed; when
Theodore D. Rousseau, secretary to Mayor Mitchel of New York, was having
his early education drilled into him at the Ivy Street school; when
Ralph Peters, now president of the Long Island Railroad, had left
Atlanta and become a division superintendent on the Panhandle Road; when
the parents of Ivy Ledbetter Lee were wondering to what college they
would send him when he grew to be a big boy; when Robert Adamson was a
page in the Georgia Legislature--as long ago as that, Tom Watson was
waving his red head and prominent Adam's apple as a member of the State
House of Representatives. In the mad and merry days of Bryanism he
became a Populist Member of Congress. He was nominated for
vice-president, to run on the Populist ticket with Bryan. Later he ran
for president on the ticket of some unheard-of party, organized in
protest against the "conservatism" of the Populists. Watson's paper
reminds one of Brann and his "Iconoclast." Reading it, I have never been
able to discover what Watson was _for_. All I could find out was what he
was violently against--and that is almost everything. He is the wild ass
of Georgia journalism; the thistles of chaos are sweet in him, and order
in any department of life is a chestnut burr beneath his tail.




CHAPTER XXXV

SOME ATLANTA INSTITUTIONS


There has been great rejoicing in Atlanta over the raising of funds for
the establishment there of two new universities, Emory and Oglethorpe.
Emory was founded in 1914, as the result of a feud which developed in
Vanderbilt University, located at Nashville, Tennessee, over the
question as to whether the institution should be controlled by the Board
of Bishops of the southern Methodist Episcopal Church, or by the
University trustees, who were not so much interested in the development
of the sectarian side of the university. The fight was taken to the
courts where the trustees won. As a result, Methodist influence and
support were withdrawn from Vanderbilt, which thenceforward became a
non-sectarian college, and Emory was started--Atlanta having been
selected as its home because nearly a million and a half dollars was
raised in Atlanta to bring it there.

Oglethorpe is to be a Presbyterian institution, and starts off with a
million dollars.

This will give Atlanta three rather important colleges, since she
already has the technical branch of the University of Georgia, the main
establishment of which located at Athens, Georgia, is one of the oldest
state universities in the country, having been founded in 1801. (The
University of Tennessee is the oldest state university in the South. It
was founded in 1794. The University of Pennsylvania, dating from 1740,
is the oldest of all state universities. Harvard, founded in 1636, was
the first college established in the country; and the only other
American colleges which survive from the seventeenth century are William
and Mary, at Williamsburg, Virginia, established in 1693, and St. John's
College, at Annapolis, dating from 1696.)

There is a tendency in some parts of the South to use the terms
"college" and "university" loosely. Some schools for white persons,
doing little if anything more than grammar and high-school work, are
called "colleges," and negro institutions doing similar work are
sometimes grandiloquently termed "universities."

Atlanta has thirteen public schools for negroes, but no public high
school for them. There are, however, six large private educational
institutions for negroes in the city, doing high-school, college, or
graduate work, making Atlanta a great colored educational center. Of
these, Atlanta University, a non-sectarian co-educational college with a
white president (Mr. Edward T. Ware, whose father came from New England
and founded the institution in 1867), is, I believe, the oldest and
largest. It is very highly spoken of. Atlanta and Clark Universities are
the only two colored colleges in Atlanta listed in the "World Almanac's"
table of American universities and colleges. Clark also has a white man
as president.

Spelman Seminary, a Baptist institution for colored girls, has a white
woman president, and is partially supported by Rockefeller money.
Morehouse College, for boys, has a colored president, an able man, is of
similar denomination and is also partially supported by Rockefeller
funds. Spelman and Morehouse are run separately, excepting in college
work, on which they combine. Both are said to be excellent. Morris Brown
University is not a university at all, but does grammar and high-school
work. It is officered and supported by colored people, all churches of
the African Methodist Episcopal denomination subscribing funds for its
maintenance. Gammon Theological Seminary is, I am informed, the one
adequately endowed educational establishment for negroes in Atlanta. It
would, of course, be a splendid thing if the best of these schools and
colleges could be combined.

Citizens of Atlanta do not, generally, take the interest they ought to
take in these or other institutions for the benefit of negroes. To be
sure, most Southerners do not believe in higher education for negroes;
but, even allowing for that viewpoint, it is manifestly unfair that
white children should have public high schools and that negro children
should have none, but should be obliged to pay for their education above
the grammar grades. Perhaps there are people in Atlanta who believe that
even a high-school education is undesirable for the negro. That,
however, seems to me a pretty serious thing for one race to attempt to
decide for another--especially when the deciding race is not deeply and
sincerely interested in the uplift of the race over which it holds the
whip hand. Certainly intelligent people in the South believe in
industrial training for the negro, and equally certainly a negro high
school could give industrial training.

Negroes are not admitted to Atlanta parks, nor are there any parks
exclusively for them. Until recently there was no contagious-disease
hospital to which negroes could be taken, and there is not now a
reformatory for colored girls in the State of Georgia. Neither is there
any provision whatsoever in the State for the care of feeble-minded
colored children. And there is one thing even worse to be said. Shameful
as are Georgia's frequent lynchings, shameful as is the State's
indifference to negro welfare, blacker yet is the law upon her statute
books making the "age of consent" _ten years_! Various women's
organizations, and individual women, have, for decades, worked to change
this law, but without success. The term "southern chivalry" must ring
mocking and derisive in the ears of Georgia legislators until this
disgrace is wiped out. Standing as it does, it means but one thing: that
in order to protect some white males in their depravity, the voters of
Georgia are satisfied to leave little girls, ten, eleven, twelve years
of age, and upward, white as well as colored, utterly unprotected by the
law in this regard.

I have heard more than one woman in Georgia intimate that she would be
well pleased with a little less exterior "chivalry" and a little more
plain justice. Aside from their efforts to change the "age of consent"
law, leading women in the State have been working for compulsory
education, for the opening of the State University to women, for factory
inspection and decent child-labor laws. The question of child labor has
now been taken in hand by the National Government--as, of course, the
"age of consent" should also be--but in other respects but little
progress has been made in Georgia.

From such cheerless items I turn gladly to a happier theme.

As I have said elsewhere in this book, many colored people in Atlanta
are doing well in various ways. At Atlanta University I saw several
students whose fathers and mothers were graduates of the same
institution. Higher education for the negro has, thus, come into its
second generation. More prosperous negroes in Atlanta are doing social
settlement work among less fortunate members of their race, and have
started a free kindergarten for negro children. Many good people in
Atlanta are unaware of these facts, and I believe their judgment on the
entire negro question would be modified, at least in certain details,
were they merely to inform themselves upon various creditable negro
activities in the city. The northern stranger, attempting to ascertain
the truth about the negro and the negro problem, has to this extent the
advantage of the average Southerner: prejudice and indifference do not
prevent his going among the negroes to find out what they are doing for
themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

At various times in my life chance has thrown me into contact with
charities in great variety, and philanthropic work of many kinds. I have
seen theoretical charities, sentimental charities, silly charities,
pauperizing charities, wild-eyed charities, charities which did good,
and others which worked damage in the world; I have seen organized
charities splendidly run under difficult circumstances (as in the
Department of Charities under Commissioner Kingsbury, in New York City),
and I have seen other organized charities badly run at great expense; I
have seen charities conducted with the primary purpose of ministering to
the vanity of self-important individuals who like to say: "See all the
good that I am doing!" and I have seen other personal charities operated
(as in the case of the Rockefeller Foundation) with a perfectly
magnificent scope and effectiveness.

Nevertheless, of all the charities I have seen, of all the efforts I
have witnessed to improve the condition of humanity, none has taken a
firmer hold upon my heart than the Leonard Street Orphans' Home, for
negro girls, in Atlanta.

The home is a humble frame building which was used as a barracks by
northern troops stationed in Atlanta after the Civil War. In it reside
Miss Chadwick, her helpers, and about seventy little negro girls; and it
is an interesting fact that several of the helpers are young colored
women who, themselves brought up in the home and taught to be
self-supporting, have been drawn back to the place by homesickness. Was
ever before an orphan homesick for an orphans' home?

Miss Chadwick is an Englishwoman. Coming out to America a good many
years ago, she somehow found Atlanta, and in Atlanta somehow found this
orphanage, which was then both figuratively and literally dropping to
pieces. Some one had to take hold of it, so Miss Chadwick did. How
successful she has been it is hard to convey in words. I do not mean
that she has succeeded in building up a great flourishing plant with a
big endowment and all sorts of improvements. Far from it. The home
stands on a tiny lot, the building is ramshackle and not nearly large
enough for its purpose, and sometimes it seems doubtful where the money
to keep it going will come from. Nevertheless the home is a hundred
times more successful than I could have believed a home for orphans,
colored or white, could be made, had I not seen it with my own eyes. Its
success lies not in material possessions or prosperity, not in the food
and shelter it provides to those who so pitifully needed it, but in the
fact that it is in the truest and finest sense a _home_, a place endowed
with the greatest blessings any home can have: contentment and
affection. What Miss Chadwick has provided is, in short, an institution
with a heart.

How did she do it? That, like the other mystery of how she manages to
house those seventy small lively people in that little building, is
something which only Heaven and Miss Chadwick understand.

But then, if you have ever visited the home and met Miss Chadwick, and
seen her with her children, you know that Heaven and Miss Chadwick
understand a lot of things the rest of us don't know about at all!




CHAPTER XXXVI

A BIT OF RURAL GEORGIA

    To walk with the morning and watch its rose unfold;
    To drowse with the noontide lulled in its heart of gold;
    To lie with the night-time and dream the dreams of old.

    --MADISON CAWEIN.


A man I know studies as a hobby something which he calls "graphics"--the
term denoting the reaction of the mind to certain words. One of the
words he used in an experiment with me was "winter." When he said
"winter" there instantly came to me the picture of a snowstorm in
Quebec. I saw the front of the Hotel Frontenac at dusk through a mist of
driving snow. There were lights in the windows. A heavy wind was blowing
and as I leaned against it the front of my overcoat was plastered with
sticky white flakes. The streets and sidewalks were deep with snow, and
the only person besides myself in the vision was a sentry standing with
his gun in the lee of the vestibule outside the local militia
headquarters.

If my friend were to come now and try me with the word "spring," I know
what picture it would call to mind. I should see the Burge plantation,
near Covington, Georgia: the simple old white house with its rose-clad
porch, or "gallery," its grove of tall trees, its carriage-house, its
well-house, and other minor dependencies clustering nearby like
chickens about a white hen, its background the rolling cottonfields,
their red soil glowing salmon-colored in the sun. For, as I was never so
conscious of the brutality of winter as in that evening snowstorm at
Quebec, I was never so conscious, as at the time of our visit to the
Burge plantation, of the superlative soft sweetness of the spring.

In seasons, as in other things, we have our individual preferences.
Melancholy natures usually love autumn, with its colorings so like sweet
sad minor chords. But what kind of natures they are which rejoice in
spring, which feel that with each spring the gloomy past is blotted out,
and life, with all its opportunities, begins anew--what kind of natures
they are which recognize April instead of January as the beginning of
their year I shall not attempt to tell, for mine is such a nature, and
one must not act at once as subject and diagnostician.

So long as I endure, spring can never come again without turning my
thoughts to northwestern Georgia; to the peculiar penetrating warmth
which passed through the clothing to the body and made one feel that one
was not surrounded by mere air, but was immersed in a dry bath of some
infinitely superior vapor, a vapor volatile, soothing, tonic, distilled,
it seemed, from the earth, from pine trees, tulip trees, balm-of-Gilead
trees, (or "bam" trees, as they call them), blossoming Judas trees,
Georgia crabapple, dogwood pink and white, peach blossom, wistaria,
sweet-shrub, dog violets, pansy violets, Cherokee roses, wild
honeysuckle and azalia, and the evanescent green of new treetops, all
carried in solution in the sunlight. By day the brilliant cardinal adds
his fine note of color and sound, but at night he is silent, and when
the moon comes out one hears the mockingbird and, it may be also, two
whippoorwills, one in the grove near the house, one in the woods across
the road, calling back and forth. Then one is tempted to step down from
the porch, and follow the voices of the birds into the vague recesses of
a night webbed with dark tree shadows outlined in blue moonlight.

Small wonder it is, if, as report says, no houseparty on a southern
plantation is a success unless young couples become "sort of engaged,"
and if in a region so provocative in springtime under a full moon, a
distinction is recognized between being merely "engaged," and being
engaged _to be married_.

One Georgia belle we met, a sloe-eyed girl whose reputation not only for
beauty but for charm reached through the entire South, had, at the time
of our visit, recently become engaged in the more grave and permanent
sense.

"How does it seem?" a girl friend asked her.

"I feel," she answered, "like a man who has built up a large business
and is about to go into the hands of a receiver."

Such ways as those girls have! Such voices! Such eyes! And such names,
too! Names which would not fit at all into a northern setting,
relatively so hard and unsentimental, but which, when one becomes
accustomed to them, take their place gracefully and harmoniously in the
southern picture. The South likes diminutives and combinations in its
women's names. Its Harriets, Franceses, Sarahs, and Marthas, become
Hatties, Fannies, Sallies and Patsies, and Patsy sometimes undergoes a
further transition and becomes Passie. Moreover, where these diminutives
have been passed down for several generations in a family, their origin
is sometimes lost sight of, and the diminutive becomes the actual
baptismal name. In one family of my acquaintance, for example, the name
Passie has long been handed down from mother to daughter. The original
great-grandmother Passie was christened Martha but was at first called
Patsy; then, because her black mammy was also named Patsy, the daughter
of the house came to be known, for purposes of differentiation, as
Passie, and when she married and had a daughter of her own, the child
was christened Passie. In this family the name May has more recently
been adopted as a middle name, and it is customary for familiars of the
youngest Passie, to address her not merely as Passie, but as Passie-May.
The inclusion of the second name, in this fashion, is another custom not
uncommon in the South. In Atlanta alone I heard of ladies habitually
referred to as Anna-Laura, Hattie-May, Lollie-Belle, Sally-Maud,
Nora-Belle, Mattie-Sue, Emma-Belle, Lottie-Belle, Susie-May, Lula-Belle,
Sallie-Fannie, Hattie-Fannie, Lou-Ellen, Allie-Lou, Clara-Belle,
Mary-Ella, and Hattie-Belle. Another young lady was known to her friends
as Jennie-D.

The train from Atlanta set us down at Covington, Georgia, or rather at
the station which lies between the towns of Covington and Oxford--for
when this railroad was built neither town would allow it a right of way,
and to this day each is connected with the station by a street car line,
either line equipped with one diminutive car, a pair of disconsolate
mules, and a driver. Covington is the County seat, a quiet southern
town, part old, part new, with a look of rural prosperity about it.
Stopping at the postoffice to inquire for mail we saw this peremptory
sign displayed:

     When the window is down don't bang around and ask for a stamp or
     two.

     --J.L. CALLAWAY, Postmaster.

As the window was down we tiptoed out and went upon our way, driving
through Oxford before going to the plantation. This town was named for
Oxford, England, and is, like its namesake, a college town. A small and
very old Methodist educational institution, with a pretty though ragged
campus and fine trees, is all there is to Oxford, save a row of
ante-bellum houses. One of them, a pleasant white mansion, half
concealed by the huge magnolias which stand in its front yard, was at
one time the residence of General Longstreet. The old front gate,
hanging on a stone post, was made by the general with his own hands--and
well made, for it is to-day as good a gate as ever. Corra Harris lived
at one time in Oxford; her husband, Rev. Lundy H. Harris, having been a
professor at the college.

       *       *       *       *       *

Though plantation life has necessarily changed since the war, I do not
believe that there is in the whole South a plantation where it has
changed less than on the Burge plantation. In appearance the place is
not as Sherman's men found it, for they tore down the fences and ruined
the beautiful old-fashioned garden, and neither has been replaced; nor,
of course, is it run, so far as practical affairs are concerned, as it
was before the War; that is to say, instead of being operated as a unit
of nine-hundred acres, it is now worked chiefly on shares, and is
divided up into "one mule farms" and "two mule farms," these being
tracts of about thirty and sixty acres, respectively, thirty acres being
approximately the area which can be worked by a man and a mule.

Practically all the negroes on the place--perhaps a hundred in
number--are either former slaves of the Burge family, or the children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of slaves who lived on the
plantation. That is one reason why the plantation is less changed in
spirit than are many others. The Burges were religious people, used
their slaves kindly, and brought them up well, so that the negroes on
the plantation to-day are respectable, and in some instances, exemplary
people, very different from the vagrant negro type which has developed
since the War, making labor conditions in some parts of the South
uncertain, and plantation life, in some sections, not safe for
unprotected women.

The present proprietors of the Burge plantation are two ladies,
granddaughters of Mrs. Thomas Burge, who lived here, a widow, with a
little daughter, when General Sherman and his hosts came by. These
ladies frequently spend months at the plantation without male protectors
save only the good negroes of their own place, who look after them with
the most affectionate devotion. True, the ladies keep an ugly looking
but mild mannered bulldog, of which the negroes are generally afraid;
true also they carry a revolver when they drive about the country in
their motor, and keep revolvers handy in their rooms; but these
precautions are not taken, they told me, because of any doubts about the
men on their place, their one fear being of tramp negroes, passing by.

Of their own negroes several are remarkable, particularly one old
couple, perfect examples of the fine ante-bellum type so much beloved in
the South, and so much regretted as it disappears.

During the period of twenty years or more, while the owners were absent,
growing up and receiving their education, the whole place, indoors and
out, was in charge of Uncle George and Aunt Sidney. The two lived, and
still do live, in one wing of the house--over which Aunt Sidney presides
as housekeeper and cook, as her mother, Aunt Liddy, did before her. Aunt
Liddy died only a short time ago, aged several years over a hundred.
Uncle George supervises all the business of the plantation, as he has
done for thirty or forty years. He collects all rents, markets the crops
and receives the payments, makes purchases, pays bills, and keeps peace
between the tenants--nor could any human being be more honorable or
possess a finer, sweeter dignity. As for devotion, when the little girls
who were away returned after all the years as grown women, every ribbon,
every pin in that house was where it had been left, and the place was no
less neat than if the "white folks" had constantly remained there.

Before Georgia went dry it was customary for negroes of the rougher sort
to get drunk in town every Saturday night. Drunken negroes would
consequently be passing by, all night, on their way to their homes,
yelling and (after the manner of their kind when intoxicated) shooting
their revolvers in the air. Every Saturday night, when the ladies were
at home, Uncle George would quietly take his gun and place himself on
the porch, remaining there until the last of the obstreperous wayfarers
had passed.

Uncle Abe and Uncle Wiley are two other worthy and venerable men who
live in cabins on the place. Both were there when Sherman's army passed
upon its devastating way, and both were carried off, as were thousands
upon thousands of other negroes out of that wide belt across the State
of Georgia, which was overrun in the course of the March to the Sea.

"Ah was goin' to mill wid de ox-caht," Uncle Abe told me, "when de
soljas dey kim 'long an' got me. Dey tol' me, 'Heah, nigga! Git out dat
caht, an' walk behin'. When _it_ moves _you_ move; when _it_ stops _you_
stop!' An' like dat Ah walk all de way to Savannah [two hundred and
fifty miles]. Den, after dat, dey took us 'long up No'th--me an' ma
brotha Wiley, ovah deh."

I asked him what regiment he went with. He said it was the Twenty-second
Indiana, and that Dr. Joe Stilwell, of that regiment, who came from a
place near Madison, Indiana ("Ah reckon de town was name Brownstown"),
was good to him. An officer whom he knew, he said, was Captain John
Snodgrass, and another Major Tom Shay.

"All Ah was evvuh wo'ied about aftuh dey kim tuck me," he declared, "was
gittin' somep'n t' eat. Dat kinda put me on de wonduh, sometahmes, but
dey used us all right. Dr. Pegg--him dat did de practice on de
plantation befo' de Wah--he tol' de niggas dat de Yankees would put gags
in deh moufs an' lead 'em eroun' like dey wuz cattle. But deh wa' n't
like dat nohow. I b'longed to de Secon' Division, Thuhd B'gade,
Fou'teenth Co' [corps]. Cap'n Snodgrass, he got to be lieutenant-cuhnel.
He was de highes' man Ah evuh hel' any convuhsation wid, but I _saw_ all
de gennuls of dat ahmy."

Uncle Wiley is older than Uncle Abe. He was already a grown man with
three children when taken away by some of Sherman's men. He told me he
was with the Fifty-second Ohio, and mentioned Captain Shepard.

The two brothers got as far as Washington, D.C.

"We got los' togedduh in de U.S. buildin' in dat city," said Uncle
Wiley. "De President of de U.S. right at dat tahme he was daid. He was
kill', Ah don' s'pose it wuz a week befo' we got to Wash'n, D.C."

"How did you happen to come all the way back?" I asked.

"Well-l," ruminated the old man, "home was always a-restin' on mah min'.
Ah kep' thinkin' 'bout home. So aftuh de Wah ceasted Ah jus' kim 'long
back."

Many of the old plantation customs still survive. A little before noon
the bell is rung to summon the hands from the cotton fields. Over the
red plowed soil you hear a darky cry, a melodious "Oh-_oh_-oh!" as wild
and musical as the cries of the south-Italian olive gatherers. The
planters cease their work, mules stand still, traces are unhooked from
singletrees, and chain-ends thrown over the mules' backs; then the men
mount the animals and ride in to the midday meal, the women trudging
after. Those who rent land, or work on shares, go to their own cabins,
while those employed by the hour or by the day (the rate of pay is ten
cents an hour or seventy-five cents a day) come to the kitchen to be
fed. Nor is it customary to stop there at feeding negroes. As in the old
days, any negro who has come upon an errand or who has "stopped by" to
sell supplies, or for whatever purpose, expects to stay for "dinner,"
and makes it a point to arrive about noon. Thus from sixteen to twenty
negroes are fed daily at the Burge plantation house.

The old Christmas traditions are likewise kept up. On Christmas day the
negroes come flocking up to the house for their gifts. Their first
concern is to attempt to cry "Christmas gift!" to others, before it can
be said to them--for according to ancient custom the one who says the
words first must have a gift from the other.




CHAPTER XXXVII

A YOUNG METROPOLIS


An observer approaching a strange city should be "neutral even in
thought." He may listen to what is said of the city, but he must not
permit his opinions to take form in advance; for, like other gossip,
gossip about cities is unreliable, and the casual stranger's estimate of
cities is not always founded upon broad appreciations. But though it is
unwise to judge of cities by what is said of them, it is perhaps worth
remarking that one may often judge of men by what they say of cities.

I remember an American manufacturer, broken down by overwork, who, when
he looked at Pompeii, could think only of the wasted possibilities of
Vesuvius as a power plant, and I remember two traveling salesmen on a
southern railroad train who expressed scorn for the exquisite city of
Charleston because--they said--it is but a poor market place for
suspenders and barbers' supplies. There are those who think of Boston
only as headquarters of the shoe trade, others who think of it only in
the terms of culture, and still others who regard it solely as an abode
of negrophiles.

In the case of the chief city of Alabama, however, my companion and I
noticed, as we journeyed through the South, that reports were
singularly in accord. Birmingham is too young to have any Civil War
history. Her history is the history of the steel industry in the South,
and one hears always of that: of the affluence of the city when the
industry is thriving, and hard times when it is not. One is invariably
told that Birmingham is not a southern city, but a northern city in the
South, and the chief glories of the place, aside from steel, are (if one
is to believe rumors current upon railroad trains and elsewhere), a
twenty-seven story building, Senator Oscar Underwood, the distinguished
Democratic leader, and the Tutwiler Hotel. Even in Atlanta it is
conceded that the Tutwiler is a good hotel, and when Atlanta admits that
anything in Birmingham is good it may be considered as established that
the thing is very, very good--for Birmingham and Atlanta view each other
with the same degree of cordiality as is exchanged between St. Louis and
Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Having been, in the course of our southern wanderings, in several very
bad hotels, and having heard the Tutwiler compared with Chicago's
Blackstone, my companion and I held eager anticipation of this hostelry.
Nor were our hopes dashed by a first glimpse of the city on the night of
our arrival. It was a modern-looking city--just the sort of city that
would have a fine new hotel. The railroad station through which we
passed after leaving the train was not the usual dingy little southern
station, but an admirable building, and the streets along which we
presently found ourselves gliding in an automobile hack, were wide,
smooth, and brightly illuminated by clustered boulevard lights.

True, we had long since learned not to place too much reliance upon the
nocturnal aspects of cities. A city seen by night is like a woman
dressed for a ball. Darkness drapes itself about her as a black-velvet
evening gown, setting off, in place of neck and arms, the softly glowing
facades of marble buildings; lights are her diamond ornaments, and her
perfume is the cool fragrance of night air. Almost all cities, and
almost all women, look their best at night, and there are those which,
though beautiful by night, sink, in their daylight aspect, to utter
mediocrity.

Presently our motor drew up before the entrance of the Tutwiler--a proud
entrance, all revolving doors and glitter and promise. A brisk bell boy
came running for our bags. The signs were of the best.

The lobby, though spacious, was crowded; the decorations and equipment
were of that rich sumptuousness attained only in the latest and most
magnificent American hotels; there was music, and as we made our way
along we caught a glimpse, in passing, of an attractive supper room,
with small table-lights casting their soft radiance upon white shirt
fronts and the faces of pretty girls. In all it was a place to make glad
the heart of the weary traveler, and to cause him to wonder whether his
dress suit would be wrinkled when he took it from his trunk.

Behind the imposing marble "desk" stood several impeccable clerks, and
to one of these I addressed myself, giving our names and mentioning the
fact that we had telegraphed for rooms. I am not sure that this young
man wore a braided cutaway and a white carnation; I only know that he
affected me as hotel clerks in braided cutaways and white carnations
always do. While I spoke he stood a little way back from the counter,
his chin up, his gaze barely missing the top of my hat, his nostrils
seeming to contract with that expression of dubiousness assumed by
delicate noses which sense, long before they encounter it, the aroma of
unworthiness.

"Not a room in the house," he said. Then, as though to forestall further
parley, he turned and spoke with gracious lightness to one of his own
rank and occupation who, at the request of my companion, was
ascertaining whether letters were awaiting us.

"But we telegraphed two days ago!" I protested desperately.

"Can't help it. Hardware Convention. Everything taken."

Over my shoulder I heard from my companion a sound, half sigh, half
groan, which echoed the cry of my own heart.

"I felt this coming!" he murmured. "Didn't you notice all these people
with ribbons on them? There's never any room in a hotel where
everybody's wearing ribbons. It's like a horse show. They get the
ribbons and we get the gate."

"Surely," I faltered, "you can let us have one small room?"

"Impossible," he answered brightly. "We've turned away dozens of people
this evening."

"Then," I said, abandoning hope, "perhaps you will suggest some other
hotel?"

I once heard a woman, the most perfect parvenu I ever met, speak of her
poor relations in a tone exactly similar to that in which the clerk now
spoke the names of two hotels. Having spoken, he turned and passed
behind the partition at one end of the marble counter.

My companion and I stood there for a moment looking despondently at each
other. Then, without a word, we retreated through that gorgeous lobby,
feeling like sad remnants of a defeated Yankee army.

Again we motored through the bright streets, but only to successive
disappointments, for both hotels mentioned by the austere clerk were
"turning 'em away." Our chauffeur now came to our aid, mentioning
several small hotels, and in one of these, the Granada, we were at last
so fortunate as to find lodgings.

"It begun to look like you'd have to put up at the Roden," the chauffeur
smiled as we took our bags out of the car and settled with him.

"The Roden?"

"Yes," he returned "Best ventilated hotel in the United States."

Next day when the Hotel Roden was pointed out to us we appreciated the
witticism, for the Roden is--or was at the time of our visit--merely
the steel skeleton of a building which, we were informed, had for some
years stood unfinished owing to disagreements among those concerned with
its construction.

As for the Granada, though a modest place, it was new and clean; the
clerk was amiable, the beds comfortable, and if our rooms were too small
to admit our trunks, they were, at all events, outside rooms, each with
a private bath, at a rate of $1 per day apiece. Never in any hotel have
I felt that I was getting so much for my money.

Next morning, after breakfast, we set out to see the city. Having
repeatedly heard of Birmingham as the "Pittsburgh of the South," we
expected cold daylight to reveal the sooty signs of her industrialism,
but in this we were agreeably disappointed. By day as well as by night
the city is pleasing to the eye, and it is a fact worth noting that the
downtown buildings of Atlanta (which is not an industrial city) are
streaked and dirty, whereas those of Birmingham are clean--the reason
for this being that the mills and furnaces of Birmingham are far removed
from the heart of the town, whereas locomotives belch black smoke into
the very center of Atlanta's business and shopping district.

Moreover, the metropolis of Alabama is better laid out than that of
Georgia. The streets of Birmingham are wide, and the business part of
the city, lying upon a flat terrain, is divided into large, even
squares. From this district the chief residence section mounts by easy,
graceful grades into the hills to the southward. Because of these
grades, and the curving drives which follow the contours of the hills,
and the vistas of the lower city, and the good modern houses, and the
lawns and trees and shrubbery and breezes, this Highlands region is
reminiscent of a similar residence district in Portland, Oregon--which
is to say that it is one of the most agreeable districts of the kind in
the United States.

Well up on the hillside, Highland Avenue winds a charming course between
pleasant homes, with here and there a little residence park branching
off to one side, and here and there a small municipal park occupying an
angle formed by a sharp turn in the driveway; and if you follow the
street far enough you will presently see the house of the Birmingham
Country Club, standing upon its green hilltop, amidst rolling, partly
wooded golf links, above the road.

Nor is the Country Club at the summit of this range of hills. Back of it
rise other roads, the most picturesque of them being Altamont Road,
which runs to the top of Red Mountain, reaching a height about
equivalent to that of the cornice line of Birmingham's tallest building.
The houses of this region are built on streets which, like some streets
of Portland, are terraced into the hillside, and the resident of an
upper block can almost look down the chimneys of his neighbors on the
block below. The view commanded from these mountain perches does not
suggest that the lower city runs up into the Highlands. It seems to be a
separate place, down in a distant valley, and the sense of its
remoteness is heightened by the thin veil of gray smoke which wafts from
the tall smokestacks of far-off iron furnaces, softening the serrated
outlines of the city and wrapping its tall buildings in the industrial
equivalent for autumn haze.

At night the scene from the Highlands is even more spectacular, for at
brief intervals the blowing of a converter in some distant steel plant
illuminates the heavens with a great hot glow, like that which rises and
falls about the crater of a volcano in eruption. Thus the city's vast
affairs are kept before it by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in
a pillar of fire. Iron and steel dominate Birmingham's mind, activities
and life. The very ground of Red Mountain is red because of the iron ore
that it contains, and those who reside upon the charming slopes of this
hill do not own their land in fee simple, but subject always to the
mineral rights of mining companies.

The only other industry of Birmingham which is to be compared, in
magnitude or efficiency, with the steel industry is that of "cutting in"
at dances. All through the South it is carried on, but whereas in such
cities as Memphis, New Orleans and Atlanta, men show a little mercy to
the stranger--realizing that, as he is presumably unacquainted with all
the ladies at a dance, he cannot retaliate in kind--Birmingham is
merciless and prosecutes the pestilential practice unremittingly, even
going so far as to apply the universal-service principle and call out
her highschool youths to carry on the work. Before I went to certain
dances in Birmingham I felt that high-school boys ought to be kept at
home at night, but after attending these dances I realized that such
restriction was altogether inadequate, and that the only way to deal
with them effectively would be to pickle them in vitriol.

Where, in other cities of the South, I have managed to dance as much as
half a dance without interruption, I never danced more than twenty feet
with one partner in Birmingham. Nor did my companion.

Our host was energetic in presenting us to ladies of infinite
pulchritude and State-wide terpsichorean reputation, but we would start
to tread a measure with them, only to have them swiftly snatched from us
by some spindle-necked, long-wristed, big-boned, bowl-eared high-school
youth, in a dinner suit which used to fit him when it was new, six
months ago.

As we would start to dance the lady would say:

"You-all ah strangehs, ahn't you?"

We would reply that we were.

"Wheh do you come from?"

"New York."

Then, because the Hardware Convention was being held in town at the
time, she would continue:

"Ah reckon you-all ah hahdware men?"

But that was as far as the conversation ever got. Just about the time
that she began to reckon we were hardware men a mandatory hand would be
laid upon us, and before we had time to defend ourselves against the
hardware charge, the lady would be wafted off in the arms of some
predatory youth who ought to have been at home considering _pons
asinorum_.

Had we indeed been hardware men, and had we had our hardware with us,
they could have done with fewer teachers in the high schools of that
city after the night of our first dance in Birmingham.

       *       *       *       *       *

Up in the hills, some miles back of the Country Club, on the banks of a
large artificial lake, stands the new clubhouse of the Birmingham Motor
and Country Club, and around the lake runs the club's
two-and-a-half-mile speedway. Elsewhere is the Roebuck Golf Club, the
links of which are admitted ("even in Atlanta!") to be excellent--the
one possible objection to the course of the Birmingham Country Club
being that it is suited only to play with irons.

I mention these golfing matters not because they interest me, but
because they may interest you. I am not a golfer. I played the game for
two seasons; then I decided to try to lead a better life. The first time
I played I did quite well, but thence onward my game declined until,
toward the last, crowds would collect to hear me play. When I determined
to abandon the game I did not burn my clubs or break them up, according
to the usual custom, but instead gave them to a man upon whom I wished
to retaliate because his dog had bitten a member of my family.

Small wonder that all golf clubs have extensive bars! It is not hard to
understand why men who realize that they have become incurable victims
of the insidious habit of golf should wish to drown the thought in
drink. But in Birmingham they can't do it--not, at least, at bars.
Alabama has beaten her public bars into soda fountains and quick-lunch
rooms, and though her club bars still look like real ones, the drinks
served are so soft that no splash occurs when reminiscent tears drop
into them.

When we were in Alabama each citizen who so desired was allowed by law
to import from outside the State a small allotment of strong drink for
personal use, but the red tape involved in this procedure had already
discouraged all but the most ardent drinkers, and those found it next to
impossible, even by hoarding their "lonesome quarts," and pooling
supplies with their convivial friends, to provide sufficient alcoholic
drink for a "real party."

We met in Birmingham but one gentleman whose cellars seemed to be well
stocked, and the tales of ingenuity and exertion by which he managed to
secure ample supplies of liquor were such as to lead us to believe that
this matter had become, with him, an occupation to which all other
business must give second place.

It was this gentleman who told us that, since the State went dry, the
ancient form, "R.S.V.P.," on social invitations, had been revised to
"B.W.H.P.," signifying, "bring whisky in hip pocket."

To the "B.W.H.P." habit he himself strictly adhered. One night, when we
chanced to meet him in a downtown club, he drew a flask from a hip
pocket, and invited us to "have something."

"What is it?" asked my companion.

"Scotch."

When my companion had helped himself he passed the flask to me, but I
returned it to the owner, explaining that I did not drink Scotch whisky.

"What do you drink?" he asked.

"Bourbon."

"Here it is," he returned, drawing a second flask from the other hip
pocket.

How well, too, do I remember the long, delightful evening upon which my
companion and I sat in an Atlanta club with a group of the older
members, the week before Georgia went bone dry. There, as in Alabama
before 1915, there had been pretended prohibition, but now the bars of
leading clubs were being closed, and convivial men were looking into the
future with despair. One of the gentlemen was a justice of the Supreme
Court of the State, and I remember his wistful declaration that
prohibition would fall hardest upon the older men.

"When a man is young," he said, "he can be lively and enjoy himself
without drinking, because he is full of animal spirits. But we older men
aren't bubbling over with liveliness. We can't dance, or don't want to,
and we lack the stimulus which comes of falling continually in love. My
great pleasure is to sit of an evening, here at a table in the cafe of
this club, conversing with my friends. That is where prohibition is
going to hurt me. I shall not see my old friends any more."

The others protested at this somber view, but the judge gravely shook
his head, saying: "You don't believe me, but I know whereof I speak, for
I have been through something like this, in a minor way, before. A good
many years ago I was one of a little group of congenial men to organize
a small club. We had comfortable quarters, and we used to drop in at
night, much as we have been doing of late years here, and have the kind
of talks that are tonic to the soul. Of course we had liquor in the
club, but there came a time when, for some reason or other--I think it
was some trouble over a license--we closed our bar. We didn't think it
was going to make a great difference, but it did. The men began to stop
coming in, and before long the club ceased to exist.

"It won't be like that here. This club will go on. But we won't come
here. We won't want to sit around a table, like this, and drink ginger
ale and sarsaparilla; and even if we do, the talk won't be so good. The
thing that makes me downcast is not that liquor is going, but that we
are really parting this week.

"Every one knows that the abuse of drink does harm in the world, but
these pious prohibitionists are not of the temperament to understand how
alcohol ministers to the esthetic side of certain natures. It gives us
better companions and makes us better companions for others. It
stimulates our minds, enhances our appreciations, sharpens our wit,
loosens our tongues, and saves brilliant conversation from becoming a
lost art."

My sympathies went out to the judge. It has always seemed to me a pity
that the liquor question has resolved itself into a fight between
extremists--for I think the wine and beer people might survive if they
were not tied up with the distillers, and I do not believe that any
considerable evil comes of drinking wine or beer.

Nevertheless it must be apparent to every one who troubles to
investigate, that prohibition invariably works great good wherever it is
made effective. Take, for example, Birmingham.

There was one year--I believe it was 1912--when there was an average of
more than one murder a day, for every working day in the year, in the
county in which Birmingham is located. On one famous Saturday night
there were nineteen felonious assaults (sixteen by negroes and three by
whites), from which about a dozen deaths resulted, two of those killed
having been policemen.

All this has changed with prohibition. Killings are now comparatively
rare, arrests have diminished to less than a third of the former
average, whether for grave or petty offenses, and the receiving jail,
which was formerly packed like a pigpen every Saturday night, now stands
almost empty, while the city jail, which used continually to house from
120 to 150 offenders, has diminished its average population to 30 or
35.




CHAPTER XXXVIII

BUSY BIRMINGHAM


The fact that a man may shut off his motor and coast downhill from his
home to his office in the lower part of Birmingham, is not without
symbolism. Birmingham is all business. If I were to personify the place,
it would be in the likeness of a man I know--a big, powerful fellow with
an honest blue eye and an expression in which self-confidence, ambition,
and power are blended. Like Birmingham, this man is a little more than
forty years of age. Like Birmingham, he has built up a large business of
his own. And, like Birmingham, he is a little bit naive in his pride of
success. His life is divided between his office and his home, and it
would be difficult to say for which his devotion is the greater. He
talks business with his wife at breakfast and dinner, and on their
Sunday walks. He brings his papers home at night and goes over them with
her, for, though her specialty is bringing up the children, she is
deeply interested in his business and often makes suggestions which he
follows. This causes him to admire her intensely, which he would not
necessarily do were she merely a good wife and mother.

He has no hobbies or pastimes. True, he plays golf, but with him golf is
not a diversion. He plays because he finds the exercise increases his
efficiency ("efficiency" is perhaps his favorite word), and because many
of his commercial associates are golfers, and he can talk business with
them on the links.

His house is pleasant and stands upon a good-sized city lot. It is
filled with very shiny mahogany furniture and strong-colored portieres
and sofa cushions. It is rather more of a house than he requires, for
his tastes are simple, but he has a feeling that he ought to have a
large house, for the same reason that he and his wife ought to dress
expensively--that is, out of respect, as it were, to his business.

One of his chief treasures is an automatic piano, upon which he rolls
off selections from Wagner's operas. He likes the music of the great
German because, as he has often told me, it stirs his imagination,
thereby helping him to solve business problems and make business plans.

The thing he most abhors is general conversation, and he is never so
amusing--so pathetically and unconsciously amusing--as when trying to
take part in general conversation and at the same time to conceal the
writhings of his tortured spirit. There is but one thing which will
drive him to attempt the feat, and that is the necessity of making
himself agreeable to some man, or the wife of some man, from whom he
wishes to get business.

The census of 1910 gave Birmingham a population of 132,000, and it is
estimated that since that time the population has increased by 50,000.
Birmingham not only knows that it is growing, but believes in trying to
make ready in advance for future growth. It gives one the impression
that it is rather ahead of its housing problems than behind them. Its
area, for instance, is about as great as that of Boston or Cleveland,
and its hotels may be compared with the hotels of those cities. If it
has not so many clubs as Atlanta, it has, at least, all the clubs it
needs; and if it has not so many skyscrapers as New York, it has several
which would fit nicely into the Wall Street district. Moreover, the tall
buildings of Birmingham lose nothing in height by contrast with the
older buildings, three or four stories high, which surround them, giving
the business district something of that look which hangs about a boy who
has outgrown his clothing. Nor are the vehicles and street crowds,
altogether in consonance, as yet, with the fine office buildings of the
city, for many of the motors standing at the curb have about them that
gray, rural look which comes of much mud and infrequent washing, and the
idlers who lean against the rich facades of granite and marble are
entirely out of the picture, for they look precisely like the idlers who
lean against the wooden posts of country railroad station platforms.

Such curious contrasts as these may be noted everywhere. For instance,
Birmingham has been so busy paving the streets that it seems quite to
have forgotten to put up street signs. Also, not far from the majestic
Tutwiler Hotel, and the imposing apartment building called the Ridgely,
the front of which occupies a full block, is a park so ill kept that it
would be a disgrace to the city but for the obvious fact that the city
is growing and wide-awake, and will, of course, attend to the park when
it can find the time. Here are, I believe, the only public monuments
Birmingham contains. One is a Confederate monument in the form of an
obelisk, and the other two are statues erected in memory of Mary A.
Cahalan, for many years principal of the Powell School, and of William
Elias B. Davis, a distinguished surgeon. Workers in these fields are too
seldom honored in this way, and the spirit which prompted the erection
of these monuments is particularly creditable; sad to say, however, both
effigies are wretchedly placed and are in themselves exceedingly poor
things. Art is something, indeed, about which Birmingham has much to
learn. So far as I could discover, no such thing as an art museum has
been contemplated. But here again the critic should remember that,
whereas art is old, Birmingham is young. She is as yet in the stage of
development at which cities think not of art museums, but of municipal
auditoriums; and with the latter subject, at least, she is now
concerning herself.

Even in the city's political life contrasts are not wanting, for though
the town is Republican in sentiment, it proves itself southern by voting
the Democratic ticket, and it is interesting to note further that the
commission by which it is governed had as one of its five members, when
we were there, a Socialist.

Another curious and individual touch is contributed by the soda-fountain
lunch rooms which abound in the city, and which, I judge, arrived with
the disappearance of barroom lunch counters. In connection with many of
the downtown soda fountains there are cooking arrangements, and business
lunches are served.

The roads leading out of the city in various directions have many
dangerous grade crossings, and accidents must be of common occurrence.
At all events, I have never known a city in which cemeteries and
undertaking establishments were so widely advertised. In the street
cars, for instance, I observed the cheerful placards of one Wallace
Johns, undertaker, who promises "all the attention you would expect from
a friend," and I was informed that Mr. Johns possesses business cards
(for restricted use only) bearing the gay legend: "I'll get you yet!"

As to schools the city is well off. Dr. J.H. Phillips, superintendent of
public schools, has occupied his post probably as long as any school
superintendent in the country. He organized the city school system in
1883, beginning with seven teachers, as against 750 now employed. The
colored schools are reported to be better than in most southern cities.

Of the general status of the negro in Birmingham I cannot speak with
authority. As in Atlanta, negroes are sometimes required to use separate
elevators in office buildings, and, as everywhere south of Washington,
the Birmingham street cars give one end to whites and the other to
negroes. But whereas negroes use the back of the car in Atlanta, they
use the front in Birmingham. It was attempted, at one time, to reverse
this order, for reasons having to do with draft and ventilation, but the
people of Birmingham had become accustomed to the existing arrangement
and objected to the change. "After all," one gentleman said to me, in
speaking of this matter, "it is not important which end of the car is
given to the nigger. The main point is that he must sit where he is
told."

The means by which the negro vote is eliminated in various Southern
States are generally similar, though Alabama has, perhaps, been more
thorough in the matter than some other States. The importance of this
issue to the southern white man is very great, for if all negroes were
allowed to vote the control of certain States would be in negro hands.
To the Southerner such an idea is intolerable, and it is my confident
belief that if the State of Alabama were resettled by men from
Massachusetts, and the same problems were presented to those men, they
would be just as quick as the white Alabamans of to-day to find means to
suppress the negro vote. With all my heart I wish that such an exchange
of citizens might temporarily be effected, for when the immigrants from
Massachusetts moved back to their native New England, after an
experience of the black belt, they would take with them an
understanding of certain aspects of the negro problem which they have
never understood; an understanding which, had they possessed it sixty or
seventy years ago, might have brought about the freeing of slaves by
government purchase--a course which Lincoln advocated and which would
probably have prevented the Civil War, and thereby saved millions upon
millions of money, to say nothing of countless lives. Had they even
understood the problems of the South at the end of the Civil War, the
horrors of Reconstruction might have been avoided, and I cannot too
often reiterate that, but for Reconstruction we should not be perplexed,
to-day, by the unhappy, soggy mass of political inertia known as the
Solid South.

I asked a former State official how the negro vote had been eliminated
in Alabama. "At first," he said, "we used to kill them to keep them from
voting; when we got sick of doing that we began to steal their ballots;
and when stealing their ballots got to troubling our consciences we
decided to handle the matter legally, fixing it so they couldn't vote."

I inquired as to details. He explained.

It seems that in 1901 a constitutional convention was held, at which it
was enacted that, in order to be eligible for life to vote, citizens
must register during the next two years. There were, however, certain
qualifications prescribed for registration. A man must be of good
character, and must have fought in a war, or be the descendant of a
person who had fought. This enactment, known as the "grandfather
clause," went far toward the elimination of the negro. As an additional
safeguard, however, an educational clause was added, but the educational
requirement did not become effective at once, as that would have made
illiterate whites ineligible as voters. Not until the latter were safely
registered under the "grandfather clause," was the educational clause
applied, and as, under this clause, the would-be voter must read and
write _to the satisfaction of his examiner_, the negro's chance to get
suffrage was still more reduced.

The United States Supreme Court has, I believe, held that the
educational clause does not constitute race discrimination.

As though the above measures were not sufficient, it is further required
that, in order to vote at November elections in Alabama, voters must pay
a small voluntary poll tax. This tax, however, must be paid each year
before February first--that is, about nine months before elections
actually take place. The negro has never been distinguished for his
foresightedness with a dollar, and, to make matters harder for him, this
tax is cumulative from the year 1901, so that a man who wishes to begin
to vote this year, and can qualify in other respects, must pay a tax
amounting to nearly twenty dollars.

These measures give Alabama, as my informant put it, a "very exclusive
electorate." With a population of approximately two millions, the
greatest number of votes ever cast by the State was 125,000. Of this
number, 531 votes were those of negroes, "representing" a colored
population of 840,000!

The gentleman who explained these matters also told me a story
illustrative of the old-time Southerner's attitude toward the negro in
politics.

During Reconstruction, when Alabama's Legislature was about one-third
white and two-thirds negro, a fine old gentleman who had been a
slaveholder and was an experienced parliamentarian, was attempting to
preside over the Legislature. In this he experienced much difficulty,
his greatest _bete noir_ being a negro member, full of oratory, who
continually interrupted other speakers.

Realizing that this was a part of the new order of things, the presiding
officer tried not to allow his irritation to get the better of him, and
to silence the objectionable man in parliamentary fashion. "The member
will kindly come to order!" he repeated over and over, rapping with his
gavel. "The member will kindly come to order!"

After this had gone on for some time without effect, the old gentleman's
patience became exhausted. He laid down his gavel, arose to his feet,
glared at the irrepressible member, and, shaking his finger savagely,
shouted: "Sit down, you blankety-blank black blankety-blank!"

Whereupon the negro dropped instantly to his seat and was no more heard
from.




CHAPTER XXXIX

AN ALLEGORY OF ACHIEVEMENT


To visit Birmingham without seeing an iron and steel plant would be like
visiting Rome without seeing the Forum. Consequently my companion and I
made application for permission to go through the Tennessee Coal, Iron,
& Railroad Company's plant, at Ensley, on the outskirts of the city.
When the permission was refused us we attacked from another angle--using
influence--and were refused again. Next we called upon a high official
of the company, and (as we had, of course, done in making our previous
requests for admission to the plant) explained our errand.

Though this gentleman received us with the utmost courtesy, he declared
that the company desired no publicity, and plainly indicated that he was
not disposed to let us into the plant.

"I'll tell you what the trouble is," said my companion to me. "This
company is a part of the United States Steel Corporation, and in the old
muckraking days it was thoroughly raked. They think that we have come
down here full of passionate feeling over the poor, downtrodden
workingman and the great, greedy octopus."

"What makes you think that?"

"Well, we are a writer and an artist. Lots of writers and artists have
made good livings by teaching magazine readers that it is dishonest for
a corporation, or a corporation official, to prosper; that the way to
integrity is through insolvency; that the word 'company' is a term of
reproach, while 'corporation' is a foul epithet, and 'trust' blasphemy."

"What shall we do?"

"We must make it clear to these people," he said, "that we have no
mission. We must satisfy them that we are not reformers--that we didn't
come to dig out a red-hot story, but to see red-hot rails rolled out."

Pursuing this course, we were successful. All that any official of the
company required of us was that we be open-minded. The position of the
company, when we came to understand it, was simply that it did not wish
to facilitate the work of men who came down with pencils, paper, and
preconceived "views," deliberately to play the great American game of
"swat the corporation."

       *       *       *       *       *

Surely there is not in the world an industry which, for sheer pictorial
magnificence, rivals the modern manufacturing of steel. In the first
place, the scale of everything is inexpressibly stupendous. To speak of
a row of six blast furnaces, with mouths a hundred feet above the
ground, and chimneys rising perhaps another hundred feet above these
mouths, is not, perhaps, impressive, but to look at such a row of
furnaces, to see their fodder of ore, dolomite, and coke brought in by
train loads; to see it fed to them by the "skip"; to hear them roar
continually for more; to feel the savage heat generated within their
bodies; to be told in shouts, above the din, something of what is going
on inside these vast, voracious, savage monsters, and to see them
dripping their white-hot blood when they are picked by a long steel bar
in the hands of an atom of a man--this is to witness an almost
terrifying allegory of mankind's achievement.

The gas generated by blast furnaces is used in part in the hot-blast
stoves--gigantic tanks from which hot air, at very high pressure, is
admitted to the furnaces themselves, and is also used to develop steam
for the blowing engines and other auxiliaries. In the furnaces the
molten iron, because of its greater specific gravity, settles to the
bottom, while the slag floats to the top. The slag, by the way, is not,
as I had supposed, altogether worthless, but is used for railroad
ballast and in the manufacture of cement.

The molten iron drawn from the blast furnaces runs in glittering
rivulets (which, at a distance of twenty or thirty feet, burn the face
and the eyes), into ladle cars which are like a string of devils' soup
bowls, mounted on railroad trucks ready to be hauled away by a
locomotive and served at a banquet in hell.

That is not what happens to them, however. The locomotive takes them to
another part of the plant, and their contents, still molten, is poured
into the mixers. These are gigantic caldrons as high as houses, which
stand in rows in an open-sided steel shed, and the chief purpose of them
is to keep the "soup" hot until it is required for the converters--when
it is again poured off into ladle cars and drawn away.

The converters are in still another part of the grounds. They are huge,
pear-shaped retorts, resembling in their action those teakettles which
hang on stands and are poured by being tilted. But a million teakettles
could be lost in one converter, and the boiling water from a million
teakettles, poured into a converter, would be as one single drop of ice
water let fall into a red-hot stove.

In the converters the metalloids--silicon, manganese, and carbon--are
burned out of the iron under a flaming heat which, by means of high air
pressure, is brought to a temperature of about 3400 degrees. It is the
blowing of these converters, and the occasional pouring of them, which
throws the Vesuvian glow upon the skies of Birmingham at night. The heat
they give off is beyond description. Several hundred feet away you feel
it smiting viciously upon your face, and the concrete flooring of the
huge shed in which they stand is so hot as to burn your feet through the
soles of your shoes.

The most elaborate display of fireworks ever devised by Mr. Pain would
be but a poor thing compared with the spectacle presented when a
converter is poured. The whole world glows with golden heat, and is
filled with an explosion of brilliant sparks, and as the molten metal
passes out into the sunlight that light is by contrast so feeble that it
seems almost to cast a shadow over the white-hot vats of iron.

Next come the tilting open-hearth furnaces, where the iron is subjected
to the action of lime at a very high temperature. This removes the
phosphorus and leaves a bath of commercially pure iron which is then
"teemed" into a hundred-ton ladle, wherein it is treated in such a way
as to give it the properties required in the finished steel. What these
properties may be, depends, of course, upon the purpose to which the
steel is to be put. Rails, for example, must, above all, resist
abrasion, and consequently have a higher carbon content than, say,
reinforcing bars for concrete work. To obtain various qualities in steel
are added carbon, ferro-manganese, or ferro-silicon in proportions
differing according to requirements.

In the next process steel ingots are made. I lost track of the exact
detail of this, but I remember seeing the ingots riding about in their
own steel cars, turning to an orange color as they cooled, and I
remember seeing them pounded by a hammer that stood up in the air like
an elevated railroad station, and I know that pretty soon they got into
the blooming mill and were rolled out into "blooms," after which they
were handled by a huge contrivance like a thumb and forefinger of steel
which--though the blooms weigh five tons apiece--picked them up much as
you might pick up a stick of red candy.

Still orange-hot, the blooms find their way to the rolling mill, where
they go dashing back and forth upon rollers and between rollers--the
latter working in pairs like the rollers of large wringers, squeezing
the blooms, in their successive passages, to greater length and greater
thinness, until at last they take the form of long, red, glowing rails;
after which they are sawed off, to the accompaniment of a spray of white
sparks, into rail lengths, and run outside to cool. And I may add that,
while there is more brilliant heat to be seen in many other departments
of the plant, there is no department in which the color is more
beautiful than in the piles of rails on the cooling beds--some of them
still red as they come from the rollers, others shading off to rose and
pink, and finally to their normal cold steel-gray.

Presently along comes a great electromagnet; from somewhere in the sky
it drops down and touches the rails; when it rises bunches of them rise
with it, and, after sailing through the air, are gently deposited upon
flat cars. Here, even after the current is shut off, some of them may
try to stick to the magnet, as though fearing to go forth into the
world. If so, it gives them a little shake, whereupon they let go, and
it travels back to get more rails and load them on the cars.

Iron ore, coal, and limestone, the three chief materials used in the
making of steel, are all found in the hills in the immediate vicinity of
Birmingham. I am told that there is no other place in the world where
the three exist so close together. That is an impressive fact, but one
grows so accustomed to impressive facts, while passing through this
plant, that one ceases to be impressed, becoming merely dazed.

If I were asked to mention one especially striking item out of all that
welter, I should think of many things--things having to do with
vastness, with gigantic movements and mutations, with Niagara-like
noises, with great bursts of flame suggesting fallen fragments from the
sun itself--but above all I think that I should speak of the apparent
absence of men.

There were some four thousand men in the plant, I believe, at the time
we were there, but excepting when a shift changed, and a great army
passed out through the gates, we never saw a crowd; indeed I hardly
think we saw a group of any size. Here and there two or three men would
be doing something--something which, probably, we did not understand; in
the window of a locomotive cab, or that of a traveling crane, we would
see a man; we kept passing men as we went along; and sometimes as we
looked from a high perch over the interior of one of the great sheds, we
would be vaguely conscious of men scattered about the place. But they
were very small and gray and inconspicuous dots upon the surface of
great things going on--going on, seemingly by themselves, with a sort of
mad, mechanical, majestic, molten sweep.

       *       *       *       *       *

At this time, when the great efficient organization started by Bismarck
is being devoted entirely to destruction, it is interesting to recall
that the idea of industrial welfare work originated in Germany during
the period of Bismarckian reorganization. So, paradoxically, the very
forces which, on one hand, were building towards the new records for the
extinction of life established in the present war, were, upon the other
hand, developing plans for the safeguarding of life and for making it
worth living--plans which have enormously affected the industrial
existence of the civilized world.

The broad theory of industrial welfare work was brought to this country
by engineers, chemists, and workmen who had resided in Germany; but,
where this work developed over there along cooeperative lines, it has
remained for Great Britain and the United States to work it out in a
more individualistic way.

In this country welfare work has come as a logical part of the general
industrial development. The first step in this development was the
assembling of small, weak industrial units into large, powerful,
effective units--that is to say, the formation of great corporations and
trusts. The second step was the cooerdination of these great industrial
alliances for "efficiency." The third step was the achievement of
material success.

When our great corporations were in their formative period, effort was
concentrated on making them successful, but with success came thoughts
of other things. It began to be seen, for example, that whereas the old
small employer of labor came into personal contact with his handful of
workmen, and could himself supervise their welfare, some plan must now
be devised for doing this work in a large, corporate way.

Thus welfare work developed in the United States, and it is interesting
to observe, now, that many of our great corporations are finding time
and funds to expend upon purely aesthetic improvements, and that, in the
construction of the most modern American industrial plants, architects,
landscape gardeners, and engineering men work in cooeperation, so that,
instead of being lopsided, the developments are harmonious and
oftentimes beautiful.

On work calculated to prevent accidents in mines, not only the Tennessee
Coal, Iron, & Railroad Company, but all the leading mining companies in
the State join for conference. As a result the number of accidents
steadily decreases. Nine years ago one man was killed, on an average,
for every 100,000 tons of iron ore raised. The record at the time of our
visit was one man to 450,000 tons. In the coal mines, where nine years
ago one man was killed for every 75,000 tons raised, the recent record
is one man for 650,000 tons.

In 1914, 126 men were killed in the coal mines of Alabama. In 1915,
though the tonnage was about the same, this number was reduced to 63,
which was a record. All this is the result of safety work.

"Aside from humane considerations," said an official of the Tennessee
Company, "this concern realizes that the man is the most valuable
machine it has."

This gentleman was one of the ablest men we met in the South. While
taking us through the company's plant, and explaining to us the various
operations, he was interesting, but the real enthusiasm of the man did
not crop out until he took us to the company's villages and showed us
what was being done for the benefit of operatives and their families,
and, of course, for the benefit of the company as well--for he was a
corporation official of the modern school, and he knew that by
benefiting its men a corporation necessarily benefits itself.

The story of the Tennessee Company's work among its employees, which
began about five years ago, some time after the company was taken over
by the United States Steel Corporation, is too great to be more than
touched on here. In the department of health thirty-six doctors, sixteen
nurses, and a squad of sanitary inspectors are employed. The department
of social science covers education, welfare, and horticulture. To me the
work of these departments was a revelation. Each camp has a first-rate
hospital, each has its schools and guildhall, and everything is run as
only an efficiently managed corporation can run things.

The Docena Village is less like one's idea of a coal "camp" than of a
pretty suburban development, or a military post, with officers' houses
built around a parade. The grounds are well kept; there is a tennis
court with vine-clad trellises about it, a fine playground for children,
pretty brick walks, with splendid trees to shade them; and there is a
brick schoolhouse which is a better building, better equipped, better
lighted, and, above all, better ventilated than the schools I attended
in my boyhood.

Near the school is the guildhall, which is used for religious services,
meetings, and entertainments. And best of all, perhaps, the houses are
not the rows of sad, unpainted cabins one remembers having seen in
western mining camps, but are pretty cottages, touched with a slight
architectural variety, and with little variations of color, so that each
home has individuality.

The schools are financed partly by the company and partly by the parents
of the three thousand scholars. The teachers are, for the most part,
graduates of leading colleges--Smith, Wellesley, Vassar, the University
of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin--and educational work of great
variety is carried on, including instruction in English for foreign
employees, and domestic-science classes for women--separate
establishments, of course, for whites and blacks, for the color line is
drawn in southern mining camps as elsewhere. Negroes are, however,
better provided for by the corporation than by most southern
municipalities, both in the way of living conditions and of education.

On the whole, I believe that a child who grows up in the Docena Village,
and is educated there, has actually a better chance than one who grows
up in most Alabama towns, or, for the matter of that, in towns in any
other State which has not compulsory education. Moreover, I doubt that
there is in all Alabama another kindergarten as truly charming as the
one we visited at Docena, or that there is, in the State, a schoolhouse
of the same size which is as perfect as the one we saw in that camp.

In another camp old houses have been remodeled, giving practical
demonstration of what can be done in the way of making a hovel into a
pretty home by the intelligent use of a little lattice-work, a little
paint, and a few vines and flowers. Old boarding-houses in this
neighborhood have been converted into community houses, with
entertainment halls, shower baths, and other conveniences for the men
and their families. Thus tests are being made to discover whether it is
possible to encourage among certain classes of foreign laborers, whose
habits of life have not, to put it mildly, been of the tidiest, some
appreciation of the standard of civilization represented by clean,
pretty cottages, pleasant meeting houses, and shower baths.

I have not told about the billiard tables, bowling alleys, and game
rooms of the clubs, nor about the model rooms fitted up to show
housewives how they may make their homes attractive at but slight
expense, nor about the annual medical examination of the children, nor
about the company dentists who charge their patients only for the cost
of gold actually used, nor about the fine company store at Edgewater
Mine, nor about the excellent meats supplied by the company butchers,
nor about the low prices of supplies, nor about the effort to
discourage employees from buying cheap furniture at high prices on the
installment plan, nor, above all, about the clean, decent, happy look of
the families we chanced to see.

Even had I the space in which to tell of these things, it is perhaps
wiser that I refrain from doing so. For I am aware that in speaking
anything but ill of a great corporation I have scandalously outraged
precedent. Nor does it argue well for my powers of observation, or those
of my companion. I feel confident that where our limited visions
perceived only prosperity and contentment, certain of my brother
writers, and his brother illustrators would, in our places, have rent
the thin, vaporish veil of apparent corporate kindliness, and found such
foul shame, such hideous malignity, such grasping, grubby greed, such
despicable soul-destroying despotism, as to shock the simple nature of a
chief of the old-time Russian Secret Police.

It shames me to think what my friend Lincoln Steffens could have done
had he but enjoyed my opportunities. It shames me to think what John
Reed or other gifted writers for "The Masses" could have done. And I
should think that Wallace Morgan would writhe with shame. For, where Art
Young would have seen heavy-jowled, pig-eyed Capital, in a silk hat and
a checked suit, whirling a cruel knout over the broad and noble (but
bent and shuddering) back of Labor--where Boardman Robinson would have
found a mother, her white, drawn face half hidden by the shoddy shawl
of black, to which cling the hands of her emaciated brood--what has
Wallace Morgan seen?

A steel-plant in operation. A company steel-plant! A _corporation_
steel-plant! A TRUST steel-plant.

Yet never so much as a starving cat or a pile of garbage in the
foreground!




CHAPTER XL

THE ROAD TO ARCADY


Before we saw the train which was to take us from Birmingham to
Columbus, Mississippi, we began to sense its quality. When we attempted
to purchase parlor car seats of the ticket agent at the Union Station
and were informed by him that our train carried no parlor car, it seemed
to us that his manner was touched with cynicism, and this impression was
confirmed by his reply to our further timid inquiry as to a dining car:

"Where do you gentlemen reckon you're a-goin' to, anyhow?"

Presently we passed through the gate and better understood the nature of
the ticket agent's thoughts. The train consisted of several untidy day
coaches, the first a Jim Crow car, the others for white people. The
negro car was already so full that many of its occupants had to stand in
the aisle, but this did not seem to trouble them, for all were gabbling
happily, and the impression one got, in glancing through the door, was
of many sets of handsome white teeth displayed in as many dark grinning
faces. There are innumerable things for which we cannot envy the negro,
but neither his teeth nor his good nature are among them.

It was Saturday afternoon, and the two or three other cars, though not
overcrowded, were well filled with people from the neighboring mining
towns who were going home after having spent the morning shopping in the
city. Almost all our fellow passengers carried packages, many had
infants with them, and we were struck with the fact that the complexions
of these people suggested a diet of pie--fried pie, if there be such a
thing--that a peculiarly high percentage of them suffered from diseases
of the eye, and that the pervading smell of the car in which we sat was
of oranges, bananas, babies, and overheated adults.

A young mother in the seat in front of us had with her three small
children, the youngest an infant in arms. She was feeding a banana to
the second child, who looked about two years old. Behind us a clean,
capable-looking woman talked in a broad Scottish dialect with another
housewife whose jargon was that of the mountaineers.

The region through which the train presently began to wind its way was
green and hilly, and there were many stops at villages, all of them
mining camps apparently, made up of shabby little cabins scattered
helter-skelter upon the hillsides. In many of the cabin doorways mothers
lingered with their broods watching the train, and on all the station
platforms stood crowds of idlers--men, women, and children, negro and
white--many of the men stamped, by their coal-begrimed faces, their
stained overalls, and the lamps above the visors of their caps, as mine
workers.

After a time my companion and I moved to the exceedingly dirty smoking
room at the end of the car, where we sat and listened to the homely
conversation of a group of men who seemed not only to know one another,
but to know the same people in towns along the line. Between stations
they gossiped, smoked, chewed, spat, and swore together like so many New
England crossroad sages, but when the train stopped they gave
encouraging attention to the droll performances of one of their number,
a shaggy, unshaven, rawboned man, of middle age, gray-haired and
collarless, who sat near the window and uttered convincing imitations of
the sounds made by chickens, roosters, pigs, goats, and crows.

The platform crowds, the negroes in particular, were mystified and lured
by this animal chorus coming from a passenger coach. On hearing it they
would first gaze in astonishment at the car, then edge up to the windows
and doors, and peer in with eyes solemn, round, and wondering, only to
be more amazed than ever by the discovery that the car housed neither
bird nor beast. This bucolic comedy was repeated at every station until
we reached Wyatt, Alabama, where our gifted fellow traveler arose,
pointed his collar button toward the door, bade us farewell, and
departed, saying that he was going to "walk over to Democrat."

Presently the conductor dropped in for a chat, in the course of which
he informed the assembly that a certain old lady in one of the towns
along the way had died the night before, whereupon our companions of the
smoking room, all of whom seemed to have known the old lady well, held a
protracted discussion of her history and traits.

After a time my companion and I put in a few questions about the State
of Mississippi. Boiled down, the principal information we gathered was
as follows:

By the 1910 census Mississippi had not one city of 25,000 inhabitants.
Meridian, with 23,000, was (and probably still is) her metropolis, with
Jackson and Vicksburg, cities of about 20,000 each, following. The
entire State has but fifteen cities having a population of 5000 or more,
so that, of a total of about a million and three-quarters of people in
the State (more than half of them colored), only about one-tenth live in
towns with a population of 5000 or over.

After a little visit the conductor went away. Now and then a man would
leave us and get off at a station, or some new passenger would join our
group. Presently I found myself thinking about dinner, and asked a man
wearing an electric-blue cap if he knew what provision was made for the
evening meal.

Before he could reply the train boy, who had come into the smoking room
a few minutes before, piped up. He was a train boy of a type I had
supposed extinct: the kind of train boy one might have encountered on
almost any second-rate train twenty years ago,--a bold, impudent young
smartaleck, full of insistent salesmanship and obnoxious conversation.
He declared that dinner was not to be had, and that the only sustenance
available en route consisted in the uninviting assortment of fruit,
nuts, candy, and sweet tepid beverages contained in his basket.

Fortunately for us, the man we had addressed knew better.

"What do you want to lie like that for, boy?" he demanded. "You know as
well as I do that the brakeman takes on five boxes of lunch at Covin."

"Well," said the boy, with a grin, "I gotta sell things, ain't I? The
brakeman hadn't oughta have that graft anyhow. _I'd_ oughta have it. He
gets them lunches fer two bits and sells 'em for thirty-five cents." Far
from feeling abashed, he was pleased with himself.

"Folks is funny people," remarked a man with a weather-beaten face who
sat in the corner seat, and seemed to be addressing no one in
particular. "I know a boy that's going to git hung some day. And when
they've got the noose rigged nice around his neck, and everything ready,
and the trap a-waitin' to be sprung, why, then that boy is goin' to be
so sorry for hisself that he won't hardly know what to do. He'll say: 'I
ain't never had no chance in life, I ain't. The world ain't never used
me right.' ... Yes, folks is funny people."

After this soliloquy there occurred a brief silence in the smoking
room, and presently the train boy took up his basket and went upon his
way.

"You say they take on the lunches at Covin now?" one of the passengers
asked of the man in the electric-blue cap.

"Yes."

"What's become of old man Whitney, over to Fayetteville?"

"They used to git lunches off of him," replied the other, "but the old
man wasn't none too dependable. Now and then he'd oversleep, and folks
on the 5 A.M. out of Columbus was like to starve for breakfast."

"Right smart shock-headed boy the old man's got," put in another. "The
old man gives 'im anything he wants. He wanted a motorcycle, and the old
man give 'im one. Then he wanted one of them hot-candy machines; they
cost about two hundred and fifty dollars, but the old man give it to 'im
just the same."

"The kid went to San Francisco with it, didn't he?" asked the man with
the electric-blue cap.

"He started to go there," replied the former speaker, "but he only got
as fur as Little Rock; then he come on back home, and the old man bought
'im a wireless-telegraph plant. Yeaup! That boy gets messages right outa
the air--from Washington, D.C., and Berlin, and every place. The
Govamunt don't allow 'im to tell you much of it. He tells a little,
though--just to give you a notion."

So, through the five-hour ride the conversation ran. Several times the
talk drifted to politics and to the European War, but the politics
discussed were local and lopsided, and the war was all too clearly
regarded as something interesting but vague and remote. On the entire
journey not one word was spoken indicating that the people of this
section had the least grasp on any national question, or that they were
considering national questions, or that they realized what the war in
Europe is about--that it is a war for freedom and democracy, a war
against war, a war to prevent a few individuals from ever again plunging
the world into war. Nor, though the day of our entry into the war was
close at hand, had the idea that we might be forced to take part in the
conflict so much as occurred to any of them.

They were not stupid people; on the contrary, some of them possessed a
homely and picturesque philosophy; but they were not informed, and the
reason they were not informed has to do with one of the chief needs of
our rural population--especially the rural population of the South.

What they need is good newspapers. They need more world news and
national news in place of county news and local briefs. In the whole
South, moreover, there is need for general political news instead of
biased news written always from inside the Democratic party, and
sandwiched in between patent medicine advertisements.




CHAPTER XLI

A MISSISSIPPI TOWN


It was dark when, after a journey of one hundred and twenty miles at the
rate of twenty miles an hour, we reached Columbus, a city which was
never intended to be a metropolis and which will never be one.

Columbus is situated upon a bluff on the east bank of the Tombigbee
River, to the west of which is a very fertile lowland region, filled
with plantations, the owners of which, a century ago, founded the town
in order that their families might have churches, schools, and the
advantages of social life. As the town grew, a curious but entirely
natural community spirit developed; when a gas plant, water works, or
hotel was needed, prosperous citizens got together and financed the
enterprise, not so much for profit as for mutual comfort.

In these ante bellum times the planters used to make annual journeys to
Mobile and New Orleans, going by boat on the Tombigbee and taking their
crops and their families with them. After selling their cotton and
enjoying themselves in the city, they would load supplies for the
ensuing year upon river boats and return to Columbus, where the supplies
were transferred to their vast attic storerooms.

Though their only water transportation was to the southward, they did
not journey invariably in that direction, but sometimes made excursions
to such fashionable watering places as the Virginia Springs, or
Saratoga, to which they drove in their own carriages.

When, in the early days of railroad building, the Mobile & Ohio Railroad
was being planned, the company proposed to include Columbus as one of
its main-line points and asked for a right of way through the town and a
cash bonus in consideration of the benefits Columbus would derive from
railroad service. Both requests were refused. The railroad company then
waived the bonus and attempted to obtain a right of way by purchase. But
to no purpose. The citizens would not sell. They did not want a
railroad. They were prosperous and healthy, and they contended that a
railroad would bring poor people and disease among them, besides killing
farm animals and causing runaways. The company was consequently forced
to make a new survey, and when the line was built it passed at a
distance of a dozen miles or more from the city.

Gradually dawned the era of speed and impatience. People who had
hitherto been satisfied to make long journeys in horse-drawn vehicles,
and had refused the railroad a right of way, now began to complain of
the twelve-mile drive to the nearest station, and to suggest that the
company build a branch line into the town. But this time it was the
railroad's turn to say no, and Columbus was informed that if it wished a
branch line it could go ahead and build it at its own expense. This was
finally done at a cost of fifty thousand dollars.

With the construction of the branch line, carriages fell into disuse and
dilapidation, and many an old barouche, landau, and brett passed into
the hands of the negro hackmen who were former slaves of the old
families. Among these ex-slaves the traditions of the first families of
Columbus were upheld long after the war, and it thus happened that when,
a few years since, a young New Yorker, arriving for a visit in the town,
alighted from his train, he was greeted by an ancient negro who,
indicating an equally ancient carriage, cried: "Hack, suh! Hack, suh!
Ain't nevah been rid in by none but the Billupses."

Not every young man from the North would have understood this reference,
but by a coincidence it was at the residence of Mrs. Billups that this
one had come to visit.

Neither as to hack nor habitation were my companion and I so fortunate
as the earlier visitor. Our conveyance was a Ford, and the driver warned
us, as we progressed through shadowy tree-bordered streets, that the
Gilmer Hotel was crowded with delegates who had come to attend the State
convention of the Order of the Eastern Star. Nor was his warning without
foundation. The wide old-fashioned lobby of the Gilmer was hung with the
colors of the Order and packed with Ladies of the Eastern Star and their
ecstatic families; we managed to make our way through the press only to
be told by the single worn-out clerk on duty that not a room was to be
had.

Unlike the haughty clerk who had dismissed us from the Tutwiler Hotel in
Birmingham, the clerk at the Gilmer was not without the quality of
mercy. Overworked though he was, he began at once to telephone about the
town in an effort to secure us rooms. But if this led us to conclude
that our problem was thereby in effect solved, we discovered, after
listening to his brief telephonic conversations with a series of unseen
ladies, that the conclusion was premature. Though there were vacant
rooms in several private houses, strange stray males were not desired as
lodgers.

Concerned as we were over our plight, my companion and I could not help
being aware that a young lady who had been standing at the desk when we
came in, and had since remained there, was taking kindly interest in the
situation. Nor, for the matter of that, could we help being aware, also,
that she was very pretty in her soft black dress and corsage of
narcissus. She did not speak to us; indeed, she hardly honored us with a
glance; but, despite her sweet circumspection, we sensed in some subtle
way that she was sorry for us, and were cheered thereby.

After a time, when the clerk seemed to have reached the end of his
resources, the young lady hesitantly ventured some suggestions as to
other houses where rooms might possibly be had. These suggestions she
addressed entirely to the clerk--who, upon receiving them, did more
telephoning.

"Have you tried Mrs. Eichelberger?" the young lady asked him, after
several more failures.

He had not, but promptly did so. His conversation with Mrs. Eichelberger
started promisingly, but presently we heard him make the damning
admission he had been compelled repeatedly to make before:

"No, ma'am. It's two men."

Then, just as the last hope seemed to be fading, our angel of mercy
spoke again.

"Wait!" she put in impulsively. "Tell her--tell her I recommend them."

Thus informed, Mrs. Eichelberger became compliant; but when the details
were arranged, and we turned to thank our benefactor, she had fled.

Mrs. Eichelberger's house was but a few blocks distant from the Gilmer.
She installed us in two large, comfortable rooms, remarking, as we
entered, that we had better hurry, as we were already late.

"Late for what?" one of us asked.

"Didn't you come for the senior dramatics?"

"Senior dramatics where?"

"At the I.I. and C."

"What is the I.I. and C?"

At this question a look of doubt, if not suspicion, crossed the lady's
face.

"Where are you-all from?" she demanded.

The statement that we came from New York seemed to explain
satisfactorily our ignorance of the I.I. and C. Evidently Mrs.
Eichelberger expected little of New Yorkers. The I.I. and C., she
explained, was the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College,
formerly known as the Female College, a State institution for young
women; and the senior dramatics were even then in progress in the
college chapel, just up the street.

To the chapel, therefore, my companion and I repaired as rapidly as
might be, guided thither by frequent sounds of applause.

From among the seniors standing guard in cap and gown at the chapel
door, the quick artistic eye of my companion selected a brown-eyed
auburn-haired young goddess as the one from whom tickets might most
appropriately be bought. Nor did he display thrift in the transaction.
Instead of buying modest quarter seats he magnificently purchased the
fifty-cent kind.

The dazzling ticket seller, transformed to usher, now led us into the
crowded auditorium and down an aisle. A few rows from the stage she
stopped, and, fastening a frigid gaze upon two hapless young women who
were seated some distance in from the passageway, bade them emerge and
yield their place to us.

Of course we instantly protested, albeit in whispers, as the play was
going on. But the beautiful Olympian lightly brushed aside our
objections.

"They don't belong here," she declared loftily. "They're freshmen--and
they only bought quarter seats."

Then, as the guilty pair seemed to hesitate, she summoned them with a
compelling gesture and the command: "Come out!"

At this they arose meekly enough, whereupon we redoubled our protests.
But to no purpose. The Titian-tinted creature was relentless. Our pleas
figured no more in her scheme of things than if they had been babblings
in an unknown tongue. To add to our discomfiture, a large part of the
audience seemed to have perceived the nature of our dilemma, and was
giving us amused attention.

It was a crisis; and in a crisis--especially one in which a member of
the so-called gentle sex is involved--I have learned to look to my
companion. He understands women. He has often told me so. And now, by
his action, he proved it. What he did was to turn and flee, and I fled
with him; nor did we pause until we were safely hidden away in humble
twenty-five cent seats at the rear of the chapel, in the shadow of the
overhanging gallery.

It is not my intention to write an extended criticism of the
performance. For one thing, I witnessed only a fragment of it, and for
another, though I once acted for a brief period as dramatic critic on a
New York newspaper, I was advised by my managing editor to give up
dramatic criticism, and I have followed his advice.

The scene evidently represented a room, its walls made of red screens
behind which rose the lofty pipes of the chapel organ. On a pedestal at
one side stood a bust of the Venus de Milo, while on the other hung an
engraving of a familiar picture which I believe is called "The Fates,"
and which has the appearance of having been painted by some-one-or-other
like Leighton or Bouguereau or Harold Bell Wright.

After we had given some attention to the play my companion remarked
that, from the dialect, he judged it to be "Uncle Tom's Cabin." I had
been told, however, that for certain reasons "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is
never played in the South; I therefore asked the young man in front of
me what play it was. He replied that it was Booth Tarkington and Harry
Leon Wilson's comedy, "The Man From Home," and as he made the statement
openly, I feel that I am violating no confidence in repeating what he
said--especially since his declaration was supported by the program
which he showed me.

He was a pleasant young man. Perceiving that I was a stranger, he
volunteered the additional information that the masculine roles, as well
as the feminine ones, were being played by girls; and I trust that I
will not seem to be boasting of perspicacity when I declare that there
had already entered my mind a suspicion that such was indeed the case.

Behold them! Gaze upon the character called Daniel Voorhees Pike! See
what long strides he takes, and with what pretty tiny feet! Observe the
manliness with which he thrusts his pink little hands deep in the
pockets of his--or somebody's--pantaloons!

Look at the Grand Duke Vasili of Russia, his sweet oval face and rosy
mouth partly obscured by mustache and goatee of a most strange
wooliness.

Observe the ineradicable daintiness of the Honorable Almeric St. Aubyn,
but more particularly attend to that villain of helpless loveliness, the
Earl of Hawcastle. The frightful life which, it is indicated, the Earl
has led, leaves no tell-tale marks upon his blooming countenance. His
only facial disfigurement consists in a mustache which, by reason of its
grand-ducal lanateness, seems to hint at a mysterious relationship
between the British and Russian noblemen.

Take note, moreover, of the outlines of the players. If ever earl was
belted it was this one. If ever duke in evening dress revealed
delectable convexities of figure, it was this duke. If ever worthy male
from Indiana spoke in a soprano voice and was lithe, alluring, and
recurvous, she was Daniel Voorhees Pike.

A young woman seated near us described to her escort the personal
characteristics of the various young ladies on the stage, and when we
heard her call one girl who played in a betrousered part, "a perfect
darling," we echoed inwardly the sentiment. All were darlings. And this
especial "perfect darling" appeared as well to be a "perfect
thirty-six."

The Earl was my undoing. At a critical point in the unfolding of the
plot there was talk of his having been connected with a scandal in St.
Petersburg. This he attempted to deny, and though I am unable to quote
the exact words of his denial, the sound of it lingers sweetly in my
memory. Nor would the exact words, could I give them, convey, in print,
the quality of what was said, for the Earl, and all the rest, spoke in
the soft, melodious tones of Mississippi.

"What you-all fussin' raound heah for, this mownin'?" That, perhaps,
conveys some sense of a line he spoke on entering.

And when, in reply, one of the others mentioned the scandal at St.
Petersburg, the flavor of the Earl's retort, as its cooing tones remain
with me, was this:

"Wha', honey! What you-all mean hintin' raound 'baout St. Petuhsbuhg? I
reckon you don' know what you talkin' 'baout! Ah nevuh was in that taown
in all ma bo'n days!"

What followed I am unable to relate, for the Earl's speech caused me to
become emotional, and my companion, after informing me severely that I
was making myself conspicuous, removed me from the chapel.

The auburn goddess was still on duty at the door as we went out.
Advancing, she placed in each of our hands a quarter. I regret to say
that, in my shaken state, I misinterpreted this action.

"Oh, no! _Please!_" I protested, fearing that she thought we had not
enjoyed the performance, and was therefore returning our money. "It
really wasn't bad at all. We're only going because we have an
engagement."

"Be quiet!" interrupted my companion in a savage undertone, jerking me
along by the arm. "It's only a rebate on the seats!" And without
allowing me a chance to set myself right he dragged me out.




CHAPTER XLII

OLD TALES AND A NEW GAME


Mrs. Eichelberger supplied us merely with a place to sleep. For meals
she referred us to a lady who lived a few doors up the street. But when
in the morning we went, full of hunger and of hope, to the house of this
lady, we were coldly informed that breakfast was over, and were
recommended to the Bell Cafe, downtown.

My companion and I are not of that robust breed which enjoys a bracing
walk before its morning coffee, and the fact that the streets of
Columbus charmed us, as we now saw them for the first time by daylight,
is proof enough of their quality. There is but little appetite for
beauty in an empty stomach.

The streets were splendidly wide, and bordered with fine old trees, and
the houses, each in its own lawn, each with its vines and shrubs, were
full of the suggestion of an easy-going home life and an informal
hospitality. Most of them were of frame and in their architecture
illustrated the decadence of the eighties and nineties, but here or
there was a fine old brick homestead with a noble columned portico, or a
formal Georgian house, disposed among beautiful trees and gardens and
sheltered from the street by an ancient hedge of box. So, though
Columbus is, as I have indicated, not too easily reached by rail, and
though, as I have further indicated, walks before breakfast are not to
my taste, I am compelled to say that for both the journey and the walk I
felt repaid by the sight of some of the old houses--the Baldwin house,
the W.D. Humphries house, the J.O. Banks house, the old McLaren house,
the Kinnebrew house, the Thomas Hardy house, the J.M. Morgan house, with
its garden of lilies and roses, its giant magnolia trees and its huge
camellia bushes; and most of all, perhaps, for its Georgian beauty, the
mellow tone of its old brick, its rich tangle of southern growths, and
its associations, the venerable mansion of the late General Stephen D.
Lee, C.S.A.--now the property of the latter's only son, Mr. Blewett Lee,
general counsel of the Illinois Central Railroad, and a resident of
Chicago.

It was apropos of our visit to the Lee house that I was told of a
dramatic and touching example of the rebirth of amity between North and
South.

Stephen D. Lee it was who, as a young artillery officer attached to the
staff of General Beauregard, transmitted the actual order to fire on
Fort Sumter, the shot which began the war. Two years later, having been
promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, the same Stephen D. Lee
participated in the defense of Vicksburg against the assaults of
Porter's gunboats from the river and of Grant's armies, which hemmed in
the hilled city on landward side, until at last, on the 4th of July,
1863, the place was surrendered, making Grant's fame secure.

Years after, when the Government of the United States accepted a statue
of General Stephen D. Lee, to be placed upon the battle ground of
Vicksburg--now a national park--it was the late General Frederick Dent
Grant, son of the capturer of the city, who journeyed thither to unveil
the memorial to his father's former foe. And by a peculiarly gracious
and fitting set of circumstances it came about that when, in April last,
the ninety-fifth anniversary of the birth of U.S. Grant was celebrated
in his native city, Galena, Illinois, it was Blewett Lee, only son of
the general taken by Grant at Vicksburg, who journeyed to Galena and
there in a memorial address, returned the earlier compliment paid to the
memory of his own father by Grant's son.

       *       *       *       *       *

Columbus may perhaps appreciate the charm of its old homes, but there is
evidence to show that it did not appreciate certain other weatherworn
structures of great beauty. I have seen photographs of an old Baptist
Church with a fine (and not at all Baptist-looking) portico and fluted
columns, which was torn down to make room for the present stupidly
commonplace Baptist church: and I have seen pictures of the beautiful
old town hall which was recently supplanted by an ignorantly ordinary
town building of yellow pressed brick. The destruction of these two
early buildings represents an irreparable loss to Columbus, and it is to
be hoped that the town will some day be sufficiently enlightened to
know that this is true and to regret that it did not restore and enlarge
them instead of tearing them down.

Until a decade or two ago Columbus had, so far as I can learn, but four
streets possessing names: Main Street, Market Street, College Street,
and Catfish Alley, all other streets being known as "the street that
Mrs. Billups, or Mrs. Sykes, or Mrs. Humphries, or Mrs. Some-one-else
lives on."

Market and Main are business streets--at least they are so where they
cross--and, like the other streets, are wide. They are lined with brick
buildings few if any of them more than three stories in height, and it
was in one of these buildings, on Main Street, that we found the Bell
Cafe--advertised as "the most exclusive cafe in the State."

Being in search of breakfast rather than exclusiveness, we did not sit
at one of the tables, but at the long lunch counter, where we were
quickly served.

After breakfast we felt strong enough to look at picture post cards, and
to that end visited first "Cheap Joe's" and then the shop of Mr.
Divilbis, where newspapers, magazines, sporting goods, cameras, and all
such things, are sold. Having viewed post cards picturing such scenes as
"Main Street looking north," "The 1st Baptist Church," and "Steamer
_America_, Tombigbee River," we were about to depart, when our attention
was drawn to a telephonic conversation which had started between Mr.
Divilbis's clerk and a customer who was thinking of going in for the
game of lawn tennis. The half of the conversation which was audible to
us proved entertaining, and we dallied, eavesdropping.

The clerk began by recommending tennis. "Yes," he said, "that would be
very nice. Everybody is playing tennis now."

But that got him into trouble, for after a pause he said: "I'm sorry I
can't tell you everything about it. I don't play tennis myself. Al could
tell you, though. He plays."

Then, after a much longer pause: "Well, ma'am, you see, in a game of
lawn tennis everybody owns their own racquet."

At this juncture a tall, thin man in what is known (excepting at Palm
Beach) as a "Palm Beach suit," entered the shop and the clerk asked his
inquisitor to hold the wire while he made some inquiries. After a long
conversation with the new arrival he returned to the telephone and
resumed his explanation.

"Well, you see, they have a net, and one stands on one side and one on
the other--yes, ma'am, there _can_ be two on each side--and one serves.
What? Yes, he hits the ball over the net, and it has to go in the
opposite court on the other side, and then if that one doesn't send it
back--Yes, the court is marked with lines--why, that counts fifteen. The
next count is thirty. What? No, ma'am, I don't know why they count that
way. No, it's just the way they do in lawn tennis. If your opponent has
nothing, why, they call that 'love.' Yes, that's it--l-o-v-e--just the
same as when anybody's _in_ love. No, ma'am, I don't know why.... So
that's the way they count.

"No, ma'am, the lines are boundaries. You have to stand in a certain
place and hit the ball in a certain place.... No, I don't mean that way.
You've got to hit it so it _lands_ in a certain place; and the one
that's playing against you has to hit it back in a certain place, and if
it goes in some _other_ place, then you can't play it any more. Oh, no!
Not all day. I mean that ends _that_ part, and you start over. You just
keep on doing like that."

But though it was apparent that he considered his explanation complete,
the lady at the other end of the wire was evidently not yet satisfied,
and as he began to struggle with more questions we left the shop and
went to the Gilmer Hotel to see if any mail had come for us.

The Gilmer was built by slave labor some years before the war, and was
in its day considered a very handsome edifice. Nor is it to-day an
unsatisfactory hotel for a town of the size of Columbus. Its old brick
walls are sturdy, and its rooms are of a fine spaciousness. Downstairs
it has been somewhat remodeled, but the large parlor on the second floor
is much as it was in the beginning, even to the great mirrors and the
carved furniture imported more than sixty years ago from France. Most of
the doors still have the old locks, and the window cords originally
installed were of such a quality that they have not had to be renewed.

The Gilmer was still new when the Battle of Shiloh was fought, and
several thousand of the wounded were brought to Columbus. The hotel and
various other buildings, including that of the former Female Institute,
were converted into hospitals, as were also many private houses in the
town.

Though there was never fighting at Columbus, the end of the war found
some fifteen hundred soldiers' graves in Friendship Cemetery, perhaps
twoscore of the number being those of Federals. The citizens were, at
this time, too poor and too broken in spirit to erect memorials, but
several ladies of Columbus made it their custom to visit the cemetery
and care for the graves of the Confederate dead. This movement, started
by individuals--Miss Matt Moreton, Mrs. J.T. Fontaine, and Mrs. Green T.
Hill--was soon taken up by other ladies of the place and resulted in a
determination to make the decoration of soldiers' graves an annual
occurrence.

In an old copy of the "Mississippi Index," published at the time, may be
found an account of the solemn march of the women, young and old, to the
cemetery, on April 25, 1866--one year after Robert E. Lee's
surrender--and of the decoration of the graves not only of Confederate
but of Federal soldiers. It is the proud boast of Columbus that this
occasion constituted the first celebration of the now national
Decoration Day--or, as it is more properly called, Memorial Day.

It should perhaps be said here that Columbus, Georgia, disputes the
claim of Columbus, Mississippi, as to Memorial Day. In the Georgia city
it is contended that the idea of decorating soldiers' graves originated
with Miss Lizzie Rutherford, later Mrs. Roswell Ellis, of that place.
The inscription of Mrs. Ellis' monument in Linwood Cemetery, Columbus,
Georgia, states that the idea of Memorial Day originated with her.

It seems clear, however, that the same idea occurred to women in both
cities simultaneously, and that, while the actual celebration of the day
occurred in Columbus, Mississippi, one day earlier than in Columbus,
Georgia, the ladies of the latter city may have been first in suggesting
that Memorial Day be not a local celebration, but one in which the whole
South should take part.

The incident of the first decoration of the graves of Union as well as
Confederate soldiers appears, however, to belong entirely to Columbus,
Mississippi, and it is certain that this exhibition of magnanimity
inspired F.W. Finch to write the famous poem, "The Blue and the Gray,"
for when that poem was first published in the "Atlantic Monthly" for
September, 1867, it carried the following headnote:

     The women of Columbus, Miss., animated by noble sentiments, have
     shown themselves impartial in their offerings to the memory of the
     dead. They strewed flowers on the graves of the Confederate and of
     the National soldiers.

This episode becomes the more touching by reason of the fact that the
Columbus lady who initiated the movement to place flowers on the Union
graves, at a time when such action was sure to provoke much criticism in
the South, was Mrs. Augusta Murdock Sykes, herself the widow of a
Confederate soldier.

    So with an equal splendor
      The morning sun rays fall,
    With a touch impartially tender
      On the blossoms blooming for all;
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the Judgment Day;
    Broidered with gold the Blue;
    Mellowed with gold the Gray.




CHAPTER XLIII

OUT OF THE LONG AGO


While local historians attempt to tangle up the exploration of De Soto
with the early history of this region, saying that De Soto "entered the
State of Mississippi near the site of Columbus," and that "he probably
crossed the Tombigbee River at this point," their conclusions are
largely the result of guesswork. But it is not guesswork to say that
when the Kentucky and Tennessee volunteers, going to the aid of Andrew
Jackson, at New Orleans, in 1814, cut a military road from Tuscumbia,
Alabama, to the Gulf, they passed over the site of Columbus, for the
road they cut remains to-day one of the principal highways of the
district as well as one of the chief streets of the town.

More clearly defined, of course, are memories of the Civil War and of
Reconstruction, for there are many present-day residents of Columbus who
remember both. Among these is one of those wonderful, sweet,
high-spirited, and altogether fascinating ladies whom we call old only
because their hair is white and because a number of years have passed
over their heads--one of those glorious young old ladies in which the
South is, I think, richer than any other single section of the world.

It was our good fortune to meet Mrs. John Billups, and to see some of
her treasured relics--among them the flag carried through the battles of
Monterey and Buena Vista by the First Mississippi Regiment, of which
Jefferson Davis was colonel, and in which her husband was a lieutenant;
and a crutch used by General Nathan Bedford Forrest when he was housed
at the Billups residence in Columbus, recovering from a wound. But
better yet it was to hear Mrs. Billups herself tell of the times when
the house in which she lived as a young woman, at Holly Springs,
Mississippi, was used as headquarters by General Grant.

Mrs. Billups, who was a Miss Govan, was educated in Philadelphia and
Wilmington, and had many friends and relatives in the North. Her mother
was Mrs. Mary Govan of Holly Springs, and her brother's wife, who
resided with the Govans during the war, was a Miss Hawkes, a daughter of
the Rev. Francis L. Hawkes, then rector of St. Thomas's Church in New
York. All were, however, good Confederates.

Mrs. Govan's house at Holly Springs was being used as a hospital when
Grant and his army marched, unresisted, into the town, and Mrs. Govan,
with her daughters and daughter-in-law, had already moved to the
residence of Colonel Harvey Walter, which is to this day a show place,
and is now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Johnson of St.
Louis--Mrs. Johnson being Colonel Walter's daughter.

This house was selected by Grant as his headquarters, and he resided
there for a considerable period. ("It seemed a mighty long time," says
Mrs. Billups.) With the general was Mrs. Grant and their son Jesse, as
well as Mrs. Grant's negro maid, Julia, who, Mrs. Grant told Mrs.
Billups, had been given to her, as a slave, by her father, Colonel Dent.
Mrs. Billups was under the impression that Julia was, at that time,
still a slave. At all events, she was treated as a slave.

"We all liked the Grants," Mrs. Billups said. "He had very little to
say, but she was very sociable and used to come in and sit with us a
great deal.

"One day the general took his family and part of his army and went to
Oxford, Mississippi, leaving Colonel Murphy in command at Holly Springs.
While Grant was away our Confederate General Van Dorn made a raid on
Holly Springs, capturing the town, tearing up the railroad, and
destroying the supplies of the Northern army. He just dashed in, did his
work, and dashed out again.

"Some of his men came to the house and, knowing that it was Grant's
headquarters, wished to make a search. My mother was entirely willing
they should do so, but she knew that there were no papers in the house,
and assured the soldiers that if they did search they would find nothing
but Mrs. Grant's personal apparel--which she was sure they would not
wish to disturb.

"That satisfied them and they went away.

"Next morning back came Grant with his army. He rode up on horseback,
preceded by his bodyguard, and I remember that he looked worn and
worried.

"As he dismounted he saw my sister-in-law, Mrs. Eaton Pugh Govan--the
one who was Miss Hawkes--standing on the gallery above.

"He called up to her and said: 'Mrs. Govan, I suppose my sword is gone?'

"'What sword, General?' she asked him.

"'The sword that was presented to me by the army. I left it in my wife's
closet.'

"Mrs. Govan was thunderstruck.

"'I didn't know it was there,' she said. 'Oh! I should have been tempted
to send it to General Van Dorn if I had known that it was there!'

"The next morning, as a reward to us for not having known that his sword
was there, the general gave us a protection paper explicitly forbidding
soldiers to enter the house."

Of course the Govans, like all other citizens of invaded districts in
the South, buried their family plate before the "Yankees" came.

Shortly after this had been accomplished--as they thought, secretly--the
Govans were preparing to entertain friends at dinner when a negro boy
who helped about the dining-room remarked innocently, in the presence of
Mrs. Govan and several of her servants:

"Missus ain't gwine to have no fine table to-night, caze all de silvuh's
done buried in de strawbe'y patch."

He had seen the old gardener "planting" the plate.

Thereafter it was quietly decided in the family that the negroes had
better know nothing about the location of buried treasure. That night,
therefore, some gentlemen went out to the strawberry patch, disinterred
the silver, carried it to Colonel Walter's place, and there buried it
under the front walk.

"And after Grant came," said Mrs. Billups, "we used to laugh as we
watched the Union sentries marching up and down that walk, right over
our plate."

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the items not already mentioned, of which Columbus is proud, are
the facts that she has supplied two cabinet members within the past
decade--J.M. Dickinson, Taft's Secretary of War, and T.W. Gregory,
Wilson's Attorney General--and that J. Gano Johnson, breeder of famous
American saddle horses, has recently come from Kentucky and established
his Emerald Chief Stock Farm in Lowndes County, a short distance from
the town.

But items like these, let me be frank to say, do not appeal to me as do
the picturesque old stories which cling about such a town.

There is, for instance, the story of Alexander Keith McClung, famous
about the middle of the last century as a duellist and dandy. McClung
was a Virginian by birth, but while still a young man took up his
residence in Columbus. His father studied law under Thomas Jefferson and
was later conspicuous in Kentucky politics, and his mother was a sister
of Chief Justice John Marshall. In 1828, at the age of seventeen,
McClung became a midshipman in the navy, and though he remained in the
service but a year, he managed during that time to fight a duel with
another midshipman, who wounded him in the arm. At eighteen he fought a
duel near Frankfort, Kentucky, with his cousin James W. Marshall. His
third duel was with a lawyer named Allen, who resided in Jackson,
Mississippi. Allen was the challenger--as it is said McClung took pains
to see that his adversaries usually were, so that he might have the
choice of weapons, for he was very skillful with the pistol. In his duel
with Allen he specified that each was to be armed with four pistols and
a bowie knife, that they were to start eighty paces apart, and upon
signal were to advance, firing at will. At about thirty paces he shot
Allen through the brain. His fourth duel was with John Menifee, of
Vicksburg, and was fought in 1839, on the river bank, near that city,
with rifles at thirty yards. Some idea of the spirit in which duelling
was taken in those days may be gathered from the fact that the Vicksburg
Rifles, of which Menifee was an officer, turned out in full uniform to
see the fight. However they were doubly disappointed, for it was Menifee
and not McClung who died. It is said that a short time after this, one
of Menifee's brothers challenged McClung, who killed this brother, and
so on until he had killed all seven male members of the Menifee family.

McClung fought gallantly in the Mexican War, as lieutenant-colonel of
the First Mississippi Regiment, of which Jefferson Davis was colonel.
Though he remained always a bachelor it is said that he had many love
affairs. He was a hard drinker, a flowery speaker, and a writer of
sentimental verse. It is said that in his later life he was exceedingly
unhappy, brooding over the lives he had taken in duels--fourteen in all.
His last poem was an "Invocation to Death," ending with the line:

    "Oh, Death, come soon! Come soon!"

Shortly after writing it he shaved, dressed himself with the most
scrupulous care, and shot himself. This occurred March 23, 1855, in the
Eagle Hotel, North Capitol Street, Jackson, Mississippi.

"To preserve the neatness and cleanliness of his attire after death
should have ensued," says Colonel R.W. Banks, "it is said he poured a
little water upon the floor to ascertain the direction the blood would
take when it flowed from the wound. Then, placing himself in proper
position, so that the gore would run from and not toward his body, he
placed the pistol to the right temple, pulled the trigger and death
quickly followed."




CHAPTER XLIV

THE GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND HIM


On our second evening in Columbus my companion and I returned to the
house, near our domicile, to which we had been sent by Mrs. Eichelberger
for our meals; but owing to a misunderstanding as to the dinner hour we
found ourselves again too late. The family, and the teachers from the
I.I. and C. who took meals there, were already coming out from dinner to
sit and chat on the steps in the twilight.

We were disappointed, for we were tired of restaurants, and had counted
on a home meal that night; nor was our disappointment softened by the
fact that the lady whom we interviewed seemed to have no pity for us,
but dismissed us in a chilling manner, which hinted that, even had we
been in time for dinner, we should have been none too welcome at her
exclusive board.

Crestfallen, we turned away and started once more in the direction of
the Belle Cafe. In the half light the street held for us a melancholy
loveliness. Above, the great trees made a dark, soft canopy; the air was
balmy and sweet with the scent of lilacs and roses; lights were
beginning to appear in windows along the way. Yet none of it was for
us. We were wanderers, condemned forever to walk through strange streets
whose homes we might not enter, and whose inhabitants we might not know.

When we had proceeded in silence for a block or two, we perceived a
woman strolling toward us on the walk ahead. Nor was it yet so dark that
we could fail to notice, as we neared her, that she was very pretty in
her soft black dress and her corsage of narcissus--that, in short, she
was the young lady whom, though we were indebted to her for our rooms at
Mrs. Eichelberger's, we had not been able to thank.

Now, of course, we stopped and told her of our gratitude. First my
companion told her of his. Then I told her of mine. Then we both told
her of our combined gratitude. And after each telling she assured us
sweetly that it was nothing--nothing at all.

All this made quite a little conversation. She hoped that we were
comfortable. We assured her that we were. Then, because it seemed so
pleasant to be talking, on a balmy, flower-scented evening, with a
pretty girl wearing a soft black dress and a corsage of narcissus, we
branched out, telling her of our successive disappointments as to meals
in the house up the street.

"Which house?" she asked.

We described it.

"That's where I live," said she.

And to think we had twice been late!

"_You_ live there?"

"Yes. It was my elder sister whom you saw." Then we all smiled, for we
had spoken of the chill which had accompanied the rebuff.

"Do you think your sister will let us come to-morrow for breakfast?"
ventured my companion.

"If you're there by eight."

"Because," he added, "breakfast is our last meal here."

"You're going away?"

"Yes. About noon."

"Oh," she said. And we hoped the way she said it meant that she was just
the least bit sorry we were going.

With that she started to move on again.

"We'll see you at breakfast, then?"

"Perhaps," she said in a casual tone, continuing on her way.

"Not surely?"

"Why not come and see?" The words were wafted back to us provocatively
upon the evening air.

"We will! Good night."

"Good night."

We walked some little way in silence.

"Eight o'clock!" murmured my companion presently in a reflective, rueful
tone. "We must turn in early."

We did turn in early, and we should have been asleep early was it not
for the fact that among the chief wonders of Columbus must be ranked its
roosters--birds of a ghastly habit of nocturnal vocalism.

But though these creatures interfered somewhat with our slumbers, and
though eight is an early hour for us, we reached the neighboring house
next morning five minutes ahead of time. And though the manner of the
elder sister was, as before, austere, that made no difference, for the
younger sister was there.

After breakfast we dallied, chatting with her for a time; then a bell
began to toll, and my companion reminded me that I had an engagement to
visit the Industrial Institute and College before leaving.

It was quite true. I had made the engagement the day before, but it had
been my distinct understanding that he was to accompany me; for if
anything disconcerts me it is to go alone to such a place. However sweet
girls may be as individuals, or in small groups, they are in the mass
diabolically cruel, and their cruelty is directed especially against
men. I know. I have walked up to a college building to pay a call, while
thirty girls, seated on the steps, played, sang, and whistled an inane
marching tune, with the rhythm of which my steps could not but keep
time. I have been the only man in a dining-room full of college girls. A
hundred of them put down their knives and forks with a clatter as I
entered, and a hundred pairs of mischievously solemn eyes followed my
every movement. Voluntarily to go through such experiences alone a man
must be in love. And certainly I was not in love with any girl at the
Industrial Institute.

"We both have an engagement," I said.

"I can't go," he returned.

"Why not?"

"I have two sketches to make before train time."

"You're going to make me go over there _alone_?"

"I don't care whether you go or not," he replied mercilessly. "You made
the engagement. I had nothing to do with it. But I am responsible for
the pictures."

Perceiving that it was useless to argue with him, I reluctantly departed
and, not without misgivings, made my way to the Industrial Institute.

I am thankful to say that there matters did not turn out so badly for me
as I had anticipated. I refused to visit classrooms, and contented
myself with gathering information. And since the going to gather this
information cost me such uneasiness, I do not propose to waste entirely
the fruits of my effort, but shall here record some of the facts that I
collected.

The Industrial Institute and College is for girls of sixteen years or
over who are graduates of high schools. There are about 800 students
taking either the collegiate, normal, industrial, or musical courses, or
combination courses. This college, I was informed, was the first in the
country to offer industrial education to women.

Most of the students come from families in modest circumstances, and
attend the college with the definite purpose of fitting themselves to
become self-supporting. The cost is very slight, the only regular
charge, aside from board and general living expenses, being a nominal
matriculation fee of $5. There is no charge for rooms in the large
dormitories connected with the college. Board, light, fuel, and laundry
are paid for cooeperatively, the average cost per student, for all these,
being about ten dollars a month--which sum also includes payment for a
lyceum ticket and for two hats per annum. Uniforms are worn by all,
these being very simple navy-blue suits with sailor hats. Seniors and
juniors wear cap and gown. All uniform requirements may be covered at a
cost of twenty dollars a year, and a girl who practices economy may get
through her college year at a total cost of about $125, though of course
some spend considerably more.

Many students work their way, either wholly or in part. Thirty or forty
of them serve in the dining room, for which work they are allowed
sixty-five dollars a year. Others, who clean classrooms are allowed
fifty dollars a year, and still others earn various sums by assisting in
the library or reading room or by doing secretarial work.

Unlike the other departments of the college, the musical department is
not a tax upon the State, but is entirely self-sustaining, each girl
paying for her own lessons. This department is under the direction of
Miss Weenonah Poindexter, to whose enthusiasm much if not all of its
success is due. Miss Poindexter began her work in 1894, as the college's
only piano teacher, giving lessons in the dormitories. Now she not only
has a splendid music hall and a number of assistants, but has succeeded
in making Columbus one of the recognized musical centers of the South,
by bringing there a series of the most distinguished artists:
Paderewski, Nordica, Schumann-Heinck, Gadski, Sembrich, Bispham, Albert
Spaulding, Maud Powell, Damrosch's Orchestra, and Sousa's Band.

So much I had learned of the I.I. and C. when it came time for me to
flee to the train. My companion and I had already packed our suitcases,
and it had been arranged between us that, instead of consuming time by
trying to meet and drive together to the station, we should work
independently, joining each other at the train.

I left the college in an automobile, stopping at Mrs. Eichelberger's
only long enough to get my suitcase. As I drove on past the next corner
I chanced to look up the intersecting street. There, by a lilac bush,
stood my companion. He was not alone. With him was a very pretty girl
wearing a soft black dress and a corsage of narcissus. But the corsage
was now smaller, by one flower, than it had been before, for, as I
sighted them, she was in the act of placing one of the blooms from her
bouquet in my companion's buttonhole. Her hands looked very white and
small against his dark coat, and I recall that he was gazing down at
them, and that his features were distorted by a sentimental smile.

"Come on!" I called to him.

He looked up. His expression was vague.

"Go along," he returned.

"Why don't you come with me now?"

"I'll be there," he replied. "You buy the tickets and check the
baggage." And with that he turned his back.

"Good-by," I called to the young lady. But she was looking up at him and
didn't seem to hear me.

       *       *       *       *       *

My companion arrived at the station in an old hack, with horses at the
gallop. He was barely in time.

When we were settled in the car, bowling along over the prairies toward
the little junction town of Artesia, I turned to him and inquired how
his work had gone that morning. But at that moment he caught sight,
through the car window, of some negroes sitting at a cabin door, and
exclaimed over their picturesqueness.

I agreed. Then, as the train left them behind, I repeated my question:
"How did your work go?"

"This is very fertile-looking country," said he.

This time I did not reply, but asked:

"Did you finish both sketches?"

"No," he answered. "Not both. There wasn't time."

"Let's see the one you did."

"As a matter of fact," he returned, "I didn't do any. You know how it
is. Sometimes a fellow feels like drawing--sometimes he doesn't. Somehow
I didn't feel like it this morning."

With that he lifted the lapel of his coat and, bending his head
downward, sniffed in a romantic manner at the sickeningly sweet flower
in his buttonhole.




CHAPTER XLV

VICKSBURG OLD AND NEW


I should advise the traveler who is interested in cities not to enter
Vicksburg by the Alabama & Vicksburg Railroad, which has a dingy little
station in a sort of gulch, but by the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley
Railroad--a branch of the Illinois Central--which skirts the river bank
and flashes a large first impression of the city before the eyes of
alighting passengers.

The station itself is a pretty brick colonial building, backed by a neat
if tiny park maintained by the railroad company, and facing the levee
(pronounce "_lev_-vy"), along which the tracks are laid. Beyond the
tracks untidy landing places are scattered along the water front, with
here and there a tall, awkward, stern-wheel river steamer tied up,
looking rather like an old-fashioned New Jersey seacoast hotel, covered
with porches and jimcrack carving, painted white, embellished with a
cupola and a pair of tall, thin smokestacks, and set adrift in its old
age to masquerade in maritime burlesque.

At other points along the bank are moored a heterogeneous assortment of
shanty boats of an incredible and comic slouchiness. Some are nothing
but rafts made of water-soaked logs, bearing tiny shacks knocked
together out of driftwood and old patches of tin and canvas, but the
larger ones have barges, or the hulks of old launches, as their
foundation. These curious craft are moored in long lines to the
half-submerged willow and cottonwood trees along the bank, or to stakes
driven into the levee, or to the railroad ties, or to whatever objects,
ashore, may be made fast an old frayed rope or a piece of telephone
wire. Long, narrow planks, precariously propped, connect them with the
river bank, so that the men, women, children, dogs, and barnyard
creatures who inhabit them may pass to and fro. Some of the boats are
the homes of negro families, some of whites. On some, negro fish markets
are conducted, advertised by large catfish dangling from their posts and
railings.

Whether fishing for market, for personal use, or merely for the sake of
having an occupation involving a minimum of effort, the residents of
shanty boats--particularly the negroes--seem to spend most of their days
seated in drowsy attitudes, with fish poles in their hands. Their eyes
fall shut, their heads nod in the sun, their lines lag in the muddy
water; life is uneventful, pleasant, and warm.

When Porter's mortar fleet lay in the river, off Vicksburg, bombarding
the town, that river was the Mississippi, but though it looks the same
to-day as it did then, it is not the Mississippi now, but the Yazoo
River. This comes about through one of those freakish changes of course
for which the great stream has always been famous.

In the old days Vicksburg was situated upon one of the loops of a large
letter "S" formed by the Mississippi, but in 1876 the river cut through
a section of land and eliminated the loop upon which the town stood.
Fortunately, however, the Yazoo emptied into the Mississippi above
Vicksburg, and it was found possible, by digging a canal, to divert the
latter river from its course and lead its waters into the loop left dry
by the whim of the greater stream. Thus the river life, out of which
Vicksburg was born, and without which the place would lose its
character, was retained, and the wicked old Mississippi, which has
played rough pranks on men and cities since men and cities first
appeared upon its banks, was for once circumvented. This is but one item
from the record of grotesque tricks wrought by changes in the river's
course: a record of farms located at night on one side of the stream,
and in the morning on the other; of large tracts of land transferred
from State to State by a sudden switch of this treacherous fluid line of
boundary; of river boats crashing by night into dry land where yesterday
a deep stream flowed; of towns built up on river trade, utterly
dependent upon the river, yet finding themselves suddenly deserted by
it, like wives whose husbands disappear, leaving them withering,
helpless, and in want.

Where the upper Mississippi, above St. Louis, flows between tall bluffs
it attains a grandeur which one expects in mighty streams, but that is
not the part of the river which gets itself talked about in the
newspapers and in Congress, nor is it the part of the river one
involuntarily thinks of when the name Mississippi is mentioned. The
drama, the wonder, the mystery of the Mississippi are in the lower
river: the river of countless wooded islands, now standing high and dry,
now buried to the tree tops in swirling torrents of muddy water; the
river of black gnarled snags carried downstream to the Gulf with the
speed of motor boats; the river whose craft sail on a level with the
roofs of houses; the river of broken levees, of savage inundations.

The upper river has a beauty which is like that of some lovely, stately,
placid, well-behaved blond wife. She is conventional and correct. You
always know where to find her. The lower river is a temperamental
mistress. At one moment she is all sweetness, smiles and playfulness; at
the next vivid and passionate. Even when she is at her loveliest there
is always the possibility of sudden fury: of her rising in a rage,
breaking the furniture, wrecking the house--yes, and perhaps winding her
wicked cold arms about you in a final destroying embrace.

Being the "Gibraltar of the river" (albeit a Gibraltar of clay and not
of rock), Vicksburg does not suffer when floods come. Turn your back
upon the river, as you stand on the platform of the Yazoo & Mississippi
railroad station, and you may gather at a glance an impression of the
town piling up the hillside to the eastward.

The first buildings, occupying the narrow shelf of land at the water's
edge, are small warehouses, negro eating houses, dilapidated little
steamship offices, and all manner of shacks in want of paint and
repairs. From the station Mulberry Street runs obliquely up the hillside
to the south. This street, which forms the main thoroughfare to the
station, used to be occupied by wholesale houses, but has more lately
been given over largely to a frankly and prominently exposed district of
commercialized vice--negro and white. Not only is it at the very door of
Vicksburg, but it parallels, and is but one block distant from, the
city's main street.

Other streets, so steep as hardly to be passable, directly assault the
face of the hill, mounting abruptly to Washington Street, which runs on
a flat terrace at about the height of the top of the station roof, and
exposes to the view of the newly arrived traveler the unpainted wooden
backs of a number of frame buildings which, though they are but two or
three stories high in front, reach in some cases a height of five or six
stories at the rear, owing to the steepness of the hillside to which
they cling. The roof lines, side walls, windows, chimneys, galleries,
posts, and railings of these sad-looking structures are all
picturesquely out of plumb, and some idea of the general dilapidation
may be gathered from the fact that, one day, while my companion stood on
the station platform, drawing a picture of this scene, a brick chimney,
a portrait of which he had just completed, softly collapsed before our
eyes, for all the world like a sitter who, having held a pose too long,
faints from exhaustion.

A brief inspection of the life on the galleries of these foul old fire
traps reveals them as negro tenements; and, though they front on the
main street of Vicksburg, it should be explained that about here begins
the "nigger end" of Washington Street--the more prosperous portion of
the downtown section lying to the southward, where substantial brick
office buildings may be seen.

Between the ragged, bulging tenements above are occasional narrow gaps
through which are revealed cinematographic glimpses of street traffic;
and over the tenement roofs one catches sight of sundry other buildings,
these being of brick, and, though old, and in no way imposing, yet of a
more prosperous and self-respecting character than the nearer
structures.

Altogether, the scene, though it is one to delight an etcher, is not of
a character to inspire hope in the heart of a humanitarian, or an expert
on sanitation or fire prevention. Nor, indeed, would it achieve
completeness, even on the artistic side, were it not for its crowning
feature. Far off, over the roofs and above them, making an apex to the
composition, and giving to the whole picture a background of beauty and
of ancient dignity, rises the graceful white-columned cupola of
Vicksburg's old stone courthouse, partially obscured by a feathery
green tree top, hinting of space and foliage upon the summit of the
hill.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pamphlets on Vicksburg, issued by railroad companies for the enticement
of tourists, give most of their space to the story of the campaign
leading to Grant's siege of Vicksburg and to descriptions of the various
operations in the siege--the battlefield, now a national military park,
being considered the city's chief object of interest.

Though I am not constitutionally enthusiastic about seeing battlefields,
I must admit that I found the field of Vicksburg engrossing. The siege
of a small city presents a comparatively simple and compact military
problem which is, therefore, comprehensible to the civilian mind, and in
addition to this the Vicksburg battlefield is splendidly preserved and
marked, so that the visitor may easily reconstruct the conflict.

The park, which covers the fighting area, forms a loose crescent-shaped
strip over the hills which surround the city, its points abutting on the
river above and below. The chief drives of the park parallel each other,
the inner one, Confederate Avenue, following, as nearly as the hills
permit, the city's line of defense, while the other, Union Avenue, forms
an outer semicircle and follows, in a similar manner, the trenches of
the attacking forces.

That the battlefield is so well preserved is due in part to man and in
part to Nature. Many of the hills of Warren County, in which Vicksburg
is situated, are composed of a curious soft limy clay, called marl,
which, normally, has not the solidity of soft chalk. Marse Harris
Dickson, who knows more about Vicksburg--and also about negroes, common
law, floods, funny stories, geology, and rivers--than any other man in
Mississippi, tells me that this marl was deposited by the river, in the
form of silt, centuries ago, and that it was later thrown up into hills
by volcanic action. He did not live in Vicksburg when this took place,
but deduces his facts from the discovery of the remains of shellfish in
the soil of the hills.

Whatever its geological origin, this soil has some very strange
characteristics. In composition it is neither stone nor sand, but a
cross between the two--brown and brittle. One can easily crush it to
dust in one's hand, in which form it has about the consistency of talcum
powder, and it may be added that when this brown powder is seized by the
winds and whirled about, Vicksburg becomes one of the most mercilessly
dusty cities on this earth.

On exposed slopes the marl washes very badly, forming great caving
gullies, but, curiously enough, where it is exposed perpendicularly it
does not wash, but slicks over on the outside, and stands almost as well
as soft sandstone, although you can readily dig into it with your
fingers.

Many of the highways leading in and out of the city pass between tall
walls of this peculiar soil, through deep cuts which a visitor might
naturally take for the result of careful grading by the road builders;
but Marse Harris Dickson tells me that the cuts are entirely the result
of erosion wrought by a hundred years of wheeled traffic.

So far as I know there is but one man who has witnessed this phenomenon
without being impressed. That man is Samuel Merwin. Merwin went down and
visited Marse Harris in Vicksburg, and saw all the sights. He was polite
about the battlefield, and the river, and the negro stories, and
everything else, until Marse Harris showed him how the highways had
eroded through the hills. That did not seem to impress him at all.
Moreover, instead of being tactful, he started telling about his trip to
China. In China, he said, there were similar formations, but, as the
civilization of China was much older than that of Vicksburg (fancy his
having said a thing like that!) the gorges over there had eroded to a
much greater extent. He said he had seen them three hundred feet deep.

The more Marse Harris tried to get him to say something a little bit
complimentary about the Vicksburg erosions, the more Merwin boasted
about China. He declared that the Vicksburg erosions didn't amount to a
hill of beans compared with what he could show Marse Harris if Marse
Harris would go with him to a certain point on the banks of the Wa Choo,
in the province of Lang Pang Si.

Evidently he harped on this until he touched not only his host's local
pride, but his pride of discovery. Before that, Marse Harris had been
content to stick around in Mississippi, with perhaps a little run down
to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, or up to Dogtail to see a break in the
levee, but after Merwin's talk about China he began to grow restless,
and it is generally said in Vicksburg that it was purely in order to
have something to tell Merwin about, the next time he saw him, that he
made his celebrated trip to the source of the Nile. As for Merwin, he
has never been invited back to Vicksburg, and it is to be observed that,
even to this day, Marse Harris, by nature of a sunny disposition, shows
signs of erosion of the spirit when China is mentioned.

It is apropos the battlefield that I mention the peculiarities of the
soil. Had the bare ground been exposed to the rains of a few years, the
details of redoubts, trenches, gun positions, saps, and all other
military works would have melted away. Fortunately, however, there is a
kind of tough, strong-rooted grass, called Bermuda grass, indigenous to
that part of the country, and this grass quickly covered the
battlefield, holding the soil together so effectually that all outlines
are practically embalmed. So, although those in charge of the park have
contributed not a little to its preservation--putting old guns in their
former places, perpetuating saps with concrete work, and placing white
markers on the hillsides, to show how far up those hillsides the
assaulting Union troops made their way in various historic charges--it
is due most of all to Nature that the Vicksburg battlefield so well
explains itself.

Could Grant and Pemberton look to-day upon the hills and valleys where
surged their six weeks' struggle for possession of the city, I doubt
that they would find any important landmark wanting, and it is certain
that they could not say, as Wellington did when he revisited Waterloo:
"They have spoiled my battlefield!"

Besides the old guns and the markers, the field is dotted over with
observation towers and all manner of memorials. Of the latter, the
marble pantheon erected by the State of Illinois, and the beautiful
marble and bronze memorial structure of the State of Iowa, are probably
the finest. The marble column erected by Wisconsin carries at its summit
a great bronze effigy of "Old Abe," the famous eagle, mascot of the
Wisconsin troops. Guides to the battlefield are prone to relate to
visitors--especially, I suspect, those whose accents betray a Northern
origin--how "Old Abe," the bird of battle, went home and disgraced
himself, after the war, by his ungentlemanly action in laying a setting
of eggs.

The handsomest monument to an individual which I saw upon the
battlefield was the admirable bronze bust of Major General Martin L.
Smith, C.S.A., and the one which appealed most to my imagination was
also a memorial to a Confederate soldier: Brigadier-General States
Rights Gist. Is there not something Roman in the thought that, thirty or
more years before the war, a southern father gave his new-born son that
name, dedicating him, as it were, to the cause of States Rights, and
that the son so dedicated gave his life in battle for that cause? The
name upon that stone made me better understand the depth of feeling that
existed in the South long years before the War, and gave me a clearer
comprehension of at least one reason why the South made such a gallant
fight.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of more than fourscore national cemeteries in the United States, that
which stands among the hills and trees, overlooking the river, at the
northerly end of the military park, is one of the most beautiful, and
is, with the single exception of Arlington, the largest. It contains the
graves of nearly 17,000 Union soldiers lost in this
campaign--three-fourths of them "unknown"!

It is interesting to note that, because the surrender of Pemberton to
Grant occurred on July 4, that date has, in this region, associations
less happy than attach to it elsewhere, and that the Fourth has not been
celebrated in Vicksburg since the Civil War, except by the negroes, who
have taken it for their especial holiday. This reminds me, also, of the
fact that, throughout the South, Christmas, instead of the Fourth of
July, is celebrated with fireworks.




CHAPTER XLVI

SHREDS AND PATCHES


It was Marse Harris Dickson who showed us the battlefield. As we were
driving along in the motor we overtook an old trudging negro, very
picturesque in his ragged clothing and battered soft hat. My companion
said that he would like to take a picture of this wayfarer, and asked
Marse Harris, who, as author of the "Old Reliable" stories, seemed best
fitted for the task, to arrange the matter. The automobile, having
passed the negro, was stopped to wait for him to catch up. Presently, as
he came by, Marse Harris addressed him in that friendly way Southerners
have with negroes.

"Want your picture taken, old man?" he asked.

To which the negro, still shuffling along, replied:

"I ain't got no money."

Marse Harris, knowing the workings of the negro mind, got the full
import of this reply at once, but I must confess that a moment passed
before I realized that the negro took us for itinerant photographers
looking for trade.

With the possible exception of Irvin S. Cobb, I suppose Marse Harris has
the largest collection of negro character stories of any individual in
this country. And let me say, in this connection, that I know of no
better place than Vicksburg for the study of southern negro types.

One day Marse Harris was passing by the jail. It was hot weather, and
the jail windows were open. Behind the bars of one window, looking down
upon the street, stood a negro prisoner. As Marse Harris passed this
window a negro wearing a large watch chain came by in the other
direction. His watch chain evidently caught the eye of the prisoner, who
spoke in a wistful tone, demanding:

"What tahme is it, brotha?"

"What foh you want t' know what tahme it is?" returned the other
sternly, as he continued upon his way. "You ain't goin' nowhere."

Through Marse Harris I obtained a copy of a letter written by a negro
named Walter to Mr. W.H. Reeve of Vicksburg. Walter had looked out for
Mr. Reeve's live stock during a flood, and had certain ideas about what
should be done for him in consequence. I give the letter exactly as it
was written, merely inserting, parenthetically, a few explanatory words:

     _Mr. H W Reeve an bos dear sir I like to git me a par [pair] second
     hand pance dont a fail or elce I will be dout [without] a pare to
     go eny where so send me something. Dont a fail an send me a par of
     youre pance [or] i will hafter go to work for somebody to git some.
     I don't think you all is treating me right at all I stayed with
     youre hogs in the water till the last tening [attending] to them
     and I dont think that youre oder [ought to] fail me bout a pare old
     pance_

     WALTER

Though I cannot see just why it should be so, it seemed to us that the
Vicksburg negroes were happier than those of any other place we visited.
Whether drowsing in the sun, walking the streets, doing a little stroke
of work, fishing, or sitting gabbling on the curbstone, they were upon
the whole as cheerful and as comical a lot of people as I ever saw.

"Wha' you-all goin' to?" I heard a negro ask a group of mulatto women,
in clean starched gingham dresses, who went flouncing by him on the
street one Saturday afternoon.

"Oh," returned one of the women, with the elaborate superiority of a
member of the class of idle rich, "we're just serenadin' 'round."

"Serenading," as she used the word, meant a promenade about the town.

Perhaps the happiness of the negro, here, has to do with the lazy life
of the river. The succulent catfish is easily obtainable for food, and
the wages of the roustabout--or "rouster," as he is called for
short--are good.

The rouster, in his red undershirt, with a bale hook hung in his belt,
is a figure to fascinate the eye. When he works--which is to say, when
he is out of funds--he works hard. He will swing a two-hundred-pound
sack to his back and do fancy steps as he marches with it up the springy
gangplank to the river steamer's deck, uttering now and then a strange,
barbaric snatch of song. He has no home, no family, no responsibilities.
An ignorant deck hand can earn from forty to one hundred dollars a
month. Pay him off at the end of the trip, let him get ashore with his
money, and he is gone. Without deck hands the steamer cannot move. For
many years there has been known to river captains a simple way out of
this difficulty. Pay the rousters off a few hours before the end of the
trip. Say there are twenty of them, and that each is given twenty
dollars. They clear a space on deck and begin shooting craps. No one
interferes. By the time the trip ends most of the money has passed into
the hands of four or five; the rest are "broke" and therefore remain at
work. Yet despite the ingenuity of those who have the negro labor
problem to contend with, Marse Harris tells me that there have been
times when the levee was lined with steamers, full-loaded, but unable to
depart for want of a crew. Not that there was any lack of roustabouts in
town, but that, money being plentiful, they would not work. In such
times perishable freight rots and is thrown overboard.

I am conscious of a tendency, in writing of Vicksburg, to dwell
continually upon the negro and the river for the reason that the two
form an enchanting background for the whole life of the place. This
should not, however, be taken to indicate that Vicksburg is not a city
of agreeable homes and pleasant society, or that its only
picturesqueness is to be found in the river and negro life.

The point is that Vicksburg is a patchwork city. The National Park
Hotel, its chief hostelry, is an unusually good hotel for a city of
this size, and Washington Street, in the neighborhood of the hotel, has
the look of a busy city street; yet on the same square with the hotel,
on the street below, nearer the river, is an unwholesome negro
settlement. So it is all over the city; the "white folks" live on the
hills, while the "niggers" inhabit the adjacent bottoms. Nor is that the
only sense in which the town is patched together. Some of the most
charming of the city's old homes are tucked away where the visitor is
not likely to see them without deliberate search. Such a place, for
example, is the old Klein house, standing amid lawns and old-fashioned
gardens, on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi. This house was built
long before the railroad came to Vicksburg, cutting off its grounds from
the river. A patch in the paneling of the front door shows where a
cannon ball passed through at the time of the bombardment, and the ball
itself may still be seen embedded in the woodwork of one of the rooms
within.

And there are other patches. Near the old courthouse, which rears itself
so handsomely at the summit of a series of terraces leading up from the
street, are a number of old sand roads which must be to-day almost as
they were in the heyday of the river's glory, when the region in which
the courthouse stands was the principal part of the city--the days of
heavy drinking and gambling, dueling, slave markets, and steamboat
races. These streets are not the streets of a city, but of a small town.
So, too, where Adams Street crosses Grove, it has the appearance of a
country lane, the road represented by a pair of wheel tracks running
through the grass; but Cherry Street, only a block distant, is built up
with city houses and has a good asphalt pavement and a trolley line.




CHAPTER XLVII

THE BAFFLING MISSISSIPPI


As inevitably as water flows down the hills of Vicksburg to the river,
the visitor's thoughts flow down always to the great spectacular,
historic, mischievous, dominating stream.

Mark Twain, in that glorious book, "Life on the Mississippi," declared,
in speaking of the eternal problems of the Mississippi, that as there
are not enough citizens of Louisiana to take care of all the theories
about the river at the rate of one theory per individual, each citizen
has two theories. That is the case to-day as it was when Mark Twain was
a pilot. I have heard half a dozen prominent men, some of them
engineers, state their views as to what should be done. Each view seemed
sound, yet all were at variance.

Consider, for example, that part of the river lying between Vicksburg
and the mouth. Here, quite aside from the problem as to the hands in
which river-control work should be vested--a very great problem in
itself--three separate and distinct physical problems are presented.

From Vicksburg to Red River Landing there are swift currents which
deposit silt only at the edge of the bank, or on sand bars. From Red
River Landing to New Orleans the problem is different; here the channel
is much improved, and slow currents at the sides of the river, between
the natural river bank and the levee, deposit silt in the old "borrow
pits"--pits from which the earth was dug for the building of the
levees--filling them up, whereas, farther up the river, the borrow pits,
instead of filling up, are likely to scour, undermining the levee. From
New Orleans to the head of the Passes--these being the three main
channels by which the river empties into the Gulf--the banks between the
natural river bed and the levees build up with silt much more rapidly
than at any other point on the entire stream; here there are no sand
bars, and the banks cave very little. In this part of the river it is
not current, but wind, which forms the great problem, for the winds are
terrific at certain times of year, and when they blow violently against
the current, waves are formed which wash out the levees.

This is the barest outline of three chief physical problems with which
river engineers must contend. There are countless others which have to
be met in various ways. In some places the water seeps through, under
the levee, and bubbles up, like a spring, from the ground outside. This,
if allowed to continue, soon undermines the levee and causes a break.
The method of fighting such a seepage is interesting. When the water
begins to bubble up, a hollow tower of sand-filled sacks is built up
about the place where it comes from the ground, and when this tower has
raised the level of the water within it to that of the river, the
pressure is of course removed, on the siphon principle.

As river-control work is at present handled, there is no centralization
of authority, and friction, waste, and politics consequently play a
large part.

Consider, for example, the situation in the State of Louisiana. Here
control is, broadly speaking, in the hands of three separate bodies: (1)
the United States army engineer, who disburses the money appropriated by
Congress for levees and bank revetment, working under direction of the
Mississippi River Commission; (2) the State Board of Engineers, which
disburses Louisiana State funds wherever it sees fit, and which,
incidentally, does not use, in its work, the same specifications as are
used by the Government; and (3) the local levee boards, of which there
are eight in Louisiana, one to each river parish--a parish being what is
elsewhere called a county. Each of these eight boards has authority as
to where parish money shall be spent within its district, and it may be
added that this last group (considering the eight boards as a unit) has
the largest sum to spend on river work.

The result of this division of authority creates chaos, and has built up
a situation infinitely worse than was faced by General Goethals when
Congress attempted to divide control in the building of the Panama
Canal. It will be remembered that, in that case, a commission was
appointed, but that Roosevelt circumvented Congress by making General
Goethals head of the commission with full powers.

While the canal was in course of construction, General Goethals appeared
before the Senate Committee on Commerce. When asked what he knew of
levee building and work on the Mississippi, he replied:

"I don't know a single, solitary thing about the work on the Mississippi
except that it is being carried on under the annual appropriation
system. If we had that system to hamper us, the Panama Canal would not
be completed on time and within the estimate, as it will be. That system
leaves engineers in uncertainty as to how much they may plan to do in
the year ahead of them. Big works cannot be completed economically,
either as to time or money, unless the man who is making the plan can
proceed upon the theory that the money will be forthcoming as fast as he
can economically spend it."

In view of the foregoing, I cannot myself claim to be free from river
theory. It seems to me clear that the Mississippi should be under
exclusive Federal control from source to mouth; that the various
commissions should be abolished, and that the whole matter should be in
the hands of the chief of United States Engineers, who would have ample
funds with which to carry on work of a permanent character.

As one among countless items pointing to the need of Federal control,
consider the case of the Tensas Levee Board, one of the eight local
boards in Louisiana. This board does not build any levees whatsoever in
the State of Louisiana, but does all its work with Louisiana money, in
the State of Arkansas, where it has constructed, and maintains,
eighty-two miles of levees, protecting the northeastern corner of
Louisiana from floods which would originate in Arkansas. These same
levees, however, also protect large tracts of land in Arkansas, for
which protection the inhabitants of Arkansas do not pay one cent,
knowing that their Louisiana neighbors are forced, for their own safety,
to do the work.

Cairo, Illinois, is the barometer of the river's rise and fall, the gage
at that point being used as the basis for estimates for the entire river
below Cairo. These estimates are made by computations which are so
accurate that Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans know, days or even
weeks in advance, when to expect high water, and within a few inches of
the precise height the floods will reach.

Some years since, the United States engineer in charge of a river
district embracing a part of Louisiana, notified the local levee boards
that unusually high water might be expected on a certain date and that
several hundred miles of levees would have to be "capped" in order to
prevent overflow. The local boards in turn notified the planters, in
sections where capping was necessary.

One of the planters so notified was an old Cajun--Cajun being a
corruption of the word "Acadian," denoting those persons of French
descent driven from Acadia, in Canada, by the British many years ago.
This old man did not believe that the river would rise as high as
predicted and was not disposed to cap his levee.

"But," said the member of the local levee board, who interviewed him,
"the United States engineer says you will have to put two twelve-inch
planks, one above the other, on top of your levee, and back them with
earth, or else the water will come over."

At last the old fellow consented.

Presently the floods came. The water mounted, mounted, mounted. Soon it
was halfway up the lower plank; then it rose to the upper one. When it
reached the middle of that plank the Cajun became alarmed and called
upon the local levee board for help to raise the capping higher still.

"No," said the local board member who had given him the original
warning, "that will not be necessary. I have just talked to the United
States engineer. He says the water will drop to-morrow."

The old man was skeptical, however, and was not satisfied until the
board member agreed that in case the flood failed to abate next day, as
predicted, the board should do the extra capping. This settled, a nail
was driven into the upper plank to mark the water's height.

Sure enough, on the following morning the river had dropped away from
the nail, and thereafter it continued to fall.

After watching the decline for several days, the Cajun, very much
puzzled, called on his friend, the local levee board member, to talk the
matter over.

"Say," he demanded, "what kinda man dis United States engineer is,
anyhow? Firs' he tell when de water comes. Den he tell jus' how high she
comes. Den he tell jus' when she's agoin' to fall. What kinda man is
dat, anyhow? Is he been one Voodoo?"

       *       *       *       *       *

The spirit of the people of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, who
live, in flood time, in the precarious safety afforded by the levees, is
characterized by the same optimistic fatalism that is to be found among
the inhabitants of the slopes of Vesuvius in time of eruption.

One night, a good many years ago, I ascended Vesuvius at such a time,
and I remember well a talk I had with a man who gave me wine and sausage
in his house, far up on the mountain side, at about two o'clock that
morning.

Seventeen streams of lava were already flowing down, and signs of
imminent disaster were at hand.

"Aren't you afraid to stay here with your family?" I asked the man.

"No," he replied. "Three times I have seen it worse than this. I have
lived here always, and"--with a good Italian smile--"it is evident,
signore, that I am still alive."

Less than a week later I read in a newspaper that this man's house,
which was known as Casa Bianca, together with his vineyards and his
precious wine cellars, tunneled into the mountain side, had been
obliterated by a stream of lava.

Precisely as he went about his affairs when destruction threatened, so
do the planters along the Mississippi. But there is this difference:
against Vesuvius no precaution can avail; whereas, in the case of a
Mississippi flood, foresight may save life and property. For instance,
many planters build mounds large enough to accommodate their barns, and
all their live stock. Likewise, when floods are coming, they construct
false floors in their houses, elevating their furniture above high-water
mark, so that, if the whole house is not carried away, they may return
to something less than utter ruin. It is the custom, also, to place
ladders against trees, in the branches of which provisions are kept in
time of danger, and to have skiffs, containing food and water, ready on
the galleries of the houses.




CHAPTER XLVIII

OLD RIVER DAYS


Among the honored citizens of Vicksburg, at the time of our visit, were
a number of old steamboat men who knew the river in its golden days;
among them, Captain "Mose" Smith, Captain Tom Young, Captain W.S.
("Billy") Jones, and Captain S.H. Parisot--the latter probably the
oldest surviving Mississippi River captain.

We were sent to see Captain Parisot at his house, where he received us
kindly, entertained us for an hour or more with reminiscences, and
showed us a most interesting collection of souvenirs of the river,
including photographs of famous boats, famous deck loads of cotton, and
famous characters: among the latter the celebrated rivals, Captain John
W. Cannon of the _Robert E. Lee_ and Captain Thomas P. Leathers of the
_Natchez_. Captain Parisot knew both these men well, and was himself
aboard the _Lee_ at the time of her famous race with the _Natchez_ from
New Orleans to St. Louis.

"We left New Orleans 31/2 minutes ahead of the _Natchez_," said Captain
Parisot, "made the run to Vicksburg in 24 hours and 28 minutes, beat her
to Cairo by 1 hour and 12 minutes, and to St. Louis by more than 3
hours."

Captain Parisot's father was a soldier under Napoleon I, and moved to
Warren County, Mississippi, after having been wounded at Moscow. He
built, at the foot of Main Street, Vicksburg, the first brick house that
city had.

"There was a law in France," said the captain, "that any citizen absent
from the country for thirty-five years lost all claim to property. My
father's people were pretty well off, so in '42 he started back, but he
was taken ill and died in New Orleans."

Captain Parisot was born in 1828, and in 1847 began "learning the
river." In 1854 he became part owner of a boat, and three years later
purchased one of his own.

"I bought her in Cincinnati," he said. Then, reflectively, he added:
"There was a good deal of drinking in those days. When I brought her
down on her first trip I had 183 tons of freight, and 500 barrels of
whisky, from Cincinnati, for one little country store--Barksdale &
McFarland's, at Yazoo City."

"There was a good deal of gambling, too, wasn't there?" one of us
suggested.

"There was indeed," smiled the old captain. "Every steamboat was a
gambling house, and there used to be big games before the war."

"How big?"

"Well," he returned, "as Captain Leathers once put it, it used to be
'nigger ante and plantation limit.' And that's no joke about playing for
niggers either. Those old planters would play for anything. I've known
people to get on a boat at Yazoo City to come to Vicksburg, and get in a
game, and never get off at Vicksburg at all--just go back to Yazoo; yes,
and come down again, to keep the game going.

"There was a saloon called the Exchange near our house in Yazoo, and I
remember once my father got into a game, there, with a gambler named
Spence Thrift. That was before the war. Thrift was a terrible stiff
bluffer. When he got ready to clean up, he'd shove up his whole pile.
Well, he did that to my father. Thrift's pile was twenty-two hundred
dollars, and all my father had in front of him was eight hundred. But he
owned a young negro named Calvin, so he called Calvin, and told him:
'Here, boy! Jump up on the table.' That equalled the gambler's pile; and
it finished him--he threw down his hand, beaten.

"Business in those times was done largely on friendship. It used to be
said that I 'owned' the Yazoo River when I was running my line. I knew
everybody up there. They were my friends, and they gave me their
business for that reason, and also because I brought the cotton down
here to Vicksburg, and reshipped it from here on, down the river. It was
considered an advantage to reship cotton because moving it from one boat
to another knocked the mud off the bales.

"There used to be some enormous cargoes of cotton carried. The largest
boat on the river was the _Henry Frank_, owned by Frank Hicks of
Memphis. She ran between Memphis and New Orleans, and on one trip
carried 9226 bales. Those were the old-style bales, of course. They
weighed 425 to 450 pounds each, as against 550 to 600 pounds, which is
the weight of a bale to-day, now that powerful machinery is used to make
them. The heavy bale came into use partly to beat transportation
charges, as rates were not made by weight, but at so much per bale.

"The land up the Yazoo belonged to the State, and the State sold it for
$1.25 per acre. The fellows that got up there first weren't any too
anxious to see new folks coming in and entering land. Used to try all
kinds of schemes to get them out.

"There were two brothers up there named Parker. One of them was a
surveyor--we called him 'Baldy'--and the other was lumbering, getting
timber out of the cypress breaks and rafting it down. Almost all the
timber used from Vicksburg to New Orleans came out of there.

"One time a man came up the Yazoo to take up land and went to stop with
Baldy Parker. When they sat down to dinner Baldy took some flour and
sprinkled it all over his meat.

"'What's that?' asked the stranger.

"'Quinine,' says Baldy. 'Haven't you got any?'

"'No,' says the fellow; 'what would I want it for?'

"'You'll find out if you go out there in the swamps,' Baldy tells him.
'It's full of malaria. We eat quinine on everything.'

"The fellow was quiet through the rest of the meal.

"Pretty soon they got up to go out, and Baldy took up a pair of
stovepipes.

"'What do you do with them pipes?' asks the stranger.

"'Wear 'em, of course,' says Baldy. 'Haven't you got any?'

"'No,' says the fellow. 'What for?'

"'Why,' says Baldy, 'the rattlesnakes out there will bite the legs right
off of you.'

"With that the fellow had enough. He didn't go any farther, but turned
around and took the boat down the river."

In all his years as captain and line owner on the river, Captain Parisot
never lost a vessel. "I never insured against sinking," he told us.
"Just against fire. But I got the best pilots I could hire. In all I
built twenty-seven steamboats. I had $150,000 worth of boats when I sold
my line in 1880. After I sold they did lose some boats."

Later we saw Captain "Billy" Jones, a much younger man than Captain
Parisot, yet old enough to have known the river in its prime. Captain
Jones deserted the river years ago, and is now a golfer with a
prosperous banking business on the side.

"Captain Parisot was right when he said business on the river was done
largely on friendship," said Captain Jones. "Also business used to be
turned down for the opposite reason. There was a historic case of that
in this town.

"Captain Tom Leathers was in the habit of refusing to take freight on
the _Natchez_ if he didn't like the shipper or the consignee. For some
reason or other he had it in for the firm of Lamkin & Eggleston,
wholesale grocers here in Vicksburg, and declined their freight. They
sued him in the Circuit Court and got judgment. Leathers carried the
case to the Supreme Court, but the verdict was sustained and he had to
pay $2500 damages. He was furious.

"'What's the use,' he said, 'of being a steamboat captain if you can't
tell people to go to hell?'"

It is the lamentable fact, and I must face it, and so must you if you
intend to read on, that the language of the river was rough. At least
ninety-nine out of every hundred river stories are, therefore, not
printable in full. Either they must be vitiated by deletions, or
interpreted at certain points by blanks and "blanketys." As for me, I
prefer the blankety-blanks and I consider that this method of avoiding
the complete truth relieves me of all responsibility. And of course, if
that is so, it absolves, at the same time, good Captain "Billy" Jones,
or any one else who may have happened to tell me the stories.

Both Leathers and Cannon were large, powerful men, and they always hated
each other. Leathers was never popular, for he was very arrogant, but he
had a great reputation for pushing the _Natchez_ through on time. Also,
such friends as he did have always stuck by him.

Something of the feeling between the two old river characters is
revealed in the following story related by Captain Jones:

"Ed Snodgrass, who lived in St. Joseph, La., was a friend of both Cannon
and Leathers. When the _Natchez_ would arrive at St. Joseph, he would go
and give Leathers news about Cannon, and when the _Lee_ came in he would
see Cannon and tell him about Leathers.

"Well, one time Leathers was laid up with a carbuncle on his back, and
brought a doctor up on the boat with him. So, of course, Ed Snodgrass
told Cannon about it when he came along.

"'A carbuncle, eh?' said Cannon.

"'Yes,' said Ed.

"'Well,' said Cannon, 'you tell the old blankety-blank-blank that I had
a brother--a bigger, stronger man than I am--and he had one o' them
things and died in two weeks.'

"Soon after that Cannon made a misstep when backing the _Natchez_ out,
at Natchez, and fell, breaking his collar bone. Of course Ed Snodgrass
gave the news to Leathers when he came along.

"'Huh!' said Leathers. 'His collar bone, eh? You tell the old
blankety-blank-blank that I wish it had been his blankety-blank neck!'"

I asked Captain Jones for stories about gambling.

"After the war," he said, "there weren't the big poker games there used
to be. Mostly we had sucker games then. There was a gambler named George
Duval who wrote a book--or, rather, he had somebody write it for him,
for he was a very ignorant fellow, and began his life calking the seams
of boats in a shipyard. He had a partner who was known as 'Jew Mose,'
who used to dress like a rich planter. He wore a broad-brimmed hat and a
very elegant tail coat, and was a big, handsome man.

"After the boat left New Orleans, this 'Jew Mose' would disguise himself
with whiskers and goggles, go to the barber shop and lay out his game.
George Duval and a fellow called 'Canada Bill' were the cappers. They
would bring in suckers, get their money, and generally get off the boat
about Baton Rouge.

"Once when I was a clerk on the _Robert E. Lee_, Duval got a young
fellow in tow, and the young fellow wanted to bet on the game, but he
had a friend with him, and his friend kept pulling him away.

"Later, when Duval had given up the idea of getting this young fellow's
money, and closed up his game, he appeared in the social hall of the
boat with a small bag held up to his face.

"Somebody asked him what was in the bag.

"'It's hot salt,' he said. 'I've got a toothache, and a bag of hot salt
is the best thing in the world for toothache.'

"Presently, when he went to his stateroom to get something, he left the
bag of salt on the stove to heat it up. While he was gone somebody
suggested, as a joke, that they dump out the salt and fill the bag with
ashes, instead. So they did it. And when Duval came back he held it up
to his face again, and seemed perfectly satisfied.

"'How does it feel now?' one of the fellows asked.

"'Fine,' said Duval. 'Hot salt is the best thing going.'

"At that, the man who had prevented the young fellow from betting, down
in the barber shop, earlier in the day, offered to bet Duval a hundred
dollars that the bag didn't contain salt.

"Duval took the bet and raised him back another hundred. But the man had
only fifty dollars left. However, another fellow, standing in the crowd,
put in the extra fifty to make two hundred dollars a side.

"Then Duval opened the bag, and it _was_ salt. He had changed the bags,
and the fellows who worked up the trick were his cappers."

One of the old-time river gamblers was an individual, blind in one eye,
known as "One-eyed Murphy." Murphy was an extremely artful manipulator
of cards, and made a business of cheating. One day, shortly after the
_Natchez_ had backed out from New Orleans and got under way, Marion
Knowles, a picturesque gentleman of the period, and one who had the
reputation of being polite even in the most trying circumstances, and no
matter how well he had dined, came in and stood for a time as a
spectator beside a table at which Murphy was playing poker with some
guileless planters. Mr. Knowles was not himself guileless, and very
shortly he perceived that the one-eyed gambler was dealing himself cards
from the bottom of the pack. Thereupon he drew his revolver from his
pocket and rapping with it on the table addressed the assembly:

"Gentlemen," he said, speaking in courtly fashion, "I regret to say that
there is something wrong here. I will not call any names, neither will I
make any personal allusions. _But if it doesn't stop, damn me if I don't
shoot his other eye out!_"

I cannot drop the river, and stories of river gambling, without
referring to one more tale which is a classic. It is a long story about
a big poker game, and to tell it properly one must know the exact words.
I do not know them, and therefore shall not attempt to tell the whole
story, but shall give you only the beginning.

It is supposed to be told by a Virginian.

"There was me," he says, "and another very distinguished gentleman from
Virginia and a gentleman from Kentucky, and a man from Ohio, and a
fellow from New York, and a blankety-blank from Boston--"

That is all I know of the story, but I can guess who got the money in
that game.

Can't you?




CHAPTER XLIX

WHAT MEMPHIS HAS ENDURED


An article on Memphis, published in the year 1855, gives the population
of the place as about 13,000 (one quarter of the number slaves), and
calls Memphis "the most promising town in the Southwest." It predicts
that a railroad will some day connect Memphis with Little Rock,
Arkansas, and that a direct line between Memphis and Cincinnati may even
be constructed. This article begins the history of Memphis in the year
1820, when the place had 50 inhabitants. In 1840 the settlement had
grown to 1,700, and fifteen years thereafter it was almost eight times
that size.

Your Memphian, however, is not at all content to date from 1820. He
begins the history of Memphis with the date May 8, 1541--a time when
Henry VIII was establishing new matrimonial records in England, when
Queen Elizabeth was a little girl, and Shakespeare, Bacon, Galileo and
Cromwell were yet unborn. For that was the date when a Spanish gentleman
bearing some personal resemblance to "Uncle Joe" Cannon--though he was
younger, had black hair and beard, was differently dressed and did not
chew long black cigars--arrived at the lower Chickasaw Bluffs, from
which the city of Memphis now overlooks the Mississippi River. This
gentleman was Hernando De Soto, and with his soldiers and horses he had
marched from Tampa Bay, Florida, hunting for El Dorado, but finding
instead, a lot of poor villages peopled by savages whom he killed in
large numbers, having been brought up to that sort of work by Pizarro,
under whom he served in the conquest of Peru. It seems to be well
established, through records left by De Soto's secretary, and other men
who were with him, and through landmarks mentioned by them, that De Soto
and his command camped where Memphis stands, crossed the Mississippi at
this point in boats which they built for the purpose, and marched on to
an Indian village situated on the mound, a few miles distant, which now
gives Mound City, Arkansas, its name. One hundred and thirty-two years
later Marquette passed by on his way down the river, and nine years
after him La Salle, but so far as is known, neither stopped at the site
of Memphis, though they must have noticed as they passed, that the river
is narrower here than at any point within hundreds of miles, and that
the Chickasaw Bluffs afford about as good a place for a settlement as
may be found along the reaches of the lower river, being high enough for
safety, and flat on top. The first white man known to have visited the
actual site of Memphis after De Soto, was De Bienville, the French
Governor of Louisiana, who came in 1739. De Bienville found the
Chickasaw village where De Soto had found it two centuries earlier; but
whereas De Soto managed to avoid battle with the inhabitants of this
particular village, De Bienville came to attack them. He fought them
near their village, was defeated, and retired to Mobile.

Thus this part of the United States belonged first to Spain, and then to
France; but in 1762 France ceded it back to Spain, and in the year
following, Spain and France together ceded their territory in the
eastern part of the continent to England. The next change came with the
Revolution, when the United States came into being. The Spanish were,
however, still in possession of the vast territory of Louisiana, to the
west of the Mississippi. In 1795, Gayoso, Spanish Governor of Louisiana,
came across and built a fort on the east side of the river, but was
presently ousted by the United States. In 1820, as has been said, the
settlement of Memphis had begun, one of the early proprietors having
been Andrew Jackson. Some of the first settlers wished to name the place
Jackson, in honor of the general, but Jackson himself, it is said,
decided on the name Memphis, because the position of the town suggested
that of ancient Memphis, on the Nile.

In 1857 Memphis got her first railroad--the Memphis &
Charleston--connecting her with Charleston, South Carolina. About the
time the road was completed there were severe financial panics which
held the city back; also there was trouble, as in so many other river
towns, with hordes of gamblers and desperadoes. Judge J.P. Young, in
his "History of Memphis," tells of an interesting episode of those
times. There were two professional gamblers, father and son, of the name
of Able. The father shot a man in a saloon brawl, and soon after, the
son committed a similar crime of violence. A great mob started to take
the younger Able out of jail and lynch him, but one firm citizen,
addressing them from the balcony of a hotel, persuaded them to desist.
Next day, however, there was a mass meeting to discuss the case of Able.
At this meeting the hotheads prevailed, and Able was taken from the jail
by a mob of three thousand men. When the noose was around his neck, and
he and his mother and sister were pleading that his life be spared, the
same man who had previously prevented mob action, stepped boldly up, cut
the rope from Abel's neck, and assisted him to fly, standing between him
and the mob, fighting the mob off, and finally getting Able back into
the jail. When the mob stormed the jail, furious at having been
circumvented by a single man, the same powerful figure appeared at the
jail door with a pistol, and, incredible though it seems, actually held
the mob at bay until it finally dispersed. This man was Nathan Bedford
Forrest, later the brilliant Confederate cavalry leader. Forrest and his
wife are buried in Memphis, in a square called Forrest Park, under a
fine equestrian monument, by C.H. Niehaus.

Before the war Forrest was a member of the slave-dealing firm of Forrest
& Maples, of Memphis. Subjoined is a photographic reproduction of an
advertisement of this firm, which appeared in the Memphis City
Directory for 1855-6.

[Illustration:

                         CITY DIRECTORY. 251
                         --------------------

                         #FORREST & MAPLES,#
                           #SLAVE DEALERS,#

                           #87 Adams Street#,
                        Between Second and Third,
                          #MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE#,

        Have constantly on hand the best selected assortment of

                #FIELD HANDS, HOUSE SERVANTS & MECHANICS#,
      at their Negro Mart, to be found in the city. They are daily
    receiving from Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, fresh supplies of
                           likely Young Negroes.

                      #Negroes Sold on Commission#,

    and the highest market price always paid for good stock. Their Jail
     is capable of containing Three Hundred, and for comfort, neatness
       and safety, is the best arranged of any in the Union. Persons
      wishing to purchase, are invited to examine their stock before
                         purchasing elsewhere.

    They have on hand at present, Fifty likely young Negroes, comprising
             Field hands, Mechanics, House and Body Servants, &c.

]

When the Civil War loomed close, sentiment in Memphis was divided, but
at a call for troops for the Union, the State of Tennessee balked, and
soon after it seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. Many
people believed, at that time, that if the entire South united, the
North would not dare fight. When the war came, however, Memphis knew
where she stood; it is said that no city of the same size (22,600)
furnished so many men to the Confederate armies. In 1862, when the Union
forces got control of the river to the north and the south of the city,
it became evident that Memphis was likely to be taken. A fleet of Union
gunboats came down and defeated the Confederate fleet in the river
before the city, while the populace lined the banks and looked on. The
city, being without military protection, then surrendered, and was
occupied by troops under Sherman. Nor, with the exception of one period
of a few hours' duration, did it ever again come under Confederate
control. That was when Forrest made his famous raid in 1864, an event
which exhibited not only the dash and hardihood of that intrepid leader,
but also his strategy and his sardonic humor.

General A.J. Smith, with 13,000 Union soldiers was marching on the great
grain district of central Mississippi, and was forcing Forrest, who had
but 3,500 men, to the southward. Unable to meet Smith's force on
anything like equal terms, Forrest conceived the idea of making a "run
around the end" and striking at Memphis, which was Smith's base. Taking
1,500 picked men and horses, he executed a flanking movement over night,
and before Smith knew he was gone, came careering into Memphis at dawn
at the head of 500 galloping, yelling men--many of them Memphis boys.
There were some 7,000 Union troops in and about Memphis at this time,
but they were surprised out of their slumbers, and made no effective
resistance. The only part of Forrest's plan which miscarried was his
scheme to capture three leading Union officers, who were then stationed
in Memphis: Generals C.C. Washburn, S.A. Hurlbut and R.P. Buckland.
General Hurlbut's escape occurred by reason of the fact that instead of
having passed the night at the old Gayoso Hotel, where he made his
headquarters, he happened to be visiting a brother officer, elsewhere.
General Washburn was warned by a courier and made his escape in his
nightclothes and bare feet from the residence he occupied as
headquarters, running down alleys to the river, and thence along under
the bluff to the Union fortifications. Forrest's men found the general's
papers, uniform, hat, boots and sword in his bedroom, and also found
there Mrs. Washburn. The only things they failed to find were the
general's nightshirt and the general himself, who was inside it. General
Buckland also avoided capture by the narrowest margin. The soldiers
first went to the wrong house to look for him. That gave him time to
escape.

It is recorded that, later in the day, under a flag of truce, Forrest
sent General Washburn his sword and clothing with a humorous message,
informing him, at the same time, that he had 600 Federal prisoners
without shoes or clothing, and that he would like supplies for them.
The supplies, we are told, were promptly forthcoming.

Forrest waited until he was sure that news of the raid had been
telegraphed to General Smith in the field. Then he cut the wires. Smith
immediately came back toward Memphis with his army, which was what
Forrest desired him to do. The Confederates then retired from the
immediate vicinity of the city.

Judge Young, in his history, reports that when General Hurlbut heard of
the raid he exclaimed, "There it goes again! They superseded me with
Washburn because I could not keep Forrest out of West Tennessee, and
Washburn cannot keep him out of his own bedroom!"

       *       *       *       *       *

After the War there was corruption and carpet-bag rule in Memphis, and
Forrest was again to the fore, becoming "Grand Wizard" of the famous Ku
Klux Klan, the mysterious secret organization designed to intimidate
Scalawags, Carpet-baggers and negroes, whose arrogance had become
intolerable. General George W. Gordon prepared the oath and ritual for
the Klan, which was founded in the town of Pulaski, Giles County,
Tennessee. General Forrest took the oath in 1866, in Room 10 of the old
Maxwell House, at Nashville.

It is my belief that the Ku Klux Klan has been a good deal maligned.
Many of its members were men of high type. I have been told, for
instance, that one southern gentleman who has since been in the cabinet
of a President of the United States, was active in the Ku Klux. I
withhold his name because the purposes of the Ku Klux Klan, and the
urgent need which called it into being, are not yet fully understood in
the North, and for the further reason that depredations committed by
other bodies were frequently charged to the Ku Klux, giving it a bad
name. So far as I can discover the Ku Klux endeavored to avoid violence
where it could be avoided. Its aim seems to have been to frighten
negroes and bad whites into behaving themselves or going away; though
sometimes, of course, bad characters had to be killed. It must be
remembered that the ballot was denied former Confederate soldiers for
quite a period after the War, that they were not allowed to possess
firearms, and that, at the same time, negro troops were quartered in the
South. In many parts of the South the government and the courts were in
the hands of third-rate Northerners (carpet-baggers) who had come down
to dominate the defeated section, and who used the Scalawags (disloyal
southern whites) and negroes for their own purposes. Obviously this was
outrageous, and equally obviously, a proud people, even though defeated,
could not endure it. The service performed by the Ku Klux Klan seems to
have been comparable with that rendered by the Vigilantes of early
western days. Something had to be done and the Klan did it.

In 1869 General Forrest ordered the Klan to disband, which it did; but
owing to the fact that it was a secret organization, and that disguises
had been used, it was an easy matter for mobs, not actually associated
with the Ku Klux, to assume its costume and commit outrages in its name.

       *       *       *       *       *

In writing of Raleigh I referred to the post-bellum activities of the
Confederate cruiser _Shenandoah_. Captain Dabney M. Scales, a
distinguished citizen of Memphis, was on the _Shenandoah_. Born in
Orange County, Virginia, in 1842, Captain Scales was appointed to the
Naval Academy by L.Q.C. Lamar. He was a classmate of Captain Clark,
later of the _Oregon_. When the war broke out, young Scales was in his
second year at the Academy, but like most of the other southern cadets
he resigned and offered his services to the South. When commissioned he
was the youngest naval officer in the Confederate service. Eight months
after the War was over, the _Shenandoah_ was still cruising in the South
Seas, looking for Federal merchantmen. In January 1866, somewhere south
of Australia, she overhauled the British bark _Baracouta_, taking her
for a Yankee man-o'-war flying the British flag as a ruse. Young Scales
was sent in command of a boarding party, and was informed by the skipper
of the _Baracouta_ that the Civil War had terminated months and months
ago. The _Shenandoah_ then made for Liverpool. In the meantime a Federal
court had ruled that her officers were guilty of piracy--a hanging
offense. Naturally, they did not dare return to the United States. Young
Scales went to Mexico and remained there two years before coming home.
When the Spanish War came, Captain Scales volunteered and was made
navigating officer of a naval vessel. At the time of our visit he was a
practising lawyer in Memphis, and was in command of Company A of the
Uniform Confederate Veterans, a body of old heroes who go out every now
and then and win the first prize for the best drilled organization
operating Hardee's tactics.

Another distinguished citizen of Memphis who has lively recollections of
the Civil War, is the Right Reverend Thomas F. Gailor, Episcopal Bishop
of Tennessee. Bishop Gailor, who succeeded the famous Bishop Quintard,
is my ideal of everything an Episcopal bishop--or I might even say a
Church of England bishop--ought to be. The Episcopal Church seems to me
to have about it more "style" than most other churches, and an Episcopal
bishop ought not to look the ascetic. He ought to be well filled out,
well dressed, well fed. He ought to have a distinguished appearance, a
ruddy complexion, a good voice, and a lot of what we call
"humanness"--including humor. All these qualities Bishop Gailor has.

In the bishop's study, in Memphis, hangs the sword of his father, Major
Frank M. Gailor, who commanded the 33rd Mississippi Regiment. Major
Gailor was killed while giving a drink of water to a wounded brother
officer, and that officer, though dying, directed a soldier to take the
Major's sword and see that it reached Mrs. Gailor, in Memphis, within
the Union lines. A young woman, a Confederate spy, took the sword, and
wearing it next her body, brought it through to Mrs. Gailor. Somehow or
other it became known that the widow had her husband's sword, and as the
possession of arms was prohibited to citizens, a corporal and guard were
sent to the house to search for it. They found it between the mattresses
of Mrs. Gailor's bed, and confiscated it. Mrs. Gailor then went with
another lady to see General Washburn. Her friend started a long harangue
upon the injustice which had been done, but Mrs. Gailor, seeing that the
General was becoming impatient, broke in saying: "General, soldiers came
to my house and took away my dead husband's sword. I can't use it, nor
can my little son. I want it back. You would want your boy to have your
sword, wouldn't you?"

"Of course I would!" cried Washburn. "Thank God for a woman who can say
what she has to say, and be done with it!"

The sword was returned.

In the Spring of 1863, when Bishop Gailor was a child of about seven
years, he accompanied his mother on a journey by wagon from Memphis to
Jackson, Mississippi. The only other member of the party was a lady who
had driven in the same wagon from Jackson to Kentucky, to get the body
of her brother, a Confederate soldier who had been killed there. The
coffin containing the remains was carried in the wagon. When it was
known in Memphis that Mrs. Gailor was going through the lines, a great
many people came to her with letters which they wished to send to
friends. Mrs. Gailor sewed many of the letters into the clothing of the
little boy. ("I remember it well," said the bishop. "I felt like a
mummy.") Also one of Forrest's spies came with important papers, asking
if she would undertake to deliver them. Only by very clever manipulation
did Mrs. Gailor get the papers through, for everything was carefully
searched. After they had passed out of the northern lines they met one
of Forrest's pickets. Mrs. Gailor told him that she had papers for the
general, and before long Forrest rode up with his staff and received
them. Then the two women and the little boy, with their tragic burden in
the wagon, drove along on their two-hundred mile journey. And later,
when Jackson was bombarded, they were there.

Before the war Major Gailor had been editor of the Memphis "Avalanche,"
a paper which was suppressed when the Union troops took the town. After
the War the "Avalanche" was started up again, and had a stormy time of
it, because it criticized a Carpet-bag judge who had come to Memphis. In
1889 the "Avalanche" was consolidated with the "Appeal," another famous
ante-bellum journal, surviving to-day in the "Commercial-Appeal," a
strong newspaper, edited by one of the ablest journalists in the South,
Mr. C.P.J. Mooney.

When Memphis was captured the "Appeal" would have been suppressed, as
the "Avalanche" was, had it been there. But when it became evident that
Memphis would fall, Mr. S.C. Toof (later a well-known book publisher)
who was then connected with the "Appeal," packed up the press and other
equipment and shipped them to Grenada, Mississippi, where Mr. B.F. Dill,
editor of the paper, continued to bring it out. When Grenada was
threatened, a few months later, Mr. Dill moved with his newspaper
equipment to Birmingham, where for a second time he resumed publication.
His next move was to Atlanta. There, when he could not get news-print,
he used wallpaper, or any sort of paper he could lay his hands on. When
Sherman took Atlanta the "Appeal" moved again, this time to Columbus,
Georgia, where, at last, it was captured, and its press destroyed.
Wherever it went it remained the "Memphis Daily Appeal," with
correspondents in all southern armies. No wonder a paper with such
vitality as that, has survived and become great!

Poor Memphis! After the War she had Reconstruction to contend with;
after Reconstruction, financial difficulties; after that, pestilence. In
1873, when the population of the city was about 40,000, and there had
been a long period of hard times, yellow fever broke out. The condition
of the city was exceedingly unsanitary, and after the pestilence had
passed, was allowed to remain so, though at that time the origin of
yellow fever was, of course, not known, and it was assumed that the
disease resulted from lack of proper sanitation.

In 1878 there was another yellow fever epidemic. The first case
developed August 2, but the news was suppressed until the middle of the
month, by which time a number of cases had come down. The day after the
news became known 22 new cases were reported. Terror spread through the
town. Hordes of people tried to flee at once. Families left their houses
with the doors wide open and silver standing on the sideboards. People
flocked to the trains; when they could not get seats they stood in the
aisles or clambered onto the roofs of the cars; if they could not get in
at car doors they climbed in through the windows, and sometimes, when
the father of a family was refused admittance to a crowded car, he would
force a way in for his wife and children at the pistol's point.

In the first week of the panic there were 1,500 cases, with an average
of ten deaths daily; in the next week, 3,000 cases with fifty deaths
daily, and so on into September during which month there was an average
of 8,000 to 10,000 cases with about two hundred deaths a day.

Not every one fled, however. Leading citizens remained, forming a relief
committee, and some brave helpers came from outside. Thus the sick and
needy were attended to, though of course many of the volunteers
contracted the disease and perished.

Added to the epidemic there was, as so often happens in such
circumstances, an outbreak of thievery and other crime, which had to be
put down. It is related that in the height of the epidemic hardly any
one was seen upon the streets save an occasional nurse, doctor, or
other member of the relief committee; household pets starved to death
or fled the city; among the newspapers the staffs were so reduced that
only two or three men were left in each office, and in the case of the
"Appeal," but one, that one Colonel J.M. Keating, the proprietor, who
stuck to Memphis and for a time wrote, set up and printed the paper
without assistance, feeling that refugees must have news from the city.

The next year the epidemic came again, but in less violent form, there
being, this time, but 2,000 cases. However the effect was cumulative.
Memphis dropped from a city of nearly 50,000 to one of 20,000 and the
reputation of the place was such that a bill was proposed in Congress to
purchase the ground on which the city stood and utterly destroy it as
unfit for human habitation.

Stricken as she was, however, Memphis "came back." A great campaign for
sanitation was begun; city sewage-disposal was installed, and after a
few years, artesian wells were bored for a new water supply. And though,
as we now know, yellow fever does not come from the same sources as
typhoid, nevertheless the new sanitary measures did greatly reduce the
city's death rate.

Memphis, like all other cities, has her troubles now and then, but since
the great pestilence there has never been a real disaster. The city has
grown and thriven. Indeed, she had become so used to growing fast that
when, in 1910, the Federal census gave her but 131,000, she indignantly
demanded a recount, for she had been talking to herself, and had
convinced herself that she had a great many more than that number of
inhabitants. However, the census was taken again, and the first count
proved accurate.




CHAPTER L

MODERN MEMPHIS


To be charmed by the social side of a city, yet to find little to admire
in its physical aspect, is like knowing a brilliant and beautiful woman
whose housekeeping is not of the neatest. If one were compelled to
discuss such a woman, and wished to do so sympathetically but with
truth, one might avoid brutal comment on the condition of her rooms by
likening them to other rooms elsewhere: rooms which one knew to be
untidy, but which the innocent listener might not understand to be so.
By this device one may even appear to pay a compliment, while, in
reality, indicating the grim truth. In such a case, I, for example,
might say that this supposititious lady's rooms reminded me of those I
occupied on the second floor of the famous restaurant called Antoine's,
in New Orleans; whereupon the reader, knowing the high reputation of
Antoine's cuisine, and never having seen the apartments to which I
refer, might assume an implication very favorable.

Let me say, then, that Memphis reminds me of St. Louis. Like St. Louis,
Memphis has charming society. Like St. Louis she has pretty girls. Like
St. Louis she is hospitable. And without particularizing too much, I
may say that her streets remind me of St. Louis streets, that many of
her houses remind me of St. Louis houses, and that her levee, with its
cobbled surface sloping down to the yellow, muddy Mississippi, the
bridges in the distance, the strange looking river steamers loading and
unloading below, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, is much like the St.
Louis levee. So, if the reader happens to be unfamiliar with the
physical appearance of St. Louis, he may, at all events, perceive that I
have likened Memphis to a much larger city--thus, (it seems fair to
suppose) paying Memphis a handsome tribute.

Memphis has a definite self-given advantage over St. Louis in possessing
a pretty little park at the heart of the city, overlooking the river;
also she has the advantage of lying to the east of the great stream,
instead of to the west, so that, in late afternoon, when the sun
splashes down into the mysterious deserted reaches of the Arkansas
flats, across the way, sending splatterings of furious color across the
sky, one may seat oneself on a bench in the park and witness a
stupendous natural masterpiece. A sunset over the sea can be no more
wonderful than a sunset over this terrible, beautiful, inspiring,
enigmatic domineering flood. Or one may see the sunset from the
readingroom of the Cossitt Library, with its fine bay window commanding
the river almost as though it were the window of a pilot-house.

The Cossitt Library is only one of several free libraries in the city.
There is, for example, a free library in connection with the Goodwyn
Institute, an establishment having an endowment of half a million
dollars, left to Memphis by the late William A. Goodwyn. The Goodwyn
Institute provides courses of free lectures, by well-known persons, on a
great variety of subjects. The library is designed to add to the
educational work. Books are not, however, loaned, as they are from the
Cossitt Library, an institution to which I found myself returning more
than once; now for a book, now to look at the interesting collection of
mound-builder relics contained in an upper room, now merely because it
is a place of such reposeful hospitality that I liked to make excuses to
go back.

The library, a romanesque building of Michigan red sandstone, is by a
southern architect, but is in the style of Richardson, and is one of the
few buildings in that style which I have ever liked. It was given to
Memphis as a memorial to Frederick H. Cossitt, by his three daughters,
Mrs. A.D. Juilliard, Mrs. Thomas Stokes, and Mrs. George E. Dodge, all
of New York. Mr. Cossitt was born in Granby, Connecticut, but as a young
man moved South and in 1842 adopted Memphis as his home, residing there
until 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War he made an amicable
division of his business with his partner, and removed to New York,
where he resided until the time of his death. Finding among his papers a
memorandum indicating that he had intended to endow a library in
Memphis, his daughters carried out his wish.

Having already spoken of a number of Memphis' interesting citizens, I
find myself left with an ill-assorted trio of names yet to be mentioned,
because, different as they are, each of the three supplies a definite
part of the character of the city. First, then, Memphis has the honor of
possessing what not many of our cities possess: a man who stands high
among the world's artist-bookbinders. This gentleman is Mr. Otto Zahn,
executive head of the publishing house of S.C. Toof & Co. Mr. Zahn
himself has done some famous bindings, and books bound by him are to be
found in some of the finest private libraries in the land. Until a few
years ago he conducted an art-bindery in connection with the Toof
company's business, but it was unprofitable and finally had to be given
up.

Second, to descend to a more popular form of art, but one from which the
revenue is far more certain, Memphis has, in W.C. Handy, a negro ragtime
composer whose dance tunes are widely known. Among his compositions may
be mentioned the "Memphis Blues," the "St. Louis Blues," "Mr. Crump,"
and "Joe Turner." "Mr. Crump" is named in honor of a former mayor of
Memphis who was ousted for refusing to enforce the prohibition law; "Joe
Turner" is the name of a negro pianist who plays for Memphis to
dance--as Handy also does. Most of Handy's tunes are negro "rags" in
fox-trot time, and they are so effective that Memphis dances them
generally in preference to the one step.

My third celebrity is of a more astounding type. While in Memphis I
called aboard the river steamer _Grand_, and had a talk with Mrs. Nettie
Johnson, who is captain of that craft. Some one told me that Mrs.
Johnson was the only woman steamboat captain in the world, but she
informed me that at Helena, Arkansas, there lives another Mrs.
Johnson--no relative of hers--who follows the same calling.

The steamer _Grand_ is almost entirely a Johnson family affair. Mrs.
Johnson is captain; her husband, I.S. Johnson is pilot (though Mrs.
Johnson has, in addition to her master's license, a pilot's license, and
often takes the wheel); her elder son, Emery, is clerk; Emery's wife is
assistant clerk, while Arthur, the captain's younger son, is engineer.
Russell Johnson, Mrs. Johnson's grandson, is the only member of the
family I saw aboard the boat who does not take part in running it.
Russell was five years old when I met him, but that was nearly a year
ago, and by now he is probably chief steward, boatswain, or ship's
carpenter.

The regular route of the _Grand_ is from Memphis to Mhoon's Landing, on
the Arkansas River, a round trip of 120 miles, with thirty landings.

I asked Mrs. Johnson if she had ever been shipwrecked. Indeed she had!
Her former ship, the _Nettie Johnson_, struck thin ice one night in the
Arkansas River and went down.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"I reached after an iron ring," she replied, "and clumb on up into the
rigging. She went down about four-thirty A.M. and we stayed on her till
daylight; then we all swum ashore. I tell you it was cold! There was
icicles on my dress; my son Emery put his arms around me to keep me
warm, and his clothes froze onto mine."

"How long a swim was it to shore?" I asked.

"Oh," put in her husband, "it didn't amount to nothing. She was only
swimming about two minutes."

This statement, however, was repudiated by the captain. "Two minutes, my
foot!" she flung back at her spouse. "It was more than that, all right!"

Mrs. Johnson has done flood rescue work for the Government, with the
_Grand_. In the spring previous to our visit she rescued sixty families
from one plantation, besides towing barge-loads of provisions to various
points on the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers.

Captaining and piloting a river boat are clearly good for the health.
Mrs. Johnson looks too young to be a grandmother. Her skin is clear, her
cheeks are rosy, her brown eyes flash and twinkle, her voice, somewhat
hoarse from shouting commands, is deep and strong, and her laugh is like
the hearty laugh of a big man.

"Are you a suffragist?" I asked her.

"Not on your life!" was her reply.

"Now, what do you want to talk like that for?" objected her husband.
"You know women ought to be allowed to vote."

"I don't think so," she returned firmly.

At that her daughter-in-law, the assistant clerk of the _Grand_, took up
the cudgels.

"Of course they ought to vote!" she insisted. "You know _you_ can do
just as good as a man can do!"

"No," asseverated Captain Nettie. "Women ought to stay home and tend to
their families."

"As you do?" I suggested, mischievously.

"That's all right!" she flung back. "I stayed home and raised my family
until it was big enough to do its own navigating. Then I started in
steamboating. I had to have _something_ to do."

But the daughter-in-law did not intend to let the woman suffrage issue
drop.

"Do you mean to say," she demanded of Captain Nettie, "that you think
women haven't got as much sense as men?"

"Sure I do!" the captain tossed back. "There never was a woman on earth
that had as much sense as the men. Take it from me, that's so. I know
what I'm talking about--and that's more than a half of these other women
do!"

Then, as it was about time for the _Grand_ to cast off, Captain Nettie
terminated the interview by blowing the whistle; whereupon my companion
and I went ashore.

One of the best boats on the river is the _Kate Adams_ and one of the
most delightful two-days' outings I can imagine would be to make the
round trip with her from Memphis to Arkansas City. But if I were seeking
rest I should not take the trip at the time when it is taken by a score
or more of Memphis young men and women, who, with their chaperones, and
with Handy to play their dance-music, make the _Kate Adams_ an extremely
lively craft on one round trip each year.

Apropos of Arkansas, I am reminded that Memphis is not only the
metropolis of Tennessee, but is the big city of Arkansas and
Mississippi, as well. The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, a somewhat
old-fashioned hostelry, is a sort of Arkansas political headquarters,
and is sometimes humorously referred to as "Peabody township, Arkansas."
It is also used to a considerable extent by Mississippi politicians, as
well as by the local breed. The Peabody grill has a considerable
reputation for good cookery, and the Peabody bar, though it still looks
like a bar, serves only soft drinks, which are dispensed by female
"bartenders." The Gayoso hotel, named for the Spanish governor who
intruded upon Memphis territory for a time, stands where stood the old
Gayoso, which figured in Forrest's raid. The Gayoso made me think a
little of the old Victoria, in New York, torn down some years ago. The
newest hotel in town, at the time of our visit, was the Chicsa, an
establishment having a large and rather flamboyant office, and
considerably used, we were told, as a place for conventions. If I were
to go again to Memphis I should have a room at the Gayoso and go to the
Peabody for meals.

The axis of the earth, which Oliver Wendell Holmes declared, "sticks out
visibly through the center of each and every town or city," sticks out
in Memphis at Court Square, which the good red Baedeker dismisses
briefly with the remark that it "contains a bust of General Andrew
Jackson and innumerable squirrels." This is not meant to indicate that
the squirrels are a part of the bust of Jackson. The two are separate
and distinct. So are the pigeons which alight on friendly hands and
shoulders as do other confident pigeons on Boston Common, and in the
Piazza San Marco, in Venice.

I am always disposed to like the people of a city in which pigeons and
squirrels are tame. Every day, at noon, an old policeman, a former
Confederate soldier I believe he is, comes into the square with a basket
of corn. When he arrives all the pigeons see him and rush toward him in
a great flapping cloud, brushing past your face if you happen to be
walking across the square at the time. Nor is he the only one to feed
them. Numbers of citizens go at midday to the square, where they buy
popcorn and peanuts for the squirrels and pigeons--which, by the way,
are all members of old Memphis families, being descendants of other
squirrels and pigeons which lived in this same place before the Civil
War. One might suppose that the pigeons, being able to fly up to the
seventeenth floor windowsills of the Merchants' Exchange Building, where
men of the grain and hay bureau of the exchange are in the habit of
leaving corn for them, would prosper more than the squirrels, but that
is not the case for--and I regret to have to report such immorality--the
squirrels are in the habit of adding to the stores of peanuts which are
thrown to them, by thievery. Like rascally urchins they will watch the
peanut venders, and when their backs are turned, will make swift dashes
at the peanut stands, seizing nuts and scampering away again. Sometimes
the venders detect them, and give chase for a few steps, but that is
dangerous, for the minute the vender goes after one squirrel, others
rush up and steal more. It is saddening to find that even squirrels are
corrupted by metropolitan life!

In reviewing my visit to Memphis I find myself, for once, kindly
disposed toward a Chamber of Commerce and Business Men's Club. I like
the Business Men's Club because, besides issuing pamphlets shrieking the
glory of the city, it has found time to do things much more worth
while--notably to bring to Memphis some of the great American
orchestras.

A pamphlet issued by these organizations tells me that Memphis is the
largest cotton market in the country, the largest hardwood producing
market, the third largest grocery and jobbing market.

Cotton is, indeed, much in evidence in the city. The streets in some
sections are full of strange little two-wheel drays, upon which three
bales are carried, and which display, in combination, those three
southern things having such perfect artistic affinity: the negro, the
mule, and the cotton bale. The vast modern cotton warehouses on the
outskirts of the city cover many acres of ground, and with their gravity
system of distribution for cotton bales, and their hydraulic compresses
in which the bales are squeezed to minimum size, to the accompaniment of
negro chants, are exceedingly interesting.

The same pamphlet speaks also of the unusually large proportion of the
city's area which is given over to parks and playgrounds, and it seems
worth adding that though Memphis follows the general southern custom of
barring negroes--excepting, of course, nursemaids in charge of
children--from her parks, she has been so just as to provide a park for
negroes only. In this she stands ahead of most other southern cities.

Memphis has the only bridge crossing the Mississippi below the mouth of
the Ohio. At the time of our visit a new bridge was being built very
near the old one, and an interesting experience of our trip was our
visit to this bridge, under the guidance of Mr. M.B. Case, a young
engineer in charge.

On a great undertaking, such as this one, where the total cost mounts
into millions, the first work done is not on the proposed bridge itself,
but on the plant and equipment to be used in construction--derricks,
barges, concrete-mixers, air compressors for the caissons, small
engines, dump-cars and all manner of like things. This preparatory work
consumes some months. Caissons are then sunk far down beneath the river
bed. Caisson work is dangerous, and the insurance rate on "sand
hogs"--the men who work in the caissons--is very high. The scale of
wages, and of time, varies in proportion to the risk, which is according
to the depth at which work is being done. On this enterprise, for
example, men working from mean level to a depth of 50 feet received $3
for an eight-hour day. From 50 to 70 feet they worked but six hours and
received $3.75. From 90 to 105 feet they worked in three shifts of one
hour each, and received $4.25. And while they were placing concrete to
seal the working chamber there was an additional allowance of fifty
cents a day.

The chief danger of caisson work is the "bends," or "caisson disease."
In the caisson a man works under high air pressure. When he comes out,
the pressure on the fluids of the body is reduced, and this sometimes
causes the formation of a gas bubble in the vascular system. If this
bubble reaches a nerve-center it causes severe pain, similar to
neuralgia; if it gets to the brain it causes paralysis. Day after day
men will go into the caisson and come out without trouble, but sooner or
later from 2 to 8 per cent. of caisson workers are affected. Of 320
"sand-hogs" who labored in the caissons of this bridge, three died of
paralysis, and of course a number of others had slight attacks of the
"bends," in one form or another.

The bridge, when we visited it, was more than half completed. On the
Memphis side the approaches were almost ready, and the steel framework
of the bridge reached from the shore across the front pier, and was
being built out far beyond the pier, on the cantilever principle,
hanging in the air above the middle of the stream. By walking out on the
old bridge we could survey the extreme end of the new one, which was
being extended farther and farther, daily, by the addition of new steel
sections. There were then about 100 journeymen bridgemen on the
work--these being workmen of the class that erects steel skyscraper
frames--with some fifty apprentices and carpenters, and about twenty
common laborers. Bridgemen are among the highest paid of all workmen. In
New York, at that time, their wage was $6 for eight hours' work. Here it
was $4.50. Very few of the men had families with them in Memphis. They
are the soldiers of fortune among wage-earners, a wild, reckless, fine
looking lot of fellows, with good complexions like those of men in
training, and eyes like the eyes of aviators. No class of men in the
world, I suppose, have steadier nerves, think quicker, or react more
rapidly from stimulus to action, whether through sight or sound. They
have to be like that. For where other workmen pay for a mistake by loss
of a job, these men pay with life. Yet they will tell you that their
work is not dangerous. It is "just as safe as any other kind of
job"--that, although four of their number had already been lost from
this bridge alone. One went off the end of the structure with a derrick,
the boom of which he lowered before the anchor-bolts had been placed.
Two others fell. A fourth was struck by a falling timber.

Once, while we were watching the men scrambling about upon the steel
members of the uncompleted cantilever arm, one of them thought something
was about to fall, and ran swiftly in, over a steel beam, toward the
body of the structure; whereafter, as nothing did fall, he was
unmercifully twitted by his fellow workers for having shown timidity.

Many of the men working on this bridge had worked on the older structure
paralleling it. This was true not only of the laboring men, but of the
engineers. Ralph Modjeski, the consulting engineer at the head of the
work (he is, by the way, a son of Madame Modjeska), was chief
draughtsman when the earlier structure was designed; W.E. Angier,
assistant chief engineer in the present work, was a field engineer on
the first bridge, and it is interesting to know that, in constructing
the approach to the old bridge he unearthed a Spanish halbert which, it
is thought, may date from the time of De Soto. These bridge engineers
and bridgebuilders move in a large orbit. Their last job may have been
in Mexico, in the far West, or in India; their next may be in France.
Many of the men here, worked on the Blackwell's Island bridge, on the
Quebec bridge (which fell), on the Thebes bridge over the Mississippi,
twenty miles above Cairo, on the Vancouver and Portland bridges over the
Columbia and Willamette rivers, and on the great Oregon Trunk Railway
bridges.

After standing for a time on the old bridge watching work on the new,
and shuddering, often enough, at the squirrel-like way in which the men
scampered about up there, so far above the water, we walked in and moved
out again upon the partially completed floor of the new bridge. Here it
was necessary to walk on railroad ties, with gaps, six or eight inches
wide, between them. Even had one tried, one could hardly have managed to
squeeze one's body through these chinks; to fall through was impossible;
nevertheless it gave me an uncomfortable feeling in the region of the
stomach to walk out there, seeing the river all the time between the
interstices. When we had progressed for some distance we came to a gap
where, for perhaps a yard, there were no ties--just open space, with the
muddy water shining cold and cruel below. The opening was only about as
wide as the hall of a small New York flat, and heaven knows that to step
across such a hall is easy enough. But this was not so easy. When we
came to the gap I stopped. Mr. Case, the young engineer, who loved all
bridges with a sort of holy passion, and loved this bridge in
particular, was talking as we went along. I liked to hear him talk. He
had been telling us how a thing that is to _be_ strong ought to _look_
strong, too, and from that had got somehow to the topic of expansion and
contraction in bridges, with variations of temperature. "It isn't only
the steel bridges that do it," he said. "Stone arch bridges do it, too.
The crown of the arch rises and falls. The Greeks and Romans and
Egyptians knew that expansion and contraction occurred. They--"

While talking he had gone across the gap, stepping lightly upon a
stringpiece probably a foot wide, and proceeding over the ties. Now,
however, he ceased speaking and looked back, for I was no longer beside
him. At the gap I had stopped. I intended to step across, but I did not
propose to do so without giving the matter the attention it seemed to me
to deserve.

Mr. Case did not laugh at me. He came back and stood on the string-piece
where it crossed the opening, telling me to put my hand on his shoulder.
But I did not want to do that. I wanted to cross alone--when I got
ready. It took me perhaps two minutes to get ready. Then I stepped over.
It was, of course, absurdly easy. I had known it would be. But as we
walked along I kept thinking to myself: "I shall have to cross that
beastly place again when we come back," and I marveled the more at the
amazing steadiness of eye and mind and nerve that enables some men to go
continually prancing about over emptiness infinitely more engulfing than
that which had troubled and was troubling me.

Returning I stepped across without physical hesitation. But after I had
crossed I continued to hate that gap. I hated it as I drove back to the
hotel, that afternoon, as I ate dinner that night, as I went to bed, and
in my dreams I continued to cross it, and to see the river waiting for
me, seeming to look up and leer and beckon. I woke up hating the gap in
the bridge as much as ever; I hated it down into the State of
Mississippi, and over into Georgia; and wherever I have gone since, I
have continued to hate it. Of course there isn't any gap there now. It
was covered long ago. Yet for me it still exists, like some obnoxious
person who, though actually dead, lives on in the minds of those who
knew him.




FARTHEST SOUTH




CHAPTER LI

BEAUTIFUL SAVANNAH


How often it occurs that the great work a man set out originally to
accomplish, is lost sight of, by future generations, in contemplation of
other achievements of that man, which he himself regarded as of
secondary importance.

In 1733, the year in which General Oglethorpe started his Georgia
colony, there were more than a hundred offenses for which a person might
be hanged in England; Oglethorpe's primary idea in founding the colony
was to provide a means of freeing debtors from prison, and giving them a
fresh start in life; yet it is as the man responsible for the laying out
of the beautiful city of Savannah, that Oglethorpe is probably most
widely remembered to-day.

Oglethorpe was a first-rate soldier. He defeated a superior Spanish
force from Florida, and successfully resisted attacks from the Indians.
Also, he was a man whose ethical sense was in advance of his period. He
did not permit slavery in Georgia, and it was not adopted there until he
went back to England. In planning Savannah he was assisted by a
Charleston engineer named Bull, for whom the chief street of Savannah
is named. The place is laid out very simply; it has rectangular blocks
and wide roads, with small parks, or squares, at regular intervals.
There are some two dozen of these small parks, aside from one or two
larger parks, a parade ground, and numerous boulevards with double
roadways and parked centers, and the abundance of semi-tropical foliage
and of airy spaces, in Savannah, gives the city its most distinctive and
charming quality--the quality which differentiates it from all other
American cities. Originally these parks were used as market-places and
rallying points in case of Indian attack; now they serve the equally
utilitarian purposes of this age, having become charming public gardens
and playgrounds. One of them--not the most important one--is named
Oglethorpe Square; but the monument to Oglethorpe is placed elsewhere.

Madison Square, Savannah, is relatively about as important as Madison
Square, New York, and though smaller than the latter, is much prettier.
It contains a monument to Sergeant Jasper, the Revolutionary hero who,
when the flag was shot down from Fort Moultrie, off Charleston, by the
British, flung it to the breeze again, under fire. Jasper was later
killed with the flag in his arms, in the French-American attempt to take
Savannah from the British. Monterey Square has a statue of Count
Pulaski, who also fell at the siege of Savannah. Another Revolutionary
hero remembered with a monument is General Nathanael Greene who, though
born in Rhode Island, moved after the war to Georgia where, in
recognition of his services, he was given an estate not far from
Savannah. "Mad" Anthony Wayne, a Pennsylvanian by birth, also accepted
an estate in Georgia and resided there after the Revolution.

An interesting story attaches to Greene's settlement in Georgia. The
estate given to him was that known as Mulberry Grove, above the city, on
the Savannah River. The property had previously belonged to
Lieutenant-governor John Graham, but was confiscated because Graham was
a loyalist. Along with the property, Greene apparently took over the
Graham vault in Colonial Cemetery--now a city park, and a very
interesting one because of the old tombs and gravestones--and there he
was himself buried. After a while people forgot where Greene's remains
lay, and later, when it was decided to erect a monument to his memory in
Johnson Square, they couldn't find any Greene to put under it. However,
they went ahead and made the monument, and Lafayette laid the
cornerstone, when he visited Savannah in March, 1825. Greene's remains
were lost for 114 years. They did not come to light until 1902, when
some one thought of opening the Graham vault. Thereupon they were
removed and reinterred in their proper resting place beneath the
monument which had so long awaited them. That monument, by the way, was
not erected by Savannah people, or even by Southerners, but was paid for
by the legislature of the general's native Rhode Island. When the
remains were discovered, Rhode Island asked for them, but Savannah,
which had lost them, also wanted them. The matter was settled by a vote
of Greene's known descendants, who decided almost unanimously to leave
his remains in Savannah.

The foundation of the general's former home at Mulberry Grove may still
be seen. It was in this house that Eli Whitney invented the cotton-gin.
Whitney was a tutor in the Greene family after the general's death, and
it was at the suggestion of Mrs. Greene that he started to try and make
"a machine to pick the seed out of cotton." It is said that Whitney's
first machine would do, in five hours, work which, if done by hand,
would take one man two years. This was, of course, an epoch-making
invention and caused enormous commercial growth in the South, where
cotton-gins are as common things as restaurants in the city of New York.
Which reminds me of a story.

A northern man was visiting Mr. W.D. Pender, at Tarboro, North Carolina.
On the day of the guest's arrival Mr. Pender spoke to his cook, a negro
woman of the old order, telling her to hurry up the dinner, because he
wished to take his friend down to see the cotton-gin. "You know," he
explained, "this gentleman has never seen a cotton-gin."

The cook looked at him in amazement.

"Lor'! Mistuh Penduh," she exclaimed. "An' dat man _look_ like he was
edjacated!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Another item in Savannah history is that John Wesley came over about
the middle of the eighteenth century to convert the Indians to
Christianity. It was not until after this attempt, when he returned to
England, that he began the great religious movement which led to the
founding of the Methodist Church. George Whitfield also preached in
Savannah. Evidently Wesley did not get very far with the savages who, it
may be imagined, were more responsive to the kind of "conversion"
attempted in South Carolina, by a French dancing-master, who went out
from Charleston in the early days and taught them the steps of the
stately minuet.

Another great event in Savannah history was the departure from that
port, in 1819, of the _City of Savannah_, the first steamship to cross
the Atlantic. If I may make a suggestion to the city, it is that the
centennial of this event be celebrated, and that a memorial be erected.
Inspiration for such a memorial might perhaps be found in the simple and
charming monument, crowned by a galleon in bronze, which has been
erected in San Francisco, in memory of Robert Louis Stevenson. A ship in
bronze can be a glorious thing--which is more than can be said of a
bronze statesman in modern pantaloons.

       *       *       *       *       *

More lately Savannah initiated another world-improvement: she was the
first city to abolish horses entirely from her fire department,
replacing them with automobile engines, hook-and-ladders, and
hose-carts. That is in line with what one would expect of Savannah, for
she is not only a progressive city, but is a great automobile city,
having several times been the scene of important international
automobile road races, including the Grand Prize and the Vanderbilt Cup.

Nor is there want of other history. The Savannah Theater, though gutted
by fire and rebuilt, is the same theater that Joseph Jefferson owned and
managed for a time, in the fifties; in the house on Lafayette Square,
now occupied by Judge W.W. Lambdin, Robert E. Lee once stayed, and
Thackeray is said to have written there a part of "The Virginians."

A sad thing was happening in Savannah when we were there. The Habersham
house, one of the loveliest old mansions of the city, was being torn
down to make room for a municipal auditorium.

The first Habersham in America was a Royal Governor of Georgia. He had
three sons one of whom, Joseph, had, by the outbreak of the Revolution,
become a good enough American to join a band of young patriots who took
prisoner the British governor, Sir James Wright. The governor's house
was situated where the Telfair Academy now is. He was placed under
parole, but nevertheless fled to Bonaventure, the Tabnall estate, not
far from the city, where he was protected by friends until he could
escape to the British fleet, which then lay off Tybee Island at the
mouth of the Savannah River, some eighteen miles below the city. This
same Joseph Habersham, it is said, led a party which went out in 1775
in skiffs--called _bateaux_ along this part of the coast--boarded the
British ship _Hinchenbroke_, lying at anchor in the river, and captured
her in a hand-to-hand conflict. Mr. Neyle Colquitt of Savannah, a
descendant of the Habershams, tells me that the powder taken from the
_Hinchenbroke_ was used at the Battle of Bunker Hill. After the war, in
which Joseph Habersham commanded a regiment of regulars, he was made
Postmaster General of the United States. The old house itself was built
by Archibald Bulloch, a progenitor of that Miss "Mittie" Bulloch who
later became Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., mother of the President. It
was designed by an English architect named Jay, who did a number of the
fine old houses of Savannah, which are almost without exception of the
Georgian period. Archibald Bulloch bought the lot on which he built the
house from Matthew McAllister, great-grandfather of Ward McAllister.
When sold by Bulloch it passed through several hands and finally came
into the possession of Robert Habersham, a son of Joseph.

The old house was spacious and its interiors had a fine formality about
them. The staircase, fireplace and chandeliers were handsome, and there
was at the rear a charming oval room, the heavy mahogany doors of which
were curved to conform to the shape of the walls. To tear down such a
house was sacrilege--also it was a sacrilege hard to commit, for some of
the basement walls were fifteen feet thick, and of solid brick straight
through.

Sherman's headquarters were on the Square, just south of the De Soto
Hotel, in the battlemented brick mansion which is the residence of
General Peter W. Meldrim, ex-president of the American Bar Association,
and former Mayor of Savannah.

Among other old houses characteristic of Savannah, are the Scarborough
house, the Mackay house, the Thomas house in Franklin Square (also known
as the Owens house), in which Lafayette was entertained, and the Telfair
house, now the Telfair Academy. The Telfair and Thomas houses were built
by the architect who built the Habersham house, and it is to be hoped
that they will never go the way of the latter mansion.

In 1810, about the time these houses were built, Savannah had 5,000
inhabitants; by 1850 the population had trebled, and 1890 found it a
place of more than 40,000. Since then the city has grown with wholesome
rapidity, and attractive suburban districts have been developed. The
1910 census gives the population as 65,000, but the city talks
exuberantly of 90,000. Well, perhaps that is not an exaggerated claim.
Certainly it is a city to attract those who are free to live where they
please. In fall, winter and spring it leaves little to be desired. I
have been there three times, and I have never walked up Bull Street
without looking forward to the day when I could go there, rent an old
house full of beautiful mahogany, and pass a winter. Not even New
Orleans made me feel like that. I feel about New Orleans that it is a
place to visit rather than to settle down in. I want to go back to New
Orleans, but I do not want to stay more than a few weeks. I want to see
some people that I know, prowl about the French quarter, and have Jules
Alciatore turn me out a dinner; then I want to go away. So, too, I want
to go back to Atlanta--just to see some people. I want to stay there a
week or two. Also I want to go to St. Augustine when cold weather comes,
and bask in the warm sun, and breathe the soft air full of gold dust,
and feel indolent and happy as I watch the activities about the
excellent Ponce de Leon Hotel; but there are two cities in the South
that I dream of going to for a quiet happy winter of domesticity and
work, in a rented house--it must be the right house, too--and those
cities are, first Charleston; then Savannah.

The Telfair Academy in the old Telfair mansion was left, by a member of
the family, to the city, to be used as a museum. Being somewhat
skeptical about museums in cities of the size of Savannah, not to say
much larger cities, especially when they are art museums, I very nearly
omitted a visit to this one. Had I done so I would have missed seeing
not only a number of exceedingly interesting historic treasures, but
what I believe to be the best public art collection contained in any
southern city.

The museum does, to be sure, contain a number of old "tight" paintings
of the kind with which the country was deluged at the time of the
Chicago World's Fair, but upstairs there is a surprise in shape of an
exhibition of modern American paintings (the best paintings being
produced in the world to-day) showing brilliant selection. I was utterly
amazed when I found this collection. There were excellent canvases by
Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, George Bellows, and other living American
painters whose work, while it is becoming more and more widely
appreciated each year, is still beyond all but the most advanced and
discriminating buyers of paintings. I went into ecstasies over this
collection, and I said to myself: "Away down here in Savannah there is
some one buying better paintings for a little museum than the heads of
many of the big museums in the country have had sense enough or courage
enough to buy. This man ought to be 'discovered' and taken to some big
museum where his appreciation will be put to the greatest use." With
that I rushed downstairs, sought out the curator, and asked who had
purchased the modern American pictures. And then my bubble was pricked,
for who had they had, down there, buying their pictures for them, but
Gari Melchers! Naturally the pictures were good!

In one room of the building, on the ground floor, is a collection of
fine old furniture, etc., which belonged to the Telfair family,
including two beautiful mantelpieces of black and white marble, some
cabinets, and a very curious and fascinating extension dining-table,
built of mahogany. The table is perfectly round, and the leaves, instead
of being added in the middle, are curved pieces, fitting around the
outer edge in two series, so that when extended to its full capacity the
table is still round. I have never seen another such table.

Also I found many interesting old books and papers passed down from the
Telfairs. One of these was a ledger with records of slave sales.

In a sale held Friday, October 14, 1774, Sir James Wright, the same
British governor who was presently put to flight, purchased four men,
five women, nine boys, and one girl, at a total cost of L820, or about
$3,280. Sir Patrick Houston bought two women at L90, or $450. The whole
day's sale disposed of thirty-five men, seventeen women, twenty-seven
boys and ten girls, at a grand total of L3206, or roughly between nine
and ten thousand dollars.

The Telfairs were great planters. Among the papers was one headed "Rules
and Directions to be strictly attended to by all overseers at Thorn
Island Plantation." This plantation was on the North Carolina side of
the river, and was owned by Alexander Telfair, a brother of Miss Mary
Telfair who gave the Academy to the city. Dates which occur in the
papers stamp them as having been issued some time prior to 1837. Here
are some of the regulations:

    The allowance for every grown negro, let him or her be old and good
    for nothing, and every young one that works in the field, is a peck
    of corn a week and a pint of salt and a piece of meat not exceeding
    fourteen pounds per month.

    No negro to have more than forty lashes, no matter what his crime.

    The suckling children and all small ones who do not work in the
    field draw a half allowance of corn and salt.

    Any negro can have a ticket to go about the neighborhood, but cannot
    leave it without a pass. No strangers allowed to come on the place
    without a pass.

    The negroes to be tasked when the work allows it. I require a
    reasonable day's work well done. The task to be regulated by the
    state of the ground and the strength of the negro.

    All visiting between the Georgia plantation to be refused. [The
    Telfairs owned another plantation on the Georgia side of the river.]
    No one to get husbands or wives across the river. No night meeting
    or preaching allowed on the place except on Saturday or Sunday
    morning.

    If there is any fighting on the place whip all engaged in it, no
    matter what may be the cause it may be covered with.

    In extreme cases of sickness employ a physician. After a dose of
    castor oil is given, a dose of calomel, and blister applied, if no
    relief, then send.

    My negroes are not allowed to plant cotton for themselves.
    Everything else they may plant. Give them ticket to sell what they
    make.

    I have no Driver (slave-driver). You are to task the negroes
    yourself. They are responsible to you alone for work.

Certain negroes are mentioned by name:

    Many persons are indebted to Elsey for attending upon their negroes.
    I wish you to see them or send to them for the money.

    If Dolly is unable to return to cooking she must take charge of all
    the little negroes.

    Pay Free Moses two dollars and a half for taking care of things left
    at his landing.

Bull Street, the fashionable street of the city, is a gem of a street,
despite the incursions made at not infrequent intervals, by
comparatively new, and often very ugly buildings. Every few blocks Bull
Street has to turn out of its course and make the circuit of one of the
small parks of which I have spoken, and this gives it charm and variety.
On this street stands the De Soto Hotel, which, when I first went to
Savannah, years ago, was by all odds the leading hostelry of the city.
It is one of those great rambling buildings with a big porch out in
front, an open court in back, and everything about it, including the
bedchambers, very spacious and rather old fashioned. Lately the Savannah
Hotel has been erected down at the business end of Bull Street. It is a
modern hotel of the more conventional commercial type. But even down
there, near the business part of town, it is not confronted by congested
cobbled streets and clanging trolley cars, but looks out upon one of the
squares, filled with magnolias, oaks and palms. But another time I
think I shall go back to the De Soto.

The building of the Independent Presbyterian Church, on Bull Street, is
one of the most beautiful of its kind in the country, inside and out. It
reminds one of the old churches in Charleston, and it is gratifying to
know that though the old church which stood on this site (dedicated in
1819) burned in 1889, the congregation did not seize the opportunity to
replace it with a hideosity in lemon-yellow brick, but had the rare good
sense to duplicate the old church exactly, with the result that, though
a new building, it has all the dignity and simple beauty of an old one.

Broughton Street, the shopping street, crosses Bull Street in the
downtown section, and looks ashamed of itself as it does so, for it is
about as commonplace a looking street as one may see. There is simply
nothing about it of distinction save its rather handsome name.

Elsewhere, however, there are several skyscrapers, most of them good
looking buildings. It seemed to me also that I had never seen so many
banks as in Savannah, and I am told that it is, indeed, a great banking
city, and that the record of the Savannah banks for weathering financial
storms is very fine. On a good many corners where there are not banks
there are clubs, and some of these clubs are delightful and thoroughly
metropolitan in character. I know of no city in the North, having a
population corresponding to that of Charleston or of Savannah, which has
clubs comparable with the best clubs of these cities, or of New
Orleans. When it is considered that of the population of these southern
cities approximately one half, representing negroes, must be deducted in
considering the population from which eligibles must be drawn, the
excellence of southern clubs becomes remarkable in the extreme.
Savannah, by the way, holds one national record in the matter of clubs.
It had the first golf club founded in America. Exactly when the club was
founded I cannot say, but Mr. H.H. Bruen, of Savannah, has in his
possession an invitation to a golf club ball held in the old City Hall
in the year 1811.

The commercial ascendancy of Savannah over Charleston is due largely to
natural causes. The port of Savannah drains exports from a larger and
richer territory than is tapped by Charleston, though new railroads are
greatly improving Charleston's situation in this respect. Savannah is a
shipping port for cotton from a vast part of the lower and central
South, and is also a great port for lumber, and the greatest port in the
world for "naval stores." I did not know what naval stores were when I
went to Savannah. The term conjured up in my mind pictures of piles of
rope, pulleys and anchors. But those are not naval stores. Naval stores
are gum products, such as resin and turpentine, which are obtained from
the long-leafed pines of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
The traveler through these States cannot have failed to notice gashes on
the tree-trunks along the way. From these the resinous sap exudes and
is caught in cups, after which it is boiled, there in the woods, and
thus separated into turpentine, resin and pitch. Vast quantities of
these materials are stored on the great modern docks of Savannah. It is
said that owing to wasteful methods, the long-leafed pine forests are
being rapidly destroyed, and that this industry will die out before very
long because the eager grabbers of to-day's dollars, having no thought
for the future, fail to practise scientific forestry.

All about Savannah, within easy reach by trolley, motor or boat, lie
pleasant retreats and interesting things to see. The roads of the
region, built by convict labor, are of the finest, and the convict
prison camps are worth a visit. In the Brown Farm camp, living
conditions are certainly more sanitary than in ninety nine out of a
hundred negro homes. The place fairly shines with cleanliness, and there
are many cases in which "regulars" at this camp are no sooner released
than they offend again with the deliberate purpose of carrying out what
may be termed a "back to the farm" movement. The color line is drawn in
southern jails and convict camps as elsewhere. White prisoners occupy
one barracks; negroes another. The food and accommodations for both is
the same. The only race discrimination I could discover was that when
white prisoners are punished by flogging, they are flogged with their
clothes on, whereas, with negroes, the back is exposed. The men in this
camp are minor offenders and wear khaki overalls in place of the stripes
in which the worse criminals, quartered in another camp, are dressed.
Strict discipline is maintained, but the life is wholesome. The men are
marched to work in the morning and back at night escorted by guards who
carry loaded shotguns, and who always have with them a pack of ugly
bloodhounds to be used in case escape is attempted.

       *       *       *       *       *

All the drives in this region are extremely picturesque, for the
live-oak grows here at its best, and is to be seen everywhere, its trunk
often twenty or more feet in circumference, its wide-spreading branches
reaching out their tips to meet those of other trees of the same
species, so that sometimes the whole world seems to have a groined
ceiling of foliage, a ceiling which inevitably suggests a great shadowy
cathedral from whose airy arches hang long gray pennons of Spanish moss,
like faded, tattered battle-flags.

On country roads you will come, now and then, upon a negro burial ground
of very curious character. There may be such negro cemeteries in the
upper Southern States, but if so I have never seen them. In this portion
of Georgia they are numerous, and their distinguishing mark consists in
the little piles of household effects with which every grave is covered.
I do not know whether this is done to propitiate ghosts and devils
(generally believed to "hant" these graveyards), or whether it is the
idea that the deceased can still find use for the assortment of
pitchers, bowls, cups, saucers, knives, forks, spoons, statuettes,
alarm-clocks, and heaven only knows what else, which were his treasured
earthly possessions.

In Savannah, I have heard Commodore Tatnall, who used to live at
Bonaventure, credited with having originated the saying "Blood is
thicker than water," but I am inclined to believe that the Commodore
merely made apposite use of an old formula. The story is told of one of
the old Tatnalls that in the midst of a large dinner-party which he was
giving at his mansion at Bonaventure plantation, a servant entered and
informed him that the house was on fire. Whereupon the old thoroughbred,
instead of turning fireman, persisted in his role of host, ordering the
full dining-room equipment to be moved out upon the lawn, where the
company remained at dinner while the house burned down.

Most of the old houses of the plantations on the river have long since
been destroyed. That at Whitehall was burned by the negroes when
Sherman's army came by, but the old trees and gardens still endure,
including a tall hedge of holly which is remarkable even in this
florescent region. The old plantation house at the Hermitage, approached
by a handsome avenue of live-oaks, is, I believe, the only one of those
ancient mansions which still stands, and it does not stand very
strongly, for, beautiful though it is in its abandonment and decay, it
is like some noble old gentleman dying alone in an attic, of age,
poverty and starvation--dying proudly as poor Charles Gayarre did in New
Orleans.

The Hermitage has, I believe, no great history save what is written in
its old chipped walls of stucco-covered brick, and the slave-cabins
which still form a background for it. It is a story of baronial decay,
resulting, doubtless, from the termination of slavery. Hordes of negroes
of the "new issue" infest the old slave-cabins and on sight of visitors
rush out with almost violent demands for money, in return for which they
wish to sing. Their singing is, however, the poorest negro singing I
have ever heard. All the spontaneity, all the relish, all the vividness
which makes negro singing wonderful, has been removed, here, by the
fixed idea that singing is not a form of expression but a mere noise to
be given vent to for the purpose of extracting backsheesh. It is
saddening to witness the degradation, through what may be called
professionalism, of any great racial quality. These negroes, half
mendicant, half traders on the reputation of their race, express
professionalism in its lowest form. They are more pitiful than the
professional tarantella dancers who await the arrival of tourists, in
certain parts of southern Italy, as spiders await flies.




CHAPTER LII

MISS "JAX" AND SOME FLORIDA GOSSIP

    "Or mebbe you 're intendin' of
      Investments? Orange-plantin'? Pine?
    Hotel? or Sanitarium? What above
      This yea'th _can_ be your line?..."

    SIDNEY LANIER ("A FLORIDA GHOST.")


It is the boast of Jacksonville (known locally by the convenient
abbreviation "Jax") that it stands as the "Gate to Florida." But the
fact that a gate is something through which people pass--usually without
stopping--causes some anguish to an active Chamber of Commerce, which
has been known to send bands to the railway station to serenade tourists
in the hope of enticing them to alight.

If I were to personify Jacksonville, it would be, I think, as an amiable
young woman, member of a domestic family, whose papa and mama had moved
to Florida from somewhere else--for it is as hard to find a native of
Jacksonville in that city as to find a native New Yorker in New York.
Miss Jacksonville's papa, as I conceive it, has prospered while daughter
has been growing up, and has bought for her a fine large house on a main
corner, where many people pass. Having reached maturity Miss
Jacksonville wishes to be in Florida society--to give, as it were,
house parties, like those of her neighbors, the other winter resorts.
She sees people passing her doors all winter long, and she says to
herself: "I must get some of these people to come in."

To this end she brushes off the walk, lays a carpet on the steps, puts
flowers in the vases, orders up a lot of fancy food and drink (from the
very admirable Hotel Mason), turns on the lights and the Victor, leaves
the front door invitingly open, and hopes for the best. Soon people
begin to come in, but as she meets them she discovers that most of them
have come to see papa on business; only a few have come on her account.
They help themselves to sandwiches, look about the room, and listen to
what Miss Jacksonville has to say.

Time passes. Nothing happens. She asks how they like the chairs.

"Very comfortable," they assure her.

"Do have some more to eat and drink," says she.

"What is your history?" a guest asks her presently.

"I haven't much history to speak of," she replies. "They tell me Andrew
Jackson had his territorial government about where my house stands, but
I don't know much about it. We don't care much about history in our
family."

"What do you do with yourself?"

"Oh, I keep house, and go occasionally to the Woman's Club, and in the
evenings father tells me about his business."

"Very nice," says one guest, whom we shall picture as a desirable and
wealthy young man from the North. "Now let's do something. Do you play
or sing? Are you athletic? Do you go boating on the St. John's River? Do
you gamble? Can you make love?"

"I dance a little and play a little golf out at the Florida Country
Club," she says, with but small signs of enthusiasm. "The thing I'm
really most interested in, though, is father's business. He lost a lot
of money in the fire of 1901, but he's made it all back and a lot more
besides."

"What about surf-bathing?" asks the pleasure-seeking visitor, stifling a
yawn.

"There's Atlantic Beach only eighteen miles from here. It's a wonderful
beach. Father's putting a million in improvements out there, but there's
no time to go there just now. However, if you'd like to, I can take you
down and show you the new docks he has built."

"Oh, no, thanks," says the guest. "I don't care for docks--not, that is,
unless we can go boating."

"I'm afraid we can't do that," says Miss Jacksonville. "We don't use the
river much for pleasure. I can't say just why, unless it is that every
one is too busy.... But please eat something more, and do have something
to drink. There's plenty for every one."

"I must be running along," says the visitor. "I've been invited to call
at some other houses down the block. By the way, what is the name of
your neighbor next door?"

"St. Augustine," says Jacksonville, with a little reluctance. "She is of
Spanish descent and sets great store by it. If you call there she'll
show you a lot of interesting old relics she has, but I assure you that
when it comes to commercial success her family isn't one-two-three with
papa."

"Thanks," says the visitor, "but just at the moment commerce doesn't
appeal to me. Who lives beyond her?"

Miss Jacksonville sighs. "There are some pleasant, rather attractive
people named Ormonde, beyond," she says, "and a lively family named
Daytona next door to them. Neither family is in business, like papa.
They just play all the time. Then come a number of modest places, and
after them, in the big yellow and white house with the palm trees all
around it--but I'd advise you to keep away from there! Yes, you'd better
go by that house. On the other side of it, in another lovely house, live
some nicer, simpler people named Miami. Or if you like fishing, you
might drop in on Mrs. Long-Key--she's wholesome and sweet, and goes out
every day to catch tarpon. Or, again, you might--"

"What's the matter with the people in the big yellow and white house
surrounded by palm trees? Why shouldn't I go there?" asks the guest.

"A young widow lives there," says Miss Jacksonville primly. "I don't
know much about her history, but she looks to me as though she had been
on the stage. She's frightfully frivolous--not at all one of our
representative people."

"Ah!" says the visitor. "Is she pretty?"

"Well," admits Miss Jacksonville, "I suppose she _is_--in a fast way.
But she's all rouged and she overdresses. Her bathing suits are too
short at the bottom and her evening gowns are too short at the top. Yes,
and even at that, she has a trick of letting the shoulder straps slip
off and pretending she doesn't know it has happened."

"What's her name?"

"Mrs. Palm-Beach."

"Oh," says the visitor. "I've heard of her. She's always getting into
the papers. Tell me more."

Miss Jacksonville purses her lips and raises her eyebrows. "Really," she
says, "I don't like to talk scandal."

"Oh, come on! Do!" pleads the visitor. "Is she bad--bad and beautiful
and alluring?"

"Judge for yourself," says Miss Jacksonville sharply. "She keeps that
enormous place of hers shut up except for about two months or so in the
winter, when she comes down gorgeously dressed, with more jewelry than
is worn by the rest of the neighborhood put together. Few Southerners go
to her house. It's full of rich people from all over the North."

"Is she rich?"

"You'd think so to look at her--especially if you didn't know where she
got her money. But she really hasn't much of her own. She's a grafter."

"How does she manage it?"

"Men give her money."

"But why?"

"Because she knows how to please the rich. She understands them. She
makes herself beautiful for them. She plays, and drinks, and gambles,
and dances with them, and goes riding with them in wheel chairs by
moonlight, and sits with them by the sea, and holds their hands, and
gets them sentimental. There's some scent she uses that is very
seductive--none of the rest of us have been able to find out exactly
what it is."

"But how does she get their money?"

"She never tells a hard-luck story--you can't get money out of the kind
she goes with, that way. She takes the other tack. She whispers to them,
and laughs with them, and fondles them, and makes them love her, and
when they love her she says: 'But dearie, be reasonable! Think how many
people love me! I like to have you here, you fat old darling with the
gold jingling in your pockets! but I can't let you sit with me unless
you pay. Yes, I'm expensive, I admit. But don't you love this scent I
wear? Don't you adore my tropical winter sea, my gardens, my palm trees,
my moonlight, and my music? They are all for you, dearie--so why
shouldn't you pay? Don't I take you from the northern cold and slush?
Haven't I built a siding for your private car, and made an anchorage for
your yacht? Don't I let you do as you please? Don't I keep you amused?
Don't you love to look at me? Don't I put my warm red lips to yours?
Well, then, dearie, what is all your money for?' ... That is her way of
talking to them! That is the sort of creature that she is!"

"Shocking!" says the visitor, rising and looking for his hat "You say
hers is the third large house from here?"

"Yes. Remember, she's as mercenary as can be!"

"Thanks. I can take care of myself. If she's amusing that suits me.
Good-by."

In the vestibule he pauses to count his money.

"Jacksonville seems to be a nice girl," he says to himself as he hastens
down the block. "I imagine she might make a good wife and mother, and
that she'd help her husband on in business. However, I'm not thinking of
getting married and settling down in Florida. I'm out for some fun. I
think I'll run in and call upon Mrs. Palm-Beach."




CHAPTER LIII

PASSIONATE PALM BEACH

    A very merry, dancing, drinking,
    Laughing, quaffing and unthinking time.

    --DRYDEN.


Like all places in which idlers try to avoid finding out that they are
idle, Palm Beach has very definite customs as to where to go, and at
what time to go there. Excepting in its hours for going to bed and
getting up, it runs on schedule. The official day begins with the
bathing hour--half past eleven to half past twelve--when the two or
three thousand people from the pair of vast hotels assemble before the
casino on the beach. Golfers will, of course, be upon the links before
this hour; fishermen will be casting from the pier or will be out in
boats searching the sail fish--that being the "fashionable" fish at the
present time; ladies of excessive circumference will be panting rapidly
along the walks, their eyes holding that look of dreamy determination
which painters put into the eyes of martyrs, and which a fixed intention
to lose twenty pounds puts into the eyes of banting women. So, too,
certain gentlemen of swarthy skin make their way to the casino sun
parlor, where they disrobe and bake until the bathing hour. The object
of this practice is to acquire, as nearly as a white man may, the
complexion of a mulatto, and it is surprising to see how closely the
skins of some more ardent members of the "Browning Club," as this group
is called, match those of their chair boys. The underlying theory of the
"Browning Club" is that a triple-plated coat of tan, taken north in
March, advertises the wearer as having been at Palm Beach during the
entire winter, thus establishing him as a man not merely of means, but
of great endurance.

The women of Palm Beach seem to be divided into two distinct schools of
thought on the subject of tanning. While none of them compete with the
radicals of the "Browning Club," one may nevertheless observe that, in
evening dress, many young ladies reveal upon their necks, shoulders, and
arms, stenciled outlines of the upper margins of their bathing suits.
Ladies of the opposing school, upon the contrary, guard the whiteness of
their skins as jealously as the men of the "Browning Club" guard their
blackness. Rather than be touched with tan, many ladies of the latter
group deny themselves the pleasures of the surf. The parasols beneath
which they arrive upon the sands are not lowered until they are safely
seated beneath the green and blue striped canvas tops of their beach
chairs, and it may be observed that even then they are additionally
fortified against the light, by wide black hats and thick dark veils
draped to mask their faces up to the eyes; "harem" veils, they call
them--the name, however, signifying nothing polygamous.

A pleasant diversion at the beginning of the bathing hour occurs when
some mere one-horse millionaire from a Middle-Western town appears on
the beach with his family. He is newly arrived and is under the fond
delusion that he is as good as anybody else and that his money is as
good as any other person's money. Seeing the inviting rows of beach
chairs, he and his family plump into several of them. They are hardly
settled, however, when the man who attends to the beach chairs comes and
asks them to get out, saying that the chairs are reserved.

The other thinks the man is lying like a head waiter, and demands to
know for whom the chairs are reserved.

In reply the beach-chair man mentions, with suitable deference, the name
of Mrs. Hopkinson Skipkinson Jumpkinson-Jones.

"Well," cries the Middle-Westerner, "Mrs. Jones isn't here yet, is she?
She can't use the chairs _now_, can she, if she isn't here?"

Even without this evidence that he does not grasp at all, the
seriousness of the beach-chair situation, the fact that the uncouth
stranger has referred to Mrs. H.S. Jumpkinson-Jones merely as "Mrs.
Jones," brands him among the Palm Beach "regulars" who have overheard
him, as a barbarian of the barbarians. People in neighboring chairs at
once turn their backs upon him and glance at each other knowingly with
raised eyebrows. At this juncture, let us hope, the daughter of the
intruder manages to pry him loose; let us hope also that she takes him
aside and tells him what everybody ought to know: namely, that Mrs. H.S.
Jumpkinson-Jones has been a society leader ever since the "Journal"
published the full-page Sunday story about her having gold fillings put
in her Boston terrier's teeth. That was away back in 1913, just before
she was allowed to get her divorce from Royal Tewksbury Johnson III of
Paris, Newport, and New York. The day after the divorce she married her
present husband, and up to last year, when the respective wives of a
munitions millionaire and a moving-picture millionaire began to cut in
on her, no one thought of denying her claim to be the most wasteful
woman in Palm Beach.

True, she may not come down to the beach to-day, but in that case it is
obviously proper that her chairs--including those of her dog and her
husband--remain magnificently vacant throughout the bathing hour.

The lady is, however, likely to appear. She will be wearing one of the
seventy hats which, we have learned by the papers, she brought with her,
and a pint or so of her lesser pearls. Her dog--which is sometimes
served beside her at table at the Beach Club, and whose diet is the same
as her own, even to strawberries and cream followed by a demi
tasse--will be in attendance; and her husband, whose diet is even
richer, may also appear if he has recovered from his matutinal headache.
Here she will sit through the hour, gossiping with her friends,
watching the antics of several beautiful, dubious women, camp followers
of the rich, who add undoubted interest to the place; calling languidly
to her dog: "_Viens, Tou-tou! Viens vite!_" above all waiting patiently,
with crossed knees, for news-service photographers to come and take her
picture--a picture which, when we see it presently in "Vogue," "Vanity
Fair," or a Sunday newspaper, will present indisputable proof that Mrs.
H.S. Jumpkinson-Jones and the ladies sitting near her (also with legs
crossed) refrained from wearing bathing suits neither through excessive
modesty nor for fear of revealing deformity of limb.

Many a Mrs. H.S. Jumpkinson-Jones has beaten her way to glory by the
Palm Beach route. Many of the names which sound vaguely familiar when
you read them in connection with the story of a jewel robbery, in lists
of "those present," or in an insinuating paragraph in the tattered copy
of "Town Topics" which you pick up, in lieu of reading matter, from the
table in your dentist's waiting room, first broke into the paradise of
the society column by way of this resort. For a woman with money and the
press-agent type of mind it is not a difficult thing to accomplish. One
must think of sensational things to do--invent a new fad in dress, or
send one's dog riding each day in a special wheel chair, or bring down
one's own private dancing instructor or golf instructor at $5,000 for
the season. Above all, one must be nice to the correspondents of
newspapers. Never must one forget to do that. Never must one imagine
oneself so securely placed in society columns that one may forget the
reporters who gave one that place.

One lady who, for several seasons, figured extensively in the news from
Palm Beach, fell into this error. She thought herself safe, and altered
her manner toward newspaper folk. But, alas! thereupon they altered
their manner toward her. The press clippings sent by the bureau to which
she subscribed became fewer and fewer. Her sensational feats went
unnoticed. At last came a ball--one of the three big balls of the
season; a New York paper printed a list of names of persons who went to
the ball; a column of names in very small type. Lying in bed a few
mornings later she read through the names and came to the end without
finding her own. Thinking that she must have skipped it, she read the
names over again with great care. Then she sent for her husband, and he
read them. When it was clear to them both that her name was actually not
there, it is said she went into hysterics. At all events, her husband
came down in a rage and complained to the hotel management. But what
could the management do? What can they do? The woman is doomed. The Palm
Beach correspondents who "made" her have been snubbed by her and have
unanimously declared "thumbs down." It is theirs to give, but let no
climber be unmindful of the fact that it is also theirs to take away!

As Mrs. H.S. Jumpkinson-Jones looks over the top of her harem veil she
may see a great glistening steam yacht, with rakish masts and funnel,
lying off the pier-head; and down on the sand she may see the young
master and mistress of that yacht: a modest, attractive pair, possessors
of one of the world's great fortunes, yet not nearly so elaborately
dressed, nor so insistent upon their "position," as the
Jumpkinson-Joneses. By raising the brim of her hat a trifle Mrs. H.S.
Jumpkinson-Jones may see, sweeping in glorious circles above the yacht,
the hydroplane which, when it left the edge of the beach a few minutes
since, blew back with its propeller a stinging storm of sand, and caused
skirts to snap like flags in a hundred-mile-an-hour hurricane; and in
that hydroplane she knows there is another multimillionaire.

Near by, sitting disconsolately upon the sand, are the one-horse
Middle-Western millionaire with his wife and daughter--the three who
were ousted from her seats by the beach-chair man. Mrs. H.S.
Jumpkinson-Jones, like every one who has spent a season, let alone half
a dozen seasons, at Palm Beach, immediately recognizes the type.

Father is the leading merchant of his town; mother the social arbiter;
daughter the regnant belle. Father definitely didn't wish to come here,
nor was mother anxious to, but daughter made them. Often she has read
the lists of prominent arrivals at Palm Beach and seen alluring pictures
of them taken on the sand. She has dreamed of the place, and in her
dreams has seemed to hear the call of Destiny. Who knows? may it not be
at Palm Beach that she will meet _him_?--the beautiful and wealthy
scion of a noble house who (so the fortune teller at the Elks' Club
bazaar told her) will rescue her from the narrow life at home, and
transport her, as his bride, into a world of wonder and delight, and
footmen in knee-breeches. Daughter insisted on Palm Beach. So mother got
a lot of pretty clothes for daughter, and father purchased several yards
of green and yellow railroad tickets, and off they went. They arrived at
Palm Beach. They walked the miles of green carpeted corridor. They were
dazed--as every one must be who sees them for the first time--at the
stunning size of the hotels. They looked upon the endless promenade of
other visitors. They went to the beach at bathing hour, to the cocoanut
grove at the time for tea and dancing, in wheel chairs through the
jungle trail and _Reve d'Ete_, to the waiters' cake walk in the
Poinciana dining room, to the concert at the Breakers, to the palm room,
and to the sea by moonlight; everywhere they went they saw people,
people, people: richly dressed people, gay people, people who knew
quantities of other people; yet among them all was not one single being
that they had ever seen before. After several days of this, father met a
man he knew--a business friend from Akron. A precious lot of good that
did! Why didn't father know the two young men who sat last night at the
next table in the dining room? Even those two would have done just now.
Clearly they had been mad to know her too, for they were likewise
feeling desolate. Perhaps mother can get father to scrape up an
acquaintance with them. But alas, before this plan can be set in motion,
the two young men have formed their own conclusions as to what Palm
Beach is like when you do not know anybody in the place. They have
departed. Next day, when mother enters daughter's room to say good
night, she finds her weeping; and next day, to father's infinite relief,
they start for home. So it has gone with many a bush-league belle.

Even the Mrs. Jumpkinson-Joneses, satiated though they be with private
cars, press notices, and Palm Beach, can hardly fail to be sensible to
the almost delirious beauty of the scene at bathing hour.

Nowhere is the sand more like a deep, warm dust of yellow gold; nowhere
is there a margin of the earth so splashed with spots of brilliant
color: sweaters, parasols, bathing suits, canvas shelters--blue, green,
purple, pink, yellow, orange, scarlet--vibrating together in the sharp
sunlight like brush marks on a high-keyed canvas by Sorolla; nowhere has
flesh such living, glittering beauty as the flesh of long, white, lovely
arms which flash out, cold and dripping, from the sea; nowhere does
water appear less like water, more like a flowing waste of liquid
emeralds and sapphires, held perpetually in cool solution and edged with
a thousand gleaming, flouncing strings of pearls.

Over the beach lies a layer of people, formed in groups, some of them
costumed for the water, some for the shore; some of them known to the
great lady, many of them unknown to her. The groups are forever
shifting as their members rise and run down to the sea, or come back
shiny and dripping, to fling themselves again upon the warm sand, roll
in it, or stretch out in lazy comfort while their friends shovel it over
them with their hands. Now one group, or another, will rise and form a
grinning row while a snap-shot is taken; now they recline again; now
they scamper down to see the hydroplane come in; now they return, drop
to the sand, and idly watch women bathers tripping past them toward the
water. Here comes a girl in silken knickerbockers, with cuffs buttoning
over her stockings like the cuffs of riding breeches. Heads turn
simultaneously as she goes by. Here is a tomboy in a jockey cap; here
two women wearing over their bathing suits brilliant colored satin wraps
which flutter revealingly in the warm, fresh fragrant breeze. And now
comes the slender, aristocratic, foreign-looking beauty who wears
high-heeled slippers with her bathing costume, and steps gracefully to
the water's edge under the shade of a bright colored Japanese parasol.
It seems that every one must now be on the beach. But no! Here come the
three most wonderful of all: the three most watched, most talked about,
most spoiled, most coveted young women at Palm Beach. Their bathing
suits are charming: very short, high waisted, and cut at the top like
Empire evening gowns, showing lovely arms and shoulders. Hovering about
them, like flies about a box of sweets, yet also with something of the
jealous guardianship of watchdogs, is their usual escort of young
men--for though they know none of the fashionable women, their beauty
gives them a power of wide selection as to masculine society.

One is a show girl, famous in the way such girls become famous in a New
York season, vastly prosperous (if one may judge by appearances), yet
with a prosperity founded upon the capitalization of youth and amazing
loveliness of person. The other two, less advertised, but hardly less
striking in appearance, have been nicknamed, for the convenience of the
gossips, "The Queen of Sheba," and "The Queen of the May." They too
suggest, somehow, association with the trivial stage, but it is said
that one of them--the slender wonderfully rounded one--has never had the
footlights in her face, but has been (in some respects, at least), a
model.

Like the climbers, like the bush league belle, these girls, we judge,
brought definite ambitions with them to Palm Beach. Partly, no doubt,
they came for pleasure, but also one hears stories of successful
ventures made by men, on their behalf, at Beach Club tables, and of
costly rings and brooches which they now possess, although they did not
bring them with them. But after all, the sources from which come their
jeweled trinkets may only be surmised, whereas, to the success of their
desire for fun, the eyes and ears of the entire smiling beach bear
witness. Watch them as they clasp hands and run down to the water's
edge; see them prancing playfully where the waves die on the sand, while
devoted swains launch the floating mattress upon which it is their
custom to bask so picturesquely; see them now as they rush into the
green waves and mount the softly rocking thing; observe the gleam of
their white arms as, idly, they splash and paddle; note the languid
grace of their recumbence: chins on hands, heels waving lazily in air;
hear them squeal in inharmonious unison, as a young member of the
"Browning Club," makes as though to splatter them, or mischievously
threatens to overturn their unwieldy couchlike craft. Free from the
restriction of ideas about "society," about the "tradition" of Palm
Beach, about "convention," they seem to detect no difference between
this resort and certain summer beaches, more familiar to them, and at
the same time more used to boisterousness and cachinnation. They go
everywhere, these girls. You will see them having big cocktails, in a
little while, on the porch of the Breakers; you will see them having
tea, and dancing under the dry rustling palm fronds of the cocoanut
grove, when the colored electric lights begin to glow in the luminous
semi-tropical twilight; and you will see them, resplendent, at the Beach
Club, dining, or playing at the green-topped tables.

The Beach Club has been for some time, I suppose, the last redoubt held
in this country by the forces of open, or semi-open gambling. Every now
and then one hears a rumor that it is to be stormed and taken by the
hosts of legislative piety, yet on it goes, upon its gilded way--a
place, it should be said, of orderly, spectacular distinction. The Beach
Club occupies a plain white house, low-spreading and unpretentious, but
fitted most agreeably within, and boasting a superb cuisine. Not every
one is admitted. Members have cards, and must be vouched for, formally,
by persons known to those who operate the place. Many of the quiet
pleasant people who, leading their own lives regardless of the splurging
going on about them, form the background of Palm Beach life--much as
"walking ladies and gentlemen" form the crowd in a spectacular
theatrical production--have never seen the inside of the Beach Club; and
I have little doubt that many visitors who drop in at Palm Beach for a
few days never so much as hear of it. It is not run for them, nor for
the "piker," nor for the needy clerk, but for the furious spenders.

Let us therefore view the Beach Club only as an interesting adjunct to
Palm Beach life, and let us admit that, as such, it is altogether in the
picture. Let us, in short, seek, upon this brief excursion, not only to
recover from our case of grippe, but to recover also that sense of the
purely esthetic, without regard to moral issues, which we used to enjoy
some years ago, before our legislatures legislated virtue into us. Let
us soar, upon the wings of our checkbook, in one final flight to the
realms of unalloyed beauty. Let us, in considering this most
extravagantly passionate and passionately extravagant of American
resorts, be great artists, who are above morals. Let us refuse
pointblank to consider morals at all. For by so doing we may avoid
giving ourselves away.

       *       *       *       *       *

The season wanes. Crowds on the beach grow thinner. Millionaires begin
to move their private cars from Palm Beach sidings, and depart for other
fashionable places farther north. Croupiers at the Beach Club stand idle
for an hour at a time, though ready to spin the wheel, invitingly, for
any one who saunters in. The shops hold cut-price sales. And we,
regarding somewhat sadly our white trousers, perceive that there does
not remain a single spotless pair. The girl in Mr. Foster's fruit store
has more leisure, now, and smiles agreeably as we pass upon our way to
the hotel dining-room. The waiter, likewise, is not pressed for time.

"They was seven-hunduhd an' twe've folks heah yestahday," he says. "On'y
six-fohty-three to-day. Ah reckon they a-goin' t' close the Breakuhs day
aftuh t'-mo'w."

Still the flowers bloom; still the place is beautiful; still the weather
is not uncomfortably warm. Nevertheless the season dies. And so it comes
about that we depart.

The ride through Florida is tedious. The miles of palmettoes, with
leaves glittering like racks of bared cutlasses in the sun, the miles of
dark swamp, in which the cypresses seem to wade like dismal club-footed
men, the miles of live-oak strung with their sad tattered curtains of
Spanish moss, the miles of sandy waste, of pineapple and orange groves,
of pines with feathery palm-like tops, above all the sifting of fine
Florida dust, which covers everything inside the car as with a coat of
flour--these make you wish that you were North again.

The train stops at a station. You get off to walk upon the platform. The
row of hackmen and hotel porters stand there, in gloomy silent defiance
of the rapidly approaching end of things, each holding a sign bearing
the name of some hotel. In another week the railway company may, if it
wishes, lift the ban on shouting hotel runners. Let them shout. There
will be nobody to hear.

You buy a newspaper.

Ah! What is this? "Great Blizzard in New York--Trains Late--Wires Down."

You know what New York blizzards are. You picture the scenes being
enacted there to-day. You see the icy streets with horses falling down.
You see cyclonic clouds of snow whirl savagely around the corners of
high buildings, pelting the homegoing hoards, whirling them about,
throwing women down upon street crossings. You have a vision of the
muddy, slushy subway steps, and slimy platforms, packed with people,
their clothing caked with wet white spangles. You see them wedged, cross
and damp, into the trains, and hear them coughing into one another's
necks. You see emaciated tramps, pausing to gaze wanly into bakery
windows: men without overcoats, their collars turned up, their hands
deep in the pockets of their trousers, their heads bent against the
storm; you see them walk on to keep from freezing. You remember Roscoe
Conkling. That sort of thing can happen in a New York blizzard! Little
tattered newsboys, thinly clad, will die to-night upon cold corners.
Poor widows, lacking money to buy coal, are shuddering even now in
squalid tenements, and covering their wailing little ones with shoddy
blankets.

"Horrible!" you say, sighing upon the balmy air. Then, with the sweetly
resigned philosophy of Palm Beach, you add:

"Oh, well, what does it matter? _I'm_ in Florida anyhow. After all it is
a pretty good old world!"




CHAPTER LIV

ASSORTED AND RESORTED FLORIDA

    "Some year or more ago, I s'pose,
      I roamed from Maine to Floridy,
    And,--see where them Palmettoes grows?
      I bought that little key...."

    --SIDNEY LANIER ("A FLORIDA GHOST.")


Florida in winter comes near to being all things to all men. To all she
offers amusement plus her climate, and in no one section is the contrast
in what amusement constitutes, and costs, set forth more sharply than
where, on the west coast of the State, Belleair and St. Petersburg are
situated, side by side.

The Hotel Belleview at Belleair compares favorably with any in the
State, and is peopled, during the cold months, with affluent golf
maniacs, for whom two fine courses have been laid out.

When the pipes supplying water for the greens of his home course, at
Brook, Indiana, freeze, annually, George Ade, for instance, knows that,
instead of hibernating, it is time for him to take his white flannel
suits, hang them on the clothesline in the back yard until the fragrance
of the moth-ball has departed, pack them in his wardrobe trunk, and take
his winter flight to the Belleview. He knows that, at the Belleview, he
will meet hundreds of men and women who are suffering from the malady
with which he is afflicted.

The conversation at Belleair is, so far as my companion and I could
learn, confined entirely to comparisons between different courses,
different kinds of clubs and balls, and different scores. Belleair turns
up its nose at Palm Beach. It considers the game of golf as played at
Palm Beach a trifling game, and it feels that the winter population of
Palm Beach wastes a lot of time talking about clothes and the stock
market when it might be discussing cleeks, midirons, and mashies. The
woman who thinks it essential to be blond whether she is blond or not,
and who regards Forty-second Street as the axle upon which the universe
turns, would be likely to die of ennui in a week at Belleair, whereas,
in Palm Beach, if she died in that time, it would probably be of
delight--with a possibility of alcoholism as a contributing cause. And
likewise, though Belleair has plutocrats in abundance, they are not
starred for their wealth, as are the Palm Beach millionaires, nor yet
for their social position, but are rated strictly according to their
club handicap. Hence it happens that if, speaking of a Palm Beach
millionaire, you ask: "How did he make it?" you will be told the story
of some combine of trusts, some political grafting, or some widely
advertised patent medicine; but if you ask in Belleair: "How did he make
it?" the answer is likely to be: "He made it in 4, with a cleek."

Consider on the other hand, St. Petersburg, with its cheap hotels, its
boarding houses, its lunch rooms and cafeterias, and its winter
population of farmers and their wives from the North. The people you see
in St. Petersburg are identical with those you might see on market day
in a county town of Ohio or Indiana. Several thousands of them come
annually from several dozen States, and many a family of them lives
through the winter comfortably on less than some other families spend at
Belleair in a week, or at Palm Beach in a day.

If I am any judge of the signs of happiness, there is plenty of it in
the hearts of those who winter at St. Petersburg. The city park is full
of contented people, most of them middle-aged or old. The women listen
to the band, and the men play checkers under the palmetto-thatched
shelter, or toss horseshoes on the greensward, at the sign of the
Sunshine Pleasure Club--an occupation which is St. Petersburg's
equivalent for Palm Beach's game of tossing chips on the green-topped
tables of a gambling house. And yet--

Is it always pleasant to be virtuous? Is it always delightful to be
where pious people, naive people, people who love simple pastimes, are
enjoying themselves? I am reminded of a talk I had with a negro whose
strong legs turned the pedals of a wheel chair in which my companion and
I rode one day through the Palm Beach jungle trail. It is a wonderful
place, that jungle, with its tangled trunks and vines and its green
foliage swimming in sifted sunlight; with its palms, palmettoes, ferns,
and climbing morning-glories, its banana trees, gnarled rubber banyans,
and wild mangoes--which are like trees growing upside down, digging
their spreading branches into the ground. For a time we forgot the
pedaling negro behind us, but a faint puffing sound on a slight up-grade
reminded us, presently, that our party was not of two, but three. When
the chair was running free again, one of us inquired of the chairman:

"What would you do if you had a million dollars?"

"Well, boss," replied the negro seriously, "Ah knows one thing Ah'd do.
No mattuh how much o' dis worl's goods Ah haid, Ah'd allus get mah
exuhcize."

"That's wise," my companion replied. "What kind of exercise would you
take?"

"Ah ain't nevvuh jest stedied dat out, boss," returned the man. "But it
sho' would be some kind o' exuhcize besides pushin' one o' dese-heah
chaihs."

"When you weren't exercising would you go and have a good time?"

"No, boss."

"Why not?"

"Well, boss, y' see Ah's a 'ligious man, Ah is."

"But can't people who are religious have a good time?"

"Oh," said the negro, "dey might have deh little pleasuhs now an' den,
but dey cain't hev no sich good times like othah folks kin. A man 't 's
a 'ligious man, he cain't hev no sich good times like Mistuh
Wahtuhbe'y's an' dem folks 'at was heah up to laist week. Ah was Mistuh
Wahtuhbe'y's chaih boy. He gimme ninety-two dollahs an' fifty cents
tips one week! Yassuh! Dat might be _cha'ity_ but 't ain't 'ligion.
Mistuh Dodge, his chaih boy's been a-wohkin' foh 'im six weeks. I 'spec'
Mistuh Dodge give dat boy fahve hund'ud dollahs if he give 'im a cent!
Mistuh Wahtuhbe'y's pahty, dey haid nineteen chaihs waitin' on 'em all
de time, jest foh t' drive 'em f'om de _ho-_tel to de club, an' de
casino. Dat cos' 'em nineteen hund'ud dollahs a week, and de boys, dey
ain't one o'em 'at git less'n hund'ud dolluhs fo' hisself. Dat's de kin'
o' gen'men Mistuh Wahtuhbe'y an' his pahty is. Ah's haid sev'ul gen'men
dis season dat ain't what you'd jes' say, 'ligious, but dey was, as
folks calls it, p'ofuse. Dey was one ol' gen'man heah two weeks, an' deh
was a young lady what he haid a attachment on, an' evvy evenin' 'e use'
t' take huh foh a wheel-chaih ride in de moonlight. Fuhst night Ah took
'em out he tuhn to me, an' he says: 'Look-a-heah, boy! You sho you knows
youah duties?'

"'Yassuh, boss,' Ah tell 'im. 'Deed Ah does!'

"'Den what is youah duties den?' sez 'e.

"Ah say: 'Boss, de chaih boy's duties, dey's to be dumb, an' deef, an'
blin', an' dey cain't see nothin', an' dey cain't say nothin', an' dey
cain't heah nothin', and dey cain't--'

"'Dass 'nuff,' he say. 'Ah sees you knows youah business. Heah's fiffy
dollahs.'"

"Well," one of us asked presently, "what happened?"

"Ah took 'em ridin' through de jungle trail, boss," he returned,
innocently.

"What did they do?"

"How does Ah know, boss? Di'n' Ah have ma eyes covuhed wi' dat fiffy
dollahs? Di'n' Ah have ma eahs stuff' wid it? Yassuh! An' Ah got ma
_mouf_ full o' it _yit_!"

The chair boys, bell boys, waiters, barbers, porters, bartenders,
waitresses, chambermaids, manicures, and shop attendants one finds in
Palm Beach, Belleair, Miami, and many other winter resorts, are,
numerically, a not inconsiderable part of the season's population, and
the lives of these people who form a background of service, of which
many an affluent visitor is hardly conscious, parallel the lives of the
rich in a manner that is not without a note of caricature.

When the rich go South so do the hordes that serve them; when the
Florida season begins to close and the rich move northward, the serving
population likewise begins to melt away; if you are in Palm Beach near
the season's end, and move up to St. Augustine, or Jacksonville, or
Augusta, or any one of a dozen other places, you are likely to
recognize, here and there, a waiter, a bell-boy, or a chambermaid whom
you tipped, some weeks earlier, preparatory to leaving a latitude
several degrees nearer the Equator. When you leave the Poinciana or the
Breakers at the season's close, your waiter may, for all you know, be in
the Jim Crow car, ahead, and when you go in to dinner at the Ponce de
Leon at St. Augustine, or the Mason at Jacksonville, you may discover
that he too has stopped off there for a few days, to gather in the
final tips. Nor must you fancy, when you depart for the North, that you
have seen the last of him. Next summer when you take a boat up the
Hudson, or go to Boston by the Fall River Line, or drop in at a hotel at
Saratoga, there he will be, like an old friend. The bartender who mixes
you a pick-me-up on the morning that you leave the Breakers, will be
ready to start you on the downward path, at the beginning of the summer,
at some Northern country club; the barber who cuts your hair at the
Royal Palm in Miami will be ready to perform a like service, later on,
at some hotel in the Adirondacks or the White Mountains; the neat
waitress who serves you at the Belleview at Belleair will appear before
you three or four months hence at the Griswold near New London; the
adept waiter from the Beach Club at Palm Beach will seem to you to look
like some one you have seen before when, presently, he places viands
before you at Sherry's, or the Ritz, or some fashionable restaurant in
London or Paris. Likewise, when you enter the barber shop of a large
hostelry just off the board walk in Atlantic City, next July, you will
find there, in the same generously ventilated shirt waist, the
manicurist who caused your nails to glisten so superbly in the Florida
sunlight; and if she has the memory for faces which is no small part of
a successful manicurist's stock in trade, she will remember you, and
where she saw you last, and will tell you just which of the young women
from "The Follies" and the Century Theater are to be seen upon the
beach that day, and whether they are wearing, here on the Jersey coast,
those same surprising bathing suits which, last February, caused blase
gentlemen basking upon the Florida sands to sit up, arise, say it was
time for one last dip before luncheon, and then, without seeming too
deliberate about it, follow the amazing nymphs in the direction of a
matchless sea--that sea which, as a background for these Broadway girls
in their long silken hosiery, takes on a tone of spectacular unreality,
like some fantastic marine back drop devised by Mr. Dillingham or Mr.
Ziegfeld.




CHAPTER LV

A DAY IN MONTGOMERY

    I have walk'd in Alabama
      My morning walk....

    --WALT WHITMAN.


As I have remarked before, it is a long haul from the peninsula of
Florida to New Orleans. There are two ways to go. The route by way of
Pensacola, following the Gulf Coast, looks shorter on the map but is, I
believe, in point of time consumed, the longer way. My companion and I
were advised to go by way of Montgomery, Alabama--a long way around it
looked--where we were to change trains, catching a New Orleans-bound
express from the North.

It was nearly midnight when, after a long tiresome journey, we arrived
in Alabama's capital, and after midnight when we reached the comfortable
if curiously called Hotel Gay-Teague, which is not named for an Indian
chief or a kissing game, but for two men who had to do with building it.

We had heard that Montgomery was a quiet, sleepy old town, and had
expected to go immediately to bed on our arrival. What then was our
amazement at hearing, echoing through the wide street in front of the
hotel, the sound of strident ragtime. Investigation disclosed a gaudily
striped tent of considerable size set up in the street and illuminated
by those flaring naphtha lamps they use in circuses. Going over to the
tent, we learned that there was dancing within, whereupon we paid our
fifteen cents apiece and entered. I have forgotten what produced the
music--it may have been a mechanical piano or a hurdy-gurdy--but there
was music, and it was loud, and there was a platform laid over the
cobble-stones of the street, and on that platform ten or more couples
were "ragging," their shoulders working like the walking beams of
side-wheelers. The men were of that nondescript type one would expect to
see in a fifteen-cent dancing place, but the women were of curious
appearance, for all were dressed alike, the costume being a fringed
khaki suit with knee-length skirt, a bandana at the neck, and a
sombrero. On inquiry I learned that this was called a "cowgirl" costume.
The dances were very brief, and in the intervals between them most of
the dancers went to a "bar" at the end of the tent where (Alabama being
a dry State) the beverage called "coca-cola"--a habit as much as a
drink--was being served in whisky glasses.

Unable to understand why this pageant of supposed western mining-camp
life should confront us in the streets of Alabama's capital, I made
inquiry of an amiable policeman who was on duty in the tent, and learned
that this was not a regular Montgomery institution, but one of the
attractions of a street fair which had invaded the city--the main body
of the fair being a block or two distant.

These fairs, he said, travel about the country much as circuses do,
making arrangements in advance with various organizations in different
places to stand sponsor for them.

Long after we were in our beds that night we were kept awake by the
sound of ragtime from the tent across the way. I arose next morning with
the feeling of one who has had insufficient sleep, and a glance at my
companion, who was already at table when I reached the hotel dining
room, informed me that he was suffering from a like complaint. I took my
seat opposite him in silence, and he acknowledged my presence with a nod
which he accomplished without looking up from his newspaper.

After breakfast there arrived a pleasant gentleman who announced himself
as secretary of one of the city's commercial organizations.

"We have a motor here," said the secretary, "and will show you points of
interest. Is there anything in particular you wish to see?"

"I think," said my companion, "that it would be a good thing to see the
street fair."

"Oh, no," said the secretary earnestly. "You don't want to see that.
There is nothing about it that is representative of Montgomery. It is
just a traveling show such as you might run into anywhere."

"Yes," I said, "but we never _have_ run into one before, and here it
is."

"I have said right along," declared the secretary, somberly, "that it
was a great mistake to bring this fair here at all. I don't think you
ought to pay any attention to it in your book. It will give people a
wrong impression of our city."

"Do you think it will, if I explain that it is just a traveling fair?"

"Yes. Wait until you see what we have to show you. We want you to
understand that Montgomery is a thriving metropolis, sir!"

"What is there to see?"

"Montgomery," he replied, "is known as 'The City of Sunshine.' It is
rich in history. It has superior hotels, picturesque highways, good
fishing and hunting, two golf courses, seven theaters, a number of
tennis courts, and unsurpassed artesian water. It has free factory
sites, the cheapest electric power rates in the United States, and is
the best-lighted city in the country."

"We have some pretty fair street lighting in New York," interjected my
companion, who takes much pride in his home town.

"I said '_one_ of the best lighted,'" replied the secretary.

"What is the population?"

"Montgomery," the other returned, "is typical of both the Old and the
New South. Though it may be called a modern model city, its wealth of
history and tradition are preserved with loving care by its myriad
inhabitants."

"How many inhabitants?"

"Roses and other flowers are in bloom here throughout the year," said
he. "Also there are six hundred miles of macadamized and picturesque
highways in Montgomery County. Indeed, this region is a motorist's
paradise."

"How many people did you say?"

"Montgomery," he answered, "is the trading center for a million
prosperous souls."

At this my companion, who had been reading up Montgomery in a guidebook,
began to bristle with hidden knowledge.

"You say there are a million people here?" he demanded.

"Not right _here_," admitted the secretary.

"Well, how many do you claim?"

"Fifty-five thousand four hundred and ten."

"Right _in_ the city?"

"Well, in the trolley-car territory."

"But in the city itself?" my companion insisted.

The secretary was fairly cornered. "The 1910 census," he said, with a
smile, "gave us about forty thousand."

"Thirty-eight thousand one hundred and thirty-six," corrected my
companion. He had not spent hours with the guidebook for nothing.

When, presently, we got into the automobile, I gave another feeble
chirp about the fair, but the secretary was adamant, so we yielded
temporarily, and were whirled about the city.

       *       *       *       *       *

Montgomery is a charming old town, not only by reason of the definite
things it has to show, but also because of a general rich suggestion of
old southern life.

The day, by a fortunate chance, was Saturday, and everywhere we went we
encountered negroes driving in from the country to market, in their
rickety old wagons. On some wagons there would be four or five men and
women, and here and there one would be playing a musical instrument and
they would all be singing, while the creaking of the wagon came in with
an orchestral quality which seemed grotesquely suitable. The mules, too,
looked as though they ought to creak, and an inspection of the harness
suggested that it was held together, not so much by the string and wire
with which it was mended, as by the fingers of that especial Providence
which watches over all kinds of absurd repairs made by negroes, and
makes them hold for negroes, where they would not hold for white men.

In an old buff-painted brick building standing on the corner of Commerce
and Bibb Streets, the Confederate Government had its first offices, and
from this building, if I mistake not, was sent the telegraphic order to
fire on Fort Sumter. Another historical building is the dilapidated
frame residence at the corner of Bibb and Lee Streets, which was the
first "White House of the Confederacy." This building is now a boarding
house, and is in a pathetic state of decay. But perhaps when Montgomery
gets up the energy to build a fine tourist hotel, or when outside
capital comes in and builds one, the old house will be furbished up to
provide a "sight" for visitors.

There are several reasons why Montgomery would be a good place for a
large winter-resort hotel, and if I were a Montgomery "booster" I should
give less thought to free factory sites than to building up the town as
a winter stopping place for tourists. The town itself is picturesque and
attractive; as to railroads it is well situated (albeit the claim that
Montgomery is the "Gateway to Florida" strikes me as a little bit
exaggerated); the climate is delightful, and the surrounding country is
not only beautiful but fertile. Furthermore, there are already two golf
clubs--one for Jews and one for Gentiles--and the links are reputed to
be good.

Unlike many southern cities of moderate size, Montgomery has well-paved
streets, and the better residence streets, being wide, and lined with
trees and pleasant houses, each in its own lawn, give a suggestion of an
agreeable home and social life--a suggestion which, by implication at
least, report substantiates: for it has been said that the chief
industry of Montgomery is that of raising beautiful young women to make
wives for the rich men of Birmingham.

On such pleasant thoroughfares as South Perry Street, it may be noticed
that many of the newer houses have taken their architectural inspiration
from old ones, with the result that, though "originality" does not jump
out at the passer-by, as it does on so many streets, North and South,
which are lined with the heterogeneous homes of prosperous families,
there is an agreeable architectural harmony over the town.

This is not, of course, invariably true, but it is truer, I think, in
Montgomery than in most other cities, and if Montgomery is defaced by
the funny little settlement called Bungalow City, that settlement is, at
least, upon the outskirts of the town. Bungalow City is without
exception the queerest real-estate development I ever saw. It consists
of several blocks of tiny houses, standing on tiny lots, the scale of
everything being so small as to suggest a play village for children. The
houses are, however, homes, and I was told that in some of them all
sorts of curious space-saving devices are installed--as, for instance,
tables and beds which can be folded into the walls. Not far from this
little settlement is an old house which used to be the home of Tweed,
New York's notorious political boss, who, it is said, used to spend much
time here.

The chief lion of the city is the old State House, which stands on a
graceful eminence in a small well-kept park. Just as the New York State
Capitol is probably the most shamefully expensive structure of the kind
in the entire country, that of Alabama is, I fancy, the most creditably
inexpensive. Building and grounds cost $335,000. Moreover, the Capitol
of Alabama is a better-looking building than that of New York, for it is
without gingerbread trimmings, and has about it the air of honest
simplicity that an American State House ought to have. Of course it has
a dome, and of course it has a columned portico, but both are plain, and
there is a large clock, in a quaint box-like tower, over the peak of the
portico, which contributes to the building a curious touch of
individuality. At the center of the portico floor, under this clock, a
brass plate marks the spot where Jefferson Davis stood when he delivered
his inaugural address, February 18, 1861, and in the State Senate
Chamber, within--a fine simple room with a gallery of peculiar
grace--the Provisional Government of the Confederacy was organized. The
flag of the Confederacy was, I believe, adopted in this room, and was
first flung to the breeze from the Capitol building.

It was past three in the afternoon when we left the State House, and we
had had no luncheon.

"Now," said my companion as we returned to the automobile, "I think we
had better have something to eat, and then go to the fair."

"But you were going to give up the fair," put in the secretary.

"Oh, no," we said in chorus.

"I have arranged about luncheon," he returned. "We will have it served
at the hotel in a short time. But first there are some important sights
I wish you to see."

"Man shall not live by sights alone," objected my companion. "What are
you going to show us?"

"We have a beautiful woman's college."

"That," said my companion, "is the one thing that could tempt me. How
many beautiful women are there?"

"It's not the women--it's the building," the secretary explained.

"Then," said my companion firmly, "I think we'd better go and have our
lunch."

It seemed to me time to back him up in this demand. By dint of
considerable insistence we persuaded our enthusiastic cicerone to drive
to the hotel, where we found a table already set for us.

"I want to tell you," said the secretary as we sat down, "about the
agricultural progress this section has been making. Until recently our
farmers raised nothing but cotton; they didn't even feed themselves, but
lived largely on canned goods. But the boll weevil and the European War,
affecting the cotton crop and the cotton market as they did, forced the
farmers to wake up."

The secretary talked interestingly on this subject for perhaps a quarter
of an hour, during which time we waited for luncheon to be served.

"You see," he said, "our climate is such that it is possible to rotate
crops more than in most parts of the country. Cotton is now a surplus
crop with us, and our farmers are raising cattle, vegetables, and food
products."

"Speaking of food products," said my companion, "I wonder if we could
hurry up the lunch?"

"It will be along in a little while," soothed the secretary. Then he
returned to agriculture.

Ten minutes more passed. I saw that my companion was becoming nervous.

"I'm sorry to trouble you," he said at last, "but if we can't speed up
this luncheon, I don't see how I can wait. You see, we are leaving town
this evening, and I have an awful lot to do."

"I'll step back and investigate," the secretary said, rising and moving
toward the kitchen door.

When he was out of hearing, my companion leaned toward me.

"I suspect this fellow!" he said.

"What of?"

"I think he's delaying us on purpose. He's a nice chap, but it's his
business to boost this town, and he's artful. He doesn't want us to see
the street fair. That's why he's stalling like this!"

Now, however, the secretary returned, followed by a waiter bearing soup.

The soup was fine, but it was succeeded by another long interval, during
which the secretary said some very, very beautiful things about the
charm of Montgomery life. However, it was clear to me that my companion
was not interested. After he had looked at his watch several times, and
drummed a long tattoo upon the table, he arose, declaring:

"I can't wait another minute."

"Sit down, my dear fellow," said the secretary in his most genial tone.
"I am having some special southern dishes prepared for you."

"You're very kind," said my companion, "but I must get to work. It's
half-past four now; we are leaving in a few hours. It will take me an
hour to make my sketches, and the light will be failing pretty soon."

"What are you going to sketch?" It seemed to me that there was
suppressed emotion in the secretary's voice as he asked the question.

"Why, the street fair."

"Surely, you're not going to _draw_ it?"

"Why not?"

"It's not representative of Montgomery. You ought to do something
representative! What pictures have you made here?"

"I made one of those negroes driving in to market," said my companion,
"and one of the dancing cowgirls in the tent across the way--the ones
who kept us awake last night."

"My God!" cried the secretary, turning to me. "You intend to print such
pictures and say that they represent the normal life of this city?"

"No, I won't say anything about it."

"But--" the secretary arose and looked wanly at the illustrator--"but
you haven't drawn any of our pretty homes! You didn't draw the golf
clubs--not either one of them! You didn't draw the State House, or the
Confederate Monument, or the Insane Asylum, or anything!"

"I haven't had time."

"Well, you have time now! I tell you what: We'll let this luncheon go.
I'll take you to the top of our tallest building, and you can draw a
panoramic bird's-eye view of the entire city. That will be worth while."

My companion reached out, helped himself to a French roll, and put it in
his pocket.

"No," he said. "I will not go to the top of a high building with you."

"But why not?"

"Because," he replied, "I am afraid you would try to push me off the
roof to prevent my drawing the street fair."

I do not remember that the secretary denied having harbored such a plan.
At all events, he countermanded the remainder of the luncheon order and
departed with us.

At the entrance of an office building he made one final desperate
appeal: "Just come up to the top floor and see the view!"

But we stood firm, and he continued with us on our way.

The fair was strung along both sides of a wide, cobbled street. It was
really a very jolly fair, with the usual lot of barkers and the usual
gaping crowd, plus many negroes, who stood fascinated before the highly
colored canvas signs outside the tents, with their bizarre pictures of
wild animals, snake charmers, "Nemo, the Malay Prince," and "The
Cigarette Fiend," pictured as a ghastly emaciated object with a blue
complexion, and billed as "Endorsed by the Anti-Cigarette League of
America." I wished to inquire why an anti-cigarette league should
indorse a cigarette fiend, but lack of time compelled us to press on,
leaving the apparent paradox unsolved.

As we progressed between the tents and the booths with their catchpenny
"wheels of fortune," and ring-tossing enticements, the secretary
maintained a protesting silence.

Near the end of the block we stopped to listen to a particularly
vociferous barker. I saw my companion take his pad from his pocket and
place it under his arm, while he sharpened a pencil.

"Come!" cried the secretary. "Come across the square and let me show you
our beautiful bronze fountain. Draw that!"

But my companion was already beginning to sketch. He was drawing the
barker and the crowd.

Meanwhile an expression of horror came into the secretary's face.
Looking at him, I became conscience-stricken.

"Come away," I said gently, taking him by the arm. "Don't watch him
draw. He draws wonderfully, but Art for Art's sake doesn't appeal to
you just now. The better he draws the worse it will make you feel. Let
me get your mind off all this. Let me take you over to the autodrome,
where we can see Mr. O.K. Hager and his beautiful sister, Miss Olive
Hager, the 'Two Daredevil Motorcyclists, in the Thrilling Race against
Death.' That will make you forget."

"No," said the secretary, shaking his head with a despondency the very
sight of which made me sad; "I have letters to sign at the office."

"And we have taken up your whole day!"

"It has been a pleasure," he said kindly. "There is only one thing that
worries me. Those drawings are not going to represent what is typical of
Montgomery life. Not in the least!"

There arose in me a sudden desire to comfort him.

"How would it be," I suggested, "if I were to print that statement in my
book?"

He looked at me in surprise.

"But you couldn't very well do that, could you?"

"Certainly," I replied.

His face brightened. It was delightful to see the change come over him.

"For that matter," I went on, "I might say even more. I could say that,
while I admire my companion as a man, and as an artist, he lacks
ingenuity in ordering breakfast. He always reads over the menu and then
orders a baked apple and scrambled eggs and bacon. Would you like me to
attack him on that line also?"

"Oh, no," said the secretary. "Nothing of that kind. It's just about
these pictures. They aren't representative. If you'll say that, I'll be
more than satisfied."

Presently we parted.

"Don't forget!" he said as we shook hands in farewell.

And I have not forgotten. Moreover, to give full measure, I am going to
ask the printer to set the statement in italics:

_The drawings accompanying this chapter are not representative of what
is typical of Montgomery life._

With this statement my companion is in full accord. He admits that he
would have drawn the State House had there been no fair, to interfere.
But, as with certain items on the breakfast bill, street fairs are a
passion with him. And so they are with me.




CHAPTER LVI

THE CITY OF THE CREOLE


When a poet, a painter, or a sculptor wishes to personify a city, why
does he invariably give it the feminine gender? Why is this so, even
though the city be named for a man, or for a masculine saint? And why is
it so in the case of commonplace cities, commercial cities, and ugly,
sordid cities? It is not difficult to understand why a beautiful,
sparkling city, like Washington or Paris, suggests a handsome woman,
richly gowned and bedecked with jewels, but it is hard to understand why
some other cities, far less pleasing, seem somehow to be stamped with
the qualities of woman-nature rather than man-nature. Is it perhaps
because the nature of all cities is so complicated? Is it because they
are volatile, changeful, baffling? Or is it only that they are the
mothers of great families of men?

When I arrive in a strange city I feel as though I were making the
acquaintance of a woman of whom I have often heard. I am curious about
her. I am alert. I gaze at her eagerly, wondering if she is as I have
imagined her. I try to read her expression while listening to her voice.
I consider her raiment, noticing whether it is fine, whether it is good
only in spots, and whether it is well put together. I inspect the
important buildings, boulevards, parks, and monuments with which she is
jeweled, and judge by them not only of her prosperity, but of her sense
of beauty. Before long I have a distinct impression of her. Sometimes,
as with a woman, this first impression has to be revised; sometimes not.
Sometimes, on acquaintance, a single feature, or trait, becomes so
important in my eyes that all else seems inconsequential. A noble spirit
may cover physical defects; beauty may seem to compensate for weaknesses
of character. The spell of a beautiful city which is bad resembles the
spell of such a city's prototype among women.

Some young growing cities are like young growing women of whom we think:
"She is as yet unformed, but she will fill out and become more charming
as she grows older." Or again we think: "She is somewhat dowdy and run
down at the heels but she is ambitious, and is replenishing her wardrobe
as she can afford it." One expects such failings in young cities, and
readily forgives them where there is wholesome promise for the future.
But where old cities become slovenly, the affair is different, for then
it means physical decay, and physical decay should never come to a
city--for a city is not only feminine, but should be immortal. The
symbol for every city should be a goddess, forever in her prime.

Among southern cities Richmond is the _grande dame_; she is gray and
distinguished, and wears handsome old brocades and brooches. Richmond
is aquiline and crisp and has much "manner." But though Charleston is
actually the older, the wonderful beauty of the place, the softness of
the ancient architectural lines, the sweet scents wafting from walled
gardens, the warmth of color everywhere, gives the place that very
quality of immortal youth and loveliness which is so rare in cities, and
is so much to be desired. Charleston I might allegorize in the person of
a young woman I met there. I was in the drawing-room of a fine old
house; a beautifully proportioned room, paneled to the ceiling, hung
with family portraits and other old paintings, and furnished with
mahogany masterpieces a century and a half old. The girl lived in this
house. She was not exactly pretty, nor was her figure beautiful in the
usual sense; yet it was beautiful, all the same, with a sort of
long-limbed, supple, aristocratic aliveness. Most of all there was about
her a great fineness--the kind of fineness which seems to be the
expression of generations of fineness. She was the granddaughter of a
general in the Civil War, the great-granddaughter of an ambassador, the
great-great-granddaughter of a Revolutionary hero, and though one could
not but be thankful that she failed of striking resemblance to the
portraits of these admirable ancestors, nevertheless it seemed to me
that, had I not known definitely of their place in her family history, I
might almost have sensed them hovering behind her: a background,
nebulous and shadowy, out of which she had emerged.

Memphis, upon the other hand, will always be to me a lively modern
debutante. I vision her as dancing--dancing to Handy's ragtime
music--all shoulders, neck, and arms, and tulle, and twenty-dollar satin
slippers. Atlanta, too, is young, vivid, affluent, altogether modern;
while as for Birmingham, she is pretty, but a little strident, a little
overdressed; touched a little with the amiability, and the other
qualities, of the _nouveau riche_.

The beauty of New Orleans is of a different kind. She is a full-blown,
black-eyed, dreamy, drawly creature, opulent of figure, white of skin,
and red of lip. Like San Francisco she has Latin blood which makes her
love and preserve the carnival spirit; but she is more voluptuous than
San Francisco, for not only is she touched with the languor and the fire
of her climate, but she is without the virile blood of the forty-niner,
or the invigorating contact of the fresh Pacific wind. In my imaginary
picture I see her yawning at eleven in the morning, when her negro maid
brings black coffee to her bedside--such wonderful black
coffee!--whereas, at that hour, I conceive San Francisco as having long
been up and about her affairs. Even in the afternoon I fancy my New
Orleans beauty as a little bit relaxed. But at dinner she becomes alive,
and after dinner more alive, and by midnight she is like a flame.

I must admit, however, that of late years New Orleans has developed a
perfect case of dual personality, and that, as often happens where there
is dual personality, one side of her nature seems altogether
incompatible with the other. The very new New Orleans has no
resemblance to the picture I have drawn; moreover, my picture is not her
favorite likeness of herself. She prefers more recent ones--pictures
showing the lines of determination which, within the last ten years have
stamped themselves upon her features, as she has fought and overcome the
defects of character which logically accompanied her peculiar,
temperamental type of charm. I, upon the other hand, am like some lover
who values most an older picture of the woman he adores. I admire her
for building character, but it is by her languorous beauty that I am
infatuated, and the portrait which most effectively displays that beauty
is the one for which I care.

Her very failings were so much a part of her that they made us the more
sympathetic; she was too lovely to be greatly blamed for anything;
gazing into her eyes, we hardly noticed that there was dust under the
piano and in the corners; dining at her sumptuous table, we gave but
little thought to the fact that the cellar was damp, the house none too
healthy, and that there were mosquitoes and rats about the place; nor
did it seem to matter, in face of her allurements, that she was
shiftless, extravagant, improvident in the management of her affairs. If
these things were brought to our attention, we excused them on the
grounds of Latin blood and enervating climate.

But if we excused her, she did not excuse herself. Without being shaken
awake by an earthquake, or forced to action by a devastating fire or
flood, she set to work, calmly and of her own volition, to reform her
character.

First she cleaned house, providing good surface drainage, an excellent
filtered water supply from the river in place of her old
mosquito-breeding cisterns, and modern sewers in place of cesspools. She
killed rats by the hundreds of thousands, rat-proofed her buildings, and
thus, at one stroke, eliminated all fear of bubonic plague. She began to
take interest in the public schools, and soon trebled their advantages.
She concerned herself with the revision of repressive tax laws. She
secured one of the best street railway systems in the country. But,
perhaps most striking of all, she set to work to build scientifically
toward the realization of a gigantic dream. This dream embodies the
resumption by New Orleans of her old place as second seaport city. To
this end she is doing more than any other city to revive the commerce of
the Mississippi River, and is at the same time making a strong bid for
trade by way of the Panama Canal, as well as other sea traffic. She has
restored her forty miles of water front to the people, has built
municipal docks and warehouses at a cost of millions, and has so
perfectly cooerdinated her river-rail-sea traffic-handling agencies that
rates have been greatly reduced. Upon these, and related enterprises,
upward of a hundred millions are being spent, and the vast plan is
working out with such promise that one almost begins to fear lest New
Orleans become too much enamored of her new-found materialism--lest the
easy-going, pleasure-loving, fascinating Creole belle be transformed
into the much-less-rare and much-less-desirable business type of woman:
a woman whose letters, instead of being written in a fine French hand
and scented with the faint fragrance of vertivert, are typewritten upon
commercial paper; whose lips, instead of causing one to think of kisses,
are laden with the deadly cant of commerce; whose skin, instead of
seeming to be made of milk and rose leaves, is dappled with industrial
soot.

Lord Chesterfield in one of his letters to his son, intimated that
beautiful women desire to be flattered upon their intelligence, while
intelligent women who are not altogether ugly like to be told that they
are beautiful. So with New Orleans. Speak of her individuality, her
picturesqueness, her gift of laughter, and she will listen with polite
ennui; but admire her commercial progress and she will hang upon your
words. Gaiety and charm are so much a part of her that she not only
takes them as a matter of course, but seems to doubt, sometimes, that
they are virtues. She is like some unusual and fascinating woman who,
instead of rejoicing because she is not like all other women, begins to
wonder if she ought not to be like them. Perhaps she is wrong to be gay?
Perhaps her carnival proves her frivolous? Perhaps she ought not to
continue to hold a carnival each year?

Far to the north of New Orleans the city of St. Paul was afflicted, some
years since, by a similar agitation. It will be remembered that St.
Paul used to build an ice palace each year. People used to go to see it
as they go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Then came some believer in the
standardization of cities, advancing the idea that ice palaces
advertised St. Paul as a cold place. As a result they ceased to be
built. St. Paul threw away something which drew attention to her and
which gave her character. Moreover, I am told this mania went so far
that when folders were issued for the purpose of advertising the region,
they were designed to suggest the warmth and brilliance of the tropics.
Had St. Paul a bad climate, instead of a peculiarly fine one, we might
feel sympathetic tolerance for these performances, but a city which
enjoys cool summers and dry, bracing winters has no apologies to make
upon the score of climate, and only need apologize if she tries to make
us think that bananas and cocoanuts grow on sugar-maple trees. However,
in the last year or two, St. Paul has perceived the folly of her course,
and has resumed her annual carnival.

In the case of New Orleans I cannot believe there is real danger that
the carnival will be given up. Instead, I believe that the business
enthusiasts will be appeased--as they were a year or two ago, for the
first time in carnival history--by the inclusion of an industrial
pageant glorifying the city's commercial renaissance. Also the New
Orleans newspapers soothe the spirit of the Association of Commerce, at
carnival time, by publishing items presumably furnished by that capable
organization, showing that business is going on as usual, that bank
clearings have not diminished during the festivities, and that, despite
the air of happiness that pervades the town, New Orleans is not really
beginning to have such a good time as a stranger might suppose from
superficial signs. With such concessions made to solemn visaged
commerce, is the carnival continued.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are at least six cities on this continent which every one should
see. Every one should see New York because it is the largest city in the
world, and because it combines the magnificence, the wonder, the beauty,
the sordidness, and the shame of a great metropolis; every one should
see San Francisco because it is so vivid, so alive, so golden; every one
should see Washington, the clean, white splendor of which is like the
embodiment of a national dream; every one should see the old gray
granite city of Quebec, piled on its hill above the river like some
fortified town in France; every one should see the sweet and
aristocratic city of Charleston, which suggests a museum of tradition
and early American elegance; and of course every one should see New
Orleans.

As to whether it is best to see the city in everyday attire, or masked
for the revels, that is a matter of taste, and perhaps of age as well.
To any one who loves cities, New Orleans is always good to see, while to
the lover of spectacles and fetes the carnival is also worth
seeing--once. The two are, however, hardly to be seen to advantage
simultaneously. To visit New Orleans in carnival time is like visiting
some fine old historic mansion when it is all in a flurry over a
fancy-dress ball. The furniture is moved, master, mistress and servants
are excited, the cook is overworked and is perhaps complaining a little,
and the brilliant costumes of the masquerade divert the eye of the
visitor so that he hardly knows what sort of house he is in. Attend the
ball if you like, but do not fail to revisit the house when normal
conditions have been restored; see the festivities of Mardi Gras if you
will, but do not fail to browse about old New Orleans and sit down at
her famous tables when her chefs have time to do their best.




CHAPTER LVII

HISTORY, THE CREOLE, AND HIS DUELS


Canal Street is to New Orleans much more than Main Street is to Buffalo,
much more than Broad Street is to Philadelphia, much more than Broadway
and Fifth Avenue are to New York, for Canal Street divides New Orleans
as no other street divides an American city. It divides New Orleans as
the Seine divides Paris, and there is not more difference between the
right bank of the Seine and the Latin Quarter than between American New
Orleans and Creole New Orleans: between the newer part of the city and
the _vieux carre_. The sixty squares ("islets" according to the Creole
idiom, because each block was literally an islet in time of flood) which
comprise the old French town established in 1718 by the Sieur de
Bienville, are unlike the rest of the city not merely in architecture,
but in all respects. The street names change at Canal Street, the
highways become narrower as you enter the French quarter, and the
pavements are made of huge stone blocks brought over long ago as ballast
in sailing ships. Nor is the difference purely physical. For though they
will tell you that this part of the city is not so French and Spanish as
it used to be, that it has run down, that large parts of it have been
given over to Italians of the lower class, and to negroes, it remains
not only in appearance, but in custom, thought and character, the most
perfectly foreign little tract of land in the whole United States. Long
ago, under the French flag, it was a part of the Roman Catholic
bishopric of Quebec; later under the Spanish flag, a part of that of
Havana; and it is charming to trace in old buildings, names, and customs
the signs of this blended French and Spanish ancestry.

La Salle, searching out a supposed route to China by way of the
Mississippi River, seems to have perceived what the New Orleans
Association of Commerce perceives to-day: that the control of the mouth
of the river ought to mean also the control of a vast part of the
continent. At all events, he took possession in 1682 in the name of the
French King, calling the river St. Louis and the country Louisiana. The
latter name persisted, but La Salle himself later rechristened the
river, giving it the name Colbert, thereby showing that in two attempts
he could not find a name one tenth as good as that already provided by
the savages. The "St. Louis River" might, from its name, be a fair-sized
stream, but "Colbert" sounds like the name of a river about twenty miles
long, forty feet wide at the mouth, and five feet deep at the very
middle.

La Salle intended to build a fort at a point sixty leagues above the
mouth of the river, but his expedition met with disaster upon disaster,
until at last he was assassinated in Texas, when setting out on foot to
seek help from Canada. In 1699 came Iberville, the Canadian, exploring
the river and fixing on the site for the future city. Iberville
established settlements at old Biloxi (now Ocean Springs) and Mobile,
but before he had time to make a town at New Orleans he caught yellow
fever at Havana, and died there. It therefore remained for his brother,
Bienville, actually to establish the town, and New Orleans is
Bienville's city, just as Detroit is Cadillac's, and Cleveland General
Moses Cleveland's.

Bienville's settlers were hardy pioneers from Canada, and presently we
find him writing to France: "Send me wives for my Canadians. They are
running in the woods after Indian girls." The priests also urged that
unless white wives could be sent out for the settlers, marriages with
Indians be sanctioned.

Having now a considerable investment in Louisiana, France felt that a
request for wives for the colony was practical and legitimate. Louisiana
must have population. A bonus of so much per head was offered for
colonists, and hideous things ensued: servants, children, and helpless
women were kidnapped, and the occupants of hospitals, asylums, and
houses of correction were assembled and deported. Incidentally it will
be remembered that out of these black deeds flowered "the first
masterpiece of French literature which can properly be called a novel,"
the Abbe Prevost's "Manon Lescaut," which has been dramatized and
redramatized, and which is the theme of operas by both Massenet and
Puccini. Though a grave alleged to be that of Manon used to be shown on
the outskirts of the city, there is doubt that such a person actually
existed, although those who wish to believe in a flesh-and-blood Manon
may perhaps take encouragement from the fact that the arrival in the
colony of a Chevalier des Grieux, in the year 1719, fourteen years
before the book appeared, has been established, and, further, that the
name of the Chevalier des Grieux may be seen upon a crumbling tomb in
one of the river parishes.

When the girls arrived they were on inspection in the daytime, but at
night were carefully guarded by soldiers, in the house where they were
quartered together. Miss Grace King, in her delightful book, "New
Orleans, the Place and the People," tells us that in these times there
were never enough girls to fill the demand for wives, and that in one
instance two young bachelors proposed to fight over a very plain
girl--the last one left out of a shipload--but that the commandant
obliged them to settle their dispute by the more pacific means of
drawing lots. As the place became settled Ursuline sisters arrived and
established schools. And at last, a quarter of a century after the
landing of the first shipment of girls, the curious history of female
importations ended with the arrival of that famous band of sixty
demoiselles of respectable family and "authenticated spotless
reputation," who came to be taken as wives by only the more prosperous
young colonists of the better class. The earlier, less reputable girls
have come down to us by the name of "correction girls," but these later
arrivals--each furnished by the Company of the West with a casket
containing a trousseau--are known to this day as _les filles a la
cassette_, or "casket girls."

A curious feature of this bit of history, as it applies to present-day
New Orleans, is that though one hears of many families that claim
descent from some nice, well-behaved "casket girl," one never by any
chance hears of a family claiming to be descended from a lady of the
other stock. When it is considered that the "correction girls" far
outnumbered their virtuous sisters of the casket, and ought, therefore,
by the law of averages, to have left a greater progeny, the matter
becomes stranger still, taking on a scientific interest. The explanation
must, however, be left to some mind more astute than mine--some mind
capable, perhaps, of unraveling also those other riddles of New Orleans
namely: Who was the mysterious chevalier who many years ago invented
that most delectable of _sucreries_, the praline, and whither did he
vanish? And how, although the refugee Duc d'Orleans (later Louis
Philippe of France) stayed but a short time in New Orleans, did he
manage to sleep in so many hundred beds, and in houses which were not
built until long after his departure? And why are so many of the signs,
over bars, restaurants, and shops, of that blue and white enamel one
associates with the signs of the Western Union Telegraph Company? And
why is the nickel as characteristic of New Orleans as is the silver
dollar of the farther Middle West, and gold coin of the Pacific
Slope--why, when one pays for a ten-cent purchase with a half-dollar,
does one receive eight nickels in change? Ah, but New Orleans is a
mysterious city!

Once, when the French and English were fighting for the possession of
Canada and New Orleans was depending for protection on Swiss
mercenaries, the French officer in command of these troops disciplined
them by stripping them and tying them to trees, where they were a prey
to the terrible mosquitoes of the Gulf. One day they killed him and
fled, but some of them were captured. These were taken back to New
Orleans, court-martialed, and punished according to the regulations:
they were nailed alive to their coffins and sawed in two.

Ceded to Spain by a secret clause in the Treaty of Paris, of which she
did not know until 1764, Louisiana could not believe the news. Even when
the Acadians, appeared, after having been so cruelly ejected from their
lands in what is now New Brunswick, Louisiana could not believe that
Louis XV would coldly cast off his loyal colony. The fact that he had
done so was not credited until a Spanish governor arrived. For three
years after, there was confusion. Then a strong force was sent from
Spain under Count O'Reilly, a man of Irish birth, but Spanish
allegiance, and the flag of Spain was raised. O'Reilly maintained
viceregal splendor; he invited leading citizens to a levee; here in his
own house he caused his soldiers to seize the group of prominent men who
had attempted to prevent the accomplishment of Spanish rule, and five
of these he presently caused to be shot as rebels.

Spanish governors came and went. The people settled down. At one time
Padre Antonio de Sedella, a Spanish Capuchin, arrived with a commission
to establish in the city the Holy office of the Inquisition, but he was
discouraged and shipped back to Cadiz. Miss King tells us that when,
half a century later, the calaboose was demolished, secret dungeons
containing instruments of torture were discovered.

On Good Friday, 1788, fire broke out, and as the priests refused to let
the bells be rung in warning, saying that all bells must be dumb on Good
Friday, the conflagration gained such headway that it could not be
checked, and a large part of the old French town was reduced to ashes.
Six years later another fire equally destructive, completed the work of
blotting out the French town, and the old New Orleans we now know is the
Spanish city which arose in its place: a city not of wood but of adobe
or brick, stuccoed and tinted, of arcaded walks, galleries, jalousies,
ponderous doors, and inner courts with carriage entrances from the
street, and, behind, the most charming and secluded gardens. Also, owing
to premiums offered by Baron Carondelet, the governor, tile roofs came
into vogue, so that the city became comparatively fireproof. Much of the
present-day charm of the old city is due also to the noble Andalusian,
Don Andreas Almonaster y Roxas, who having immigrated and made a great
fortune in the city, became its benefactor, building schools and other
public institutions, the picturesque old Cabildo, or town hall, which is
now a most fascinating museum, the cathedral, which adjoins the Cabildo,
and which, like it, faces Jackson Square, formerly the Place d'Armes. In
front of the altar of his cathedral Don Andreas is buried, and masses
are said, in perpetuity, for his soul. When the Don's young widow
remarried, she and her husband were pursued by a charivari lasting three
days and three nights--the most famous charivari in the history of a
city widely noted for these detestable functions. The Don's daughter, a
great heiress, became the Baronne Pontalba and resided in magnificence
in Paris, where she died, a very old woman, in 1874.

In the Place d'Armes much of the early history of New Orleans, and
indeed, of Louisiana, was written. Here, and in the Cabildo, the
transfers from flag to flag took place, ending with the ceding of
Louisiana by Spain to France, and by France to the United States. At
this time New Orleans had about ten thousand inhabitants, most of the
whites being Creoles.

Harris Dickson, who knows a great deal about New Orleans, declared in an
article published some years ago, that outside lower Louisiana the word
"Creole" is still misunderstood, and added this definition of the term:
"A person of mixed French and Spanish blood, born in Louisiana." As I
understand it, however, the blood need not necessarily be mixed, but may
be pure Spanish or pure French, or again, there may be some admixture
of English blood. The word itself was, I am informed, originally
Spanish, and signified an American descended from Spaniards; later it
got into the language of the French West Indies, whence it was imported,
to Louisiana, about the end of the eighteenth century, by refugees who
arrived in considerable numbers from San Domingo, after the revolution
of the blacks there. Thus, the early French settlers did not use the
word.

If any misapprehension as to whether a Creole is a white person does
still exist, that misunderstanding is, I believe, to be traced to the
doors of an old-time cheap burlesque theater in Chicago, where the late
impresario, Sam T. Jack, put on a show in which mulatto women were
billed as "a galaxy of Creole beauties." This show traveled about the
country libeling the Creoles and doubtless causing many persons of that
class which attended Sam T. Jack's shows, to believe that "Creole" means
something like "quadroon." But when the show got to Baton Rouge the
manager was waited upon by a committee of citizens who said certain
things to him which caused him to give up his engagement there and
cancel any other engagements he had in the Creole country.

True, one frequently hears references in New Orleans to "Creole
mammies," and "Creole negroes," but the word used in that sense merely
indicates a negro who has been the servant of Creoles, and who speaks
French--"gombo French" the curious dialect is called. Similarly one
hears of "Creole ponies"--these being ponies of the small, strong type
used by the Cajan farmers. According to the Louisiana dialect
Longfellow's "Evangeline" was a Cajan, the word being a corruption of
"Acadian." About a thousand of these unfortunate expatriates arrived in
New Orleans between 1765 and 1768. Within a century they had multiplied
to forty times that number, spreading over the entire western part of
the State.

Much of the temperament, the gaiety, the sensitiveness of New Orleans
comes from the Creole. He was Latin enough to be a good deal of a
gambler, to love beautiful women, and on slight provocation to draw his
sword.

The street names of New Orleans--not only those of the French Quarter,
but of the whole city--reflect his various tastes. Many of the streets
bear the names of historic figures of the French and Spanish regimes;
Rampart Street, formerly the rue des Ramparts marks, like the outer
boulevards of Paris, the line of the old city wall. Other streets were
given pretty feminine names by the old Creole gallants: Suzette,
Celeste, Estelle, Angelie, and the like. The devout doubtless had their
share in the naming of Religious Street, Nuns Street, Piety Street,
Assumption Street, and Amen Street. The taste for Greek and Roman
classicism which developed in France at the time of the Revolution,
found its way to Louisiana, and is reflected in New Orleans by streets
bearing the names of gods, demi gods, the muses and the graces. The
pronunciation given to some of these names is curious: Melpomene,
instead of being given four syllables is called Melpomeen; Calliope is
similarly Callioap; Euterpe, Euterp, and so on. This, however, is the
result not of ignorance, but of a slight corruption of the correct
French pronunciations, the Americans having taken their way of
pronouncing the names from the French. The Napoleonic wars are
commemorated in the names of Napoleon Avenue, and Austerlitz and Jena
Streets, and the visit of Lafayette in the naming for him of both a
street and an avenue. But perhaps the most striking names of all the old
ones were Mystery Street, Madman's Street, Love Street (Rue de l'Amour),
Goodchildren Street (Rue des Bons Enfants), and above all those two
streets in the Faubourg Marigny which old Bernard Marigny amused himself
by naming for two games of chance at which, it is said, he had lost a
fortune--namely Bagatelle and Craps--the latter not the game played with
dice, but an old-time game of cards.

The French spoken by cultivated Creoles bears to the French of modern
France about the same relation as the current English of Virginia does
to that of England. Creole French is founded largely upon the French of
the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, just as many of the
so-called "Americanisms" of older parts of the country, including
Virginia and New England, are Elizabethan. The early English and French
colonists, coming to this country with the language of their times,
dropped, over here, into a linguistic backwater. In the mother
countries language continued to renew itself as it flowed along, by
elisions, by the adoption and legitimatizing of slang words (as for
instance the word "cab," to which Dean Swift objected on the ground that
it was slang for "cabriolet"), and by all the other means through which
our vocabularies are forever changing. But to the colonies these changes
were not carried, and such changes as occurred in the French and English
of America were, for the most part, separate and distinct (as exampled
by such Creole words as "banquette" for "sidewalk," in place of the
French word _trottoir_, and the word "baire," whence comes the American
term "mosquito bar.") The influence of colloquial French from Canada may
also be traced in New Orleans, and the language there was further
affected by the strange jargon spoken by the Creole negro--precisely as
the English dialect of negroes in other parts of the South may be said
to have affected the speech of all the Southern States.

Between the dialect of the Louisiana Cajan and that of the French
Canadian of Quebec and northern New York there is a strong resemblance;
but the Creole negro language is a thing entirely apart, being made up,
it is said, partly from French and partly from African word sounds, just
as the "gulla" of the South Carolina coast is made up from African and
English. The one is no more intelligible to a Frenchman than the other
to a Londoner. The ignorant Creole negro wishing to say "I do not
understand," would not say "moi je ne comprends pas," but "mo pas
connais"; similarly for "I am going away," he does not say, "je m'en
vais," but "ma pe couri"; while for "I have a horse," instead of "j'ai
un cheval," he will put the statement, "me ganye choue." It is a dialect
lacking mood, tense, and grammar.

To this day one may occasionally see in New Orleans and in other lower
river towns an old "mammy" wearing the bandanna headdress called a
_tignon_, which, toward the end of the eighteenth century, was made
compulsory for colored women in Louisiana. The need for some such
distinguishing racial badge was, it is said, twofold. Yellow sirens from
the French West Indies, flocking to New Orleans, were becoming
exceedingly conspicuous in dress and adornment; furthermore one hears
stories of wealthy white men, fathers of octoroon or quadroon girls, who
sent these illegitimate daughters abroad to be educated. The latter, one
learns from many sources, were very often beautiful in the extreme, as
were also the Domingan girls, and history is full of the tales of the
curious, wild, fashionably caparisoned, declasse circle of society,
which came to exist in New Orleans through the presence there of so many
alluring women of light color and equally light character. Some of these
women, it is said, could hardly be distinguished from brunette whites,
and it was largely for this reason that the _tignon_ was placed by law
upon the heads of all women having negro blood.

No morsels from the history of old New Orleans are more suggestive to
the imagination than the hints we get from many sources of wildly
dissipated life centering around the notorious quadroon balls--or as
they were called in their day, _cordon bleu_ balls. An old guide book
informs me that the women who were the great attraction at these
functions were "probably the handsomest race of women in the world, and
were, besides, splendid dancers and finished dressers." Authorities seem
to agree that these balls were exceedingly popular among the young
Creole gentlemen, as well as with men visiting the city, and that duels,
resulting from quarrels over the women, were of common occurrence. If a
Creole had the choice of weapons slender swords called _colichemardes_
were used, whereas pistols were almost invariably selected by Americans.
Duels with swords were often fought indoors, but when firearms were to
be employed the combatants repaired to one of the customary dueling
grounds. Under the fine old live oaks of the City Park--then out in the
country--it is said that as many as ten duels have been fought in a
single day. Duels having their beginnings at the quadroon balls were,
however, often fought in St. Anthony's Garden, for the ballroom was in a
building (now occupied by a sisterhood of colored nuns) which stands on
Orleans Street, near where it abuts against the Garden. This garden,
bearing the name of the saint whose temptations have been of such
conspicuous interest to painters of the nude, is not named for him so
much in his own right, as because he was the patron of that same Padre
Antonio de Sedella, already mentioned, who came to New Orleans to
institute the Inquisition, but who, after having been sent away by
Governor Miro, returned as a secular priest and became much beloved for
his good works. Padre Antonio lived in a hut near the garden, and it is
he who figures in Thomas Bailey Aldrich's story "Pere Antoine's Date
Palm."

To the Creole, more than to any other source, may be traced the origin
of dueling in the United States, and no city in the country has such a
dueling history as New Orleans. The American took the practice from the
Latin and by the adoption of pistols made the duel a much more serious
thing than it had previously been, when swords were employed and first
blood usually constituted "satisfaction." Up to the time of the Civil
War the man who refused a challenge became a sort of outcast, and I have
been told that even to this day a duel is occasionally fought. Governor
Claiborne, first American governor of Louisiana, was a duelist, and his
monument--a family monument in the annex of the old Basin Street
division of St. Louis cemetery--bears upon one side an inscription in
memory of his brother-in-law, Micajah Lewis, "who fell in a duel,
January 14, 1804."

Gayarre, in his history of Louisiana, tells a story of six young French
noblemen who, one night, paired off and fought for no reason whatever
save out of bravado. Two of them were killed.

Two famous characters of New Orleans, about the middle of the last
century, were Major Joe Howell, a brother-in-law of Jefferson Davis, and
Major Henry, a dare-devil soldier of fortune who had filibustered in
Nicaragua and fought in the Mexican War. One day while drinking together
they quarreled, and as a result a duel was arranged to take place the
same afternoon. Henry kept on drinking, but Howell went to sleep and
slept until it was time to go to the dueling ground, when he took one
cocktail, and departed.

Feeling that a duel over a disagreement the occasion for which neither
contestant could remember, was the height of folly, friends intervened,
and finally succeeded in getting Major Henry to say that the fight could
be called off if Howell would apologize.

"For what?" he was asked.

"Don't know and don't care," returned the old warrior.

As Howell would not apologize, navy revolvers were produced and the two
faced each other, the understanding being that they should begin at ten
paces with six barrels loaded, firing at will and advancing. At the word
"Fire!" both shot and missed, but Howell cocked his revolver with his
right thumb and fired again immediately, wounding Henry in the arm.
Henry then fired and missed a second time, while Howell's third shot
struck his antagonist in the abdomen. Wounded as he was, Henry managed
to fire again, narrowly missing the other, who was not only a giant in
size, but was a conspicuous mark, owing to the white clothing which he
wore. At this Howell advanced a step and took steady aim, and he would
almost certainly have killed his opponent had not his own second
reached out and thrown his pistol up, sending the shot wild. This
occurred after the other side has cried "Stop!"--as it had been agreed
should be done in case either man was badly wounded. A foul was
consequently claimed, the seconds drew their pistols, and a general
battle was narrowly averted. After many weeks Henry recovered.

A great number of historic duels were over politics. Such a one was the
fight which took place in 1843, between Mr. Hueston, editor of the Baton
Rouge "Gazette" and Mr. Alcee La Branche, a Creole gentleman who had
been speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, and was running
for Congress. Mr. La Branche was one of the few public men in the State
who had never fought a duel, and in the course of a violent political
campaign, Hueston twitted him on this subject in the columns of the
"Gazette," trying to make him out a coward. Soon after the insulting
article appeared, the two men met in the billiard room of the old St.
Charles Hotel, and when La Branche demanded an apology, and was refused,
he struck Hueston with a cane, or a cue, and knocked him down. A duel
was, of course, arranged, the weapons selected being double-barreled
shotguns loaded with ball. At the first discharge Hueston's hat and coat
were punctured by bullets. He demanded a second exchange of shots, which
resulted about as before--his own shots going wild, while those of his
opponent narrowly missed him. Hueston, however, obstinately insisted
that the duel be continued, and the guns were loaded for the third
time. In the next discharge the editor received a scalp wound. It was
now agreed by all present that matters had gone far enough, but Hueston
remained obdurate in his intention to kill or be killed, and in the face
of violent protests, demanded that the guns again be loaded. The next
exchange of shots proved to be the last. Hueston let both barrels go
without effect, and fell to the ground shot through the lungs. Taken to
the Maison de Sante, he was in such agony that he begged a friend to
finish the work by shooting him through the head. Within a few hours he
was dead.

The old guide book from which I gather these items cites, also, cases in
which duels were fought over trivial matters, such, for instance, as a
mildly hostile newspaper criticism of an operatic performance, and an
argument between a Creole and a Frenchman over the greatness of the
Mississippi River.

Professor Brander Matthews tells me of an episode in which the wit
exhibited by a Creole lawyer, in the course of a case in a New Orleans
court, caused him to be challenged. The opposing counsel, likewise a
Creole, was a great dandy. He appeared in an immaculate white suit and
boiled shirt, but the weather was warm, and after he had spoken for
perhaps half an hour his shirt was wilted, and he asked an adjournment.
The adjournment over, he reappeared in a fresh shirt, but this too
wilted presently, whereupon another adjournment was taken. At the end of
this he again reappeared wearing a third fresh shirt, and in it managed
to complete his plea.

It now became the other lawyer's turn. He arose and, speaking with the
utmost gravity, addressed the jury.

"Gentlemen," he said (Professor Matthews tells it in French), "I shall
divide my speech into three shirts." He then announced: "First
shirt"--and made his first point. This accomplished, he paused briefly,
then proclaimed: "Second shirt," and followed with his second point.
Then: "Third and last shirt," and after completing his argument sat
down. The delighted jury gave him the verdict, but his witticism
involved him in a duel with the worsted advocate. The result of this
duel Professor Matthews does not tell, but if the wag's _colichemarde_
was as swift and penetrating as his wit, we may surmise that his
opponent of the Code Napoleon and the code duello had a fourth shirt
spoiled.




CHAPTER LVIII

FROM ANTIQUES TO PIRATES


The numerous antique shops of the French quarter, with their gray,
undulating floors and their piled-up, dusty litter of old furniture,
plate, glass, and china, and the equally numerous old book stores, with
their piles of French publications, their shadowy corners, their
pleasant ancient bindings and their stale smell, are peculiarly
reminiscent of similar establishments in Paris.

That Eugene Field knew these shops well we have reason to know by at
least two of his poems. In one, "The Discreet Collector," he tells us
that:

    Down south there is a curio shop
    Unknown to many men;
    Thereat do I intend to stop
    When I am South again;
    The narrow street through which to go--
    Aha! I know it well!
    And maybe you would like to know--
    But no--I will not tell!

But later, when filled with remorse over his extravagance in "blowing
twenty dollars in by nine o'clock A.M.," he reveals the location of his
favorite establishment, saying:

    In Royal Street (near Conti) there's a lovely curio shop,
    And there, one balmy fateful morn, it was my chance to stop--

So that, at least, is the neighborhood in which he learned that:

    The curio collector is so blindly lost in sin
    That he doesn't spend his money--he simply blows it in!

In his verses called "Doctor Sam," Field touched on another fascinating
side of Creole negro life: the mysterious beliefs and rites of
voodooism--or, as it is more often spelled, voudouism.

Until a few years ago it used to be possible for a visitor with a "pull"
in New Orleans to see some of the voudou performances and to have "a
work made" for him, but the police have dealt so severely with those who
believe in this barbarous nonsense, that it is practised in these times
only with the utmost secrecy.

Voudouism was brought by the early slaves from the Congo, but in
Louisiana the negroes--probably desiring to imitate the religion of
their white masters--appropriated some of the Roman Catholic saints and
made them subject to the Great Serpent, or _Grand Zombi_, who is the
voudou god. These saints, however, are given voudou names, St. Michael,
for example, being _Blanc Dani_, and St. Peter, _Papa Liba_. This
situation is the antithesis of that to be found in Brittany, where
Druidical beliefs, handed down for generations among the peasants, may
now be faintly traced running like on odd alien threads through the
strong fabric of Roman Catholicism.

Voudouism is not, however, to be dignified by the name "religion." It is
superstition founded upon charms and hoodoos. It is witchcraft of the
maddest kind, involving the most hideous performances. Moreover, it is
said that a hoodoo is something of which a French negro is very much
afraid, and that his fear is justifiable, for the reason that the
throwing of a _wanga_, or curse, may also involve the administering of
subtle poisons made from herbs.

Legend is rich with stories of Marie Le Veau, the voudou queen, who
lived long ago in New Orleans, and of love and death accomplished by
means of voudou charms. Charms are brought about in various ways. Among
these the burning of black candles, accompanied by certain performances,
brings evil upon those against whom a "work" is made, while blue candles
have to do with love charms. It may also be noted that "love powders"
can be purchased now-a-days in drug stores in New Orleans.

In the days of long ago the great negro gathering place used to be Congo
Square--now Beauregard Square--and here, on Sunday nights, wild dances
used to occur--the "bamboula" and "calinda"--and sinister spells were
cast. Later the voudous went to more secluded spots on the shores of
Lake Pontchartrain, and on St. John's Eve, which is their great
occasion, many of the whites of the city used to go to the lake in hopes
of discovering a voudou seance, and being allowed to see it. A friend of
mine, who has seen several of these seances, says that they are
unbelievably weird and horrible. They will make a gombo, put a snake in
it, and then devour it, and they will wring a cat's neck and drink its
blood. And of course, along with these loathsome ceremonies, go
incantations, chants, dances, and frenzies, sometimes ending in
catalepsis.

There are weird stories of white women of good family who have believed
in voudou, and have taken part in the rites; and there are other tales
of evil spells, such as that of the Creole bride of long ago, whose
affianced had been the lover of a quadroon girl, a hairdresser. The
hairdresser when she came to do the bride's hair for the wedding, gave
her a bouquet of flowers. The bride smelled the bouquet--and died at the
church door.

It was, I think, in an old book store on Royal Street--or else on
Chartres--that I found the tattered guide book to which I referred in an
earlier chapter. It was "edited and compiled by several leading writers
of the New Orleans Press," and published in 1885, and it contains an
introductory recommendation by George W. Cable--which is about the
finest guarantee that a book on New Orleans can have.

Mr. Cable, of course, more than all the rest of the people who have
written of New Orleans put together, placed the city definitely in
literature. And it is interesting, if somewhat saddening, to recall that
for lifting the city into the world of belles lettres, for adorning it
and preserving it in such volumes as "Old Creole Days," "The
Grandissimes," "Madame Delphine," and other valuable, truthful, and
charming works, he was roundly abused by his own fellow-townsmen. Far
from attacking Mr. Cable, New Orleans ought to build him a monument, and
I am glad to say that, though the monument is not there yet, the city
does seem to have come to its senses, and that the prophet is no longer
without honor in his own country.

Some further leaves are added to the literary laurels of the city by
what Thomas Bailey Aldrich has written of it, and the wreath is made the
greater by the fact that in New Orleans was born "the only literary man
in New York," Professor Brander Matthews.

Another distinguished name in letters, connected with the place, is that
of Lafcadio Hearn, who was at one time a reporter on a New Orleans
newspaper, and who not only wrote about the French quarter, but
collected many proverbs of the Creoles in a book which he called "Gombo
Zebes." In his little volume, "Chita," Hearn described the land of
lakes, bayous, and _chenieres_, which forms a strip between the city and
the Gulf, and which, with its wild birds, wild scenery, and wild storms,
and its extraordinary population of hunters and fishermen--Cajuns,
Italians, Japanese, Spanish, Kanakas, Filipinos, French, and half-breed
Indians, all intermarrying--is the strangest, most outlandish section of
this country I have ever visited. The Filipinos, who introduced shrimp
fishing in this region, building villages on stilts, like those of their
own islands, were not there when Hearn wrote "Chita," nor was Ludwig
raising diamond-back terrapin on Grand Isle, but the live-oaks, draped
with sad Spanish moss, lined the bayous as they do to-day, and the
alligators, turtles and snakes were there, and the tall marsh grass, so
like bamboo, fringed the banks as it does now, and water hyacinth
carpeted the pools, and the savage tropical storms came sweeping in, now
and then, from the Gulf, flooding the entire country, tearing everything
up by the roots, then receding, carrying the floating debris back with
them to the salt sea. One has to see what they call a "slight" storm, in
that country, to know what a great storm there must be. Hearn surely saw
storms there, for in "Chita" he describes with terrifying vividness that
historic tempest which, in 1856, obliterated, at one stroke, Last
Island, with its fashionable hotel and all the guests of that hotel. I
have seen a "little" thunderstorm in Barataria Bay and I do not want to
see a big one. I have seen brown men who, in the storm of 1915 (which
did a million dollars' worth of damage in New Orleans), floated about
the Baratarias for days, upon the roofs of houses, and I have seen
little children, half Italian, half Filipino, who were saved by being
carried by their parents into the branches of an old live-oak, where
they waited until good Horace Harvey, "the little father of the
Baratarias," came down there in his motor yacht, the _Destrehan_,
rescued them, warmed them, fed them, and gave them back to life. I was
told in New Orleans that there were ten seconds in that storm when the
wind reached a velocity of 140 miles per hour at the mouth of the
Mississippi, that it blew for four hours at the rate of 90 miles, and
that the lowest barometrical reading ever recorded in the United States
(28.11) was recorded in New Orleans during this hurricane.

Of the summer climate of New Orleans I know nothing at first hand, and
judging from what people have told me, that is all I want to know. The
winter climate suited me very well while I was there, although the boast
that grass is green and roses bloom all the year round, does not imply
such intense heat as some people may suppose. Furthermore, I believe
that the thermometer has once or twice in the history of the city
dropped low enough to kill any ordinary rose, for a friend of mine told
me a story about some water pipes that froze and burst during an
unprecedented cold snap which occurred some years ago. He said that an
English colonel, whom he knew, was visiting the city at the time and
that, finding himself unable to get water in his bathtub, he sent out
for several cases of Apollinaris, and with true British phlegm proceeded
to empty them into the tub and get in among the bubbles.

Still another figure having to do with literature, and also with the
history of New Orleans, is Jean Lafitte, known as a pirate, whose life
is said to have inspired Byron's poem, "The Corsair." There was a time,
long ago, when Lafitte, together with his brother, his doughty
lieutenant, Dominique You, and his rabble of Baratarians, caused New
Orleans a great deal of annoyance, but like many other doubtful
characters, they have, since their death, become entirely picturesque,
and the very idea that Lafitte was not a first-class blood-and-thunder
pirate is as distasteful to the people of New Orleans to-day, as his
being any kind of a near-pirate at all, used to be to their ancestors.
Nevertheless Frank R. Stockton, who made a great specialty of pirates,
says of Lafitte: "He never committed an act of piracy in his life; he
was [before he went to Barataria] a blacksmith, and knew no more about
sailing a ship or even the smallest kind of a boat than he knew about
the proper construction of a sonnet.... It is said of him that he was
never at sea but twice in his life: once when he came from France, and
once when he left this country, and on neither occasion did he sail
under the Jolly Roger." According to Stockton, Lafitte, when he gave up
his blacksmith shop (in which he is said to have made some of the fine
wrought iron balcony railings which still adorn the old town), and went
to Barataria, became nothing more nor less than a "fence" for pirates
and privateers, taking their booty, smuggling it up to New Orleans, and
selling it there on commission.

But if the fact that he was not a gory-handed freebooter is against
Lafitte, there is one great thing in his favor. When the British were
making ready to attack New Orleans in 1814, they tried both to bribe and
to browbeat Lafitte into joining forces with them. As the American
government was planning, at this very time, a punitive expedition
against him, it would perhaps have seemed good policy for the
pseudo-pirate to have accepted the British offer, but what Lafitte did
was to go up and report the matter at New Orleans, giving the city the
first authentic information of the contemplated attack, and offering to
join with his men in the defense, in exchange for amnesty.

A good many people, however, did not believe his story, and a good many
others thought it beneath the dignity of the government to treat with a
man of his dubious occupation. Therefore poor Lafitte was not listened
to, but, upon the contrary, only succeeded in stirring up trouble for
himself, for an expedition was immediately sent against him; his
settlement at Barataria--on the gulf, about forty miles below the
city--was demolished and the inhabitants driven to the woods and swamps.

But in spite of this discouraging experience, Lafitte would not join the
British, and it came about that when the Battle of New Orleans was about
to be fought, Andrew Jackson, who had a short time before referred to
Lafitte and his men as a band of "hellish banditti," was glad to accept
their aid. Dominique You--with his fine pirate name--commanded a gun,
and the others fought according to the best piratical tradition. After
the battle was won, the Baratarians were pardoned by President Madison.
Incidentally it may be remarked here that the American line of defense
on the plains of Chalmette, below the city, had been indicated some
years before by the French General Moreau, hero of Hohenlinden, as the
proper strategic position for safeguarding New Orleans on the south.

Even after he had been pardoned, Lafitte felt, not without some justice,
that he had been ill-used by the Americans, and because of this he
determined to leave the country. He set sail with a band of his
followers for other climes, but what became of them is not known. Some
think their ship went down in a storm which crossed the Gulf soon after
their departure; others believe that they reached Yucatan, and that
Lafitte died there. Whatever his fate, he did not improve it by
departing from New Orleans, for had he not done so he would, at the end,
have been given a handsome burial and a nice monument like that of
Dominique You--which may be seen to this day in the old cemetery on
Claiborne Avenue, between Iberville and St. Louis Streets.

Having disposed of literary men and pirates, we now come in logical
sequence to composers and actors. Be it known, then, that E.H. Sothern
first raised, in the house at 79 Bienville Street, the voice which has
charmed us in the theater, and that Louis Gottschalk, composer of the
almost too well-known "Last Hope," was also born in New Orleans.

The records of the opera and the theater might, in themselves, make a
chapter. As early as 1791 a French theatrical company played in New
Orleans, using halls, and in 1808 a theater was built in St. Philip
Street. It is said that the first play given in the city in English was
performed December 24, 1817, the play being "The Honey Moon," and the
manager Noah M. Ludlow; but it was not until some years later that the
English drama became a feature of the city's life, with the
establishment of a stock company under the management of James H.
Caldwell. Edwin Forrest appeared, in 1824, with Mr. Caldwell's company
at the Camp Street Theater, which he built on leaving the Orleans
Theater. The former was, when opened, out in the swamp, and people had
to walk to it from Canal Street on a narrow path of planks. It was the
first building in the city to be lighted by gas.

The annals of the old St. Charles theater, called "old Drury," are rich
with history. Practically all our great players from 1835 until long
after the Civil War, appeared in this theater, and an old prompter's
book which, I believe, is still in existence, records, among many other
things, certain details of the appearance there, in 1852, of Junius
Brutus Booth, father of Edwin Booth, and mentions also that Joseph
Jefferson (Sr.) then a young man, was reprimanded for being noisy in his
dressing-room.

New Orleans was, I believe, the first American city regularly to support
grand opera and to give it a home. For a great many years before 1859
(in which year the present French Opera House on Bourbon Street was
built) there was a regular annual season of opera at the Orleans
Theater, long since destroyed.

In the days of the city's operatic grandeur great singers used to visit
New Orleans before visiting New York, as witness, for example, the debut
at the French Opera House of Adelina Patti. Since the time of the Civil
War, however, the city has suffered a decline in this department of art.
Opera seasons have not been regular, and in spite of occasional attempts
to revive the old-time spirit, the ancient Opera House, with its brave
columned front, its cracking veneer of stucco, and its surrounding of
little vari-colored one story cafes and shops (which are themselves like
bits of operatic scenery), does not so much suggest to the imagination a
home of modern opera, as a mournful mortuary chapel haunted by the
ghosts of old half-forgotten composers: Herold, Spontini, Mehul, Varney;
old conductors, long since gone to dust: Prevost, John, Calabresi; old
arias of Meyerbeer, Auber, and Donizetti; and above all, by the ghosts
of pretty pirouetting ballerinas, and of great singers whose voices
have, these many years, been still.

An old lady who knew Louisiana in the forties and fifties, has left
record of the fact that plantation negroes used to know and sing the
French operatic airs, just as the Italian peasants of to-day know and
sing the music of Puccini and Leoncavallo. But if opera no longer
reaches the negro, it cannot be said that it has failed to leave its
stamp on the French quarter. From open windows and doors, from little
shops and half-hidden courtyards, from shuttered second story galleries,
there comes floating to the ears of the wayfarer the sound of music. In
one house a piano is being played with dash; in another a child is
practising her scales; from still another comes a soprano voice, the sad
whistling of a flute, the tinkle of a guitar, or the anguished squeal of
a tortured violin. Never except in Naples have I heard, on one block, so
many musical instruments independently at work, as in some single blocks
of the _vieux carre_; and never anywhere have I seen a sign which struck
as more expressive of the industries of a locality, than that one which
I saw near the house of Mme. Lalurie, which read: "Odd Jobs Done, and
Music."

The reason for this musical congestion is twofold. Not only is the
Creole a great lover of good light music, but the whole region for
blocks about the Opera House is populated by old musicians from the
opera's orchestra, and women, some middle aged, some old, who used to be
in the ballet or the chorus, and who not only keep alive the musical
tradition of the district, but pass it on to the younger generation.
Indeed there are almost as many places in the French quarter where music
may be heard, as where stories are told.

In one street may be seen a house where the troubles with the Mafia
began. On a corner--the southeast corner of Royal and St. Peter--is
shown the house in which Cable's "'Sieur George" resided. This house is,
I believe, the same one which, when erected, caused people to move away
from its immediate neighborhood, for fear that its height would cause it
to fall down. It is a four story house--the first built in the city. At
the southeast corner of Royal and Hospital Streets stands that
"haunted" house of Mme. Lalaurie, who fled the town when indignation was
aroused because of devilish tortures she inflicted on her slaves. This
house is now an Italian tenement, but even in its decay it will be
recognized as a mansion which, in its day, was fit to house such guests
as Louis Philippe, Lafayette, and Ney. A guest even more distinguished
than these, was to have been housed in the mansion at the northeast
corner of St. Louis and Chartres Streets, for the Creoles had a plan to
rescue Napoleon from St. Helena and bring him here, and had this house
prepared to receive him.

And are we to forget where Andrew Jackson was entertained before and
after the Battle of New Orleans--where General Beauregard, military idol
of the Creoles, resided--where Paul Morphy the "chess king" lived--where
General Butler took up his quarters when, in 1862, under the guns of
Farragut's fleet, the city surrendered--? Shall we fail to visit the
curious old tenements and stables surrounding the barnyard which once
was the _remise_ of the old Orleans Hotel? Shall we neglect old Metaire
cemetery, with its graves built above ground in the days when drainage
was less perfect? Shall we fail to go to the levee (pronounced "levvy")
and see the savage flood of the muddy Mississippi coursing toward the
gulf behind the embankment which alone saves the city from inundation?
Shall we ignore the French Market with its clean stalls piled with fresh
vegetables, sea food, and all manner of comestibles, including _file_
for the glorious Creole gombo. Shall we not view the picturesque if
sinister old Absinthe House, dating from 1799, with its court and
stairway so full of mysterious suggestion, and its misty
paregoric-flavored beverage, containing opalescent dreams? Shall we not
go to Sazerac's for a cocktail, or to Ramos' for one of those delectable
gin-fizzes suggesting an Olympian soda-fountain drink? Are we to ignore
all these wonders of the city?

Yes, for it is time to go to luncheon at Antoine's!




CHAPTER LIX

ANTOINE'S AND MARDI GRAS


Antoine's is to me one of the four or five most satisfactory restaurants
in the United States,--two of the others being the Louisiane and
Galatoire's. But one has one's slight preferences in these things; and
just as I have a feeling that the cuisine of the Hotel St. Regis in New
York surpasses, just a little bit, that of any other eating place in the
city, I have a feeling about Antoine's in New Orleans. This is not,
perhaps, with me, altogether a culinary matter, for whereas I remember
delightful meals at the Louisiane and Galatoire's--meals which, indeed,
could hardly be surpassed--I lived for a week at Antoine's, and felt at
home there, and became peculiarly attached to the quaint, rambling old
restaurant, up stairs and down.

Antoine's has never been "fixed up." The cafe makes one think of such
old Parisian restaurants as the Boeuf a la Mode, or the Tour d'Argent.
Far from being a showy place, it is utterly simple in its decorations
and equipment, but if there is in this country a restaurant more French
than Antoine's, I do not know where that restaurant is.

Antoine Alciatore, founder of the establishment, departed nearly forty
years ago to the realms to which great chefs are ultimately taken.
Coming from France as a young man he established himself in a small cafe
opposite the slave market, where he proceeded to cook and let his
cooking speak for him. His dinde a la Talleyrand soon made him famous,
and he prospered, moving before long to the present building. His sons,
Jules and Fernand, were sent to Paris to learn at headquarters the best
traditions of the haute cuisine, doing service as apprentices in such
establishments as the Maison d'Or and Brabant's. Jules is now proprietor
of Antoine's, while Fernand is master of the Louisiane.

The two brothers are of somewhat different type. Fernand is, above all,
a chef; I have never seen him outside his own kitchen. His son, Fernand
Jr., superintends the front part of the Louisiane, which he has
transformed into a place having the appearance of a New York restaurant.
The young man has made a successful bid for the fashionable patronage of
New Orleans, and there is dancing in the Louisiane in the evening.
Jules, upon the other hand, is perhaps more the director than his
brother Fernand--more the suave delightful host, less the man of cap and
apron. Jules loves to give parties--to astonish his guests with a
brilliant dinner and with his unrivaled grace as gerant. That he is able
to do these things no one is better aware than my companion and I, for
it was our good fortune to be accepted by Jules as friends and fellow
artists.

Never while my companion and I lived at Antoine's did we escape the
feeling that we were not in the United States, but in some foreign land.
To go to his rooms he went upstairs, around a corner, down a few steps,
past a pantry, and a back stairway by which savory smells ascended from
the kitchen, along a latticed gallery overlooking a courtyard like that
of some inn in Segovia, along another gallery running at right angles to
the first and overlooking the same court, including the kitchen door and
the laundry, and finally to a chamber with French doors, a canopied bed,
and French windows opening upon a balcony that overlooked the side
street. His room was called "The Creole Yacht," while mine was the
"Maison Vert."

I remember a room in that curious little hotel opposite the Cafe du
Dome, in Paris (the hotel in which it is said Whistler stayed when he
was a student), which almost exactly resembled my room at Antoine's,
even to the dust which was under the bed--until 'Genie got to work with
broom and brush. Moreover, connected with my room there was a bath which
actually had a _chaufbain_ to heat the water: one of those weird French
machines resembling the engine of a steam launch, which pops savagely
when you light the gas beneath it, and which, as you are always
expecting it to blow up and destroy you, converts the morning ablutions
from a perfunctory duty into a great adventure.

Then too, there was Marie who has attended to the _linge_ at Antoine's
for the last fifty years, and who helped the gray-haired genial Eugenie
to "make proper the rooms." Ever since 'Genie--as she is called, for
short--came from her native Midi, she has been at Antoine's; and like
Francois--the gentle, kindly, white-mustached old waiter who, when we
were there, had just moved up to Antoine's after thirty-five years'
service at the Louisiane--'Genie is always ready with a smile; yes, even
in the rush of Mardi Gras!

Antoine's does not set up to be a regular hotel, and we stopped there
because, during the carnival, all rooms in the large modern hotels
across Canal Street were taken. The carnival rush made room-service at
Antoine's a little slow, now and then; sometimes the bell would not be
answered when we rang for breakfast; or again, our morning coffee and
_croissants_ would be forty minutes on the way; sometimes we became a
little bit impatient--though we could never bring ourselves to say so to
such amiable servitors. As a result, when we were leaving the city for a
little trip, we determined to stay, on our return, at the Grunewald, a
hotel like any one of a hundred others in the United States--marble
lobbies, gold ceilings, rathskellers, cabaret shows, dancing, and page
boys wandering through the corridors and dining-rooms, calling in nasal,
sing-song voices: "_Mis_-ter _Shoss_-futt! _Mis_-ter _Ahm_-kaplopps!
_Mis_-ter _Praggle_-fiss! _Mis_-ter Blahms!"

We did return and go to the Grunewald. But comfortable as we were made
there, we had to own to each other that we missed Antoine's. We missed
our curious old rooms. I even missed my _chaufbain_, and was bored at
the commonplace matutinal performance of turning on hot water without
preliminary experiments in marine engineering. We thought wistfully of
'Genie's patient smile, and of her daily assurance to us, when we went
out, that "when she had made the apartments she would render the key to
the bureau, _alors_,"--which is to say, leave the key at the office. We
yearned for the cafe, for good Francois, for the deliciously flavored
oysters cooked on the half-shell and served on a pan of hot rock-salt
which kept them warm; for the cold tomatoes _a la Jules Cesar_; for the
bisque of crayfish _a la Cardinal_; for the bouillibasse (which
Thackeray admitted was as good in New Orleans as in Marseilles, and
which Otis Skinner says is better); for the unrivaled gombo _a la
Creole_, and pompano _en Papillotte_, and pressed duck _a la Tour
d'Argent_, and orange Brulot, and the wonderful Cafe Brulot
Diabolique--that spiced coffee made in a silver bowl from which emerge
the blue flames of burning cognac, and in honor of which the lights of
the cafe are always temporarily dimmed.

Nor least of all was it that we wished to see again the mother of Jules,
who sits back of the _caisse_ and takes in the money, like many another
good French wife and mother--a tiny little old lady more than
ninety-five years old, who came to New Orleans in 1840 as the bride of
the then young Antoine Alciatore.

So we put on our hats and coats when evening came, and went back to
Antoine's for dinner, and as long as we were in New Orleans we kept on
going back.

That is not to say, of course, that we did not go also to the Louisiane
and Galatoire's, or that we did not drop in for luncheon, sometimes, at
Brasco's, in Gravier Street, or at Kolb's, a more or less conventional
German restaurant in St. Charles Street; or that we failed to go out to
Tranchina's at Spanish Fort, on Lake Pontchartrain, or to the quainter
little place called Noy's where, we learned, Ernest Peixotto had been
but a short time before, gathering material for indigestion and an
article in "Scribner's Magazine." But when all is said and done there
remain the three restaurants of the old quarter.

I should like to give some history of Galatoire's as well as of the
other two, but when I asked the _patron_ for the story of his
restaurant, he smiled, and with a shrug replied: "But Monsieur, the
story is in the food!"

Do not expect any of these places to present the brilliant appearance of
distinguished New York restaurants. They are comparatively simple, all
of them, and are engaged not with soft carpets and gilt ceilings, but
with the art of cookery.

I have been told that some of them have what may be termed "tourist
cooking," which is not their best, but if you know good food, and let
them know you know it, and if you visit them at any time except during
the carnival, then you have a right to expect in any one of these
establishments, a superb dinner. For as I once heard my friend Col.
Beverly Myles, one of the city's most distinguished _gourmets_, remark:
"To talk of 'tolerably good food' in a French restaurant is like
talking of 'a tolerably honest man.'"

The carnival of Mardi Gras and the several days preceding, is one of
those things about which I feel as I do concerning Niagara Falls, and
gambling houses, and the red light district of Butte, Montana, and the
underground levels of a mine, and the world as seen from an aeroplane,
and the Quatres Arts ball, and a bull fight--I am glad to have seen it
once, but I have no desire to see it again. During the carnival my
companion and I enjoyed a period of sleepless gaiety. To be sure, we
went to bed every morning, but what is the use in doing that if you also
get up every morning? We went to the street pageants, we went to the
balls at the French Opera House, we saw the masking on the streets, and
when the carnival was finished we were finished, too.

The great thing about the carnival, it seems to me, is that it bears the
relation to the life of the city, that a well-developed hobby does to
the life of an individual. It keeps the city young. It keeps it from
becoming pompous, from taking itself too seriously, from getting into a
rut. It stimulates not alone the young, but the grave and reverend
seigniors also, to give themselves up for a little while each year to
play, and moreover to use their imaginations in annually devising new
pageants and costumes. From this point of view such a carnival would be
a good thing for any city.

But that is where the Latin spirit of New Orleans comes in, with its
pleasing combination of gaiety and restraint. You could not hold such a
carnival in every city. You could not do it in New York. For more
important even than the pageants and the balls, is the carnival frame of
mind. To hold a carnival such as New Orleans holds, a city must know how
to be lively and playful without becoming drunk, without breaking
barroom mirrors, upsetting tables, annoying women, thrusting "ticklers"
into people's faces, jostling, fighting, committing the thousand rough
vulgar excesses in which New York indulges every New Year's Eve, and in
which it would indulge to an even more disgusting extent under the
additional license of the mask.

The carnival--_carne vale_, farewell flesh--which terminates with Mardi
Gras--"Fat Tuesday," or Shrove Tuesday, the day before the beginning of
Lent--comes down to us from pagan times by way of the Latin countries.
The "Cowbellions," a secret organization of Mobile, in 1831 elaborated
the idea of historical and legendary processions, and as early as 1837
New Orleans held grotesque street parades. Twenty years later the
"Mystic Krewe," now known as "Comus," appeared from nowhere and
disappeared again. The success of Comus encouraged the formation of
other secret societies, each having its own parade and ball, and in
1872, Rex, King of the Carnival, entered his royal capital of New
Orleans in honor of the visit of the Grand Duke Alexis--who, by the way,
is one of countless notables who have feasted at Antoine's.

The three leading carnival societies, Comus, Momus, and Proteus, are
understood to be connected with three of the city's four leading clubs,
all of which stand within easy range of one another on the uptown side
of Canal Street: the Boston Club (taking its name from an old card
game); the Pickwick (named for Dickens' genial gentleman, a statue of
whom stands in the lobby); the Louisiana, a young men's club; and the
Chess, Checkers and Whist Club. The latter association is, I believe,
the one that takes no part in the carnival.

Each of the carnival organizations has its own King and Queen, and the
connection between certain clubs and certain carnival societies may be
guessed from the fact that the Comus Queen and Proteus Queen always
appear on the stand in front of the Pickwick Club, to witness their
respective parades, and that the Queen of the entire Carnival appears
with her maids of honor on the stand before the Boston Club upon the day
of Mardi Gras, to witness the triumphal entry and parade of Rex. As Rex
passes the club he sends her a bouquet--the official indication of her
queenship. That night she appears for the first time in the glory of her
royal robes at the Rex Ball, which is held in a large hall; and the
great event of the carnival, from a social standpoint, is the official
visit, on the same night, of Rex and his Queen, attended by their court,
to the King and Queen of Comus, at the Comus Ball, held in the Opera
House.

Passing between the brilliantly illuminated flag-draped buildings,
under festoons of colored electric lights, the street parades, with
their spectacular colored floats, their bands, their negro
torch-bearers, their strangely costumed masked figures, throwing favors
into the dense crowds, are glorious sights for children ranging anywhere
from eight to eighty years of age. Public masking on the streets, on the
day of Mardi Gras, is also an amusing feature of the carnival.

The balls, upon the other hand, are social events of great importance in
the city, and as spectacles they are peculiarly fine. Invitations to
these balls are greatly coveted, and the visitor to the city who would
attend them, must exert his "pull" some time in advance. The
invitations, by the way, are not sent by individuals, but by the
separate organizations, and even those young ladies who are so fortunate
as to have "call-outs"--cards inclosed with their invitations,
indicating that they are to be asked to dance, and may therefore have
seats on the ground floor--are not supposed to know from what man these
cards come. Ladies who have not received call-outs, and gentlemen who
are not members of the societies, are packed into the boxes and seats
above the parquet floor, and do not go upon the dancing floor until very
late in the evening. Throughout each ball the members of the society
giving the ball continue to wear their costumes and their masks, so that
ladies, called from their seats to dance, often find themselves treading
a measure with some gallant who speaks in a strange assumed voice,
striving to maintain the mystery of his identity. The ladies, upon the
other hand, are not in costume and are not masked; about them, there is
no more mystery than women always have about them. After each dance the
masker produces a present for his partner--usually a pretty bit of
jewelry. Etiquette not only allows, but insists, that a woman accept any
gift offered to her at a carnival ball, and it is said that by this
means many a young gentleman has succeeded in bestowing upon the lady of
his heart a piece of jewelry the value of which would make acceptance of
the gift impossible under other than carnival conditions.

After the balls many of the younger couples go to the Louisiane and
Antoine's, to continue the dance, and as my room at Antoine's was
directly over one of the dancing rooms of the establishment, I might
make a shrewd guess as to how long they stayed up, after my companion
and I retired.

Let it not be supposed that we retired early. I remember well the look
of the pale blue dawn of Ash Wednesday morning, and no less do I
remember a conversation with a gentleman I met at the Louisiane, just
before the dawn broke. I never saw him before and I have never seen him
since; nor do I know his name, or where he came from. I only know that
he was an agreeable, friendly person who did not wish to go to bed.

When I said that I was going home he protested.

"Don't do that!" he urged. "There's a nice French restaurant in this
town. I can't think of the name of it. Let's go there."

"Well, how can we go if you don't know what place it is?" I asked,
intending to be discouraging.

The young man looked dazed at this. Then his face brightened suddenly.

"Oh, yes!" he cried. "I remember the name now! It's the Louisiane! Come
on! Let's get our coats an' go there!"

"But," I said, "this is the Louisiane right here."

The thought seemed to stagger him, for he swayed ever so slightly.

"All right," he said, regarding me with great solemnity. "Let's go
there!"

       *       *       *       *       *

I have wondered since if this same young man may not have been the one
who, returning to the St. Charles Hotel in the early hours of that sad
Ash Wednesday morning, was asked by the clerk, who gave him his key,
whether he wished to leave a call.

"What day's this?" he inquired.

"Wednesday," said the clerk.

"All ri'," replied the other, moving toward the elevator. "Call me
Saturday."




CHAPTER LX

FINALE

    Yonder the long horizon lies, and there by night and day
    The old ships draw to home again, the young ships sail away;
    And come I may, but go I must, and if men ask you why,
    You may put the blame on the stars and the sun and the white road and
        the sky!

    --GERALD GOULD.


It is good to look about the world; but always there comes a time when
the restless creature, man, having yielded to the call of the seas and
the stars and the sky, and gone a-journeying, begins to think of home
again. Even were home a less satisfactory, a less happy place than it
is, he would be bound to think of it after so long a journey as that
upon which my companion and I had spent so many months. For, just as it
is necessary for a locomotive to go every so often for an overhauling,
so it is necessary for the traveler to return to headquarters. The
fastenings of his wardrobe trunk are getting loose, and the side of it
has been stove in; his heels are running down in back, his watch needs
regulating, his umbrella-handle is coming loose, he is running out of
notebooks and pencils and has broken a blade of his knife in trying to
open a bottle with it (because he left his corkscrew in a hotel
somewhere along the way). His fountain pen has sprung a leak and
spoiled a waistcoat, his razors are dull, his strop is nicked, and he
has run out of the kind of cigarettes and cigars he likes. One lens of
his spectacles has gotten scratched, his mail has ceased to reach him,
his light suits are spotted, baggy and worn, and his winter suits are
becoming too heavy for comfort as the spring advances. His neckties are
getting stringy, he has hangnails and a cough; he never could fix his
own hangnails, and he cannot cure his cough because the bottle of
glycerine and wild cherry provided for just such an emergency by the
loved ones at home, got broken on the trip from Jacksonville to
Montgomery, and went dribbling down through the trunk, ruining his
reference books, three of his best shirts, and the only decent pair of
russet shoes he had left. The other shoes have been ruined in various
ways; one pair was spoiled in a possum hunt at Clinton, North
Carolina--and it was worth it, and worth the overcoat that was ruined at
the same time; two pairs of black shoes have been caked up with layers
and layers of sticky blacking, and one pair of russets was ruined by a
well intentioned negro lad in Memphis, who thought they would look
better painted red. His traveler's checks are running low and he is
continually afraid that, amid his constantly increasing piles of notes
and papers, he will lose the three books in each of which remains a few
feet of "yellow scrip"--the mileage of the South--which will take him on
his return journey as far as Washington.

Nor is that all. The determining factor in his decision to go home lies
in the havoc wrought by a long succession of hotel laundries--laundries
which starch the bosoms of soft silk shirts, which mark the owner's name
in ink upon the hems of sheer linen handkerchiefs which already have
embroidered monograms, which rip holes in those handkerchiefs and then
fold them so that the holes are concealed until, some night, he whips
one confidently from the pocket of his dress suit, and reveals it
looking like a tattered battle-flag; laundries which leave long trails
of iron rust on shirt-bosoms, which rip out seams, tear off buttons,
squeeze out new standing collars to a saw-tooth edge, iron little pieces
of red and brown string into collars, cuffs, and especially into the
bosoms of dress shirts, and "finish" dress shirts and collars, not only
in the sense of ending their days of usefulness as fast as possible, but
also by making them shine like the interiors of glazed porcelain
bathtubs. But the greatest cruelty of the hotel laundry is to socks. It
is not that they do more damage to socks, than to other garments, but
that the laundry devil has been able to think of a greater variety of
means for the destruction of socks than for the destruction of any other
kind of garment. He begins by fastening to each sock a cloth-covered tin
tag, attached by means of prongs. On this tag he puts certain marks
which will mean nothing to the next laundry. The next laundry therefore
attaches other tin tags, either ripping off the old ones (leaving holes
where the prongs went through) or else letting them remain in place, so
that, after a while, the whole top of the sock is covered with tin,
making it an extraordinarily uncomfortable thing to wear, and a strange
thing to look at. There is still another way in which the laundry devil
tortures the sock-owner. He can find ways to shrink any sock that is not
made of solid heavy silk; and of course he can rip silk socks all to
pieces. He will take silk-and-wool socks of normal length, and in one
washing will so reduce them that you can hardly get your foot into them,
and that the upper margins of them come only about an inch above your
shoe-tops. People who have no business to do so, are thus enabled, when
you are seated, to see the tops of your socks and to amuse themselves by
counting the tin tags with which they are adorned. Also, the socks,
being so short, become better pullers than the garters, so that instead
of the garters holding the socks up, the socks pull the garters down.
This usually occurs as you are walking up the aisle in church, or in the
middle of a dance, and of course your garter manages to come unclasped,
into the bargain, and goes trailing after you, like a convict's ball and
chain.

For a time you can stand this sort of thing, but presently you begin to
pine for the delicate washtub artistry of Amanda, at home; for vestments
which, when sent to the wash, do not come back riddled with holes, or
smelling as though they had been washed in carbolic acid, or in the tub
with a large fish.

So, presently, you fold up your rags like the Arabs, fasten your
battered baggage shut as best you can, put it on a taxi, and head for
the railway station. No train ever looks so handsome as the home-bound
train you find there. No engineer ever looks so sturdy and capable,
leaning from the window of his cab, as the one who is to take you home.

Up through the South you fly, past many places you have seen before,
past towns where you have friends whom you would like to see again--only
not now! Now nothing will do but home! Out of the region of magnolias,
palmettoes and live-oaks you pass into the region of pines, and out of
the region of pines into that of maples and elms. At last you come to
Washington.... Only a few hours longer! How satisfyingly the train slips
along! You are not conscious of curves, or even of turning wheels
beneath you. Your progress is like the swift glide of a flying sled.
Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton. Nothing to do but look
from the car windows and rejoice. Not that you love the South less, but
that you love home more.

"I wonder if we will ever go on such a trip as this again?" you say to
your companion.

"I don't believe so," he replies.

"It doesn't seem now as though we should," you return. "But do you
remember?--we talked the same way when we were coming home before. What
will it be two years hence?"

"True," he says. "And of course there's Conan Doyle. He always thinks
he's never going to do it any more. But in a year or so Sherlock Holmes
pops out again, drawn by Freddy Steele, all over the cover of
'Collier's.' Not that your stuff is as good as Doyle's, but that the
general case is somewhat parallel."

"Doyle has killed Holmes," you put in.

"Yes," he agrees, "and several times you've almost killed me."

Then as the train speeds scornfully through Newark, without stopping, he
catches sight of a vast concrete building--a warehouse of some kind,
apparently.

"Look!" he cries. "Isn't it wonderful?"

"That building?"

"Not the building itself. The thought that we don't have to get off here
and go through it. Think what it would be like if we were on our
travels! There would be a lot of citizens in frock coats. Probably the
mayor would be there, too. They would drive us to that building, and
take us in, and then they would cry if we refused to go to the
fourteenth floor, where they keep the dried prunes."

The train slips across the Jersey meadows and darts into the tunnel.

"Now," he remarks hopefully, "we are really going to get home--if this
tunnel doesn't drop in on us."

And when the train has emerged from the tunnel, and you have emerged
from the train, he says: "Now there's no doubt that we are going to get
home--unless we are smashed up in a taxi, on the way."

And when the taxi stops at your front door, and you bid him farewell
before he continues on his way to his own front door, he says: "Now
you're going to get home for sure--unless the elevator drops."

And when the elevator has not dropped, but has transported you in safety
to the door of your apartment, and you have searched out the old key,
and have unlocked the door, and entered, and found happiness within,
then you wonder to yourself as I once heard a little boy wonder, when he
had gone out of his own yard, and had found a number of large cans of
paint, and had upset them on himself:

"I have a very happy home," he said, reflectively. "I wonder why I don't
seem to stay around it more?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Charleston is the last stronghold of a unified American
upper class; the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port
and _noblesse oblige_ are fully and widely understood, and are employed
according to the best traditions]

[Illustration: "Railroad ticket!" said the baggageman with exaggerated
patience. I began to feel in various pockets]

[Illustration: Can most travellers, I wonder, enjoy as I do a solitary
walk, by night, through the mysterious streets of a strange city?]

[Illustration: Coming out of my slumber with the curious and unpleasant
sense of being stared at, I found his eyes fixed upon me]

[Illustration: Mount Vernon Place is the centre of Baltimore. Everything
begins there, including Baedeker]

[Illustration: If she is shopping for a dinner party, she may order the
costly and aristocratic diamond-back terrapin, sacred in Baltimore as is
the Sacred Cod in Boston]

[Illustration: Doughoregan Manor--The house was of buff-colored brick.
It was low and very long, with wings extending from its central
structure like beautiful arms flung wide in welcome]

[Illustration: I began to realize that there was no one coming; that no
one had opened the door; that it had begun to swing immediately upon my
saying the word "ghosts"]

[Illustration: Harpers Ferry is an entrancing old town; a drowsy place
piled up beautifully yet carelessly upon terraced roads clinging to
steep hillsides]

[Illustration: "What's the matter with him?" I asked, stopping]

[Illustration: When I came down, dressed for riding, my companion was
making a drawing; the four young ladies were with him, none of them in
riding habits]

[Illustration: Claymont Court is one of the old Washington houses. But
in all its history it has never been a happier home or a more
interesting one than it is to-day]

[Illustration: Chatham, the old Fitzhugh house, now the residence of
Mark Sullivan. Washington, Madison, Monroe, Washington Irving, Lee and
Lincoln have known the shelter of its roof]

[Illustration: Monticello stands on a lofty hilltop, with vistas,
between trees of neighboring valleys, hills, and mountains]

[Illustration: Like Venice, the University of Virginia should first be
seen by moonlight]

[Illustration: One party was stationed on the top of an old-time
mail-coach bearing the significant initials "F.F.V."]

[Illustration: The Piedmont Hunt Race Meet--There is a distinct note of
histrionism about many of the rich Americans who "go in for" elaborate
ruralness, and there is a touch of it, also, about ultra-"horsey"
people]

[Illustration: The southern negro is the world's peasant supreme]

[Illustration: The Country Club of Virginia, out to the west of
Richmond, is one of the most charming clubs of its kind in the United
States]

[Illustration: Judge Crutchfield--a white-haired, hook-nosed man of more
than seventy, peering over his eyeglasses with a look of shrewd,
merciless divination]

[Illustration: Negro women squatting upon boxes in old shadowy lofts
stem the tobacco leaves]

[Illustration: THE JUDGE: What did he do, Mandy?

THE WIFE: Jedge, he come bustin' in, an' he come so fas' he untook de
do' off'n de hinges!]

[Illustration: Some genuine old-time New York ferryboats help to
complete the illusion that Norfolk is New York]

[Illustration: "The Southern Statesman who serves his section best,
serves the country best."]

[Illustration: St. Philip's is the more beautiful for the open space
before it, and the graceful outward bend of Church Street in deference
to the projecting portico]

[Illustration: Or, opposite St. Philip's, a perfect example of the rude
architecture of an old French village; stucco walls, tinted and chipped,
red tile roofs and all]

[Illustration: In the doorway and gates of the Smyth house, in Legare
Street, I was struck with a Venetian suggestion]

[Illustration: Nor is the Charleston background a mere arras of
recollection. It exists everywhere in the wood and brick and stone of
ancient and beautiful buildings, in iron grilles and balconies
unrivalled in any other American city....]

[Illustration: Charleston has a stronger, deeper-rooted city entity than
all the cities of the middle west rolled into one]

[Illustration: The interior is the oldest looking thing in the United
States--Goose Creek Church]

[Illustration: A reminder of the Chicago River--Atlanta]

[Illustration: With the whole Metropolitan Orchestra playing dance music
all night long]

[Illustration: The office buildings are city office buildings, and are
sufficiently numerous to look very much at home]

[Illustration: The negro roof-garden, Odd Fellows' Building, Atlanta]

[Illustration: I was never so conscious, as at the time of our visit to
the Burge plantation, of the superlative soft sweetness of the spring]

[Illustration: The planters cease their work]

[Illustration: Birmingham--The thin veil of smoke from far-off iron
furnaces softens the city's serrated outlines]

[Illustration: Birmingham practices unremittingly the pestilential habit
of "cutting in" at dances]

[Illustration: Gigantic movements and mutations, Niagara-like noises,
great bursts of flame like fallen fragments from the sun]

[Illustration: A shaggy, unshaven, rawboned man, gray-haired and
collarless, sat near the window and uttered convincing imitations of the
sounds made by chickens, roosters, pigs, goats and crows]

[Illustration: Gaze upon the character called Daniel Voorhees Pike!
Observe the manliness with which he thrusts his pink little hands deep
in the pockets of his--or somebody's--pantaloons!]

[Illustration: The houses were full of the suggestion of an easy-going
home life and an informal hospitality. (Back yard of the former home of
General Stephen D. Lee.)]

[Illustration: Her hands looked very white and small against his dark
coat. He was gazing down at them, his features distorted by a shockingly
sentimental smile]

[Illustration: As water flows down the hills of Vicksburg to the river,
so the visitor's thoughts flow down to the great spectacular,
mischievous, dominating stream]

[Illustration: Over the tenement roofs one catches sight of sundry other
buildings of a more self-respecting character, and, far off, the cupola
of Vicksburg's old stone court house]

[Illustration: Vicksburg negroes. Whether drowsing in the sun, doing a
little stroke of work, or sitting gabbling on the curbstone, they were
upon the whole as cheerful and comical a lot of people as I ever saw]

[Illustration: In some of the boats negro fish-markets are conducted,
advertised by large catfish dangling from posts and railing]

[Illustration: The old Klein house, standing amid lawns and
old-fashioned gardens on the bluff overlooking the river]

[Illustration: Citizens go at midday to the square where they buy
popcorn for the squirrels and pigeons--Memphis]

[Illustration: Hanging in the air above the middle of the stream]

[Illustration: These small parks give Savannah a quality which
differentiates it from all other American cities]

[Illustration: The Thomas House in Franklin Square in which Lafayette
was entertained]

[Illustration: You will see them having tea, and dancing under the palm
fronds of the cocoanut grove, when the electric lights begin to glow in
the luminous semi-tropical twilight]

[Illustration: Cocktail hour at The Breakers]

[Illustration: Nowhere is the sand more like a deep warm dust of yellow
gold; nowhere is there a margin of the earth so splashed with spots of
brilliant color; nowhere is water less like water, more like a flowing
waste of liquid emeralds and sapphires edged with a thousand gleaming
flouncing strings of pearls]

[Illustration: The couples on the platform were "ragging," their
shoulders working like the walking-beams of side-wheelers]

[Illustration: Harness held together by that especial Providence which
watches over negro mendings]

[Illustration: It was a very jolly fair, with the usual lot of barkers
and the usual gaping crowd]

[Illustration: The mysterious old Absinthe House, founded 1799]

[Illustration: St. Anthony's Garden, where duels originating at the
quadroon balls were fought]

[Illustration: Courtyard of the old Orleans Hotel]

[Illustration: The little lady who sits behind the desk is more than
ninety-five years old, and came to New Orleans as the bride of Antoine]

[Illustration: The lights are always lowered at Antoine's when the
spectacular Cafe Boulot Diabolique is served]

[Illustration: Passing between the brilliantly illuminated buildings,
under festoons of electric lights the Mardi Gras parades, with their
floats, their bands, their torch-bearers, their masked figures, are
glorious sights for children from eight to eighty years of age]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes.

    Page 82: changed "Ridgleys" to "Ridgelys" (of present
    Ridgelys)

    Page 83: changed "her serious, eyes" to "her serious
    eyes"

    Page 138: Added missing word "we" (said as we were about
    to leave)

    Page 161: removed hyphen from "one-course" (prescribed
    one course)

    Page 169: changed "not" to "now" (now know that I did)

    Page 172: added missing quotation mark (such a long
    telegram.")

    Page 209: changed "Virgina" to "Virginia" (in Virginia,
    save,)

    Page 217: changed "it" to "in" (harm in it)

    Page 217: added missing quotation mark (raised with
    niggers around him."")

    Page 245: removed superfluous quotation marks from end
    of two lines (Yass, Jedge, drunk. _Always_ drunk.)
                 (he come so fast he untook the do' off'n
                  de hinges; den 'e begins--")

    Page 283: added missing quotation mark (you very
    definitely don't.")

    Page 287: changed "Okrakoke" to "Ocracoke" (legend
    around Okracoke)

    Page 295: changed "seem" to "see" (them to see him)

    Page 328: changed "new York" to "New York" (New York
    "Sun,")

    Page 334: changed "coffe" to "coffee" (coffee, hot and
    iced.)

    Page 355: changed "maried" to "married" (were married in
    the dining room)

    Page 438: changed "corporaton" to "corporation"
    (corporation I have scandalously)

    Page 449: changed "constructon" to "construction" (With
    the construction)

    Page 450: changed "conversatons" to "conversations" and
    "wth" to "with" (telephonic conversations with a)

    Page 453: changed "objectons" to "objections" (brushed
    aside our objections.)

    Page 514: changed " to ' ("'Yes,' said Ed.)

    Page 518: added missing quotation mark (town in the
    Southwest.")

    Page 521: changed "repreduction" to "reproduction" (is a
    photographic reproduction)

    Page 527: changed "crusing" to "cruising" (was still
    cruising in the South)

    Page 528: added missing word "a" (officer of a naval
    vessel.)

    Page 532: changed "stading" to "standing" (and silver
    standing on the)

    Page 538: added missing word "ago" (years ago he
    conducted)

    Page 542: added missing quotation mark (innumerable
    squirrels.")

    Page 590: changed "redout" to "redoubt" (last redoubt
    held)

    Page 631: changed "hardly" to "hardy" (hardy pioneers
    from Canada,)

    Page 640: added missing ) ("mosquito bar.") The)

    Page 649: changed "This, situation is" to "This
    situation is" (This situation is)

    Page 649: changed "may" to "my" (it was my chance)

    Page 655: added missing quotation mark (the Jolly
    Roger.")

    Page 657: changed "well-know" to "well-known" (too
    well-known "Last)

    Page 669: changed "is" to "it" (that it bears the
    relation)

    Page 670: changed "that" to "than" (even than the
    pageants)

    Page 734: changed "coconut" to "cocoanut" in image
    caption (palm fronds of the cocoanut grove,)





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