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wards a son opened his eyes upon the world, and the girl-wife closed hers for ever.

The passive horror that falls on passionate young life laid desolate by death, the hush that seems to lie shroud-like on the world, was rent and blown to the four winds of heaven by the clarion note of war. In his bewilderment and helplessness after his wife's death, Ethan had allowed his mother-in-law, Mrs. Aaron Tallmadge, to take the baby home with her for a visit to Boston. A few weeks before his appointed ordination, young Gano joined the Southern army. About the time he was to have taken the vows that should make him a man of peace and a priest, Ethan Gano was rushing blindly with Kirby Smith's brigade across the fields from Manassas Station, among the first to break and rout the Union ranks, and give his life for a Southern victory in the battle of Bull Run.

It was said in Catawbaville that none of the disasters other Southerners were fearing could add much to Mrs. Gano's grief after the loss of her eldest son. She had been a striking, although fragile-looking woman, tall, arrow-straight, and auburn-haired, just entering on middle life, when she went to her own room and closed the door behind her, that day the despatch came after Bull Run. A few weeks later, when she came forth again, it seemed to her awestruck household that it was an old woman who appeared among them, with stern, blanched face, bowed shoulders, and abundant hair whitening at the temples. But what her altered looks called forth of sympathy, her reticent manner either held at bay or ruthlessly rebuffed. She went nowhere, received no one. Months afterwards a neighbour, seeing her by chance, offered some conventional but kindly-meant condolence. The look of cold surprise that anyone should venture to come near her grief, sealed up the fountain of neighbourly sympathy. The rumour going forth that Mrs. Gano was more unapproachable than ever since Ethan's death, her friends left her to the solitude she was rightly understood to demand. But vain for her to shut and double-lock the great white gates of Ashlands—the tide of war swept on and in, and overwhelmed the house.

It is no part of the purpose of this account to tell in detail the old story of Southern losses, scenes of impotent indignation at the quartering of Northern soldiers in Confederate houses, wanton violence to property, and greater violence still to the old-fashioned Southern sense of personal dignity. These were the commonplaces of the war. Almost equally common were the lamentations in the negro quarters when the word went forth that the slaves were free, that they were to turn their backs on the patriarchal life and

get them out into the world to taste the bitter and the sweet of Independence.

When Mrs. Gano found that her belated private proclamation through her overseer, months after that of the President, had the inadequate effect of relieving her of but one negro, she assembled her household servants and plantation folk round the long veranda, and told them they were free. Uncle Charlie, as the accepted mouthpiece of the Gano niggers, stepped forward and pulled off his dilapidated hat.

'We done yeah somethin' 'bout dis 'mancyperation befo', but we don' gib no 'count to it, Mis' G'no.'

'But I tell you it's true, and you must go. I'll have a fair division made of what's left in the quarter, of clothes and tools and food, and

'Law, ma'am, don' go fur t' do dat,' said Cæsar the gardener, grinning cheerfully, we ain't gwine t' leab yo'.'

6

'Yes, it is best you should,' said the mistress.

'Bress yo' soul, ma'am'-old Charlie pulled his woolly white forelock and bowed low-' de G'nos hab stood by us a po'ful long time, an' now we gwine to stan' by de G'nos in dis yer trouble. We ain't gwine t' leab yo' t' de mussy o' dem Yankees.'

'No, no, nebber w'ile de blessed Lawd sabes po' sinners,' Mississippi Maria lifted up her voice and eyes and hands.

'The Yankees have given you your freedom,' said Mrs. Gano, with wasted scorn.

'I don' gib' no 'count t' what de po' white trash says dey'll do fur me,' said Uncle Charlie loftily; I b'longs t' de G'nos.'

'Yah, yah, we b'longs t' de G'nos,' the murmur went through the crowd.

'Of course you do by rights,' said the mistress, with a flash of fire. 'But we can't keep our rights, it seems. So just make the best of this liberty, now you've got it; make the best of it, as young Jerry did.'

She waved her hand, dismissing them. Sensation in the crowd, and some whispering. Jerry senior created a diversion by pulling himself together and venturing up one of the long low steps of the veranda. He held out two coal-black hands with pallid palms. 'Don' git mad, Miss G'no, 'count o' Jerry. Jerry been a po' sort o' chile eber since de Lawd made him,' urged his earthly father, with a comfortable sense of having no responsibility in the matter. 'Jerry been jes' dyin' fo' 'bout a year fur t' see dat yaller gal, Liza, yo' sen' to yo' sister down Kentucky way. Dat's wha' he's a-gwine. Yo' won't catch no G'no nigger gwine near de Yankees.'

'If he's been dying to go so long, why didn't he set off in January ?'

'In Janoowerry? Yo' only sent us word yes'day mawnin'.' 'Hadn't Jerry heard of Lincoln's precious Proclamation at the New Year?'

'Oh ye-es, ma'am, he done yeah.'

There was a moment's pause, and then the father pulled his shambling figure up.

'Jerry ain't much 'count, but he ain't clean gone crazy. He know it all bery well fo' de Yankee Pres'dent fo' to say he wus free. But Jerry know he jes' better hold his hosses till he yeah what Miss G'no got t' say 'bout dat. Jerry been waitin' roun' since Janoowerry t' yeah wot yo' got t' say.'

'Well, I've told you.'

Uncle Charlie stepped forward, pulled old Jerry off the step without ceremony, and said severely: 'Yo' got a heap o' gab, but yo' better tote yo'self down to de gyarden an' do yo' chores.' Then, looking up at the mistress: 'An' tain't no use, ma'am, fo' yo' t' stan' up dah on de po'ch an' tell us we all 'mancyperated, and yo' don' care nuthin no mo' 'bout us. Dar's a heap o' cotton got t' be picked, and we got t' pick it.' He turned away to his companions: 'Come 'long, yo lazy black niggers, jes' stir yo' stumps !'

'No, Charlie, no; the cotton must rot in the fields.' Blank astonishment swept over the dusky crowd.

Golly!' said one or two under their breath, while the others stood speechless, with mouths open and round eyes fixed and staring.

'Ef yo' thinkin' 'bout us bein' 'mancyperated and 'spectin' to be paid, began Jerry, while a ripple of contempt at the notion passed over the bewildered throng, 'well, we ain't 'spectin'.'

(

'You are expecting to be fed,' said Mrs. Gano, more gently than they were accustomed to hear their mistress speak, and that's more than I can do for so many any longer.'

The newly-emancipated lifted up their voices and wept. 'For Law's sake don' sen' us away, Mis' G'no !'

'I reckon yo' can't git 'long widout me and Tom nohow.' 'We don' want nuthin' to eat,' said Mississippi Maria, sobbing, while she cuffed the only completely happy person present-a youth of four or five, who clung to her skirt with one hand, while with the other he clutched a section of green melon. 'Put dat down, yo' greedy gump !'-his grandmother clouted him over the head till he, too, joined in the general lamentation-stuffin' yo'self wid water-million fo' ladies.'

'We gwine to wuk hard dis time, Mis' G'no,' said another voice from out the general clamour, and we don't need no bacon. Corn-pone and 'lasses is 'nough fo' any nigger.'

'I'm sorry for you, but the Northerners have not only freed you, they have crippled us. We can't afford to have you here any longer. You must all go, except Jerusha and her children.'

There was a lull of incredulity, and then a steadily rising storm of dismal howling.

'Tain't fair!' shrieked old Chloe. 'I done come yer fustlong befo' Jerusha. Missis! Missis! I done come to G'nos fo' yo' did yo'self.'

'I dassent leab yo',' Jerry persisted. 'Massa'd 'mos' a' killed me ef he'd ebber thought I'd leab yo' and little missy to dem debbils o' Yankees. 'Tain't safe, m'am-'tain't safe.'

It was not Mrs. Gano's way to show emotion. She turned abruptly, and disappeared in the house. She had the well-earned reputation of being no easy mistress. But she had treated her slaves justly, according to her lights, and this hour of enforced setting them adrift was bitter on other than political and economic grounds.

CHAPTER II.

AT the close of the war the Ganos were ruined. The rambling, verandaed house was sold for a song to the Gano-Lees, and the question was, where could John with his delicate health, his interrupted and insufficient schooling, make a livelihood? Where could Mrs. Gano live most inexpensively, and with least annoyance to sensibilities so outraged by the issue of the war? Certainly not in Virginia-not anywhere in the despoiled, prostrate South. Certainly not in the hated North. But the West

Far off in the wilds of one of the middle States, Mrs. Gano's father, William Calvert, had once held property, and in her early youth she had been taken from Baltimore in a stage-coach over the Alleghany Mountains to visit him during one of his long absences from home on business in connection with these Western lands. He had bought a queer grim house in a little town on a river among the Mioto Hills, and made himself there a temporary home or headquarters for these yearly Western pilgrimages. The State where he had his interests was the first one carved out of the great North-Western Territory, and though later on a much farther West robbed this mid-America of its early-century associa tions of adventure and of danger, it was far remoter from the Atlantic seaboard then than the Pacific is to-day.

The house that Mrs. Gano inherited from her father had been built in times of Indian warfare for a fortress and ammunition centre. With the retreat of the Indians to the Western Reservation, the settlement's need of a fort was less than the need of a school. The solid and spacious rectangular building of stone on the height above the river was turned into an academy for boys. A rival school sapped its prosperity in time; it declined into bankruptcy, and came upon the market. William Calvert bought it, made it into a dwelling-house, ultimately adding a wooden L, and establishing his partner's family there. This house in the small but growing town of New Plymouth was all that was left to

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