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coal. I am simply basing this opinion on the opinion of Nationally known geologists and coal experts who are thoroughly familiar with the ground and have been watching its development closely.

A few miles farther up the line from Matanuska brings us to Wassila, gateway to the Willow Creek mining district, which is located twenty-five miles from the railway. This field is seventy miles from Anchorage. A good wagon road is completed to within from five to twelve miles to the various mines of this district. Fair roads have been constructed to the various properties. But the cost of transporting supplies and mining machinery over the last seven miles amounts to more than all water and rail charges and the haul over twenty-two miles of completed road. The lack of money to complete the last few miles has prevented at least two mills from going into the district.

The district, in the opinion of geologists and mining experts, is one of the most promising in the Alaskan interior, from the standpoint of a high-grade camp. There are about twenty-five mines and prospects in a very limited area, and the ore, which is all of the free milling gold variety, is extremely rich in gold content.

About two million dollars' worth of gold has been taken out, and extensive development work is in progress on the various properties. There are several stamp mills in operation, and the owners of the recently developed Drumheller mine, adjoining the Talkeetna mine, are building the largest mill in the district this fall. The great ore body encountered in this mine, which is extremely high grade, places the district in the "permanent" class; and the Drumheller property becomes one of the richest gold properties in the North. The principal properties in this district are the Lucky Shot, War Baby, Gold Bullion, Gold Cord, Mabel, Opal, Rae Wallace, Gold Mint, Kelley Mines, the Consolidated Gold Mines, and the Hatcher Claims.

North of and close to the Willow Creek district a wagon road is being contracted to the Cache Creek Placer mining district, where fourteen hydraulic outfits are now in profitable operation. The Cache Creek country promises to be a steady producer.

The Matanuska Valley traversed by the Government railway is one of the largest farming sections in Alaska, containing tens of thousands of acres of level and rolling highly productive soil. At the present time many homesteaders are improving ranches in this vicinity. Hay, grains, and vegetables of alf kinds are grown successfully in this valley, and as mining development takes place, so that the farmers can enjoy a steady market, this district will be one of the most prosperous and permanent on the railway.

In the Talkeetna district, north of low Creek, very promising copper

eets are being developed that give

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Back of the Wells Brothers' claim on Ohio Creek some of the most promising silver-lead veins in the interior have been encountered. These veins run from five to seven feet in thickness and are of an exceptionally high grade; and although, because of the high cost of former transportation, only two hundred feet of tunneling has been done, the prospects have the earmarks of permanence. The fact that this entire district contains base metals will mean heavy tonnage for the railway when proper development has been carried out.

The Kantishina district is too well known to take up much space in this article. This district lies within sixty miles of the Government railway, and contains some of the richest high-grade lode properties in the Territory. Silverlead ore predominates. However, there are indications of paying deposits of gold, copper, and other metals. The ore that has been taken out of this district was taken out at a cost of over $100 per ton, and yet, with this heavy expense, six hundred tons were taken out and shipped to the smelter in California at a profit. The cost of transportation alone was $65 per ton.

It will cost less than $4,000,000 to construct a railway in this district, and about $1,000,000 to put in a first-class Government road that can be used by auto truck. High-grade galena ores have been recently discovered on Copper Mountain, which is only forty-five miles from the railway.

The Kantishina and McKinley districts contain the most extensive silverlead ores north of Cape Spencer, and give promise to rival the Portland Canal section, where the Premier Mine is located. The principal properties being developed in the Kantishina district are those on Copper Mountain, the Quigley Dalton property, the Red Top Mine, the galena claim, and scores of others that have recently been located and light prospecting done.

The next district tapped by the rail way is the Healy River coal fields. The Healy River coal district presents one of the most wonderful coal-mining views in the world. One of the greatest engineers in the country told me that in all of his experience he had never viewed such a wonderful scene. I agree with him. Faulty, yes; but the tremendous coal deposits, although of subbituminous grade, can be mined more

cheaply than coal in any other section of the country. A mountain of coal lies within four miles of Healy station, which is now being tapped by railway spur; and this mountain contains 261 feet of solid coal veins. The mountain has the appearance of being cut squarely in two with a sword. It is one thousand feet high, and contains sixteen veins of coal, dipping back into the mountain at an angle of fifty-two degrees. The first vein at the base of the mountain is forty-seven feet thick, of solid coal matter. The next one contains twenty-seven feet, the third one twenty-five feet, and thirteen other veins vary from seven feet to twenty feet in thickness. This coal is being mined for one dollar per ton, and will be mined somewhat cheaper later on. The quality of the coal is between lignite and bituminouscalled by several coal-mining engineers "sub-bituminous coal." It gives a terrific heat, although at the present time it shows an inclination to pulverize. It is being developed by private enterprise. and gives promise of being one of the greatest industries in the interior, even if it never supplies any more than is needed for local requirements. The interior of Alaska has been held back for lack of cheap fuel. This trouble will be eliminated when the Tanana bridge at Nenana is constructed, and coal can be shipped from Healy to Fairbanks without reloading at the Tanana River. This bridge will be completed by the first of February, 1923, and will give direct connection from Seward to Fairbanks without water transfer.

Now we come to Fairbanks, in the heart of the great Tanana Valley, at present the most highly developed agricultural area in Alaska.

Regarding the Fairbanks district, many people have gathered an erroneous idea that the various placer creeks have been thoroughly mined and all gold taken out. As a matter of fact, probably less than one-fourth has been taken out, but the high cost of placer mining in this district, together with the former excessive fuel prices, has eliminated the mining of placer ground that would have been highly profitable in other sections of the country. It is almost inconceivable that prospectors were unable to mine gravel that ran a dollar and a half a yard, whereas one dollar a yard anywhere else in the country would have caused a stampede. This field will be developed with one of two methods: The low cost of coal going into Fairbanks district from the Healy Field when the Tanana bridge is constructed will open up many properties which have heretofore been idle. At the present time, however, a substantial corporation is prospecting the entire district at an expense of half a million dollars, with the idea of putting into operation more than fifty dredges if the district proves to contain as much gold as geologists have declared remains. Seventy million dollars' worth of metal has been mined. It is estimated by Dr. Brooks

and others that there are still remaining $350,000,000 of placer gold in the old creek beds and benches. To win the precious metal in this district on the scale anticipated will necessitate a tremendous expense. A huge volume of water will have to be carried a distance formerly prohibitive. The people now prospecting this field declare that they will know by the fall of 1923 whether they will go ahead with the project. Most of the miners I talked with expressed a firm belief that the options will be taken up, and the greatest hydraulic and dredge development ever known vigorously prosecuted.

One of the experts in charge of the prospecting assured me that the work done up to this time was more than satisfactory. Fairbanks will become the most active city in Alaska if this great project is prosecuted. However, Fairbanks does not have to obtain this project to live. The "Queen City" of the interior supplies a tremendous territory, being a distributing center for the head waters of the Tanana, the Livengood, Chandlar, Eagle Creek, Circle, Fort Yukon, and many other placer districts, and lies in the heart of the famous Tanana Valley agricultural region. This section contains many highly developed farms and dairy ranches. Hay, wheat, berries, and vegetables of all kinds are not only successfully grown in this district, but quantity production is on a par with first-class farming sections of the United States. A fine flour mill is in operation, and an excellent quality of flour is manufactured.

There are several quartz properties within thirty-five miles of Fairbanks

that are being developed. These properties are on the profit side of the ledger, and small but complete mills are in operation. Two large dredges are successfully operating on Fairbanks Creek. These dredges handle about six thousand yards of gravel every day. There are several hydraulic outfits in operation around Fairbanks that are paying handsome returns. Cheap coal will give a tremendous impetus to placer mining, and many properties are preparing to open up when the Tanana bridge is completed and coal brought in from the Healy Field.

I have described the various sections along the Government railway to give the public an idea of the possibilities of heavy tonnage for the Government project. The fact that the country has scarcely been scratched should prove to any unbiased mind that the Government road was not only feasible, but an absolute necessity. When good wagon roads have been constructed to the various mining districts along the route and pack trails into the hills, Congress need not worry about this project becoming, not only self-sustaining, but profitable.

Fairbanks, at the present time, has two outlets to the coast-the Government railway and the Richardson Trail. The latter, 427 miles in length, connects the interior with Valdez, on Prince William Sound, and also with a branch road connecting with Chitina, a station on the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. Automobiles travel over this

road, making the trip in two days under forced driving, and three days for regular service. This is the longest road suitable for automobile travel in all Alaska. Fine accommodations are found for the night stops at comfortable road houses, where meals are served that the traveler will never forget.

For the distance, I think I am reasonably conservative in stating that this 427 miles of road outrivals any like distance in the world for scenery. Several Nationally known tourists have assured me of this fact, and I agree with them. I have lived in mountainous sections, around beautifully wooded lakes, and on rolling prairies practically all my life. This trail surpasses them all. A trip to Alaska is not complete without going over this road, and in a few years it will prove to be one of the greatest transportation assets of the Territory from the standpoint of tourist traffic.

A tremendous amount of work was necessary to bring the road to its present stage of development. A million dollars is required to bring the road up to the standard that it should be. Tourist travel alone will quickly reimburse this outlay.

Roads are every bit as necessary in the Prince William Sound district as in the interior. Roads will mean success to the many prospects and mines in this district. This section since 1919 has shipped 1,800,000 tons of copper ore. It has many promising properties that will be opened up when transportation facilities permit. It is the same old story— "We need roads."



T was the Christmas of 1921, and Hattonchâtel is the dream town of the Meuse.

There have been other Christmas celebrations, many of them, in the little gray-walled village on the top of the hill. During the centuries of her history great people and famous have made memorable this Christian festival in the old fortress-château at the end of the street, and year after year the midnight mass has been chanted in the lovely Gothic church as it was in the Middle Ages and before. Even during the Great War, while the Germans were in possession of the village, there was at least one Christmas celebration, for when the French and American liberators entered Hattonchâtel they found the crypt of the ancient chapel still hung with the faded decorations of a German Christmas party.

But this celebration of Christmas, the first since the war, was a fête purely for the villagers, those peasants of France


who, undismayed by hardship and privation, are tirelessly working day after day and day after day, they and their children; toiling to restore their desolated homes and countryside. It was an effort to lighten their dull, weary hours of labor, and for a day at least the gigantic task of cleaning up gave way to the Christmas spirit of cheer and gayety.

For a fête of any kind Hattonchâtel offers an incomparable setting. Hanging picturesquely on the highest hill of the range running from Toul to Verdun, this age-old village has for a thousand years kept watch over the lowlands, its enormously thick walls and network of subterranean passages making it all but impregnable.

The history of the village goes back to Charlemagne, one of whose towers still stands incorporated into the foundations of the more modern church, and from those early days down to the seventeenth century this proud little hamlet was a

stronghold of the princes of the blood and the prelates of the Church. Each age and each occupation left behind some mark of architectural loveliness. The underground Romanesque chapel, the arcades, the Gothic church and lacelike cloisters, the "Maison de la Voûte," all served their generations; but in the march of time the nobility withdrew from Hattonchâtel, the village lost its position of greatness and power, and its lovely buildings fell into decay.

Then the Great War swept over the hill, and all that remained of Hattonchâtel was jagged bits of its encircling walls.

It was on this height, then, amid humble ruins and ruins teeming with history and romance, that the Christmas party took place. We had hoped that the festivities might have somewhat the character of a surprise to the villagers and we thought our preparations for the day were wrapped in secrecy. But nothe postmaster at the foot of the hill

laboriously translated into French telegrams purposely sent in English. He quite properly told the contents to his wife, who could not resist passing on the news to her neighbor, till little by little the tidings crept up the hill and the women of Hattonchâtel filling their pails at the village pump gossiped pleasantly of the fête-to-be. Even the Mayor and Town Council were caught in the wave of curiosity and excitement that swept the village, and discussed in solemn conclave the rumors running rife among the people. The curé alone assumed an air of indifference, but Monsieur le Curé, as often happens, had received direct information as to the plans, and, secure in the knowledge, could easily seem to ignore things so worldly.


Motoring through the valley of the Woëvre the evening before the holiday, we who had come from America to join in the merry-making found ourselves enveloped in a thick fog common to the Meuse at that season of the year and not unlike a London fog in denseness. was hard to follow the road over which we were traveling, nor could the waiting villagers on their hilltop see afar off the lights of the automobile, as they had often done on clearer nights. Through the stillness, though, and the fog the regular beat of the motor engine drawing nearer and nearer told them of our approach, and quickly their eager hearts sent out the familiar greetingthe church bell ringing across the cold grayness to bid us welcome. It was like the communion of spirits-hearing what we could not see, feeling what neither they nor we were able to express in words, the triumph of faith over sight.

On we crept over the worn, rough road and up the steep hill, and the sound of the bell grew louder. At last faint lights began to glimmer here and there, more and more of them as we neared the top-the moving lights of torches carried by men of the village come out to meet us. We descended from the car. The scene was a bit of the Middle Ages-the village wrapped in thick fog, flaring torches dimly lighting the narrow street and only half revealing the weird gray figures moving in the dark shadows, the babel of voices, the sudden clatter of a horse's hoofs on the rough pavement, the viras of welcome-it might have been the ancestors of these peasants greeting an ancient Duc de Lorraine. We shivered in the penetrating cold. Familiar things seemed strange. It was as if the little street were peopled with the wraiths of long ago, and the illusion of their ghostly presence was not dispelled until we were indoors seated around a big log fire listening to the inevitable French speeches of welcome.

The next day dawned bright and clear. The mystery and creepiness of the night before had disappeared in a glorious winter sunshine, and as I looked out of my window in the early morning on the

tiful country of Jeanne d'Arc, still

bleeding from the wounds of war, my heart beat fast and I knew why France has so many lovers. And when I stepped into the street and saw at the entrance to the village the garlands of mistletoe festooned in a welcoming arch of green, and all along the way the French and American flags crossed over the homely doorways, my pulse quickened again and I knew that France loves her lovers.

The peasants were already astir and hurried forward with morning greetings; women dressed in Sunday best and children in the holiday costume of Lorraine waiting for the coming of evening and the Christmas party, their shining eyes telling without the need of words the happiness in their hearts.

As the day wore on curiosity became acute, for in France New Year's Day eclipses Christmas as a popular holiday, and a community Christmas tree in that part of the country was a thing unknown. At noon the town crier announced very briefly the order of events; yet, in spite of this dissemination of knowledge, we were besieged with callers, from the oldest to the youngest in the village, some asking questions, some giving advice, some eager to open boxes, but all in a mood of Gallic gayety and good nature.

The fête opened in the early evening with the christening of a cinema apparatus in the new-old tavern. It was the first time that moving pictures had been shown in Hattonchâtel, and of course it was the inimitable Charlot who fur nished the evening's entertainment. While the audience, forgetful alike of packages and promises, applauded his amusing antics, outside the darkness deepened, one by one the stars came out, and night enfolded the village. Then it was that we who had put the finishing touches to the tree and were waiting for the right moment to come turned on the lights.

Standing in the square in the sheltered angle of an old ruin, this real monarch of the forest towered above the red-tiled roofs of the near-by cottages. In its branches glittered gewgaws and baubles and scores of gayly colored electric birds, the brilliance culminating at the top in an amber star, big and bright and beautiful.

Tumbling out of the hall into the unlighted street, stumbling in the dark and fumbling for their lanterns, suddenly their quick eyes saw above the roofs the star of the Christmas tree, and as if in reverence those simple village folk stopped laughing, stopped talking, and quietly, wonderingly, came to where it beckoned them. They were all thereold men and old women, their backs bent with toil, poilus in horizon blue home on furlough, mothers with babies in arms, and lonely children whose mothers and fathers were lost in the horror of war, all were there gazing with hungry eyes at the fairy tree. At the first strains of familiar music, though (for we had brought a fiddler

from Nancy), their attitude changed; smiles broke over their bronzed faces and slowly they began to dance the almost forgotten peasant dances of the days before the war.

And the star of the Christmas tree shone bright above them.

The dancing ended, we went into one of the recently rebuilt houses, long, low, and rambling, as it was three hundred years ago, and there, amid much merriment, the distribution of gifts was made. No one of the rooms being large enough to hold the whole company, we were scattered through the house in a series of connecting rooms following the line of the ancient walls of the village, for it must be remembered that Hattonchâtel, shaped like an Indian arrowhead, is so narrow that all the houses near the point necessarily have for their foundations the undestroyed centuriesold ramparts. It was in the cellar of this very house, indeed, that Guillaume de Haraucourt was captured, that crafty Bishop of Verdun who, at the instigation of Louis XI, invented an iron cage for the torture of political prisoners, and by the irony of fate and the order of his Sovereign became himself for years an occupant of the hideous device. But he and those others whose bloody deeds made history in this old, old village on the high hill passed forgotten that night. Mirth ruled. Gifts were exhibited and exchanged, healths were proposed and drunk in the champagne of the country, a grab-bag with its sporting chances caused riotous amusement, and the children screamed with delight when the plum pudding, "on fire," as they said, was carried through the rooms on a silver salver quite in the English manner by two young men dressed as chefs.

The hours passed quickly. Too soon the hands of the clock pointed to quarter before twelve. It was Christmas Eve, and suddenly above the music and laughter the church bell rang out loud and clear, mingling, as always in France, its religious appeal with its note of joy. The moment to separate had come. Good-nights were said, good wishes were exchanged, the Christmas party of 1921 was over, but in the cold, still winter air the star of the tree shone steadily on, lighting the way to the church, and the bell, peal following peal, called us to the mass.

As we entered the church vague pictures floated before our minds of other Christmas masses said there in the days of long ago, when cardinals in red robes officiated and dukes and princes knelt in prayer and choirs of priests chanted the service. This night there was no such glory of greatness. There were only a few Lorraine peasants and two strangers worshiping together in the partially restored church of a half-forgotten village in the valley of the Woëvre. The altar with its simple bouquets of common flowers and the cheap portable organ about which was grouped the village choir bore no resemblance to the magnificence of the service in other days,

nor did the Crêche, poor and crude, recall the Nativity as it is represented in the churches of great cities on Christmas Eve. But the wonderful "Calvaire" by Ligier Richier was there, brought back from Metz, where the Germans had taken it, and once more in its place at the side, and the tablet to the Soldier Dead was there beneath the crossed flags of France and America, and when that group of humble peasants, their eyes uplifted, sang "Noël," a thrill went through one that comes not save when the soul is touched.

The hour passed, the service ended,

and as we went out again into the night I found myself near an old white-haired man, the doyen of the village, who offered to escort me to the house. The weather had changed; the sky was black and threatening, an icy wind from the north cut our faces, the lights of our lanterns flickered, and the darkness of the street seemed darker.

immobile face took on an expression almost of affection as, pointing in the direction of the tree, he said, quietly, "Cette étoile nous apporte un nouveau courage."

It was a pretty thought-the star of the Christmas tree at Hattonchâtel a star of hope and courage and faith. Shining brightly in the hilltop village,

But the star of the Christmas tree it shed its light on the little ruined hamshone on.

The old man noticed it and, turning towards me-tall, wrinkled, bronzed, looking more like an Indian chieftain than a French peasant-his ordinarily

lets in the wide valley below, confirming to that people whose name is courage the hope of France in America as it symbolized to us America's faith in France.


T is Christmas Eve, and I'm on my way home for the holidays. But I'm

wheels, nor on a vessel whose engines sob and pulse and heave, nor in a motor on a 25-miles-an-hour speed limit highway-skimming along blithely at fortyfive. I'm driving that obsolescent creature known as a horse. We've already come forty miles; two more, and we shall be at home.

You might well suppose that my journey has been over a prairie; but it has been through wild-woods all the way. From Charleston, the road parallels the coast to Georgetown, sixty miles distant; and the only breaks in the flanking forests are certain starved clearings. It would be hazardous to say that this land is cultivated; for much of it is a mere agricultural shambles, wherein crab-grass and sheep-burs have fatally assaulted the legitimate crops of cotton,


peas, and corn. What a planter of the region once pathetically remarked to me

people to eat crab-grass instead of corn, some of us here could make a living." True, one passes a few fine estates, such as the great Horlbeck pecan orchard, containing upward of a thousand acres. But most of the dwelling-houses along this road belong to poor Negroes. Of these cabins a word may be said.

They are in general of two types: either old and smoke-grimed and staggering in posture, or else painfully new, with the sap oozing out of their pine boards; often they may be so new as to be unfinished. I mean that a porch or a set of steps may be begun, but left for months and even for years in its state of hopeful beginning. I have known a family to put a roof on one side of a house, and to move in, and actually not to finish the other part of the roof

for a matter of two years. Some people laugh at this sort of thing, and they say

not to execute. My observation leads me to a different feeling and to a different conclusion: I grieve over these cabins; and I know that they are unfinished because their owners are shackled by a dull, uniform, absolute poverty, which is the mother of a fatal inertia. If, for example, a Negro knows a good trade, and can thereby make a little ready money, he will build himself a pretty home, and he will finish it inside and out. But when a man's earthly possessions consist in an acre of barren land, and when he has no market for whatever tiny yields he is able, by weary toil, to scratch out of it, then he exemplifies what Gray meant when he wrote of the power of chill penury to repress noble rage; and what our own Edwin Markham means when he shows us the

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Man with the Hoe-a figure destined, by the poet's genius, to pass forever, with terrible portent and implication, before the eyes and through the heart of mankind.

Of these Negro cabins that greet my eyes on my homeward journey, some are painted. Reds and blues prevail; and these are the more startling because of the loneliness of the landscape on which they flamboyantly kindle. Negroes, like all men, having in their souls the natural yearning after beauty or embellishment of some sort, essay to paint their cabins. But commonly their meager means will permit them to buy only a pint or so of paint. This, when judiciously thinned, will cover two doors and perhaps one window; hence one of the architectural oddities to startle the stranger traveling along this Southern road is the sight of a squatting dim cabin with an alarmingly red door, and two or three shutters "terrifically blue," as Florence Wilkinson says. For simple human reasons I have always been touched by these pathetic displays of a mortal longing, distinct and but faintly assuaged. Many careless observers suppose that the Negro simply quits work; but possibly this little story will show that, given a chance, he will take it about as well as the average man.

Prince had lost his house by fire, the cause of which had been a lath-and-mud chimney. One of the laths had caught fire and had set the house ablaze. In helping him plan a new house I was emphasizing the need for a good brick chimney. But he told me he had no bricks and couldn't buy them. I then bethought me of an old brick chimney, all that was left of a rice barn, standing solitary on a plantation some three miles away, and across a river, a swamp,

and a creek. I told Prince that I would buy the chimney for him if he would move it. He accepted with alacrity; and for days, in his dugout-cypress canoe whose middle name was Tippy, he crossed the river and the creek. Across the swamp the bricks had to be rolled in a decrepit wheelbarrow. From the final landing they had to be hauled a half mile. Yet all the work-the tearing down of the old chimney, the transportation of the bricks, the building of the new chimney-was done with speed and gladness. They wrong the Negro who point to his poor house and say that it is a just representation of his inertia. Give him a chance, and he will show you what he can do.

And now I return to my woodland highway that runs on, straight and broad and lonely-a road across which wild turkeys are wont to step warily, marching furtively to their roost; and a road down which deer, when the twilight is come, will pace in mysterious silence, delicately roaming the dim country of the night. Though it is midwinter, there are dewy fragrances allur

me from the wayside, and in the n bays smilax wreathes the tallest

trees and drops great cataracts of densest greenery almost to the forest floor. Soon the woods take on a changed aspect; I come to sparkleberry thickets, scrub-oak hills, giant live-oaks, great hollies that tower sixty feet. In one of these hollies a flock of robins is feasting; and with them are cedar-waxwings and a few silent wood-thrushes. Perhaps three hundred robins are in this one tree or else have immediate designs upon it, for the bare sweet-gums near by are thronged with them, and the holly is their objective. On the gums are massive bunches of mistletoe; and on these the birds feed also; but the pale, cold berries of this mystic parasite seem less attracive than the ruddy holly berries. The changing of the woods means that I am getting near the river; and it means that I'm getting home.

The sun, burning down into the pine crests, sends far through the happy woods shafts of mellow light which touch with tender radiance the peaceful pinelands. High overhead throng flocks of wild fowl, passing to their night feeding-grounds on the delta. On the borders of a bay branch a scattered covey of quail is calling together. Far off I hear Negroes whooping melodiously. And this country is home to me -this glamour-land; and, quoting Comus (not because I admire him), I can say: I know each lane and every alley


Dingle and bushy dell of this wild wood,

And every bosky bourne from side to

My daily walk and ancient neighbor-

Fragrant, hung with arras of tattered gold that appears marginal to gorgeous mystery-solitary, beauteous-the midwinter Southern countryside must be compared to the autumn of New England. Everywhere the evergreens prevail: in bush and tree and vine-in jasmine, in smilax, in pine, holly, cassina, oak, and laurel. Looking upon this wistful and somber aspect of eternal life, I think of Goethe's exquisite lineDie Myrthe still, und hoch der Lorbeer steht.

Of all trees at this season the water-oak is the most arresting in beauty. Although its foliage assumes the most riotous hues, this tree retains all its leaves throughout the winter. The most stately is the live-oak, with prodigious reach of limb, druid-like festooning of gray moss, endless colonies of ferns living along the far-stretched tolerant arms, and with a massive lustrous crown of glossy foliage that confers with skies and stars.

But these woods are not altogether lonely. I pass old friends. First there's a gay cavalcade of amiable deer hunters, happily trespassing on my land, who with high discreetness hail me affection ately by my first name and invite me to kill my own deer. Then there's an old

rice planter, the last of his ancient régime, slowly driving home to his faroff plantation down the river. I stop for some words with him, for he is an ancient friend of mine whom I regard with a feeling akin to reverence. This feeling is natural; for this man, now past eighty, but still actively engaged in planting, is the only one in our region who survives of all those who, like him, fought through the four years of the great Civil War. He alone in the plantation district can speak familiarly of Jackson, of Lee, of Thomas, of Custer, of Pickett. He was at Pickett's romantic wedding; he met Custer at Appomattox. Thrice he was wounded; and, though he has often told me of almost every phase of the war, I have yet to hear the first word of bitterness from him. Moreover, he is the one man to whom the Negroes can go for an understanding of matters of genealogy; he seems to know the history of every family of his regionknows it even far back into slavery times. After the planter, I meet many Negroes thronging home for the holidays. Every one has a touch of vivid color about him; it may be a necktie, or a pair of tan shoes, or a bright handkerchief, or a care-free smile. In the lone forest I hear singing and laughter and shouting, and now and then I catch the sound of a strummed guitar or banjo. Nor is there any incongruity in hearing the sounds of these instruments amid the hushed splendor of the pineland cathedral or the dim and solemn live-oak groves; for most of the melodies are in the minor chord, as perhaps befitting the songs of those who retain in their natures something of the exile's immutable longing.

And now I'm very near home. A quarter of a mile from the house the avenue winds into a clearing. Across wide pasture lands, happy in the light of the setting sun, the white pillars gleam, the windows glimmer, the friendly great chimneys spouting smoke show that fresh fires have been kindled against the arrival of travelers. On a plantation as remote as this one every guest must needs be a traveler, as every traveler is a guest.

The old home welcomes me as I drive up the winding woodsy road; the old home seems like a human heart, generous, understanding, unchanged by the years, wistful, thoughtful. Not being a believer in public embraces, I forbear to describe the scene that follows. I've always had a suspicion that these effusive ones who display their affections in crowds are likely the last ones to display them at home.

It is twilight now. Suffusing the pinelands with all kinds of garlands and roses, the sun has set. Plantation sounds fill the air. High over the dreamy oaks the thin, sweet music of wild ducks' wings can be heard. From their night haunts in the shrubberies behind the house the migrated whitethroats are calling. I can see tiny

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