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of the ground, the one square, dingy little the grocery. So every morning the clumsy window, and the shabby stick chimney, in the door was lifted aside; at bed-time it was with chinks of which the clay plaster was cleaving, difficulty partly hoisted and partly shoved gave the place a run-down expression. In back into its place. If the night was very looking at the building, one got a notion that warm, the ceremony of closing the door was it would like to slink away if it could. Zeke omitted. Locks were not necessary in a neighfound nobody in but the proprietor, a boozy- borhood like Broad Run, where honesty was headed looking man, with his hands usually hardly a virtue, there being so little temptain his trousers' pockets, and his swollen eye- tion to theft. Jake's house contained a rude lids never wide open. The stock of groceries home-made bedstead of poles, and two or three was small; two barrels of corn-whisky and stools of the householder's own manufacture. one of molasses were the dominant elements; Hogan "'lowed" some day to make one or a quart cup and some glasses stood on a dirty two more stools and a table. At present, he unpainted poplar counter, beside a pair of and his wife patiently ate from skillet and pot, scales. The whole interior had a harmonious until the table should be made. It was someair of sloth, stupidity, and malpropriety; and thing to have conceived the notion of a table, its compound odors were as characteristic as and with that Jake rested. There was a large indescribable. Zeke waited about awhile, won- fire-place built of sticks and clay; it had stones dering that no one should have come to the for andirons and was further furnished with a rendezvous. pot, not to mention a skillet, which stood on two legs and a stone and had lost its handle. Jake always 'lowed he 'd get a new skillet; but he postponed it until he should have more money than was absolutely needful to buy indispensable clothes and whisky with. There was also a hoe, on which Mrs. Jake baked cold water hoe-cakes when she had company to supper. For shovel, a rived clapboard had been whittled into a handle at one end. Some previous owner had been rich enough and ex

"Where 's Jake Hogan?" he inquired of the "grocery keeper."

"I dunno."

Zeke had anticipated this answer. The man never did know anything but the price of his liquors. It was the safest way for one who kept such a resort and heard so many confidences, and it was a way of answering questions that required the least exertion.

"But I wuz to meet him here."

"Oh, you wuz!" Then, after awhile, he travagant enough to have the four-light winasked, "Been over to his house?"


The grocery keeper did not say any more, but Zeke conjectured that the meeting had adjourned to Jake Hogan's cabin for greater privacy. Zeke made his way over there with much stumbling, for the night was rather a dark one in the woods. The cabin which was now owned and occupied by Hogan was, like most of the Broad Run dwellings, built of round logs with the bark on; that is to say, the bark had been left on when the house was built, but years of rain and sun had peeled off about half of it, and left the house spotted and ragged. There was but one room, and one might enter this without ceremony, for the door stood wide open, though not on account of hospitality. This door was made of heavy puncheons and had originally hung on wooden hinges, but the uppermost hinge had come off six months before, and though Jake had "'lowed to fix it" nearly every day since, it had not been repaired, for Hogan was a public-spirited citizen, deeply interested in politics, and in reformatory movements like the present one for hanging Tom Grayson; and it was not to be expected that such a man could, in the nature of things, spare time to put a paltry hinge on a door, when grave questions were always likely to be mooted at

dow glazed, but all the panes were now broken. An old hat, too shabby even for Jake to wear, filled the place of one of the squares of glass; the rest of the sash was left open for light and ventilation.

Secure as Jake and his party felt from legal interference, they had chosen to retire to this cabin instead of remaining at the grocery. This secrecy was rather an involuntary tribute of respect for the law than an act of caution. Mrs. Hogan, whose household duties were of the lightest, had been sent away, and into Jake's cabin a party of twenty had crowded, so far as it was possible for them to get in. Some stood outside of the door, and Zeke had to find a place at the broken window in order to hear what was going on. This was a muster of the leaders and the center of the party; one of the "boys" had been sent to the camp-ground to seek recruits who were not to be trusted in this council of war. The recruits were notified to assemble at the cross-roads, "'twix' midnight un moon-up."

The first that Zeke made out was that Jake was relieving his mind in a little speech:

"D' yeh know they 've gone un set up the k-yards onto us, boys? Soon's Uncle Lazar h-yer tole me 't Bob McCord ud come over h-yer a-huntin', I know'd he wuz arter sumpin' ur nother besides b'ars. Bob's purty tol'able

cute, but he a'n't the on'y cute feller in the worl'. Me 'n' Uncle Lazar jes laid fer 'im. Ketch Jake Hogan asleep, won' cheh! Uncle Lazar, when he seen Bob a-comin' down the run weth a b'ar on 'is shoulder, he jes soaks 'im weth a fresh jug uv whisky, un then 'im un S'manthy worms it out 'v 'im what he wuz a-loafin' over yer fer un not at the eenques'. He would n' noways tell Uncle Lazar, but he's kind-uh fond uv S'manthy, un she 's smart, S'manthy is. She jes kind-uh saf-sawdered 'im un coaxed 'im up, tell he could n' keep it in no longer, bein' a leetle meller, un he tole 'er 't 'e wuz a-spyin' aroun' so 's to let the shurruff know 'f we'd got wind uv 'is plans, un 't 'e expected to have the larf on Jake tomorry. But Uncle Lazar 'n' me 'ave got that fixed up, un Bob wuz n't more 'n out-uh sight afore Uncle Lazar wuz a trit-trottin' 'n 'is way, yeh know, fer Jake Hogan's. Bob's a-comin' over to-morry to fetch back Uncle Lazar's mar' un have the larf onto us. But he took jes one too many pulls at Lazar's jug." Here Jake paused to vent a laugh of self-complacency and exultation.


Thunder 'n' light'in', Jake," called out one of the party who stood outside of the door, beyond the light of the flickering blaze on the hearth, "what did Bob tell S'manthy? Why don' choo tell us, anyways? You're a long time a-gittin' to the p'int. The business afore this yer meetin' is to hang Tom Grayson to a short meter toon. Now you tell me, what's Uncle Lazar's whisky-jug got to do weth that? What's the needcessity uv so much jaw?"

"Don' choo fret the cattle now," said Jake. "You want to know what Bob tole S'manthy? W'y, ut the shurruff was a-sendin' Tom Grayson f'om the eenques' over to Perrysburg jail to git him out-uh your way. I 'low that's got sumpin' to do weth the business afore the meetin', hain't it?"

"Maybe he wuz a-foolin' S'manthy," said the interlocutor, in a voice a little subdued.

"Maybe he wuz n't," retorted Jake.

"He wuz drunk ez a fool," piped up Uncle Lazar in a quivering treble. "He mus' 'a' tuck 'most a quart out-uh my jug, un he could n' stan' straight w'en 'e went away. He tuck keer never to say Perrysburg to me, but he talked about shootin' you-all down at Moscow, jes zif shootin'-irons wuz a-goin' to skeer sech a devilish passel uv fellers ez you-all. I could n' git nuthin' more out 'v 'im. But I seed all the time 't they wuz sumpin' kinday kep' in, like. He on'y let out to S'manthy arter I 'd gone outay doors, un when he wuz thes chock full un one over. Un he tied S'manthy up so orful tight about it, she kinday hated to tell me, un I had to thes tell 'er 't she mus'."

"Jes y'all look at the case," said Jake, with

a clumsy oratorical gesture. "Tom's uncle 's one uv them ar rich men what al'ays gits the'r own way, somehow ur nuther. That's what we 're up fer. Ef we don't settle this yer business by a short cut acrost the woods, they 'll be a pack uv lawyers a-provin' that black's white, un that killin' hain't no murder no-ways, un Tom 'll git off 'cause he's got kin what kin pay fer the law, un buy up the jury liker 'n not. A pore man don' stan' no kind uv a chance in this yer dodrotted country. Down in North Kerliny, whar I come from, 't wuz diff'rent. Now I say sass fer the goose is—"

"Aw, well, what 's sass got to do weth the question, Jake? We're all in favor uv the pore man, cause that 's us," said his opponent, from outside the door.

"Well," retorted Jake, "what would ole Tom do for young Tom 't this time? Ainh? Jes you screw up yer thinkin' machine, ef you've got ary one, un tell me that. Would n' he jes nat'rally git the shurruff to put out to Perrysburg weth 'im, un then git a change uv venoo, un then buy up a jury un a passel uv dodrotted lawyers un git 'im off; ur else hire some feller to break open the jail un sen' the young scamp to t' other side uv the Mississip'? It stan's to nater 't Tom Grayson 's in Perrysburg jail to-night."

"Un it stan's to nater," said one of the company, "that Broad Run 's a-goin' to make a frien'ly visit to the nex' county to-night. Un it stan's to nater we 're goin' to settle Hank Plunkett's hash at the next 'lection fer shurruff."

"Now yer a-talkin' sense," cried another of the crowd.

As soon as it was clear that the meeting was in favor of going to Perrysburg, the gathering began to break up, some of the men feeling by this time a strong gravitation towards the grocery. Zeke went to Jake Hogan and explained that he "mus' be a-goin'."

"You know," he added, "I 've ruther got to steal my hoss. The ole man Britton mout lemme have one of the ole woman 'd let him. But I know she jest nat'rally won't. So I'd better go back un git to bed, then when the folks is asleep I 'll crawl out."



TWO THINGS lay heavy on Zeke Tucker's mind as he hastened towards Britton's. For the life of him he could not tell whether Perrysburg was the destination to which Bob wished to send Jake, or whether Jake might not be right in supposing that Bob had incautiously betrayed his own secret. But this was

Bob's affair; what troubled him most was to devise a way by which he could get possession of a piece of candle. Mrs. Britton would not allow a hired man to have a light. "Any man that could n' feel 'is way into bed mus' be simple," she said.

Zeke found the old people out of bed later than usual. Mrs. Britton had been churning, and the butter "took a contrary streak," as she expressed it, and refused to come until she and the old man had churned alternately for two hours. She was working the butter when Zeke came in and sat down. Watching his chance, he managed to snatch a tiny bit of candle-end that had been carefully laid up on the mantel-piece. But when Mrs. Britton's lighted candle flickered in its socket, she went to get the piece that was already in Zeke's pocket.

"I declare to goodness," she said, as she fumbled among the bits of string and other trumpery on the shelf, "where's that piece of candle gone to? Do you know, Cyrus?"

This question was addressed to her husband, who never did know where anything she wanted "had gone to." But she always gave vent to her feelings by asking him, and he always answered, as he did now, with an impassive "No."

"Zeke, d' you see that short piece of candle that was here on the shelf?"

Zeke rose and affected to look for it. "I don't see nothin' uv it," he said at length. "Well, if the rats ain't a-gittin' no better fast. Who'd 'a' believed they'd 'a' got up on the shelf?" So saying, she reluctantly lighted a fresh candle to take her butter to the spring. By the time she was well out of the back door, Zeke, with one eye on the lethargic Britton, who was now a-doze in his chair, raked a hot coal from the ashes, and blowing it to a flame lighted his bit of candle with it. Then he quickly climbed to the loft, and opening the window-shutter put the candle in the glassless window on the side of the chimney towards Perrysburg. He was shivering for fear the old woman would see the light, though she was at the other end of the house, and he was yet more afraid that Bob would not see it before it should burn out. Hearing, at length, the crack of Bob's rifle, he extinguished the expiring wick and slipped down the ladder without arousing the slumbering old man.

"I expect they 's another man shot," said Mrs. Britton, when she came back. If she had ever been a planter's wife her pronunciation had probably degenerated, though her archaic speech was perhaps a shade better than the "low down" language of Broad Run.

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common at 9 o'clock at night. An' I thought I saw a flicker uv light in our loft jus' now, but it went out as soon as the gun went off. It made me feel creepy, like the house was ha'nted." And she again began to look on the mantel-piece for the lost bit of candle which she was loth to give up.

"I'm a-goin' to bed," said Zeke, "ghos's ur no ghos's," and he again mounted the ladder. After he had lain on the bed with his clothes on for an hour, keeping himself awake with difficulty, he felt sure that the old couple below stairs must be sound asleep. He softly opened the square window, the wooden shutter of which made no sound, as it swung on hinges of leather cut from an ancient boot-top. Then he climbed out on the projecting ends of the sticks which composed the chimney, and cautiously descended to the ground.

"Cyrus!" said Mrs. Britton to her husband; "did n't you hear that noise?"

"What noise?"

"That scratchin' kind-uh noise inside of the chimbley."

"No, I don't hear nothin'"; and the old man made haste to resume his sleep where he had left off.

"I do believe this house is ha'nted," sighed Mrs. Britton to herself.

The next morning when she woke up she called out, according to her wont, to the hired man in the loft: "Zeke! Zeke! O Zeke!"

She got no reply. Vexed of all things that a hired man should lose a minute of time, she called again in vain. A minute later she was about to get up and go to the ladder so as to be better heard, when there came to her the sound of Zeke chopping wood at the back door.

"Well, ef the world ain't a-comin' to 'n end, when Zeke Tucker gits up an' goes to choppin' of 'is own accord !"

When Zeke came in to breakfast, she said: "You 're out bright and airly this mornin'." "Yes; I could n' sleep. Heerd noises all aroun' the house."

"So d' I. D' you hear that scratchin' in the chimbley?"

"Ya-as," said Zeke, with hesitation. He was relieved that the conversation should be broken at this point by the entrance of the old man from the stable.

"Zeke," said Britton, as he drew his chair to the table, "what 's the matter weth ole Gray?"

"I never noticed nothin' when I gin him 'is oats. But 't wuz n't fa'rly light then." "He's been rode. They 's sweat marks onto him, un the saddle's wet yet."

The old woman put down her knife and

"Oh! I heerd a gun go off, un guns ain't fork. "That's witch-work," she said. "First,

the butter would n't come, then I lost that piece of candle; un it 's teetotally gone too. Now rats don't never git up onto that shelf. Then I see a flicker of light in the loft while I was puttin' away the butter, an' you 'n' Zeke a-settin' h-yer by the fire. Then I wuz waked up by that scritch-scratchin' soun' in the chimbley, fer all the world like somebody aclimbin' down into the room, though they wa' n't nobody clum down, fer I listened. It kep' Zeke awake all night un roused 'im out airly this mornin'. 'T ain't nothin' short of witch-work gits Zeke up an' sets him to choppin' wood 'thout callin'. An' it 's been a-ridin' ole Gray. Maybe the ghost of that feller that wuz shot over 't the camp-meetin' 's a-ha'ntin' roun' the country, like. I don' b'lieve it 'll ever be quiet tell the feller that shot 'im 's hung."

The old man was very taciturn, and Zeke could not divine whether he was impressed by his wife's mysterious "it," or whether, suspecting the truth about old Gray, he thought best to say nothing. For if anything should set Mrs. Britton going she would not stop scolding for days, and Britton knew well that Zeke would not be the chief sufferer in such a tempest. As soon as he had eaten his breakfast, Zeke went out to dig early potatoes in Britton's farther field. About 9 o'clock, a clod of earth came flying past his legs and broke upon his hoe. He turned to look, and saw another one thrown from the corn-field near by ascending in a hyperbolic curve and then coming down so near to his head that he moved out of the way. He laid down his hoe and climbed the fence into the corn-field, which at this time of the year was a dense forest of green stalks higher than a man's head. Bob McCord was here awaiting Zeke. He had left Lazar Brown's horse tied in a neighboring papaw patch.

"Did you go to Perrysburg?" began Bob. "Yes," said Zeke. "You played it onto 'em good. I wuz ruther more 'n half fooled myself. I 'lowed sometimes ut maybe S'manthy had come it over you."

Bob laughed all through his large frame. "When we got to Perrysburg un come to wake up the shurruff he wuz skeerd, un ast what 't wuz we wuz arter.

"That murderer,' says Jake Hogan, like a ghos' fum behin' his false-face.

"What murderer?' says the shurruff. 'They hain't no murderer in the jail.'

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"Tie 'is han's, boys,' says Jake, in Jake's way, yeh know, like as if he wuz king uv all creation."

"Weth Eelenoys throwed in like a spool uv thread, to make the bargain good," suggested Bob, losing all prudence and giving way to a long unrestrained peal of laughter.

"Jes so," said Zeke. "When we come to the jail un got the door open they wuz n't nobody thar but Sam Byfiel', the half-crazy feller that wuz through h-yer last ye'r a-playin' his fool tricks, un a man name' Simmons, as had stole half a cord uh wood. Simmons was that skeered when we come in, 't 'e got down on 'is knees un begged, un whined, un sniffled, un says, 'Boys,' says he, 'I hain't noways purpared to die. Don't hang me, un I won't never steal nothin' ag'in.'"

"I'll bet Byfiel' wuz n't skeered," said Bob. "Not him. He 'd been a-playin' the angel Gaberl about Perrysburg weth a long tin horn, blowin' it into people's winders at midnight, un the watchman had jugged him. Jake says, says he, 'Sam Byfiel', tell us whar that air murderer is.' Jake put 'is voice away down in 'is boots,- it sounded like a mad bull a-bellerin'. But Sam jest lif's Jake's false-face, this away, un peeps under, un says, 'Jake Hogan,' says 'e, 'I knowed it mus' be you by yer big-feelin' ways. It's mighty hard fer a man that 's a nateral born to make a fool uv hisself; but, Jake, I'll be derned ef you hain't done it this time.'

"Hain't Tom Grayson h-yer?' says Jake. "No,' says Byfiel'. Somebody's been agreenin' on you, Jake; Tom hain't never been h-yer,' says he.

"Aw, you 're a lunatic, Sam,' says Jake. "Ditto, brother,' says Byfiel'.

"The shurruff's folks had run out, un 'bout this time they 'd began to raise the neighbors, un somebody run to the Prisbaterian church un commenced to pull away on the new churchbell, 't a man Down East sent 'em. We thought we'd better be a-strikin' out mighty soon. But time we wuz in our saddles crack went a gun fum behin' the court-house. I s'pose 't wuz shot into the air to skeer us; but Jake, like a fool, out weth his pistol un shot back. The Perrysburg people wuz like a bee-gum that 's been upsot. The people was now a-runnin', some one way un some t' other, un more guns wuz fired off fum some'ers,- we never stopped to eenquire fum whar, tell we'd got safe acrost the county line. One uv them guns must 'a' been a rifle, un it must 'a' been shot in bloody yearnest, fer I heerd the bullet whiz."

"You never stopped to say good-bye!" said Bob.

"Not me! Ole Gray wuz the very fust hoss that pulled hisself acrost the corpora

tion line. I did n' feel no interest in stayin', noways."

"What 's Jake goin' to do nex' thing?" asked Bob, not yet recovered from his merri


"Wal, about half the fellers rode straight on home un would n't talk to Jake at all, 'cept maybe to cuss 'im now un then fer a fool, on'y fit to hole a snipe-bag fer Bob McCord. They swore they wuz done go'n' under sech as him. But Jake ain't the kind to gin it up; he says 'f 'e kin git a dozen he 's boun' to go a Sunday night when they 'll be lots of fellers about the camp-meetin', un some uh them 'll go too, maybe.'

"We'll have to see about that," said Bob, getting up. "But you stick to Jake, closte ez a cuckle-burr."

"All right," said Zeke, remembering his potato patch and looking ruefully at the ascending sun as he hurried back to his work.

Bob went on his way and returned the horse to Lazar Brown's house; but Uncle Lazar was nowhere to be seen, and S'manthy was evidently out of humor.

"S'manthy, yer 's yer hoss," said Bob. "Wal, you thes let 'im loose thar; I hain't got time to bother."

"How 'd the boys come out las' night down 't Moscow ?"

"Aw, I don' know, un I don' keer, neither. You 're a low-lived passel uh loafers, all uh yeh, big an' leetle."

"W'y, S'manthy! You wuz that sweet las' night."

S'manthy was in a hurry about something, but she showed her irregular teeth as she disappeared around a corner of the cabin, looking back over her shoulder to say:

"You 're a purty one, hainch yeh, now ?" Bob's face shone with delight as he went on up the run to look for the bear's cubs. He succeeded in killing one of them and capturing the other alive, but he had to take them and his wounded dog home afoot. It seemed too great a venture to ask S'manthy to lend the horse a second time.



JAKE'S leadership had received a severe blow, and Bob could hardly believe that he would be able to muster a company again. But Hogan's vindictiveness and persistence rendered it probable that he would not rest in his present ridiculous position without making an effort to redeem himself, even if he had to act with a small party.

"You see," Bob explained to Mason that Saturday night, "Jake's got the most p'ison

kind uv hold-on you ever seed. He's shore to try 't over, fust or last."

"He won't let you fool him again," said Mason.

Bob smiled and picked up a chip, which he began to whittle as an aid to reflection.

"It would be a juberous thing to try again. But I'm goin to see Pete Markham in the mornin'. He 'll go apast h-yer to the campmeetin', fer he 's a Methodis' by marriage,— that is, his wife 's a member, un that makes Pete feel 'z if he wuz a kind-uv a member-in-law. Un Pete knows mighty well 't when the time comes roun' fer him to run fer office, it 'll be worth while to know pussidin' elders, un circusriders, un locus' preachers, un all sorts uv campmeetin' people. Pete 's jes as shore to go to camp-meetin' a Sunday mornin' 'z a bear is to eat honey when he comes acrost a tumbledown bee-tree."

The next morning Bob stood in his shirt sleeves leaning over Mrs. Grayson's gate and watching the people that rode to the great Sunday assembly at the Union camp-ground. Many a staid plow-horse, with collar marks on his shoulders, had been diligently curried and brushed to transform him into a stylish saddle-nag; and many a young man, with hands calloused by ax-helve and plow-handle, rode to-day in his Sunday best with a blooming girl by his side, or behind him, and with the gay heart of a troubadour in his breast. Fresh calico dresses, in which the dominant tint was either a bright pink or a positive blue, were flaunted with more pride than a princess feels in her lace and pearls. The woman who has worked and schemed and skimped to achieve her attire knows the real pleasure and victory of self-adornment.

The early comers of this Sunday morning procession are, in the main, Methodists going to eat bread and water with the brethren in the 9 o'clock love-feast assembly, to sing together the touching songs of fellowship, and to tell, and to hear told, the stories of personal trials and sorrows,- to taste the pleasure of being one of a great company wrought to ecstasy by a common religious passion. But as the summer sun mounts higher, the road is more and more thronged with a miscellaneous company. For at 11 o'clock the presiding elder, a great man of all the country round, will preach one of his favorite sermons, and all the world-believers and scoffers, doctors and lawyers, and judges and politicians-will be there to hear him marshal in new forms the oft-repeated arguments in favor of the divine origin of Christianity, or the truth of the Arminian system of Wesley, and to admire the dramatic effect of his well-told anecdotes and the masterly pathos of his peroration. The

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