페이지 이미지


voice, sent the class away humbled, sub- night, you know, and Maimie is going back dued, comforted, and willing to wait the with him in two weeks." day of clearer light.

“ Maimie's brother? Well, well! is The class was closed with prayer and that the nice-looking fellow that sat by singing. As a kind of treat, the last sing. you?" ing was a hymn, and they stood up to sing Huh-huh, he is awful nice, and mother it. It was Perronet's great hymn sung to wanted" old Coronation ; and when they came to Indeed, he looks it, I am sure,” Ranald the refrain, “ Crown Him Lord of all,” said with sudden enthusiasm. “I would the very rafters of the little church rang just like to know him if I thought Yankee with the mighty volume of sound. The would—” Bible class always closed with a great out- “Oh, pshaw! Of course Yankee will burst of singing, and as a rule Ranald milk the cows,” exclaimed Hughie. “Come went out tingling and thrilling through and on, come on in!" And Ranald went to through. But to-night, so deeply was he meet one of the great nights of his life. exercised with the unhappy doom of the “ Here is Ranald,” called Hughie at unfortunate king of Egypt, from which the top of his voice, as he entered the apparently, there was no escape, fixed as room where the family were gathered. it was by the divine decree, and oppressed “ You don't say so, Hughie?" answered with the feeling that the same decree would his cousin, coming forward.

“ You ought determine the course of his life, he missed to make that fact known. We all want to his usual thrill. He was walking off by hear it.” himself in a perplexed and downcast Ranald liked him from the first. He mood, avoiding every one, even Don, and was not a bit “proud” in spite of his fine was nearly past the minister's gate when clothes and his hair being “ split in the Hughie, excited and breathless, caught up middle.” to him and exclaimed :

" You're the chap," he said, stretching “Oh, Ranald, was not that splendid ? out his hand to Ranald, “ that snatched Man, I like to hear John · Aleck'sing Maimie from the fire. Mighty clever • Crown Him'that way. And I say," he thing to do. We have heard a lot about continued, “mother wants you to come you at our house. Why, every week—" in."

“ Let some one else talk, Harry,” interThen, all at once, Kanald remembered rupted Maimie, with cheeks flaming. “We the young man who had behaved so dis- are going to have some singing now. gracefully in the church.

Here is auntie. Mayn't we the “ No,” he said, firmly, “ I must be hurry- piano?" ing home. The cows will be to milk “Why, yes, I suppose so," said Mrs. yet.”

Murray. “I was glad to see your father “Oh, pshaw! you must come,” pleaded there to-night,” she said to Ranald. Hughie; we will have some singing. I " And Yankee, mother.” want you to sing bass. Perhaps John “Hush, Hughie ! You must call peo• Aleck' will come in.” This was sheer ple by their right names. Now let us guessing, but it was good bait. But the have some singing. I hear Ranald is young man with “his head split in the singing bass these days.” middle" would be there, and perhaps “And bully good bass, too,” cried Maimie would be "going on ” with him Hughie. “ John · Aleck'says that it's the as she did in the Bible class.

finest bass in the whole singing-school.” “ You will tell your mother I could not "Well, Hughie," said his mother, quietcome,” he said. “ Yankee and father are ly, “I don't think it is necessary to shout both out, and there will be no one at even such pleasant information as that. home.”

Now go to your singing, and I shall “ Well, I think you are pretty mean,” listen." said Hughie, grievously disappointed. “I She lay back in the big chair, looking wanted you to come in, and mother wanted so pale and weary that Harry hardly beCousin Harry to see you."

lieved it was the same woman that had “ Cousin Harry ?"

just been keeping a hundred and fifty 6. Yes.

Maimie's brother came last people keenly alert for an hour and a half,


[ocr errors]


and leading them with such intellectual now and then she would join with the and emotional power.

others, singing alto when she did so, by * That class is too hard for you, aun- Hughie's especial direction. Her voice tie," he said. “If I were your husband, I was not strong, but it was true, mellow, would not let you keep it on.”

and full of music. Hughie loved to hear " But you see my husband is not here. her sing alto, and more especially because He is twelve miles away.”

he liked to join in with her, which he was ** Then I would lock you up, or take too shy to do alone, even in his home, you with me.”

and which he would never think of doing “Oh !" cried Hughie, “ I would much in the Bible class or in the presence of rather teach the Bible class than listen to any of the boys, who might, for this another sermon.”

reason, think him “ proud.” When they “Something in that,” said his cousin,

to Hughie's turn, he chose the “especially if I were the preacher, eh ?" hymn by Bliss, recently published, “ Whoat which they all laughed.

soever Will.” The words seemed to It was a happy hour for Ranald. He strike him to-night. had been too shy to join the singing-school, “Mother," he said, after singing it and had never heard any part singing

singing through, “does that mean everybody that till he began to attend the Bible class. likes ?” There he made the delightful discovery “ Yes, my dear, any one that wishes.” that, without any instruction, he could join Pharaoh, mother ?" in the bass, and had made also the further Yes, Pharaoh, too." discovery that his voice, which he had But, mother, you said he could not thought rough and coarse, and for a year possibly." past worse than ever, could reach to ex- “ Only because he did not want to." traordinary depths. One Sabbath evening “But he could not, even if he did want it chanced that John " Aleck," who always

to." had an ear open for a good voice, heard “I hope I did not say that,” said his him rolling out his deep bass, and, seizing mother, smiling at the eager and earnest him on the spot, had made him promise to join the singing-school. There he discov. “No, auntie," said Harry, taking up ered a talent and developed a taste for Hughie's cause, “not exactly, but somesinging that delighted his leader's heart thing very like it. You said that Pharaoh and opened out to himself a new world. could not possibly have acted in any

other Since Maimie's coming the piano had way than he did.” been in daily use, and even on the Sab- · Yes, I said that.” bath days, though not without danger “ Not even if he wanted to ?" asked to the sensibilities of the neighbors, she Hughie. had used it to accompany the hymns with “Oh, I did not say that.” which the day always closed.

66. The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart,'' ** Let us have the parts,” cried Hughie. quoted Ranald, who knew his Bible better " Maimie and I will take the air, and than Harry. Ranald will take the bass. Cousin Harry, “Yes, that's it,” said Harry, " and so can you sing ?”

that made it impossible for Pharaoh to do * Oh, I'll hum.”

anything else. He could not help follow“ Nonsense!” said Maimie ; " he sings ing after those people." tenor splendidly."

“Why not?” said Mrs. Murray. “What “Oh, that's fine," cried Hughie, with made him follow? Now, just think, what delight. He himself was full of music. made him follow after those people ?”

Come on, Ranald, you stand up behind “ Why, he wanted to get them back," Maimie. You will need to see the notes, said Hughie. and I will sit here,” planting himself "Quite true," said his mother. “So, beside his mother.

you see, he did exactly as he wanted So Hughie arranged it all, and for an hour the singing went on, the favorite Then, you mean, the Lord had nothhymns of each being sung in turn. For ing to do with it ?” asked Ranald. the most part, Mrs. Murray sat silent, but “No, I could not say that."

young face.


Then,” said Harry, “ Pharaoh could softly, and, while her tears fell on the not help himself. Now could he ?"

brown curls, said to him : “He did what he wished to do," said “ You would not be afraid to trust his aunt.

your mother, Hughie; and our Father in “Yes,” said Ranald, quickly, “but heaven loves us all much more than I could he help wishing to do what he did ?” love you,” and with that Hughie was con

“ If he had been a different man, more tent. humble-minded, and more willing to be “Now let us sing one more hymn,” taught, he would not have wished to do said his mother. “ It's my choice," and what he did.”

she chose one of the new hymns which “ Mother,” said Hughie, changing his they had just learned in the singingground a little and lowering his voice,“ do school, and of which Hughie was very you think Pharaoh is lost, and all his fond—the children's hymn, “ Come to soldiers, and-and all the people who the Saviour." While they were singing, were bad?

they heard Mr. Murray drive into the Mrs. Murray looked at him in silence yard. for a few moments, then said, very sadly : “ There's papa,” said Mrs. Murray.

"I can't answer that question, Hughie. “ He will be tired and hungry,” and she I do not know.”

hurried out to meet her husband, followed “ But, mother," persisted Hughie, “ are by Harry and Hughie, leaving Ranald not wicked people lost ?"

and Maimie in the room together. Ranald “Yes, Hughie," replied his mother. had never been alone with her before, “ All those who do not repent of their nor indeed had he ever spent five minutes sins and cry to God for mercy.”

of his life alone with any girl before “Oh, mother,” cried Hughie,“ forever?” now. But he did not feel awkward or His mother did not reply.

shy; he was thinking now, as he had “ Will He never let them out, mother?” been thinking now and then through the continued Hughie in piteous appeal. whole evening, of only one thing--that

“Listen to me, Hughie,” said his Maimie was going away. That would mother, very gently. “We know very make a great difference to him, so great little about this. Would

very that he was conscious of a heart-sinking sorry, even for very bad men ?”

at the mere thought of it. During the “Oh, mother,” cried Hughie, his tender last weeks his life had come to move little heart moved with a great compas

about a

center, and that center was sion, “ think of a whole year, all summer Maimie ; and now that she was going long and all winter long! I think I would away, there would be nothing left-nothlet anybody out."

ing, that is, that really mattered. But “Then, Hughie, dear," said his mother, the question he was revolving in his mind “ remember that God is much kinder was, Would she forget all about him? He than you are, and has a far more tender knew he would never forget her; that was heart, and he will do nothing unkind, of course impossible, for so many things you may be quite sure of that. Do not would remind him of her. He would never forget how he gave up his own dear Son see the sunlight falling through the trees for us."

as it fell that night of the sugaring-off, Poor Hughie could bear it no longer. without thinking of her. He would never He put his head in his mother's lap and see the shadows in the evening, or hear sobbed out:

the wind in the leaves, without thinking “Oh, mother, I hope he will let them of her.

of her. The church and the minister's

pew, the manse and all belonging to it, As he uttered this pitiful little cry his would remind him of Maimie. He would cousin Harry got up from his chair and recall how she looked at different times moved across to the window, while Maimie and places, the turn of her head, the way openly wiped her eyes; but Ranald sat, her hair fell on her neck, her laugh, the with his face set hard and his eyes gleam- little toss of her chin and the curve in ing, waiting eagerly for Mrs. Murray's her lips. He would remember everything answer.

about her. Would she remember him ? The mother stroked Hughie's head or would she forget him ? That was the

you be

out !"

Yes, you

question burning in his heart; and that “Glad ?” echoed Maimie again, not question he must have settled, and this knowing what to say. was the time.

“Yes, glad,” he said, exultantly. “ Are But though these thoughts and emotions you?” were rushing through his brain and blood, She made no reply. The door opened he felt strangely quiet and self-controlled behind them. as he walked over to her where she stood She sank down upon the piano-stool beside the piano, and, looking into her and let her hands fall upon the keys. eyes with an intensity of gaze that she “Are you ?” he demanded, ignoring the could not meet, said, in a low, quick voice, interruption. “ You are going away?"

With her head low down, while she “Yes,” she replied, so startled that the struck the chords of the hymn they had easy smile with which she had greeted him just sung, she said, hesitatingly: faded out of her face. “ In two weeks I “ I am not sorry.” shall be gone."

Sorry for what?” said Harry. “Gone !" echoed Ranald.

“Oh, nothing,” said Maimie, lightly. will be gone. Will you forget me?" His “Nobody is, if he has got any sense.” tone was almost stern.

Then Mrs. Murray came in. “Why, no," she said in a surprised “Won't you stay for supper, Ranald ? voice, "of course not. Did you not save You must be hungry." my life? You will be far more likely to “No, thank you," said Ranald; “I forget me."

must go now." "No," he said simply, as if that possi- He shook hands with an ease and freebility need not be considered. “I will dom that the minister had never seen in never forget you. I will always be think- him, and went out. ing of you. Will you think of me?” he “ That young man is coming on," said persisted.

the minister. “I never saw any one " Why, certainly. Wouldn't I be a change and develop as he has in the last very ungrateful girl if I did not ?"

few months. Let me see. He is only "Ungrateful !” exclaimed Ranald, im- sixteen, isn't he? and he might be twentypatiently. “What I did was nothing. one.” The minister spoke as if he were Forget that. Do you not understand me? not too well pleased with this precocity in I will be thinking of you every day, in the Ranald. But little did Ranald care. That morning and at night, and I never thought young man was striding homeward through of any one else for a day. Will you be the night, his head striking the stars. thinking of me?

His path lay through the woods, and There was a movement in the kitchen, when he came to the “ sugar camp” road and they could hear the minister talking he stood still and let the memories of the to Harry; and some one was moving night when he had snatched Maimie from toward the door.

the fire troop through his mind. Sud“ Tell me, Maimie, quick,” said Ranald, denly he thought of Aleck McRae, and and, though his voice was intense and laughed aloud. stern, there was appeal in it as well.

“ Poor Aleck!" he said. Aleck seemed She took a step nearer him, and, look- so harmless to him now. And then he ing up into his face, said in a whisper : stood silent, motionless, looking straight

“Yes, Ranald, I will always remember toward the stars, but seeing them not. you, and think of you."

He was remembering Maimie's face when Swiftly, almost fiercely, he threw his she said, “Yes, Ranald, I will always arms about her and kissed her lips; then remember you, and think of you," and he stood back looking at her.

then the thought of what followed sent “I could not help it,” he said, boldly; the blood jumping through his veins. "you made me.”

“She will not forget,” he said aloud, "Made you?" exclaimed Maimie, her and went on his way. It was his happy face hot with blushes.

night, the happiest of his life thus far, Yes, you made me. I could not help and he would always be happy. What it,” he repeated, “and I do not care if difference could anything make i you are angry. I am glad I did it.”


By W. E. Burghardt Du Bois

[ocr errors]




N a commonwealth as large as Eng- black men because of their blackness land and Wales live nearly a million and because of the sins of others. A

black folk beside more than a million wise government left its wards defensewhites. Forty thousand of the fathers of less before the tempest. What can picthese whites owned a half-million of the ture the result better than this? fathers and mothers of the blacks-owned

Dollars them body and soul, bought them and (millions) sold them, and won wealth from their unpaid toil. Then, in a whirl of passion and blood, all this was changed, and

owned in

Georgia angry, bankrupt masters looked askance upon 466,000 freedmen. The black people looked confidently northward for something in the line of mules and land.

24 For one cannot live on bare freedom, and little else was in sight, save the grim old Negro master. But the something did not come.

property To be sure, some marshy islands, half

1865 1870 1845 swallowed by the sea, were given to the freedmen, and part of them taken back

By 1880 conditions began to improve. again. Confiscated Confiscated plantations

Political troubles lessened, law and order leased, but afterward had to be surren- prevailed to a larger extent, and, above dered, so that by 1864 the freedmen had all, economic forces were shaping thema bit of land, some bounty money, and selves in this great undeveloped land.

Cotton, which had been sinking steadily their hands.

This story is to tell how the Georgia from the famine prices of war time to negro, thus launched alone on turbulent 1072 cents a pound in the seventies, now

rose suddenly again. The phrase "New seas, went to work to save something for himself and his children. In the first South” crept into conversation, and the

black laborers of Georgia spat on their decade—1864 to 1874—he accumulated

hands and began to dig again. It was a rapidly. A new enthusiasm burned in his soul; it seemed so strange a thing to

wonderful spurt they made in saving in call himself his own. The master was

the following decade. Few peasantries the end of an

can show a like record. discouraged. He saw

In twelve years era, and mistook it for the end of the they increased their property in Georgia world. Some sold their land cheaply to

one hundred and sixty per cent., or from the negroes, others gave it away to favor- less than six to fifteen millions of dollars. ite old slaves, in half-amused, half-bitter

owned in doubt. The Freedmen's Bureau helped


Georgia and hindered. So in those first ten years Georgia negroes secured 340,000 acres of land and over four million dollars worth

12-of other property. Not that the land was

11of much account-it averaged but $4 an acre—or the rest of the property very desirable ; still, it was a good beginning.

9Then came stormy times. There was the Ku Klux Klan, the withdrawal of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the panic of 1873, and the rise in the South of a new hatred of







Negro I The detailed statistics upon which this article is

property based are to be found in the author's

contribution to the United States Bulletin of Labor for July, 1901,





« 이전계속 »