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Title: Pen Pictures
       Of Eventful Scenes and Struggles of Life

Author: B. F. Craig

Release Date: December 6, 2014 [EBook #47558]
Last Updated: March 15, 2018

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by David Widger from page images generously
provided by the Internet Archive


Of Eventful Scenes and Struggles of Life

By B. F. Craig

Kansas City, Missouri












It is fashionable to preface what we have to say.

Some men build a large portico in front of the edifice they erect.

This may attract the eye of a stranger, but no real comfort can be realized until we enter the house.

And then no display of fine furniture or studied form of manners can equal a whole-soul, hearty welcome.

Besides, no long proclamation of the entertainment can equal in interest the entertainment itself.

Without further preliminary ceremony, I will introduce you to the sad experience of a living man:—

Born in the house of respectable parents, on the southern bank of the beautiful Ohio, in the dawn of the nineteenth century, and educated in a log school house, the first scenes of my manhood were upon the waters of the great Mississippi river and its tributaries. Leaving home at an early age, no hopeful boy was ever turned loose in the wide world more ignorant of the traps and pit-falls set to catch and degrade the youth of this broad and beautiful land.

At Vicksburg, Natchez, Under-the-Hill, and the Crescent City, with armies of dissipation—like the Roman Cæsar—I came, I saw, I conquered.

I had been taught from my earliest infancy that a thief was a scape-goat—on the left-hand side of the left gate, where all the goats are to be crowded on the last day. And that saved me.

For I soon discovered that the gambler and the thief acted upon the same theory.

Having no desire to live through the scenes of my life again—I am not writing my own history, but the history of some of the events in the lives of others that I have witnessed or learned by tradition—in the execution of the task I shall enter the palace like the log cabin—without stopping to ring the bell.

Although I have been a diligent reader for more than forty years, my greatest knowledge of human character has been drawn from observation. For prudential reasons some fancy names are used in this story, but the characters drawn are true to the letter. Local, it is true, but may they not represent character throughout this broad continent? In 1492 Columbus discovered America—a Rough Diamond—a New World.

Our fathers passed through the struggle of life in the rough, and the log cabin ought to be as dear to the American heart as the modern palace. Emancipated from ideas of locality, I hope, and honestly trust that the sentiments in the Rough Diamond will be treasured in the hearts of the millions of my countrymen, and that no American character will ever become so brilliant that it cannot allude with a nat've pride to the Rough Diamond—our country a hundred years ago.

And with a thousand other ideas brought to the mind, and blended with the Rough Diamond, may the good Angel of observation rest with the reader as you peruse these pages.

Near the seat of the present town of Helena, Arkansas, old Billy Horner and Henry Mooney made a race on two little ponies, called respectively Silver Heels and the Spotted Buck.

The distance was one quarter of a mile, and the stake one hundred dollars.

Wishing to obtain the signature of the Governor of Arkansas to a land grant and title to a certain tract of land on the Mississippi river, I determined to attend the races.

The ponies were to start at twelve o'clock, on the 15th day of May. I forget the year, but it was soon after the inauguration of steam navigation on the Mississippi.

On the 14th day of May I left Bush Bayou, twenty miles below Helena and fifteen miles back from the river, where I was on a tour of surveying, in company of two negro boys, from fifteen to twenty years of age, to assist me. Our route was down the Bayou, which was evidently an old bed of the great river. How long since the muddy and turbulent waters had left this location and sought the present channel no human calculation could tell. Trees had grown up as large as any in other localities in the Mississippi bottoms, in some places extending entirely across the Bayou; in other places there was an open space one hundred yards wide and sometimes a mile long, but there were many places where the timber extended from shore to shore for miles. In such places our only guide was a blaze upon the trees, made by the first navigators of the Bayou. We started in a canoe, eight feet long and eighteen inches wide, with a large trunk, a number of tools, and three men. When all were on board the top of our boat was only three-quarters of an inch above the water. In this critical condition the negroes had to go as freight, for they are proverbially too awkward to manage a nice thing. Near the close of our journey we were attacked by an alligator. He was sixteen feet long, and larger than our boat. His attack frightened the negroes so badly that it was impossible to keep them still, and we came very near being upset. I fired several times at the alligator, with a double-barreled shot-gun, charged with twenty-four buckshot, but the shot only glanced from his scales and fell into the water. At last, frightened by the loud cries of the negroes, the animal left us.

When we arrived on the bank of the Mississippi the Western hemisphere had blindfolded the eye of day; the river was bank full, the turbulent waters bearing a large quantity of drift wood down the stream. Upon the Arkansas shore there was no sign of civilization. On the Mississippi shore, two miles below, there was a cabin, and the faint light of the inmates was the only sign of civilization that met our view. To cross the great river, in the dark, with its turbulent waters and drift wood, with a barque so heavily laden, was worse than the encounter with the alligator. I was young, brave and enthusiastic. Directing the negroes to place themselves in the bottom of the boat, and not to stir hand or foot at the risk of being knocked overboard with the paddle, I headed our little barque for the light in the cabin, which gave us a course quartering down stream. To have held her square across the stream, she would have undoubtedly filled with water. The night was dark, but the air was still as the inaudible breath of time.

Knowing that the perils of the sea, without wind, are abated one hundred fold, I made the venture, and landed safely at the Mississippi cabin.

Eighteen miles below Helena, and on the opposite side of the river, I passed the night, with a determination to be on the race ground the next day at twelve o'clock. I was up early in the morning. As I passed out the cot of my friend, in front of me the great father of waters rolled on in his majesty to the bosom of the ocean.

On the background the foliage of the forest cast a green shade upon the gray light of the morning. Every animal on the premises had sought refuge in the cane brakes from the ravages of the green-head fly and the gallinipper. Like Richard the Third—I was ready to cry, a horse—a horse—my kingdom for a horse.

Through the dim distance, half concealed by the cane, I discovered a mule, and was fortunate enough to bridle him. He was an old mule; some said the first Chickasaw Frenchman that ever settled in St. Louis rode him from the north of Mexico to the Mississippi river.

Others said that he was in the army of the First Napoleon, and had been imported across the water. Be this as it may, he was a good saddle mule, for I arrived upon the race ground fifteen minutes ahead of time.

I obtained the desired signature and saw the Spotted Buck win the race. But many said it was a jockey race, and that Silver Heels was the fleetest horse. The races continued through the evening. I had no desire to bet, but if I had, I should have bet on the fast man and not the fast horse.

After this event, and nearly half a century ago, I was standing on the street in Vicksburg. It was early in the morning, and the city unusually quiet. My attention was attracted in the direction of the jail by women running indoors and men rushing along the street; I saw sticks, stones, and bricks flying, and men running as in pursuit of some wild animal, and as I caught a glimpse of the figure of the retreating man, the sharp sound of a rifle gun rang out upon the morning air.

Following on to a spot on the street where a large crowd of men had collected, I saw the face of a dead man as the body was being turned over by one of the bystanders. The lineaments of the cold, marble face, spoke in a language not to be mistaken—that the dead was, in life, a brave man.

I soon learned that the name of the dead man was “Alonzo Phelps,” and that he had been tried for the crime of murder and sentenced by the court to be hanged by the neck until he was dead, and this was the day for his execution; that he had broken, or found an opportunity to leave the jail, and nothing would stop him but the rifle-gun in the hands of an officer of the law.

I also learned that he had written a confession of his crimes, the manuscript of which was then in the jail, for he had knocked the keeper down with a stone ink-stand, with which he had been furnished to write his confession.

By the politeness of the jailor I was permitted to examine the confession, which closed with these remarkable words,

To-morrow is the day appointed for my execution, but I will not hang.

The confession was afterward published. I read it many times, but have forgotten most of it. I remember he said the first man he ever murdered was in Europe, and that he was compelled, for safety, to flee the country and come to America. There was nothing so unusual in this, but the manner in which he disposed of his victim was singular, and more particularly the revelation he gave of his thoughts at the time.

He said he carried the body to a graveyard, and, with a spade that had been left there, he shoveled all of the dirt out of a newly-made grave until he came to the coffin. He then laid the body of the murdered man on the coffin and refilled the grave. “I then,” says he, “left the graveyard, and spent the balance of the night in reflections. How strange, I thought, it would be for two spirits, on the last day, to find themselves in the same grave.”

“I thought,” says he, “if the relatives of the rightful owner of the grave should, in after years, conclude to move the bones of their kinsman, when they dug them up there would be two skulls, four arms, and so on, and how it would puzzle them to get the bones of their kinsman.”

After reading this confession I regretted very much that I had never seen Alonzo Phelps while living, for there was blended in his composition many strange elements. But that part of his confession that gives interest to our story was the papers taken from the man he murdered in Europe, of which we have spoken. He concealed the papers, in a certain place, on the night he buried the man, and, as he was compelled to flee the country, said papers were, a long time afterward, discovered by reading his confession made in America.

With the settlement of the West, the navigation of the western waters was one of the principal industries. Keel and flat bottom boats were the first used. Keel boats were propelled against the stream with long poles, placed with one end on the bottom of the stream and a man's shoulder at the other end, pushing the boat from under him, and consequently against the stream. Flat bottom boats only drifted with the current, sometimes bearing large cargoes.

Louisville, Kentucky, was one of the principal points between Pittsburg and New Orleans. Here the placid waters of the beautiful river rushed madly over some ledges of rocks, called the falls of Ohio. Many reshipments in an early day were performed at this point, and if the boat was taken over the falls her pilot for the trip to New Orleans was not considered competent to navigate the falls. Resident pilots, in Louisville, were always employed to perform this task.

And few of the early boatmen were ever long upon the river without having acquaintances in Louisville.

Beargrass creek emptied its lazy waters into the Ohio at a point called, at the time of which we write, the suburbs of Louisville.

In a long row of cottages on the margin of Beargrass creek, that has long since given place to magnificent buildings, was the home of a friend with whom I was stopping.

Rising early one morning, I found the neighborhood in great excitement; a woman was missing. It was Daymon's wife. She had no relatives known to the people of Louisville. She was young, intelligent, and as pure from any stain of character as the beautiful snow.

Daymon was also young. He was a laborer, or boat hand, frequently assisting in conducting boats across the falls. But he was dissipated, and in fits of intoxication frequently abused his wife.

All who knew Daymon's wife were ready to take the dark fiend by the throat who had consigned her beautiful form to the dark waters of Beamrass creek.

Everyone was busy to find some sign or memento of the missing woman.

A large crowd had gathered around a shop, where a large woden boot hung out for a sign—a shoe shop. When I arrived on the spot a workman was examining a shoe, and testified that it was one of a pair he had previously made for Daymon's wife. The shoe had been picked up, early that morning, on the margin of Beargrass creek. Suspicion pointed her finger at Daymon, and he was arrested and charged with drowning his wife in Beargrass creek.

Daymon was not a bad-looking man, and, as the evidence was all circumstantial, I felt an uncommon interest in the trial, and made arrangements to attend the court, which was to sit in two weeks.

On the morning of the trial the court room was crowded. The counsel for the state had everything ready, and the prisoner brought to the bar. The indictment was then read, charging the prisoner with murder in the first degree. And to the question, are you guilty or not guilty? Daymon answered not guilty, and resumed his seat. Silence now prevailed for a few minutes, when the judge inquired, “is the state ready?” The attorney answered, “yes.” The judge inquired, “has the prisoner any one to defend him?” Daymon shook his head.

“It is then the duty of the court to appoint your defense,” said the judge, naming the attorneys, and the trial proceeded. The witnesses for the state being sworn, testified to the shoe as already described. In the mean time Beargrass creek had been dragged, and the body of a woman found. The fish had eaten the face beyond recognition, but a chintz calico dress was sworn to by two sewing women as identical to one they had previously made for Daymon's wife.

The state's attorney pictured all of this circumstantial evidence to the jury in an eloquence seldom equaled.

But, who ever heard a lawyer plead the cause of a moneyless man? The attorneys appointed to defend Daymon preserved only their respectability in the profession.

And the jury returned their verdict guilty. Nothing now remained but to pronounce the sentence, and then the execution.

The judge was a crippled man, and slowly assumed an erect position. Then casting his eyes around the court room, they rested upon the prisoner, and he paused a moment. That moment was silent, profound, awful! for every ear was open to catch the first sound of that sentence. The silence was broken by a wild scream at the door. The anxious crowd opened a passage, and a woman entered the court room, her hair floating upon her shoulders, and her voice wild and mellow as the horn of resurrection. That woman was Daymon's wife.


Two boys in one house grew up side by side,

By the mother loved, and the father's pride

With raven locks and rosy cheeks they stood,

As living types of the family blood.

Don, from the mother did his mettle take,

Dan, the Prodigal—born to be a rake.

In the month of May, 1816, the Enterprise landed at Louisville, having made the trip from New Orleans in twenty-five days. She was the first steamboat that ever ascended the Mississippi river. The event was celebrated with a public dinner, given by the citizens of Louisville to Captain Henry M. Shreve, her commander.

A new era was inaugurated on the western waters, yet the clouds of monopoly had to be blown away, and the free navigation of the Mississippi heralded across the land.

The startling events of the times are necessarily connected with our story.

For the truth of history was never surpassed by fiction, only in the imagination of weak minds.

Sixty miles above Louisville, on the southern bank of the Ohio, stood a round-log cabin, surrounded by heavy timber. In the background a towering clift reared its green-covered brow to overlook the valley—the woodland scenery seemed to say: “here is the home of the wolf and the wild cat,” and it gave the place a lonesome look.

A passing neighbor had informed the inmates of the cabin that a saw-mill was coming up the river. Two barefooted boys stood in the front yard, and looked with hopeful eyes upon the wonder of the passing steamer. The gentle breeze that waved their infant locks, whispered the coming storms of the future.

It was the Washington, built by Captain Shreve, and was subsequently seized for navigating the western waters. The case was carried to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the exclusive pretensions of the monopolist to navigate the western waters by steam were denied.

Some of the old heroes who battled for the free navigation of the western waters, left a request to be buried on the bank of the beautiful Ohio, where the merry song of the boatman would break the stillness of their resting place, and the music of the steam engine soothe their departed spirits. Well have their desires been fulfilled.

Some long and tedious summers had passed away—notwithstanding a congressman had declared in Washington City, “that the Ohio river was frozen over six months in the year, and the balance of the season would not float a tad-pole.”

The music of the steam engine or the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, had given rise to unforseen industries. Don and Dan Carlo, standing in the half-way house between boyhood and manhood, without inheriting a red cent in the wide world with which to commence the battle of life, grown up in poverty, surrounded by family pride, with willing hearts and strong arms, were ready t-o undertake any enterprise that glimmering fortune might point out.

A relative on the mother's side held the title papers, signed by the Governor of Arkansas, to a tract ol land on the Mississippi river, who gave the privilege to Don and Dan Carlo, to establish a wood yard on said premises.

For steam navigation was not only a fixed fact, but the boats were much improved—many of them taking on board twenty-four cords of wood at one landing.

“Competition is the life of trade,” and several enterprising woodmen were established in this locality; and when a passing steamboat would ring for wood after night, all anxious to show the first light, the woodmen, torch in hand, would run out of their cabins in their shirt-tails. From this circumstance, that locality was known by the boatmen from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, by the homely appellation of the Shirt-Tail Bend.

That, like many other localities on the Mississippi, was first settled by wood-choppers. The infantile state of society in those neighborhoods can be better imagined than described. The nearest seat of justice was forty miles, and the highest standard of jurisprudence was a third-rate county court lawyer. Little Rock was, perhaps, the only point in the State that could boast of being the residence of a printers' devil, or the author of a dime novel.

The wood-cutters were the representative men of the neighborhood. The Gospel of peace and good will to men was, perhaps, slightly preserved in the memories of some who had been raised in a more advanced state of civilization. The passing days were numbered by making a mark on the day-board every morning, and a long mark every seventh day, for the Sabbath.

Quarrels concerning property seldom, if ever, occurred. The criminal code or personal difficulties were generally settled according to the law of the early boatmen, which was: if two men had a personal quarrel, they were required to choose seconds, go ashore and fight it out. The seconds were chosen to see that no weapons were used and no foul holds were taken. It was a trial of physical strength, and when the vanquished party cried “enough!” the difficulty was considered settled.

I am speaking of times prior to the inauguration of the Arkansas Bowie knife and pistol Many of the early woodcutters on the Mississippi were men of sterling integrity. Don Carlo never wrote a line for the future antiquarian to ponder over, or dreamed that he was transmitting anything to posterity; yet, by his bold and noble conduct, he stamped the impress of his character upon the memories of all who witnessed the blossom of society in the woods on the Mississippi river.

Brindle Bill was a wood-chopper, but he never worked much at his profession. He was one of the class of woodcutters that were generally termed the floating part of the population. This class were employed by the proprietors of the wood yards, to cut wood by the cord—for one hundred cords they received fifty dollars.

Brindle Bill was five feet and eight inches high, with square shoulders and as strong as a buffalo—and although he was classed with the floating population, he had been in that locality for more than a year and was a shining light at headquarters.

This was the resort of all who claimed to be fond of fun. It was an old cabin that was built by some early backwoodsmen, who had deserted it and moved on. It was some distance from the river, and left unoccupied by the woodmen. Situated in the edge of a small cane-brake, a large quantity of cane had been cut to clear the way, and piled against the west end of the cabin.

Here the jug was kept. These men had no brilliantly lighted saloon for a resort, but human nature is the same under all circumstances. In this locality, like all others, there were two parties, or two spirits—one was to improve the other to degrade society. As we have said, Brindle Bill was the leading spirit of his party. He was always ready to fill the jug and play a social game at cards—he only bet, as he said, to keep up a little interest in the game. Brindle Bill always had a pocket full of money. He loved to tell long stories, and frequently related previous combats, in which he came off the victor. As the test of manhood was physical strength, Brindle Bill was the bully of the settlement—no one desired a personal quarrel with him.

Some said that S. S. Simon, the proprietor of a wood yard, sided with Brindle Bill—whether this was true or not—Simon's wife, was one of the leading spirits of the other party. She was a woman of few words, but the force of her character was felt by the whole neighborhood.

Cord, or steam wood, was the principal source of revenue, and large quantities were annually sold, thousands of dollars come into Shirt-tail Bend, but there was no improvement, they had no school house, and a church and post-office were not thought of.

Don and Dan Carlo, proprietors of one of the principal wood yards, dear brothers, were animated by different spirits. Dan was a fast friend of Brindle Bill. Don was a silent spirit of the other party. They were equal partners in the wood business, and when a sale was made, Dan received half of the money, but it so happened that all expenses were paid by Don. This had been the situation for a long time. In vain Don appealed to Dan—tried to arouse family pride. The two kept bachelors hall, and many times, through the long vigils of the night, Don laid before Dan, their situation, scoffed at by a large family relationship, because they were poor, and then representing that they must fail in their business, because half the money received would not pay expenses, to all of this, Dan would promise to reform—and promise, and promise, and promise, but would always fail.

In the dusk of the evening, after a large sale of wood had been made, at the Carlo wood yard, S. S. Simon, Dan Carlo, Sundown Hill and Brindle Bill were seen making their way slowly to headquarters. Simon's wife remarked to a person near her, “Dan's money will go to-night.”

Don Carlo was seen sitting alone in his cabin, his hand upon his forehead, his eyes gazing intently upon the floor. The burning coal upon the hearthstone glimmered in the glory of its element; the voice of the wild ducks upon the river shore, told the deep, dead hour of the night, and aroused Don Carlo from his reverie—the sun had crossed the meridian on the other side of the globe, and no sound of the foot-fall of his absent brother disturbed the stillness of the hour.

Don Carlo picked up a pamphlet that lay upon the table and turned over the leaves, it was the confession of Alonzo Phelps.

He said mentally, Phelps was a very bad, but a very brave man. He defied the city of Vicksburg, defied the law, and the State of Mississippi.

He thought of the generations before him, and family pride filled his veins with warm blood. Don Carlo was ready to face Brindle Bill, or the Brindle Devil, in defence of his rights, and he started for headquarters.

Cool, calculating woman—Simon's wife, the patient watcher for her absent husband, saw Don Carlo wending his way through the stillness of the night, to headquarters. Her keen, woman's wit, told her there was trouble ahead.

Silently, and unseen, with fire brand in hand, (this was before friction matches were thought of,) she left the Simon cabin.

When Don Carlo arrived at headquarters, the door and window was fastened on the inside, a faint light from a tallow candle, that glimmered through the cracks of the cabin, whispered the deep laid scheme of the inmates—S. S. Simon, Sundown Hill and Brindle Bill were banded together to swindle Dan Carlo. Don Carlo went there to enter that cabin. Quick as thought he clambered up the corner of the jutting logs, and passed down the chimney. In front of him, around a square table, sat four men. On the center of the table a large pile of shining silver dollars, enlivened the light of the tallow candle.

The players looked up in amazement; had an angel from heaven dropped among them, they would not have been more astonished. While the men sat, between doubt and fear, Don Carlo raked the money from the table, and put it in his pocket.

Brindle Bill was the first to rise from the table, he held up four cards, claimed the money, said he was personally insulted by Don Carlo, and by G—d he should fight it out. He chose S. S. Simon for his second, and boastingly prepared for the contest.

Don Carlo used no words, nor did he choose any second; Sundown Hill and Dan Carlo looked at each other, and at S. S. Simon, with a look that said, we stand by Don Carlo.

S. S. Simon hallooed fair play, and Brindle Bill pitched in. Brindle Bill was the stoutest man, Don Carlo the most active, the contest was sharp, and very doubtful, notwithstanding the boasting character of Brindle Bill, true pluck was upon the side of Don Carlo. At this critical moment, Simon's wife appeared upon the scene of action, the door of the cabin was fast, Simon was on the inside. She could hear the blows and smell the blood, for a lucky lick from Don had started the blood from Brindle Bill's nose, but could not see or know the combatants. Quick as thought, she applied the fire-brand to the cane pile, on the west end of the cabin. A strong breeze from the west soon enveloped the roof of the cabin in flames. The men rushed out into the open air much frightened. Simon's wife grabbed her husband and dragged him toward their home, with loud and eloquent cries of shame. The contest was ended, and Don Carlo had the money. Brindle Bill appealed to the men of his party to see that he should have fair play. His appeals were all in vain, the fear of him was broken, and he had no great desire to renew the contest. Seeing no hope in the future, Brindle Bill left the new settlement. And Don Carlo was justly entitled to the appellation of the Hero of Shirt-Tail Bend.

Society was started upon the up-grade. Some planters commenced to settle in the Bend, little towns were now springing up on the Mississippi, and Dan Carlo out of his element, made it convenient to visit the towns. A new era had dawned upon the criminal code in Arkansas—the pistol and the bowie knife, of which writers of fiction have portrayed in startling colors. Shortly after these events, Dan Carlo was found dead in a saloon.

It was in April, late one Saturday evening, the steamboat “Red Stone” blew up sixty-five miles above Louisville, while landing on the Kentucky shore; the boat burned to the water edge, and many lives were lost. Men returning from the South, to the homes of their nativity, were consigned to the placid waters of the Ohio for a resting place, others were mangled and torn, left to eke out a weary life, without some of their limbs. The scene upon the shore was heart-rendering above description. The body of one poor man was picked up one-quarter of a mile from the boat, in a corn field, every bone in his body was broken, and its fall to the earth made a hole in the ground, eighteen inches deep. How high he went in the air can only be conjectured, but we may safely say it was out of sight. Several were seen to fall in the middle of the river, who never reached the shore. The dead and dying were gathered up and carried to the houses nearest at hand. The inhabitants of the shore had gathered for three miles up and down the river—all classes and ages were seen pulling pieces of the wreck and struggling persons to the shore= Two girls or half-grown women passed by me walking slowly upon the pebbled shore, gazing into the water, when some distance from me, I saw one of them rush into the water up to her arm-pits and drag something to the shore. I hastened to the spot, and the girls passed on toward the wreck. Several men were carrying the apparently lifeless body of a man upon a board in the direction of the half-way castle, a place of deposit for the dead and dying. His identity was ascertained by some papers taken from his pocket, it was—Don Carlo—the “Hero of Shirt-Tail Bend.”


On the stream of human nature's blood,

Are ups and downs in every shape and form,

Some sail gently on a rising flood,

And some are wrecked in a tearful storm.

Tom Fairfield was descended from one of the best families in Virginia. Yet he was animated by what we may call a restless spirit. He ran away from home at twelve years of age, and came to Kentucky with a family of emigrants, who settled near Boone Station, in 1791. Kentucky, until after Wayne's treaty, in 1795, was continually exposed to incursions from the Indians; yet, before Tom's day of manhood, the bloody contest between the white and the red men had terminated on the virgin soil of the new-born State—Kentucky was admitted into the Union in 1792. Yet the heroic struggles with the Indians by the early settlers were fresh in the memories of all. Prior to the settlement of Kentucky by white men, the Southern and Northwestern tribes of Indians were in the habit of hunting here as upon neutral ground. No wigwam had been erected, but it was claimed by all as a hunting ground. The frequent and fierce conflicts that occurred upon the meeting of the Indian tribes, together with conflicts with white men, caused the Indians first to call Kentucky “The dark and bloody ground.” At no point on the American Continent had the hatred between the two races risen to a higher point. Long after the peace between England and America, and the close of the war of American Independence, the conflict between the white and red men in Kentucky was a war of extermination. The quiet cabin of the white man was frequently entered, under cover of night, by some roving band of Indians, and women and children tomahawked in cold blood. White men when taken by them, whether in the field at work, or behind a tree, watching their opportunity to shoot an Indian, were taken off to their towns in Ohio and burned at the stake, or tortured to death in a most cruel manner. No wonder the early settler in Kentucky swore eternal vengeance against the Indian who crossed his path, whether in peace or war. In a land where the white woman has cleaved the skull of the red warrior with an ax, who attempted to enter her cabin rifle in hand, from whence all but her had fled—who shall refuse to remember the heroines of the early settlers, and the historic name of the dark and bloody ground.

When Tom Fairfield arrived at manhood, the golden wing of peace was spread over the new-born State, from the Cumberland Mountains to the Ohio river.

A tract of land embracing a beautiful undulating surface, with a black and fertile soil, the forest growth of which is black walnut, cherry, honey locust, buckeye, pawpaw, sugar maple, elm, ash, hawthorn, coffee-tree and yellow poplar, entwined with grape vines of large size, which has been denominated the garden of Kentucky.

Many of the phrases, familiar to our grandfathers, have become obsolete, such as latch-string, bee-crossing, hunting-shirt, log-rolling, hominy-block, pack-horse and pack-saddle.

While many of their customs have been entirely forgotten, or never known, by the present generation, a history of some of the events of the time cannot fail to be interesting.

Tom had learned to read and write in Virginia, and this accomplishment frequently gave him employment, for many of the early settlers were glad to pay him for his assistance in this line of business, and it suited Tom to change his place of abode and character of employment. He was industrious, but never firm in his purpose, frequently commencing an enterprise, but always ready to abandon it in the middle.

Socially he was a great favorite at all wedding-parties, and weddings were of frequent occurrence about this time.

For while Kentucky was over-run with Indians the female portion of families were slow to immigrate to the scene of such bloody strife, and many of the early planters were young men, who found themselves bachelors for the want of female association. But with the influx of population now taking place, females largely predominated.

A wedding in Kentucky at that time was a day of rejoicing, and the young men in hearing distance all considered themselves invited. A fine dinner or supper was always prepared; of wine they had none, but distilling corn whisky was among the first industries of Kentucky, and at every wedding there was a custom called running for the bottle, which was of course a bottle of whisky.

The father of the bride, or some male acquaintance at the house of the bride—about one hour previous to the time announced for the ceremony—would stand on the door-step with the bottle in his hand, ready to deliver it to the first young man that approached him. At the appointed time the young men of the neighborhood would rendezvous at a point agreed upon, and when all were ready and the word go given, the race for the bottle, on fine horses, to the number of fifteen or twenty, was amusing and highly exciting. Tom had the good fortune to be the owner of a fleet horse—to own a fine horse and saddle was ever the pride and ambition of the young Kentuckian—and he won many bottles; but the end proved that it was bad instead of good luck, for Tom subsequently became too fond of the bottle.

Tom was young and hopeful, far away from his kindred, and he also married the daughter of an Englishman, who was not so fortunate as to be the owner of any portion of the virgin soil, but distinguished himself as a fine gardener, and all the inheritance Tom received with his wife was a cart-load of gourds.

You laugh, but you must remember that a few pewter plates and cob-handle knives was all that adorned the cupboards of some of our fathers, and gourds of different size made useful vessels. Coffee was not much in use, and in the dawn of the Revolution a party of brave Americans had thrown a ship-load of tea into the sea.

Tom, like many of the young planters, built a cabin upon a tract of land, under the Henderson claim, as purchased from the Cherokee Indians, which claim was subsequently set aside by the State of Virginia.

Tom, as we have said, was of a restless disposition, and from a planter he turned to be a boatman. Leaving his family at home in their cabin, he engaged to make a trip to Fort Washington (Cincinnati, then a village) on a keel-boat, descending the Kentucky and ascending the Ohio rivers. On this trip he first beheld the stupendous precipices on the Kentucky river, where the banks in many places are three hundred feet high, of solid limestone, and the beautiful country at he mouth of the Kentucky, on the Ohio river.

He was absent from home three months, for prior to steam navigation, the Ohio had been navigated by keel and flat-bottom boats for a quarter of a century, and many of the old boatmen were men of dissipated habits—bad school for Tom. When he returned home it was too late in the season to raise a crop. The next winter was long and cold. Tom and his little family keenly felt the grasp of poverty, and many times, in the dead hour of night, when the cold wind made the only audible sound on the outside, the latch-string of the cabin door had been pulled in, and the fire burned down to a bed of coals, Tom and his wife sat quietly and sadly by the dim light of a tallow candle, and told the stories of their families. Tom intended at some future time to return to Virginia and claim an inheritance, although, as he said, he was not the eldest son of his father, and by the laws of Virginia the eldest son is entitled to all of the estate in land, which, as he said, caused him to leave home; but from other sources he hoped in the future to reap the benefit of an inheritance.

Tom's wife, in her turn, told the story of her ancestors in the old country, and how she lived in hope of some revival of family fortune, which by the discovery of the necessary papers, would give her the means of rising above the cold grasp of poverty, so keenly felt by them; and many times through the long nights of winter, in that secret chamber where no intruder comes, Tom and his wife, whom he always called by the endearing name of mother, with a heart-felt desire to honor his infant children, had many long and interesting interviews upon the subject of the ups and downs of family fortune.

The joyous days of spring dawned upon the little household, and with it new ideas in the mind of Tom Fairfield; it was to become a preacher; why not? He could read—and must according to the philosophy of the people understand the Scriptures. Whatever may have been the delinquency of the early settlers in Kentucky, they were devotedly a religious people.

Ministers of the gospel were not required to study Theology; to be able to read was the only accomplishment, except the call; it was thought indispensable that a preacher should have a divine call.

Whatever may be said of ignorant worship, many of the early preachers in Kentucky were men of sterling piety, and did much to elevate and improve the rude society of the backwoodsmen. What they lacked in learning they made up in earnestness and a strict devotion to the Masters cause; what they lacked in eloquence they made up in force. Some extracts from the sermons of these old men have been preserved. I quote from one handed me by a friend:

“As Mo-ses lif-ted up the ser-pent in the wil-der-ness—ah! e-v-e-n so must the Son of M-a-n be lif-ted up—ah! That who so-e-v-e-r look up-on him—ah! m-a-y not p-e-r-i-s-h—ah! but h-a-ve e-v-e-r-l-a-sting l-i-f-e—ah!”

Notwithstanding this halting delivery, these old men laid the foundation of the refined and elegant society now enjoyed in Kentucky.

Tom Fairfield wished to improve his fortune and position in society—pay for preaching was small—but the many little needs of a family frequently fell to the lot of a preacher's wife. With this object in view, and waiting for the call, Tom and his wife attended all the meetings. A wonderful phenomenon occurred about this time, that upset all of Tom's calculations—it was called the jerks. It was principally confined to the females—but men sometimes were victims of it.

During the church service, and generally about the time the preacher's earnestness had warmed the congregation, the jerks would set in. Some one in the congregation would commence throwing the head and upper part of the body backward and forward, the motion would gradually increase, assuming a spasmodic appearance, until all discretion would leave the person attacked, and they would continue to jerk regardless of all modesty, until they jerked themselves upon the floor.

Tom and his wife one day attended the meeting of a sect, then called the “New Lights.” During the service Tom's wife was attacked with the jerks; the motion slow at first became very rapid, her combs flew among the congregation, and her long black hair cracked like a wagon whip. Tom was very much frightened, but with the assistance of some friends the poor woman was taken home, and soon became quiet. Tom never attended meeting again.

The old adage that bad luck never comes single-handed, was now setting in with Tom. Soon after this event, Tom returned from his labor one cold, wet evening. Mother, as he always called his wife, was very dull and stupid. Tom had attended to all the duties of the little household, pulled in the latch-string of the cabin door, covered the coals on the hearth with ashes—as the old people used to say, to keep the seed of fire.

In the morning when he awakened, his faithful wife, dear mother, as he called her, was by his side, cold and dead.

With three little daughters in the cabin and nothing else in the wide world, for the title to his land had been set aside. Disheartened with his misfortunes, Tom, with his little daughters, moved to the Ohio river.

Port William was the name given to the first settlement ever made at the mouth of the Kentucky river.

Seventy miles above Louisville the Kentucky mingles its water with the Ohio river, the land on the east side of the Kentucky and on the south side of the Ohio, narrows into a sharp point—the water is deep up to the shore. When navigation first commenced this point was the keel-boat landing, and subsequently the steamboat landing.

Here, Dave Deminish kept a saloon, (then called a grocery). One room sixteen feet square, filled with cheap John merchandise, the principal article for sale was corn whisky, distilled in the upper counties, and shipped to Port William on keel boats,—this article was afterwards called old Bourbon.

Port William was blessed with the O!-be-joyful. Redhead Sam Sims run a whisky shop in connection with, his tavern, but the point, or landing was the great place of attraction, here idle boatmen were always ready to entertain idle citizens. Old Brother Demitt owned large tracts of land, and a number of slaves, and of course he was a leader in society, why not? he was a member of the church if he did stand on the street corners, tell low anecdotes, and drink whisky all-day-long. And old Arch Wheataker owned slaves to work for him, and he, of course, could ride his old ball-face sorrel horse to Port William, drink whisky all day and run old Ball home at night. Late in December one dark night, the Angel of observation was looking into the room of Dave Deminish. A tall man with silver gray hair was pleading with Dave for one more dram. They stood by the counter alone, and it was late, the customers had all gone save Tom Fairfield. Tom offered to pledge his coat as a guarantee for payment, Dave was anxious to close the store (as he called it), and he said mildly as he laid his hand softly on Tom's shoulder, “Keep your coat on, Tom,” and handing him a glass of spoiled beer, affected friendship. In attempting to drink the beer Tom heaved. Dave was insulted, and kicked him out, and closed the door. On reeling feet, alone, and in the dark, Tom departed. In the middle of the night commenced a wonderful snow storm, and the dawn of morning found the earth covered with a white mantle twenty-four inches deep.

The ever diligent eye of the Angel of observation was peering into the cabin of Tom Fairfield, two miles distant from the Point, and one mile north of Brother Demitts. Roxie, the eldest daughter, found a few sticks of wood, which happened to be in doors, made up a little fire and was cooking some corn cakes. Rose had covered Suza with a tattered blanket, and was rocking her in a trough. The cold wind upon the outside carried away the inaudible murmurs of the little sisters.

At one o'clock in the evening the little fire had burned out. Rose was still engaged with the baby, and Roxie passed the time between childish conversations with Rose about the deep snow, and their absent father, who she said would get the snow out of his way and come, home after a while, then peeping out the crack of the door to watch for some one passing. Old Father Tearful had passed the cabin, his face and head wrapped up with a strap of sheepskin to ward-off the cold, and he did not hear the cries of Roxie Fairfield. One hour later Suza was crying piteously and shivering with the cold.

Roxie said firmly to Rose, you pet and coax the poor; thing and I will go to Aunt-Katy's and get some one to come and, and get us some wood, making a great effort to conceal a half suppressed sob; and a starting tear. Then patting' Rose on the head with her little hand said coaxingly, “Be good to-to-the baby, and I'll soon be back.” Leaving both little sisters in tears, and pulling her little bonnet close 'round her ears, she left the cabin, and struggled bravely through the deep snow; fortunately when she gained the track of Father Tearful's horse she had less difficulty. The old man was riding a Conestoga horse whose feet and legs, from their large size, made quite an opening in the snow.

The Angel eye of observation peering into the east room of Brother Demitt's house, (he lived in a double cabin of hewn logs,) saw Aunt Katy sitting on one corner of the hearth-stone, busily plying her fingers upon a half finished stocking; upon the other corner lay a large dog; stretched at full length; half way between the two sat the old house-cat, eying the mastiff and the mistress, and ready to retreat from the first invader. The hickory logs in the fire-place were wrapping each other with the red flames of heat, and the cold wind rushing 'round the corner of the-house was the only sound that disturbed the stillness of the hour.

With a sudden push the door swung upon its hinges, and Roxie Fairfield, shivering with the cold, appeared upon the stage. Aunt Katy threw her head back, and looking under her specs, straight down her nose at the little intruder, said, in a voice half mingled with astonishment, “Roxie Fairfield, where in the name of heaven did you come from?” Roxie, nothing abashed by the question, replied in a plaintive tone, “Daddy didn't come home all night nor all day—and—and we're 'fraid'the baby'll freeze.” The simple narrative of the child told Aunt Katy the whole story. She knew Tom Fairfield, and although a drunkard, he would not thus desert his children. “Come to the fire, child,” said Aunt Katy in a milder tone, and as she turned to the back door she said, mentally, “dead, and covered with snow.” She continued, “Joe, I say, Joe, get old Ned and hitch him to the wood slide, and go after the Fairfield children—quick—call Dick to help hitch up.” Dick was an old negro who had the gout so bad in his left foot that he could not wear a shoe, and that foot wrapped up in a saddle blanket, made an impression in the snow about the size of an elephant's track.

Roxie made a start to return as she came, and while Aunt Katy was coaxing and persuading her to wait for the slide, Joe, a colored boy, and old Ned were gotten ready for the venture. Dick, by Aunt Katy's directions, had thrown a straw bed upon the slide, and bearing his weight upon his right foot, he caught Roxie by the arms and carefully placed her upon it.

Joe, as he held the rope-reins in one hand and a long switch in the other, turned his eyes upon the face of the little heroine, all mingled with doubt and fear, saying in a harsh tone, “keep yourself in the middle of the slide, puss, for I'm gwine to drive like litenin'.”

Aunt Katy stood in the cold door gazing at the running horse and slide until they were out of sight, and then turning to Dick who, standing by the chimney, was holding his left foot close to the coals, said, “Tom Fairfield is dead and under the snow, poor soul! and them children will have to be raised, and I'll bet the nittin' of five pair of stockins that old Demitt will try to poke one of 'em on me.”

Joe soon returned with the precious charge. He had Suza, the baby, in her rocking trough, well wrapped up in the old blanket and placed in the middle of the slide, with Roxie seated on one side and Rose on the other. The slide had no shafts by which the old horse could hold it back; it was Dick's office to hold back with a rope when drawing wood, but he was too slow for this trip, and Joe's long switch served to keep old Ned ahead of the slide when traveling down hill.

A large fire and a warm room, with Aunt Katy's pacifying tones of voice, soon made the little sisters comparatively happy; she promised them that daddy would soon return.

The news soon spread through the neighborhood, and every one who knew Tom Fairfield solemnly testified that he would not desert his children; the irresistible conclusion was that while intoxicated he was frozen, and that he lay dead under the snow.

A council of the settlers, (for all were considered neighbors for ten miles 'round,) was called, over which Brother Demitt presided. Aunt Katy, as the nearest neighbor and first benefactress, claimed the preemption right to the first choice, which was of course granted. Roxie, the eldest, was large enough to perform some service in a family, and Rose would soon be; Suza, the baby, was the trouble. Aunt Katy was called upon to take her choice before other preliminaries could be settled.

Suza, the baby, with her bright little eyes, red cheeks and proud efforts, to stand alone, had won Aunt Katy's affections, and she, without any persuasion on the part of old Demitt, emphatically declared that Suza should never leave her house until she left it as a free woman.

Mrs. Evaline Estep and Aunt Fillis Foster were the contending candidates for Rose and Roxie.

Brother Demitt decided that Aunt Fillis should take Roxie, and Mrs. Estep should be foster mother to Rose, with all the effects left in the Fairfield cabin.

These ladies lived four miles from the Demitt house, in different directions. With much persuasion and kind treatment they bundled up the precious little charges and departed.

While the Angel of sorrow hovered round the little hearts of the departed sisters.


The road of life is light and dark,

Each journeyman will make his mark;

The mark is seen by all behind,

Excepting those who go stark blind.

Men for women mark out the way,

In spite of all the rib can say;

But when the way is rough and hard,

The woman's eye will come to guard

The footsteps of her liege and lord,

With gentle tone and loving word.

Since the curtain fell upon the closing sentence in the last scene, many long and tedious seasons have passed away.

The placid waters of the beautiful Ohio have long since been disturbed by steam navigation; and the music of the steam engine echoing from the river hills have alarmed the bat and the owl, and broke the solitude around the graves of many of the first settlers. Many old associations have lived and died. The infant images of the early settlers are men and women. In the order of time Roxie Fairfield, the heroine of the snow storm, and Aunt Fillis Foster, claim our attention.

With a few back glances at girlhood, we hasten on to her womanhood. Aunt Fillis permitted Roxie to attend a country school a few months in each year. The school house was built of round logs, was twenty feet square, with one log left out on the south side for a window. The seats were made of slabs from the drift wood on the Ohio River, (the first cut from the log, one side flat, the other having the shape of the log, rounding); holes were bored in the slabs and pins eighteen inches long inserted for legs. These benches were set against the wall of the room, and the pupils arranged sitting in rows around the room. In the center sat the teacher by a little square table, with a switch long enough to reach any pupil in the house without rising from his seat. And thus the heroine of the snow storm received the rudiments of an education, as she grew to womanhood.

Roxie was obedient, tidy—and twenty, and like all girls of her class, had a lover. Aunt Fillis said Roxie kept everything about the house in the right place, and was always in the right place herself; she said more, she could not keep house without her. By what spirit Aunt Fillis was animated we shall not undertake to say, but she forbade Roxie's lover the prerogative of her premises.

Roxie's family blood could never submit to slavery, and she ran away with her lover, was married according to the common law, which recognizes man and wife as one, and the man is that one.

They went to Louisville, and the reader has already been introduced to the womanhood of Roxie Fairfield in the person of Daymon's wife.

The reader is referred to the closing sentence of Scene First. Daymon was granted a new trial, which never came off, and the young couple left Louisville and went to Chicago, Illinois. Roxie had been concealed by a female friend, and only learned the fate of Daymon a few minutes before she entered the court room. Daymon resolved to reform, for when future hope departed, and all but life had fled, the faithful Roxie rose like a spirit from the dead to come and stand by him.

Daymon and Roxie left Louisville without any intimation of their-destination to any one, without anything to pay expenses, and nothing but their wearing apparel, both resolved to work, for the sun shone as brightly upon them as it did upon any man and woman in the world.

As a day laborer Daymon worked in and around the infant city, as ignorant of the bright future as the wild ducks that hovered 'round the shores of the lake.

It is said that P. J. Marquette, a French missionary from Canada was the first white man that settled on the spot where Chicago now stands. This was before the war of the Revolution, and his residence was temporary.

Many years afterward a negro from San Domingo made some improvements at the same place; but John Kinzie is generally regarded as the first settler at Chicago, for he made a permanent home there in 1804. For a quarter of a century the village had less than one hundred inhabitants. A wild onion that grew there, called by the Indians Chikago, gave the name to the city.

After a few years of hard, labor and strict economy a land-holder was indebted to Daymon the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. Daymon wished to collect his dues and emigrate farther west. By the persuasion of Roxie he was induced to accept a deed to fifteen acres of land. In a short time he sold one acre for more than the cost of the whole tract, and was soon selling by the foot instead of the acre. The unparalleled growth of the city made. Daymon rich in spite of himself. .

The ever wakeful eye of the Angel of observation is peering into the parlor of the Daymon palace, to see Roxie surrounded with all the luxuries of furniture, sitting by an ornamented table, upon which lay gilt-edged paper; in the center of the table sat a pearl ink-stand and a glass ornament set with variegated colors. Roxie's forehead rested upon the palm of her left hand, elbow on the table. Profound reflections are passing through her brain; they carry her back to the days of her childhood. Oh, how she loved Suza; the little bright eyes gazed upon her and the red lips pronounced the inaudible sound, “dear sister.” “Yes, I will write,” said Roxie, mentally. She takes the gold pen in her right hand, adjusting the paper with her left, she paused to thank from the bottom of her heart old Ben Robertson, who in the country school had taught her the art of penmanship. Hush! did the hall bell ring? In a few minutes a servant appeared at the door and announced the name of Aunt Patsy Perkins.

“Admit Aunt Patsy—tell her your mistress is at home,” said Roxie, rising from the table.

Aunt Patsy Perkins was floating upon the surface of upper-tendom in Chicago. She understood all of the late styles; a queen in the drawing-room, understood the art precisely of entertaining company; the grandest ladies in the city would listen to the council of Aunt Patsy, for she could talk faster and more of it than any woman west of the Alleghany Mountains.

The visitor enters the room; Roxie offers Aunt Patsy an easy chair; Aunt Patsy is wiping away the perspiration with a fancy kerchief, in one hand, and using the fan with the other. When seated she said:

“I must rest a little, for I have something to tell you, and I will tell you now what it is before I begin. Old Perkins has no more love for style than I have for his dratted poor kin. But as I was going to tell you, Perkins received a letter from Indiana, stating this Cousin Sally wished to make us a visit. She's a plain, poor girl, that knows no more of style than Perkins does of a woman's comforts. I'll tell you what it is, Mrs. Daymon, if she does come, if I don't make it hot for old Perkins, it'll be because I can't talk. A woman has nothing but her tongue, and while I live I will use mine.”

Then pointing her index finger at Roxie, continued: “I will tell you what it is Mrs. Daymon, take two white beans out of one hull, and place them on the top of the garden fence, and then look at 'em across the garden, and if you can tell which one is the largest, you can seen what difference there is in the way old Perkins hates style and I hate his dratted poor kin. What wealthy families are to do in this city, God only knows. I think sometimes old Perkins is a wooden man, for, with all my style, I can make no more impression on h-i-m, than I can upon an oak stump, Mrs. Daymon. What if he did make a thousand dollars last week, when he wants to stick his poor kin 'round me, like stumps in a flower garden.” At this point Roxie ventured to say a word. “Aunt Patsy, I thought Jim was kinsfolk on your side of the house.”

“Yes, but honey, I am good to Jim, poor soul, he knows it,” said Aunt Patsy gravely, and then she paused.

Jim was a poor boy, eighteen years old, and the son of Aunt Patsy's dear brother, long since laid under the dark green sod of Indiana. The poor boy, hearing of the wealth of his Aunt Patsy, had come to Chicago and was working on the streets, poorly clad.

Aunt Patsy would sometimes give him a few dollars, as you would throw a bone to a dog, requesting him at the same time to always come to the back door, and never be about the house when she had company.

Aunt Patsy said emphatically, as she left the Daymon palace, “I'll tell you what it is, Mrs. Daymon, I'm goin' home to study human nature, and if I don't find some avenue to reach old Perkim, I shall take the liberty to insult the first one of his dratted poor kin that sets foot in my house.”

After Aunt Patsy left, Roxie thought no more of her letter of inquiry, and company engaged her attention for some days until the subject passed entirely out of her mind.

Soon after these events Roxie died with the cholera—leaving an only daughter—and was buried as ignorant of the fate of her sister as the stone that now stands upon her grave.

We must now turn back more than a decade, which brings us to the burning of the steamboat Brandywine, on the Mississippi river. The boat was heavily freighted, with a large number of passengers on board; the origin of the fire has never been positively known; it was late in the night, with a heavy breeze striking the boat aft, where the fire occurred. In a short time all on board was in confusion; the pilot, from the confusion of the moment, or the lack of a proper knowledge of the river, headed the boat for the wrong shore, and she ran a-ground on a deep sand bar a long way from shore and burned to the waters' edge; between the two great elements of fire and water many leaped into the river and were drowned, and some reached the shore on pieces of the wreck. Among those fortunate enough to reach the shore was an Englishman, who was so badly injured he was unable to walk; by the more fortunate he was carried to the cabin of a wood cutter, where he soon after died.

When he fully realized the situation he called for ink and paper; there was none on the premises; a messenger was dispatched to the nearest point where it was supposed the articles could be obtained, but he was too late. When the last moments came the dying man made the following statement: “My name is John A. Lasco. I have traveled for three years in this country without finding the slightest trace of the object of my search—an only and a dear sister. Her name is Susan Lasco; with our father she left the old country many years ago. They were poor.—the family fortune being held in abeyance by the loss of some papers. I remained, but our father gave up all hope and emigrated to America, taking Susan with him. In the course of nature the old man is dead, and my sister Susan, if she is living, is the last, or soon will be the last, link of the family. I am making this statement as my last will and testament. Some years ago the post-master in my native town received a letter from America stating that by the confession of one, Alonzo Phelps, who was condemned to die, that there was a bundle of papers concealed in a certain place by him before he left the country. Search was made and the papers found which gave me the possession of the family estate. The letter was subscribed D. C., which gave a poor knowledge of the writer. I sold the property and emigrated to this country in search of my sister; I have had poor success. She probably married, and the ceremony changed her name, and I fear she is hopelessly lost to her rights; her name was Susan Lasco—what it is now, God only knows. But to Susan Lasco, and her descendants, I will the sum of twenty thousand dollars, now on deposit in a western bank; the certificate of deposit names the bank; the papers are wet and now upon my person; the money in my pocket, $110, I will to the good woman of this house—with a request that she will carefully dry and preserve my papers, and deliver them to some respectable lawyer in Memphis——” at this point the speaker was breathing hard—his tone of voice almost inaudible. At his request, made by signs, he was turned over and died in a few moments without any further directions.

The inmates of the cabin, besides the good woman of the house, were only a few wood cutters, among whom stood Brindle Bill, of Shirt-Tail Bend notoriety. Bill, to use his own language, was strap'd, and was chopping wood at this point to raise a little money upon which to make another start. Many years had passed away since he left Shirt Tail Bend. He had been three times set on shore, from steamboats, for playing sharp tricks at three card monte upon passengers, and he had gone to work, which he never did until he was entirely out of money. Brindle Bill left the cabin, ostensibly to go to work; but he sat upon the log, rubbed his hand across his forehead, and said mentally, “Susan La-s-co. By the last card in the deck, that is the name; if I didn't hear Simon's wife, in Shirt-Tail Bend, years ago, say her mother's name was S-u-s-a-n L-a-s-c-o. I will never play another game; and—and twenty thousand in bank. By hell, I've struck a lead.”

The ever open ear of the Angel of observation was catching the sound of a conversation in the cabin of Sundown Hill in Shirt-Tail Bend. It was as follows—

“Many changes, Bill, since you left here; the Carlo wood yard has play'd out; Don Carlo went back to Kentucky. I heard he was blowed up on a steamboat; if he ever come down again I did'nt hear of it.”

“Hope he never did,” said Bill, chawing the old grudge with his eye teeth.

Hill continued: “You see, Bill, the old wood yards have given place to plantations. Simon, your old friend, is making pretentions to be called a planter,” said Sundown Hill to Brindle Bill, in a tone of confidence.

“Go slow, Hill, there is a hen on the nest. I come back here to play a strong game; twenty thousand in bank,” and Brindle Bill winked with his right eye, the language of which is, I deal and you play the cards I give you. “You heard of the burning of the Brandywine; well, there was an Englishman went up in that scrape, and he left twenty thousand in bank, and Rose Simon is the heir,” said Bill in a tone of confidence.

“And what can that profit y-o-u?” said Hill rather indignantly.

“I am playing this game; I want you to send for Simon,” said Bill rather commandingly.

“Simon has changed considerably since you saw him; and, besides, fortunes that come across the water seldom prove true. Men who have fortunes in their native land seldom seek fortunes in a strange country,” said Hill argumentatively.

“There is no mistake in this case, for uncle John had-the di-dapper eggs in his pocket,” said Bill firmly.

Late that evening three men, in close council, were seen, in Shirt-Tail Bend. S. S. Simon had joined the company of the other two. After Brindle Bill had related to Simon the events above described, the following questions and answers, passed between the two:

“Mrs. Simon's mother was named Susan Lasco?”

“Undoubtedly; and her father's name was Tom Fairfield. She is the brave woman who broke up, or rather burned up, the gambling den in Shirt-Tail Bend. We were married in Tennessee. Mrs. Simon was the adopted daughter of Mrs. Evaline Estep, her parents having died when she was quite young. The old lady Estep tried to horn me off; but I beat her. Well the old Christian woman gave Rose a good many things, among which was a box of family keep sakes; she said they were given to her in consideration of her taking the youngest child of the orphan children. There may be something in that box to identify the family.”

At this point Brindle Bill winked his right eye—it is my deal, you play the cards I give you. As Simon was about to' leave the company, to break the news to his wife, Brindle Bill said to him very confidentially: “You find out in what part of the country this division of the orphan children took place, and whenever you find that place, be where it will, right there is where I was raised—the balance of them children is dead, Simon,” and he again winked his right eye.

“I understand,” said Simon, and as he walked on towards home to apprise Rose of her good fortune, he said mentally, “This is Bill's deal, I will play the cards he gives me.” Simon was a shifty man; he stood in the half-way house between the honest man and the rogue: was always ready to take anything he could lay hands on, as long as he could hold some one else between himself and danger. Rose Simon received the news with delight. She hastened to her box of keepsakes and held before Simon's astonished eyes an old breast-pin with this inscription: “Presented to Susan Lasco by her brother, John A. Lasco, 1751.”

“That's all the evidence we want,” said Simon emphatically. “Now,” continued Simon, coaxingly, “What became of your sisters?”

“You know when Mrs. Estep moved to Tennessee I was quite small. I have heard nothing of my sisters since that time. It has been more than fifteen years,” said Rose gravely. .

“At what point in Kentucky were you separated?” said Simon inquiringly.

“Port William, the mouth of the Kentucky river,” said Rose plainly.

“Brindle Bill says they are dead,” said Simon slowly.

“B-r-i-n-d-l-e B-i-l-l, why, I would not believe him on oath,” said Rose indignantly.

“Yes, but he can prove it,” said Simon triumphantly, and he then continued, “If we leave any gaps down, my dear, we will not be able to draw the money until those sisters are hunted up, and then it would cut us down to less than seven thousand dollars—and that would hardly build us a fine house,” and with many fair and coaxing words Simon obtained a promise from Rose that she would permit him to manage the business.

At the counter of a western bank stood S. S. Simon and party presenting the certificate of deposit for twenty thousand dollars. In addition to the breast-pin Rose had unfolded an old paper, that had laid for years in the bottom of her box. It was a certificate of the marriage of Tom Fairfield and Susan Lasco. Brindle Bill and Sundown Hill were sworn and testified that Rose Simon alias Rose Fairfield was the only surviving child of Tom Fairfield and Susan Lasco. Brindle Bill said he was raised in Port William, and was at the funeral of the little innocent years before, The money was paid over. Rose did not believe a word that Bill said but she had promised Simon that she would let him manage the business, and few people will refuse money when it is thrust upon them.

The party returned to Shirt-Tail Bend. Simon deceived Rose with the plea of some little debts, paid over to Brindle Bill and Sundown Hill three hundred dollars each. Brindle Bill soon got away with three hundred dollars; “Strop'd again,” he said mentally, and then continued, “Some call it blackmailin' or backmailin', but I call it a back-handed game. It is nothing but making use of power, and if a fellow don't use power when it's put in his hands he had better bunch tools and quit.” Brindle Bill said to S. S. Simon, “I have had a streak of bad luck; lost all my money; want to borrow three hundred dollars. No use to say you havn't got it, for I can find them sisters of your wife in less than three weeks,” and he winked his right eye.

Simon hesitated, but finally with many words of caution paid over the money.

Soon after these events S. S. Simon was greatly relieved by reading in a newspaper the account of the sentence of Brindle Bill to the state prison for a long term of years.

S. S. Simon now stood in the front rank of the planters of his neighborhood; had built a new house and ready to furnish it; Rose was persuaded by him to make the trip with him to New Orleans and select her furniture for the new house. While in the city Rose Simon was attacked with the yellow fever and died on the way home. She was buried in Louisiana, intestate and childless.


A cozy room, adorned with maiden art,

Contained the belle of Port William's heart.

There she stood—to blushing love unknown,

Her youthful heart was all her own.

Her sisters gone, and every kindred tie,

Alone she smiled, alone she had to cry;

No mother's smile, no father's kind reproof,

She hop'd and pray'd beneath a stranger's roof.

The voice of history and the practice of historians has been to dwell upon the marching of armies; the deeds of great heroes; the rise and fall of governments; great battles and victories; the conduct of troops, etc., while the manners and customs of the people of whom they write are entirely ignored.

Were it not for the common law of England, we would have a poor knowledge of the manners and customs of the English people long centuries ago.

The common law was founded upon the manners and customs of the people, and many of the principles of the common law have come down to the present day. And a careful study of the common laws of England is the best guide to English civilization long centuries ago.

Manners and customs change with almost every generation, yet the principles upon which our manners and customs are founded are less changeable.

Change is marked upon almost everything It is said that the particles which compose our bodies change in every seven years. The oceans and continents change in a long series of ages. Change is one of the universal laws of matter.

And like everything else, Port William changed. Brother Demitt left Port William, on foot and full of whisky, one cold evening in December. The path led him across a field fenced from the suburbs of the village. The old man being unable to mount the fence, sat down to rest with his back against the fence—here it is supposed he fell into a stupid sleep. The cold north wind—that never ceases to blow because some of Earth's poor children are intoxicated—wafted away the spirit of the old man, and his neighbors, the next morning, found the old man sitting against the fence, frozen, cold and dead.

Old Arch Wheataker, full of whisky, was running old Ball for home one evening in the twilight. Old Ball, frightened at something by the side of the road, threw the old man against a tree, and “busted” his head.

Dave Deminish had retired from business and given place to the brilliantly lighted saloon. Old Dick, the negro man, was sleeping beneath the sod, with as little pain in his left foot as any other member of his body. Joe, the colored boy that drove the wood slide so fast through the snow with the little orphan girls, had left home, found his way to Canada, and was enjoying his freedom in the Queen s Dominion.

The Demitt estate had passed through the hands of administrators much reduced. Old Demitt died intestate, and Aunt Katy had no children. His relations inherited his estate, except Aunt Katy's life interest. But Aunt Katy had money of her own, earned with her own hands.

Aunt Katy was economical and industrious. Every dry goods store in Port William was furnished with stockings knit by the hands of Aunt Katy. The passion to save in Aunt Katy's breast, like Aaron's serpent, swallowed up the rest.

Aunt Katy was a good talker—except of her own concerns, upon which she was non-committal. She kept her own counsel and her own money. It was supposed by the Demitt kinsfolk that Aunt Katy had a will filed away, and old Ballard, the administrator, was often interrogated by the Demitt kinsfolk about Aunt Katy's will. Old Ballard was a cold man of business—one that never thought of anything that did not pay him—and, of course, sent all will-hunters to Aunt Katy.

The Demitt relations indulged in many speculations about Aunt Katy's money. Some counted it by the thousand, and all hoped to receive their portion when the poor old woman slept beneath the sod.

Aunt Katy had moved to Port William, to occupy one of the best houses in the village, in which she held a life estate. Aunt Katy's household consisted of herself and Suza Fairfield, eleven years old, and it was supposed by the Demitt relations, that when Aunt Katy died, a will would turn up in favor of Suza Fairfield.

Tom Ditamus had moved from the backwoods of the Cumberland mountains to the Ohio river, and not pleased with the surroundings of his adopted locality, made up his mind to return to his old home. Tom had a wife and two dirty children. Tom's wife was a pussy-cat woman, and obeyed all of Tom's commands without ever stopping to think on the subject of “woman's rights.” Tom was a sulky fellow; his forehead retreated from his eyebrows, at an angle of forty-five degrees, to the top of his head; his skull had a greater distance between the ears than it had fore and aft'; a dark shade hung in the corner of his eye, and he stood six feet above the dirt with square shoulders. Tom was too great a coward to steal, and too lazy to work. Tom intended to return to his old home in a covered wagon drawn by an ox team.

The Demitt relations held a council, and appointed one of their number to confer with Tom Ditamus and engage him to take Suza Fairfield—with his family and in his wagon—to the backwoods of the Cumberland Mountains. For, they said, thus spirited away Aunt Katy would never hear from her; and Aunt Katy's money, when broken loose from where she was damming it up, by the death of the old thing would flow in its legitimate channel.

And the hard-favored and the hard-hearted Tom agreed to perform the job for ten dollars.

It was in the fall of the year and a foggy morning. When the atmosphere is heavy the cold of the night produces a mist by condensing the dampness of the river, called fog; it is sometimes so thick, early in the morning, that the eye cannot penetrate it more than one hundred yards.

Tom was ready to start, and fortunately for him, seeing Suza Fairfield passing his camp, he approached her. She thought he wished to make some inquiry, and stood still until the strong man caught her by the arm, with one hand in the other hand he held an ugly gag, and told her if she made any noise he would put the bit in her mouth and tie the straps on the back of her head. The child made one scream, but as Tom prepared to gag her she submitted, and Tom placed her in his covered wagon between his dirty children, giving the gag to his wife, and commanding her if Suza made the slightest noise to put the bridle on her, and in the dense clouds of fog Tom drove his wagon south.

Suza realized that she was captured, but for what purpose she could not divine; with a brave heart—far above her years—she determined to make her escape the first night, for after that she said, mentally, she would be unable to find home. She sat quietly and passed the day in reflection, and resolved in her mind that she would leave the caravan of Tom Ditamus that night, or die in the attempt. She remembered the words of Aunt Katy—“Discretion is the better part of valor”—and upon that theory the little orphan formed her plan.

The team traveled slow, for Tom was compelled to let them rest—in the warm part of the day—the sun at last disappeared behind the western horizon. To the unspeakable delight of the little prisoner, in a dark wood by the shore of a creek, Tom encamped for the night, building a fire by the side of a large log. The party in the wagon, excepting Suza, were permitted to come out and sit by the fire. While Tom's wife was preparing supper, Suza imploringly begged Tom to let her come to the fire, for she had something to tell him. Tom at last consented, but said cautiously, “you must talk low.”

Oh! I will talk so easy,” said Suza, in a stage whisper. She was permitted to take her seat with the party on a small log, and here for an hour she entertained them with stories of abuse that she had received from the old witch, Aunt Katy, and emphatically declared that she would go anywhere to get away from the old witch.

The orphan girl, eleven years of age, threw Tom Dita-mus, a man thirty-five years of age, entirely off his guard. Tom thought he had a soft thing and the whole party were soon sound asleep, except Suza.

With a step as light as a timid cat, Suza Fairfield left Tom Ditamus and his family sleeping soundly on the bank of the creek in the dark woods, and sped toward Port William. They had traveled only ten miles with a lazy ox team and the active feet of the little captive could soon retrace the distance, if she did not lose the way; to make assurance. doubly sure, Suza determined to follow the Kentucky river, for she knew that would take her to Port William; the road was part of the way on the bank of the river, but sometimes diverged into the hills a considerable distance from the river. At those places Suza would follow the river, though her path was through dense woods and in places thickly set with underbrush and briars. Onward the brave little girl would struggle, until again relieved by the friendly road making its appearance again upon the bank of the river, and then the nimble little feet would travel at the rate of four miles an hour. Again Suza would have to take to the dark woods, with no lamp to guide her footsteps but the twinkling distant star. In one of these ventures Suza was brought to a stand, by the mouth of White's creek pouring its lazy waters into the Kentucky river. The water was deep and dark. Suza stood and reflected. An owl broke the stillness of the night on the opposite side of the creek. The last note of his voice seemed to say, come over—over—little gal. Suza sank upon the ground and wept bitterly. It is said that the cry of a goose once saved Rome. The seemingly taunting cry of the owl did not save Suza, but her own good sense taught her that she could trace the creek on the south side until she would find a ford, and when across the creek retrace it back on the north side to the unerring river; and although this unexpected fate had perhaps doubled her task, she had resolved to perform it. She remembered Aunt Katy's words, “if there is a will, there is a way,” and onward she sped for two long hours. Suza followed the zigzag course of the bewildering creek, and found herself at last in the big road stretching up from the water of the creek. She recognized the ford, for here she had passed in the hateful prison wagon, and remembered that the water was not more than one foot deep. Suza pulled off her little shoes and waded the creek; when upon the north side she looked at the dark woods, on the north bank of the creek, and at the friendly road, so open and smooth to her little feet, and said, mentally, “this road will lead me to Port William, and I will follow it, if Tom Ditamus does catch me;” and Onward she sped.

The dawn of morning had illuminated the eastern sky, when Suza Fairfield beheld the broad and, beautiful bottom land of the Ohio river.

No mariner that ever circumnavigated the globe could have beheld his starting point with more delight than Suza Fairfield beheld the chimneys in Port William. She was soon upon the home street, and saw the chimney of Aunt Katy's house; no smoke was rising from it as from others; everything about the premises was as still as the breath of life on the Dead Sea. Suza approached the back yard, the door of Aunt Katy's room was not fastened, it turned upon its hinges as Suza touched it; Aunt Katy's bed was not tumbled; the fire had burned down; in front of the smoldering coals Aunt Katy sat upon her easy chair, her face buried in her hands, elbows upon her knees—Suza paused—Aunt Katy sleeps; a moment's reflection, and then Suza laid her tiny hand upon the gray head of the sleeping woman, and pronounced the words, nearest her little heart in a soft, mellow tone, “A-u-n-t K-a-t-y.”

In an instant Aunt Katy Demitt was pressing Suza Fairfield close to her old faithful heart.

Old and young tears were mingled together for a few minutes, and then Suza related her capture and escape as we have recorded it; at the close of which Suza was nearly out of breath. Aunt Katy threw herself upon her knees by the bedside and covered her face with the palms of her hands. Suza reflected, and thought of something she had not related, and starting toward the old mother with the words on her tongue when the Angel of observation placed his finger on her lips, with the audible sound of hush! Aunt Katy's praying.

Aunt Katy rose from her posture with the words: “I understand it all my child; the Demitts want you out of the way. Well, if they get the few four pences that I am able to scrape together old Katy Demitt will give 'em the last sock that she ever expects to knit; forewarned, fore-armed, my child. As for Tom Ditamus, he may go for what he is worth. He has some of the Demitt-money, no doubt, and I have a warning that will last me to the grave. Old Demitt had one fault, but God knows his kinsfolk have thousands.”

Aunt Katy took Suza by the hand and led her to the hiding place, and Suza Fairfield, for the first time, beheld Aunt Katy's money—five hundred dollars in gold and silver—and the old foster mother's will, bequeathing all her earthly possessions to Suza Fairfield. The will was witnessed by old Ballard and old Father Tearful. And from thence forward Suza was the only person in the wide world in full possession of Aunt Katy Demitt's secrets. Tantalized by her relations, Aunt Katy was like a student of botany, confined in the center of a large plain with a single flower, for she doated on Suza Fairfield with a love seldom realized by a foster mother.

Tom Ditamus awoke the next morning (perhaps about the time Suza entered Port William) and found the little prisoner gone. Tom did not care; he had his money, and he yoked up his cattle and traveled on.

We must now look forward more than a decade in order to speak of Don Carlo, the hero of Shirt-Tail Bend, whom, in our haste to speak of other parties, we left at the half-way castle in a senseless condition, on the fatal day of the explosion of the Red Stone.

The half-way castle was one of the first brick houses ever built on the Ohio river. It had long been the property of infant heirs, and rented out or left unoccupied; it stood on the southern bank of the river about half way between Louisville and Cincinnati, hence the name of the half-way castle. Don Carlo was severely stunned, but not fatally injured; he had sold out in Shirt-Tail Bend, and was returning to the home of his childhood when the dreadful accident occured. Don had saved a little sum of money with which he had purchased a small farm in Kentucky, and began to reflect that he was a bachelor. Numerous friends had often reminded him that a brave young lady had rushed into the water and dragged his lifeless body to the friendly shore, when in a few minutes more he would have been lost forever.

Twelve months or more after these events a camp meeting was announced to come off in the neighborhood of Port William. Camp meetings frequently occurred at that day in Kentucky. The members of the church, or at least a large portion of them, would prepare to camp out and hold a protracted meeting. When the time and place were selected some of the interested parties would visit the nearest saw mill and borrow several wagon loads of lumber, draw it to the place selected, which was always in the woods near some stream or fountain of water, with the plank placed upon logs or stumps, they would erect the stand or pulpit, around the same, on three sides at most, they would arrange planks for seats by placing them upon logs and stumps; they would also build shanties and partly fill them with straw, upon which the campers slept. Fires were kindled outside for cooking purposes. Here they would preach and pray, hold prayer meetings and love feasts night and day, sometimes for two or three weeks. On the Sabbath day the whole country, old and young, for ten miles around, would attend the camp meeting.

Don Carlo said to a friend: “I shall attend the camp meeting, for I have entertained a secret desire for a long time to make the acquaintance of the young lady who it is said saved my life from the wreck of the Red Stone.”

The camp meeting will afford the opportunity. It was on a Sabbath morning. Don and his friend were standing upon the camp ground; the people were pouring in from all directions; two young ladies passed them on their way to the stand; one of them attracted Don Carlo's attention, she was not a blonde nor a brunette, but half way between the two, inheriting the beauty of each. Don said to his friend;

“There goes the prettiest woman in America.”

Then rubbing his hand over his forehead, continued;

“You are acquainted with people here, I wish you would make some inquiry of that lady's name and family.”

“I thought you was hunting the girl that pulled you out of the river,” said his friend, sarcastically.

“Yes, but I want to know the lady that has just passed us,” said Don, gravely.

Love at first sight. Ah! what is love? It has puzzled mental philosophers of all ages; and no one has ever told us why a man will love one woman above all the balance of God's creatures. And then, the strangest secret in the problem is, that a third party can see nothing lovable in the woman so adored by her lord.

No wonder, the ancient Greeks represented cupid as blind. No, they did not represent him as blind, but only blind folded, which undoubtedly leaves the impression that the love-god may peep under the bandage; and we advise all young people to take advantage of that trick—look before you love. History has proven that persons of the same temperament should not marry, for their children are apt to inherit the bad qualities of each parent; while upon the other hand, when opposites marry the children are apt to inherit the good qualities of each parent.

Marriage is the most important step taken in life. When a young man goes out into the world to seek fame and fortune the energies of his mind are apt to concentrate upon the problem of obtaining a large fortune. The wife is thought of as a convenience, the love-god is consulted and fancy rules the occasion. Now let me say to all young men, the family is the great object of life, you may pile millions together, and it is all scattered as soon as you are dead. A man's children are his only living and permanent representatives.

You should not therefore consult fancy with regard to fortune or other trivial things, but in the name of all the gods, at once consult common sense in regard to the family you produce.

While Don's friend was upon the tour of inquiry to ascertain the identity of the handsome young lady, Don sat alone upon a log, and said mentally, “A woman may draw me out of the sea ten thousand times, and she would never look like that young lady. O! God, who can she be! Perhaps out of my reach.” Don's friend returned smiling. “Lucky, lucky,” and Don's friend concluded with a laugh. “What now?” said Don, impatiently.

“That lady is the girl that drew Don Carlo out of the river, her name is Suza Fairfield, and she is the belle of Port William. An orphan girl raised and educated by old Aunt Katy Demitt. She has had a number of suitors, but has never consented to leave Aunt Katy's house as a free woman.”

When the congregation dispersed in the evening, Don Carlo and Suza Fairfield rode side by side toward Port William.

The language of courtship is seldom recorded. The ever open ear of the Angel of observation, has only furnished us with these words:

“You are old, my liege, slightly touched with gray. Pray let me live and with Aunt Katy stay.”

“With old Aunt Katy you shall live my dear, and on her silent grave drop a weeping tear.”

We can only speak of Suza Fairfield as we wish to speak of all other belles.

The outward acts of every belle,

Her inward thoughts reveal;

And by this rule she tries to tell

How other people feel.

It was the neighborhood talk, that Suza Fairfield, the belle of Port William, and Don Carlo, the hero of Shirt-Tail Bend, were engaged to be married.

All neighborhoods will talk. Aunt Katy at the table, Betsey Green and Cousin Sally; the meeting and the show; all neighborhoods will talk, for God has made them so.

Secrets should be kept, but neighbors let them go; with caution on the lip, they let a neighbor know, all secrets here below. Some add a little and some take away. Each believes his neighbors in everything they say. They hold a secret sacred and only tell a friend, and then whisper in the ear, Silly told me this and you must keep it dear; when all have kept it and every body knows, true or false, they tell it as it goes.


The son may wear the father's crown,

When the gray old father's dead;

May wear his shoe, and wear his gown,

But he can never wear his head.

How few realize that we are so swiftly passing away, and giving our places on earth, to new men and women.

Tramp, tramp, tramp, and on we go, from the cradle to the grave, without stopping to reflect, that an old man is passing away every hour, and a new one taking his place.

Like drops of rain, descending upon the mountains, and hurrying down to form the great river, running them off to the ocean, and then returning in the clouds. The change is almost imperceptible.

New men come upon the stage of life as it were unobserved, and old ones pass away in like manner, and thus the great river of life flows on. Were the change sudden, and all at once, it would shock the philosophy of the human race. A few men live to witness the rise and fall of two generations. Long years have intervened and the characters portrayed in the preceding part of our story, have all passed away.

Some of their descendants come upon the stage to fight the great battle of life.

Young Simon will first claim our attention; he is the only son of S. S. Simon by a second wife, his mother is dead, and Young Simon is heir to a large estate.

The decade from eighteen hundred and forty to eighteen hundred and fifty, is, perhaps, the most interesting decade in the history of the settlement and progress of the Western States.

In that era, the great motive power of our modern civilization, the iron horse and the magnetic telegraph were put into successful operation, across the broad and beautiful Western States.

The history of the West and Southwest in the first half of the nineteenth century, is replete with romance, or with truth stranger than fiction. The sudden rise of a moneyed aristocracy in the West, furnishes a theme for the pen of a historian of no mean ability.

This American aristocracy, diverse from the aristocracy of the old world, who stimulated by family pride, preserved the history of a long line of ancestors, born to distinction, and holding the tenure of office by inheritance, could trace the heroic deeds of their fathers back to the dark ages, while some of our American aristocrats are unable to give a true history of their grandfather.

In the first half of the nineteenth century the cultivation of the cotton plant in the Southern States assumed gigantic proportions. The Northern States bartered their slaves for money, and the forest of the great Mississippi river fell by the ax of the colored man; salvation from the demons of want was preached by the nigger and the mule.

Young Simon was a cotton planter, inheriting from his father four plantations of one thousand acres, and more than six hundred slaves.

Young Simon knew very little of the history of his family, and the more he learned of it, the less he wanted to know. His father in his lifetime, had learned the history of Roxie Daymon alias Roxie Fairfield, up to the time she left Louisville, and had good reason to believe that Roxie Daymon, or her descendants, also Suza Fairfield, or her descendants still survived. But as we have said, S. S. Simon stood in the half-way-house, between the honest man and the rogue. He reflected upon the subject mathematically, as he said mentally, “Twenty thousand dollars and twenty years interest—why! it would break me up; I wish to die a rich man.”

And onward he strove, seasoned to hardship in early life, he slept but little, the morning bell upon his plantations sounded its iron notes up and down the Mississippi long before daylight every morning, that the slaves might be ready to resume their work as soon as they could see. Simon's anxiety to die a rich man had so worked upon his feelings for twenty years, that he was a hard master and a keen financier.

The time to die never entered his brain; for it was all absorbed with the die rich question. Unexpectedly to him, death's white face appeared when least expected, from hard work, and exposure, S. S. Simon was taken down with the swamp fever; down—down—down for a few days and then the crisis, the last night of his suffering was terrible, the attending physician and his only son stood by his bedside. All night he was delirious, everything he saw was in the shape of Roxie Daymon, every movement made about the bed, the dying man would cry, “Take Roxie Daymon away.

Young Simon was entirely ignorant of his father's history—and the name Roxie Daymon made a lasting impression on his brain. Young Simon grew up without being inured to any hardships, and his health was not good, for he soon followed his father; during his short life he had everything that heart could desire, except a family name and good health, the lack of which made him almost as poor as the meanest of his slaves.

Young Simon received some comfort in his last days from his cousin Cæsar. Cæsar Simon was the son of the brother of S. S. Simon who died in early life, leaving three children in West Tennessee. Cousin Cæsar was raised by two penniless sisters, whom he always called “big-sis” and “little-sis.” “Big-sis” was so called from being the eldest, and had the care of cousin Cæsar's childhood. Cousin Cæsar manifested an imaginary turn of mind in early childhood. He was, one day, sitting on his little stool, by the side of the tub in which “big-sis” was washing, (for she was a washer-woman,) gazing intently upon the surface of the water. “What in the world are you looking at C-a-e-s-a-r?” said the woman, straightening up in astonishment.

“Looking at them bubbles on the suds,” said the boy, gravely.

“And what of the bubbles?” continued the woman.

“I expected to see one of them burst into a l-o-a-f of b-r-e-a-d,” said the child honestly.

“Big-sis” took cousin Cæsar to the fire, went to the cupboard and cut her last loaf of bread, and spread upon it the last mouthful of butter she had in the world, and gave it cousin Cæsar.

And thus he received his first lesson of reward for imagination which, perhaps, had something to do with his after life.

Cousin Cæsar detested work, but had a disposition to see the bottom of everything. No turkey-hen or guinea fowl could make a nest that cousin Cæsar could not find. He grew up mischievous, so much so that “big-sis” would occasionally thrash him. He would then run off and live with “little-sis” until “little-sis” would better the instruction, for she would whip also. He would then run back to live with “big-sis.” In this way cousin Cæsar grew to thirteen years of age—too big to whip. He then went to live with old Smith, who had a farm on the Tennessee river, containing a large tract of land, and who hired a large quantity of steam wood cut every season. Rob Roy was one of old Smith's wood cutters—a bachelor well advanced in years, he lived alone in a cabin made of poles, on old Smith's land. His sleeping couch was made with three poles, running parallel with the wall of the cabin, and filled with straw. He never wore any stockings and seldom wore a coat, winter or summer. The furniture in his cabin consisted of a three-legged stool, and a pine goods box. His ax was a handsome tool, and the only thing he always kept brightly polished. He was a good workman at his profession of cutting wood. No one knew anything of his history. He was a man that seldom talked; he was faithful to work through the week, but spent the Sabbath day drinking whisky. He went to the village every Saturday evening and purchased one gallon of whisky, which he carried in a stone jug to his cabin, and drank it all himself by Monday morning, when he would be ready to go to work again. Old Rob Roy's habits haunted the mind of cousin Cæsar, and he resolved to play a trick Upon the old wood cutter. Old Smith had some hard cider to which cousin Cæsar had access. One lonesome Sunday cousin Cæsar stole Roy's jug half full of whisky, poured the whisky out, re-filled the jug with cider, and cautiously slipped it back into Roy's cabin. On Monday morning Rob Roy refused to work, and was very mad. Old Smith demanded to know the cause of the trouble. “You can't fool a man with cider who loves good whisky,” said Roy indignantly. Old Smith traced the trick up and discharged cousin Cæsar.

At twenty years of age we find Cousin Cæsar in Paducah, Kentucky, calling himself Cole Conway, in company with one Steve Sharp—they were partners—in the game, as they called it. In the back room of a saloon, dimly lighted, one dark night, another party, more proficient in the sleight of hand, had won the last dime in their possession. The time had come to close up. The sun had crossed the meridian on the other side of the globe. Cole Conway and Steve Sharp crawled into an old straw shed, in the suburbs, of the village, and were soon soundly sleeping. The sun had silvered the old straw shed when Sharp awakened, and saw Conway sitting up, as white as death's old horse. “What on earth is the matter, Conway?” said Sharp, inquiringly.

“I slumbered heavy in the latter end of night, and had a brilliant dream, and awoke from it, to realize this old straw shed doth effect me,” said Conway gravely. “The dream! the dream!” demanded Sharp. “I dreamed that we were playing cards, and I was dealing out the deck; the last card was mine, and it was very thick. Sharp, it looked like a box, and with thumb and finger I pulled it open. In it there were three fifty-dollar gold pieces, four four-dollar gold pieces, and ten one-dollar gold pieces. I put the money in my pocket, and was listening for you to claim half, as you purchased the cards. You said nothing more than that 'them cards had been put up for men who sell prize cards.' I took the money out again, when lo, and behold! one of the fifty-dollar pieces had turned to a rule about eight inches long, hinged in the middle. Looking at it closely I saw small letters engraved upon it, which I was able to read—you know, Sharp, I learned to read by spelling the names on steamboats—or that is the way I learned the letters of the alphabet. The inscription directed me to a certain place, and there I would find a steam carriage that could be run on any common road where carriages are drawn by horses. We went, and found the carriage. It was a beautiful carriage—with highly finished box—on four wheels, the box was large enough for six persons to sit on the inside. The pilot sat upon the top, steering with a wheel, the engineer, who was also fireman, and the engine, sat on the aft axle, behind the passenger box. The whole structure was very light, the boiler was of polished brass, and sat upon end. The heat was engendered by a chemical combination of phosphorus and tinder. The golden rule gave directions how to run the engine—by my directions, Sharp, you was pilot and I was engineer, and we started south, toward my old home. People came running out from houses and fields to see us pass I saw something on the beautiful brass boiler that looked like a slide door. I shoved it, and it slipped aside, revealing the dial of a clock which told the time of day, also by a separate hand and figures, told the speed at which the carriage was running. On the right hand side of the dial I saw the figures 77. They were made of India rubber, and hung upon two brass pins. I drew the slide door over the dial except when I wished to look at the time of day, or the rate of speed at which we were running, and every time I opened the door, one of the figure 7's had fallen off the pin. I would replace it, and again find it fallen off. So I concluded it was only safe to run seven miles an hour, and I regulated to that speed. In a short time, I looked again, and we were running at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. I knew that I had not altered the gauge of steam. A hissing sound caused me to think the water was getting low in the boiler. On my left I saw a brass handle that resembled the handle of a pump. I seized it and commenced work. I could hear the bubbling of the water. I look down at the dry road, and said, mentally, 'no water can come from there.' Oh! how I trembled. It so frightened me that I found myself wide awake.”

“Dreams are but eddies in the current of the mind, which cut off from reflection's gentle stream, sometimes play strange, fantastic tricks. I have tumbled headlong down from high and rocky cliffs; cold-blooded snakes have crawled 'round my limbs; the worms that eat through dead men's flesh, have crawled upon my skin, and I have dreamed of transportation beyond the shores of time. My last night's dream hoisted me beyond my hopes, to let me fall and find myself in this d——old straw shed.”

“The devil never dreams,” said Sharp, coolly, and then continued: “Holy men of old dreamed of the Lord, but never of the devil, and to understand a dream, we must be just to all the world, and to ourselves before God.”

“I have a proposition to make to you, Conway?

What?” said Conway, eagerly.

“If you will tell me in confidence, your true name and history, I will give you mine,” said Sharp, emphatically. “Agreed,” said Conway, and then continued, “as you made he proposition give us yours first.

“My name is Steve Brindle. My father was called Brindle Bill, and once lived in Shirt-Tail Bend, on the Mississippi. He died in the state prison. My mother was a sister of Sundown Hill, who lived in the same neighborhood. My father and mother were never married. So you see, I am a come by-chance, and I have been going by chance all of my life. Now, I have told you the God's truth, so far as I know it. Now make a clean breast of it, Conway, and let us hear your pedigree,” said Brindle, confidentially.

“I was born in Tennessee. My father's name was Cæsar Simon, and I bear his name. My mother's name was Nancy Wade. I do not remember either of them I was partly raised by my sisters, and the balance of the time I have tried to raise myself, but it seems it will take me a Iong time to make a raise—” at this point, Brindle interfered in breathless suspense, with the inquiry, “Did you have an uncle named S. S. Simon?”

“I have heard my sister say as much,” continued Simon.

“Then your dream is interpreted,” said Brindle, emphatically. “Your Uncle, S. S. Simon, has left one of the largest estates in Arkansas, and now you are on the steam wagon again,” said Brindle, slapping his companion on the shoulder.

Brindle had been instructed by his mother, and made Cousin Cæsar acquainted with the outline of all the history detailed in this narrative, except the history of Roxie Daymon alias Roxie Fairfield, in Chicago.

The next day the two men were hired as hands to go down the river on a flat-bottom boat.

Roxie Daymon, whose death has been recorded, left an only daughter, now grown to womanhood, and bearing her mother's name. Seated in the parlor of one of the descendants of Aunt Patsy Perkins, in Chicago, we see her sad, and alone; we hear the hall bell ring. A servant announces the name of Gov. Morock. “Show the Governor up,” said Roxie, sadly. The ever open ear of the Angel of observation has only furnished us with the following conversation:

“Everything is positively lost, madam, not a cent in the world. Every case has gone against us, and no appeal, madam. You are left hopelessly destitute, and penniless. Daymon should have employed me ten years ago—but now, it is too late. Everything is gone, madam,” and the Governor paused. “My mother was once a poor, penniless girl, and I can bear it too,” said Roxie, calmly. “But you see,” said the Governor, softening his voice; “you are a handsome young lady; your fortune is yet to be made. For fifty dollars, madam, I can fix you up a shadow, that will marry you off. You see the law has some loop holes and—and in your case, madam, it is no harm to take one; no harm, no harm, madam,” and the Governor paused again. Roxie looked at the man sternly, and said: “I have no further use for a lawyer, Sir.”

“Any business hereafter, madam, that you may wish transacted, send your card to No. 77, Strait street,” and the Governor made a side move toward the door, touched the rim of his hat and disappeared.

It was in the golden month of October, and calm, smoky days of Indian summer, that a party of young people living in Chicago, made arrangements for a pleasure trip to New Orleans. There were four or five young ladies in the party, and Roxie Daymon was one. She was handsome and interesting—if her fortune was gone. The party consisted of the moneyed aristocracy of the city, with whom Roxie had been raised and educated. Every one of the party was willing to contribute and pay Roxie's expenses, for the sake of her company. A magnificent steamer, of the day, plying between St. Louis and New Orleans, was selected for the carrier, three hundred feet in length, and sixty feet wide. The passenger cabin was on the upper deck, nearly two hundred feet in length; a guard eight feet wide, for a footway, and promenade on the outside of the hall, extended on both sides, the fall length of the cabin; a plank partition divided the long hall—the aft room was the ladies', the front the gentlemen's cabin. The iron horse, or some of his successors, will banish these magnificent floating palaces, and I describe, for the benefit of coming generations.

Nothing of interest occured to our party, until the boat landed at the Simon plantations. Young Simon and cousin Cæsar boarded the boat, for passage to New Orleans, for they were on their way to the West Indies, to spend the winter. Young Simon was in the last stage of consumption and his physician had recommended the trip as the last remedy. Young Simon was walking on the outside guard, opposite the ladies' cabin, when a female voice with a shrill and piercing tone rang upon his ear—“Take Roxie Daymon away.” The girls were romping.—“Take Roxie Daymon away,” were the mysterious dying words of young Simon's father. Simon turned, and mentally bewildered, entered the gentlemen's cabin. A colored boy, some twelve years of age, in the service of the boat, was passing—Simon held a silver dollar in his hand as he said, “I will give you this, if you will ascertain and point out to me the lady in the cabin, that they call Roxie Daymon.” The imp of Africa seized the coin, and passing on said in a voice too low for Simon's ear, “good bargain, boss.” The Roman Eagle was running down stream through the dark and muddy waters of the Mississippi, at the rate of twenty miles an hour.

In the dusk of the evening, Young Simon and Roxie Daymon were sitting side by side—alone, on the aft-guard of the boat. The ever open ear of the Angel of observation has furnished us with the following conversation..

“Your mother's maiden name, is what I am anxious to learn,” said Simon gravely.

“Roxie Fairfield, an orphan girl, raised in Kentucky,” said Roxie sadly.

“Was she an only child, or did she have sisters?” said Simon inquiringly.

“My mother died long years ago—when I was too young to remember, my father had no relations—that I ever heard of—Old aunt Patsey Perkins—a great friend of mother's in her life-time, told me after mother was dead, and I had grown large enough to think about kinsfolk, that mother had two sisters somewhere, named Rose and Suza, poor trash, as she called them; and that is all I know of my relations: and to be frank with you, I am nothing but poor trash too, I have no family history to boast of,” said Roxie honestly.

“You will please excuse me Miss, for wishing to know something of your family history—there is a mystery connected with it, that may prove to your advantage”—Simon was convinced.—He pronounced the word twenty—when the Angel of caution placed his finger on his lip—hush!—and young Simon turned the conversation, and as soon as he could politely do so, left the presence of the young lady, and sought cousin Cæsar, who by the way, was well acquainted with the most of the circumstances we have recorded, but had wisely kept them to himself. Cousin Cæsar now told young Simon the whole story.

Twenty-thousand dollars, with twenty years interest, was against his estate. Roxie Daymon, the young lady on the boat, was an heir, others lived in Kentucky—all of which cousin Cæsar learned from a descendant of Brindle Bill. The pleasure party with Simon and cousin Cæsar, stopped at the same hotel in the Crescent City. At the end of three weeks the pleasure party returned to Chicago. Young Simon and cousin Cæsar left for the West Indies.—Young Simon and Roxie Daymon were engaged to be married the following spring at Chicago. Simon saw many beautiful women in his travels—but the image of Roxie Daymon was ever before him. The good Angel of observation has failed to inform us, of Roxie Daymon's feelings and object in the match. A young and beautiful woman; full of life and vigor consenting to wed a dying man, hushed the voice of the good Angel, and he has said nothing.

Spring with its softening breezes returned—the ever to be remembered spring of 1861.

The shrill note of the iron horse announced the arrival of young Simon and cousin Cæsar in Chicago, on the 7th day of April, 1861.

Simon had lived upon excitement, and reaching the destination of his hopes—the great source of his life failed—cousin Cæsar carried him into the hotel—he never stood alone again—the marriage was put off—until Simon should be better. On the second day, cousin Cæsar was preparing to leave the room, on business in a distant part of the city. Roxie had been several times alone with Simon, and was then present. Roxie handed a sealed note to cousin Cæsar, politely asking him to deliver it. The note was inscribed, Gov. Morock, No. 77 Strait street.

Cousin Cæsar had been absent but a short time, when that limb of the law appeared and wrote a will dictated by young Simon; bequeathing all of his possessions, without reserve to Roxie Daymon. “How much,” said Roxie, as the Governor was about to leave. “Only ten dollars, madam,” said the Governor, as he stuffed the bill carelessly in his vest pocket and departed.

Through the long vigils of the night cousin Cæsar sat by the side of the dying man; before the sun had silvered the eastern horizon, the soul of young Simon was with his fathers. The day was consumed in making preparations for the last, honor due the dead. Cousin Cæsar arranged with a party to take the remains to Arkansas, and place the son by the side of the father, on the home plantation. The next morning as cousin Cæsar was scanning the morning papers, the following brief notice attracted his attention: “Young Simon, the wealthy young cotton planter, who died in the city yesterday, left by his last will and testament his whole estate, worth more than a million of dollars, to Roxie Daymon, a young lady of this city.”

Cousin Cæsar was bewildered and astonished. He was a stranger in the city; he rubbed his hand across his forehead to collect his thoughts, and remembered No. 77 Strait street. “Yes I observed it—it is a law office,” he said mentally, “there is something in that number seventy-seven, I have never understood it before, since my dream on the steam carriage seventy-seven,” and cousin Cæsar directed his steps toward Strait street.

“Important business, I suppose sir,” said Governor Mo-rock, as he read cousin Cæsar's anxious countenance.

“Yes, somewhat so,” said cousin Cæsar, pointing to the notice in the paper, he continued: “I am a relative of Simon and have served him faithfully for two years, and they say he has willed his estate to a stranger.”

“Is it p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e-,” said the Governor, affecting astonishment.

“What would you advise me to do?” said cousin Cæsar imploringly.

“Break the will—break the will, sir,” said the Governor emphatically.

“Ah! that will take money,” said cousin Cæsar sadly.

“Yes, yes, but it will bring money,” said the Governor, rubbing his hands together.

“I s-u-p p-o-s-e we would be required to prove incapacity on the part of Simon,” said cousin Cæsar slowly.

“Money will prove anything,” said the Governor decidedly.

The Governor struck the right key, for cousin Cæsar was well schooled in treacherous humanity, and noted for seeing the bottom of things; but he did not see the bottom of the Governor's dark designs.

“How much for this case?” said cousin Cæsar.

“Oh! I am liberal—I am liberal,” said the Governor rubbing his hands and continuing, “can't tell exactly, owing to the trouble and cost of the things, as we go along. A million is the stake—well, let me see, this is no child's play. A man that has studied for long years—you can't expect him to be cheap—but as I am in the habit of working for nothing—if you will pay me one thousand dollars in advance, I will undertake the case, and then a few more thousands will round it up—can't say exactly, any more sir, than I am always liberal.”

Cousin Cæsar had some pocket-money, furnished by young Simon, to pay expenses etc., amounting to a little more than one thousand dollars. His mind was bewildered with the number seventy-seven, and he paid over to the Governor one thousand dollars. After Governor Morock had the money safe in his pocket, he commenced a detail of the cost of the suit—among other items, was a large amount for witnesses.

The Governor had the case—it was a big case—and the Governor has determined to make it pay him.

Cousin Caeser reflected, and saw that he must have help, and as he left the office of Governor Morock, said mentally: “One of them d—n figure sevens I saw in my dream, would fall off the pin, and I fear, I have struck the wrong lead.”

In the soft twilight of the evening, when the conductor cried, “all aboard,” cousin Cæsar was seated in the train, on his way to Kentucky, to solicit aid from Cliff Carlo, the oldest son and representative man, of the family descended from Don Carlo, the hero of Shirt-Tail Bend, and Suza Fairfield, the belle of Port William.


The late civil war between the States of the American Union was the inevitable result of two civilizations under one government, which no power on earth could have prevented We place the federal and confederate soldier in the same scale per se, and one will not weigh the other down an atom.

So even will they poise that you may mark the small allowance of the weight of a hair. But place upon the beam the pea of their actions while upon the stage, on either side, an the poise may be up or down.

More than this, your orator has nothing to say of the war, except its effect upon the characters we describe.

The bright blossoms of a May morning were opening to meet the sunlight, while the surrounding foliage was waving in the soft breeze ol spring; on the southern bank of the beautiful Ohio, where the momentous events of the future were concealed from the eyes of the preceding generation by the dar veil of the coming revolutions of the globe.

We see Cousin Cæsar and Cliff Carlo in close counsel, upon the subject of meeting the expenses of the contest at law over the Simon estate, in the State of Arkansas.

Cliff Carlo was rather non-committal. Roxie Daymon was a near relative, and the unsolved problem in the case of compromise and law did not admit of haste on the part of the Carlo family. Compromise was not the forte of Cousin Cæsar, To use his own words, “I have made the cast, and will stand the hazard of the die.”

But the enterprise, with surrounding circumstances, would have baffled a bolder man than Cæsar Simon. The first gun of the war had been fired at Fort Sumter, in South Carolina, on the 12th day of April, 1861.

The President of the United States had called for seventy-five thousand war-like men to rendezvous at Washington City, and form a Praetorian guard, to strengthen the arm of the government. To arms, to arms! was the cry both North and South. The last lingering hope of peace between the States had faded from the minds of all men, and the bloody crest of war was painted on the horizon of the future. The border slave States, in the hope of peace, had remained inactive all winter. They now withdrew from the Union and joined their fortunes with the South, except Kentucky—the dark and bloody ground historic in the annals of war—showed the white feather, and announced to the world that her soil was the holy ground of peace. This proclamation was too thin for Cæsar Simon. Some of the Carlo family had long since immigrated to Missouri. To consult with them on the war affair, and meet with an element more disposed to defend his prospect of property, Cousin Cæsar left Kentucky for Missouri. On the fourth day of July, 1861, in obedience to the call of the President, the Congress of the United States met at Washington City. This Congress called to the contest five hundred thousand men; “cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war,” and Missouri was invaded by federal troops, who were subsequently put under the command of Gen. Lyon. About the middle of July we see Cousin Cæsar marching in the army of Gen. Sterling Price—an army composed of all classes of humanity, who rushed to the conflict without promise of pay or assistance from the government of the Confederate States of America—an army without arms or equipment, except such as it gathered from the citizens, double-barreled shot-guns—an army of volunteers without the promise of pay or hope of reward; composed of men from eighteen to seventy years of age, with a uniform of costume varying from the walnut colored roundabout to the pigeon-tailed broadcloth coat. The mechanic and the farmer, the professional and the non-professional,' the merchant and the jobber, the speculator and the butcher, the country schoolmaster and the printer's devil, the laboring man and the dead beat, all rushed into Price's army, seemingly under the influence of the watchword of the old Jews, “To your tents, O Israeli” and it is a fact worthy of record that this unarmed and untrained army never lost a battle on Missouri soil in the first year of the war. * Gov. Jackson had fled from Jefferson City on the approach of the federal army, and assembled the Legislature at Neosho, in the southwest corner of the State, who were unable to assist Price's army. The troops went into the field, thrashed the wheat and milled it for themselves; were often upon half rations, and frequently lived upon roasting ears. Except the Indian or border war in Kentucky, fought by a preceding generation, the first year of the war in Missouri is unparalleled in the history of war on this continent. Gen. Price managed to subsist an army without governmental resources. His men were never demoralized for the want of food, pay or clothing, and were always cheerful, and frequently danced 'round their camp-fires, bare-footed and ragged, with a spirit of merriment that would put the blush upon the cheek of a circus. Gen. Price wore nothing upon his shoulders but a brown linen duster, and, his white hair streaming in the breeze on the field of battle, was a picture resembling the war-god of the Romans in ancient fable.

     * The so called battle of Boonville was a rash venture of
     citizens, not under the command of Gen. Price at the time.

This army of ragged heroes marched over eight hundred miles on Missouri soil, and seldom passed a week without an engagement of some kind—it was confined to no particular line of operations, but fought the enemy wherever they found him. It had started on the campaign without a dollar, without a wagon, without a cartridge, and without a bayonet-gun; and when it was called east of the Mississippi river, it possessed about eight thousand bayonet-guns, fifty pieces of cannon, and four hundred tents, taken almost exclusively from the Federals, on the hard-fought fields of battle.

When this army crossed the Mississippi river the star of its glory had set never to rise again. The invigorating name of state rights was merged in the Southern Confederacy.

With this prelude to surrounding circumstances, we will now follow the fortunes of Cousin Cæsar. Enured to hardships in early life, possessing a penetrating mind and a selfish disposition, Cousin Cæsar was ever ready to float on the stream of prosperity, with triumphant banners, or go down as drift wood.

And whatever he may have lacked in manhood, he was as brave as a lion on the battle-field; and the campaign of Gen. Price in Missouri suited no private soldier better than Cæsar Simon. Like all soldiers in an active army, he thought only of battle and amusement. Consequently, the will, Gov. Morock and the Simon estate occupied but little of Cousin Cæsar's reflections. One idea had taken possession of him, and that was southern victory. He enjoyed the triumphs of his fellow soldiers, and ate his roasting ears with the same invigorating spirit. A sober second thought and cool reflections only come with the struggle for his own life, and with it a self-reproach that always, sooner or later, overtakes the faithless.

The battle of Oak Hill, usually called the battle of Springfield, was one of the hardest battles fought west of the Mississippi river. The federal troops, under Gen. Lyon, amounted to nearly ten thousand men. The confederate t oops, under Generals McCulloch, Price, and Pearce, were about eleven thousand men.

On the ninth of August the Confederates camped at Wilson's Creek, intending to advance upon the Federals at Springfield. The next morning General Lyon attacked them before sunrise. The battle was fought with rash bravery on both sides. General Lyon, after having been twice wounded, was shot dead while leading a rash charge. Half the loss on the Confederate side was from Price's army—a sad memorial of the part they took in the contest. Soon after the fall of General Lyon the Federals retreated to Springfield, and left the Confederates master of the field. About the closing scene of the last struggle, Cousin Cæsar received a musket ball in the right leg, and fell among the wounded and dying.

The wound was not necessarily fatal; no bone was broken, but it was very painful and bleeding profusely. When Cousin Cæsar, after lying a long time where he fell, realized the situation, he saw that without assistance he must bleed to death; and impatient to wait for some one to pick him up, he sought quarters by his own exertions. He had managed to crawl a quarter of a mile, and gave out at a point where no one would think of looking for the wounded. Weak from the loss of blood, he could crawl no farther. The light of day was only discernable in the dim distance of the West; the Angel of silence had spread her wing over the bloody battle field. In vain Cousin Cæsar pressed his hand upon the wound; the crimson life would ooze out between his fingers, and Cousin Cæsar lay down to die. It was now dark; no light met his eye, and no sound came to his ear, save the song of two grasshoppers in a cluster of bushes—one sang “Katie-did!” and the other sang “Katie-didn't!” Cousin Cæsar said, mentally, “It will soon be decided with me whether Katie did or whether she didn't!” In the last moments of hope Cousin Cæsar heard and recognized the sound of a human voice, and gathering all the strength of his lungs, pronounced the word—“S-t-e-v-e!” In a short time he saw two men approaching him. It was Steve Brindle and a Cherokee Indian. As soon as they saw the situation, the Indian darted like a wild deer to where there had been a camp fire, and returned with his cap full of ashes which he applied to Cousin Cæsar's wound. Steve Brindle bound it up and stopped the blood. The two men then carried the wounded man to camp—to recover and reflect upon the past. Steve Brindle was a private, in the army of General Pearce, from Arkansas, and the Cherokee Indian was a camp follower belonging to the army of General McCulloch. They were looking over the battle field in search of their missing friends, when they accidentally discovered and saved Cousin Cæsar.

Early in the month of September, Generals McCulloch and Price having disagreed on the plan of campaign, General Price announced to his officers his intention of moving north, and required a report of effective men in his army. A lieutenant, after canvassing the company to which Cousin Cæsar belonged, went to him as the last man. Cousin Cæsar reported ready for duty. “All right, you are the last man—No. 77,” said the lieutenant, hastily, leaving Cousin Cæsar to his reflections. “There is that number again; what can it mean? Marching north, perhaps to meet a large force, is our company to be reduced to seven? One of them d———d figure sevens would fall off and one would be left on the pin. How should it be counted—s-e-v-e-n or half? Set up two guns and take one away, half would be left; enlist two men, and if one is killed, half would be left—yet, with these d———d figures, when you take one you only have one eleventh part left. Cut by the turn of fortune; cut with short rations; cut with a musket ball; cut by self-reproach—ah, that's the deepest cut of all!” said Cousin Cæsar, mentally, as he retired to the tent.

Steve Brindle had saved Cousin Cæsar's life, had been an old comrade in many a hard game, had divided his last cent with him in many hard places; had given him his family history and opened the door for him to step into the palace of wealth. Yet, when Cousin Cæsar was surrounded with wealth and power, when honest employment would, in all human possibility, have redeemed his old comrade, Cousin Cæsar, willing to conceal his antecedents, did not know S-t-e-v-e Brindle.

General Price reached the Missouri river, at Lexington, on the 12th of September, and on the 20th captured a Federal force intrenched there, under the command of Colonel Mulligan, from whom he obtained five cannon, two mortars and over three thousand bayonet guns. In fear of large Federal forces north of the Missouri river, General Price retreated south. Cousin Cæsar was again animated with the spirit of war and had dismissed the superstitious fear of 77 from his mind. He continued his amusements round the camp fires in Price's army, as he said, mentally, “Governor Morock will keep things straight, at his office on Strait street, in Chicago.”

Roxie Daymon had pleasantly passed the summer and fall on the reputation of being rich, and was always the toast in the fashionable parties of the upper-ten in Chicago. During the first year of the war it was emphatically announced by the government at Washington, that it would never interfere with the slaves of loyal men. Roxie Daymon was loyal and lived in a loyal city. It was war times, and Roxie had received no dividends from the Simon estate.

In the month of January, 1862, the cold north wind from the lakes swept the dust from the streets in Chicago, and seemed to warn the secret, silent thoughts of humanity of the great necessity of m-o-n-e-y.

The good Angel of observation saw Roxie Daymon, with a richly-trimmed fur cloak upon her shoulders and hands muffed, walking swiftly on Strait street, in Chicago, watching the numbers—at No. 77 she disappeared.

The good Angel opened his ear and has furnished us with the following conversation;

“I have heard incidentally that Cæsar Simon is preparing to break the will of my esteemed friend, Young Simon, of Arkansas,” said Roxie, sadly.

“Is it p-o-s s-i-b-l-e?” said Governor Morock, affecting astonishment, and then continued, “More work for the lawyers, you know I am always liberal, madam.”

“But do you think it possible?” said Roxie, inquiringly. “You have money enough to fight with, madam, money enough to fight,” said the Governor, decidedly. “I suppose we will have to prove that Simon was in full possession of his mental faculties at the time,” said Roxie, with legal acumen. “Certainly, certainly madam, money will prove anything; will prove anything, madam,” said the Governor, rubbing his hands. “I believe you were the only person present at the time,” said Roxie, honestly.

“I am always liberal, madam, a few thousands will arrange the testimony, madam. Leave that to me, if you please,” and in a softer tone of voice the Governor continued, “you ought to pick up the crumbs, madam, pick up the crumbs.”

“I would like to do so for I have never spent a cent in the prospect of the estate, though my credit is good for thousands in this city.. I want to see how a dead man's shoes will fit before I wear them,” said Roxie, sadly.

“Good philosophy, madam, good philosophy,” said the Governor, and continued to explain. “There is cotton on the bank of the river at the Simon plantations. Some arrangement ought to be made, and I think I could do it through some officer of the federal army,” said the Governor, rubbing his hand across his forehead, and continued, “that's what I mean by picking up the crumbs, madam.”

How much?” said Roxie, preparing to leave the office.

“I m always liberal, madam, always liberal. Let me see; it is attended with some difficulty; can't leave the city; too much business pressing (rubbing his hands); well—well—I will pick up the crumbs for half. Think I can secure two or three hundred bales of cotton, madam,” said the Governor, confidentially.

“How much is a bale of cotton worth?” said Roxie, affecting ignorance.

“Only four hundred dollars, madam; nothing but a crumb—nothing but a crumb, madam,” said the Governor, in a tone of flattery.

“Do the best you can,” said Roxie, in a confidential tone, as she left the office.

Governor Morock was enjoying the reputation of the fashionable lawyer among the upper-ten in Chicago. Roxie Daymon's good sense condemned him, but she did not feel at liberty to break the line of association.

Cliff Carlo did nothing but write a letter of inquiry to Governor Morock, who informed him that the Simon estate was worth more than a million and a quarter, and that m-o-n-e-y would break the will.

The second year of the war burst the bubble of peace in Kentucky. The State was invaded on both sides. The clang of arms on the soil where the heroes of a preceding generation slept, called the martial spirits in the shades of Kentucky to rise and shake off the delusion that peace and plenty breed cowards. Cliff Carlo, and many others of the brave sons of Kentucky, united with the southern armies, and fully redeemed their war like character, as worthy descendents of the heroes of the dark and bloody ground.

Cliff Carlo passed through the struggles of the war without a sick day or the pain of a wound. We must, therefore, follow the fate of the less fortunate Cæsar Simon.

During the winter of the first year of the war, Price's army camped on the southern border of Missouri.

On the third day of March, 1862, Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, of the Confederate government, assumed the command of the troops under Price and McCulloch, and on the seventh day of March attacked the Federal forces under Curtis and Sturgis, twenty-five thousand strong, at Elkhorn, Van Dorn commanding about twenty thousand men.

Price's army constituted the left and center, with McCulloch on the right. The fight was long and uncertain. About two o'clock McCulloch fell, and his forces failed to press the contest.

The Federals retreated in good order, leaving the Confederates master of the situation.

For some unaccountable decision on the part of Gen. Van Dorn, a retreat of the southern army was ordered, and instead of pursuing the Federals, the wheels of the Southern army were seen rolling south.

Gen. Van Dorn had ordered the sick and disabled many miles in advance of the army. Cousin Cæsar had passed through the conflict safe and sound; it was a camp rumor that Steve Brindle was mortally wounded and sent forward with the sick. The mantle of night hung over Price's army, and the camp fires glimmered in the soft breeze of the evening. Silently and alone Cousin Cæsar stole away from the scene on a mission of love and duty. Poor Steve Brindle had ever been faithful to him, and Cousin Cæsar had suffered self-reproach for his unaccountable neglect of a faithful friend. An opportunity now presented itself for Cousin Cæsar to relieve his conscience and possibly smooth the dying pillow of his faithful friend, Steve Brindle.

Bravely and fearlessly on he sped and arrived at the camp of the sick. Worn down with the march, Cousin Cæsar never rested until he had looked upon the face of the last sick man. Steve was not there.

Slowly and sadly Cousin Cæsar returned to the army, making inquiry of every one he met for Steve Brindle. After a long and fruitless inquiry, an Arkansas soldier handed Cousin Cæsar a card, saying, “I was requested by a soldier in our command to hand this card to the man whose name it bears, in Price's army.” Cousin Cæsar took the card and read, “Cæsar Simon—No. 77 deserted.” Cousin Cæsar threw the card down as though it was nothings as he said mentally, “What can it mean. There are those d——d figures again. Steve knew nothing of No. 77 in Chicago. How am I to understand this? Steve understood my ideas of the mysterious No. 77 on the steam carriage. Steve has deserted and takes this plan to inform me. Ah! that is it! Steve has couched the information in language that no one can understand but myself. Two of us were on the carriage and two figure sevens; one would fall off the pin. Steve has fallen off. He knew I would understand his card when no one else could. But did Steve only wish me to understand that he had left, or did he wish me to follow?” was a problem Cousin Cæsar was unable to decide. It was known to Cousin Cæsar that the Cherokee Indian who, in company with Steve, saved his life at Springfield, had, in company with some of his race, been brought upon the stage of war by Albert Pike. Deserted! And Cousin Cæsar was left alone, with no bosom friend save the friendship of one southern soldier for another. And the idea of desertion entered the brain of Cæsar Simon for the first time.

Cæsar Simon was a born soldier, animated by the clang of arms and roar of battle, and although educated in the school of treacherous humanity, he was one of the few who resolved to die in the last ditch, and he concluded his reflections with the sarcastic remark, “Steve Brindle is a coward.”

Before Gen. Van Dorn faced the enemy again, he was called east of the Mississippi river. Price's army embarked at Des Arc, on White river, and when the last man was on board the boats, there were none more cheerful than Cousin Cæsar. He was going to fight on the soil of his native State, for it was generally understood the march by water was to Memphis, Tennessee.

It is said that a portion of Price's army showed the white feather at Iuka. Cousin Cæsar was not in that division of the army. After that event he was a camp lecturer, and to him the heroism of the army owes a tribute in memory for the brave hand to hand fight in the streets of Corinth, where, from house to house and within a stone's throw of Rosecrans'' headquarters, Price's men made the Federals fly. But the Federals were reinforced from their outposts, and Gen. Van Dorn was in command, and the record says he made a rash attack and a hasty retreat.

Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman was the southern commander of what was called the district of Arkansas west of the Mississippi river. He was a petty despot as well as an unsuccessful commander of an army. The country suffered unparalleled abuses; crops were ravaged, cotton burned, and the magnificent palaces of the southern planter licked up by flames. The torch was applied frequently by an unknown hand. The Southern commander burned cotton to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. Straggling soldiers belonging to distant commands traversed the country, robbing the people and burning. How much of this useless destruction is chargable to Confederate or Federal commanders, it is impossible to determine. Much of the waste inflicted upon the country was by the hand of lawless guerrillas. Four hundred bales of cotton were burned on the Simon plantation, and the residence on the home plantation, that cost S. S. Simon over sixty-five thousand dollars, was nothing but a heap of ashes.

Governor Morock's agents never got any crumbs, although the Governor had used nearly all of the thousand dollars obtained from Cousin Cæsar to pick up the crumbs on the Simon plantations, he never got a crumb.

General Hindman was relieved of his command west of the Mississippi, by President Davis. Generals Kirby, Smith, Holmes and Price subsequently commanded the Southern troops west of the great river. The federals had fortified Helena, a point three hundred miles above Vicks burg on the west bank of the river. They had three forts with a gun-boat lying in the river, and were about four thousand strong. They were attacked by General Holmes, on the 4th day of July, 1863. General Holmes had under his command General Price's division of infantry, about fourteen hundred men; Fagans brigade of Arkansas, infantry, numbering fifteen hundred men, and Marmaduke's division of Arkansas, and Missouri cavalry, about two thousand, making a total of four thousand and nine hundred men. Marmaduke was ordered to attack the northern fort; Fagan was to attack the southern fort, and General Price the center fort. The onset to be simultaneously and at daylight.

General Price carried his position. Marmaduke and Fagan failed. The gun-boat in the river shelled the captured fort. Price's men sheltered themselves as best they could, awaiting further orders. The scene was alarming above description to Price's men. It was the holiday of American Independence. The failure of their comrades in arms would compel them to retreat under a deadly fire from the enemy. While thus waiting, the turn of battle crouched beneath an old stump. Cousin Cæsar saw in the distance and recognized Steve Brindle, he was a soldier in the federal army.

“Oh treacherous humanity! must I live to learn thee still Steve Brindle fights for m-o-n-e-y?” said Cæsar Simon, mentally. The good Angel of observation whispered in his car: “Cæsar Simon fights for land stripped of its ornaments.” Cousin Cæsar scanned the situation and continued to say, mentally: “Life is a sentence of punishment passed by the court of existence on every private soldier.”

The battle field is the place of execution, and rash commanders are often the executioners. After repeated efforts General Holmes failed to carry the other positions. The retreat of Price's men was ordered; it was accomplished with heavy loss. Cæsar Simon fell, and with him perished the last link in the chain of the Simon family in the male line.

We must now let the curtain fall upon the sad events of the war until the globe makes nearly two more revolutions 'round the sun in its orbit, and then we see the Southern soldiers weary and war-worn—sadly deficient in numbers—lay down their arms—the war is ended. The Angel of peace has spread her golden wing from Maine to Florida, and from Virginia to California. The proclamation of freedom, by President Lincoln, knocked the dollars and cents out of the flesh and blood of every slave on the Simon plantations. Civil courts are in session. The last foot of the Simon land has been sold at sheriff's sale to pay judgments, just and unjust.

The goose that laid the golden egg

Has paddled across the river.

Governor Morock has retired from the profession, or the profession has retired from him. He is living on the cheap sale of a bad reputation—that is—all who wish dirty work performed at a low price employ Governor Morock.

Roxie Daymon has married a young mechanic, and is happy in a cottage home. She blots the memory of the past by reading the poem entitled, “The Workman's Saturday Night.”

Cliff Carlo is a prosperous farmer in Kentucky and subscriber for


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