Chief among them was the family of old Colonel
Wells. Andy's words of the evening before, *' Missy
Cunnel mos' daid tu," came back to him. " I will
go to them first," he said, rubbing his chin. It was
rough, and returning to Scrapp's he gathered up
his shaving-tools and proceeded to the sign of the
striped pole. Chas was busy. A young surveyor
from Asheville was in the chair who rolled his eyes
abnormally to get a look at the new-comer without
moving his head. John walked to the window
and looked out on the street. He saw Patterson
and another man ride over the brow of the hill and
gallop rapidly down the street, stopping in front
of Hackett's store. The proprietor came out and
the three men held an animated conversation,
Old Friendships 65
Patterson gesticulating violently with his long arms,
and firing tobacco juice right and left. Budd joined
them from his saloon, and others gathered. It was
about ten in the morning and the professional
loungers were all on duty. Patterson drew a revol-
ver from his hip pocket, and Marshall shuddered.
The barber touched him on the shoulder.
" Now, sail, de gen'lem 's done gone, sah." He
turned and recognized the speaker.
" Why, Chesterfield, is this you? Don't you know
The pale yellowish face of the barber lighted with
a pleasant smile. '* Sho' now ! I jes' reckon, sah !
I done hyeah'd yo' come home 'gin."
" You are a fine strapping fellow too. All set
up in business here?"
" Yas, sah, I 's fixed right smaht, I reckon. Dis
heah is mighty fine razor, sah. Is yo' gwine bide
'long o' we-uns? Dis place lookin' up a heap in de
las' yeah. Heap o' gen'lems draps in now long
Marshall inquired after the hands on the old
place, learned of the whereabouts of Mammy
Clarissa and Josephus, and having set Lord Chester-
field's tongue wagging, the shaving began. Chas
was an expert at his trade and deft. He had not
hung about the place, as did most of the negroes
after being set free, but with more than their usual
enterprise had worked his way to Raleigh, and there
learned the tonsorial art. Although a great dandy,
he was of an acquisitive nature and had soon saved
up enough to set up his own pole in Patterson with
the modest announcement, " Tonsorial Parlor. L. C.
66 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
Marshall, Artist and Proprietor." The male inhabi-
tants used the gay pole as a mark for well-aimed
shots of tobacco juice, and the first few months of
the " artist " in his parlor were a dismal failure ; but
he continued to strut among the colored population
as ** cock o' the walk," and relished the distinction
of being the only travelled and well-informed speci-
men of their race too well to be easily dismayed.
His well-saved earnings, being spent only on him-
self, lasted, eked out by the occasional patronage
of strangers, and he lived well and dressed smartly.
Beside his trade he had acquired the accomplish-
ments of reading and writing after a fashion, and he
loved to sit in his window in plain sight from the
street, as he perused the columns of the *' Asheville
A few arrivals on the morning train were driven
off in the equipage belonging to the new boarding-
house. Old Alexander, with a revival of former
dignity, looked neither to the right nor left, yet con-
trived to keep an eye on the bronze urchins who
clustered round the carriage, cracking his whip at
their bare brown legs, '' tu larn 'em day mannahs,"
if they ventured too near. Marshall, emerging from
the tonsorial parlors, saw him drive off, and recog-
nized the grave, withered little face with a certain
pleasure. He resolved to visit the old home, even
if it cost him a few pangs, for the sake of this faith-
ful old man. He thought of the singer of the even-
ing before, and his resolve was strengthened.
The crowd had now collected in Budd's saloon.
Marshall heard loud voices as he passed, and caught
a little of the talk. One man, perched on the coun-
Old Friendships 67
ter, taller, lanker, and if possible yellower than the
rest, appeared to be giving a detailed account of the
last evening's search.
** He 's layin' low som'ers hyarabouts, an' th' var-
mints are givin' 'im victuals," he said. " His maw
'lowed 't she never knowed 't he was out o' jail.
Said 't she seed a white man round thar in jail
clo'es. Laws ! They '11 lie faster 'n a hoss kin run."
" Yas, they is tu many niggahs alive."
John passed on. It was warm, and he mopped
his forehead with his handkerchief, and removed his
coat. '* I'll have a saddle horse if there 's one left
in the country," he said. Men, horses, even the
very dogs, seemed to have undergone a deterio-
rating change, as well as the younger growth of the
negro population. He wondered if there were any
ladies left in the land.
Miss Katherine was in her garden among the
lilacs. A sturdy little negro girl trudged after her,
carrying a waterpot full of water. She spoke to
the child in a gentle drawl that was musical and
*' Gertrude, stop slopping watah ev'y step yue
take. Yue ah making the path right muddy."
Had Miss Katherine possessed the means, her
home would have been filled with works of art, and
every object which refinement and exquisite good
taste would suggest. As it was, having no other
outlet for her passionate love for the beautiful, her
sweet soul gave itself to the cultivation of flowers
with a devotion that was pathetic, — her flowers and
her blind old mother. With barely means for their
daily necessities, and no hope to shed brightness
68 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
over her future, she awaited the yearly resurrection
of her flowers with intense delight, as each unfolded
itself, a new creation, with the advancing season.
" Here, Gertrude, mind now, yue due step all
ovah. Watah those Sweet Williams I set out last
evening. They ah hanging down like they wanted
tue be back in their old bed. This ribbon grass is
growing ovah the bo'dah. I promised Miz Chaplain
some. Yue take it tue her aftah lunch, and mind,
Gertrude, due yue heah ? "
'' Yas, 'm."
" Yue hand me the trowel. Ask Miz Chaplain
tue come ovah tue lunch to-morrow. Ma gets so
lonesome. But there, yue '1 fohget, yue need n't
ask her anything, I '11 write a note. There 's ma's
bell, put down the watahpot and run. Run, child,
yue ah so slow. Don't step all ovah the bo'dahs."
The path from the grass-grown roadway was long
and winding. John caught sight of Miss Katherine's
slight, black-robed figure among the bushes, and
walked rapidly toward her. The lilac blooms
nodded as he brushed past, and the slender leaves
of the corn lilies rustled, but she, buried in her vast
black bonnet, stooped over the ribbon grass, unaware
of his approach until the gate, swinging slowly
back, clicked behind him. She rose quickly,
and regarded him a moment with a bewildered
look on her thin, fine face, while she brushed
the dust mechanically from her slender hands and
John smiled down upon her with head uncovered.
She looked so frail. Was this Miss Katherine or
her wraith? A moment they faced each other thus.
Old Friendships 69
then the light of recognition dawned in her face, and
she took a quick step forward.
" Due I really see John Mahshall? " she said.
** Yes, Miss Katherine." He took both her hands,
looked in her eyes, and then with a boyish impulse
of reverence and affection, pushed back the ugly
bonnet and kissed her on the cheek. Although
twenty years his senior, a faint flush crept over her
face. " I wanted to make sure it is really you and
not your ghost," he said.,
" Yue ah the very same boy, if yue ah grown so
tall and grand like yuah fathah. Where have yue
come from?" She led him to a seat under a
branching chestnut. He remembered the seat and
the tree. Her heart gave a little flutter, and she felt
faint as the past rushed before her in a flood of
painful recollections. She removed the obnoxious
sunbonnet, and dropped her hands in her lap,
" Donald is gone," she said.
*' I know," he said, and was silent. They did not
look at each other for a few minutes, and two large
tears left her brown eyes and dropped on her folded
hands. She wiped them away, and two more fol-
lowed. John shifted his position uneasily. Had
she been his own little older sister, or his little
" Aunt Katherine," as he had called her when he
and Donald were boys, he could have taken her
in his arms and kissed them away. The wholesome
impulse to give comfort possessed him, but how
could he? He took one of her slight, worn hands
between his own and stroked it gently. Ah ! when
he saw her last those hands were soft and white, and
almost plump. They had rested in his curls, and
JO When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
touched his boyish cheek. She was a lady then.
What was she now? Toil had hardened her
hands, sorrow had aged her face, and Donald —
Donald was gone, — the only boy friend he had
** Yes, Miss Katherine, I know. The merry heart
of life has gone out, gone with Donald and the rest
of the brave fellows, and you are here alone with
*' Ma is blind."
" Yes, I know that too. But things are going to
change. New life will come in. There is a little
" Dick and Angeline come home every summer.
Ma looks forward to that the whole year through,
but Dick can't stay long when he does come; his
practice is large. They ah in Richmond. He
neva' has married, neitha' has Angeline. She is
a right good housekeeper."
Miss Katherine's speech was slow. Her sweet
voice lingered over the long vowels and treated
the r's with true Bostonian slight.
" I always liked Dick, but Donald was my hero,"
** Almost every one yue used tue know is gone.
Oh, some of the old folks ah left, like ma and me,
and Mr. and'Miz Chaplain, but their boys ah moved
tue Pine Gap. A few of the old fine families ah in
Asheville duing something foh a living, and some ah
clean died out o' killed off, and theih fine places
sold o' run tue waste. The fine horses were rode
into the ahmy, or taken by the Unions, none were
left foh the growing up boys tue due with o'
Old Friendships 71
handle, they were obHged tue leave the country tue
live. The old folks that stay on like we due, barely
live on what they can get the niggahs tue raise. The
niggahs ah good foh nothing, — the young ones, —
and the old ones ah feeble now. Have yue been tue
the old place yet ? "
*' I only walked past it after sundown. They
seemed to be having a good time. Some one was
singing — a lady." He placed Miss Katherine's
hand back in her lap, and rising paced the path in
front of the seat. *' Yes, evidently a lady," he said.
** Have you met them, the present owners?"
*' I did n't go foh a right good while, then Dick
sent one of his patients there, and wrote me tue call
on her, and I did." She paused, watching the young
man restlessly striding up and down. *' I due wish
ma could see yue," she said at length. " Yue ah the
very image of yuah fatha' and yue ah right hand-
John laughed. He sat beside her again and took
her hand as before. " You look at me with different
eyes from most people," he said. " You know how
I loved Captain Donald, and you let a 'little of your
feeling for him color your thoughts of me; but
although I don't deserve it, I hke it, Miss Katherine.
I wish — " He hesitated.
" Where ah yue stopping? " she asked.
" At Scrapp's."
*' Oh, John ! That horrible place ! Come here
and stop. We-all can't due foh yue like we used
tue, but ouh doahs ah never closed tue old friends."
" Will you let me come as you would Dick or
Donald, were he here now? Will you let me pay
72 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
my way and be no burden to you?" he asked
She drew away the hand he had taken, and a
shadow crept over her face in a crimson flush.
'* I neva' meant so," she said. " We neva' have
kept bo'dahs, ma and I. We neva' could due
*' Why, no, of course ! " he exclaimed instantly.
*' I only meant — " He hesitated. *' I can make it
right some other way," he thought. " But there !
It is like you to take pity on me in that way. I
need it too. It is a confoundedly dismal place
Miss Katherine rose, and stood before him, slight
and straight, her head lifted like a queen. " Yue ah
General Mahshall's son," she said. ** Youa rightful
place is with youa fatha's old friends. Ouh grand-
fatha's came tue No'th Carolina from Virginia to-
getha' and bought their plantations joining, and
lived and died as friends. Ouh fatha's fought in
the same ahmy, and died on the same day, and
were always like brothahs, and youa rightful place
is heah. Yue bring youa boxes this evening, and
Donald's old room is youas. Come in now and
John's eyes glistened. He felt like kissing her
again. " I will do what you say," he replied, fol-
lowing her to the house. " I will obey you as I
used when a boy. I believe you were the only
being I ever did mind implicitly in those days."
They both laughed.
"Yue and Donald did have right good times/*
Old Friendships 73
Her mother sat in a large cushioned chair by an
open window, where the honeysuckle and matri-
mony vines floated in, with her hands folded in
her lap, and her eyes closed.
*' Ma is asleep," said Miss Katherine, softly.
*' No," said the old lady, sitting erect. " Who is
with you, Katherine ? " Her eyes were turned toward
them. John never would have thought her blind
but for a turn of the head as if she were listening
rather than seeing.
John came close to her chair. ** It is the boy
who used to come to your house with Donald and
turn everything topsy-turvy, who wore your wed-
ding-dress in a pantomime, who used to play ghost
at midnight to frighten the negroes; the boy who
used to drop in on you at five in the morning
from a coon hunt, draggled and tired and hun=
grier than the coon himself, because he did not
want to go home and be reprimanded by his
mother. Have you still a warm place for him in
your heart? "
She rose, trembling a little. '* I know the voice,"
she said, " but it is not the boy's voice, it is the
voice of his father."
" It is John Mahshall, ma," said Miss Katherine.
" It is the general," said the old lady.
John took one soft hand in his, and she passed
the other lightly over his face and through his hair,
then sank back in her great-chair and covered her
face with her hands.
Katherine placed a chair for their guest. " Why,
ma," she said, " ar'n't yue going tue give John a
74 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
Clever Katherinc ! She knew how to keep her
charge from sad thoughts, by rousing her to her
duties as hostess. These duties, with loving tact,
she had never usurped. She would manage the
house, would labor, contrive, and save, but it was
the mother who received and entertained, and led
in conversation. The delight of being herself the
hostess, so dear to woman's heart, was never taken
from her. Now she put aside the recollections that
overwhelmed her, and spoke again.
''For your own sake, John, for your father's and
Donald's, you are thrice welcome. Are you near? "
She touched the arm of his chair. '* It is useless
to mourn, or wish to see you. It is a pleasure to
hear your voice, and if you resemble your father
as much in your appearance, it is as if I saw you."
Her tongue was not so strongly tinctured with
dialect as was her daus^hter's.
*'Do you remember father so well?"
"As if I saw him an hour ago. You must be
like him, though your hair curls closer and thicker.
Are your eyes blue? "
John laughed and turned to Katherine. '* They
are party-colored ; one is blue and the other half
brown," he said.
" Oh, I had forgotten that, but it is not so notice-
able now," said Katherine.
" I had not," said her mother.
With a quiet smile of understanding with Mar-
shall, Katherine left the room. She went to look
after the lunch. Her mother heard the latch click.
'' Katherine," she called.
*' Yes, ma,"
Old Friendships 75
" Give John Donald's old room, daughter,"
" Yes, ma."
** And, Katherine," her mother lifted her voice a
little, but she was gone.
" Shall I call her back?" asked John.
" No, she never makes a mistake. Now," she
turned her sightless eyes on him as if she would
look him through, — *' Now, John, tell me about
yourself. Is your mother living?"
'* Indeed yes, and a lively little mother she is.
She does n't grow old. She flies back and forth
between New Orleans and New York, — always
takes Marguerite with her. She loves society, the
theatre, and gay times as well as Marguerite does.
During the severest weather she goes to Cuba, and
protests she loves Cuba best of all."
" No, she will never grow old until she drops
into the grave," said the blind woman, placidly.
** Yet she is older than I. Who is Marguerite?"
** She is mother's ward. Mother is the only one
living who is any kin to her, except me of course,
in a very distant way. She is an heiress."
" Tell me about her."
*' Mother loves her dearly."
" Ah, but tell me about her," persisted his old
friend. " What is Marguerite like?"
"Like?" he laughed. ** I really wonder what
she is like ! She is called beautiful, — artists
say so. I don't care for that dark style. She is
not tall, but she is a shapely little thing, and she
has dimples and pretty little perfect teeth. Her
eyes would be called black if they were not so
large. Oh, I can't describe her. She is, frankly,
76 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
the most fascinating little piece you ever looked
His companion laughed. *' I think I can help
you," she said. " She has a little flush in her cheeks,
and her mouth is full and inclined to pout, but
** Oh, yes, of course she is beautiful, she must be."
" And her hair is luxuriant, and curling, and black
** Not curling, straight as an Indian's; but she
dresses it charmingly."
** She is not as beautiful as her mother, T judge."
** You knew her mother? But of course you
must have known mother's friends. I have lived
so apart from her that they are mostly strangers
** Ah, yes." The old lady's face brightened ; she
was living again some of the scenes of her young
womanhood. " She was the loveliest woman I ever
saw, — a little Cuban of very aristocratic family.
She spoke little English, and talked with your
mother in Spanish. A young Scotchman, a friend
of your father's who used to visit at our house, fell
in love with her, poor fellow, and wooed her per-
sistently with his great blue eyes. I shall never
forget their love-making. He tried to learn Spanish,
and she spoke to him in the prettiest bad English.
They were married at your father's house, and he
took her to Scotland, but the climate there was too
severe for her, and he carried her back to Cuba,
bringing her here every summer. But he could n't
keep her. She died, leaving him only the little
Marguerite and a broken heart. I have held her
Old Friendships 77
baby in my arms many a time, but she can't be as
beautiful as her mother."
'' Marguerite has been sadly spoiled," said John, at
length. " She was educated in a convent until she
was seventeen, and since that time mother has
petted and indulged her atrociously. You must tell
me about my father, Mrs. Wells. I know too little
of him. He was such a busy, absorbed man, as I
" A busy man, year in and year out. He was
for waiting and maintaining peace, but when the war
really came he was one of the first at the front,
strong for our Southern principles, stanch and
true. A more gallant soldier never wore our
" And I left home before that, and never saw
father again. Why did he send me to Uncle Darius,
I wonder? I might have entered the army with him.
Many a boy went at fifteen, and I was well grown.
Mother never was pleased that I was sent from
" Your father did what he thought best for you.
The war did n't break out until a year later, but he
had begun to fear it, and spent that whole year in
Washington. He hoped it might be averted. He
spent a day with us just before his last battle. I
heard him say to the colonel, — my colonel was at
home with a wound — " She paused a moment, and
then resumed : ** I heard him say, ' My boy is safe,
thank God, and in good hands. If I never come
out from our next engagement, there will be no more
need of me in the world. We are certainly leading
a forlorn hope.* He was sad that day. Two weeks
78 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
later he lay on the field, shot through the heart.
The colonel died on the same day, but that was
different. He died in his bed, with Katherine and
me by his side. Your father had no one; but
then — " She was silent again. John went to the
window, and pulling a sprig of honeysuckle tore
it to bits. ** No," she continued, ** your father
knew best. War is terrible. God save us from it
forever. You would have been an added burden,
and he had enough. We could scarcely feed our
troops, let alone clothe them."
Katherine came in with a pretty flush in her
cheeks. '' Come tue luncheon," she said cheerily.
'* Ma, bring John out, please. Gertrude, step spry
now; yue ah so slow, child."
Marshall lingered after lunch, chatting with the two
lonely women, and then left promising to return in
"Gabe shall go tue Scrapp's foh youa boxes," said
Katherine. " He 's a no 'count niggah, like all the
young lot, but we keep him foh his ma's sake. She
takes on so when we make out tue discha'ge him."
THE NEW BOARDING-HOUSE
PORTIA VAN OSTADE stood in her mother's
room arranging her tumbled hair. Her hat
was thrown carelessly aside and her cheeks glowed
with exercise, but she seemed excited and nervous.
"Portia, you are overworking, I see it," said
her mother, anxiously. " Lie down on my bed,
Portia gathered her long hair deftly in one hand
and drew it to the crown of her shapely little head.
" No, mamma deary, I am just frightened a bit,
that 's all. Now don't worry. I '11 tell you about
it. I took those napkins to old Clarissa to mend —
and, by the way, don't let me forget to tell you
what happened while I was there; I will tell this
first — and coming home I went down under that
old bridge by the mill for ferns to decorate the
dining-room with this evening. You remember
there are great shelving rocks piled up on one
side; well, all at once my heart gave a thump,
right in my throat, and I felt such a queer creep-
ing sensation all over me, as if some awful thing
were near; and I looked up, and right above me,
crouching in a kind of cleft of those rocks, was the
wildest, wickedest looking creature I ever saw,
peering down at me. He was a negro, and he held
a stone as large as my head, as if he were going to
8o When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
hurl it at me. I couldn't scream, I just stood still
and looked into his terrible bloodshot eyes, and he
looked at me. Everything was so still, as if there
were no one in the world to help me. I dared not
move, lest that should break the spell and he would
throw; but he must have been listening, for there
came a clatter of hoofs over the bridge, and he dis-
appeared into the gray rocks as if he were part of
them. Then how I screamed ! Then Josephus,
who did the teaming for us, looked over the bridge,
and called, ' Hi, Miss Po'tia, dat yo' done hollah .? '
It all happened in a moment, but it seemed an age
of agony. Even when he called I could n't speak.
He came down and took me in his arms, and car-
ried me bodily up that steep path and set me on
the bridge, and then went back for my ferns —
good-hearted fellow ! — I have them in water, a
great tubful. He left his mule at the mill and
came all the way home with me. He has gone
back for it now, and will ride into Patterson and
tell the sheriff. He said, ' Dat Pete Gunn, sho',
wha' done kill de ol' woman up de mountain.' "
"Now, Portia, this is wrong. Do you never go
alone again in this awful country, where murders
are committed in broad daylight."
" Oh, that was away off in a lone place in the
" It was done, Portia, and you must take some
one with you when you wish to go off on your
"Very well, I will invite one of the boarders.
Usually some would like to go, — or I can take
The New Boarding-house 8i
" Lucyleese ! That child would be of no service
in the world. You should take Alexander. "
" She has a screech that would scare the breath