pointed because I happen to know the ropes. We
may be forced to clean the whole thing out for self-
protection. There is deviltry enough going on
about election time without free whiskey.
The coffee disposed of, and the cups returned to
the tea-table by the small carriers, Portia rose to
fulfil her promise to the children. Marshall lifted
the dancing Juliet to his knee.
"You were to sit here, you know, while Miss
Van Ostade sings."
"I am afraid you will regret it," said Mrs. Barry.
"Juliet never stops asking questions."
The child gravely regarded her mother a mo-
ment, then said, " But I am going to listen now,
mamma." Then turning to Marshall, she inquired
in a half whisper, " What 's your name ? " He drew
98 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
the midget up to him comfortably. "John is my
name. Now we are acquainted."
She nodded, and, pointing with a dimpled hand
to young Master Percy, said: "His name is John,
too, only we call him Johnny. He is rough some-
times. Are you rough ? "
" Indeed, I hope not. Never with little children."
She looked into his face once again seriously,
and then, apparently satisfied, nestled down, and
folded her hands to listen, while Portia's rich voice
filled the room. And John.'* John was satisfied.
He had discovered the singer of the evening before.
After a time the songs for the little ones ceased,
and the children were put to bed. Conversation
became general again. The guests made plans for
excursions to one or two beautiful waterfalls in the
vicinity, and a visit was proposed to a little log
church where the negroes held services a few
miles away. John was invited to make one of the
party. Then Mrs. Clare and Mrs. Barry played a
duet, v^hich was followed by more songs, sometimes
with obligato accompaniment from Mr. Ridgeway's
violin, which he handled not strongly but with
great sweetness and grace. The selections grew
more difficult. Portia sang now in Italian, now in
German, and at last in plain English to please
And John Marshall, passionate lover of music
that he was, was satisfied.
HOPES AND PLANS
THE moonlight covered the ground at Mar-
shall's feet with a wonderful network of
shadows. He paused in his rapid walk and stretched
out his arms to the cool night air, straightened him-
self to his full height, drew in a deep breath, and
said to himself, " At last I have found her — my girl
of the bridge ! " He buttoned his coat about him-
self as if he had her secreted in an inner pocket.
" It must be she. No other could be so like my
girl of the German bridge." He walked on thought-
fully. Whichever way he looked he still saw Por-
tia's bright, proud head. *' Found at last, in the
dilapidated, forsaken, dishonored old home, keep-
ing boarders, and — " he drew a letter from his
pocket, turned it over in his hand, and replaced it.
" What shall I do if mother and Marguerite persist
in coming on ? "
" Ma 's gone tue bed," said Miss Katherine, as he
entered. '* She nevah sits up aftah eight."
Miss Katherine had been reading by a shaded
lamp. She had had Gabriel light a fire to make the
room look cheerful to John, and indeed it was home-
like enough after the wretched bedroom at Scrapp's.
He saw around him the same furniture he and
Donald used to think so grand. The great mahog-
any sofa, its rags now decently covered by knitted
lOO When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
and crocheted tidies, would have held twelve such
boys. Now he settled himself comfortably in one
corner of it.
" Miss Katherine, what are you reading ? " he
She handed him a little old leather-bound volume
of Thomson's " Seasons." He turned it over in his
hand, but all he saw on the title page was Portia
" Miss Katherine," he said at last, *' my head is
full of schemes. Come over here on the sofa and
let me talk to you. It will seem like old times."
So she settled herself in the other corner, as he had
in his, and they chatted far into the night, — of the
past, and his boyhood, of the happenings during his
long absence, and how all the desolation had come
about, and her voice was low and sad with a slow,
patient sadness as it lingered over the words. At
last he broke in with the impetuosity of undaunted
youth : ** Miss Katherine, things will be better soon.
I am come to stay, to settle up mother's affairs
and look after some matters for Uncle Darius, and,
for one thing, that hotel 's going to be built." He
rose and paced the room.
" Yue can't. There 's a hitch somewhere. Miz
Chaplain knows. She says Jud 's mad at the road,
and won't sell his half of the hill."
" Yes, he will ! He '11 sell to me."
** To yue ! " She opened her eyes in affright.
John laughed. ** You look as if I had said I would
swallow him and his hill."
*' Yue might as well try that as tue move Jud, oh
buy a hill of pure gold."
Hopes and Plans loi
" Well, cheer up. I won't tell you how it is to
come about, but that rascally Monk is to have the
wind taken out of his sails, and Jud and I will build
that hotel. I have the plans with me. They are
my own. He must move back here and help, that 's
all. What 's he standing in his own light for ? He 's
the only one left of the old set that I can work with.
In three weeks you '11 see a gang of men grading
that hill. Then you '11 believe me." He paused
and stood looking down at her whimsically. '* But
first I want you to promise, — no, you need not. I '11
do it, anyway."
" What will yue do, John?"
He sat beside her and took her hand. " I will, if
you will let me, try to be some of the things to you
that Donald would have been. You have taken me
in as if you were my own sweet sister, for his
sake, and as if this were my home ; and now, for
his sake, let me be, in a sense, brother and son
in this house." Her pathetic brown eyes filled
with tears, and her thin hand trembled in his.
He placed it gently back in her lap. " Let me,"
he said; **you know what Donald would do." He
settled himself again in his corner. '' It 's late, I
know, but may I talk a little longer, this time about
myself ? "
*' Oh, yes, John, yes. The Lord sent you to us ;
the Lord sent you back." '
'' You know my father and Uncle Darius loved
each other, if they were opposed in politics. Uncle
Darius has done all for me a father could, — sent me
to college, given me my choice of a profession and
sent me abroad, and Aunt Mary has mothered me,
I02 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
scolded, trained, and loved me, until I feel for her
what I suppose, according to the ties of blood, I
should give to my mother. They both came clear
across the Continent to hear my oration. I worked
for my life to take honors, to please them, and, on
the whole, did fairly well. They stayed in New
York to see me start for Europe. Mother was there
too, she and Marguerite, but then — "
" Youh mothah nevah returned aftah your fathah's
** Mother loved society, and there was nothing
" Except a few of youh fathah's old friends."
" Father and mother were so unlike ; if he had
lived it would have been different."
" How long were you abroad, John .-* "
" Three years. I worked hard there, studying."
" Architecture? Were you alone? "
" Mother and Marguerite were with me off and
on, but I was there for work, and they for pleasure,
you know. Strange to say, I saw more of them
than I ever had before. Mother seemed to grow
fonder of me, too, but you know her way, the fonder
she is of one, the more she wants to rule. She set
her heart and soul and will, which last is the greater
part of her, on my marrying Marguerite." He
laughed a little. " We were engaged for a time,
until Marguerite confessed she only became engaged
to me because she found it expedient, and because
she did n't ' dislike me exactly,' and as we were of
the same mind, we quietly broke off the engagement,
stopped fighting, and have gotten on fairly well
since. Now here is my predicament. Mother
Hopes and Plans 103
writes me from New York (they are both there)
that she has half a mind to visit me and the old
home together. Half a mind with her is equal to
the whole minds of a dozen other people. They '11
come, that 's what they '11 do, and what shall I do
*' I wish we — "
"They can't come here; I'll accommodate them
at Scrapp's first." Miss Katherine held up both
hands in horror. " I 'd take them to the old place,
only I called there this afternoon, and found them
such thoroughly charming people."
" Why, John, that's all the bettah."
" It 's all the worse. You know mother. She 'd
make them feel like the dirt she walks on. She 'd
set her heel on — "
" Yue need n't fear foh Miss Van Ostade. She 's
smaht enough." v
"Yes, and she is refined and sensitive also."
" But they ah keeping bo'dahs, yue know, and
she works ha'd with her own hands."
John smiled. He saw two little work-browned
hands lying in Miss Katherine's lap.
" I '11 have to take them there, there 's no alter-
native, but I '11 — "
" Build the new hotel first," she said with a teasing
" Now, Miss Katherine, that 's like yourself. No,
but I '11 do something to keep them from having too
much unoccupied time on their hands. I '11 have sad-
dle and carriage horses brought from Asheville, —
there 's nothing here, — if you '11 let me have the
stables put in order."
I04 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
" I shall take yue at youh word, John. What
would Donald do?"
** Thank you. Then, we will do it, you and I."
She laughed a tremulous little laugh. " We will
make things hum here. They can have a suite of
rooms at the old place for them and their maids, if
the present owners will consent, and I will be the
devoted son I ought to be. I '11 put off their coming
as long as I can, and get Hanford Clark there at the
station to take up his quarters at the house. He 's
a splendid fellow. I knew him at college. But that
matter of bringing Judson Chaplain around must be
looked after first. But now. Miss Katherine, good-
night. I have tired you out, I know."
** Good-night, John." She took the lamp and
conducted him to Donald's old room. Happy
Katherine ! A new lease of life seemed to have
come to her. Softly she looked in on her mother
calmly sleeping. "What would ma say?" she
thought, and all that night visions of the old gay
life filled her slumbers.
UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS
IT is well that we are imprisoned in the bodies we
inhabit during our short span of earthly exist-
ence; that we are not allowed to imperil our
peace, and enjoyment of merry thoughts, and the
beauties that are revealed to us in the natural order
of events, by erratically wandering about and pene-
trating into dark places and miserable secrets that
would be better hidden from us forever, since the
only unutterably terrible and humanly incompre-
hensible problem in this world, after all, is the
existence of sin.
Peacefully sleeping on Donald's bed, in Donald's
old room, where everything had been so reverently
cared for because it was Donald's, lay John Mar-
shall through that tranquil April night. Could his
spirit have gone with the moonbeams, it might
have entered the dirty windows of Budd's saloon,
where a knot of the male inhabitants were holding
an impromptu political meeting, screened from
human eyes by coarse paper curtains over the
upper half of the windows, and a smearing of white
paint over the lower. A kerosene lamp lighted
the place. Ranged in a half-circle around a rusty
stove and a box of sawdust, some standing, some
tilted back in rickety chairs, were the men. None
were seated near the stove, for, being in dangerous
proximity to the box, they might be hit by the
1 o6 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
shots of tobacco juice, which made a continuous,
slippery fusillade at it. They talked in low tones,
with a languid air, that was at the same time full
of suppressed intensity, like the atmosphere of a
sultry day before a storm.
One, seated in a chair placed on the hacked and
whittled counter, pounded with a stick when all
talked at once, or one lifted his voice above the low
pitch adopted by all. Patterson, with one leg
swung over the corner of the counter, and his
elbow on his knee, chewed the end of an elm twig
and eyed his companions sharply. He seldom
spoke, but was evidently the leading spirit of the
" We don't want th* m'litia down on us, noh du
we want any women 'nd childern cut up," he said
at last. " This 'ere 's p'litical business solely, an' th'
end justifies th' means, 'nd th' means we 'r' goin' tu
use is tu hesh up th' niggers, 'nd cool off some o*
them No'thern intruders over tu Broadgate.
We ah conservative citizens, and we ah not tu
be led around by th' nose by a No'thern monkey
like Monk, noh ah we goin' tu let th' niggers
drive. We hold th' reins, gentlemen, an' ah goin'
tu keep aholt of 'em."
There was suppressed laughter and murmured
applause. Though all had been drinking, none
were drunk. Several spoke at once. '' Pitch Monk
over his trestle." " Tar 'nd fether 'im." '' What 's
th' matter 'ith givin' Clark a little cold peppeh?"
'' Send 'im off on one o' his freights." ** Wipe out
th' niggahs, 'nd one or two o' their backers, 'nd th*
thing 's done."
Under Cover of Darkness 107
The chairman thumped with his stick. ** Gen'le-
men, I 'low Mr. Patterson ain't thoo." Patterson
threw his chewed twig into the sawdust. " Naw,
gen'lemen, I kyan' rightly say as I am thoo ; you-
all hev been talkin' c'nsiderable, now I '11 talk. Th'
hosses is stompin' outside; th' regalia's in th' closet,
ain't it, Budd?"
" Hit's thar," said Budd.
''Wall, what's tu hender beginnin' this evenin'?"
he looked at his watch.
" That 's th' talk," said one and another.
" Gen'lemen, here 's my plan. Keep th' road on
ouh side. Th' prosperity o' th' place demands it.
Leave th' agent alone. They 's nothin' ag'in th'
agent, an' he leaves us alone. We must take th'
head off'n theih party in this section, by quietly
removin' theih candidate."
" That 's th' talk." " Git red o' th' trash." " Drop
'im ovah his trestle."
"They's tu be no row about it, mind. Ef theih
candidate skips th' place, thet 's theih look-out.
Hit's eleven o'clock. We goes tu Monk's room,
now. Th' first outgoin' freight passes at one, an'
three men bo'ds it, an' tue of 'em returns on hoss-
back tu theih own homes (whar they hev been all
night, of co'se) befo' daybreak." There was a mur-
mur of assent, and Patterson talked on. " Which
of yu gen'lemen will take th' ridge mule trail an'
lead th' hosses around tu th' first stop beyond th'
trestle foh them 'at takes th' freight? " One of the
party rose and hitched at the top of his trousers.
" Bettah go tue tugethah. Ef one gits stuck, t' other
kin make it." Another man rose and hitched at his
1 08 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
trousers. '' Thet 's well. Yu tue bettah start. Yu
won't mo' than make it in two houahs. Hold on a
minute. Whose hosses yu goin' tu take?" Two
more men rose, one a huge muscular mountaineer,
hitched at the tops of their trousers, and silently
removed the plugs of tobacco from their mouths.
" Thet 's well," said Patterson again, with slow inten-
sity. " Take theih hosses 'nd be gone."
They went out, and soon the clatter of hoofs was
heard going toward the ridge trail. Addressing the
men who rose last, Patterson continued : " Youh
th' right men fo' th' right place. That settles Monk.
By duin* these things sharp, they 's no need tu du
th' dirty work ovah again."
** Mount make an example o' one o' th' niggahs,"
said Budd. *' This 'ere cussed young strut ovah-
head is top o' th' heap amongst 'em, readin' th'
papahs an* retailin' trash at theih meetin's. Swing
'im f'om his pole, an' they won't be no mo' niggahs'
p'litical meetin's, I reckon."
*' Naw, let 'im strut awhile. We '11 look aftah 'im
latah ef he don't hesh." Patterson left the counter
where he had remained with scarcely a change of
position during the whole of his talk. The chair-
man came down from his perch.
Half an hour later a small band of draped figures, .
masked and armed, left Budd's saloon, and marched
silently to the corner store, where the lawyer had
his rooms, and divided. Four of them quietly
climbed the stairway, an outside one, the door at
the top was quickly pried open, there was the sound
of a few low-spoken words, a short scuffle, and soon
five figures left the room, one led between two,
Under Cover of Darkness 1 09
draped and masked like the rest. No word was
spoken. They joined the party waiting below,
crossed the street, and stood back silently in the
shadow of the freight-house. Soon the outgoing
train, consisting of three empty cars and a caboose
also empty, thundered up to the station. One of
the men was roughly lifted into the caboose, two
others climbed hastily in after him, and the train
moved on. When the agent had locked the freight-
house, and taken his way back to his quarters at
Scrapp's, the rest emerged from their concealment
and moved stealthily away.
Could John Marshall's spirit have gone with the
moonbeams in all their silent journeyings, he would
have peered into a little log church a few miles from
Patterson, half hidden in a wild glen. Behind it
was a perpendicular wall of lichen-covered rock,
down which water was forever trickling. Ferns
growing in the ledges nodded as the sparkling drops
fell on them. In front a small stream dashed with
continuous rushing noise over immense boulders.
A path, a mere narrow mule-track, wound high up
along the bank of the stream. The glen was beau-
tiful beyond description, and wild as if so tame a
creature as man never had visited it.
While the men gathered in Budd's saloon were
still meditatively firing at the box of sawdust, some
thirty or more negroes had stealthily collected here.
They sat on rude benches of plank, resting on rough
blocks sawed from solid logs. A wooden chair and
a table on which were two tallow candles were in one
end of the room and near them — - a strange article of
furniture for so rude a place — was a small cabinet
1 1 o When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
organ covered with a shabby green cloth. After
being addressed by one and another of their num-
ber, a tall, sinewy, gray-haired mulatto arose. He
was an exhorter, and spoke much after the fashion
of the camp-meeting.
" Bred'ren, an' ," he was going to say sisters, but
recollecting that no sisters were present, added,
** an' all yo'-uns wha' is heah. Dis ain' no com-
mon subjec' wha' has drawed we-all heah. Yo'-
all t'ink yo' gwine vote nex' week? Naw, bred'ren,
an' — naw, yo' gwine stan' raoun' an' be knock' on de
haid like yo' 's ol' used up bosses, wha' ain' got no
mo' pow' fo' tu hoi' yo'se'fs tugedder. I tell yo',
bred'ren, I 's seed an' had de 'speunce. Yo' reckon
yo' 's free 'case yo' ain' had de lash ovah yo' haids,
but I tell yo', yo' ain' free yit. I kyan' read like Jose-
phus yandah, or Brudder Chas heah, — I kyan' tell
what-all is in de papahs he done brung tu de meet'n',
but, bred'ren, we-all ain' sot free ontwell we kin call
de souls de Lawd done gib us ouh own."
Josephus left the room at the beginning of the
old man's talk. He had already spoken, urging
upon them that they had a right to vote their own
ticket like white men, that they were all free men,
and had only to do a little knocking on their own
account, and show themselves men to succeed.
After the old man had spoken at some length,
Lord Chesterfield came forward, unbuttoned his
coat, and drew out some papers and a notebook
with a pompous air. Although a fop, he was no
fool. He possessed a strong will, and loved power.
The moonlight stole through the dusty little win-
dow and fell on his softly curling, silky black hair..
Under Cover of Darkness 1 1 1
His face seemed a dead white in the dusk of the
candle-light. He spoke well, using notebook and
papers ostentatiously. He had evidently been
primed by Monk, who was running for the office
of circuit judge.
" Uncle Isaac 's done tol' de troof We-all 's not
free yit, an' we nebber will be free ontwell we gits
a No'thun jedge in dis-yer No'th C'liny, an' Monk 's
de man, gen'l'men. He has de hull taoun yandah
tu Broadgate on his side. They 's put' nigh all
No'thun men dar."
" Yas, yo' 's nuffin' but a young cock I'arnin* tu
crow. Yo' has a heap tu I'arn yit," muttered old
While Chas strutted about with coat thrown open,
and thumbs thrust in the armholes of his vest,
Josephus was wandering far from the cabin, with
a brown paper parcel under his arm, evidently
searching for some one among the rocks, and leaving
poor Bonaparte tied to a sapling near the church.
" Yas, gen'l'men, we-all 's got tu be cl'ar dum still
an' circumspec' an' nebber let on like we-uns gwine
tu jump," continued Chas. " Dis-yer 's mighty
ticklesome business. I hyahs a heap yandah ovah
de sto' an' nuvvah lets on like I hyahs nuffin'. Ef
dey 'low tu hendah we-uns in ouh fa'r, right, an' jus'
privileges, I 's gwine — "
Suddenly every man sprang to his feet and the
lights were extinguished. A shot rang through the
glen and reverberated from rock to rock of its per-
pendicular sides. Uncle Isaac peered through the
window, screened by the darkness within, and saw
two horsemen ride over a rise in the path and dis-
1 1 2 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
appear in the shadows. Along the trail rode the
two men who had first left Budd's saloon, each lead-
ing a horse saddled. They took note of the light in
the cabin, and the mule tied to the sapling.
" Thet thar 's Josephus' mule," said one. " Th'
niggahs is up tu sump'n in thar. See th' light in th'
The other said nothing, but levelled his revolver at
the creature's head and fired. The animal dropped
with a groan, and the men rode on.
" Josephus is a mighty high-steppin' niggah," said
he who fired the shot, slipping a new cartridge in
the place of the one just used, and pocketing the
The candles were not relighted in the little log
church that night. The men stole out and scattered
silently to their homes.
" Naw, bred'ren, we-all ain' free yit. We *s undah
de sto'm-claoud," said Isaac, in a low voice, as he
looked at the dead mule.
" Cl'issy, she '11 be mighty cut up ovah dis-yer,"
said another. " She lays a heap on Josephus an'
dat ah mule team o' his'n."
" Hit sarves Joe like he'd ought tu be sarved, fo'
duin* sech a fool trick. What he done brung de
mule heah fo' anyhow? Hit jes' lets on we-all's
hol'n' meet'n's heah, a-hee-hawin' outside. He ain'
nufBn' but a fool nigger anyhow, — kyan' du nuffin'
but hoUah an' sing," said Chas, angrily. ''Whar is
he gone now ? Hunt'n' a'ter a possom mo' 'n likely."
JOSEPHUS, prowling among the rocks near the
bridge, where he had rescued Portia that after-
noon, heard the shot in the distance, but gave no
heed. Creeping among the blackest shadows, he
entered a sort of cave high among the crags over-
hanging the stream.
" Pete Gunn, come out o' dar," he called in low
tones ; " no use o' yo' hid'n' heah." No answer
came. *' Pete, ef yo' doan quit hangin' raoun' dis
hole, I 's gwine tu Patterson, 'n' tell de she'iff yo' 's
heah." His eyes, grown used to the darkness, de-
scried a black bundle in one corner. He touched it
with his foot, and a man struggled to his feet with
an inarticulate snarl, like a wild animal. The
wretched creature shook from head to foot.
" Wha' yo' hunt'n' me fo', Josephus? I ain' done
nuffin' tu yo'-uns."
Josephus leaned against the wall of the cave,
regarding the trembling creature before him.
"Why n't yo' behave yo'se'f? Wha' yo' done wid
de money Gabr'ella gib yo' fo' tu git tu Raleigh?"
The man muttered about being sick and starving.
" Naw, yo' low daoun niggah ; yo' 's drinkin'. I kin
smell de whuskey oft'n yo'. Yo' 's hangin' raoun
steal'n' Jim Throop's moonshine whuskey, an'
pitchin' rocks daoun on folkses' haids, an* kiUin'
1 14 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
" I nebber, fo' de Lawd, I nebber did n' kill nobody,
sho 's I bohned a niggah."
" Wha' fo' yo' stan'in' dar wid de rock ovah de
"I's starvin', I tell yo'."
"Well, yo' gvvine eat de lady?" Josephus lifted
his arm as if he would strike the cowering figure to
" Lawd ! Josephus, doan strike. I 's starvin' an'
dyin'. I war gwine git dat ar gol' off 'n her, — dat gol'
chain an' pin, — and, git Kit tu sell 'em tu git me