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while they were in full cry, that each one of them had drawn inspiration from Mozart or Paganini. We killed many a deer that made their flight before them, and at length returned to my father's in Chatham county.
WHEN I reached home I found that there was a great deal being said about the country then called Cumberland, now Middle Tennessee, and having understood that an acquaintance of mine, a Mr. Dillard, was going to it, and was proposing to defray the expenses of any young man who would accompany him, I went to see him, and finding him at home, told him that I was his
We were soon agreed, and had the time set for our departure. The day rolled round. We said good-bye to all of our friends, and took the trail for the above-named country, and we had not crossed the boundary line of Chatham county before we came up with Captain William Douglass, an old revolutionary soldier, the uncle of Ila Douglass. He had with him his family, a
man by the name of W. Jones, and another whose name was Terry Poe, all bound for
man of capacious soul. Upon his face was stamped in unmistakable characters the true gentleman, for it lay wide open in every feature.
feature. His father, feeling the sting of ignorance from a neglected education, had given his boy extensive learning, and now had generously aided him while he was young and full of enterprise, and before his noble energies became blunted, having given him what was then termed a fortune, about nine negroes and a few hundred dollars in money, all of which he turned to a good use in after years; but however strong my inclination to enlarge upon the character of young Jones, I must at once return to my subject.
Just after crossing New river a tire upon one of our wagon wheels broke, and while it was being mended, Jones, Poe, and myself concluded that we would seek a little pastime at a house that was near by; Poe, who, I should have mentioned, was a very particular kind of man, was wearing buckskin knee pants and long stockings, and, additionally, a poultice on a sore toe. We all arrived at the house, of course perfect rangers, entered and accepted seats. Jones
and myself were disposed to treat the young ladies, three of whom were present, with as much courtesy as we knew how; but Poe was one of those mush-and-molasses sort of fellows who could not sit off and talk to a lady as a gentleman, but must have hold of her, or rub against her in some manner or other; in fine, he had a goodly share of the low breeding in him, and as an evidence, as one of the young ladies passed near him, he caught her and pulled her down into his lap; she screamed and struggled with all her might to get loose, and, as with one voice, Jones and myself stormed out at him to release her; but seeing that he was obstinate, we started to her assistance, but soon saw that she had severed the right link from the fetters that bound her. She had discovered Poe's sore toe, and secured her deliverance by grinding her heel heavily down upon it. The sudden fall from his transport of joy into the most agonizing pain man ever endured, had caused him to violently push the innocent and justly revenged maiden away. He now caught up the foot to which was attached the miserable toe in both hands, and went skipping round the room, and zigzaging over the floor upon the other. The grating of his teeth was distinctly heard by all present, and I am sure that the grimace of his mouth and general distortion of his features were quite sufficient to have frightened a boy of ten years half to death. He seemed at first determined to utter not a word, but the toe throbbed so violently that it shook his very heart, until at length he cried out in all the agony of despair, “You have ruined my sore toe.” As soon as we could turn his face towards the door we all withdrew, Poe limping along, and scringing at every step, while we were smiling and walking by his side as nimbly as an Alpine fawn. When we reached the shop we found the smith dropping the linch-pin into its place, and the wagon being ready we put it in motion. We began to relate the circumstances which attended us at the house that we had just left, and Poe in return commenced giving each sentence a contradiction as it dropped from our lips. The toe by this time had became calm, but he was not able to tolerate the odium which he conceived he had brought upon himself by his conduct, and the signal victory that the young lady had gained over him; but